- [WT] [Home] [Manage]
[Show or hide post box]

[Return] [Entire Thread] [Last 50 posts] [First 100 posts] [Bottom]
Posting mode: Reply
Name
Email
Subject   (reply to 30272)
Message
File
Password  (for post and file deletion)
  • First time posting? See our frontpage for site rules and FAQ
  • Further overview of board culture in this thread.
  • Supported file types are: GIF, JPG, PNG, WEBM
  • Maximum file size allowed is 4096 KB.
  • Images greater than 200x200 pixels will be thumbnailed.
  • View catalog

File 150184198984.png - (134.38KB, 500x500, 20.png) [iqdb]
30272 No. 30272
/o====================5====================o\

Current Strand: 5.85

Previous Strands:
1 - missing
2 - missing
3 - missing
4 - missing
5 - missing
5.8 - >>29818

\o====================85===================o/
Expand all images
>> No. 30274
File 150184260089.png - (639.04KB, 1000x730, 20_5.png) [iqdb]
30274
You may have had a chance in the beginning to flee, but the further you delve into the depths of this ‘home,’ the more the place’s tendrils sink in. It’s fortunate that this library doesn’t choke you like the halls before. This cage may be relatively pleasant, but it still remains a cage. Sister will have to free you eventually.

You just have to wait.

The devil occupies itself with tasks unknown and, most importantly, away from here. Its feeble master sleeps, though the condescending mark of her awakening lies before your feet.

A Little Book of Good Manners for Children

‘Manners’ are scarcely mentioned within the books you’ve read, yet they always are invoked in spirit. Not a single book confronts them. Like night and day are accepted as the polar laws of earth, manners and vulgarity are accepted the polar laws of man. Already bound by the former, you’ve never found yourself wanting for more constrictions. In the end, you can only ask: Why?

You doubt this book has the answer. It appears more the preacher than the skeptic.

However, there’s no harm in trying. You have time to spare before Sister makes her boisterous entrance.

You take the book and move closer into the orb’s light surrounding Patchouli - making sure not to wake her for both your sakes. Then you read.

...

Let the eyes be stable and honest…’ - ‘...for they are the seat and place of the soul.

That brings a sardonic smile to your face. As far as your eyes go, Sister says, ‘diseased,’ and anything you have to say would raise the brow of even the most depraved demons.

If manners are in the eye, then you must be quite the barbarian.



What follows in the book thereafter is not so biting. Instead, it trails at random through the most minute and petty details of existence you could possibly imagine. Everything from the color of your cheeks to the clothes on your back are put under its insane, trivial scrutiny. What possible purpose would it serve to only eat flesh with three fingers? How is it particularly wolfish, of all beasts, to consume a meal set before you? In your experience, mosquitos are the most ravenous of the world’s creatures - and you admire their tenacity, if anything.

Content with never understanding the human race, you shut the book. Patchouli jolts as if you had just thrown it at her head. She rises, slowly, then looks at you with an expression that would usually be reserved for the sight of a strange insect. To her sensibilities, the sight of a very confused man with a book in his lap must be quite astounding.

“You’ve read it?” she asks.

The question isn’t stupid, but you remain silent nonetheless. You had hoped she would stay asleep - it would have been a bargain between the two of you for mutual peace and quiet.

Patchouli still waits for a reply, and you don’t feel any need to antagonize her. You don’t even know what she is.

So you nod.

“This is unprecedented,” she says, a complicated expression on her face. “No one has ever read the book. Kick it, burn it, or leave it on the floor, perhaps - but never read it.” Despite her apparent incredulity, she still can’t manage to sound as anything but exceedingly disinterested.

“It was a terrible book,” you reply. Whether you want it or not - and you most certainly do not - you’ve been dragged into a conversation.

“Irrelevant. Barbarism can be waived so long as it isn’t ignorant barbarism.” The corners of her mouth tug. “You would be familiar with that cur, Meiling?”

Familiar is an overstatement, Meiling is as twisted as youkai come. Whatever tune it dances to wasn’t made for human ears. Still, you nod your head.

“Good. There’s an important distinction to be made between Meiling, who rebels in spite, and an ape mindlessly flinging its dung.” She pauses abruptly to take a breath then continues lecturing as if nothing happened. “I seek to teach, not change. Continue willfully debasing yourself if it pleases you.”

You wait, but no more talk comes. She’s content with whatever point she buried among the blatherskite.

Ending the conversation here should be easy, but ever since the living puzzle, Meiling, made its entrance, your curiosity hasn’t been quite so dead. That same reanimated curiosity led you inside and ultimately trapped you in this library with Patchouli. You thought curiosity to have died again there, but this house full of mysteries won’t let it rest.

“I don’t follow,” you reply honestly.

Patchouli’s eyes widen slightly in shock.

“But you read the book?” She almost exclaims - a full exclamation would be too vigorous for her.

“I didn’t understand it.”

Her fingers find themselves on the bridge of her nose. “You tried. That is more than your predecessors could muster. The least I can offer is clarification.” She mulls on her next words. “However, I am not known for my explanatory prowess, as Meiling has been all too eager to attest.” Her mellow voice is betrayed by a squirm of discomfort.

You wonder if those ‘predecessors’ now paint the floors red like Meiling warned.

Clarification does sound nice, but in practice the more you let this thing prattle on without intervention, the less chance you will upset her by existing - or as she might say, debasing yourself.

You watch and wait for her to continue. By the way she breathes, you’d think she was exhausted from just talking.

“Hm, shall we first practice the introduction? You should be capable of that much.” She doesn’t sound sure at all. “I will go first.” There’s no deliberate condescension in her words. She’s just naturally patronizing.

In response you can only raise an eyebrow.

She readies herself with a cough. “I am Patchouli Knowledge, a furtive magician, and a scholar without accolade.”

‘Magician’ could mean anything from an old man with a stick to a sentient, magical rock. Enigmatic does the nature of this girl remain, much to your chagrin.

“Now you try,” she prompts. The severity of her gaze is made trivial by the intentions behind it - she just wants to teach you how to say your own name. Not even a diseased flower could wither under those eyes now.

Still, you are stuck in a stupor underneath the sudden spotlight.

You eventually piece together a introduction. “Schütz, hunter.”

To your surprise, she smiles. It’s soft and slight, befitting her frail body. “Very good, Schütz.” She sounds sarcastic with that unenthusiastic voice of hers, but there is a genuine attempt for some form of positive inflection. It is a noble attempt. Of course, it is also a fruitless attempt, but an attempt it is nonetheless.

“Breakfast time, master!” A familiar voice rains down from above. Thoughts melt away in an instant as your hand instinctively grabs for an arrow, but you manage to bar yourself before you do anything stupid.

The devil merrily swoops in from the darkness, blissfully unaware of how close it was to greeting an arrow’s head rather than its master.

“Thank you, famulus.” Patchouli looks to you then back to her servant. “Bring another chair, would you?”

The demon perks up at ‘bring another chair’ but visibly deflates once it realizes who it is for. “Right away, master.” It doesn’t let its show of disappointment reach its professional voice.

You warily watch the demon as it goes about its duties. It is wise enough to grant the distance you would otherwise have to make yourself.

Eventually, the chair is laid to the side of Patchouli’s own. She dismisses her servant with some softly spoken words and a wave of her hand.

“Come, sit. Table manners may be a bit advanced, but I think you can handle it.” She is atrocious at feigning certainty.

The demon’s rallying cry of ‘breakfast!’ is enough prompt for you to realize just what is happening. Why is another matter entirely. You didn’t think Meiling’s idea of an ‘afternoon breakfast with Scarlet’ could possibly become more outlandish. Now it’s afternoon breakfast with the Scarlet - distinctly featuring a complete lack of food and whatever ‘Scarlet’ may be.

You go to sit down, but stop suddenly as your seals begin to quiver with the only message they know: ‘a youkai is near.

If the demon were here, you would soon place blame elsewhere, but it’s only you and Patchouli. It doesn’t surprise you particularly that she - no - it, is a youkai. Meiling has already proven that the definition of youkai can be left to liberal interpretation.

Your body takes the news not so delicately. You skirt backwards as if the earth beneath your feet had turned into cinders. Fortunately, you stop yourself before you draw your knife or arrow. You have that much self-control, at least.

Patchouli watches on, bemused. “Have you never seen a seat before? I could instruct on its use, if necessary.” It’s not a facetious offer. The youkai is legitimately concerned about your sitting-ability.

You take a deep breath. The Patchouli before you is the same austere, absurd, and utterly trivial being as before.

“No, I’m-” You physically force yourself to approach and sit down before continuing. “-fine.”

This changes nothing. As long as Patchouli isn’t a devil like Nue and those countless other forest fiends, you can tolerate the presence of another Meiling-esque aberration. Paranoia weakly contests your judgment. You reassure yourself by never letting your hand leave your bow.

Patchouli gives you a quizzical eye as you squirm on the hardwood chair. Either the devil hand-picked the least comfortable chair it could find, or your years of sitting on nothing but bare earth have caught up to you.

“Shall we begin?” she asks once you settle. Up close, you can see just how tight the cursed feather collar is around Patchouli’s neck. Any tighter and it would bite flesh. It might explain the youkai’s laborious breathing - if not for the fact that the collar doesn’t exist.

You nod, though you have no idea what exactly ‘begin’ means. Humans worshipping manners is understandable given their nature as humans, but youkai? Admittedly, you’re more than a little curious how much further into the world of manners this youkai can back itself into.

Patchouli mutters something under her already muffled breath.

Ghostly white sigils burn in the air. On first glance they appeared like a simple array of hexagrams, but as your eyes begin to seek patterns you soon realize those ‘simple hexagrams’ form a sum infinitely more complex than its parts. Your mind can only comprehend small fragments of the esoteric whole at a time, and that alone is enough to make your head spin. The acrid scent of metal - magic - comes and passes. You don’t have time to react as a ghostly line draws itself just in front of the desk. It shivers in anticipation before expanding all at once into a scene of pure, scarlet red.

“Schütz?” a voice intrudes from beyond the scarlet window.

You’re knocked back into an uncomfortable reality. You know that voice all too well. It’s a cursed voice formed from nightmares and birdsong.

The scarlet-window is made significantly less scarlet as the writhing darkness of Nue’s body dives into the foreground. “Schütz!” Its eye gleams with gluttonous, predatory excitement. It’s missing an arm now too, but it compensates by waving its remaining appendage around like a ragdoll.

You don’t know whether to be completely stunned or fleeing for the fields. Why not both? Your body replies with a feat of half-frozen-in-terror acrobatics straight into the hardwood floor.

Patchouli is blubbering something, but it is drowned out by your accelerating heart-rate.

The portal to hell abruptly closes.

Patchouli is giving that ‘spotted a strange insect’ look straight into where the window used to be. The youkai shifts an eye to you. “My apologies, that was an unfit learning environment. Shall we try something else? Dress code, perhaps?” it asks with the single minded lunacy only a youkai could muster.

You recall Meiling calling it the silent Patchouli. It has been anything but.



You realize far too late that the contract has been silent for a long time now. Why would it whine if the object of its affection was already here in the house with you?

A snake has been dropped in the cage. It can smell your fear, and feeds on it.

/o====================5====================o\

Meiling also said it would take questions that are not stupid - and Patchouli is quite familiar with devils…
[A: “How do I kill a Nue?”]

But relying on the words of a self-proclaimed worthless scholar is unwise. Your own frantic, idiotic thoughts are guidance enough…
- [B1: Prepare a sealed arrow.] {seals are a precious resource, but times are desperate.}
- [B2: It may seem futile, but keep going down.] {you aren’t backed into a corner yet. the library stretches far below just here.}


..

.

[D: Call for Sister.] {No, you vowed to handle this yourself.}

|o=========================================o|

Items:
Bow (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand)
- x13 Iron-Headed Arrow
- x1 Iron-Headed Arrow (Broken)
Iron Knife (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated ‘Human’)
“Parabellum”
Tacky Red Key
Tough Clothing (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand)
- Seal Hairtie (Unknown Properties)
- Bandage (Wrapped Around Hand, Blood Coated ‘Human’)

|o=========================================o|

Moon Phase: <-(O)-> “lunatic”

Time: ???

\o====================85===================o/
>> No. 30275
First thread done. Voting period would have resulted in autosage.

Now this story has passed somewhat of a 'sink or swim' period.

Comments and discussion are always appreciated. It lets me know you guys are alive, and not some automated voting script set up by a megalomaniac admin.
>> No. 30276
File 150185638738.png - (920.99KB, 2000x2000, 20_75.png) [iqdb]
30276
Extremely quick sketches. Fun to draw.
>> No. 30277
Okay, for once, all options are good.

I'd say he should ask patchouli but she may know nothing or ask for a high price.

Still, I doubt sealed arrows would work

[A: “How do I kill a Nue?”]
>> No. 30278
Well, I don't much fancy fighting her and I don't like the idea of wandering off alone deeper into the building so...

[A: “How do I kill a Nue?”]
>> No. 30279
Take note, the broken arrow in our inventory isn't showing Nue's blood upon it. I doubt it's been wiped away. That could be a side-effect of the curse or just author clean-up. Or both.
>> No. 30280
[A: “How do I kill a Nue?”]

May as well be direct about it.
>> No. 30281
>>30279
It was washed along with most other things when Schütz took a bath in the Misty Lake.
>> No. 30283
[A] “How do I kill a Nue?”

I think I'm starting to get the hang of this bizarre combination of "impressed" and "confused". I know I'm reading something epic but I can't make sense of it.

Which if you think about it is exactly how Schütz must feel.
>> No. 30284
Vote called for A. I've already written most of the update just now. This should be fun.

I was worried about the turnout for a while there.

No art for now. I have drawn some stuff, but it's for other characters. Also I probably won't draw Patchouli again for a while since drawing human faces makes me exceedingly frustrated - and the results aren't worth it.

>>30283
There's a lot going on. It all fits together, though the nature of this story does not allow quick and easy explanations.

I'm glad that's interesting to some people.
>> No. 30285
Wait, how many seals do we have. Also, should we really try to break the contract we made with Nue?
>> No. 30286
>>30285
>Wait, how many seals do we have.
'a lot', everything Schütz wears is festooned in some way with dormant Hakurei seals. Schütz relies on their ambient spiritual power to ward youkai.
>> No. 30287
>>30286
Thanks for the info.

Now for vote, I would like to learn if we can break the contract, but if we can't than [X]B2
>> No. 30288
Sorry for the wait guys, I have two assignments due this week.
Update tomorrow.

Might try to draw later.
>> No. 30289
File 15026140315.png - (38.57KB, 1063x942, whatever.png) [iqdb]
30289
Update stalled because the draft was unfathomably bad. Yes.
>> No. 30290
>>30289
Don't take this the wrong way, but I feel that this masterpiece doesn't quite reach the lofty standards you have is accustomed to.
>> No. 30292
Panic flees your body on your current breath. Dread, however, comes in waves. You know you have to face Nue eventually. The contract would sooner tear your mind in two than let you escape. But to face the abomination here and now? The thought makes your blood run cold, and then reality turns it to ice.

What could you possibly do to stop Nue?

Your arrows, as impeccably accurate as they are, would only strike eager flesh. And your seals? As is, they are barely enough to ward the Rumias of this world. Any youkai with sense knows to avoid the Hakurei brand. You need not explain why you cannot rely on the common sense of a youkai.

“Schütz?” interrupts Patchouli.

You manage a grunt of acknowledgment. The youkai doesn’t interrupt any thoughts worth thinking.

Looking at the magician now, Meiling’s words flash through your mind: ‘she will take any question that isn’t stupid’. You get an idea. It’s a desperate idea by all human standards - but by a youkai’s? It might be desperate enough to work.

“How do I kill a Nue?” you blurt out before you let yourself think. The question itself isn’t stupid, but the fact you’re asking a youkai how to kill a youkai calls your sanity into question.

“...Excuse me? Do you not mean to say ‘a vampire?’” asks Patchouli.

You resist asking what a ‘vampire’ is and instead plainly state, “No.”

Patchouli is stunned for a moment, but in the end, it cracks a faint smile. “You are quite unique among hunters, Schütz. Those of your ilk tend to have boundless curiosity, but only when it concerns my best friend.”

