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Gensokyo, a legendary land of magic sheltered from the outside world by the Great Hakurei Barrier. A great many powerful people call this place home, and every year it seems more and more of it's residents decide to start some mischief. These incidents are a fact of life for the people of Gensokyo, but for many they're something that they only experience in passing. In the days between events, life is a lot more peaceful, though not without it's own little exciting moments...

A small house stands at the corner of a busy intersection of the village, just up the street from the market.

“No, you're going alone today!” a girls voice rings out from inside, and a few minutes later, a man exits into the street, tying back his hair with a short length of cord, grumbling to himself. He sets off alone.


Late morning, the man arrives at a small lot behind a shop in the 'upper village', a section of the town where the rich and powerful families live. This particular store happens to be one of a few buildings that not only make use of the new power supply generated by the kappa of Youkai Mountain, but also contains enough electronics to not be a simple wasted luxury. It's not that difficult to imagine where the electronics within came from, but getting an official statement on the matter is another story. That said, it's the closest thing to a modern grocer in Gensokyo, and it gets a lot of business due to a combination of novelty and convenience. This is where this man, you, come in.


“Ah, there you are,” an older man says as he exits the building, the store owner. “Where's that girl that's always with you, Tsukiko was it?”

“She's still asleep,” you reply, trying to keep your annoyance at the situation concealed.

“Well, she is a youkai I guess, though on the bright side you'll be able to pocket more of the money yourself!” the store owner says, looking toward a cart full of crates. “Anyway, there's the stock. You know the job well enough by now, right?”

“Sure thing,” you reply, already feeling sore just from the sight of the crates. You walk to the back of the cart and pick up a crate, and begin the task of carrying them all inside. The owner wedges the door open for you, then heads back to the store front. You haul the crate to the storage room, and set it on the ground next to the wall, starting from the corner. From the looks of things, this cart came at a good time, the storeroom is nearly empty. You find yourself wondering if this cart is going to be enough to last. If this place's popularity picks up, it might not be able to keep it's shelves and fridges stocked, and that would cause some problems, especially for you. This is the only 'stable' job you get.

You return to the cart to pick up more crates. You continue the process of carrying the large boxes of assorted goods into the store for over an hour, and begin to push two before you start seeing the end of the workload. You've already started to feel fatigued though, and though you're not tired enough to stop working, you know by now that you'll be sore later. As you carry up another box, the store owner appears at the back door and stops you.

“You're still working on this?” he asks, looking at you over the top of the box. “Here, bring this box in and come up front and take a break. I'll give you one of those bottles of soda everyone loves.”

[] “Thanks, I'll take a rest then.”
[] “I'd rather just finish what I have left. I can rest afterwards.”


I think a few people should already know what I'm doing here. For those that don't... well, maybe that's for the better.

Anyway, I want to write, but I don't want to start up a thread for anything too permanent yet, so this is going to have to do.

Picture chosen at random.
[X] “Thanks, I'll take a rest then.” Rest never hurts on a hard day, and in some jobs you might have to wait alot longer for a break.
[x] “Thanks, I'll take a rest then.”

First 2 to win?
[x] “Thanks, I'll take a rest then.”

“Thanks,” you say, hefting the crate slightly. “I'll take a rest after this then.” The owner steps back to allow you past, and you carry the crate into the storeroom. Setting it on the end of a low stack, you return to the owner, and he lets you through into an area behind the counter.

“Have a seat there if you'd like,” he says, gesturing to a chair against the back wall as he leaves the counter to walk over to one of the large fridge units along the wall. After fetching out a bottle of ginger ale, he returns, handing it over to you. “Here you go.” You accept the bottle and twist the cap off. It's been forever since you actually had a soda, it was a rare 'outsider luxury' until this store opened. A half finished bottle occasionally turned up at Kourindou, and more often than not it was finished off before anyone else even knew about it.

“Thanks, old man,” you say, downing nearly half the bottle in one go.

“I've got to thank you again for your work so far,” the owner says, leaning on the counter. “I just wish you'd come on as a regular worker.”

“It's better if I stay a freelancer,” you respond, taking another drink. “It'd be a waste to going back to a life like I lived on the outside after all I've been through here.” The old man grins at that comment and stays silent. He looks to be thinking of something to say, but the silence doesn't last for long.

“Slacker!” an angry voice calls from the front of the store. You can't quite see over the counter from your position, but you can see the messy red hair and grey dog ears.

“Ah, so you're awake already Tsukiko?” you call out as the girl storms up to the counter. You can feel her eyes boring holes in your head already. You, however, can't help but notice she's wearing a long shirt for once.

“As if! I was thirsty so I came to buy myself a case of that soda,” she barks in response. You mockingly wave around your mostly finished bottle.

“The true joy of a cold drink is known only to the working class,” you say. She doesn't seem too amused, though the store owner seems so.

“You know, you can have the same enjoyment if you help with unloading the cart out back,” the old man speaks up. The girl's glare changes targets, and a few seconds later she slaps down a handful of change on the countertop.

“I want a cold case of cola,” she says, then walks around the counter, looking down her nose at you as she passes, and heads out back. You and the store owner exchange glances.

“I'll put a case in a cooler for her,” the owner says. “You go help her out.”

“Yeah, I sat long enough,” you say, finishing off the bottle and tossing it into a bin behind the counter and heading back outside. Tsukiko passes you carrying two crates as you leave the back of the store, not saying anything to you. You decide to leave her alone for now and simply finish up the job. With Tsukiko's help, fueled by her temper, what would have taken you another 40 minutes is done in just under twenty. You place the final box in the store room while Tsukiko stands by the door. She closes it behind you as you leave, and the two of you head up to the front.

“Your soda's in the unit there,” the manager says, pointing to the same unit he took your complimentary bottle from. Tsukiko continues straight to the cooler, opens the door, picks up the case and heads off without another word, leaving you to wrap up business. The owner has an envelope waiting for you, and hands it over as Tsukiko leaves.

“Thanks again for the job. If you need anything short term, you know who to ask,” you say, delivering your typical line as you pocket the envelope.

“You'll find a bit extra in there,” the old man says with a smile. “Cheer that girl up some with that.”

“Will do,” you reply with a smile in turn, heading around the counter. “See you later.”

You see Tsukiko a short way down the road already, and jog to catch up to her. She hears you coming part of the way, and stops to wait. She doesn't look any less upset than she did at the store.

“I'm still mad at you,” she says as you catch up. “Shooting me in the back like that. I'm all bruised thanks to you, I have to hide it or else people would stare.”

“I already apologized for that, not my fault you're going to carry a grudge over it,” you say, folding your arms. She glowers once more.

“Maybe next time we go out exterminating I should shoot you in the back and see how much you like it,” she complains, turning away and continuing back towards home. You follow wordlessly, knowing that arguing the matter wouldn't change anything and only make her worse. More importantly, you check the pay you got this time around, opening the envelope. To your surprise, there's more than just 'a bit extra'. Where normally you could just barely pay rent for a month with the pay, you could easily pay rent and have enough left over for two weeks groceries. This is good, but what to do with the extra...

[] Save it for a rainy day.
[] Go out for dinner.
[] Give the extra to Tsukiko.
[] Keep it for yourself.


I think I might be taking this too seriously for something 'temporary'.
[x] Give the extra to Tsukiko.
>I think I might be taking this too seriously for something 'temporary'.

Sorta like giving your sea monkeys individual names.

...Is this what I think it is?


[x] Give the extra to Tsukiko.
[X] Take Tsukiko out for dinner with the extra.

One hand giveth, the other taketh away.
[x] Take Tsukiko out for dinner with the extra.

Or at least get her a gift or something, don't just hand her the money, what the hell.
[x] Take Tsundere out for dinner with the extra.
ffff I write an update, and then post to find out that something else won with more votes.
[x] Take Tsukiko out for dinner with the extra.

You go over the money in your hand. There's definitely more than enough to cover a good night out for dinner, that would definitely lift her spirits.

“I got some extra money today from the manager,” you say, getting the girl's attention. She looks at you over her shoulder, and not with a sense of annoyance like she had for the entire day so far. “I was thinking we should go out for dinner tonight.” With those magic words, Tsukiko's eyes light up, and she gives you a cocky grin.

“You must really be sorry,” she says, turning her attention back to the street. “Well, I guess I can accept that apology, I've been mad at you long enough.”

“Anywhere you want to go in particular?” you ask. Might as well put it in her hands.

“We should go to Myschi's stall. She brings out the best stuff on a full moon night,” she replies.

That's right, tonight's going to be a full moon, a time when youkai start to act up. It's also the time that youkai exterminators do most of their work. You find yourself wondering if you're going to get a request for your services tonight as you reach your shared home. Tsukiko's already gone inside and is occupied with stowing away her drinks in the mini-fridge you keep, humming to herself. The spread of electrical power through the village had even reached here, which you're thankful for at least, if only because of the conveniences it brings. On top of it, the power is free, as the kappa apparently haven't heard of electrical bills.

It's about noon now, and Mystia doesn't open her stall until nightfall, so you have a few hours until then and nothing to do with the rest of your day.

[] Take a nap.
[] Just rest.
[] Go out and find somewhere to kill time.

[x] Take a nap.

Get refreshed for the neverending night!
[] Just rest.
fffff conflicting votes.

If I don't get a tiebreaker in an hour, I'm choosing the winner myself.
[x] Take a nap.
[x] Take a nap.
[x] Take a nap.

Nothing to do for now, and nothing happening until night time anyway. You might as well get a few hours sleep in case you have more work to do later on, after your dinner.

“I'm going to take a nap,” you say, kicking off your shoes at the door. “You're going to be up all night anyway, I might as well try to keep pace with you.” Tsukiko snorts in response.

“You do that long enough and you'll become a youkai yourself,” she calls after you as you pass through the living room area to the door to your room. You trust her to wake you up if you sleep too long, but you doubt that you'd really get more than 3 hours at best. You crawl into your bed and close your eyes. It takes a few minutes, but once the fatigue starts to really set in you fall asleep.


You slept longer than expected, opening your eyes to find the sun lower in the sky. There's maybe an hour and a half of daylight left. You exit your room, and realize that you're alone. Tsukiko's room is next to yours, but the door is open, so you know she's not in there. You don't see her in the front room or the kitchen either. You're not terribly concerned though, since you still feel fine. If she was in danger of any kind, you'd know through the shikigami contract you have.

You suppose you should find something to occupy your time until night fall.

[] Kick back and read something.
[] Go for a walk.
[] Practice some sword drills.
[x] Go for a walk.

Other options sound too boring.

>shikigami contract.

Is Tsukiko the shikigami or are we?

She is.
[x] Go for a walk.
[x] Go for a walk.

You should get outside for a bit. There's not a whole lot to do inside anyway besides read and work, and neither of those sound too appealing to you right now. Back to the front door, you slip on your shoes and slide the door open, exiting back into the street. The area is still fairly busy even though evening creeps on. While the amount of foot traffic the place gets can get kind of hectic, it's one of the better places you could hope to live with the 'profession' you have. You walk off without much of a goal, just looking to kill some time for now.

Though you set off without a goal, you soon find one for yourself by accident, recalling distant memories of the various areas you've walked in the past, the places and people you met when you first arrived in Gensokyo. Your eyes wander to the eastern mountains, where you first appeared in Gensokyo roughly a year and a half afo, in Reimu's home no less. The walk from there was especially harrowing. In fact, Tsukiko tried to attack you back then, but you were saved by quick thinking and some villagers that came to bring you the rest of the way safely. A lot of things have happened since, your attempts to return to the outside, traveling Gensokyo and learning how to survive, and even a few brushes with death and your past. Lastly, the shikigami pact you made with Tsukiko, after having butt heads with her for nearly a year. You still never learned to fly, even with the power boost increase from the contract.

You stop walking at the edge of the village, looking out over the road leading out into the forest. The sun is setting by now. Nightfall will be in a few minutes. You'll be coming back this way later, Mystia's stand is out along this road. If you went back to get Tsukiko, it'd be dark be the time you got there, the timing would be pretty good, you'd have first pick of everything. You turn on your heels and make your way back home.


“Where'd you go?” Tsukiko asks as you enter the house. She's sitting just inside the front door, seems she was waiting for you. “You didn't gamble away dinner, did you?” she asks, already getting herself angry over her imagination. You produce the envelope of money, unspent, and she calms down again.

“Relax, that was a one time thing,” you say, stepping back outside. “Besides, I was already piss drunk by the time I decided to risk money. We should go now though, it'll be dark by the time we get to Mystia's.”

Tsukiko hops up with a smile and heads through the door. You close it behind you and lock it, another luxury that's become common recently.

“You didn't answer my question, by the way,” the wolf girl starts.

“I went for a walk, found myself reminiscing about the time I've spent here,” you say. You receive a laugh in response.

“How human,” the girl replies. “I guess you're starting to become an old man already. Is grey hair next?”

“Probably,” you say with a grin. “Though since it's question and answer time, where did you go while I was asleep?”

“Family business,” is her response. “One of my brothers came by, told me that dad was short on hands at his restaurant and no one else was free to help.”

“Did you get paid?” you ask, jumping to the important part. Tsukiko gives a sigh of disappointment. That seemed like the typical response.

