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31030 No. 31030
/o====================5====================o\

Current Strand: 5.875

Previous Strands:
1 - missing
2 - missing
3 - missing
4 - missing
5 - missing
5.8 - >>29818
5.85 - >>30272
5.875 - >>30675

\o==================8875===================o/
>> No. 31032
===== Time: Morning | Curse: ~<o>~ =====

The girl named Elly shows the world a frozen, comical smile. In this situation, paired with her eyes that are wide with fear, her smile appears more like a cage. The teeth twitch, and jerk, and grind in clear effort to break the enforced, unbefitting monotony, but a smile remains. Schütz wishes the smile was genuine. It could be if he stopped terrorizing her. ‘This is Elly,’ the thought repeatedly bashes him over the head. His half-glare threatens to become quarter even as Meiling, his friend, unintentionally excretes what remains of their intestines with every breath. ‘And this is what Elly did,’ or so reality would claim. His trust and belief in Elly, his wall, says otherwise. The man of Blacks and Whites falls into disarray at the sight of Grey.

Elly is in the wrong, but. The inevitable conclusion comes crawling out of his mind after being chained and beaten. It is not alone. The man’s breath hushes as he notices a parasite attached to the end of his thoughts: ‘But.’ It is a sacred notion; when attached to anything, anything could be excused. He has tried hard to find a ‘but’ that excuses his own failures. By some subconscious notion his eyes dart back to Meiling. Carnage he cannot see is vividly imagined. He knows what Elly did, and he knows why she did it. “Accept. . it?” he parrots Meiling’s words to dead silence.

Elly silently absorbs his words, lost and pawing for some form of respite. This is not how it should work. Elly is his superior. She should not be at his mercy, and seeing her like this; the sight melts something inside him. Elly is in the wrong, but—she is mine. It is a toxic notion. Of course, Elly is Sisters’. Unfortunately and apparently, reality has little effect on Schütz. He realizes these thoughts are wrong in every sense. He realizes these thoughts can never be vocalized or expressed. The notion remains. Truly, the sense inside him has melted, though its existence in the first place is debatable. At the very back of his mind, some part of him recognizes and shrugs hopeless at the fact this might be the worst mistake he has ever made. To him, it feels out of his control. This is the natural conclusion — and anything else would be forced.

Meiling continues to silently bleed out. Elly continues to silently beg for mercy and explanation. Schütz knows his priorities.

First, Schütz purges what remains of his dead-eyed, unfocussed quasi-glare. Second, he addressed his best friend. “Elly.”

The silenced girl shivers.

“You should not hurt friends,” he orders. “So … You are in the wrong, but - but — that is Meiling, and you are Elly. Elly is more important.” He breathes as if he had just taken his hand out of fire. “But -” Another unexpected ‘but’ comes to haunt him. “- but, you are still wrong. Apologize.” This is what his mind calls a compromise. The wall shakes, and buckles, and cracks, but it does not fall. He has found an excuse. It is an excuse he dare not acknowledge, despite how vibrantly it has colored his actions.

Silence reigns.

“Sorry. You - you can speak, Elly.”

“Schütz,” she squeaks out, suddenly bunching up against him as if to embrace, but far past such pleasant things and into desperation. He notes she is warm, knowing well she could have been a cold effigy of rod and cloth. Would it matter to him at this point? His mind might collapse if he thought about it.

“I . . .” No sense comes from his mouth. If Elly wanted sense from him, she should have came a few moments earlier.

“I’m sorry for making Schütz sad,” the blade grinds like a whisper next to his ear. It is a voice that would make anyone else in the world regret being born capable of hearing. To Schütz, it is becoming endearing.

He gulps since the air he breathes through stilted, nasal twitches is not enough. “Elly, no, it is. . Meiling, I said. I meant to apologize to Meiling. But -” Another stray ‘but’ ravages his thought process. “But, I accept it. Your apology. I - yes, thank you, Elly.” As his words permeate through the layers of fear and confusion, Elly eases into a quiet, true smile. He will call it shy, though it looks like the same overeager smile as always. He feels something in his chest. The stupid, doomed man dares to find happiness in this situation.

Meiling coughs.