You nod. ‘Vampires’ and ‘best friends’ are the absolute least of your concerns, and you would like it to remain that way.

“Nue, the Nightmare of Heiankyou, Hunter of Hunters, and other unpleasant titles. Birthplace, unknown. Date of birth, unknown.” Patchouli pauses for breath. “Date of death, 1166, by a single arrow to the brain.”

The words hang heavily in the air. However, the youkai doesn't stop, turning back to you as it finishes its monologue with a look of abject confusion on its face. “I’m sorry, but how is this relevant to our lesson, Schütz?”

Patchouli said many things, but all of it is drowned out by a single phrase: ‘Date of death, 1166, by a single arrow to the brain.’ That isn’t possible in two ways: Nue is not dead and the cursed arrow lolling around in its eye-socket does not exist. You fight down the visceral reaction to vomit, and somehow you manage to form words in its place.



The result is a fusion somewhere between ‘Nue is not dead,’ ‘Nue is coming,’ and ‘Nue is a cursed abomination.’

Patchouli nods sagely as if your blather made any sense.

“Oh, I won’t allow that then,” says Patchouli. “Shall we continue?”

You are silent. Even if you knew what words to say, you’re not sure if you would even be able to speak them.

Patchouli patiently waits for a reply. Or maybe it’s just being ‘polite.’

“You won’t allow it?” you ask as soon as you are able.

“That’s what I said. Do you need assurance?”

You’re halfway to answering her question, but she just turns around and motions to the air with a wave of her hand. “Famulus, come.”

The cursed demon swoops from the darkness as if it never left. At this point, you cannot muster a response, and neither can the demon: it ignores you completely.

Patchouli readies itself with a cough before speaking. “If you find a Nue, please let it know that it has been disallowed from the premises by threat of extermination. There will be no second warning nor even a first should the Nue evade you.”

The demon is visibly puzzled but instantly replies with a bright, “Right away, master!”

Extermination is not a word thrown around lightly. Even a youkai would have trouble corrupting such a powerful word with their tongue. And then there’s Patchouli, who just threatened extermination with the candor of a man reading from a shopping list.

Absurd. Absolutely absurd.

Patchouli takes one look at your bewildered face, gives it no heed, and begins incantation. Sigils burn in synchrony to the rhythm of Patchouli’s voice. Where Sister would browbeat the cosmos into submission, Patchouli instead coaxes it. The magician’s star sigils fit together like a thousand tiny gears all spinning to weave the final product.

A shell of pale light expands outwards from Patchouli, through you, and out into the darkness without so much as a sound.

Patchouli nods to itself with confidence that you sorely lack. “I believe we are fit to withstand a nuclear blast. Now, shall we continue?”

You stare speechlessly at Patchouli. ‘How, what, and why?’ are abuzz in your mind, but asking would be stupid. You already know the answers. They are just too absurd for your mind to accept. Your mind far too easily forgets that this is a youkai, the most meaningless and absurd beings in existence.

How? This youkai is more potent than it acts and appears.

What? It is a barrier that can supposedly withstand a nuclear explosion.

Why? Patchouli made one just so it could keep teaching you ‘manners.’

The corners of your mouth tremble, and a crooked smile splits across your face. You appear to be laughing. That never happens when Sister isn’t around. Something in your mind must be broken.

Patchouli seems to have many things to say about that, but has little air left to speak them.

/o====================5====================o\


Patchouli will not, or cannot, complain…
[A: Rest. Your face hurts from smiling.]

But the magician’s conviction has led you this far...
[B: “Shall we continue?”]

|o=========================================o|

Items:
Bow (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand)
- x13 Iron-Headed Arrow
- x1 Iron-Headed Arrow (Broken)
Iron Knife (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated ‘Human’)
“Parabellum”
Tacky Red Key
Tough Clothing (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand)
- Seal Hairtie (Unknown Properties)
- Bandage (Wrapped Around Hand, Blood Coated ‘Human’)

|o=========================================o|

Moon Phase: <-(O)-> “lunatic”

Time: ???

\o====================85===================o/

No picture at the moment. I have been working on a sprite though. It’s turning out OK.
>> No. 30293
Ah, just now realizing how outclassed you are, Schütz? Sure, she may be a candle next to Yuuka's bonfire; but we aren't even a spark.

[X] Continue
>> No. 30294
[X] Continue
>> No. 30295
[B: “Shall we continue?”]
Strike wile the iron is hot!
>> No. 30296
[X] Continue

I like this Patchy. She seems pretty alright.
>> No. 30297
[B: “Shall we continue?”]

>Rumias

I wonder if he runs into her often.
>> No. 30298
[B: “Shall we continue?”]
protag's due for quite a culture shock - friendly magician in a house of youkai
>> No. 30299
Oh, that was a nice and quick turnout. Neat.

Vote will be called tomorrow.

Uni is piling up, but I always make time somehow.


>>30296
Patchouli 'pretty alright magician' Knowledge
>> No. 30300
Vote overwhelmingly called for B.

No picture right no. Might try later, though drawing humanoids has made me feel especially withered lately.
>> No. 30301
File 150319533483.png - (22.27KB, 256x256, 21.png) [iqdb]
30301
Quick little Patchouli sprite. Might keep working on it. Need to do under desk and in general clean everything up.
>> No. 30302
>>30299
Still a better wizard than Khadgar
>> No. 30303
File 150320830347.png - (21.79KB, 256x178, 21_5.png) [iqdb]
30303
>>30301
Loading.
>> No. 30304
[B] “Shall we continue?”

How the hell did I miss this vote. I was only gone a day...
>> No. 30306
File 150331117318.png - (964.13KB, 1500x1318, 21_75.png) [iqdb]
30306
Update will come out this weekend at some point, most likely.

quick resting Meiling.
>> No. 30316
File 150364037769.gif - (27.79KB, 96x184, 21_875.gif) [iqdb]
30316
Update should be tomorrow.

Very quick, very small Sakuya sprite. Couldnt get it to work properly so its pretty eh.
>> No. 30317
File 150366782246.png - (563.53KB, 1000x750, 21_9375.png) [iqdb]
30317
light is weird. clusterfuck
>> No. 30318
Update stalled due to tired editor.

Also spent about an hour trying and failing to draw Patchouli. That was nice (read: soulcrushing)
>> No. 30319
You can feel the muscles straining in your face. They remain in stalemate, as if pulled by two separate puppeteers. One demands a smile, but the other is quite insistent on anything but. The result is a crooked expression - something that can only be called a smile by the loosest definition of an ‘upward curved lip’ while ignoring all the bends in between.

You wipe your face to purge the unsightly expression.

The youkai before you is undoubtedly its source - of course the source of illogical smile and laughter would be an illogical being.

Patchouli looks back at you with no veneer of concern. Maybe it expects you to suddenly break out in laughter, or maybe it doesn’t care and just wants to teach you ‘manners.’

In the brief period you’ve known this youkai, you already know enough to say it’s the latter.

You see the words ready on Patchouli lips. Now that the youkai has regained its voice, it fully intends to use it for the one thing it seems to care about.

“Shall we continue?”

Patchouli’s eyes narrow for good reason. You just stole the words from its mouth. To what possible end, you cannot say for certain. There’s little certainty to be had in this house. And of all the uncertainties around you, Patchouli is the only one that stands in your favor - if only by virtue of its madness.

Whatever misgivings Patchouli has are soon discarded in favor of mania.

“We shall,” the youkai continues after a pause. “Now, take off your clothes.”

You nearly content yourself with your usual confused silence, but in the effort of progress, you ask, “What?”

“You dress yourself, correct? It’s simply a matter of reversing the process.” Its brow furrows. “I would provide a demonstration, but my robe is significantly less complex than your chimeric garb.” The magician pinches its robe for emphasis.

It completely misinterpreted your question, as you expected. To Patchouli, a human stripping naked in front a youkai must be as natural as breathing.

Patchouli waits silently. It fully expects you to continue.

You take a deep breath, then remove your hat.

“Excellent, just like that,” the magician commentates.

You squirm under the attention.

“Keep going. You can do it.”

Somewhere at the back of your mind, you dredge up a scene from this morning. You asked Sister what humans do on their birthdays. Sister replied that they do nothing.

Instead, here you are, seriously contemplating stripping naked in front of a being that ought to crave your flesh. You do this, of course, while the Nue may very well be in pursuit.

The urge to laugh rises again. You stop yourself this time, but you know if Sister were here, she would be howling.

You meet eyes with Patchouli, and you gulp as the youkai’s stare grows ever the more intense. Without a physical vent, all of Patchouli’s emotions funnel into its eyes. With the magic the magician has at its disposal, you’re surprised that your clothes have not spontaneously combusted already. You know, if it were Sisters’ eyes, that would have been the case.

The youkai’s expectations, as strange as they are, are not unbegotten. You did say you would continue.

Tentatively, you begin to undress yourself. It’s not like your seals could stop Patchouli anyway. A chill runs down your body, and it certainly isn’t from the cold.

...

All that’s left is your hairtie, bow, and bandages.

Your build is lean, and while you are not malnourished, it is clear that your body fights for every ounce of fat it can get. The effort it takes to digest corrupted meat almost outweighs the gains, and the pain it wreaks on your gut guarantees the victory to be pyrrhic.

Patchouli gives a quick and brazen glance over you before making its judgment. “Bowman’s arms and no physical deformities. Any clothes would do - but just any clothes won’t suffice for the lady Scarlet.”

You go rigid at the mention of ‘Scarlet.’ The name seems inescapable in this place but that doesn’t stop you from trying.

“Patchouli,” you say.

“Yes, Schütz?”

“How is this polite?”

You accept that you cannot understand manners, it’s why you didn’t bother asking before stripping in the first place. But now you must ask: is Patchouli making you do this for ‘manners’ or the lady Scarlet? One is harmless absurdity, and the other is anything but.

“My apologies, I should have clarified earlier that it is rude to wear clothes antithetical to your current company’s existence.” Patchouli pauses a moment to think, and is satisfied to share the results. “Would you have me strut my finest human-leather cloak in your embassy?”

You’re given no chance to respond, as a resounding crack echoes across the world.

Time seems to freeze, but only for you. Patchouli does not even flinch.

You know the world just shook because several shelved books are now unceremoniously unshelved.

Eventually, Patchouli acknowledges the dangerous atmosphere with a tilt of its head. “I’ve never driven a car, but I imagine this is how it feels to get a bug on the windscreen.”

The chair behind Patchouli creaks in protest as the youkai stands up. Fully upright, Patchouli resembles an overgrown dandelion. Though you imagine that, without the cursed mass of feathers, it would be more like a lavender sprig.

“Excuse me while I peel off the proverbial bug splatter.” It gives you a nod before slowly wandering off.

Unlike Meiling, Patchouli doesn’t abandon you in a rush. You could easily tail the magician if you pleased.

It’s worth acknowledging that you’re still naked, and the probability of facing Nue rises by the second.

/o====================5====================o\

You’ve little time. A 'bug' to Patchouli may be a dragon to you.

Manners don't repel dragons-
[A: Clothe yourself fully. Remain vigilant.]

-but the youkai magician might...
- [B1: Bear minimum clothing. Follow the magician] {the youkai's judgement is fickle, following it is the only way to know for certain} ((includes arrows and knife))
- [B2: Try to attract the magician’s attention. Continue on.] {its insane musings remains the lesser of evils. keep it that way}

|o=========================================o|

Items:
Bow (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand)
Seal Hairtie (Unknown Properties)
Bandage (Wrapped Around Hand, Blood Coated ‘Human’)

|o=========================================o|

Moon Phase: <-(O)-> “lunatic”

Time: ???

\o====================85===================o/


Young man hosts private strip shows for lonely old youkai - IN YOUR AREA!! Click here for more!!!


pictures later.
>> No. 30320
I'm quite busy until the 5th. Midsemester on 30th. Scientific report due on 5th.

Update was tardy due to editor being busy.
>> No. 30321
> Young man hosts private strip shows for lonely old youkai

I'm still trying to process the fact that this is actually a decent summary of what just went down.

[B2] Try to attract the magician’s attention. Continue on.
>> No. 30322
[B1: Bear minimum clothing. Follow the magician]
>> No. 30323
[B1: Bear minimum clothing. Follow the magician]
>> No. 30325
[B1] Wouldn't be consider more polite to wear clothing than to walk around a mansion naked?
>> No. 30326
Vote will be called tomorrow.

Busy
>> No. 30327
File 150410054439.png - (241.43KB, 2000x2000, 22.png) [iqdb]
30327
Felt like drawing it, so here's some rushed and irrelevant Elly.
>> No. 30328
[B1: Bear minimum clothing. Follow the magician]

Boy they've gone in a really weird direction with this new season of Naked and Afraid.
>> No. 30329
Set for B1. Curiosity, recklessness, and other synonyms of danger.

>>30321
It was an interesting update to write, I assure you.
>> No. 30355
Extremely busy, like I said.
>> No. 30356
>>30355
fuck I meant to sage that. sorry
>> No. 30358
Fuck there goes my hopes
>> No. 30360
File 150453269622.png - (26.36KB, 500x500, 22_5.png) [iqdb]
30360
>>30358
Apologies.

Kazami Yuuka's Sigil: Rough circle containing variable amounts of cross-hatching. Circle is surrounded by a variable (X≥5) amount of rounded nodes. Nodes can also contain crosshatching and sub-nodes (which can in turn can also contain cross-hatching and sub-sub-nodes, so on and so forth). Nodes can bud to form sub-sigils (so on and so forth).
>> No. 30361
[A]

Don't lower your guard for no reason.
>> No. 30384
Working on it. This update is exceedingly hard to write.
>> No. 30389
If all goes well (lol) I can get this out Friday! Probably no scribble though.
>> No. 30391
Editor is busy. I have not been given an estimated time of when he ceases to be - but it should be by this weekend. If not, I'll just post it.
>> No. 30392
Simple.

Might make more simple stuff later.
>> No. 30393
File 150556142435.png - (53.36KB, 1251x931, 22_75.png) [iqdb]
30393
>>30392
forgot the picture, of course.
>> No. 30394
File 150557110712.png - (1.32MB, 2000x2000, 22_875.png) [iqdb]
30394
Might keep working on this

Phew, almost posted without sage again.
>> No. 30395
>>30393
Sexy eyes
>> No. 30396
File 150561860864.png - (126.64KB, 2000x1788, 22_9375.png) [iqdb]
30396
>>30395
I too, have a fetish for concentric circles.
>> No. 30397
File 150563132222.png - (55.87KB, 1595x973, 22_96875.png) [iqdb]
30397
fun to draw simple.
>> No. 30398
File 150563344416.png - (78.57KB, 1538x969, 22_9921875.png) [iqdb]
30398
>>30397
An irrelevant character, and an irrelevant moment.

Don't worry, this is a temporary style for fun. Though that said, I haven't kept a consistent style since I started this story. All over the place since I don't know what I'm doing.
>> No. 30399
File 150563780889.png - (50.11KB, 1232x923, 22_99609375.png) [iqdb]
30399
Elly is way too fun and easy to draw.

My equivalent of a bored stick figure.
>> No. 30400
File 150565882865.gif - (143.94KB, 1182x1362, 22_997625.gif) [iqdb]
30400
what even is this.

Yeah, I don't know how animation works.

Was a fun experiment anyway.
>> No. 30401
>>30400
Pls no bully elly
>> No. 30402
>>30401
She's just jittery.
>> No. 30403
Update got proofread. Might take a while to fix all the mistakes though. Sorry
>> No. 30404
‘Bug’

It would be pleasant to call it an unknown threat, but if there was ever been a pleasant voice in your mind, it has been long drowned out by paranoia. The bug is undoubtedly Nue. How Patchouli could call a beast with the mercy of a demon and the charity of a European dragon a bug, you can only attribute to the madness of youkai. It is only obvious. After all, insanity powers youkai. Knowing that, Patchouli absolutely cannot be trusted to face Nue alone. Patchouli certainly holds extermination with less importance than manners, and if it can’t define its apparent obsession, then what hope is there that it understands what extermination even means?

If Nue must die now, you must first to make sure that Nue will in fact, die. Sister expects nothing less.