“Let's hurry up, I'm getting hungry,” Tsukiko says, running ahead a few steps before flying off into the air. The best you can manage is to keep up on foot. Even without having the power to fly, you can glide short distances between jumps using spiritual power at least.


The full moon is already in the sky by the time Mystia's stand comes into view, and you can practically hear the forest humming with activity. Tsukiko especially, being a wolf youkai, seems quite high spirited in the moonlight.

“Myschi~” Tsukiko calls out, landing near the stand several feet ahead of you. You can see the winged girl already working on opening her stand as she's greeted.

“Rare to see you out here, Tsuki,” Mystia says. “You here to play?”

“Nope, I'm here to eat!” Tsukiko declares happily, taking up one of the stools. Mystia leans back and sees you approaching, and nods.

“I see, taking your pet out to dinner,” she says with a smile.

“Actually, it's his treat,” Tsukiko responds, casting you a glance as you reach the stall.

“A man treating a girl to dinner, hmm...” Mystia hums, grinning suspiciously at you as you take a seat as well.

“I don't know what subtext you think you're reading, we're just here to eat,” you say.

“The best you have!” Tsukiko points out.

“Alright then~” Mystia practically sings, fishing out a couple of eels from a tub behind her and getting to work on cutting them up to serve, singing one of her strange songs while she's at it. After a few seconds of listening to her, you suddenly remember.

“Don't try any of your nightblindness tricks either,” you say, interrupting Mystia's song. She responds with a guilty smile.

“Why should I listen to you?” Mystia asks, skewering a piece pieces of eel in the meantime.

“If I can't find my wallet in the dark, you won't be getting paid,” you retort. Mystia smirks at your comment.

“Don't screw with his eyes, for my sake,” Tsukiko butts in. “It's not his fault he's just a human and has human weaknesses.” Mystia smiles at that, and then turns her head to you.

“I guess I can let you be for tonight,” she says, laying on her sarcasm thick. She returns to her singing again, though this time a lot quieter. A few skewers are completed, and she sets them on a plate, then onto the counter for the two of you to share. The first plate goes rather quickly between the two of you, but Mystia is quick to replace the plate of skewers with a second plate. As much as she loves to trouble you any time you meet her, you have to admit that Mystia is good at this job of hers, singing happily to herself while she expertly works. You get full by the halfway point of the third plate, but Tsukiko manages to work through the rest and half of a fourth before she's done as well. Mystia moves to take the plate away, but Tsukiko stops her.

“Hey, could we take the rest home with us?” Tsukiko asks. Mystia smiles.

“You want a doggie bag, Tsukiko?” Mystia muses, eliciting a frown from the wolf girl, followed by a nod. “Guess it can't be helped then.” Mystia takes the plate, and after a few seconds, produces a box that Tsukiko eagerly takes, and slides away from the stand to head back home. In the mean time, you pull out enough money to cover the bill. Handing over the cash, Mystia returns your change, and waves you off. “Hope you're the only one doing the eating in the forest tonight, human!” she calls after you as you head away from the stand. Tsukiko waits for you to catch up to her before continuing to walk.

“That was great, I'm so full,” Tsukiko practically whines. “I wish you would work more so we could go there every day.”

“Gensokyo would run out of eels if we did that,” you respond. Tsukiko groans in response.

“I'd hunt them to extinction if I could cook them like that,” she says.

“And then what? You'd need to find something else you love to eat besides eel,” you state. Tsukiko groans again.

“I'm too full to fly,” she whines.


It takes a little longer for the two of you to return than it did to get out, but the walk did some good, giving you time to digest on the way back, which may be for the better, as you see a man leaning against the wall beside your door, despite the fact there is still plenty of foot traffic around the intersection. Seems to be waiting for you to get back, could only mean one thing.

“Can I help you, man?” you ask, and the man looks over at you.

“You're the freelancer, right? You do youkai exterminations?” he asks, before he sees Tsukiko next to you. He suddenly looks embarrassed.

“Is it a big problem?” you ask, finding yourself kind of tired after all the eating and walking. The man raises up one of his arms. Even despite being covered in bandages the sight is unsettling from all the unusual lumps and odd patches of colours.

“Some youkai bug started acting up around my farm. I tried to fight him off, but I got bit up by all kind of things. Nothing poisonous, but...” the man trails off. Sounds like a headache, for sure. Tsukiko could probably handle it alone, actually.

[] “Let's go then, we'll handle it.”
[] “Tsukiko, you can handle this alone, right?”
[] “Not interested tonight, sorry.”


Somehow it got this long.
[] “Let's go then, we'll handle it.”
[] “Let's go then, we'll handle it.”
[] Inventory check
[x] “Tsukiko, you can handle this alone, right?”
[] “Let's go then, we'll handle it.”

Help her out, since she might be slowed down by all the food she ate. That and extra money never hurts.

But I think Wriggle's the bug youkai in question.
[x] Inventory check

Envelope of money
'Yorozuya' haori
Plain yukata


3x Sword Skill "Flashing Sword's Edge"
5x Shikigami "Tsukiko Mitsumine"
2x Combination "Hunter Under Moonlight"

>>3x Sword Skill "Flashing Sword's Edge"

[ ] Acquire a sword.
[x] “Let's go then, we'll handle it.”

Well, a job is a job. You might feel tired now, but once you get into a battle you'll wake right up. You're going to need a weapon first though.

“I'll do it, gimme a second,” you tell the man, taking up the box from Tsukiko and heading inside. You place the box down on a table near the door and walk further into the living room, snatching up the old katana you used ever since you 'bought' it from Rinnosuke. You've long forgotten whatever history it had, but you know it works on youkai, so that's fine enough for you. You step back outside and relock your door. “Okay, let's go.”


You're lead through the village and out into the grasslands. The farm is thankfully a lot closer than you expected, saving another long trip for the night. You can see a figure floating over the fields, their back to you it seems. The farmer stops at the edge of his land, just outside a fence. You can see the air is rather thick with all sorts of flying insects, but even with a full moon you can't tell all of what's flying around. Flies, for sure, but you're definitely assuming there's wasps and hornets in there. You really wish you could fly right now.

“There he is,” the farmer says, pointing at the floating figure. “Think you can get him?”

“We'll see,” you say, hopping over the fence. Tsukiko just flies over, smirking down at you.

“You're not scared of bugs are you?” she asks tauntingly.

“How about you make yourself handy and carry me,” you say, getting laughter as a response. “Then the least you could do is go out there, grab that guy and bring him back here so I can hit him a few times too.”

“How about I just clear you a way there?” she asks instead, cracking her knuckles.

“That works,” you state, and you begin to draw your sword as Tsukiko generates a large orb of light in her hands. With a heave, she thrusts the ball towards the ground, where it kicks up a cloud of dirt and bugs, and you take a leap after it. The danmaku burst pushes through plant and insect alike, but leaves a very small wake of living and agitated bugs behind it, which you just barely manage to stay ahead of. You jump once to check how much farther you've got to your target, and notice they've already seen you coming. No time to waste then. You draw your blade back and swing it into the large orb, causing it to burst into a scatter of smaller orbs and close in on the flying youkai, using the surprise to reach out and grab... something, feels like some kind of silk cloth, and pull. You land one your feet with a very nasty sounding crunch as you drag the youkai out of the sky and toss them to the ground. You're prepared to start stomping like mad, but you notice that aside from the crushed remains of insects beneath your feet, there are no other bugs nearby. They've apparently formed a clearing, a patch of light ground surrounded by a seething sea of black. God damn, that's creepy.

“Who the hell are you!?” the youkai shouts, getting to his feet. Looks kind of young, short green hair, kind of high pitched voice... practically a kid among youkai.

“Pest Control,” you say, bringing your sword to bare. “Now let's get this out of the way so I don't have to worry about being eaten by bugs.” You get a better look at him now. White, puffy shirt, wearing pants, looks more like fancy western clothes. Is he wearing a cape too?

“What's the matter? Scared of bugs?” the boy says, crossing his arms. You can almost hear the chittering of the horde of creepy crawlies surrounding you. You notice Tsukiko float up in your peripheral vision. Well, at least your back up has arrived. The clearing of bugs seems to be closing in around you. You're going to have to act.

[] Attack now, overpower him and get this over with.
[] Tell Tsukiko to clear out the insects while you fight.
[] Get out of there, you can attack with danmaku.

[x] Tell Tsukiko to clear out the insects while you fight.
[] Get out of there, you can attack with danmaku.
[x] Tell Tsukiko to clear out the insects while you fight.

Let's do this SWR style.
[x] Attack now, overpower him and get this over with.
[x] Tell Tsukiko to clear out the insects while you fight.
[x] Attack now, overpower him and get this over with.
[x] Tell Tsukiko to clear out the insects while you fight.

“Clear out these critters for me, will you?” you address Tsukiko. A blast of light hits the ground, scattering the insects. At the least they seem to run from danmaku, which is a plus. You close in to attack, swinging you sword at the youkai. He reacts with surprise and leaps back, as if he wasn't expecting you to attack. You still manage to score a hit across his chest, cutting his shirt open in the process. Suddenly, he lets out a shriek, and pulls his cape around himself.

“Wh-what are you doing!?” he shouts bewildered, turning red in the face. Another blast of light hits the ground nearby, sending the bugs further back.

“What, guys shouldn't have a problem if their chest is exposed,” you say, inching forward. The youkai flies up into the air, and despite your efforts to catch him, he escapes into the air.

“Guy? You-” the youkai looks really frustrated now. “Why does everyone think I'm a boy!?”

“... What?” is all you can manage to say.

“You stupid humans, are all youkai the same to you? Can't even tell when you're fighting a girl?” the youkai shouts at you. A girl? The bugs don't seem to be moving any closer for the moment, so you spare a second to look back at Tsukiko. She shrugs at you.

“Don't look at me, it's hard for me to tell too,” she says, sighing. “Maybe if I were a bug, but insects are way below wolves.”

“You two are horrible!” the... well, girl, shouts. “First I get attacked for just wanting my precious bugs to have some good food, and then you mock me like this?” She floats farther away, still wrapped tightly in her cape. “I'll get you back for this!” she shouts, and you notice the insects that had surrounded you are starting to follow her away. Once the bugs are gone do you finally recall; Wriggle Nightbug, youkai firefly. It's been so long since you've thought about the games, all the information that you had was stuck away far in the back of your mind. It wasn't a game to you anymore, after all, not for the last year.

“Well, shit,” you mutter, flicking your sword to clear off the slight amount of blood on it from the blow you landed. You produce a cloth from your pocket and wipe down the rest, resheathing the blade. You look down at the ground, many of the plants have been chewed to hell by the army of bugs, and a few still linger here and there. There's also a lot more dead insects than you could consider being responsible for.

“So that was it?” Tsukiko says, sounding rather disppointed. You turn back the way you came, seeing the gouge in the ground from the path you took. You're somewhat consoled by the fact that what crops were here had been long destroyed by the bugs, so you shouldn't get too much flak over that. You head back along the path, to where the farmer is still waiting.

“You let him get away?” he asks with a displeased tone. “That monster ruined my fields, I wanted you to cut him down!”

“Well, things don't always happen the way you want them to,” you remark, hopping the fence. “At the least I got her off your land, so job complete, I'd say.” The guy looks a little confused by your statement, but you're not about to explain it. He just furrows his brow and begrudgingly fishes out a couple wrinkled bills and a few coins. Hardly much, but you could buy lunch with it.

“With all the damage, I can't afford to pay you any more,” the farmer says, climbing over his fence. “I'm going to need to spend a lot to get through the winter.”

“Sorry about your farm,” you say, pocketing the money. From there, you and Tsukiko head back home. The walk is silent.

You're genuinely tired by the time you get home, even though Tsukiko looks lively as ever. You slide the door open, stepping inside.

“I take it you're not done for the night yet?” you ask, looking back at the girl. She shakes her head.

“Full moons are restless times for youkai, I couldn't sleep now even if I wanted to,” she says before floating into the air a few inches. “I'm going to go enjoy the night.”

“Alright then,” you reply. “Have fun.” At that, you step inside fully and slide the door shut. You carefully take your shoes off, vowing to wash them in the morning, and make your way to your room once more. You fall asleep faster the second time.


Morning comes, you slide open the door to your room. First thing you see is Tsukiko sprawled over a chair asleep. You just leave her where she is as you walk to the front door, pulling it open. Seems the paper came today, the thin issue of the Bunbunmaru sitting in a box next to the door. Despite the mostly worthless articles, it's still a decent resource for finding various jobs people want done. With paper in hand, you take the box of leftover eel and take up the unoccupied chair in the corner.

[] Search for any help wanted ads.
[] Just read to pass time for now.
[x] Just read to pass time for now.

We can always glance at the help wanted afterwards.
[x] "Wake up" Tsukiko.
[x] Read the whole thing, no need to differentiate any of the information you'll be getting.
[x] Search for any help wanted ads.


Not sure how to count this.
Like this:

[] Search for any help wanted ads.
[] Just read to pass time for now.
[] Uninentionally ...think... about Tsukiko.

Then that would mean there are two votes for both options.

Cool deadlock, bro.
[x] Just read to pass time for now.
[x] Just read to pass time for now.

You just woke up, and from how much you slept for the nap you took last night, you're up earlier than normal. Not even this typically busy area gets much traffic at this time of day. Even if you found a job right now, you'd still have to wait for whoever posted it to wake up before you went calling, so you just read the paper for the sake of reading.