/ MEILING \
Meiling feels sick in the stomach. It’s a bizarre sensation given she has no stomach to speak of. Try as her body wills to vomit, all that results is a dainty, red cough. To a mindless predator of men, their own flesh and blood tastes rancid. It’s the only thing stopping some from eating themselves. For Meiling, it traps her in a bothersome cycle of coughing blood, and retching from the taste. Some good tea would wash it down. Meiling must settle for willpower.

“Meiling - are you.. fine?” asks the jittery Flower.

Meiling has to pause for that. She was having a relatively good time ignoring the pain aspect of evisceration. Now, acknowledged, she does feel it. It hurts a lot. Still, she answers: “Better than expected.” Speaking slushes the vis in her mouth, making her cough again.

“Will you die?” he presses. He’s asking the wrong person.

Meiling looks down at her tailored uniform turned orifice, and pretends with him that it is the only wound she will receive today. “Sakuya will kill me, but I will live.” Thoughts of home and family are as fulfilling as imagining water in the desert. The mansion is barely a few hundred metres away, but it may as well be across an ocean. They wouldn’t say Meiling accepted this; she has.

The man nods at first, but his face continues through a complexity of emotions as he journeys to comprehend her words. He carries a transparency of heart about him that screams ‘please tease me’ to those interested. Remilia must love it. That and his doomed fate makes him irresistible. He is a bait, and Elly the snare. It’s a perfect trap set by no one but a universe with a cruel sense of humor.

Flower reaches peace eventually, nodding again with actual comprehension this time around. Then, a bolt of impulse hits him something fierce. “. . . Elly has something to say.” He nudge-pushes the manifested antithesis of mercy named ‘Elly’ towards her. It reminds Meiling of a mother introducing a child. It feels like having the sky fall down on top of your toes. The contrast amuses Meiling because they always say Meiling is above fear. Shut up.

“I do!” the reaper answers with far too much enthusiasm. That enthusiasm does not reach her eyes as she stares at Meiling, or, rather, tries to stare at Meiling. The archfiend’s golden glare pierce straight through to the other side, like a harpoon fisherman striking the water’s distortions rather than the fish. Both the reaper and her Flower have trouble in the eyes. Flower is a lost cause who makes a conscious effort of looking everywhere conceivably possible except the eyes. The reaper tries, at least.

Meiling coughs. Beholding Death would be humbling if she weren’t Meiling. For a moment, she wonders what it would be like.

“Meiling?” the reaper has a cold, distant voice befitting her station. Her appearance is like sunset, the flax-gold hair and eyes, and red dress in combination. A scythe wavers in one hand, in the other, she holds her companion’s hand. Is flirting with Death another Gensokyo custom? Without him, would it be slumbering beneath a mountain, terrorizing continents, or torturing souls in the afterlife? To that, Meiling inwardly shrugs. The same could be said about her own situation. Idiots attract danger.

“Yeah,” Meiling replies.

“I’m sorry that you made me make you shut up.”

“. . . Yeah.”

That should be the end of it, but the man interjects: “Elly.”

The closing sunset of all life flinches, and turns heel cartoonishly. “Schütz?”

“That is not how you apologize.”

“-?” She makes a cute, clueless sound.

“You are sorry for hurting my friend Meiling,” he reminds her.

“I am?”

“You are.”

The girl blinks, dumbstruck but determined. “I’m sorry for hurting Meiling?” she parrots at Flower, rather than Meiling. He nods and squeezes her hand, making her visibly deflate with relief. She did just completely guess, despite being told the answer. The man now looks expectedly at Meiling.

They say Meiling has a short temper, that her eyes glaze red when slighted. They would be wrong as always. “... Apologies accepted.”

Flower excitedly tugs the monster’s arm. “You did it, Elly.” Elly, in turn, celebrates in her own way by smiling dead and mystified in his face. Satisfied, Flower looks in the vague direction of Meiling, and orders: “Now apologize to Elly.”

No one is eager to fill the following silence. Meiling, again, takes the hard job. “I would, but…” This isn’t the simple position as gatekeeper the eldest lady Scarlet promised - but, it wasn’t Remilia who decided to make Meiling’s life difficult. That fault lies all in the conceited youkai gatekeeper.

“What - but?” the Flower awkwardly questions.

Yes, what but? Apologising outright would have been easy for anyone except Meiling. Bullheaded might describe her, but bulls are known to tire. It takes all her willpower, the same substance she’s using to suppress the coughs, to hold herself back. She coughs. ‘What kind of idiot would hire this belligerent, borish gatekeeper?’ Meiling idly wonders. Remilia. “But… I needed to cough. I’m done.”