You scramble to arm yourself, but any attempts to wear clothing while hopping after a youkai proves token at best. Your knife and quiver flop barely-held against your loose undergarments.

Soon, you catch up to Patchouli, who still makes their melancholic way to the ‘bug.’

While Patchouli does match you in height, it had to fight for every inch. The magician reminds you of a pale sprout grasping for light, its cursed collar of feathers sticking out like a fungus or more specifically a sprig of treacherous ergot.

Patchouli turns its head slightly in acknowledgment but maintains pace. “Is there a problem, Schütz?” it asks.

There are too many problems with this situation to list, but to pick only one. “Nue,” you say. It’s a struggle to keep with Patchouli’s casual gait when your body is filled with an adrenaline high.

“Why trouble yourself with the dead? If more vampire hunters asked themselves that, then perhaps their useless brains wouldn’t be found dashed upon the carpets,” says Patchouli.

You stop. The rushing adrenaline pounds against your body, begging you to move, but you have bigger concerns.

‘the dead’

Patchouli said those words again - a phrase so fundamentally wrong only a youkai conceive it. Whatever the youkai said after is blurred by the absurdity of the former. You think it might have something to do with vampires.

“Nue is not dead,” you say. Your calm voice belies the rampaging forces inside your mind. If you can’t mend this one false assumption, then Patchouli’s ‘assistance’ ends at helping you strip naked in a warzone.

Patchouli stops. The magician faces you, an eyebrow raised. “Did you perhaps forget my vow, Schütz?”

You shake your head.

“Then if Nue were to intrude on my domain, would that not make it effectively dead? The difference of actual and effective death is all but semantics.” Its words hang heavy enough in the air to allow a pause for breath, something Patchouli dearly needs. “And if you wish to argue semantics, then perhaps the Nue will take that time to escape. You might have a real problem then,” the youkai ends, gesturing forward with an unspoken ‘shall we continue?’
In your silence, Patchouli decides to do just that. The youkai continues forward.

You follow with a deep grimace on your face, digesting its words.

“You say to not worry about Nue because you will slay it?” you say tentatively, a small part of you still hopeful.

Patchouli nearly trips on its own feet in surprise.

To your own surprise, Patchouli grins. It’s a full and proper smile, completely unlike the slivers before. “I wish I had such a gift for simplicity,” the magician replies with a definite air of esteem. “Yes, Schütz, don’t worry about the soon-to-be dead,” it speaks as much to itself as to you, in some bizarre appreciation of the simple phrase.

The youkai continues forward with an eerie and uncharacteristically happy skip in its step.

You follow slightly behind Patchouli, content knowing that the magician’s definition of ‘extermination’ differs not from yours. The anticipation of facing Nue overrides whatever other reservations you have.

You want Nue gone so that you can appease Sister.

Patchouli wants Nue gone so that it can continue stripping you.

The motivations differ, but the means remain the same.

The magician radiates a confidence in its abilities surpassed only by Sister, and, while the comparison between Patchouli and Sister is laughable at best, you must admit that, with the magician as cavalry, the whole situation feels less suicidal.

...

Though one look at Patchouli’s cursed form assures you there’s far more to worry about than just Nue’s sharp teeth.

= = =

Your destination is a platform broader than the rest. It’s similar to a hallway or perhaps more like an artery, considering the branching and organic construction of the library. It doesn’t matter, for it’s impossible to marvel at the queer architecture when lying only a few meters away is a thing. While your mind insists that what you see is a tiger, snake, or boar, you know it to be the cursed form of Nue.

You are prepared for teeth, claws, and bird cries that sound like Hell’s gates unlatching. Instead, you are greeted by a squalid creature, lying in a puddle of its own flesh and blood. Your guard is not lowered. The cursed form Nue takes is irrelevant, all that matters is that it still lives, and the only thing separating you from it is the magician’s translucent barrier.

“Did you not receive the first warning?” asks Patchouli, unperturbed.

The pile of Nue quivers, and a white mass rises from within. You recognize it immediately as Nue’s mask, but not as you know it. Fractured porcelain shards swirl around the remains of its face, and beset the eye sockets like jaws. Filling one socket is the arrow which once lolled freely, but now pushes far into its skull as if someone had cruelly finished the archer’s job. In the other socket is its remaining eye, which you perceive as nothing more than a red pinprick, which stares back at you.

Your breath hitches in your throat. For all that has assailed this monster's body, none could snuff the violent light of its eye. You can’t tell if it looks at you with lust or bestial hunger - perhaps for a Nue there is no difference.

It takes all the restraint in your body not to fire an arrow into that accursed, red glint. That would require acknowledging the curse.

An arrow is drawn anyway.

Patchouli begins muttering beside you. Arcane sigils burn underneath Nue to the magician’s command.

“HE?ll-HELLO?HEY !S_cHüt-Z?” says Nue, but its voice cannot even be called an impression of human.

Nue seems to notice this but not the glowing mass of destruction beneath its feet. It shakes its head, releasing fragments of its mask in the process.

“Hey Schütz!” it sings in saccharine birdsong, while waving with its remaining arm.

Patchouli finishes its incantation.

The spell triggers without noise, and in its transient existence it allows not a whimper of reaction. It’s as if a beam of sunlight were captured, tamed, and released all in one instant. You’ve heard of this before, in vivid tales of a degrading Makai. The thing Sister calls with glee, ‘nuclear.’ Nue bathes in it.

The magician is true to its word: the barrier doesn’t crack.

Then it is just you, Patchouli, and the stain that was once Nue.

...

The magician bends over with hands braced on unseen knees. Silently, it takes in all the oxygen it can.

Your hand is kept upon your drawn arrow. It feels like at any moment, Nue could leap from a drawn shadow or drip down from the abyss above. Now, even darkness brought by the blink of an eye seems like an adequate place for the demon to hide. But all that greets you is Patchouli’s hushed breath.

Is this it? Your contract is as silent as it has been since Nue closed in a few hours ago. Do contracts make a sound as they break? If not, there’s no difference between the silence of a living contract, and the silence of a dead one.

Logic decrees the latter, but applying logic to Nue is surreal as Nue’s death.

‘Nue is dead, therefore the contract died with it, so you fulfilled your promise to Sister.’

You roll the thought back and forth, and each time it feels no less impossible.

It shouldn’t be this easy, since nothing ever is. The stain on the floor before you would say otherwise.

You take a deep breath.

The bowstring slackens as you carefully remove the arrow.

Then you smile. It’s a twitchy, neurotic thing, born from a face that shouldn’t be smiling. Unlike before, you don’t feel inclined to stop it. You’ve earned this smile. Call it a bug’s splatter, an exorcised demon, or a slain dragon - that does not change Nue’s death. You did what Sister said.

You’re lost for both words and purpose. Initially, you came here to see your new home, and you’ve seen quite enough for a lifetime. Nue, who must be killed, is dead. Now all you have is a smile, Patchouli, and a quarter of your clothes on your back.

Patchouli seems to have recovered. You can tell because its silent breath has turned to a mutter. The magician’s incantation ends with the collapse of the barrier.

“~ha,” Patchouli sighs, slumping completely to the ground.

It seems for all its power, the youkai cannot fight exhaustion.

You enjoy this brief moment of respite.

...

..

.


Or you would, if Patchouli didn’t look like it was about to faint. The magician clings to the floor like it does its own breath. Even if it were capable of vocalizing its distress, it would not. It is a youkai, after all.

Then why does this odd feeling grip you? It’s as if another force tugs at your body, urging you to do something.

You grit your teeth. It would be a lie to say the feeling isn’t familiar.

Guilt.

/o====================5====================o\

...
-[A1: (Don’t)]
-[A2: Do something moronic.]

|o=========================================o|

Items:
Bow (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand)
- x13 Iron-Headed Arrow
- x1 Iron-Headed Arrow (Broken)
Iron Knife (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated ‘Human’)
Sparse Tough Clothing (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand)
-Seal Hairtie (Unknown Properties)
-Bandage (Wrapped Around Hand, Blood Coated ‘Human’)

|o=========================================o|

Moon Phase: <-(O)-> “lunatic”

Time: ???

\o====================85===================o/

Patchouli Shoots a Strange Bird ~ Right Now?

No writeins.
>> No. 30405
Patchouli shoots a strange bird. 'till when (will her corpse remain unattended?)

Until now.

[X] Do something stupid.
>> No. 30406
File 150583199683.png - (32.84KB, 500x500, 23.png) [iqdb]
30406
Patchouli Knowledge's sigil:
Primary Design - Static design. Set of 4 concentric circles. Between the first and second circle inwards are 14 dots, mirrored 7 on either side.

Secondary Design - Dynamic design. Variable amount (X>0) of circles which contain a hexagram. The hexagram mutates depending on purpose. Hexagrams interlock and spin to form larger, moving patterns.
>> No. 30407
File 150583201775.png - (29.96KB, 500x500, 23_5.png) [iqdb]
30407
>>30406
>> No. 30408
>>30406
>>30407
I should mention that the primary sigil was first sighted beneath Nue. It was not apparent beforehand.
>> No. 30409
[X] Do something stupid.
>> No. 30410
[X] Do something stupid.
It's not stupid if it's in your gut.
>> No. 30412
>>30407
That's an heptagram... Did something go wrong with her spell.
>> No. 30413
>>30412
Intentional. One angle is purposefully faded, only six angles are ever in effect. Effectively a hexagram for the practical purposes.

Probably shouldn't have written descriptions at 1am. Miss obvious stuff.
>> No. 30414
[A2] Do something moronic.
>> No. 30415
File 150587566167.png - (29.72KB, 500x500, 23_75.png) [iqdb]
30415
>>30413
A less pretty, but more telling example.
>> No. 30416
[X] Do something stupid.

This is a vote between "help the cute touhou" and "stand still lol"

nice choices ya got there einstein
>> No. 30417
Vote will be called tomorrow, probably.

I'm on a week break from uni now, so I can get this out pretty fast so long as my editor is keen.


>>30416
>This is a vote between "help the cute touhou" and "stand still lol"

There is a reason why Schütz is reluctant, and subsequently, why the choice is framed as 'moronic.'
>> No. 30419
File 150600334456.png - (107.43KB, 1443x945, 23_875.png) [iqdb]
30419
Accidentally made a thread-post for this earlier. I'm... unpractised with landscapes, to say the least.
>> No. 30420
File 150600381475.png - (21.80KB, 800x692, 23_9375.png) [iqdb]
30420
>>30419
a beautiful post-update Nue.
>> No. 30421
>>30416
Welcome to the story. Please read carefully before- oh wait the author already chewed you in.

Carry on.

>>30420
Beautiful.
>> No. 30422
File 150600507031.png - (46.83KB, 800x692, 23_96875.png) [iqdb]
30422
>>30420
A beautiful post-update Elly.

Nothing happened to her.

Is every update doomed to an irrelevant Elly, or shall I stockpile and release 20 pictures the next she appears? The former, obviously.
>> No. 30423
File 150600605498.png - (45.56KB, 800x692, 23_997625.png) [iqdb]
30423
>>30422
I can't say it detracts from otherwise relevant stuff. I don't have the willpower to draw humanoids - nor the willpower to get better at drawing humanoids.
>> No. 30424
I foresee no more votes, nor a sudden change of heart. Vote called for A2.

I hope you know what you're voting for.


oh, and check out my finished touhou fanfic here: https://i.imgur.com/OhSxjbf.png
>> No. 30425
>>30424
We don't.
>> No. 30426
File 150609356152.png - (9.81KB, 400x315, 23_99609375.png) [iqdb]
30426
>>30425
A shame.

Theoretically, the story should be self contained and contain all necessary information. Problems arise when clunky prose/writing, and the time between updates diluting the information is involved.
>> No. 30427
File 150610363369.jpg - (6.89KB, 184x184, 148832357058.jpg) [iqdb]
30427
>>30426
I was just being coy, relax.

You've let his usual MO and the risks involved by going against it crystal clear.
>> No. 30428
>>30427
Oh, jolly good then.
>> No. 30430
Update is in progress. This one has proven quite the serpent, very slippery and volatile.

Hopefully my editor is free tomorrow, so I may bug him.
>> No. 30431
Editor is busy. This update is a nightmare to write. It will get done, just not within a nice timeframe.
>> No. 30432
File 150685247383.png - (3.09MB, 2000x1788, 23_996859375.png) [iqdb]
30432
Dicking around. Dunno how rendering/lighting/etc works.
>> No. 30433
>>30432
That's pretty cool.
>> No. 30434
File 150702523725.png - (552.21KB, 1538x969, 23_9972421875.png) [iqdb]
30434
Irrelevant. Unfinished. Might keep going.


>>30433
Glad you like it. It's the result of slapping colors around until I could at least sort of tell what it was supposed to be.
>> No. 30435
File 150703298531.png - (1.64MB, 1538x969, 23_99743359375.png) [iqdb]
30435
>>30434
blah blah. Dunno how backgrounds work either.
>> No. 30436
>>30435
Goddamn I love this design for Elly. You do some good shit man.
>> No. 30437
>>30436
Fun and easy to draw Elly.

Also, the last two things are just rendering:
>>30396
and
>>30398

for fun.
>> No. 30438
>>30437
Could've done better with Elly's face.
>> No. 30439
File 150735056491.png - (363.94KB, 926x588, 23_9975293.png) [iqdb]
30439
words.

So far this is the most images after an update. Speaks a lot of how long this update is taking to make.
>> No. 30440
File 150739916185.jpg - (43.77KB, 854x480, cuphead1.jpg) [iqdb]
30440
>>30439
cuphead boss Elly when?
>> No. 30441
File 15074174078.png - (0.99MB, 595x579, Scarecrow BEAAAARDY.png) [iqdb]
30441
>>30440

That's not a scarecrow. This is a scarecrow.
>> No. 30442
>>30440
In my heart.

Still need to play Cuphead, shame it isn't online multiplayer. Love the art-style.

>>30441
Ultra rare, crude, and jaundiced Elly.
>> No. 30443
>>30442

You can make any local multiplayer game work at a longer range with a bit of work, from what I understand.
>> No. 30444
File 15074637128.png - (1.05MB, 1342x1518, 23_99781641.png) [iqdb]
30444
gsgcbbxtebhc

yeah I dunno how cloth or shading works.

gonna hold off on drawing for a while. hitting very, very hard skill walls.
>> No. 30445
Hey. I got finals coming up and my first draft was terrible.

So even though the update is 'done,' it will be delayed. Sorry.
>> No. 30447
Editor will be available on the 19th.

Update is currently >3000 words. Maybe more later. This is the equivalent of two updates in one. Mean update is <1500.

Thank you for your respective patience... s? Weird phrase.
>> No. 30448
>>30447
That's good to hear. :)
>> No. 30450
Guilt, huh? Freed from Nue, must your immediate instinct be to throw yourself back in the pits? Of course, it has always been that way. Proving your worth to Sister is not a single event, it’s a continuous struggle. If one morning you arrive with the Prince of the Forest’s head as Sister’s tribute, then it is your duty to one day hunt the King. Nothing is ‘enough,’ and that is the point. Sister deserves nothing less than everything. It’s only your feeble, human body that bars you.

Now you find that same fervor and conviction aimed at Patchouli, and the urge to throw yourself down the proverbial pit only grows stronger.

There’s surely something twisted at work, but of all the things the curse had touched, it has never crept as far as your thoughts. This feeling that you are going to do something very, very stupid stems from none other than yourself.

Patchouli helped you, therefore you will help Patchouli. It’s the perfect storm of guilt, duty, and zealotry. Nothing else is relevant in that equation.

You do as you would never do: ignore your paranoia, and approach the youkai. It’s impossible to tell whether the magician has recovered or simply ran out of air to choke on. In your broken eyes, you see a cursed band of feathers sprouting around its neck like a noose. You can only assume the worst.

With a hand quickened by fervor, but slowed by sanity, you clasp Patchouli’s-

/ ~~<O>~~ \

-gloved arm. Your bloodied hand slips into the youkai’s, which you grip to hoist. Patchouli is brought back to its feet and then some by the sudden force - but before you can move to rip off its nonexistent collar, you find your arm to be twisted.

Arms don’t simply contort themselves. Patchouli grips your hand like iron and twists it into a position a twitch before crumpling. Of course, it’s a youkai after all.