Articles are still being printed about the latest incidents, sightings of a large flying ship, and lesser articles about a 'giant robot' seen walking in the mountains. The news is still fairly recent, but there must not be too much else exciting going on if they're still being covered. You do notice an article about an upcoming festival of some sort, no doubt that'll be a decent way to get some income, as much preparation as a festival needs, there's bound to be someone that needs a hand. You eventually get around to the few advertisements printed. The long running ad for maid positions at the Scarlet Devil mansion is still there, center page, as always. There's quite a few posts for usual requests as well; mushroom picking? Assistant researcher? Welcoming guide? You personally get a good laugh from an advertisement for a dog grooming service looking for an assistant, looking up at Tsukiko sleeping in the chair. Does it still count if it's a youkai? Maybe you should make an appointment. A few of those postings you wouldn't mind checking out later, it would be a good change to chase your own choices rather than being handed a task. Reading the paper only took the better part of an hour, though. You still have time to kill before everyone starts waking up. You've got a few ideas...

[] Go back to bed.
[] Go fishing.
[] Go to an all day diner for breakfast.
[x] Go fishing. Think upon things and see if you can catch a nice fish for lunch. Also ponder on how you first arrived here yet settled in a rather mundane life.
[x] Go fishing.

Sure, sure. Put some food on the table.
[X] Go fishing.
[X] Go fishing.
Early morning's the perfect time.
[x] Fish going.
[X] Go fishing.
[x] Go phishing.

Let's steal Yukari's credit card number!
[x] Go fishing.

Fishing sounds like a good idea, especially now when it's still early. Folding the paper up, you drop it on the chair behind you and head over to the small closet next to the kitchen and dig out your fishing rod. Not much more than a simple swatch of bamboo, really, but it works well enough for the fish, so you can't really complain. Don't have any bait handy either, but there's a youkai that runs a bait shop by the river, so you're not concerned. You also pick up a bucket, you intend to use it to carry any fish you catch that you'd want to keep. You set out with your tools, leaving the door unlocked.

The walk doesn't take long, given that you live fairly close to the river. You pick yourself up some bait, fill your bucket with water, and after choosing a good looking spot in the shade of a tree you cast your line. There are a few other people out fishing already, only a handful though, and all spaced rather far apart. You lean back, enjoying the peace. Surrounded by the bustle of the market and business districts of the town all day doesn't really give you much time to relax, more often than not you find yourself swept up in work or something else within an hour of waking up, and you only come home to sleep. A taxing lifestyle for a human to live, youkai seem to have it easier when it comes to working like that.

Your mind starts to wander, watching the reflection of the sky in the waters surface. To think that before you came here you were just a somewhat ordinary guy, working a boring job in retail, who spent his time off watching anime and playing shooters. Touhou, you had forgotten the word after so long, but the fight last night brought it back to you. You remember after arriving, having woken up at the Hakurei shrine, the surreality of it all and the excitement at the idea of being in a magical fantasy land populated with cute girls, the idea of being able to meet whoever you wanted and have crazy danmaku duels. It turned out to be so much different than the fantasy, it was hard. It took you nearly a month to properly focus what spiritual energy you had to be able to fire a single shot that traveled more than a foot before dissipating, and several more before you had the strength to put it into a spellcard. Even after a year and a half, you still can't fly, and even the smallest shots are painful when hit. The high point of your strength came after you managed to convince Tsukiko into becoming your shikigami, after a battle she started for revenge you just barely managed to win. You spent a week in the town hospital after that, and a few more were spent relaxing at home while your ribs healed.

Life here was normal, well, normal-ish. All the crazy girls that live here turned out to be fairly normal people. Even Marisa, who you initially went to for danmaku training, spent most of her days picking mushrooms, tending her vegetable gardens, or reading and writing magical books. Her trips to the Scarlet Devil mansion were rather infrequent at best, and she never stole a large amount of books at once, just a select few she needed at the time. Ran and Chen as well weren't that unusual. Chen was a prankster that came by the village occasionally to swipe food and play with strays, and Ran occasionally came in search of her, but more often than not she was only in town to shop for groceries and exchange a few pleasant words with the housewives in line. Life here was normal but peaceful, and to be honest you preferred it like this. You didn't have to worry too much about education, or transit, or bills. All you needed was the ability to work to pay rent if you lived in the village, and so long as you had the will to work, there was work to be done, and that's how you've lived for the past year or so, a freelancer ready to take any jobs needed. You got the occasional youkai extermination job, but pretty much everyone in the village handles their own problems.

A tug on the line snaps you back to the moment, and with a sharp jerk you pull the fish from the water. Fairly decent sized fish, a carp you think. You never really were that good with fish, but it would at least make a fairly decent meal. You bring the fish in, and after removing the hook, put it in the bucket. With more bait, you cast your line again. Your mind wanders once more, but stays more in your current situation. You spend time thinking over the various help wanted ads you saw and trying to decide which one you wanted to take. Some time passes while you're lost in thought before another tug on your line brings you back. One more jerk on the rod, and you pull yourself out another fish, a little smaller than before. You don't even know what kind of fish this is, looking it over. Well, it's probably not a carp. Your bucket isn't big enough for three fish this size, so you decide to make due with only a pair of them. Cook them up with some rice for lunch or so. Maybe if Tsukiko's feeling productive you could borrow her culinary talents for sushi, if the fish is good enough. You bring the left over bait back to the seller and head off back home with your catch.

It's been a while, about an hour and a half, maybe. People are definitely awake now, and the intersection outside your house is already getting plenty of traffic from various owners heading in to open shops. You decide it's time to go over the help wanted section one last time to choose what you want to do for today. Opening your door, you find Tsukiko awake, reading the paper herself and finishing off the leftovers.

“Went fishing, I see,” she says, glancing over at you. “Catch anything good?”

“Probably,” you reply, entering the house. You set down the rod next to the door and carry the bucket into the kitchen. Tsukiko just stays in the chair, reading the paper.

“You see these work ads yet?” she asks. You walk over to the chair, leaning over the back.

“Yeah, I was thinking of taking one of them,” you say, reading them over again.

[] Mushroom picking
[] Assistant researcher
[] Salesperson
[] Deliveryman
[] Road surveyor
[x] Assistant researcher
[x] Mushroom picking
[x] Assistant researcher
[X] Mushroom picking

Long time no see Marisa (Who else would put in such an ad) But I hope she's paying money instead of stolen goods.
>>But I hope she's paying money instead of stolen goods.

There's a difference, to her?
One is commonly used as currency, the other is... not that commonly used as currency.
[x] Assistant researcher
Calling it for Assistant researcher to prevent a deadlock.

Writing in a bit.
[x] Assistant researcher

“Assistant researcher sounds pretty interesting,” you say, your eyes falling onto the ad again. You don't know who could have posted something like that, but looking at the contact details directs you to the Youkai Mountain. That place is kind of far away, especially for someone that can't fly. It's not really specified what you'd be researching exactly either, but since it's at the mountain, the only thing that comes to mind is the kappa. The only details for the location is a cave behind the waterfall, no name for who you should be looking for. Well, that cave should be pretty easy to find at least. You can follow the river up from the lake.

“Sounds boring, I think I'll do something else,” Tsukiko says, slouching a bit in the chair. “Maybe I'll wait at home to see if anyone comes by with another job or something, I don't know.” You step back from the chair.

“It does sound boring, but I think it'd be a good change. I've been active lately, so I don't really want to exhaust myself by constantly doing physical work. Besides, if it's a kappa that placed the job, I might be able to set myself up a good deal to learn some engineering skills,” you say, walking back to the front door. The only bad part is the time it'll take you to get there.


Okay, you were wrong. The second worst thing was the time it took you to get there. The worst thing about the job was finding out that the cave that had been mentioned was about a hundred feet up from the basin, and the only way for you to get to it without being able to fly was to take a running leap from a foot path nearby and clumsily glide yourself into the rocks about 60 feet up, being stuck climbing the rest of the way on the slippery, wet rock face with only a few inches of clearance between you and the roaring waterfall behind you.

“God damn it, I better get paid well for this,” you grumble to yourself, inching up a step on the rocks and finally laying your hand on the edge of the entrance, and-


“Ah! Ow ow!” you shout as something hard comes down on your hand, only to move away a few seconds later.

“Wah! Human!” a voice shouts from above, a female voice. You look up to see a girl looking down over the rocks at you, partially out of view. You can just make out light blue hair and some kind of hat, though from how you're hanging you don't have the best view.

“Can you help me up!?” you shout, getting annoyed that the girl is just watching you. After a few seconds of her panicking, she kneels down and grabs your arm, pulling with what little might she can to drag you into the cave. It works better for you to use her as a weight to pull yourself up, and finally get your other hand on the cave entrance, pulling yourself up as the girl retreats a few feet into the cave. “Damn, thanks, but you could have watched where you were going.”

“Uh, sorry,” the girl mumbles, looking down. Now that you're gotten yourself into the cave and have a better look at the girl, you realize you recognize her. That blue dress, the backpack, has to be Nitori.

“Were you the one that posted the research assistant ad in the paper?” you ask, jumping right to the issue. Nitori looks a little uneasy.

“Y-yes,” she replies after a few seconds of silence, inching away. “But I didn't think a h-human would answer it, so I don't know...” she trails off.

“If you're worried I won't understand what you're doing, I'm from the outside originally,” you state, hoping that's what she's worried about. If not, at least it should make you sound a little better for the job. Whichever the case was, she seems suddenly eager.

“Oh, really? Then you should be much better for this!” she cheers. “I've been reading a lot of news about something the shrine maiden of the mountain saw, saying it was some kind of giant robot. I wanted to see it myself, but, well,” Nitori pauses, taking off her backpack and opening it to begin rummaging. “I thought it would be better if I made my own giant robot, so I managed to dig up some books on robots from the outside,” she produces a few books from her backpack, and you have to summon all of your might not to start laughing. Nitori is apparently insistent on using run down volumes of various Gundam related manga as the basis of her research.

“I see,” you say, playing your best straight face ever in light of this situation. “Very... good choice of materials.”

“Really?” Nitori asks excitedly.

“Yes, there are plenty of people that learn all about giant robots in the outside world from books like that,” you continue. Nitori looks absolutely ready to explode, and you're in the same situation for a much different reason.

“Say, you think you could see if Kourindou has any more of these?” she asks, dropping the manga back into the bag and fishing out a wad of money from one of her pockets. “As many as I can get would be fantastic.” You take the money, but in remembering the way out, you look back at Nitori.

“Uh, this waterfall?” you say, rather flatly.

“Oh, I'll have a ladder ready for you when you get back. Ah! Also,” Nitori kneels to her backpack once more and eventually produces a sheet of some kind of plastic. “That'll keep you from getting the books wet on the way back up.”

“Thanks then,” you say, turning back to the waterfall. “Now if you'll excuse me,” you pocket the money and wrap the sheet around yourself. With a jump you crash through the water and into the open air and guide your fall to land yourself at the river bank. You land fairly hard, but at least you're not injured. You start off on your journey to Kourindou, folding up the plastic as you go.


The trip takes a good hour or so, shortened by the fact you started half-gliding your way to the store once you got the poncho thing under control. There's no one in the front, so you wander up to the counter and give it a few hard knocks. Rinnosuke appears from the back rather quickly after that, and his expression sinks when he sees you.

“Oh, it's you,” he says, obviously so happy to see you.

“Yeah, I'm back to rob you again,” you say, pulling out the money from your pocket. “I'm giving you this worthless paper in exchange this time too.” Rinnosuke smirks a bit, but still doesn't look to pleased.

“So what are you here for?” he asks.

“Let me see your books,” you say. “Anything to do with robots.” Rinnosuke leaves the counter, disappearing amidst the clutter. A few minutes later he returns with an armful of books. Some of them have nothing to do with what you asked, but most of them are assorted volumes of different robot themed manga. There are a few legitimate texts on engineering and robotics, though. “How much for the lot of them?” you ask.

“More than you have,” Rinnosuke responds. You grimace a bit. You're almost sure he'd overcharge you just because he's pissed with you, but you can't exactly prove that either, since they're not exactly labeled with a price. Well whatever, you have your selection.

[] Get the manga. It's what she asked for, after all.
[] Get the texts. Funny as it is, you want to help.


So it was a tad more than a bit after all.
[x] Boot to the face.
[x] Get the hell out of there, books in tow.
[x] Get the texts. Funny as it is, you want to help.
[x] Get the texts. Funny as it is, you want to help.
[X] Get the texts. Funny as it is, you want to help.
[X] try to remember why Rinnosuke is mad at you.
>“I've been reading a lot of news about something the shrine maiden of the mountain saw, saying it was some kind of giant robot. I wanted to see it myself, but, well,” Nitori pauses, taking off her backpack and opening it to begin rummaging. “I thought it would be better if I made my own giant robot

But... the giant shadow Sanae saw in UNL was the Hisou Tensoku, a giant robot action figure that Nitori did build.

File 125185717319.jpg - (884.32KB, 768x1024 , Hisou Tensoku.jpg) [iqdb]

>The enormous monster seen in the title of the game is named Hisou Tensoku. This Nitori made fighting action figure is the cause of the incidents in Sanae and Cirno's routes.

Also worth noting: Suwako helped design it.