“Oh.” Flower nods honestly, like a taught child.

The gatekeeper angles her head down. Any more movement and she might lose balance and topple. She’s done this once to Elly - apologizing, that is - back when Meiling acted like they said she would. Meiling can only regret one thing: not acting like Meiling. It’s not in Meiling’s nature to apologize for being herself. She swallows her pride. Eating herself is as difficult as it sounds. “... I, Meiling, Hong, sworn to Scarlet, and youkai gatekeeper, apologize to you, Elly.” The gatekeeper recalls from memory an imitation of an honest apology.

Elly occupies herself staring at Schütz. “For?” he prods.

Meiling is turned silent. This is not a question she can answer easily.

Thankfully, the man is eager for a happy ending. “You’re sorry for making Elly hurt you, right?” he presses with equal parts uncertainty and determination.

“... Yes. Very. Absolutely.”

The Flower is overjoyed. It can be seen in his eyes. They twinkle with a distinctly human madness. “Elly-!” he pushes the monster forward for the second time. Under the spotlight, she is completely dazed, and immediately looks back to him for support.

“You’re supposed to accept Meiling’s apology.” He continues to direct his make believe interaction; starring Elly, terror manifested, and Meiling, the worst actor in Gensokyo.

Elly looks to Meiling, then to Schütz, then back to Meiling. “Meiling.”

“. . Yeah?”

“I’m supposed to accept your apology?” The reaper hums, then continues: “And I accept your apology.”

The man looks ready to tear up at the sight. Meiling is beginning to suspect Elly didn’t actually hear her apology at all. That comforts her a little bit. Meiling looks up at the sky as the odd couple celebrate gaily. Dark blotches stain newly arrived clouds. Afternoon tea with the maid is looking less likely by the moment. “A storm. On a nice day, too. What are the odds?”

“Schütz.” A reaper’s perverse affections drip from that word.

“Elly?”

“Would it make you happy if I destroyed Gensokyo?”

A gathering storm, an ancient evil, and a plot to end the world. This is more Remilia’s thing, Meiling concludes. So here I go. Meiling has no choice but to repeat what got her eviscerated. Meiling is calm, Meiling tells herself. They wouldn’t agree.

Meiling pulls her head out of the clouds, and interjects: “Adorable, but. . .”

\ Meiling /

“- the Elder Scarlet has a better cure than that,” the powderkeg continues unimpeded.

‘Crik’

I hate Gensokyo. There is no uncertainty in Schütz’ mind. This is the truth, and but only a new revelation. He has not even begun thinking of ‘solutions.’ “Really?” he asks. “For me? Why would..?”

“Truly,” Elly confirms with a smile next to his face and an ear-splitting grind in his ear.

“Oh, I - thank you?” The offer alone is ludicrous. Why would anyone do such a difficult thing for him? “Elly. Are you certain? That sounds hard.”

“It isn’t.”

“Oh.”

“Would it make Schütz happy?” Elly repeats.

Gensokyo: gone. Schütz feels strange. “I - do not know.”

“Schütz. Listen,” Meiling, who has made their stumbling way over, speaks before plopping down onto the soft undergrowth before him. Every time it suppresses a cough, blackpowder distends inside its body, and floods out the wound in its gut. “And Elly. I’m trying to help your.. friend too. You want to make him happy? Adorable. I like it,” the youkai dribbles its half-sentences together into something nearing coherent.

‘CRIK.’ The leviathan locks onto Meiling’s figure, and coils like the colossal serpent it is. No strike comes, but one is promised.

“—Alright,” Schütz eventually answers. He trusts Elly, to do the right thing but nonetheless he tugs her down as he sits. She tumbles with a metallic squeak of shock. Sleep deprivation, constant alertness and distress, and the sheer weight of what has happened over the past day, hours even, heap down on him at this moment. “Tired,” he declares like it is a surprise to himself.

“Same here, friend.” The disemboweled sack of gunpowder bleeds to now-blackened heavens.

“Going to rain,” he notes.

“What are the odds?”

Schütz blankly stares at the trail of gunpowder feeding the clouds. He hates Gensokyo. The undergrowth provides a soft cushion, and a dull ‘thud,’ for his head when he eventually relinquishes sitting. He curls on his side, watching the gatekeeper.