“Schütz.” The youkai is as impassive as ever. Its gaze is kept sharp.

You hiss through gritted teeth, but a swift twist of your arm in the opposite direction turns that into a yelp.

“P-Patchouli,” you manage to vocalize.

Patchouli looks at you then to your intertwined hand. The widening of its eyes speaks of a dark revelation far beyond the potential loss of your own limb. All at once, Patchouli lets go, and scampers backwards faster than you’ve ever seen it move.

Your instincts, which only know how to put down beasts, do not react any kinder to Patchouli. You are flooded notions, to stab the youkai, fill it with arrows, or simply stomp on its prone body. It’s stupefying to behold how incredibly useless your instincts are here.

Patchouli sprawls on the floor, ignoring all else as it desperately scrapes away the bloodstained glove. Your blood spreads like roots across its lavender robes, but the magician doesn’t seem to care so long as it can remove the source of the blood.

You want to do something, but you don’t know what or how. The strength, or insanity, that filled your body before, has fled. You’re left with an incredibly sore, and perhaps fractured, arm.

“Why would you - I was…” you splutter out nonsense, and try your best to latch onto anything comprehensible. “You were choking and I…” Something lucid finally comes, but the words die on your tongue. You can’t say you were grabbing for Patchouli’s collar - it doesn’t even exist.

“...Go on,” it replies without a glance of acknowledgement. The toss of its offending glove to the ground punctuates the end of its words.

“You were choking, and I tried to help,” you amend. The ending is vague, malformed, and leaves an ill-taste on your tongue. You didn’t lie, however.

Patchouli looks up to you this time, its sharp gaze speaks nothing of the flash of fear you saw before. “So you decided to wrench my arm, and spill your essence over my body?” Miraculously, it completes its sentence without strain. By no coincidence, the collar of feathers, which does not exist, is relaxed.

...

“Yes,” you reply.

The youkai nods and keeps its head lowered. “It appears I was mistaken,” it says more to itself than you. When it raises its head again, against all logic, it is smiling. “Know, Schütz, that it is always the thought that counts - even if the action is…” The youkai pauses for thought, but not breath. “...utterly reprehensible and beyond all mortal concepts of civility.”

The youkai’s unnatural smile widens. “I wonder. Do you know what a terrible thing you have done? It would be a pleasure to teach you. You will listen to me - won’t you, Schütz?”

Patchouli leans closer, still floor-bound, with a far-too-content grin on its otherwise dour face. The collar hangs still.

You blink. The tension wound tightly in your body relaxes, slightly. The youkai isn’t upset, if anything, the opportunity to pontificate makes it happy. Happy enough to brush aside the fact it was once choking to death, or whatever equivalent of such a youkai has.

Then why does this feeling still bite you, this urge to tear the wretched and nonexistent parasite straight from Patchouli’s neck? Are you truly so moronic? Under no circumstances can the curse be acknowledged.

So, why do you keep trying?

“It is considered impolite to ignore a question, Schütz.”

“Yes - I mean, yes, I’m listening.” Specificity is never a problem with Sister, but it has proven a bane with youkai.

That earns you a pleased hum from Patchouli.

“Though, that could not have been your intention. One cannot be impolite without first knowing the meaning,” the youkai continues.

It feels awkward to stand bloodied and tall, while Patchouli sprawls casually on the floor. So you move to sit down, but not before gauging the youkai’s reaction to your movement. It doesn’t care. Adjusting your arm into a position other than a limp takes considerable grit, however. Your blood stains everything, not quite gushing, but still a nuisance.

Sister will need to fix your arm. That much is certain.

“Your blood,” Patchouli begins speaking out of nowhere, and punctuates with a pointed finger. It follows, that the youkai points to your blood-soaked hand. “Is your own. Of the abstract vectors of life, the body, the spirit, and the soul - the offering of one’s blood is tantamount to the body.”

“Now, Schütz, do you understand what a terrible thing you have done, to offer your body to a being of pure spirit?” Patchouli’s enthusiasm shines through the slight rise of its drab voice, and the dangerous sheen of its eyes. No sickness reigns the youkai’s emotions, not through a cough nor even a stilted breath.

The pallor of death that ought haunt its face following a spiel so long, is absent.

You shake the feeling of wrongness that grips your spine like chilled water. You can’t let paranoia take you now. Of all things to worry about, why worry about Patchouli’s improving health. You should at least try to act like you’re capable of holding a conversation without the world melting to bile inside your head. Isn't this what you wanted? To stop it choking?

You force your focus back to Patchouli’s words, and not the sickness that ought accompany them.

Patchouli speaks of a contract, though one written in blood rather than earthen tongue. Does that mean the youkai could have taken your life, had it not rejected your supposed offer? The thought makes you squirm. Any demon would have taken it without compunction.

“I…” You do your best approximation of a bow, while already on the ground and with a lame arm. “Thank you for not being a demon, Patchouli.” You pause, searching for words you never thought you would need to say. “I belong to Sister, so I thank you for not taking me from her.”

Your raise your head to find Patchouli inspecting the glove soaked in your blood. Then, for reasons you cannot comprehend, the youkai licks it. Blood trickles down its chin, which it wipes gently with its other hand. The fear it had of your blood is gone with the associated symbolism.

Don’t panic. That’s what you tell yourself, as you restrain your reflexes. This isn’t an offering of the body, it’s just a youkai drinking your blood.

The magician turns to face you, unmoved. “Is your Sister a nibelung or gnome perchance? This blood is undeniably human but it tastes of loam,” it asks.

Strangely, the magician’s natural, youkai-like ability to frame the most absurd of questions as ordinary, calms your nerves. Even if the question is framed with the taste of your blood, there is some comfort in knowing that this all follows Patchouli’s unknowable, insane, and ultimately harmless logic. You realize that your comfort hinges on the assumption that Patchouli is indeed harmless. That’s fine, you tell yourself, while your paranoia begs to differ.

You have every reason to fear youkai and perhaps even more so the one who slays others, so the solution is simple: ignore reason. Reason didn’t atomize Nue.

You consider Patchouli’s words with respect a youkai doesn’t deserve. Patchouli has earned that much. ‘This blood is undeniably human, but it tastes of loam.’ Pride wells in your chest as does disappointment. Perhaps one day you will bleed Sister’s mud, and not this ugly, red, human shit that attracts youkai like flies. The corners of your mouth twitch with frustration. You should move on.

‘What is Sister?’ You consider this for a second, and then another for respect. But it’s a stupid question. There are many things you could say about Sister, about what she does, what she thinks, and what she says, but never what she is. “Sister is Sister.” After all she has done, that is all she has ever wanted to be. So that is what you will call her - even if her name is much prettier.

It takes a quiet moment, and the slightest of echos, for you to realize you just spoke.

The following silence is made unbearable by Patchouli’s inquisitive gaze.

“The Nue.” You blurt out the first thing that comes to mind, anything works to sate the youkai’s sudden hunger.

Of course, spouting more names only makes Patchouli more curious. The youkai stares you down expectantly with a look usually reserved for the sight of raw, human flesh - which you are, but that’s irrelevant for the comparison.

You continue fumbling where you left off. “The Nue is…” It’s difficult to find the words while Patchouli looks at you so intently. “...the thing Sister ordered to have destroyed, so-”

“So you had my lady dispose of it for you?” a pointed voice interrupts you from the darkness.

Patchouli’s aura of inquisition releases all at once.

The devil is like a needle passing through cloth: sometimes the needle is hidden, but it’s always there, ready to surface. You see the demon this time as it casually breaches out of the abyss. The demon’s metallic feet clatter against the hardwood floor, and the world’s dull-gold light is superseded by the toxic pink of the demon’s flames. Sweet brimstone hits you like a punch to the gut, but you remain steady. It doesn’t exist. None of it exists.

The demon bends on its unguligrade, metal knee before Patchouli. “My lady,” says the infernal creature, its voice low, gracious, and incredibly wrong. That is not the prim and ladylike tone you’ve come to know. It sounds just like - you cut the thought off there. That’s not possible.

Patchouli gives a slight nod of acknowledgement to the demon but no more. Attached like a tumor or blemish, this thing belongs to Patchouli,

“Continue. Do not mind the famulus, who states only the obvious. I’m sure you had the best of intentions - your deception, artless and naked as it is, could not possibly come from a place of malice, Schütz,” says Patchouli without bite.

Deception?

“Nor from a place of intellect,” adds the demon, its voice now silky and still wrong.

“Do not mind the famulus, who states only the obvious and the crude,” Patchouli amends.

The demon floats aimlessly and unconcerned behind Patchouli, apparently finished with its act of fealty.

You keep your head down and your will hardened. Less concerning, but more approachable than a cursed nightmare, is the convenient yet infuriating accusation of deception. You still have dignity. You are not a liar.

“Patchouli,” you say.

“Yes, Schütz?”

Anger threatens to seep into your voice, but of your many failings, repression is not one. “There was no deception,” you state plainly.

“None born of wickedness, I know. Did you not enter our domain with the destruction of Nue in mind and use my want of good company as your weapon? It was never my intent to help you, Schütz, but now I have. That is your witless deception.” Patchouli pauses, a small smile lighting its face. “You manipulated me with the best of intentions and do take that as a compliment, Schütz.” Patchouli waxes on enthusiastically yet drab, and as incoherent as it is contrived.

Confusion matches your indignance as an equal but comes out the victor. You truly don’t wish to be mad at Patchouli, so you cannot help but interpret its youkai dribble lightly. Sometimes Patchouli’s words contain a mote of sense, and that sense has yet to betray you.

“Do not call me a liar. Call me fortunate,” you say boldly, though it is uncertainty that guides your words.

Patchouli mulls for a moment, before answering. “Fortune is not intentional, Schütz. You are convenient, the good company that I required, and the good company I preserved."

“My lady is calling you a useful fool,” adds the demon, with another voice it shouldn’t have.

Patchouli nods in agreement. “A useful fool, indeed,” the magician echoes to itself with a self-indulgent smile.

Fool? You know what Sister needs you know, and how ‘foolish’ that makes you to an outsider is irrelevant. And useful? That you can take as a compliment, though being useful to a youkai was never an accolade you desired. As far as titles go, Useful Fool isn’t the most incorrect, but it faces far greater competition.

There’s no harm in suggesting your actual formality, is there?

“Sister calls me a Diseased Flower. You can call me that,” you say. You soon realize your mistake. “Patchouli, I mean! Not the…”

“-famulus?” the demon completes your botched sentence.

‘Demon’ hangs precariously on your tongue. You say no more.

The devil drifts on with practised and unreadable flippancy. You do not know whether you truly wish to see its quietly smug face. The runed disc you see instead tells only of the curse that plagues your senses.

“A diseased flower - beautiful but flawed, mature but stunted, bombastic yet insecure, dramatic but pointless…” Patchouli mutters interpretations to itself.

“Sexual but inept?” the demon postulates.

You drown the demon out.

“Perhaps.” Patchouli nods sagely, before turning to you. “What say you, Diseased Flower, Schütz?”

You should be offended, but this is exactly the type of nonsense Sister would rattle off on a late evening to get on your nerves. Diseased Flower, like your own name Schütz, is just an idle fancy of hers, and only as meaningful as she feels it should be at the time. Still, you hold the title with pride.

“Sister thinks it sounds good,” you answer honestly.

“I asked for your opinion, Schütz.”

You frown. “I think it means that Sister thought it sounded good.”

Patchouli nods, apparently satisfied.

Silence settles for but a moment, a moment enough for the devil to exploit. “It’s a fine night, trespasser. Breakfast cools, a valued guest lays dead, yet here you sit chatting with my lady. Your determination to beset the elder Scarlet is admirable,” says the devil.

Your breath catches in your throat. The demon, and all its cursed radiance, hangs above you like an evil star. It begs to be acknowledged.

The demon drifts closer, its charred body wreathed in a giddy, cursed flame. “Though I must admit that I find your method of vampire hunting unconventional. To piss one off so thoroughly before you even meet.”

The demon is patient, it watches you silently with no eyes you can see. Its words are carefully chosen nonsense. Surely, there is context you are missing - like the Scarlet vampire that you apparently hunt - and surely, the demon knows this. The demon wants you to squirm as it talks in its fake voice, reeks of its fake scent, and struts in its fake body. If you don’t do something, it will keep going, and if it keeps going it will come closer, and if it comes closer…

You let out a breath held far too long.

Rather than shoot down the devil, like you should, you instead turn to Patchouli: the demon’s supposed master. You want the youkai to help, but it’s a faint, desperate hope.

Paranoia becks an arrow into your hand anyway. Just in case, it says.

“It is true. Take away Lady Scarlet’s pomp, flair and preparation, and she will surely despise you,” comments Patchouli. “Quite the plan indeed, Schütz.” The magician smiles. “Of course, if that were not your plan, and if you would rather stay here in our domain, I could guarantee your life, if nothing else.” Patchouli ends with a cough and sputter more gruesome than any before it.

It revolts you to find relief in seeing the youkai retch, and you must assure yourself it’s not because you wish the youkai ill. Patchouli should be sick - that is who Patchouli is, not some excitable and inexhaustible facsimile. Seeing the youkai revert back to a coughing wretch is proof that you aren’t insane.

Your tiny shred of relief is snuffed as soon as it came. You see why, but you wish you hadn’t: Patchouli’s collar, tightened like a ravenous python, is sucking all the air out from the youkai’s lungs. This is the work of no sickness but a curse.

The devil becomes groundborne, sensing weakness like the vulture it is, and walks up to you without care. Its master squirms on the ground behind it.

“What my lady means to say is that your plan has worked marvelously, and that it only fits to face your quarry now, trespasser.” What’s most disturbing is not the honeyed stench of brimstone, nor the flames that squirm like serpents, but the complete and utter apathy in the demon’s voice. This pandemonium of which no sane man could survive is the devil’s natural habitat.

You’ve known for a while now, deep, deep down, that the curse has been awakened. It sparked the moment you touched Patchouli’s hand - you don’t know why. The curse follows no logic other than a fetish for your misery. You had hoped the curse would melt away in a flash of violet, but it lingers like the living nightmare of childhood.

For all your thoughts of fighting the curse, resisting the curse, and spitting in the face of the curse, it was inevitable that the curse would lift an eyebrow.

You kneel down before a demon of filth and fire, an ungodly figment torn from the curse’s idle imagination. The devil’s toxic flames can melt your flesh. Its arcane gaze can tear air from the lungs. Its wings, melting without distinction between feather and flame, serve as a mantle to its ever-burning body of rags.

Something fundamental in the world has broken. This demon is just a symptom. This is what you get. You moron.

Except this isn’t just what you get. Your stupidity weighs as heavy a guillotine on Patchouli’s neck as your own. You absolute moron.

/o====================5====================o\

There is nothing you can do but run. Anything else will kill you. You know this.

[A: Run.]

…there is a weight in your hand, tipped in iron. You don’t know whether to thank paranoia, or damn it. Not even it could predict such a level of stupidity as this idea.

[B: Shoot. Grab. Run.]

|o=========================================o|

Items:
Bow (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated 'Human')
- x12 Iron-Headed Arrow
- x1 Iron-Headed Arrow (Broken)
- x1 Iron-Headed Arrow (Blood Coated 'Human')
Iron Knife (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated ‘Human’)
Sparse Tough Clothing (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated 'Human')
-Seal Hairtie (Unknown Properties)
-Torn Bandage (Wrapped Around Hand, Blood Coated ‘Human’)

|o=========================================o|

Curse: ~~<O>~~

Moon Phase: <-(O)-> “lunatic”

Time: ??? Night

\o====================85===================o/

Curse status is unlocked.

Editor was unavailable. He went over the initial draft (terrible), but not this (hopefully less terrible).
>> No. 30451
[A: Run.]
>> No. 30452
[A: Run.]
>> No. 30453
[x] Shoot grab run

Koakuma deserves an arrow or two.
>> No. 30454
[A] Run.

If we attack, we're proving her right.
>> No. 30455
So let me get this straight, we anger the Lady Scarlet by using Patchouli to kill Nue, then we found out that Patchouli is cursed by her famulus and now we have to run because the famulus knows that we know.
Did I get it right?
>> No. 30456
File 150865582433.png - (151.00KB, 568x691, 24.png) [iqdb]
30456
Vote turnout is low. Will wait a while before calling.