At least it was something Kappa created if not Nitori involved; it's just that Suwako didn't tell sanae the details, and the rest of Gensokyo didn't find out until Aya's paper came out afterwards.

Where did that information even come from? Paper?
The latest edition of the Bunbunmaru News, most likely.

No reason to disbelieve at this time. Still, I would recommend exercising Author Powers to nullify the contradiction.

I was going to anyway, but damn.

You can check the translation of Sanae's scenario to see Suwako's involvement - she knows exactly what the Hisou Tensoku is, and her refusal to tell Sanae is what goads the shrine maiden into challenging her to the final match of the story.

The endings for Sanae and Cirno feature several of the different characters reading the Bunbunmaru, which is how we know what the Hisou Tensoku was built for. The kappa intended it as an advertising tool; I can't remember exactly, and I can't translate it myself, but I think they were going to have some sort of convention or bazaar or something, and wanted something to attract people. IIRC, Cirno's ending even features an image of Reimu reading the paper, complete with an image of the Hisou Tensoku in the background, and a little speech bubble with Nitori in it.


You see, shortly after UNL's release, I was going to have Milly translate the endings if I provided the screens, but my computer decided it'd rather not display text in UNL, so I abandoned that idea. Had the game not fucked itself, I'd have known this.

Anyway, bumping to ask: Continue this now that the site is restored?
Of course. Continue this. You should already know that this is my answer.

You should also know that this is my answer: UPDATE BC.
Of course. Continue this. You should already know that this is my answer.

You should also know that this is my answer: UPDATE BC.
[x] Damn straight you will.
Lol, chmod error and it ended up posting it twice
Then I'll have this moved to others, I suppose.
[x] Get the texts. Funny as it is, you want to help.

While the idea of buying more manga for Nitori for her 'research' is entertaining, you think it would be much better in the long run to actually bring her some authentic texts to help her out. While you're not exactly sure the extent of the engineering that the kappa can manage, if they can make a nuclear reactor in Gensokyo, then maybe a giant robot wouldn't be too hard. Maybe. You have no idea really, but anyway...

“I'll take these then,” you say, taking up the various texts and dropping the money in a pile on the counter. Rinnosuke takes it and pockets it immediately, making no motion to give you any change. Not that you'd expect to get any.

“Thanks for the business,” Rinnosuke says, stepping away from the counter and heading back into the rear of the building. You wouldn't have gotten much change back at all in the first place, really, so might as well let him nickel and dime you, at least it should be simple to brush off in explanation later. Perhaps one of these days you could come in and actually pay off what you have left owing on the sword you stole from him, maybe that would get him over whatever he has against you, though you wouldn't really argue if it didn't. You bundle up the books in the poncho and head back out, a long trip back ahead of you.


Reaching the waterfall at Youkai Mountain once more, you're relieved to find that there's a rope ladder dangling from the cave entrance. Your ascent is much easier this time around, though there's not a whole lot you can do about the water everywhere. You reach the cave mouth and only the books are still dry. Nitori is surprisingly still waiting for you, sitting at the end of the tunnel. You'd have expected that she would go back home once you left and you'd have to find her there. Of course, she's 'researching' in the meantime. She notices you as you approach.

“Oh, did you find more?” she asks, standing up as you approach. You unwrap the small stack of books you picked up and Nitori blinks in confusion for a few seconds.

“I got these instead,” you say, picking up one of the books. “What you've got is better for inspiration, but you're probably not going to get much good information for building robots out of those. These would be a lot better to teach yourself with, filled with the knowledge of the outside world.” Nitori looks back at the stack of books, then back at you and smiles.

“So, how much do you know about engineering?” she asks. The million dollar question.

“I can make a house of cards,” you state proudly. Nitori laughs, taking the bundle of books from you afterwards.

“Then I suppose you wouldn't understand these books,” she says, mostly to herself. “Though I'd say with these you've fulfilled your role as an assistant, assisting me in getting these books.” Once more she dips into a pocket and pulls out a few more bills. About the half of what she sent you to Kourindou with. She presents it to you.

“It was more like an errand boy, but call it whatever you want,” you say, taking the money and heading back towards the exit.

“If you ever want to get into engineering, you could always come back and learn,” Nitori calls after you as you leave. That offer sounds good, you'll have to make good on it sometime. Right now though, you simply wave back to her and continue back to the mouth of the cave, jumping through the waterfall and gliding your way down to the ground. You're totally soaked now, though you'll probably dry out mostly before you get home. Speaking of home, you've got a nice trip waiting for you.


You get back home close to evening, finding the front door standing open and Tsukiko still lazing around inside. She's facing the door from the same chair she was sitting in when you left.

“So did you fall asleep?” she asks as soon as you appear in the door.

“I wish it was that laid back,” you say, kicking your shoes off in the door. “Instead I just ended up running around picking up books for a girl.” Tsukiko has a strange grin all of a sudden.

“A girl you say, so when are you going for your second date?” she asks, sneering at you.

“Ah, I was thinking of just bringing her here next time,” you reply, walking into the kitchen to take one of Tsukiko's colas from the fridge. “Spend some time doing indecent things in my room.”

“Oh, good idea!” Tsukiko chirps, sitting up. “I could stick a frame over your window and charge admission for viewing. It was a kappa, right? I could probably charge a good bit too, call it a fetish show.” Damn, she got you there. You can't help but crack a smile and sigh. You can't come up with a retort for that and she knows it.

“I should probably change my clothes,” you say, looking down at yourself. While you did dry on the way back, you're still a bit damp and it's really starting to get aggravating. “Had my fill of water for the day. Maybe after a bath I'll say that again.” You pop the tab on the can and take a drink, walking towards your room. You've spent most of the day running around for a job already, though you wish you'd have gotten more money. There's still a few more hours of daylight left, you could probably see if there's another job option available, though just resting for the day wouldn't be bad either.

[] Just relax for tonight.
[] Look for another job.


Took me longer to get around to writing than I thought it would. I hate trying to reverse my sleep schedule in a few days.
[] Just relax for tonight.
[x] Just relax for tonight.

Take it easy
[x] Just relax for tonight.

best to do other jobs when you're at 100%
[] Just relax for tonight.
[x] Look for another job.

I am bucking the trend!
[x] Just relax for tonight.

On second thought, just taking it easy sounds like a better idea. You step into your room and close the door, rummaging through a box underneath your bed for some more clothes and get changed. You remove the cards and money you had in the pocket of the garment you removed, transferring them to your new one before hanging up the clothes on a line in front of your window to finish drying. You leave your room to find Tsukiko already in the kitchen, having started preparing the fish.

“So you're going to make sushi after all,” you say, watching Tsukiko work and idly sipping on your cola.

“Might as well practice my technique, no use letting my skills rust,” she says. That was one bonus to having her around, her family owns and operates a restaurant in the village, and Tsukiko's naturally picked up her familial talent for cooking. While he technically owns the family restaurant, Tsukiko's father Keiji tends to spend most of his time running his own personal stand, serving his own dishes. Where the restaurant serves more traditional meals, Keiji uses his stall as an outlet for his culinary experiments, a variety of sweet and spicy dishes and even takes on 'western' dishes. Tsukiko is a lot like her dad in that respect, following her own style. You leave Tsukiko to her work and sit yourself down in a chair to relax. It's been so long since you've come to Gensokyo, but no matter how long it's been, you never stop missing the novelty of television.

With time, Tsukiko finishes up her cooking, leaving the kitchen with a small platter of sushi, rice, and fried fish.

“It's done,” she says, setting the food down on the small table near the kitchen. You set aside a book you had been reading and head over to the table, taking up your seat across from Tsukiko as she begins taking her food from the tray. You take yours and start with the sushi. A thought occurs to you that brings along a chuckle. Tsukiko eyes you questioningly.

“I was thinking about the past earlier today,” you say, swallowing the mouthful of fish and rice. “Here we are sitting together, eating food you've made when we started out as enemies.” Tsukiko smirks at the comment, taking a mouthful of rice.

“Perhaps that was a good thing though,” she says after swallowing. “You were the first human I ever attacked in my path to becoming a great youkai, and you ended showed me just how foolish and weak I had been.” She pauses for a while to eat a bit more, rubbing her right shoulder. “That first cut you gave me was a real wake up call, I got you back pretty well after that though,” she says with a proud grin. You recall both incidents rather well. You had just left Kourindou in a rush after stealing back the PSP you had used to barter for the sword you took while Rinnosuke was busy eating in the back, and ran headlong into Tsukiko in the process. You only managed to cut her shoulder in self defense after being punched around, and you thought that was all it would take to drive her off once she fled afterwards. The few spats the two of you had whenever you crossed paths never amounted to much until the last big fight between the two of you, in which she broke several of your ribs and fractured your left forearm.

“I suppose you did, though in the end I think we both won there,” you say. “You agreed to the shikigami contract after that.” The two of you eat in silence for a little bit more.

“Maybe I gave in a little too easily,” Tsukiko muses, smirking. “I wonder if you'd have gotten even stronger after a fight like that, but whatever, you were pretty impressive. I remember thinking 'this guy's tough for a human',” she continues, smiling now. “I guess that's when I started to respect you.”

“How touching, you beat the shit out of me then decide to be my friend,” you retort. Tsukiko scoffs.

“Well, I had intended to finish you off and eat you if you turned out to be weak after all,” she says.

“Ah, so how's that going then?” you ask.

“Still trying to find a good recipe for human,” she replies with a smile again. You chuckle a bit in response and get back to eating as well. It's not bad to talk like this every once in a while.

[] Keep the conversation casual
[] Discuss business ideas and plans
[] Move into more personal topics
[X] Flirt

I don't know man, I always liked her, even back when that story started.
[X] Flirt


Tsukiko would be my favourite Touhou if she were a real Touhou..
[X] Flirt

a portrait of Tsukiko by a drawfag will be appreciated about now.
What does she even look like?

Yeah, I haven't exactly described her really, have I?

5'3", waist length red hair, grey wolf ears and tail. Typically wears a sleeveless button up grey vest and a pair of black breeches. Clawed hands and feet, doesn't wear shoes.
>>21948 here
Are the breeches knee-length or full length?
Oh, and human eyes?

I'm mediocre at drawing manga style but I can give it a try. I wish someone like GD could provide a portrait though, haha.
[x] Flirt

“Are you sure that's the reason you've put it off?” you ask sarcastically. Tsukiko gives you a questioning look as she downs another piece of sushi. “Or could it be that you'd miss me if I was gone?” Tsukiko smirks as she swallows.

“Maybe that could be a bit of it as well. You're a strong guy, I can respect that, it'd be a shame to lose you as a comrade,” she says.

“That's a bit of a shame, just being seen as a comrade,” you remark, eating some more rice and fried fish. “Though I suppose that you're still young by youkai standards.”

“Hey, what's that supposed to mean?” Tsukiko barks, sounding irritated.

“You're a cute girl, and a pretty good cook as well. A bit rough in the personality department, but that's understandable for a youkai,” you say. Tsukiko blushes a bit.

“Hey, what are you getting at?” she asks. You smirk.

“I was just thinking, we had a rough start, but after all that look at us now, sitting together eating a meal we both had a part in,” you say, gesturing to the table. “Even despite this though, we're mostly independent of each other, only really working together on hard jobs or hunts. It might not be so bad for us to spend some time together for fun, it might be nice.” Tsukiko's blushing condition gets a little more pronounced.

“You're making a pass at me now?” she queries, tearing at her fish.

“I'm just saying,” you say, tearing off a piece of your own fish. “It could be good for us to have fun together, improve our relationship a bit. Good friends make good allies, after all. Take it however you will.” Tsukiko doesn't reply, she just silently eats her food, finishing her fish.

“Humans and youkai aren't really compatible,” Tsukiko says quietly after a while. “You humans don't live as long, after all.”

“So isn't that all the more reason to make the most of it?” you ask. Tsukiko doesn't respond again, just finishes up her meal then carries her dishes off to the kitchen. Well, at least you've set the idea out on the table, whether or not it goes anywhere is anybodies guess. You finish up your food as well and clean up the rest of the dishes left behind. You swap with Tsukiko, washing up the dishes yourself, and she wanders off back to the chair she had been sleeping on earlier. Once you're done with the dishes, you're left with a decision on how to spend your time for the night.

[] Write in



Knee length. Normal eyes, yellow.

I could make a request in irc, but I couldn't guarantee results. I could draw it myself, but my style is really simple.

I could make her in AG3 though.
[ø]Running around the entire day has tired you, and your legs are somewhat sore. Go have a warm bath to relax.
File 125244697388.jpg - (620.67KB, 1086x1472 , tsukiko.jpg) [iqdb]
Have something mediocre.

Was interesting making something without outlines.
[x]Running around the entire day has tired you, and your legs are somewhat sore. Go have a warm bath to relax.

Oh ho? Thanks for this.
File 125247944282.jpg - (364.36KB, 1200x1650 , Tsukiko~.jpg) [iqdb]
>>21972 here

This is my first serious manga attempt, and I'm quite happy with it.
This, however, took longer than I expected.

Have a moe-ful Tsukiko.
err... I meant manga-style

And thank you as well!

I wonder how many more pictures I could have drawn.
[x]Running around the entire day has tired you, and your legs are somewhat sore. Go have a warm bath to relax.