“Schütz?” Elly now decides to drone in.

“Elly?”

“You don’t want Gensokyo destroyed?”

“Maybe later.”

“Are you sad?”

“No. Only tired.”

“#” Elly grinds in thought.

“You need rest? We have seven hours before Remilia does something stupid.” Meiling looks up, melancholic. “But the sky is. . .”

True rest is impossible for Schütz. When he is silent and pensive, he fidgets. When he sleeps, he soon wishes otherwise. He finds the only remaining option is to speak. “I remember it - her — Remilia. She was. .” The vampire is a brief, pleasant memory preceding a waking nightmare. Remembering too hard would only hurt him. “- nice to me,” he finishes vaguely. This time even he realizes how indecipherably fractured his speech is, so he reiterates: “Remilia is nice.”

The youkai is quiet; it lines its thoughts with pulses and zig zags of its gunpowder breath. Whenever it speaks it gives the impression of coming from a long pilgrimage, even for the simplest of phrases. “Remilia. She’s a doctor, you know. Retired, but. . You came at a bad time - reignited a flame. She sees someone like you, a sick creature, and she just has to help it, or. .” Meiling abruptly pauses, puffing a smokey sigh. The topic has been dropped with no illusions. “— She wanted to be a hero. It didn’t work. But she can fix you.” “I swear as Meiling.”

The man hears the most optimistic prediction ever made about his life, again. His reaction is the same. “How.” It is a blank question without optimism or expectation.

Meiling gives a self-assured, weighty nod. “The only way that works. She takes you, tears you apart, removes the rot, then stitches you back together.”

“Oh.” Of course, purging everything wrong about him would work. “That sounds - good, but —” what would be left? The answer disappoints him. “It will not work.” Another ‘but’ creeps in. His cannot be as kind as Elly’s. He has done nothing to deserve a kind excuse.

The youkai shakes its bulbous, smoking head. “It works. It sounds impossible - it is.” Meiling pauses, thinking, smoking, and then coughing with something like a scoff. “Remilia shouldn’t exist. She doesn’t let it bother her.”

“No - I.. There is-” He stops. Explaining the curse has only ever made others’ life hell. The man is left to squirm uncomfortably.

“Schütz?” Elly squawks behind him.

“Elly,” he eeks out.

“What’s wrong?” she asks a simple question.

“It is .. nothing important.”

“Schütz is important.”

Oh. Schütz has learnt to endure many things. Care is not one of them. He goes quiet, defenseless.

“Your boy is doomed,” answers Meiling in his stead.

“#” with a sound like Hell’s gate being torn from its latches, Elly faces Meiling. Her expression is a picture of hatred, foolishly defied by an unbreakable grin. For a brief moment, Elly could be called truly hideous. “Shut up. I’m trying to hear Schütz.”

“He’s going to suffer if we don’t -”

“Quiet.” Elly hears something that is not Schütz, but does not react accordingly. The girl turns to her muse, the paralyzed Schütz. “I shouldn’t hurt Schütz’ friends,” she verbally recalls. “Then I will tell Meiling -” The leviathan swims beneath Meiling, and breaches so that the blade anchors just before the youkai’s head. She emits the fear of death like light for a simple desire: “-Shut up and and go away!”

Meiling, the conceited youkai gatekeeper who would currently function better as a door stopper, coughs.

Today has been hard on Schütz, especially if an extended period without restful sleep could be considered a day.

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

He tells Meiling:
[A: “Shut up.”]
[B: “—And go away.”]

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

Items:
Bow (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated ‘Kitsune’)
-x1 Iron-Headed Arrow (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand)
-x2 Iron-Headed Arrow (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated ‘Kitsune’)
- x8 Iron-Headed Arrow (Broken, Blood Coated ‘Kitsune’)
- x3 Iron-Headed Arrow (Blood Coated ‘Kitsune’)
Iron Knife (Heavily Anti-Youkai Seal Fitted, Hakurei Brand, Blood Coated ‘Kitsune’)
Seal Hairtie (Unknown Properties)
Sake Gourd (Half-Empty, Sake Filled ‘The Best Stuff’)

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

Curse: ~<o>~

Moon Phase: <o “last quarter”

Time: Morning

\o===================875===================o/

No writeins.
>> No. 31033
Oh shoot, I had forgotten the bad option had won.
Not sure where to go from here, but I guess our path is pretty much set. I'll just focus in damage control.