>>30455
>Did I get it right?
Very partially.
>> No. 30458
[B: Shoot. Grab. Run.]
Now that Nue is dead, there's a nice clear spot on our schedule. Why not kill a demon?
>> No. 30459
>>30456
Let me try: Remilia is somewhat mad because we are preventing Patchouli to go eat breakfast with her, and she hates to bring kept wanting.
Meanwhile, her usual diseases attack her, but our delusional mind think of them as a literal curse when it's just her usual terrible health.
>> No. 30460
[X] Run
>> No. 30461
>>30459
>but our delusional mind think of them as a literal curse when it's just her usual terrible health.

For future reference: I use the word 'curse' as exclusively as possible to refer to Schütz's condition. No one else.

As the author, I prefer to let readers come to their own conclusions. However, I will correct what I see as failures of communication on my part.
>> No. 30462
The dangerous possibility here is that the curse is a part of Schütz's in so far that by ingesting his blood, Patchouli may well come under the curse as well.

In attempting to help her, he may have done a stupid.
>> No. 30463
Vote called for A. Wrote half-ish of it last night. Should not be particularly long.
>> No. 30465
>>30462
She seemed strangely energetic. Guess the blood helped her but the curse hurt her. Wish we could've taken her with us.
>> No. 30470
2000 words into the update. It will either come out tomorrow or the next day.
>> No. 30471
>>30470
Unless something goes horrible wrong, definitely tomorrow.
>> No. 30472
You spare a glance to Patchouli. The youkai lies unattended on the ground, the life sapped from its body. There is nothing you can do, you tell yourself as an arrow weighs in your hand. You shouldn’t lie. You could commit suicide by fighting the demon. In fact, you should commit suicide by fighting the demon. Patchouli is a youkai, a disgusting, loathsome creature - but it doesn’t deserve this. This youkai helped you, and in return you sent it to hell. That is not acceptable. Sister taught you better. Sister expects better.

You slide the arrow between your fingers.

“It has been a long time since I was forced to play the villain, trespasser.” says the cursed demon. It speaks with Patchouli’s voice; perhaps the voice was stolen.

You ignore the monster’s monologue. Your thoughts are wholly consumed by the motions of your hands. Just as your arrow meets bowstring, a desperate paranoia whispers: Patchouli is a monster too, now. Something in your mind snaps and shifts; and then finally breaks.

You will die if you do this, that you can accept. But you will die for a monster, not Patchouli. The real Patchouli is already dead. If you loose this arrow now, you fight a monster to save another monster.

In reality, only a second passes. The arrow slackens in your hand. You’ve made your choice.

You run.

Down stairs, you fly, and down wire-threaded shelves, you grapple. Your motions are mindless and instinctual. This library’s terrain is but a forest in another’s skin, and if the forest were ever an obstacle to you, you would be long dead.

You look up and see the abyss, and you look down and see the abyss. There’s no way to know how far you have gone into the chaotic, arterial ravines of the library. You have the vague sense that you’re further down than when you started, and that’s only by virtue of ‘down’ being faster to travel.

You keep going. Where, you do not know.

===

And then, the shelves end.

You are peering over the edge of a bookshelf, the last shelf, it would seem, for below you are anemones. The underworld of chalky windflowers stares back up at you.

Your thoughts rise slowly from scattered fragments, and even when you are able to fully comprehend the sight before you, you don’t quite believe it. These are, without a doubt, Sister’s flowers - and not just an errant patch, but an entire field.

You take a deep breath as to not let yourself get excited. Hope has no place here. Even in a Flower Field, you are not safe.

You find yourself drawn in nonetheless. Like a worm choking in the rain, surfacing to be eaten by waiting predators. At least you will breath.

Beside you are a set of stairs which stretch down into the heart of the new Flower Field. Childishly, tentatively, you head down, with your eyes kept constantly locked onto the flowers. The flowers stare back with equal vigor, as if determined to tell you that they do, in fact, exist. Sister is the only thing your curse daren't touch. They must be real, if nothing else is.

You make the last step into the flower patch. The windflowers part ways for you, slightly, though you can’t help but trample some. Whatever the ground was made of before the Flower Field has been lost; buried beneath the thick bramble of stems, roots, and accelerated rotting waste.

Darkness stretches in all directions, as vast as it ever was when the library was around you rather than above you. The silhouettes of flowers blend in and out of the occasional rays of light, which shine from the miniature, golden-yellow suns above. You stand in one of those rays now.

The flowers stare at you, patiently. They have their own duty, whatever it may be. Unlike you, they aren’t complete failures.

You’re paralyzed on the spot as the thoughts you bottled up rush out in a torrent.

How could you let this happen? For 4 years you suppressed the curse, and in the span of a day you managed to ruin everything. Sister can’t help you. You promised her, 4 years ago, that you would bear this burden on your own.

Just look at you now: naked, bloodied, and scared. It’s a wonder you can even stand. Oh, you can’t even do that.

You moron.

The strength leaves your legs. You let yourself lie down with your back against a bed of flowers.

You absolute moron.

===

“Excuse me, can you fix my door?” calls a troubled voice from above.

You leap up in a frenzy as if panic sears the ground beneath you. Flower stems crack and snap beneath your feet.

It's in front of you, whatever it is.

Reality sets in, and your panic mixes with dread. The demon is here. Your hand finds home on your knife, and bears it wildly forth as a shield and sword all in one. In both regards your knife is useless against a monster.

The monster’s form wavers and shifts, filtered by your panicked gaze and the fragmented light above. Soon, the silhouette is grounded in shape, and then do you realize that it isn’t the demon you expected, but instead another monster entirely. Still, your knife is held forward - it bobs rhythmically to the frantic pace of your breath.

No matter what the monster is, your defence is equally applied and equally useless. Against a youkai, you may stand a chance, but this is a monster: a pawn of the curse.

“My door, please, can you fix it?” the monster reiterates, sounding concerned for all the wrong reasons.

The monster awkwardly steps forward, and you take several panicked ones back in return.

You can see the monster clearly now as it steps into the light. You notice just how short the monster is: on its tippy toes it can only reach your breast in height. It stares up at you, keen, with a blonde, bestial face muzzled by pinkish-iron. Vivid red frames its lithe body from its ribboned snout to its short dress and dainty red shoes.

This monster, forged by cursed nightmare, looks as if one had simply taken the head of a dog, and placed it on a young girl’s body.

Is this how you should die? By the hands of a dog-headed child?

Can you fix its door?

“What?” You break the silence dumbly as the odd thought strikes you.

“Can you fix my door? If I escape tonight, the world will end,” the monster replies without skipping a beat. It cares not for the knife positioned inches away from its face.

The monster looks up at you full of intent, but not to kill. It has, after all, just asked you a question, and claimed a stake on the end of the world.

“Oh,” you reply dully. You don’t know what to feel. It would make more sense if the monster simply tore into your stomach, rather than delaying the inevitable with prattle.

The monster’s ears perk up. You have its full attention.

You take a deep breath. Your knife is still raised; but, if you cannot even feign aggression, then that is nothing but a joke. You lower your knife. The monster doesn’t care. It wants you to speak.

“The world ended about an hour ago,” you continue.

The abomination tilts its head to the side, confused.

“You don’t exist,” you clarify, pointlessly. Yes, you are well aware that you are talking to the curse’s reflection, and that this is inherently worthless.

The monster’s wolfish ears perk up at that. It looks at itself, filled with new hope and desperation. Thick shackles imitate bracelets on its wrists and ankles, and are waved about just as weightlessly as it checks every inch of its body. You don’t know how you didn’t notice before: the squirming lengths of chain that dig into the monster’s back. They drag silently behind the monster like weighty shadows, but they never impede the monster’s movements. Multi-hued metal stakes intersperse the chain-links, reflecting light like shards of stained glass.

When the abomination finished with its bizarre display, it turns back to you unabashed.

“Are you sure I don’t exist?” it asks with an overabundance of sincerity. Its muzzle adds an alien distortion to its voice, though it still manages to project itself.

You nod firmly. Without a doubt, the thing before you is a cursed monster. If you reached out and touched its face, you would feel the fake, cold metal of its muzzle, not soft human flesh.

The monster flutters its dress with its hand, and appears indecisive for a moment.

“I-I didn’t notice,” the abomination replies, unsure but sincere. It seems genuinely distressed.

You wonder, is it even possible for a monster to know what they are? Does the curse allow that?



“It’s…” The next word catches in your throat. Why, of all things, do you feel sorry for it? “...fine,” you continue. “It’s fine,” you say again, but more firmly. “No one notices.”

Your own words surprise you. They are driven by guilt, a voracious and cruel force.

“I’m sorry.” More words spill from you, honest words.

The monster’s ears twitch.

“Why?” It steps closer. You don’t recoil, though the reflex haunts you.

“I could have stopped the world from ending,” you reply. It’s far too late to hold back now.

The abomination goes pensive, but cannot keep the facade of maturity for long. Soon, it inches closer to you. If it had a tail to match its head, it would be wagging; instead, the monster’s unconventional wings glimmer with strange light.

The monster is so close now that it’s neck is almost vertical to meet your gaze. You feel nauseous just looking at it.

But nothing happens.

The monster keeps looking up at you, wings shimmering. You can’t tell if it wants to speak, or if it finds your chin fascinating.

“You know…” the monster begins speaking without cue. It’s voice is low, as if telling a secret. “The world would have ended when I got out, anyway,” it admits its revelation without pride.

Then, with a brilliant sparkle of its wings, it exclaims: “By ending me, you saved the world!”

You’re taken aback by the sudden burst of conviction, at first by the noise and then by the message within. The monster determinedly follows you for every startled step you take back.

“W-what?” you dribble out while barely keeping yourself from falling on your ass.

The monster is more than happy to reply right back in your face: “You’re a hero!”

You take a deep breath, and try to steady yourself - which is not made easy by the little monster trying its best to conform to your negative space. Thankfully, the monster does not interrupt you, instead it just stares, and stares, and stares. It's a menace of its own breed.

You’ve moved well out of the light now. A silhouette, backlit by the capricious light of its wings, is made out of the little monster. The windflowers around you watch on unseen. It’s a sickening and terrifying scene, but you hold back your bile and fear both. There’s one thing on your mind.

‘You saved the world: you’re a hero.’

- said the monster in reverence.

You replay its words in your head, and each time they sounds more wrong. The world is cursed, and it’s your fault. It’s not fair for this monster to think otherwise. It should hate you. You hate you for what you did.

“I ended world,” you state. Emotion is kept from your voice.

“-so now I can’t!” the monster happily adds. “You’re a hero!” it repeats, as if you could possibly ignore its first reverent warcry.

“You want to die?” you ask.

“But I’m already dead?” it shakes its weighty head. “No, I want to stop existing. Then I can’t end the world.”

You frown, bewildered. “You aren’t real,” you confirm.

“Thanks, hero!”

You look down at the little monster, and it looks back at you with mutual awe.

Why did the curse create this monster? Why does it thank and revere you for what you did? Does it truly understand what you’ve done, or does it understand perfectly? It doesn’t make sense. Nothing. Makes. Sense.

“Hero? Are you okay?” it asks, exceedingly concerned.

You open your eyes, and force yourself to reply: “No.” Thankfully, you can still keep your voice steady.

“Ah…” That doesn’t seem like the reply the monster wanted. It shifts awkwardly in place.

...

“Hey, hero, do you want to go out and stare at the moon with me?” the monster asks, quietly. It steps back, head slightly bowed as it anxiously awaits your answer.

‘Out.’

Your breath hitches in your throat. “You…” You try to force yourself into calm. “...You know a way out?” But you fail; the desperation in your voice is palpable.

The little monster's worries are quickly forgotten as it glows with pride in the literal sense: its wings are luminous. “I can go anywhere if I try!” it boasts. Already, it creeps back up to you.

You still haven't given it an answer. What's keeping you? Shouldn't it be obvious?

Why are you taking so long? The monster is waiting, clearly expecting the answer you wouldn't possibly give.

/o====================5====================o\

By nature, a monster is a lie. Should you really place your trust in one?

[A: Reject its offer.] {Never will you accept a lie. If not your principles, what else do you have. Stay her, and reap what you have sown. You moron.}

[B: Accept its offer.] {No, but you will anyway. If you can prolong this nightmare, just a little longer, maybe it will see an end. Go forth with monster in tow, and reap what you have sown. You moron.}



[C: Call for Sister.] {You promised her - this burden is yours alone. You moron.}

|o=========================================o|

Items:
Bow (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated 'Human')
- x12 Iron-Headed Arrow
- x1 Iron-Headed Arrow (Broken)
- x1 Iron-Headed Arrow (Blood Coated 'Human')
Iron Knife (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated ‘Human’)
Sparse Tough Clothing (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated 'Human')
-Seal Hairtie (Unknown Properties)
-Scraps of Bandage (Wrapped Around Hand, Blood Coated ‘Human’)

|o=========================================o|

Curse: ~~<O>~~

Moon Phase: <-(O)-> “lunatic”

Time: ??? Night

\o====================85===================o/

A cranberry trap.

Unedited. Future updates will also be unedited.
>> No. 30473
File 15092929553.png - (1.75MB, 3000x3000, 25.png) [iqdb]
30473
Your last chance to change your mind. What do you want Schutz to be, and what path do you want him to take. This choice will inform that. Continue on, if you wish.

This story is far from over (unless I give up on it, for whatever reason).
>> No. 30474
>Stay her
*here

Of course, I wouldn't notice that. It's an important distinction so it's worth the note.
>> No. 30475
[B: Accept its offer.]

Since we have abandoned Patchouli, there's little of worth here, except our clothes. Maybe she can get them? Doubt it.

Anyway, we got into this mess by trusting monsters. As in, by growing up. No reason to stop now.
>> No. 30476
>>30475
>we got into this mess by trusting monsters
'monster' has a specific meaning in this story.
>> No. 30477
What the fuck.

No, seriously, what the actual fuck. You've lost me.

I want to vote on this, because I vote on everything I read on principle, and this is definitely worth reading. But you're asking us to make a choice without the slightest idea what the answers mean.

I mean, come on - we don't even know if what's written in the story is what Flandre is actually saying! Flip a coin and get it over with.

Sage for being a moron.
>> No. 30480
File 150936143533.png - (18.59KB, 400x363, 25_5.png) [iqdb]
30480
>>30477
Interesting and disheartening.

I will have to think of an appropriate response. It appears I have completely failed.

Thank you for reading.
>> No. 30481
>>30480

...uh.

Re-reading my reply now, it seems a bit more aggressive than it really should have been. Sorry about that. Long day and such.

Just to be clear, I like this story. I mean, if I didn't, this wouldn't be bothering me. But it may not have been the greatest idea to base a CYOA around a protagonist that is a) so far in over his head he can barely see daylight and b) tripping donkey balls.

We've been shown repeatedly that we can't trust what Schütz sees and hears, the last two votes did the opposite of what I at least was expecting, and you've just laid down the trippiest scene (and conversation) I have ever read. And don't get me wrong, it's been a hell of a ride.

But now you're asking us to make an apparently significant choice. If you don't know what you're voting for, or even if the votes are going to do what you think they're supposed to... there's not a real lot of point in having a vote. I want the story to continue, but my input doesn't actually mean anything, because with two votes and a 50-50 chance of my understanding of them being correct it may as well be random.

Or I could just be missing something. I'll re-read this thing with my thinking cap on and get back to you.
>> No. 30482
File 150936764868.png - (10.42KB, 446x318, 25_75.png) [iqdb]
30482
>>30481
I will also consider this when I eventually create a reply. Not in a good mindset at the moment. Same as you, it has been a long day.
>> No. 30483
[A: Reject its offer.] {Never will you accept a lie. If not your principles, what else do you have. Stay her, and reap what you have sown. You moron.}

BLOOD AND FIRE
>> No. 30484
As far as I can understand, listening to the curse is a bad thing, so...