The idea for a bath comes to you, more as a relaxation method than out of necessity for cleanliness, though that wouldn't hurt really either you suppose.

“I'm going to take a bath,” you say, walking to the closet nearby to fetch out a towel. Tsukiko acknowledge you with a humming sound, seems she's picked up the book you put down. You head into the bathroom. Being a fairly small house, the bathroom isn't quite as spacious as others, but still fills it's function well enough. Thanks to the semi-modern conveniences as well, there's a drain system, as well as an electric heater that keeps the bath water hot, but no running water. You manage without it well enough though, funny how easy you can get over the loss of some things you used to take for granted. You store your clothes in the compartment near the door, and get yourself to the wooden stool to wash up. You remember the first time you had to wash yourself after coming to Gensokyo, you had no idea how a Japanese bath worked and caused a minor problem by getting the bath water all soapy.

Washing yourself is a rather quick process, and you rinse off carefully using a bucket of water drawn from a barrel of extra water kept for general use, rather than simply drawing straight from the tub. Once clean, you climb into the tub and lie back. The hot water is soothing, you already feel the pain of the last few days wearing away. The secret to immortality has to lie in the relaxing powers of the bath. You let yourself soak for a good while, and your mind wanders in the meantime. Even though you said what you did to Tsukiko over dinner, you don't really have a whole lot of ideas for what you could do. You run your thoughts over a few ideas for some time, but it leaves your mind after a while. You'll worry about that more later.

You spend about twenty minutes in the tub, and you're pretty nice and pruny by the time you get out. Once you're dry enough and dressed, you leave the bathroom.

“Feel better?” Tsukiko asks, not looking up from the book.

“Much,” you reply. With that out of the way, but not tired enough to sleep, you need to find a way to occupy your time.

[] Just kick back and read.
[] Head out to a bar.
-[] And take Tsukiko.
[] Practice sword drills.
[] Practice danmaku.
>Even though you said what you did to Tsukiko over dinner, you don't really have a whole lot of ideas for what you could do.
Hmm... I'm torn between taking Tsukiko to the bar and just kicking back and relaxing...

I guess we could use this opportunity to meet other people (and youkai?) in the human village and spend more time with Tsukiko...
[ø] Head out to a bar.
-[ø] And take Tsukiko.
[x] Head out to a bar.
-[x] And take Tsukiko.

Time to hear some rumors.
[x] Head out to a bar.
-[x] And take Tsukiko.
[x] Head out to a bar.
-[x] And take Tsukiko.
[x] Head out to a bar.
-[x] And take Tsukiko.

“So, what do you say we head out tonight?” you ask. With nothing planned for the night, you figured you'd kill time at a bar or something. Tsukiko looks over at you.

“Head where?” she replies.

“I was thinking of going drinking,” you say, walking past Tsukiko to the door. You pat your pocket just to make sure you have your money, yeah, you did remember to take it out of your last pocket, good. Tsukiko mulls it over for a second, then puts the book aside.

“Alright, I suppose,” she says, bouncing up from the chair. You slide the door open and gesture outside. She passes by you, and you lock the door as you leave, then take the lead into the market district. At this time, when evening passes into night time, the markets are an unusual place where two worlds overlap. The daytime traders and merchants are closing up their stalls and shops and heading home for the night while others are coming in and opening their own stalls and shops for the night crowd and youkai. It's a lively kind of place, you've spent a lot of time hanging around here in the early days after you arrived at the village, mostly to get out while Keine worked on preparing her classes and didn't want to be distracted. She headbutts her own students for getting their work in late or not doing it, you didn't really want to be on the receiving end of disturbing her work.

“Here we go,” you say, stopping outside a building. The doors are open, and there's quite a bit of a din already coming from inside. You're not sure the place even has a name, but it's the busiest building in the markets being a 24 hour gambling hall and bar. You've met quite a few people around the village here, and you actually have this place to thank for your current situation. You step through the doors, brushing aside the hanging cloth that covers the entrance. Place is busy as ever, naturally. You take a few steps in before you see a familiar pair of horns. Doesn't take long for her to see you either.

“Hey hey! Over here, over here!” the small oni girl cries to you, waving her hand from a table over near the wall, in view of the entrance. She's sitting with another woman, a much, much larger woman, with a horn as well. You haven't seen her before, a friend of hers? Another oni maybe? At least there's a familiar face here already, and if you're going to drink anyway...

“Hey Suika,” you say, heading over to the table and taking a seat. Tsukiko takes a seat next to you as well. “I'd say I'm surprised to see you here, but I'd be lying.” You grin, Suika laughs, then picks up a bottle of sake and some cups and passes it over to you.

“Here!” she says, and you take the set and get right to business, pouring Tsukiko's cup first, then your own. In the meanwhile you look over at the unfamiliar woman. She's talking to Suika, but with all the background noise you can hardly hear her without making an effort to overhear. She notices you looking at her though.

“So you're a friend of Suika's up here?” she asks, looking past you to Tsukiko. “She your lover?” There's a sputtering sound from behind you, you imagine Tsukiko probably just blew alcohol everywhere. Before you can reply though, Suika steps in.

“These are the freelancers that helped fix up Reimu's shrine that one time,” she says. The other woman nods, then turns back to you, extending a hand.

“Sorry about embarrassing your friend then,” she says with a grin. You go to shake her hand, and are given a hand-crushing grip. Yep, has to be another oni. “My name's Yuugi, an old friend of Suika's.”

“I figured as much,” you say, shaking your hand out a bit. “An oni too, right?” Yuugi nods in reponse, and you raise up your cup. “Well, nice to meet you, though I'm curious why I haven't seen you around before.”

“I live and work underground for the most part,” Yuugi says, drinking from a shallow dish. “It's rare for me to have time to come up here anymore.”

“Underground?” you repeat the word. You look back at Tsukiko to see if she gets it. Seems she knows what Yuugi's on about.

“In a part of the old Hell,” Yuugi says with a smile. That sounds... like something, alright. You didn't know there were people living underground here, though now that you think about it, you recall some vague news about it in the paper a while ago, but that was before you had a regular subscription. “It's a place where youkai that aren't allowed to live on the surface are sent, though some of us live there by choice, like the oni. We help keep the lingering spirits in check and make sure that no curses or spirits leak through to the surface. Most of the time.”

“I don't really know what to say about that,” you state, taking another drink. “There seems to be a lot about Gensokyo I still don't know.”

“Hey, Yuugi, why don't you ask him?” Suika jumps into the conversation. Yuugi thinks for a minute then shakes her head.

“Nah, it's okay, I wouldn't want to trouble him with a request like that,” she says, returning to her drink. Well, not that's got your attention. You wonder if you should push her on it, sounds like she might have a job for you.

[] Press for more information. Might as well take a chance.
[] Leave it be, just drink. She can come to you if she needs help.
[] Press for more information. Might as well take a chance.
[] Leave it be, just drink. She can come to you if she needs help.

Yeah if she wants to take it easy aand drink, let her then.
[] Press for more information. Might as well take a chance.
[ø] Press for more information. Might as well take a chance.

We are a free-lancer, we don't easily give up job opportunities like this.
[x] Press for more information. Might as well take a chance.

“You got a job for me to do?” you ask, swishing your cup. Yuugi swigs from her dish, then sighs.

“Well, you see,” she says, setting the dish down. “There's a particular person down there that has quite a lot of pets, and while she tends to keep them all contained most of the time, due to a little accident, they've gotten out and caused a bunch of mischief around the city. Most of them have been corralled already, but some are still loose,” she pauses, pouring a bottle into her dish to fill it up more. “Most everyone's gotten sick of chasing down these buggers, but they show no signs of settling down and going home. They damage property, they steal food, they lay around in the streets, drunk at all hours of the day,” the woman lists off a list of increasingly bizarre problems that only serves to make you realize that this is so much more than you initially thought.

“These are pets, you said,” you cut in to reaffirm. Yuugi stops, then gives a sheepish grin.

“Well, I did say pets, but that's a personal view. They're youkai, like your partner here,” Yuugi says, nodding her horn towards Tsukiko. You look back at her, and she looks a little upset by something. You turn back to Yuugi.

“Well, I think we should be able to handle them,” you say with a confident grin. Yuugi sighs again, leaning forward on her elbows.

“You see, that's another problem. Your friend can't come,” she says. You blink in surprise, not sure how to take this.

“What do you mean?” you ask.

“Surface youkai can't enter the underground,” Tsukiko says from behind you. Now you look back at her, just as confused.

“Can't enter the underground? Why?” you ask a new question.

“I don't remember why, we just can't. We're not allowed,” Tsukiko continues. You lean back in your seat and empty your cup before continuing.

“Well, I don't know what to say to this,” you groan, putting your cup on the table. “Sounds like a rough job for me to handle alone.”

“It'll pay well, though, I can guarantee that,” Yuugi says, filling your cup with the same bottle she used. You take up your cup once filled and take a sip. This stuff is much better than what you'd been drinking, and your reaction must have been written on your face, because both Yuugi and Suika chuckle in unison. “I never said you'd be doing it alone though.” You take another drink, shooting Yuugi a questioning look. “Some of the other pets are trying to catch the ones that are left, but they're having a hard time with just the two of them. You could get their help,” Yuugi says, sipping from her dish once again. “Probably. The least they can do is help get you a place to stay, since I doubt you'll finish in one day.”

This does sound like a bit of a hassle. Traveling to the underground, but Tsukiko can't come with you. On the plus side, Yuugi said it pays well, and while it definitely sounds like a hassle, it also sounds like a good opportunity to practice your combat skills. Staying for several days though...

[] “What the hell, I'll do it. I could handle it.”
[] “I'll need some time to think, can I get back to you?”
[] “Yeah, I think I'll pass on this. Sorry I can't help.”
[x] “What the hell, I'll do it. I could handle it.”
[x] “What the hell, I'll do it. I could handle it.”
[] “I'll need some time to think, can I get back to you?”
[X] "How long would this take, you wager? Not sure I like the idea of being that far away from Tsukiko for more than a day. Coming home to her is one of the things I look forward to most."
[x] “What the hell, I'll do it. I could handle it.”
[x] “What the hell, I'll do it. I could handle it.”

Two reasons you might not have thought of for this choice :

1) You can say that your job was hell - and mean it! (Great to put on your resume for a freelancer.)
2) Leaving awhile, a change of pace makes homecoming a bit sweeter.

We can also think of it as giving her a few days off.

That and misadventures with Orin and Okuu sound fun.
[X] “What the hell, I'll do it. I could handle it.”
[x] “What the hell, I'll do it. I could handle it.”

“I suppose I could handle it,” you say, looking over at Tsukiko. “You'll be fine on your own I suppose?” She seems rather annoyed at your decision.

“You want me to just hold business as usual while you're gone then?” she asks, sounding annoyed as well but not acting up over it.

“You don't have to if you don't want to,” you reply. “You can just take a break and relax until I get back.” Tsukiko doesn't look any less upset, but she doesn't say anything more. You finish up your cup and turn back to Yuugi, picking up a bottle of sake as you do.

“Don't get too drunk, by the way,” she says as you fill your cup. “I'm going back tonight, and you've got to be coherent. I'm not going to be bringing you back out once we get down there, so you're going to need to remember the way,” she explains, raising her dish to you. “Tonight's on me.” You raise your own cup and the two of you have a minor toast to the job at hand. Tsukiko warms up a little more as time and sake go by. You hold back on drinking as per Yuugi's request, maintaining a decent buzz at the very least. By the end of the night, Tsukiko doesn't seem too bothered with you heading off for a few days, which sits much better with you than leaving her in a foul mood. The drinking party eventually drifts into the street as everyone prepares to part.

“You ready to go?” Yuugi asks, patting you on the shoulder.

“There's something I should get first,” you say, stepping away. “Mind waiting here for a few minutes? I have to run home to get it.”

“Hmm? Sure, sure,” Yuugi says, nodding. You turn away and head home, Tsukiko following alongside you.

“Picking up your sword?” she asks along the way.

“Might as well,” you say. “I'd feel safer with it, and it could be a useful intimidation tactic. Doubt I'll be using it on anyone though, more for the image, you know?” Tsukiko chuckles a bit. You continue to walk along for a few minutes in silence.

“I saw what you meant tonight,” Tsukiko breaks the silence. “It was kind of fun tonight,” she pauses momentarily to punch you in the arm. “Though you should have just dropped that job offer.” You have a returning pang of guilt, you guess it was kind of selfish for you to take that offer, though if it pays as well as it was suggested, then it would be well worth it.

“I'm interested in how much I'll get paid for this,” you say trying to lighten the air with money. “Maybe we could take a bit of a break after this and just put up our feet for a while.”

“That's not the issue,” Tsukiko says, sounding irritated again, though her tone softens again as she continues. “It's that I can't go with you. Shikigami pacts benefit from proximity, with how far you are away, we'd both be weakened,” she pauses, scratching her head. “If you got into danger, I couldn't even come save you.” So, that's what it is.

“You don't have to worry yourself,” you say as the two of you reach the house. “I won't be working alone down there.” Tsukiko seems a bit conflicted still as she walks into the house before you. You follow along, heading into your room to get your sword. As you leave, Tsukiko offers you one of her sodas.

“Don't be reckless down there,” she says as you take the can. “Try to get back as soon as possible. If I'm just going to be sitting around here bored for half a week, I'd rather go back home and work in my dad's kitchen.”