[A: “Shut up”]

The other option can be taken as murder, whereas this one can only be taken as mutilation. That's better, right?
>> No. 31034
[A: “Shut up.”]
I honestly have no idea whether that vote could kill someone.
>> No. 31035
[A] Shut up
CEASE THOU MOUTH MOVEM
>> No. 31036
*movements
fuck you auto-correct
>> No. 31037
Systems:
Writeins are allowed unless specified otherwise, but only if they are in character. I will personally veto writeins that do not meet this criteria. If you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, I recommend sticking to the given votes. So far the only writein that gained significant traction was one destined to nosedive the story.

In the case of votes with more than two options, you are free to note if your vote is a compromise. For example, if you voted A as it was the consensus, you may also note B as your preferred/compromised option. If enough others also note B as a preferred/primary option (enough to reach a tie or majority) then that will become your new primary vote. This is only functional with votes with more than two options.

Notes:
Drawing for this project have ceased. Drawing efforts have been funneled to a more fulfilling, private project. However, I will still sketch new characters as they appear.
>> No. 31038
>‘And this is what Elly did,’ or so reality would claim. His trust and belief in Elly, his wall, says otherwise.

With his apparent power, thoughts like this may lead in dangerous direction.

>the sight melts something inside him.

Hopefully his heart. Then again, taken too literally that may end poorly.

>Elly is in the wrong, but—she is mine.

...You know, in retrospect, the best path would have been a write-in accompanying that but. I feel like we missed an opportunity there. Heck, this is a big part of why I tried to discuss what each vote meant, as this is most certainly not what I expected to come from Schutz's but.

>It is a voice that would make anyone else in the world regret being born capable of hearing. To Schütz, it is becoming endearing.

Funny how that works, huh?

...Wait, wait, wait! I understand Meiling's design now, I think! She's a sack of gunpowder; a sack of explosives. She has an explosive temper! A lazy sack of anger issues! Everyone thinks she's going to explode at any moment!

All these things are my observations while reading the update. Take them or leave them. That said, I will have to cautiously vote against you guys.

[B: “—And go away.”]

Why, you may ask? Meiling is bleeding horribly. If she goes away, she can seek treatment for her injuries. If she can die of blood loss, and I feel that she indeed can, having her stay is the more dangerous option.
>> No. 31039
>>31038
You convinced me.

[B: “—And go away.”]
>> No. 31040
Vote to be called tomorrow night, likely. The fate of ties will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
>> No. 31041
A.

What's a sack of powder and wind worth.

Take what control you can while you have it.
>> No. 31060
“Shut up,” Schütz groans “Shut up, and. .” He considers his next words. “Just shut up. And stop annoying Elly. Please.”

Meiling puffs a dismissive wad of smoke, but says nothing. To that he responds, “Thank you.”

Elly is pleased until she remembers why she wanted the youkai quiet in the first place. ‘Criik.’ The shifts of her emotions are told with the subtle clickings and grindings of a serpentine mouth. “What’s wrong?” She turns and ask him a simple, unanswerable question.

The boy is splayed like the dead, quiet and rigid, on the ground. He watches smoke bleed from Meiling to become clouds. The clouds gleam with an oily, purple sheen that leaks from the unseen sun. Everything under the sun is wrong. Little wars are waged inside him over the details, but that is absolute. “Elly,” he starts, a minute late to him but not to Elly. — “Schütz?” She bends over absurdly to meet his eyes.

He cannot lie down for this. The protest of his body is unending to the point of being monotonous and therefore ignorable, which he does as he rights himself into an impression of a normal person’s sitting position. Elly perfectly aligns herself with his ascent. She watches so intently that he might trip over his own ass from the pressure. That is not his concern, however. The smile he forces to console her does not go as planned, and may pass better as an abstract art piece.

“I asked what’s wrong, and I will know what’s wrong,” she says. The serpent orbits hims, encircling and possessive as a python’s wrap. “And what is with Schütz is not nothing until I unmake it.”

Why would you. .? His immediate question is left unspoken for its stupidity. ‘Stop caring so much,’ he rebuts silently, but his actual response is a mumbled: “. . ah.”