[A: Reject its offer.] {Never will you accept a lie. If not your principles, what else do you have. Stay here, and reap what you have sown. You moron.}
>> No. 30485
If we want to beat this Curse (we should give the Curse a name to make it easier btw,), we have to learn it's limit. We know it can bring fake injuries to life (ex. Schütz's arm), but can it create monsters or living beings that can think for themselves?
[B: Accept its offer.]
>> No. 30486
>>30482
Not the guy you were talking to but my enjoyment of this quest comes mostly from trying to figure out what's going on. Granted this does make things a bit annoying when there's a "make your choice now, no take-backsies" decision, but whatever.

If it makes you feel any better I'll keep on reading just to see all that pretty art of yours. Seriously, I love your character designs. They're fucking great.

[B: Accept its offer.] {No, but you will anyway. If you can prolong this nightmare, just a little longer, maybe it will see an end. Go forth with monster in tow, and reap what you have sown. You moron.}
>> No. 30487
Whinernon here. I went over the whole story with a fine-tooth comb, plus some Google-fu for the music jokes. At least, I think they're music jokes. One is definitely a three-way pun, but it could still be a music joke.

Or maybe I'm reading too much into it. What even is Austrian polka.

Back on topic... I still have no idea what's going on. I have some idea of what was going on, found the hints you dropped before previous votes, like how Meiling explains Patchouli's striptease... but it's like reading a story in reverse. It's a neat trick, and I agree with >>30486, but I still think it might have been better suited to a regular story.

Regardless, it is a good story, and deserves my vote, informed or not, so here:

[A] Reject its offer.

Basing this on the (probably misguided) realization that it's not 'who' or 'what' that's important, but 'where'. Flandre or hallucination, this thing should stay in the basement.

For opposite reasons, mind.
>> No. 30492
File 150963914736.png - (662.08KB, 2000x2000, 25_875.png) [iqdb]
30492
Vote will not be called until the 12th. My finals begin on the 5th and end on the 12th.

I will respond my best to your concerns/comments on the 12th - so if there is anything else, let it be known.
>> No. 30493
Reader chiming in, the mercurial nature of things is something that's interested in me the nature of the story and the way it flows but I do have to say that it sometimes feels like a Bioware Choice selection where what's in the summary does not match my expectation for what will be followed through on/with.

Which is fine, in some senses, because it makes MC's nature more 'real' in that there's some jagged disconnect going on but it also feels more difficult to grasp and more like the agency of choosing what he does is lacking or chaotic. The potential ramifications of each action seem magnified, I guess, in a way that you can't see coming or expect because we have no depth of the rules.

aka in the "Help Patchouli" action I would've expected him to offer a hand up (correct) but he would've used his non-injured hand instead of the injured one (I can't see why, even if it was dominant, he would use an injured arm over the other unless this is his being stubborn and pretending the curse has no hold over him or something like that). Which led us into this next situation.
>> No. 30498
Alright, I just marathoned this a bit!

[B: Accept its offer.]

An important detail I think I get out of this is that Remilia may be lying to Flan to keep her inside.

Or it could be that she goes bonkers when she sees the lunatic moon, and that she is actually perfectly in her right to be staying here at the claim that she will end the world by going outside.

But, you know what? I trust Sister, and I trust Sister's flowers. Sister's flowers are in Flan's room (Assuming we currently are in her room) as made clear (or not) by Flan being here and asking us to fix the door. Surely Flan is a good girl for being among the flowers.

The flowers would never lead us wrong, right?

The only thing that confuses me is how we got here, or if flowers are actually blood or something crazy, not to mention how flowers got in here, which is certainly inside.

Assuming we are inside.
>> No. 30499
[A: Reject its offer.]
Thought on this a while, and I just can't see accompanying a monster turning out well.
>> No. 30500
File 151048142036.png - (10.71KB, 788x219, ann.png) [iqdb]
30500
Thank you for your patience! Finals: done.

In regards to addressing the contentions, I have tried to make this as succinct as possible.

If you believe I have misrepresented your words, do speak up.

CONTENTION:
>what's in the summary does not match my expectation for what will be followed through on/with.
Recklessness carries the danger of unpredictability, especially so in a story like this. I guarantee that if less reckless actions were taken, then it would be easier to find your feet in the fog.

That said, the ‘limited vision’ I intended to portray with such a path has become more of an ‘impenetrable fog.’

>The potential ramifications of each action seem magnified, I guess, in a way that you can't see coming or expect because we have no depth of the rules.
Right on the point! There is one vital ‘rule’ that has been evaded. Unfortunately, explaining the mystery would invalidate the existence of this story.

Now to the meat of it:
>If you don't know what you're voting for, or even if the votes are going to do what you think they're supposed to... there's not a real lot of point in having a vote. [...] with two votes and a 50-50 chance of my understanding of them being correct it may as well be random.
I understand you completely. Just as much as you don’t want to vote mindlessly, I don’t want people to vote mindlessly!

Unfortunately, this lack of understanding is not something I can remedy in a status update. I do not at all blame my readers for this. It is the author’s job to present a product that can be understood, and I have failed in that - as evidenced by the fact you read this story over and still didn’t get the ‘thing’! The problem here is clearly not your lack of interest.

Solving the mystery(s) for you makes this story pointless. That would be like the presenter of a race taking the trophy for himself. I won’t ruin that for you; I’d rather this story not exist than it come to that.

Apart from admit my mistakes, there is nothing I can do except go further into murky waters.

What a horrible situation. I will try my best to fix this. I will.

The vote is tied.
>> No. 30501
So, anyone wanna discuss the votes? We've tied the author up, so someone will have to either vote or change their vote.
>> No. 30502
[A: Reject its offer.] {Never will you accept a lie. If not your principles, what else do you have. Stay here, and reap what you have sown. You moron.}

This is what i'm going to go with
>> No. 30503
>>30501
I have no idea what the mystery is... I was sure he was just seeing interpretations of a character's personality and quirks. But if it is something more real...
>> No. 30504
>>30502
Is this a vote? If so, the vote shall be called tomorrow if there is no further hustle.
>> No. 30505
Yup thats the vote
>> No. 30506
The vote is called for A.
>> No. 30507
Get back on irc, you bramblefuck. You are missed.
>> No. 30508
>>30507
Nah.

For future reference: if you wish to discuss personal or off-topic matters like this, please consider Discord or Steam.
>> No. 30509
Update is well underway!

Can't give a time estimate. 1000 words in, but no indication of an end.
>> No. 30537
The little monster looks up to you, silently and expectantly. It radiates a confidence that is made magnificent by the shine of its wings. Each stake is like a miniature moon in upon itself; staring into them now, they inspire just as much lunacy. After all, what excuse do you have but madness to linger on this monster’s question for so long?

‘Do you want to go out and stare at the moon with me?’ asked the monster, backed by confidence and the madness of 12 petty-moons.

This monster’s distorted desires are your only hope of escape. Isn’t the answer to its question obvious? Reject the monster, Schütz. You mustn’t accept a lie. So why do you hesitate? Isn’t this what you want: to die with your principles? After all, you don’t want to repeat the mistakes of childhood, do you, Schütz? What would Reimu say if she saw you now?

Reimu.

The memory hits like a punch to the gut. You manage to keep your reaction muted, or so you hope.

The monster’s ears twitch as if to pick up the answer you have yet to say. When it finds nothing, its confidence quickly erodes into concern. “...Hero? Are you crying?”

Oh. You wipe your face and it’s wet. ‘Don’t cry over me, you moron,’ Reimu would say. Fortunately, you say it enough to yourself to compensate the dead. You moron.

“I am.” You force your voice steady as you always do.

“Ah…” The monster shuffles in place; its lights are dim and flicker awkwardly. “When I try to break sadness it makes my head hurt,” it admits. Then, all at once, its wings blaze up again. “Wait-!” The little monster skips to meet you, but sticks midair. It seems the wings aren’t just ornamental. Energy vibrates off the monster like a tiny, livid fly. “My sad third eye just grows back after I break it, but when I write about being sad I feel less sad about feeling sad so you should write!” Its voice, already distorted by the muzzle, is helped not by its frantic and excitable pace.

You blink, catching none of what it said. A monster’s impassioned blatherskite.

You wipe your face of tears; they have already stopped, but only because you forced them to. You will be like Sister: unyielding. You are a stronger man now than when you damned Reimu. All you can do from here on is not dishonour her memory. Would Reimu have liked that, you defending her? Probably not. She would rather you not voluntarily doom yourself. Too bad for her that she can’t stop you now.

“I won’t be seeing the moon with you.” You finally answer the monster. Your voice is reigned, but your conviction is stronger than ever.

The monster, caught in the afterglow of its spiel, freezes entirely at your words. “I…” it says. The monster disengages from you, still frozen in shock. Its lights flicker and dim.

“But I can’t go alone. That’s not how my story goes.” Its voice is in muffled shock; though its body is vacant as if all of its vigor fled with the light of its wings.

You frown as an ill taste fills your mouth: more guilt. It’s your fault this monster doesn’t exist, and no amount of distancing will let you forget that. So be it - there is one last thing you can do.

You bend down to sit in the flowers, and ask: “Can you accompany this monster?” They don’t respond because you can’t talk to flowers. You ask only out of respect. “Thank you,” you say as you pick one of the larger windflowers. It bleeds mud from the stem.

You offer the flower to the monster. When you were younger you kept a flower on your breast every day until you felt strong enough to go hunting by yourself.

The monster dumbly receives your gift. Its head tilts with a palpable confusion. “...Hero?”

“She can see the moon with you. I belong down here.”

“She?” The monster cautiously inspects the flower. “But my story says that the Hero…” its words wane as it comes to a realisation. The light of its wings returns, though only at a fraction of their former glory. “Do you want to read it, my story, Hero?” Its voice is a beaten enthusiasm mixed with hope.

You take no pleasure in saying: “No.”

Not that you have any idea what the monster is talking about; besides a plea for help to a problem you created wholly.

The monster goes to speak, but nothing comes out. It stays in a fugue state of wordlessness until the remaining light of its wings fade. “I need to write,” it finally says. Like you, it can force its voice steady. You can admire that strength. “Thank you for ending me, Hero.” It forces a bow.

You give a final nod of acknowledgment. It’s a small comfort that this monster seems to enjoy nonexistence, even if it perhaps doesn’t understand what that means.

The crestfallen monster meanders off with flower still held tightly in hand.

There was nothing else you could do for it, and nothing it could do for you. Nothing of the little monster’s true self remains; it is just that, a monster, a lie with thought and form cursed upon it. You did that to it, didn’t you? Just like you did to Reimu, Patchouli and all the rest. You absolute moron.

The flowers make a pitiful noise as you unconsciously crush them between your fingers. Thick sap coats your flower-filled fist along with your own blood.

“Sorry, Sister.”

Some flowers stare at you, but they quickly return to duty sans the ones you crushed. The crushed flowers squirm feebly instead, eager to get back to work.

You take a deep breath.

You were crying earlier, weren’t you? You didn’t know you still had it in you. Ah, it seems like you’re doing it again. Just what do you do about this?

“Oh, Sister, I can’t take this anymore,” you mumble without thinking, and reign in your words the second your thoughts catch up.

‘I can’t take this anymore.’ You roll the words around in your head, and no matter how much you try to scrutinize them they feel right.

Lying to yourself is not acceptable.

You really can’t take this any more. You ruined Reimu’s life, and now it’s happening again to others. Does it matter that they’re youkai, vampires, or something else? You truly don’t know any more. Guilt does not discriminate, apparently. In your eyes, every monster could have been someone like Reimu, once. Someone like Patchouli, who helped you only to be… Don’t think about it, you absolute moron.

More flowers submit to your grip. Hurriedly, you go to shove your hand in a pocket only to find yourself still naked. That gives you a small, pitiful laugh, but a laugh enough to lighten the oppressive mood.

“Sorry again, Sister.”

The flowers turn to stare at you. If their humor is anything like Sister’s (terrible), they are laughing at you.



If you’re to stop being a living joke, perhaps you should do something about it. Reimu would say something ‘cool’ like that, wouldn’t she? Look where that got her; the reckless moron she is.

You try stand up, but fail. Pins and needles are proof enough that you’ve spent far too long moping. You try standing again, mindful this time of the numbness.

Once again you find yourself laughing. Here you are, following in Reimu’s reckless, moronic footsteps. It seems you’ve inherited Sister’s terrible sense of humor, and Reimu’s terrible sense of duty. What does that make you, then?

You shrug, and wander off in the opposite direction of the little monster.

Somewhere out there, there must be a way to break your curse. You stake your life on it. Reimu said the same thing, didn’t she?

You moron.

===== Time: Late Night | Curse: ~~<O>~~ =====

“Good evening, Schütz,” calls an all-too-familiar voice. It sounds like metal being torn to shrapnel underwater.

Your sweat cools and freezes you still like an icy cage. You can’t see or hear Elly’s blade, but you don’t need to. Like Sister who radiates majesty, Elly radiates fear. That’s why you know Elly’s leviathan lurches in the darkness behind you; her existence is a phobia in upon itself. This always happens when she sneaks up on you.

‘It’s just Elly.’ That thought alone is usually enough to break the terror-induced trance - not this time.

It isn’t ‘just Elly.’ The Elly behind you is a nonexistent monster. You made her that way.

“Oh, pity, have I become invisible to Schütz again? But our conversation never reached conclusion.” she continues to blithely chatter behind you. If you didn’t know better, you would say she was the same Elly that you met this morning. The curse taunts you.

Elly doesn’t deserve being reduced to a mere taunt. So what are you going to do about it then, moron? There’s nothing you can do, yet - but at least you can apologize.

Through sheer willpower you turn around and bow. “I’m sorry, Elly.”

...

“You worry for I?” she eventually responds.

You nod like an idiot, with your head still in bow.

“Oh, oh my! That’s just…!” Her guttural words crumble away into a most odd noise: laughter. Its shockingly pleasant when compared to the twisted sounds she usually produces.

You feel the scythe retreat.

“Look at me.” She isn’t forceful, but the return to her scythe’s ordinary voice is jarring.

You’ve been avoiding looking up until now. When you raise your head you see what you expect: Elly, the scarecrow, serpent, and monster. She stands proud and tall as a splash of red and yellow against the monochrome world. Her grin in fiendishly wide as it always in, but the slight dimples on each cheek tells you that she’s truly amused. In her eyes, or lack thereof, she must see the same man she’s seen off to the hunt a thousand times over. All you see is a monster - that’s what you must tell yourself, anyway.

“Do you know what I am?” she asks.

A monster in the shape of: “Elly. Sister’s vassal.” It’s not a lie, nor is it the complete truth. The malformed words sit like poison in your mouth.

“There was a time when that name meant something.” Elly laughs again. “Maybe it still does to anyone who isn’t Schütz.”

Elly shrugs. The slightest of the scarecrow’s movements are mirrored on a far grander scale by the wyrm-like scythe. “It still stands in my own time that men should worry at Elly, not for Elly.” More laughter. “You’re funny. Is that why Yuuka keeps you alive?”

Why does Sister keep you alive? You pay her tribute. What else can you possibly do? “I bring tribute,” you answer firmly.

“Why would she need you to do that?” she replies almost instantly. In her tone is pure curiosity, and not a hint of spite. You are shaken nonetheless. Elly is right. Sister doesn’t need you, not at all.

“That’s why I ask: is it your humor that keeps you useful?” Elly continues. “For what else does Schütz have?”

“I…” you hold your tongue as words fail you. “I don’t know.”

Elly perks up at that. “Neither do I. We have much in common, don’t we?”

You give a tentative nod. “You said that last time.”

Elly goes rigid. “Disgusting.” Then her eyeholes narrow. “Unless…” The scythe drifts closer to your face like an inquisitive, predatory beak. “Could it be that my good qualities rub off on you, and not your bad qualities on me?”

You suppress the instinct to flinch from the abyssal serpent parked just in front of your face. Elly is everything you are not to Sister: useful. That’s all you have ever wanted to be to anyone, and Elly does it effortlessly. You aren’t resentful, but you won’t lie. You’re jealous.

“It would be preferable…” you admit in a mutter. The snake drifts back and coils around the scarecrow.

“It would also be unlikely, but if given the choice, do choose the former.” Elly’s expression is an unreadable smile. She thinks you’re useless. Once again, she isn’t wrong.

...

“You’re no longer escorting that sky-starved wolf, are you?” Elly asks.

The little monster? You shake your head.