“I'll try my best,” you say with a grin, popping the lid of the can and heading out the door. You turn around to close the door, looking in at Tsukiko, still standing where she handed you the can. “See you later.” You close the door and head off, sword in hand, back to the bar.

Yuugi's waiting for you outside, next to the door. Suika's already left it seems. Yuugi waves to you once she sees you and starts walking towards you.

“That what you went for?” she asks, looking at the can in your hand. You rattle the sword.

“And a little piece of mind,” you add. Yuugi nods, then floats up into the air.

“Alright then, come along,” she says before floating off over a building. Great. You take a few steps back for a running start then take a leap, just barely managing to clear the roof top, but with how cramed the buildings are around here, you have to drop onto a roof before taking another running jump, something you prefer to avoid doing. After a few seconds, Yuugi looks back and sees you, then stops until you close the few foot gap that grew between you. “What's the hold up?” she asks as you land on the road beneath her.

“I can't actually fly,” you state from the ground. After a few seconds Yuugi starts laughing, then floats down to you.

“You should have said something sooner then,” she says, trying to look sympathetic, though her amusement is showing through too well. “Raise your arms.” You comply with her request, and she floats around behind you, grabbing your arms from above and lifting you into the air. You grab onto her arms for good measure as she lifts you up into the air with her. The higher you get, the more uncomfortable you feel. Perhaps it's your fear of heights that keeps you from learning to fly, seems like a good reason for that right now as the town passes beneath you and you're carried out towards a mountain ridge. The closer you get, the more obvious the large, dark hole in the ground is. Without hesitation, Yuugi descends right into it, and the darkness swallows you up. You can't see anything around you, and the only sounds you can hear is the sound of wind rushing past you and the rustling of your clothes.

“This is damn dark,” you say, if even to comfort yourself a little, your voice echoing rather easily. Yuugi's laugh also echoes.

“It's fine for me, you just have human eyes,” she replies. Well, that would be a pretty obvious thing, wouldn't it? After an unknown amount of time, you notice light, and looking down, you see an illuminated hole at the end of this shaft leading into what looks like more caves. Soon enough you're carried through the hole, and the source of the light becomes apparent in the form of a town's worth of buildings. It looks about the size of the human village topside, did that many people live down here?

“This is the underground city?” you ask as the two of you descend towards it.

“Yep, where all the oni and hated youkai live,” she replies, swooping over the top of the buildings. You see your fair share of people looking up as you pass, several of them with horns, some without. No doubt that they are all youkai, it's rather amazing to see such a large concentration of them. Eventually, you're set down in front of a large house on a wide street, and Yuugi lands in front of you, turning as she does. “So here we are, my house.” You look past Yuugi at the building. This place is practically a mansion, does she live here alone? This speaks quite well for the payment you'd be receiving for this.

“So what's the deal for now?” you ask.

“We go inside, I get you a room ready, and you rest for the night. The troublemakers have stopped some time ago, so they're likely sleeping somewhere. Take this chance to rest so you'll be ready to chase them down once they start up again,” Yuugi explains. That seems like a waste of a chance though, to rest while the targets are vulnerable. You should at least make some attempt to find them now, before you rest. You can push at least a few more hours.

[] Suggest setting out to look now.
[] Rest first. You'll have other chances.
[] Suggest setting out to look now.
[x] Suggest setting out to look now.
[x] Rest first. You'll have other chances.

Better not to waste energy looking around without much luck. And it's better to do so with the other two.
It's sorta interesting, but there's a good chance you... we... whatever might meet Satori. Particularly if the pets are chased enough, they might try retreating to the Palace. What makes this possible meeting interesting is that she might accidentally find out about the truth behind Gensenkyo.

Or more likely, just think that you're insane in a very odd and detailed manner.
[x] Suggest setting out to look now.

Doubt things would go that easily, and haven't you heard the phrase "Let sleeping bears lie?"
[x] Suggest setting out to look now.

“Why waste time?” you ask, resting a hand on your sword. “Catch them while they're asleep and save some trouble, right?” Yuugi just responds with a grin and a shake of her head.

“Okay then, let's start. I suppose you already know what you're looking for, right? What these pets look like?” Yuugi asks. “Or where they were last active? Finding them should be simple then, right?” She steps forward and claps a hand on your shoulder. “I like that you're eager to get to work, but there's nothing we can do right now. The size of this city, we won't find them unless they're making a scene. You'd just waste energy.” You feel a little foolish for trying to jump into business without having any leads to work with, thankfully though Yuugi's tone wasn't mocking you. Yuugi starts to walk towards the house, and you follow. Inside, you find that there are a number of other people, horned and not, living in this building. It would seem that despite being her home, Yuugi uses this place more as a clubhouse for 'Underground City Management', and that everyone present is in charge of some aspect of life down here. Yuugi takes you to a room far in the back of the building, then stops outside the door.

“This is my room for the night?” you ask, pointing towards the door. Yuugi nods, and you step forward and slide open the door. This room is huge! And well decorated! It looks like some kind of palatial suite than anything you'd call a guest room. You look at Yuugi with a mix of astonishment and doubt. “This is a guest room?” Yuugi bursts out laughing.

“It's a room for special guests,” she says, slapping you on the back. “Figure I'd give you a good welcome, coming all the way down here from topside just to chase youkai. It might be a little extravagant, but enjoy yourself!” At that, she walks off, leaving you to your own devices. This room is like it's own little house in it's own right, an almost entirely self contained living area. You spend some time just checking out the room. A sitting area, complete with mini-bar-like area, a personal bathroom, and even an open deck overlooking more of the city. Despite the luxury though, the only use you can make of it right now is to sleep. Now that you're getting over the rush of the descent and the alcohol's begun to wear off you're feeling the after effects. You'll be able to make more use of the luxuries some other time, maybe. Right now, that huge bed looks mighty comfortable.


You wake some time later to the sound of voices coming from outside the door. They're too muffled to make out, but once you hear the door slide open you recognize Yuugi's.

“Wakey wakey, time to hunt monsters!” Yuugi calls to you. You roll over to face the door, rubbing your eyes. You glance out a window to check the approximate time, only to see it's still dark. You're about to complain when it occurs to you that you are underground. With a groan, you slide to the edge of the bed, just noticing the other woman standing behind Yuugi. All you can make out from this distance with your mind still fogged from sleep are twin red braids and a long dark dress.

“This is the guy?” the new girl asks, and Yuugi gives a sound of acknowledgement. You grasp around the floor next to the bed for your sword, picking it up into your lap as you sit up. “Hiya!” the girl cheers, suddenly in front of you, crouching slightly to be at eye level. Now you can see that she's got a pair of animal ears, and a tail hangs out from under the edge of her dress. “Yuugi tells me you're some kind of youkai hunter, huh?” she asks.

“Kinda,” you reply rubbing your forehead. “I do-”

“That's great,” she cuts you off, standing up. “With your help we should be able to catch Tama and the others.” You're getting a better idea of who this is now, given that she seems to be talking about the job you're here for. Probably one of the people that you're going to be helping. “My name's Rin, my friend Utsuho is waiting outside for us. You ready to move?” You grumble a bit, still feeling a bit sluggish from having just woken up, but you suppose if you have to get moving immediately you could probably manage. However...

“Just a heads up, I can't fly,” you state, making sure it's clear this time before people start making assumptions. Rin just smiles.

“I've heard, don't worry, I've got an idea for you. Come meet us outside when you're ready to go,” she says before bounding from the room, leaving Yuugi behind. Well, seems you're being given a bit of time to wake up first.

“Those two girls are pretty energetic,” Yuugi says, leaning on the doorframe. “You're going to need to be sure you can keep up with them. Need anything?”

[] “Breakfast would be nice.”
[] “Got coffee?”
[] “A bottle of water for the road.”


Been having a difficult time sticking to writing lately. I write a few sentences then run out of steam.
[] “A bottle of water for the road.”
[x] "Breakfast would be nice"
[x] "Got Coffee?"

Food is the best start to the hunting day.
[x] "Breakfast would be nice"
[x] "Got Coffee?"
The best way to get energy in the morning.
[x] "Breakfast would be nice"
[x] "Got Coffee?"
[x] “A bottle of water for the road.”

If you're already having breakfast and coffee, grabbing a bottle of water for the road too wouldn't take too much time, so why not?
[x] "Breakfast would be nice"
[x] "Got Coffee?"
[x] “A bottle of water for the road.”
[x] "Breakfast would be nice"
[x] "Got Coffee?"
[x] “A bottle of water for the road.”

Hm, this style is so different from what i'm used to, it's like a shock. Still nice, though.

This is nice too.
I have a good bit of free time, so I'll be updating today.
[x] "Breakfast would be nice"
[x] "Got Coffee?"
[x] “A bottle of water for the road.”

“How about breakfast?” you ask, pushing off the bed. “Maybe coffee?”

“Best I have on hand would be some left over pork,” Yuugi says, scratching her head with a sheepish grin. “Truth be told I don't really cook a whole lot, what I've got is left over from some food someone brought me.”

“And coffee?” you repeat.

“What about it?” she asks, sounding a bit confused. Might have been a stretch to think that a community of oni and youkai would keep coffee on hand, given their disposition for drinking and generally being non-human. At the very least you'd have thought someone might have a taste for it, but that someone doesn't live here.

“That pork sounds good,” you say, walking towards Yuugi. She steps aside as you leave the room and starts off down the hall, and you follow after her. “Do you at least have a bottle of water?”

“Well, I have bottles, and water,” Yuugi shrugs. “Shouldn't be too hard to get one ready for you.”You're lead through the halls, and Yuugi steps into a room you quickly identify as the kitchen. Even underground they have electrical power it seems, which occurs to you as a good thing. With the high alcohol content of this entire town, you wouldn't even want to imagine how fast a fire would spread. The inhabitants themselves are probably the biggest fire hazards. After a few seconds of rummaging through a large, battered looking fridge, Yuugi produces a plate and a bottle, setting the plate on the counter as she walks over to a basin. “There's the pork,” she says over her shoulder, and you step into the room, swiping a pair of cuts for yourself. They've already been cooked, thankfully, and while they're cold, it's better than nothing. It's probably better if you get moving as quick as possible. If you're supposed to chase down these youkai based on their activity, it'd be best not to let them get too much of a head start. Yuugi returns with the now full bottle of water and hands it off to you. You give her a pork-handed salute and turn around, heading back out.

“Thanks for the food,” you say, taking another bite from one of the chops. You're able to navigate the rest of the house to the front yourself easily just by following the noise of a constant party. You get outside and walk out to the gate, where you find Rin and her friend, you assume, waiting. The latter of which seems to be occupied staring off into the 'sky'. Seems she has a large pair of wings beneath that white cloak of hers.

“Ah, you're here,” Rin says, patting her friend on the shoulder to catch her attention. “Okuu, this is the guy.” The winged girl looks back, looking like she was just woken from a dream, and smiles at you.

“Oh! Hiya!” she says happily, turning to- What the hell is that on her chest? And that cloak! Are those stars moving? There's so much weird with this girl, you don't even know where to begin. You've seen some fairly strange things in your time in Gensokyo, but this is... “Unyu?” her confused sound snaps you back to the situation. Nevermind how weird she looks, these are the two you're going to be working with.

“Hehe, seems you're stunned by Okuu,” Rin says, winking at you. “Quite a girl, huh?”

“Yeah, sure,” you say, trying not to sound too surprised. “So uh... are you Utsuho?” you address the winged girl. She takes a step back with a surprised sounding gasp. What?

“Ho- How did you know my name!?” she shouts, approaching you now, arms- or rather arm and weird rod- to her chest. She looks genuinely surprised to have been called by her name. Before you reply though, Rin steps up next to you.

“He's a mind-reader as well, you see,” she says, patting your arm. “Just like Miss Satori.” Utusho's eyes widen even more, and she seems practically set to explode.

“Really? Really? Hey, hey!” she pats you on the other arm with her actual hand. “Can you read my mind? What am I thinking right now?” she asks quickly, then closes her eyes, looking suddenly like she's thinking really hard as stereotypically as possible. What the hell.

[] Decline to answer
[] Tell the truth
[] “Flying?”
[] “Eating?”
[] “Miss Satori?”
[] “Your name?”

[x] "You're thinking about the fact that you're thinking.
[X] “Eating?”

[x] "You're thinking about the fact that you're thinking."
[x] "In a moment you're going to try your best not to think about pink elephants."

Not only we are a mind reader, but we can SEE THE FUTURE!
So, like, any name to this story?

The file I've been saving updates to is named Idyllic Life, but I don't know if that'll stick.

You should also update your other two stories. Namely Genso Coil.
>You should also update your other two stories. Namely FotLS.

I should, shouldn't I?
Any more votes?
[x] "You're thinking about the fact that you're thinking."

Going out on adventures, slaying youkai, doing any kinds of job you may want, all of this in the company of your own female shikigami?

Sounds like a Perfect Life, if you ask.

[x] "You're thinking about the fact that you're thinking."
[x] "You're thinking about the fact that you're thinking."

“You're thinking about trying to think of something,” you say, offhandedly. You can't really think of anything yourself, so this is more like you speaking your own mind aloud. The girl's eyes open and at first she looks confused, then she lights up rather quickly.