“You cannot,” he continues.

“Why would you say that if it isn’t true?” The blade grinds. “I’m Elly.” That alone is her justification.

“Because is it so.”

“Then--” she begins.

“Elly.”

“-Schütz?”

“You - you want to make me happy. Truly?” he asks a dumb question.

The girl looks at him in quiet disbelief. “I’m Elly,” she repeats.

That must mean a lot to her. It does to him too. “Oh- then, sit down, Elly.”

After a whine of thought, she sits. The position is awkward under the cursed lens. Her post sinks directly into the ground, and the top of her body bobs above like in water. He tentatively pokes where her leg ought to be, as if her body were made of fragile glass. Tap, tap. He feels the soft resistance of her flesh beneath cloth. Nothing breaks - and it takes some effort to resist the urge to feel again. Elly watches on with curiosity stained by concern. He finds that, again, he holds her hand. Who did that? Does it matter?

“Elly. You were right. I am having trouble thinking,” he starts.

She grinds with frustration over the fact.

“I said I was dangerous. Do you remember?”

“Schütz is very dangerous,” Elly affirms.

Because I recognized her goodness? Elly’s reasoning is beyond him. “No - no, not because of that?” “— I” He breathes in, deep. “One day — Elly, one day, I will do something bad.” Meiling knows it. Remilia knows it. Ran knows it. Yuuka knows it. I know it.

“Schütz isn’t bad.” One would think it was a fact with the force in which she claims it.

He made her think that, he realizes. Following a gulp that cannot clear the distracting kernel of guilt in his throat, he continues, “You like me now, Elly. And - and you know I like you too. A lot. You are my best friend.” His other best friend died - this is something his melted brain decides pertinent to remember.

Elly’s permanent smile is pained with crinkles and occasional twitches of distress. Nonetheless, she loves to be acknowledged.

“That will not change. No matter what. So - I have something to ask. To make me happy.” He breathes, he gulps, he pauses; anything to delay. Nothing he does can stop time. The words are forced out like barbed wire from the throat. “Can you - can you —” His plan turns to ashes the second the first words struggle past his tongue. ‘Can you let me die? As a friend?’ It would be simple to ask. He thought in his half-dead state he might even be able to bear her tantrum that follows. He thought he might be able to convince her if he tried. It would have all been for her sake in the end. But, no, he does not plead that stupid, selfish request. He did promise to exist for her. Even in this physical and mental state bordering ghoul he cannot forget that.

“Schütz?”

“Apologies - ha.. Ha ha. I forgot something important.” His laughter is comparable to disturbed dust over a wasteland. “Let me think. Yeah.”

“#?”

A minute of mental sloughing follows as he excretes a new plan. Elly’s occasional, ear-piercing grinding acts as a tune to his thoughts.

“Ah.” The end of his thoughts are announced. “When it happens,” he starts, “When I ruin everything. If you can - only if — remember who you are, Elly. Please.” He stares down into the mud between his crossed, shivering legs. “I know - I know it sounds dumb. But it means a lot to me. So..” He checks; she is unreadable. “Please say yes.”

“Yes,” she replies without hesitation.

A few moments pass as he waits for the ‘but.’ But it is as simple as that.

“You. . You understand what I am asking?”

“I understand Schütz wants it. Then I will give Schütz what he wants.”

“That is - that is —” Good.

He realizes he has been attempting to squeeze all the blood from her hand. He relaxes his grip. “. . Good. Elly. You are too good for me.” Maybe she really will remember? How stupid he is. “That should be enough.” He smiles, slightly. It is a smile earned through sheer force of will. “You did it. I can think clearer now that I know you will remember.”

“Truly?” she prods. The serpent is persistent and intrusive.

“Truly.”

“Schütz.”

“Elly?”

“What’s the bad thing?”

He finds a convenient truth. “Evil.”

“A lie?” she asks.

“Maybe.”

“Then it may not be evil?”

“I do not know.” He cannot say for certain. Ran made sure of that.

“Does Schütz want to know?”

At some point, the once-protestors in his body perform a strike. He realizes this because he topples head-against-mud. His eyes are towards a pitch black sky. Elly overhangs, pulled along by his hand. “Ah,” he notes.

“Schütz? Schütz? Are you dying? I can bring you back,” Elly nannies above him.

He finds he has not let go of her hand, forcing her to hover over him awkwardly.