“Then it, too, trespasses on the Flower Fields.” Elly’s scarecrow smile is wider than usual. It appears as though the fabric of her monstrous face might tear, but it doesn’t, and the smile only grows wider.

Trespassing.

You understand now why the Flower Field is expanding beneath this house. ‘The current tenants won’t last long,’ Sister said. Elly does not tolerate trespassers; in fact, she loves them. This is a ‘birthday present’ for her more than anyone.

Elly patiently awaits the future with a smile. You really could learn a lot from her.

You almost forgot that she doesn’t exist anymore. You moron.

/o====================5====================o\

True words pool like poison on your tongue...
-[A1: “Elly, you don’t exist.”] {let it out}
-[A2: “Where’s Sister?”] {swallow it}



Patchouli and Meiling are going to die - but why should you care for monsters? They don’t exist anymore, you moron. You aren’t seriously considering this, are you?

You are.

What’s wrong with you?

[B: Implore Elly to spare…] [Elly will not like this. More additions past the first will surely beset her greatly.]
- [] Patchouli, if it still lives. It exterminated Nue out of convenience, and never meant any harm to you.
- [] Meiling, The first ‘good’ youkai. Its actions were altruistic(?), but its motives remain enigmatic. There’s a greater chance it isn’t already dead.
you do not know any other residents well enough to risk saving them.

|o=========================================o|

Items:
Bow (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated 'Human')
- x12 Iron-Headed Arrow
- x1 Iron-Headed Arrow (Broken)
- x1 Iron-Headed Arrow (Blood Coated 'Human')
Iron Knife (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated ‘Human’)
Sparse Tough Clothing (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated 'Human')
-Seal Hairtie (Unknown Properties)
-Last Scraps of Bandage (Wrapped Around Hand, Blood Coated ‘Human’)

|o=========================================o|

Curse: ~~<O>~~

Moon Phase: <-(O)-> “lunatic”

Time: Late Night

\o====================85===================o/

A strange path has has been averted. Stranger paths have opened.
I apologize for the wait.
>> No. 30538
Disclaimer: writefags should remember to adjust their perceptions when doing mysteries. Their "Subtle hints" are actually nonexistant, "Normal hints" are incredibly subtle, "Obvious hints" are hard to catch and so on and so forth.

Okay so, I'm still beginning to get the idea here.
This guy isn't insane, the curse is actually real. That is a curveball that I'm still having trouble believing. Him being an actual nutjob would fit too well with this story. Is like reading an essay that starts with "I, the author, am the only real person in the world"

Anyway, his curse (incredibly, not a term born out of guilt) caused Reimu's death (again, not an accident on his part, a literal disease-like curse) Canon result of Reimu perishing would be the destruction of Gensokyo. Considering his 'nonexistence' stance on Youkai (not, as expected, a regular disbelief on the supernatural, racism or perceived unimportance when compared to Yuuka) maybe that's what actually happened.

But then why would he be bothered about the hallucinations, when the alternative is them not being there at all? He probably can't help it.

The only one he doesn't doubt the existence of is Yuuka, maybe she is the only one actually alive and is now rebuilding this world (a dream world, maybe?) in her tastes by removing everyone else by force. That'd explain his servile attitude towards her, at least. But who is everyone then? Memories? Phantoms? Leftovers? Actual people that don't know they died yet?

Damn, this is a good story, but it is probably too subtle for me. We should have enough hints to solve the puzzle already but, I can only see barely enough to start guessing.
>> No. 30539
[A1: “Elly, you don’t exist.”] {let it out}

I feel that, out of all the options, this will be the most helpful if nothing else. We could try to save another, but we, as the readers, would still be lost and to varying degrees confused. As such, it may be best to take the straw bull by the, uhh... snake scythe.

If we tell her this, it may lead to us learning something. We may learn how to stop being so lost, or we may learn how Elly feels on the matter. Perhaps we may give Elly an unwitting answer, or perhaps we may delay her from her seeming want to seek and destroy, if only a moment longer.
>> No. 30540
[Elly, you don’t exist.] “A1”
>> No. 30541
[A1: “Elly, you don’t exist.”] {let it out}
>> No. 30542
-[A1: “Elly, you don’t exist.”] {let it out}
>> No. 30543
I wonder what humans are actually left.

If the question is: "Why is Schutz kept around by Yuuka", then it has to be something he provides that the others can't/cannot, unless we're assuming some kind of twisted altruism.

"Tribute" might be correct but not in the sense that Schutz means it.

His "curse" is the power of "belief", making things real that are not there previously, right? It's a rather twisted way of handling the idea that humans need to fear/believe X about a Youkai for them to exist.
>> No. 30544
File 151176243490.png - (523.64KB, 1500x1000, 26.png) [iqdb]
30544
<- Quick thing.

Discussion is very much appreciated. The vote shall be called in, hm, 2 days? The turnout is below average, but that may just be due to agreement with the current consensus.
>> No. 30545
File 151177129512.png - (530.88KB, 1500x1000, 26_5.png) [iqdb]
30545
will draw other stuff now
>> No. 30546
>>30539
That's as good as a reason as any.
I would prefer to protect those two, but I need to know what the story is about at some point.

If it ends up with a worse and a sadder story too bad, but at least I'll know what the story was about.

[A1: “Elly, you don’t exist.”] {let it out}

Being cruel to Flandre was the straw that broke my belief in a 'good' ending anyway.
>> No. 30547
[A2: “Where’s Sister?”] {swallow it}
I have a feeling that taking the mansion will not be easy as they think.

P.S. With how unstable his mind is, I doubt that Reimu is actually dead.
>> No. 30548
File 151186241677.png - (539.49KB, 1298x951, 26_75.png) [iqdb]
30548
Still practicing faces.

Vote will be called tomorrow.
>> No. 30549
>>30548
Okay, has the MC been with Yuuka longer then Elly?
>> No. 30550
>>30549
He has known both for roughly 4 years, but has only begun actually interacting with Elly this morning.
>> No. 30551
>>30550
From what I could tell, Everyone, but Yuuka looks like a monster. That would mean (at least I think it does) that the curse kinda wears off if Schütz bonds with the other person is strong (ie. Seeing Yuuka as a sister). Although this would mean he would have to be with people in his eye look like monsters in order to break parts of the curse.
>> No. 30552
Course set for A1. Strange paths.

Going to be drawing random characters (besides Elly, who has gotten more than enough overtime in the depiction department)
>> No. 30559
Truth pools like mercury in your mouth, toxic and heavy. Swallowing the words would be easy, for a moment, but you know you wouldn’t be able to live with these poisonous words left unsaid. Elly deserves better.

You brace yourself and say with all austerity: “Elly, you don’t exist.”

Elly, who had gone into a vacant, smiling silence, turns her attention back to you with a twitch of her scythe. It swims up to you probingly. “Don’t believe in evil, do you, Schütz?”

Her boisterous, sweet laughter cuts off any chance of reply - it seems she’s made one up for you in her head.

“It was once my purpose to convince your kind otherwise. Now I owe you nothing,” Elly continues. Her fiendish, scarecrow grin somehow widens further. She is perfectly content with whatever point she made.

You take a moment to let the words sink in. The tenseness of your body makes every breath feel like the motion of a great, iron bellow. Thinking before acting is a chore in unto itself. All you want to do is make this end, somehow.

Evil. Is that how Elly defines herself? The most noble being in existence besides Sister calls herself ’evil?’

The only thing stopping you from jumping in right now to defend her honor (against herself) is the fact that the monster before you isn’t real - and that is the only true evil you see here: this monstrous, cursed afterimage of Elly.

This cannot continue.

With only a grunt of warning, you abandon all restraint and approach Elly. Adrenaline floods, drowning all sense and reason.

“This!” You grab one of her stripey, stick-like arms. It’s deathly cold to the touch with a texture like buffered wood. The real Elly is made of flesh and blood. You are touching a monster. “Does. Not. Exist. You aren’t real,” you continue, frazzled and staring straight into the soulless pits where her eyes ought be. Elly smiles, still and unfazed.

With her lack of eyes still locked onto yours, Elly moves her arm up and down. Your arm is tugged along in sync.

“Schütz?” the serpent voices from behind, startling you.

You did not plan this far. In fact, you did not plan at all. Your adrenaline recedes, like a child denying blame. “...What?” you eek out.

“This is a handshake,” she states with a sort of pride.

You look down to your hand, clasped like iron around her rigid arm. Regret begins to seep in.

“I… suppose. Yes,” you murmur, dazed.

“Then I exist.” Elly confidently shakes your hand again for good measure. “And if I didn’t exist, that would warrant a holiday. I see no festivities.”

‘Then I exist,’ the monster said.

No, no. NO. There comes your strength again. You grip Elly’s arm so tight that your hand slips.

Elly flicks your blood off its arm without looking at it. She stares at you eyelessly with that same huge grin on her nonexistent, scarecrow face.

You take a deep breath, and then another because the first wasn’t nearly enough. Be strong, Schütz. You can’t let anyone else do it for you.

“Elly.” You say her name to test whether you can speak without unnecessary emotion. You can, barely.

“Schütz,” she echoes back blithely.

You search carefully for your next words. Elly waits patiently. Even in her monstrous form, she carries a certain serene confidence about her; as if nothing you could ever say could make her falter. You’re going to have to try.

You need proof of this monster’s nonexistence, and you might just have it.

“This morning, I asked what you looked like.” you say. If this won’t work, nothing will.

Elly looks at you blankly. Have you lost her attention? Is she waiting for more?

You reign your thoughts, and continue undeterred: “What did you reply?”

Elly’s pitted eyes squint, slowly. Then, without warning she recites: “That I’m of moderate height, with an immoderate bust. My hair is curly and blonde, and matches my…” Elly falters, much to her shock.

Her eyeless gaze drifts from you to the ground. “My pretty gold eyes,” she finishes, squirming at the words.

You’re just as stunned as her.

She said it. She actually said it! ‘Pretty gold eyes.’ You can hardly believe it: a monster remembered not being a monster. “That’s…!” you say so fast you outpace thought.

Elly’s focus draws back to you in an instant. “That’s what, Schütz?” she asks. Her head twists absurdly to the side in confusion, leaving the stick of her neck visible.

“That’s true,” you say weary and relieved; so you echo confidently, to convince yourself more than anyone: “That’s true.” You allow a small, premature smile to stain your face. It’s not worth the effort of restraining. “The real Elly has pretty golden eyes, she said.”

Elly’s smile twitches. It’s a series of tiny, brief expression not quite a frown, but perhaps the closest Elly can contrive with her permanently grinning maw. “No, Elly does not have eyes,” she eventually replies. “I can never have eyes.” The twitches of her smile go fierce, before curving into a wicked snarl. “Never.

Elly’s anger can be felt like the scent of brewing storm - but you’re too busy cowering at her words to care for her temper now.

‘I can never have eyes.’ No. that’s not true. That can’t be true. The real Elly has eyes, she does - she must. The alternative is-

The scythe makes a low, guttural noise, like the gnashing of two blades mixed with a beast’s growl. It demands all attention. Every flower in the field, seen or not, turns to face her.

“Disgusting…” Elly shivers in said disgust. “Someone gave me eyes and flesh and blood without consent. They will be found in haste, stripped of eyes and flesh and blood without consent, and executed in malice,” she announces to the world; her vicious teeth take up near her entire face.

“Elly, I…” you mumble. What are you even trying to say: ‘sorry’?

Her empty eyes refocus on you with a squint, and then surprisingly, with a softened, bright smile. The malice, thick in the air, does not evaporate, but not a drop of it is directed at you. “I will allow you the honor of sweeping the garbage piling in the Flower Field.”

You find your voice and say: nothing. All that comes from your mouth is empty wind. Your tired blood doesn’t boil, and you lift not a heavy finger. You just stare on, stunned, scared, and wordless. You moron.

Elly tilts her head, waiting for a response, but she soon accepts nothing as answer enough. “Good hunting to you, Schütz.” With a wave of goodbye, Elly is gone - she sunk straight into the ground, smile and all.

You let your thoughts trickle back from shock.

Elly acknowledges her true self, and rejects it. Now, as she hunts down a ‘someone’ that does not exist, you are tasked with killing everybody in this house; the garbage, the trespassers. If Elly should execute anyone, it’s you for letting this happen. You’ve failed.

“Oh, Sister, I can’t take this anymore.” Your thoughts echo pathetically as speech; a phrase not unheard before.

‘Then do something about it, you moron,’ Reimu would reply. You’re trying; you really are. But she isn’t listening to your excuses. You’re only trying to convince yourself, and you’re doing a terrible job. ‘Then do something about it, you moron.’

So you will.

/o====================5====================o\

Make this right.
[A: Keep going. Pursue Elly.]

Your legs near buckle, and your mind sags low enough to be trodden underneath. You’ve suffered worse (have you? some memories aren’t worth revisiting).

Make this right - later.
[B: For now, rest.]

...Oh, you’re actually considering it. You must be worse off than you thought. ‘You can keep going,’ you tell yourself.

|o=========================================o|

Items:
Bow (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated 'Human')
- x12 Iron-Headed Arrow
- x1 Iron-Headed Arrow (Broken)
- x1 Iron-Headed Arrow (Blood Coated 'Human')
Iron Knife (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated ‘Human’)
Sparse Tough Clothing (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated 'Human')
-Seal Hairtie (Unknown Properties)

|o=========================================o|

Curse: ~~<O>~~

Moon Phase: <-(O)-> “lunatic”

Time: Late Night

\o====================85===================o/

Mad apple.
>> No. 30560
[A: Keep going. Pursue Elly.]
>> No. 30561
[B] For now, rest.

Hunter needs sleep badly.
>> No. 30562
[A: Keep going. Pursue Elly.]

No rest for the weary, as a sense of direction doesn't grow on trees.
>> No. 30565
File
Removed
Drawing while I wait for votes/discussion. faces are hard

As usual, the vote is called whenever I think it will reach apogee.
>> No. 30566
File 151228981682.png - (604.22KB, 1298x951, 27.png) [iqdb]
30566
wrong image
>> No. 30572
>Curse: ~~<O>~~

Something about that is unsettling for multiple reasons. One, he speaks of Reimu. Who has to do with Reimu? Yukari. Two, it could mean that up until now that the curse has been sleeping, and now is awake. It's possible that the curse is sentient, and that Schutz is less mad than he comes off as.

Now, with that out of the way, I think I noticed some stuff that could be important.

Elly's wood/hands appear to be deathly cold to the touch. I have to wonder why, exactly. Is that the curse, or is she actually cold in such a way.

Next, we drew out blood when we clutched her hand. Was that us reopening the wounds from Meiling, or is that fresh curse wounds? It's also possible we were grabbing the scythe head, but I have to wonder if that would suit her words. If they did, she could see using her scythe as something akin to a handshake or greeting to intruders. However, I feel I'm reaching a great deal on this one.

>“And if I didn’t exist, that would warrant a holiday. I see no festivities.”

I'm not sure just what she means by this. Anyone have a better idea?

>Her eyeless gaze drifts from you to the ground. “My pretty gold eyes,” she finishes, squirming at the words.

I have to wonder if this is proof for or against Schutz's thinking that everyone are now monsters. It seems as if it could go either way, and that this may in fact hint at either.

>You can hardly believe it: a monster remembered not being a monster.

I feel that this could be important. It's possible that we could use this to our advantage one way or another, and see if others remember. I'm not sure how we could, as it would take exact quotes, but it might be good food for thought.

>x1 Iron-Headed Arrow (Blood Coated 'Human')

This has been bugging me a little while now. I'm not sure when we got an arrow bloody or how. Ohh, wait. Looking back, it seems it first appeared when we touched the an arrow. I expected the head, not the shaft.
>> No. 30573
File 151247618991.png - (7.82KB, 280x303, 27_5.png) [iqdb]
30573
Current vote consensus is minimal and not representative of my usual audience - this is not workable for me, and as such I will wait. I was hoping to be writing by now.

Quantity of drawings will be slowed due to general lack of audience interest.
>> No. 30574
>>30573
Either you write in the next couple of days regardless of a number of voters or I unleash Unlimited Proxy Works.
>> No. 30575
>>30572

>“And if I didn’t exist, that would warrant a holiday. I see no festivities.”
>I'm not sure just what she means by this. Anyone have a better idea?