“Wow! Wow!! You can even change what I'm thinking about too!?” she exclaims, sounding genuinely enthralled. You, on the other hand, are completely flabbergasted. She's really not this dumb, is she? To fall for such an obvious lie? Rin just bursts into laughter, then pats Utsuho on the shoulder.

“That's right! He's a powerful mentalist!” she continues feeding these ridiculous lies to the poor girl, who just seems to snap them all up. “That's why this job will be no problem for him.”

“Awesome awesome!” The birdbrain exclaims, her wings flapping excitedly. Excitedly enough that she actually gains lift without meaning too, as she stumbles slightly to catch herself without falling. This pair of girls are something else, the fact that they're a cat and a bird not withstanding. Nevertheless, you're sure that this will be an interesting experience, but first you need to get to business.

“So, let's head out, catch us some loose pets. First, things first, what are we going to do about my inability to fly?” you ask, getting right to the first major question. Rin gains a devilish smile, and then waves her arm. With a burst of flame, a wheelbarrow appears from nowhere, and she rests her hand on one of the handles. … What, no.

“This is your ride,” Rin says, rattling the wheelbarrow a bit. “You'll be flying first class.”

“I'm going to ride in a flying wheelbarrow,” you say, looking at the item in question. Yep, that's a wheelbarrow, and it's large enough to hold a body or two. “You can't be serious.”

“I'm not,” Rin says, with a laugh and a smile, leaning more onto the wheelbarrow. “Which is precisely why you're riding in a wheelbarrow and not being carried.”

“It's fun!” Utsuho adds, backing up Rin. “It gets kind of bumpy at times, but Rin moves real fast, so it's like, whoooooooosh! Like flying but not as tiring!” At least she sounds happy about this. She probably actually likes riding around in it. Ah, hell, whatever. You're not going to get anything done being a baby about something like this, wheelbarrow or not, at least you'll be able to be airborne. Even if it's not entirely under your own power. With steeled resolve, you chew down the last piece of pork and discard the bone on the street, then clamber into the wheelbarrow, treating it like a very awkwardly shaped chair made of metal.

“Alright, let's go,” you say. Silence. You look back at Rin, standing at the handles behind you, a huge, bright smile on her face.

“Oh wow, you actually got in,” she says, barely stifling her laughter. It doesn't take too long before she's in a full out roar with laughing, leaving you fuming and pissed, sitting in a wheelbarrow like an idiot. That fucking cat...

“Yeah, okay, let's just go now, damn it,” you complain, adjusting your position a little. While she hasn't stopped laughing, Rin takes the handles, and with a jolt, you're airborne. The sudden lack of solid balance from being on the ground is all too obvious, and even the tiniest movement shifts the balance of the contraption. Thankfully it seems that Rin is much stronger than you'd assume, even as far as youkai go. She manages to hold your poorly balanced self steady without dumping you into a thirty foot freefall. Utsuho flutters into the air beside the two of you, looking around.

“Tama's around over there somewhere,” Utsuho says, waving a finger towards a fairly distant cluster of buildings, where faint wisps of smoke are seen. “I think I saw Jiro somewhere around over there as well, but it's been a while” she continues, pointing off in another direction.

“And Makie?” Rin asks, Utsuho responds with a whining kind of hum. “Well, whatever. Well, Mr. Freelancer, who do we catch first?”

[] Let's go for Tama, seems easy.
[] Track down this Jiro you mentioned.
[] Try to find a sign of Makie.


I updated this too!
[] Track down this Jiro you mentioned.
[x] Let's go for Tama, seems easy.
[] Track down this Jiro you mentioned.
[X] Track down this Jiro you mentioned.

No easy mode for me.
[x] Try to find a sign of Makie.

Just for variety's sake.

You're gonna get taken into consideration.
[X] Track down this Jiro you mentioned.

“Let's find this Jiro,” you say. If Tama's location is known, it should be pretty easy to track them down later, but with only a general idea of where this Jiro might be, you figure you should try to catch the ones that leave less of a trail to follow. With a jolt, you start flying forward, pushed by Rin as the two flight-capable take off in the indicated direction. Despite how much easier it would be, even being in the air like this makes you a little uncomfortable. You're not sure you ever want to learn how to fly on your own.

It doesn't take too long until you're hovering near where Utsuho said she last suspected seeing him. There are a lot of buildings packed close together here, and lots of alleys and small paths around, like some kind of hellish maze.

“I can still smell him around here,” Rin says. “He was here at some point, but if he's still close by or not is another question.”

“I could go fly around and see if I spot him outside,” Utsuho says, flapping away from the two of you a little as if she's preparing to leave regardless.

“Make the call,” Rin says, rattling the wheelbarrow. Looks like they're delegating all the decisions in this hunt to you. Maybe they might be overestimating your position as a part time youkai hunter just a tad.

[] Let Utsuho do a sweep of the area.
[] Land and try to look for clues.
[] Land, then interrogate any locals.
[x] Land and try to look for clues.
[x] Land and try to look for clues.
[0] Land and try to look for clues.
[x] Land and try to look for clues.

If Rin can smell traces of Jiro from up here, then actually landing might give you a good chance of tracking him down. You're not too sure how well a youkai cat can track by scent, but it's better than you can.

“Let's go down there and look for him, he's got to be near, right?” you pose a rhetorical question. You descend rather quickly, which gives you a good scare until you reach the ground, when you leap from the wheelbarrow onto your own feet. “Right, okay!”

“Aww, not comfy?” Rin asks mockingly. You give her a curt glance over your shoulder, but she doesn't seem to care, she lives to make fun of people it seems. Now that you're on the ground though, you realize that aside from a name, you have no real information about Jiro. Why didn't you think to ask before?

“So, what are we looking for with this Jiro, anyway?” you ask, trying to sound casual and hoping Rin doesn't try to screw around with you.

“He's a dog of some kind, I don't really know, I stay away from him,” Rin says, sounding rather neutral. That's a surprise. You look over at Utsuho, she just shrugs.

“He's got a few tails, kind of like Rin, but more,” she adds. That's a bit of a lead, but... the only other thing that comes to mind is a kitsune. You find yourself hoping that he doesn't have many if that's the case. You do have a better idea what to look out for at least, even if it is a small hint. Unfortunately, you don't know where to even begin looking for some kind of sign of his presence. Rin and Utsuho looks like they're looking around for something. You should probably get some kind of action going on.

[] Canvas the area, ask people for leads. That could work.
[] Split up and look around the area. Shout if you need help.
[] Set up surveillance positions to keep an eye on the area.
Consider this an add-on to whatever wins :

[x] Try to remember anything about dog youkai that could be of any help. If there's any kind of youkai that you're familiar with, it would be this kind.
[] Set up surveillance positions to keep an eye on the area.
[0] Set up surveillance positions to keep an eye on the area.
[x] Set up surveillance positions to keep an eye on the area.
[] Set up surveillance positions to keep an eye on the area.
[x] Set up surveillance positions to keep an eye on the area.

“We could set up some kind of surveillance,” you say, shrugging, “keep an eye on the surroundings, see if anything unusual pops up.” Rin and Utsuho both mull over the idea for a bit, then shrug themselves.

“I can't really just follow him on scent alone,” Rin says, looking at her bird-brain friend, “Utsuho probably can't sniff him out either.” Utsuho gives an embarrassed smile at that comment. How well can birds smell anyway? You actually don't really know. At the very least she can fly... wait, damn near everyone can fly. What makes her special again?

“So, I say we scope out some rooftops and just wait,” you say, looking around. The area seems kind of quiet, at least right now. You hope it stays that way, since if something does happen, you're hoping that it disturbs the peace enough to catch someones attention and pull you into a hunt. You leap up onto a nearby roof and take a few steps up to the peak, then just sit down. You hear a soft tapping sound, and a few more and then Rin plops down next to you. A rustling in the air alerts you to Utusho's decision to check from the air again.

“Any particular reason you decided on looking for Jiro first, or was it just a random choice?” Rin asks, leaning back and supporting herself with her hands.

“Pretty much just random,” you say, leaning forward a bit and crossing your legs, propping your elbows on your knees. Rin gives a wondering hum in response.

“I thought you might have had a reason, you kind of smell like a dog yourself, thought maybe you hunted one not too long ago,” she says, confusing you momentarily, until you realize she can probably smell traces of Tsukiko.

“Oh, I see. No that's probably just lingering scent from a wolf girl I live with above ground,” you state, and Rin gives you a mischievous glance.

“'Live with' a youkai, you said? Interesting~” she muses, with a chuckle. “So, you got something special with this girl for her scent to be on you?”

[] “She's my shikigami, we work together and fight together.”
[] “She's a friend I live and work with, it's not unusual we come in contact.”
[] “Well, if you must know, she's my lover. It's a surprise her smell isn't stronger.” <Lie>


Took this long for an update this short?

Maybe if I was actually a good writefag I wouldn't neglect my stories.
[x] "She's my friend and shikigami. We live together and work together".
Huh, I ignored this forever, but I decided to give it a read tonight. I was surprised once I connected the dots and realized that this is pretty much a continuation from your old story. Nice.


[] “She's a friend I live and work with, it's not unusual we come in contact.”
[x] “She's a friend I live and work with, it's not unusual we come in contact.”

She may be our shikigami, but she's also our friend.
[x] "She's my friend and shikigami. We live together and work together".
[0] "She's my friend and shikigami. We live together and work together".
[x] "She's my friend and shikigami. We live together and work together".
[x] "She's my friend and shikigami. We live together and work together".

“She's my friend,” you say, “and also my shikigami.” Rin's eyes widen, and she gives you a surprised smile.

“That's a new one,” she says, pulling her knees up to her chest, an action that causes quite a lot of her legs to be exposed as her dress rides up slightly. “I didn't think there were humans that took shikigami anymore,” she continues, pausing for a second. “So, what was your reason?”

“Reason?” you repeat, not quite following her train of thought.

“Well, did you take her from the wild? Did you make a mutual agreement, or was it by force? Or did you just want an excuse to get closer to her?” Rin showers you with questions. You wonder if she'd laugh if you told her it was to protect yourself from her at first. Probably.

“I wasn't as good at combat back then as I am now, so I wanted to find a way to protect, so I fought her on the condition that if I won, she'd be my shikigami,” you say, recounting the battle again. You leave out the part about how you got the shit beaten out of you, naturally. “I bet you can guess how that turned out.” Rin hums, laying her head on her knees, maintaining her mischievous smile.

“Are you looking for a relationship with her?” Rin goes on to ask, getting right to the point she's likely been working towards. That's a bit of a tricky question, it takes you a while to consider your words, during which Rin's light giggling distracts you just enough to make you annoyed.

“I'm not too sure where I'm going with it,” you state, “I won't deny that she's a cute girl and that I like being around her, but she's expressed a bit of disdain over the idea and doesn't seem to keen on the idea herself.” You hope that explanation as good enough. Rin sits in silence a bit, then lowers her legs from their upright position, sitting with her legs crossed.

“I probably shouldn't admit something embarrassing like this,” she starts, “but there are quite a lot of youkai that look to humans for relationships.” You feel an unusual sensation creep through your body, looking over at Rin with her tricky smile and eye-catching pose. While that tidbit of news could be fairly universal, something about the delivery feels slightly more personal. “Their mortality makes them more energetic, and their inherent fear of youkai make them eager to please.”

“So... what's this have to do with anything?” you ask, despite the fact you think you see where she's going with this.

“She could just be playing hard to get, or just be nervous because you'd be her first human partner,” Rin says, stroking her tails idly. Yeah, she was going in that direction with this after all.

“I don't really know for sure, but considering how much I know about her...” you start, feeling a little embarrassed to be thinking about this, let alone about to say it, “I think if it went to something like that, I'd be her first partner ever.” Rin's face lights up dramatically at the sound of that.

“Oh hoho? You're passing up the chance to break in a youkai? You should be excited!” Rin states in an excited whisper. You're starting to regret even letting her get you into this topic.

[] “What happens, happens. I'm not going to try to force anything, just let things take their course.”
[] “I don't know about that. I'd rather not risk ruining the good balance we already have.”
[] “I would like to be a little closer to her, but first I've got to get her a little more warmed up to me.”
[] “Look, could we just drop this subject? I really don't see how this is any of your business anyway.”
[] “... Are you always like this or are you just trying to project some kind of personal fantasy?”
[X] “I would like to be a little closer to her, but first I've got to get her a little more warmed up to me.”

I foresee many mana transfers with Tsukiko.
[x] “I would like to be a little closer to her, but first I've got to get her a little more warmed up to me.”
[x] “... Are you always like this or are you just trying to project some kind of personal fantasy?”

Hopeless romantic.
Want at least one more vote to decide.
[x] “I would like to be a little closer to her, but first I've got to get her a little more warmed up to me.”
[x] “... Are you always like this or are you just trying to project some kind of personal fantasy?”
[X]"I would like to be a little closer to her, but first I've got to get her a little more warmed up to me."
[X]"... Are you always like this or are you just trying to project some kind of personal fantasy?"

Well, Orin is the Heartful Neko-Romancer.
[x] “I would like to be a little closer to her, but first I've got to get her a little more warmed up to me.”
[x] “... Are you always like this or are you just trying to project some kind of personal fantasy?”