It takes far too long for him to find his voice. “No - again, Elly. Just tired.”

“Does Schütz want to be tired?”

It has never been optional, so it is not a preference he considers often. “. . No.”

“I will destroy it for you.” She frowns, concerned and determined. “Where is the weariness?”

“Everywhere. Always.” he notes truthuly.

His Elly smiles bright and merciless like the sun. “I can destroy everything, forever. Does Schütz want that?”

“No. Elly.” Terrible thoughts are had, and are better kept as thoughts. He underestimates his own selfishness. “There is - there is a better way.”

As he expected, she leans in closer in curiosity; her empty, soulless eye-sockets are wide with poorly managed excitement. “Y-yeah. There. It is warm, now. That helps.”

“This?” She marvels at herself pressed against him.

“Yeah.”

She lets the rest of her weight down on him carefully. “Is it dead yet?” she asks.

“. . No. It takes a while.”

‘. . . This was a terrible idea. Why do I do these things.’ These thoughts and many more like them offer token resistance. He remains still. Up close, he can admire the crude yet purposeful details of his friend’s cursed face.

“Did I kill it?” she asks.

“Not yet.”

“Schütz,” his scarecrow buzzes again.

“Elly?”

“My dress is foul.”

“Oh. .” “Apolo.. gies..”

“It leaks from dress into the water, and then the water is muddy. And apologies for what, Schütz?”

“The -” He then notes the state of her smile, demented and wide with glee. “Is - is that good for you?”

“Is it? I’m submerged in Schütz, and covered in Schütz, and rotting in Schütz. Is that good, Schütz?” she asks.

The forgotten Meiling coughs.

Quiet!” Elly barks, face twisting vicious for less than a blink. In less than a blink, every flower as far as the eye can see is decapitated. Mud slops to the ground. Meiling is untouched, a survivor in the muddy massacre.

Schütz blinks dully; once, then twice. “Ah.”

“Yuuka commanded me never to clean Schütz off. But if she asked me to, I wouldn’t. Is that good?” she continues.

All of her body weight and more is upon him. She smells like terror made physical - but he is accustomed to that from her voice. It excites him nonetheless, jolting a dagger of energy through his dead system. Only his head is functioning at this point. He hopes it turns off soon.

“Do you like it - this?” he asks the only question that matters.

“I believe I do,” she answers.

“Then it is good.”

Never doubt in Elly’s ability to smile wider. There is no physical limit.

“Schütz.”

“Elly?”

He can feel her moist, over-stimulated breath on his neck, which he twists away to the side in some pitiful attempt of resistance. To his dismay, but not surprise, he regrets nothing. “Can you spit on me, and bleed on me, and -”

“Elly.” He stops the equivalent of a falling meteor with one word.

“-Schütz?”

“Later. I am tired.”

“It’s not dead? I will kill it until it dies.” She presses down on him harder. The loamy earth squelches as the man is imprinted into it like the luckiest bug in existence.

It is dark, it is warm, and it is quiet. He is safe. Schütz falls asleep more peacefully than he has in many years.
>> No. 31061
Elly killing the weariness is adorable.

Also getting some Mirai Nikki vibes here.
>> No. 31062
>>31061
Glad you liked it.
>> No. 31063
Writing, writing.
>> No. 31066
Writing. Elly this, Elly that. Ever had glass shoved in your ear? I haven't, but we can imagine what it feels like together with Schütz.
>> No. 31067
...Is it just me, or is Elly laying on top of Schutz? I wonder what Meiling's opinion of Elly is now? She's kinda acting adorably, and I'm sure even stabbing wouldn't be enough to change that.

Maybe terrifyingly cute?
>> No. 31068
>>31067
>I wonder what Meiling's opinion of Elly is now?
The type of opinions one like Meiling would have after attempting to prevent omnicide-minus-one, but then being eviscerated.

I sage my vague writing updates and minor statements like 'glad you like it' since they are ineffective to most/all people, I imagine. I suggest not saging your thoughts as I'm interested in hearing them.
>> No. 31069
>>31068

I think I can do that in the future. ...Although, I assume that this statement of acceptance of that still counts as sage material, but I'll not just to be sure.
>> No. 31074
3.5k in.
>> No. 31086
moved houses and have to go to an interstate business meeeting thingamajigger.
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