Maybe she fancies herself as some big disaster or embodiment of death and feels like her dissapearance should be a local celebration.

Well, she does use the reapers' weapons...

As for her reaction, it'd be good to remind her that her true form is the one she's hiding from... and that running from the truth is such a human-like attitude...
>> No. 30576
File 151247924644.png - (16.82KB, 480x421, 27_75.png) [iqdb]
30576
>>30574
My apologies; I've been rather on edge since the issues arose a few updates ago.

I will call it tomorrow morning regardless. Your vested interest is worth far more than quantity.
>> No. 30578
[B: For now, rest.]

On a second thought, he hadn't had a chance to collect himself since he entered the mansion.

Calm down, collect your thoughts, and THEN make it right.
>> No. 30579
>>30576
It's not vested nor interest; this story has little potential to it, but your writing can get miles better if you just shut up and write - not having enough voters is just an excuse not to do so.
>> No. 30580
File 151248430375.png - (12.82KB, 480x421, 27_875.png) [iqdb]
30580
>>30579
Oh. Nah, remaining complacent isn't my style. I'd just start another project elsewhere if this didn't work out.

I'll see about making a proper response tomorrow.

Are you a random passerby? I don't understand your intentions here.
>> No. 30581
[B: For now, rest.]

seems like schutz can use the rest.
>> No. 30583
>>30537
Sorry Tulip, but you I'm in this post. Does Elly see the same thing as Schutz? Because I can't think of another reason why she would think that she has no eyes.
>> No. 30584
Called for B.

>>30579
Gave it some thought. I don't think we can reach an understanding.

>>30583
Can't say. Sorry.
>> No. 30585
>>30583
She's on denial.
>> No. 30586
Draft done. Going to go over it a bit before posting tomorrow. About 2000 words.
>> No. 30587
===== Time: Late Night | Curse: ~~<O>~~ =====

Your legs demand rest, your mind demands peace, and your stomach demands food - yet you can only grant rest. So why stop now, with such a slapdash respite? It doesn’t seem like your body cares. Your legs remain rooted in silent protest.

‘Elly, I will make this right,’ you repeat in your head as if to convince your legs to move. Instead, they buckle.

‘Elly, Reimu, everyone, I will will make this right… later,’ you amend to the tune of your crumbling willpower.

You crumple to the ground. You can keep going, but you won’t. How selfish of your human body to stop you. How selfish of yourself to let your human body stop you.

Your stomach makes a horrible noise, like the murderous wail of Elly’s scythe. You ignore it as you have been for the last few hours. After all, what surrounds you are flowers whose veins run with mud and clay. In the past, you tried eating them, many times in fact. Sister caught you, once. She laughed, and you haven’t tried since.

It was silly and desperate to think that devouring Sister’s own would make you more like her. “Don’t you think?” you ask a nearby flower. It stares at you for a while before returning to duty.

You groan as does your stomach. You’re feeling silly and desperate - moronic, in other words.

You unenthusiastically pluck the mute flower, and take a bite. It tastes like mud, and you feel no less human for it. However, you do feel considerably and particularly stupid for trying and, more importantly, failing.

“Next time, then,” you mutter dimly to the crowd of disinterested flowers - because naturally, if you survive, you’re going to try again.

The world is made dark. You panic, at first, before you realize that your eyes are lidded and your limbs are tied to the ground with fatigue. Your back is against now-crushed flowers. This is it, then.

The darkness soon spreads to your mind; giving it the peace that it desires and the sleep you need (but don’t deserve).



..

.

\ ~~~ /

You wake up to a flash of violet.

===== Time: ??? | Curse: ~~~ =====

With heavy body and mind, you right yourself. Sight comes slowly as the dim light above only makes a rough estimate of your surroundings at best. From what your frogged eyes allow, you are still surrounded by windflowers. They stare at you.

What were you doing again?

You stand, stunned and witless for the longest while as a landslide of thoughts compete for your freshly-awake attention; a grunt is your only reaction. Then followed by some vague, half-asleep stretches. Everything is fatigued, even after rest.

‘You woke up to a flash of violet,’ calls a victorious thought. Soon after, the rest of reality catches up to you. Patchouli, Nue, the curse and its awakening, Reimu, Elly; everything at once.

There is no appropriate reaction, but no one is around to chastise you for just sitting back down and simply staring into nothing. You moron. Oh, you can always rely on calling yourself stupid. That’s productive.

Not willing to stay still, lest you fall catatonic or faint from hunger, you steady yourself enough to stand again. You say goodbye to the brief post-awakening stupor, and welcome whatever exciting hells that the now has to offer. Above all else, this is your fault, even if you don’t quite understand what’s happening at this moment.

‘You woke up to a flash of violet,’ your thoughts remind you.

You know that color, and you know what it means: the curse is asleep.

Your head spins; which is dangerous considering you’re barely keeping yourself standing already. You don’t smile, even though you should. No, that’s too good to be true. Too convenient. Why would the curse sleep when it had everything it wanted? Did it flash violet out of capriciousness, or to taunt you with the prospect? Never has it been so forward, but you wouldn’t be surprised if it invented new ways to torment.

Elly asked before if you believed in evil, and yes, you most certainly do. It lives inside your soul: the curse, and it’s the color purple. One day you will end it; no matter what.

The thought calms you, even though it’s all empty words until you do something about it. Like Reimu.

You shiver, and harden your heart. You can’t lose yourself now. The curse could be asleep, and if so, then now’s not the time to degrade yourself - you can save that for later; after you’re fed, rested, and with the corpse of the curse at your feet.

You need not remind yourself that the curse’s corpse may just be yours. You know that very well. What’s important now is making things right. That starts with Elly.

“Elly!” you call out. Unsurprisingly, your voice is hoarse and feeble. You clear your throat of dirt, and call out again: “Elly!” That’s an improvement: now your voice is just feeble

“Schütz; Schütz?” is the immediate response; behind you. Of course, this is Elly after all.

But is it Elly?

You take a deep breath, and turn around to behold an expected and familiar sight: the monstrous Elly. The curse may sleep, but that has never kept its foul vision from your eyes. Whether the Elly before you be monstrous of body and mind, and not just in your broken eyes, remains unknown.

There’s no use wasting time thinking; you already know there’s only one way to know for sure if its Elly or a monstrous parody. You swallow you fear and reluctance, and charge to take Elly’s arm once again.

You don’t know what you expected, and shock numbs whatever reaction you could have. Your hand meets just that, another hand. Not a stick, cold as Winter, but a hand, warm and soft to the touch. Elly is stunned, or perhaps she doesn’t care. She blankly stares down at you with no eyes you can see.

The difference now is that you know the eyes are there. Like her hand, you just can’t see them.

‘The curse is asleep. Elly is real, again,’ your mind relays dully, before you can truly react. When you finally do come to terms, a trepidant, unsure smile creeps to your face. You’re not used to good things happening.

The curse is asleep! Elly is real, again!

You can’t stop yourself from grappling Elly into a bear hug; to both affirm reality, and, you admit, for the sheer joy of the moment. “Elly, you’re-!” your celebrations are muffled by Elly’s self-professed immodest bosom, but that doesn’t stop you from mumbling into that as well. Her body is comfortably warm, and not a deathly cold, cursed, monstrous thing. She’s alive!

Elly is rigid at your embrace. “I need a new dress, but this is my only dress,” she says. It’s the snake behind you that does the talking, but you know it doesn’t exist. Yesterday, the thought of that monstrous, phantasmal serpent alone drove you to not even consider talking to Elly. Now, you’re just thankful she, and everyone else, exists.

Some time passes in silence. It’s in that silence when Elly’s words finally permeate your thick skull. It also hits you that the comfort of your (unrequited) embrace is swiftly being overturned by the awkwardness - not only was the hug unnecessary, but you also ruined Elly’s dress for it.

Elly isn’t resisting you to any capacity, but the message is clear. Awkwardly, and with some shameful reluctance, you unfasten yourself.

‘Sorry,’ hangs on your tongue, but in truth you regret nothing, so you won’t lie. How selfish. You’re still smiling, even. Unfortunately, that happiness is not at all infectious. Elly continues to stare down at you, completely blank. Her permanent grin speaks of no heartfelt emotion. You did just ruin her dress, after all. You are like garbage to her, after all.

“I can get you a new one,” is your delayed reply, though you speak on impulse. You mean what you say, regardless.

“Really? How?” She leans in, curious. The swivels to get behind her, so it can face you.

“I’ll make one.” So long as Sister can provide the fabric, the needle, the string; sewing lessons as well.

“Then it will just get dirty again, unless…” Elly stares into you, and then through you as she ponders. “If I purged your humanity first, it may be fine,” she continues casually.

You’ve no attachment to your soul; that you know - and to have it ‘purged?’ It sounds far too good to be true. Though, with the curse asleep, you’re willing to believe anything at this point.

“Can I make a dress without my humanity?” You ask the most important question.

“Maybe…” She leans in even closer, and squints her empty eyes. “Is there anything else inside you that could do the work?”

The curse. “Nothing useful.” You wipe the oncoming frown from your face.

“There’s nothing useful nonetheless, Schütz,” Elly replies as if obvious, but she doesn’t seem to mind saying it anyway. “But that’s beside the point. To purge your humanity, that was not an offer. Yuuka wants a Schütz, not a husk… she specified among many, many other things.”

“... Oh.” It seems that if you want to stop being human, you need something worthwhile to replace it - something strong, like Sister, or something valiant, like Elly. Anything more useful than ‘Schütz, the cursed human’ works. Once more, a frown creeps on your face. You fight it back. You can feel sorry for yourself later. The curse is asleep, why can’t you be happy for once?

You purge the dissenting thoughts, and move onto the next.

“Then I can’t make you a new dress.” You smile brightly. “But I’m going to try anyway.” If there’s anything you’re good at, it’s futility, and selectively ignoring it.

Elly laughs. It seems you’re good at making her do that too.

Then, without warning, Elly makes a sound like the shearing of stone by lightning bolt. Her eyes widen, and her maw twists into something other.

You jump back by the reflexive will of a survival instinct. You look like a stunned, heart-struck deer. Soon, concern begs your voice to return: “... Are you alright?” you manage to ask without sounding as mortally terrified as you are.

She sounds like before, when she was beset and monstrous. You grimace. No, the Elly before you is real. You proved it. Nothing will convince you otherwise; you won’t let yourself be convinced otherwise.

Despite your best efforts, your hope drains. So long, happyness; it was fun while it lasted.

“I just remembered...” her voice is the same metallic choir as always. “That I’m extremely angry.” Her calm statement belies the confused way she looks at herself - as if to spot precisely the anger she claims. “But why am I angry?” she asks herself. Her face flickers between a horrific snarl and a plain smile, but never quite settles on one.

You can feel it now, the malice in the air. It’s weaker than before, misguided even.

In some dumb, remaining hope, you ask: “Is it the dress?”

“Maybe...” she looks back to herself. “Am I so petty?”

No, she isn’t.



You know the real answer of why she’s enraged, but you won’t admit it. But it’s the truth.

/o====================5====================o\


‘Make this right,’ you told yourself. The curse has been subdued. Is that right enough? Elly is Elly again, and so should all the others be. Is the best you can do now: nothing?

[A: Keep silent.]

...

You vowed to never lie, not to take every opportunity to speak the truth. Yet, to even consider silence when you know you can do better leaves a pit in your stomach.
-[B1 - “You said that someone gave you eyes.”] {attempt minor confession. test the reaction.}
-[B2 - “A monstrous you said that someone gave you eyes.”] {attempt major confession. explain as much as possible.}

Oh, don’t lie to yourself! At the back of your mind you just want someone else to know, don’t you? How selfish.

|o=========================================o|

Items:
Bow (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated 'Human')
- x12 Iron-Headed Arrow
- x1 Iron-Headed Arrow (Broken)
- x1 Iron-Headed Arrow (Blood Coated 'Human')
Iron Knife (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated ‘Human’)
Sparse Tough Clothing (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated 'Human')
-Seal Hairtie (Unknown Properties)

|o=========================================o|

Curse: ~~~

Moon Phase: <-(O)-> “lunatic”

Time: ???

\o====================85===================o/

Mostly naked, near-starving bowman molests a (confusedly) mad apple without resistance. She then proceeds to have an existential crisis.
>> No. 30588
-[B1 - “You said that someone gave you eyes.”] {attempt minor confession. test the reaction.}
-[B2 - “A monstrous you said that someone gave you eyes.”] {attempt major confession. explain as much as possible.}
Going all in on mad apple because if she finds out schutz may just die Or suffer horribly with this same option ehh let do it
>> No. 30589
[B2] “A monstrous you said that someone gave you eyes.”

Answers or bust.
>> No. 30591
[A: Keep silent.]
Saying unnecessary things seems dangerous.
>> No. 30592
>>30588
These votes are mutually exclusive. Unless redone, your vote will not be counted.

>Going all in on mad apple because if she finds out schutz may just die Or suffer horribly with this same option ehh let do it
I don't understand.
>> No. 30593
[B2 - “A monstrous you said that someone gave you eyes.”]

I can't see anything good coming from either option, so we might as well be bold. That's what he's good at, apparently.
>> No. 30594
>>30592
I think he meant "If she finds out that he didn't tell him, she might kill him. Then again, she might get mad and kill her outright. Eh, fuck it"
>> No. 30595
[B1 - “You said that someone gave you eyes.”]

You can't just keep brute forcing everything. Work smarter, not harder.
>> No. 30596
File 151304226337.png - (367.39KB, 1500x1000, 28.png) [iqdb]
30596
The vote will be called tomorrow.

Here's a head I made a while ago and forgot about???

>>30594
Thanks!
>> No. 30597
>In the past, you tried eating them, many times in fact. Sister caught you, once. She laughed, and you haven’t tried since.

That seems as good an answer as any to something I've been wondering. If she laughed when she caught us, that means that she doesn't see with the flowers, presumably.

>With heavy body and mind, you right yourself. Sight comes slowly as the dim light above only makes a rough estimate of your surroundings at best. From what your frogged eyes allow, you are still surrounded by windflowers. They stare at you.

>What were you doing again?

Schutz really isn't a morning person, is he? Odd, considering all he goes through.

>‘You woke up to a flash of violet,’ your thoughts remind you.

>You know that color, and you know what it means: the curse is asleep.

The more I see about the curse, the more it makes me think of Yukari.

>You don’t know what you expected, and shock numbs whatever reaction you could have. Your hand meets just that, another hand. Not a stick, cold as Winter, but a hand, warm and soft to the touch. Elly is stunned, or perhaps she doesn’t care. She blankly stares down at you with no eyes you can see.

Seems that the curse really does do such horrible things as make monsters of people. Although, this is only confirmation on the physical. I have to wonder about the mental, as Elly reacted oddly overall.

>“But that’s beside the point. To purge your humanity, that was not an offer. Yuuka wants a Schütz, not a husk… she specified among many, many other things.”

I have to wonder what those many, many other things are.

>“I just remembered...” her voice is the same metallic choir as always. “That I’m extremely angry.” Her calm statement belies the confused way she looks at herself - as if to spot precisely the anger she claims. “But why am I angry?” she asks herself. Her face flickers between a horrific snarl and a plain smile, but never quite settles on one.

Seems she may remember to some degree. Remember that anger she felt over the person that gave her eyes.

[B1 - “You said that someone gave you eyes.”] {attempt minor confession. test the reaction.}
>> No. 30598
Votes are currently tied. I will not leave this to chance, and as such I will require a tiebreaker.
>> No. 30599
[B2 - “A monstrous you said that someone gave you eyes.”]

If you wanna go, you gotta go hard. Feel me?
>> No. 30600
File 151315655389.jpg - (48.22KB, 616x306, anenome.jpg) [iqdb]
30600
The vote is called for B2.

This will take a while to write.
>> No. 30601
>>30600
Last time I read that, it was a BAD END.
Did we fuck up? I think we fucked up.

I don't mind, I haven't read a BAD END in years.
[Return] [Entire Thread] [Last 50 posts] [First 100 posts] [Top]


[Delete or report post]
Delete post []
Password  
Report post
Reason  


[Switch to Desktop Page]