“I suppose I wouldn't mind being a little closer to her,” you admit, feeling a little embarrassed to admit the fact. True, you'd jokingly made passes at her before, and you did try to get her warmed up to the idea of spending time together for that idea just the other night. It's... well... It actually is kind of like that, isn't it? “Problem is though, she doesn't seem to keen on the idea,” you state, as much to remind yourself as to inform Rin. The one major problem Tsukiko seems to have a hard time letting go of is the fact that she is a youkai and you're not. That barrier may be insurmountable, but you wouldn't know unless you try, you suppose.

“So you are after her, aren't you? I'm sure she'd enjoy the experience you could give her as her 'Master',” Rin asks, inching towards you slightly. You give her a sideways glance.

“You know, actually, I have to wonder about this topic. I don't know too many girls that would openly talk about this kind of thing with a guy they just met, so I have to wonder if this is normally how you behave,” you speak up, ignoring her question. “It kind of seems that you're trying to pressure me to fulfill some kind of personal fantasy of yours.” Rin looks shocked for a second as she quickly gains a shade of red in her face that would be better suited for her hair.

“Ahaha, I guess I was a bit too forward with my remarks,” Rin says with a slight laugh. “I let too much slip.” … Wait, you were just kidding, was she seriously- “I admit, I've always wondered if it really was true that humans made better lovers for youkai. It would definitely make life more interesting, don't you think?” she asks.

“Er, sure,” you stammer, thrown off guard by the situation.

“I'll be a good girl from now on,” Rin muses, her tone not really sounding all that sincere. “I'll try to keep my curiosity from killing me.” At that, silence returns, and the stakeout continues as normal. Well, it should at least. Despite your issues with the past topic, Rin's successfully planted the thoughts in your head, and not the one you're currently lamenting the situation with. God damn cat. You lay your sword across your lap, and you think you see an amused grin on Rin's face out of the corner of your eye. Just ignore it. Ignore her, she's trying to screw yo- with you, screw with you. Damn it, now that thought is in your mind too. With time, your problem fades away, and still nothing has happened. Without the convenience of sunlight to tell time, you don't know for sure how long you've been sitting here. Utsuho's gotten tired and settled down on a roof across from you and Rin. You don't know if anything is going to happen.

[] You're wasting too much time on this. You should see if you can try to pick up a trail still, might not be too late.
[] Diligence will pay off! If you just sit and wait, eventually something will happen and you will not miss it.
[] Keep watch a bit longer, but you're going to have to get going sometime soon if nothing happens.
{X} Keep watch a bit longer, but you're going to have to get going sometime soon if nothing happens.
[x] Keep watch a bit longer, but you're going to have to get going sometime soon if nothing happens.
[x] Keep watch a bit longer, but you're going to have to get going sometime soon if nothing happens.
[+] Keep watch a bit longer, but you're going to have to get going sometime soon if nothing happens.
[x] Keep watch a bit longer, but you're going to have to get going sometime soon if nothing happens.

Might as well keep watch a little bit longer, at least to reassure yourself. The time passes mostly in silence, broken only by faint humming from Utsuho across the street and the occasional yawn from Rin. You finally hit your patience limit and stand up.

“Alright then, this is a wash, let's get moving,” you state, walking to the edge of the roof. Rin is on your heels, and Utsuho is standing up as well as you leap down to the road. No sooner do your feet kick up dust than you hear a faint crash and some shouting from somewhere nearby. Damn it! You leap back up to the rooftop, but Rin's already taken off ahead of you, and Utsuho quickly swoops overhead as well, leaving you to bound after them. You manage to catch up to them a few seconds after they touch down somewhere in the direction from where the sounds came from, finding an angry woman with pointy ears and red eyes tightly clutching a towel to her otherwise nude body.

“Which way did he run?” you hear Rin ask of the woman, who waves her hand off down the road on her right.

“Somewhere off that way! Damned fox. Give him a beating when you catch him, peeking like that!” the woman shouts, spotting you finally and then giving you a hard glare. “What are you looking at, pervert!?”

“Oh, him? Don't mind him, he's just some sexual predator we dragged down to Hell,” Rin lies, but of course this woman buys it entirely before you can even defend yourself, retreating into her house and slamming the sliding door shut.

“Thanks for that, Rin. Really. I hate my reputation anyway,” you comment, looking in the direction the woman indicated. “So who was it around here? Jiro?”

“Yep,” Rin sighs. “We've got a trail though,” she continues, “a scent trail at least. We could find him quickly, but he'd just run from us, and that wouldn't leave you much to do.”

“Well, what else can we do?” you ask. Rin shrugs.

“Have Okuu torch the area and chase him out of hiding?” Rin suggests, obviously grasping at straws. Something occurs to you though, about what that youkai woman said. A fox, huh...

[] Have the two track him, then you can all rush him at once.
[] Split off in his direction, see if you can track him down alone.
[] You have an idea... you just need to find some goodwill.


One of these days, I might learn how to update this punctually.
[x] You have an idea... you just need to find some goodwill.

That Damned Cat again!
[+] You have an idea... you just need to find some "goodwill".
-[+] Fried tofu and sake would make the perfect bait for a fox trap!
[x] You have an idea... you just need to find some "goodwill".
-[x] Fried tofu and sake would make the perfect bait for a fox trap!
>-[x] Fried tofu and sake would make the perfect bait for a fox trap!

Redundant option is redundant.

Updating sometime today again.
[x] You have an idea... you just need to find some "goodwill".
-[x] Fried tofu and sake would make the perfect bait for a fox trap!

If it's a fox you're dealing with, then you have a pretty big advantage on your side. Problem is, you need to get your hands on the bait.

“Think we could find someone around here with some tofu?” you ask, looking over at Rin, who shoots you back a confused look.

“What, you want to stop for a lunch break all of a sudden?” she snaps, but her irritation fades pretty quickly in front of your smug grin. “What?”

“We're chasing a fox, aren't we? If we had some fried tofu, it would make a pretty good lure,” you state, and Rin responds with a bewildered blink that quickly transforms into a happy smile.

“That could work!” she gasps, bounding a few steps ahead. “Let's get going, it shouldn't take too long.” The three of you take a few moments to canvas the area, searching for a supply of tofu and, optionally, sake. It doesn't take long to find both, but it takes a few coins out of pocket to convince the owners to hand over food to strangers, despite Rin's claim that you could just beat them up and take it. Within minutes, Utusho's sliding off a freshly fried piece of tofu from the large rod encapsulating her arm, then hands it over to you.

“The smell alone could attract him, so I'm going to take this and set up a trap. You two hide somewhere close and be ready,” you say, placing the tofu onto a plate of other fried bits and heading down the street a bit, until you reach an alley you can sit in. You make an effort to look natural, which isn't really that hard once you kick back and genuinely get into eating and drinking a bit of the lure. After a minute or so of waiting, you see someone poke their head around the corner of a house across the road, down the opposite alley. A few seconds later he steps out and walks towards you, making a poor effort at hiding the three fluffy tails hanging behind him. Looks like a young boy, you'd place him around 13 or so, shaggy brown hair, matching the brown on his animal ears and tails. Looks like a fox to you.

“Hey man, you think you could spare a bit of food for me? I'm kind of on the street and don't have anything to eat,” he says, sounding a little nervous. You casually glance up at him, then back to the tofu. You give an exaggerated shrug.

“Well, sure, I suppose. Have a seat,” you say, indicating a spot across the alley from you. The boy takes the offer and crouches down in front of you as you hand over a few pieces. He hungrily bites into one, wasting no time. As he eats, you silently nudge the bottle of sake towards him. After a short exchange of looks, he takes up the bottle and takes a big drink. As he lowers the bottle, he freezes up, staring at something above you. Before you can look, he kid breaks into a scurry, and shortly afterwards a red and black blob drops on top of him, crushing him to the ground with a yelp.

“Ah, damn it damn it I should have known this was some kind of stupid trap!” the boy shouts and trashes, trying to shake Rin off, but a quick rap to the head and he's still.

“Sit still Jiro! Stop being a pest, you're going home!” Rin complains, getting up onto her knees and pulling her capture into a sitting position, then both of them get onto their feet.

“But Satori's going to punish me!” Jiro whines, trying half-heartedly to pull away. Rin just sighs.

“We can't have you out here causing trouble, people will complain and it will only make things worse. Maybe if you and the others didn't screw around so much you wouldn't be in trouble,” Rin carries on, obviously onto some topic you're out of the loop on. Jiro looks none too pleased, but doesn't fight back anymore. Utsuho swoops down behind him and picks him up, now with both of her arms perfectly normal, leaving you wondering where that strange... thing is at, since you don't see it anywhere. Rin turns back to you as Jiro is carried away.

“Alright, that leaves the other two,” Rin says. She rolls her wheelbarrow up to you and nudges you in the leg with it. “Hop on!” You grumble a bit while you board for another ridiculous trip and an uncomfortable ride through the air. “We're going to go look for Tama next, since we haven't even seen hide or hair of Makie,” Rin says, flying towards a group of smoke plumes rising from a section of buildings. The closer you get, the more you realize it's a kind of shop district, though the shops in questions seem more like bars than anything once you start to land. Not too long after arriving in the area, Utusho swoops overhead and circles around to land near you and Rin. This area is fairly lively in comparison to the last place, with youkai milling around everywhere. You're likely going to need to count on Rin and Utsuho to find this Tama.

“Alright, ready for the next target,” Utsuho says with a confident grin.

“How are we going to do this?” Rin asks, looking between you and the bird-girl. Utsuho seems to have something on her mind, and you could probably whip up an idea quickly if need be.

[] Defer to Utsuho
[] Come up with something yourself. [Write in]
[x] Ask the idiotic, nuclear-powered Hellcrow what she has in mind.
[x] Ask about Tama.

Voting this way because :

1) Voting is slow for the moment. Not enough information about Tama or whatever to form an interesting plan.
2) I'm curious about what Utsuho has in mind, sorta like poking at a week-dead roadkill or a traffic accident. At the very least, it might provide information for a different plan.
[x] Ask the idiotic, nuclear-powered Hellcrow what she has in mind.
[x] Ask about Tama.
[x] Ask the idiotic, nuclear-powered Hellcrow what she has in mind.
[x] Ask about Tama.
File 125887654126.jpg - (87.74KB, 800x662 , 7b23f6f134619355c7e6d4a049536180.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Ask the idiotic, nuclear-powered Hellcrow what she has in mind.
[x] Ask about Tama.

poor mistreated utsuho.
[x] Ask the idiotic, nuclear-powered Hellcrow what she has in mind.
[x] Ask about Tama.

Utsuho's looking rather sure of something she might have on mind, so you decide you'd probably be best off hearing what she had to say before making any decisions.

“You look like you're about to start steaming from whatever you're cooking up,” you say, nodding to Utsuho. She blinks out of her focus and gives you a confused look.

“Huh? Steaming? I haven't had any water since this morning...” she replies, drifting off into thought again at the end. What the hell.

“I meant you look like you wanted to say something, like you had an idea for what to do,” you state, and Utsuho's eyes widen in realization.

“Oh! Yeah, yeah! I was thinking...” she pauses, for a moment, “since we're all out here in the entertainment district, we should stop for lunch, and I was trying to decide if I wanted fried rice or soba.” This girl is something else... Rin bursts into laughter.

“Ah, that sounds about right for you, Okuu,” Rin says, regaining her composure, then turns her attention to you. “Well, you have anything?”

“I suppose we could start with information on this Tama we're looking for,” you say, leaving Utsuho to her... pondering.

“That's easy,” Rin says, crossing her arms triumphantly, “he's one of my charges, so he's a cat. A nekomata, more specifically, recently turned. He's a bit of a rambunctious type and is always stirring up trouble back at the Earth Palace. I know he's got a few friends out here, so he's likely to be with them, which means we could be gearing for a fight if he doesn't give up.” Combat, huh? That's something to keep in mind. You make a quick check of your stock of cards, making sure everything is all in order.

“Any ideas where to start?” you ask, to which Rin smiles.

“We start with lunch,” she replies.


Several minutes later, you're sitting in a crowded restaurant in front of a bowl of ramen, with Rin having gotten herself some grilled fish and Utsuho finally settling on yakisoba. Having that fried tofu didn't really do much for your appetite other than wake it up, so a proper meal is quite welcome. Your feathered companion seems to follow that sentiment, as she quickly digs into her own noodles. The meal passes relatively silently, which you have no arguments against. Pushing away your empty bowl, you recline in your seat and fold your hands over your stomach.

“So, you're covering the cost, right?” you ask of Rin, preempting any attempt she might make of pinning it on you. Seems you played your hand just in time from the scowl on her face, but she once again regains her mischievous grin.

“Well, so long as we're paying, I guess you don't mind if we shave off the payment you'd receive. In that case, we should get seconds! Oh, no let's get something expensive!” she muses.

“Ah, well I suppose I can cover my cost,” you retort, fishing out some change. One pile of coins later, you're headed towards the door to officially start your search when you see Rin stop. You stop as well and see she's looking off towards the other end of the restaurant. “What's up?”

“Tama's group is over there,” she says, gesturing towards a cluster of youkai in a couple of booths along a far wall. “Guess we won't have to go too far to get him, but this could be tricky,” Rin looks over to you. “Any plans?”

[] Wait outside and ambush them when they leave, aim to abduct Tama and get him away ASAP.
[] Wait outside and ambush them when they leave, aim to subdue the group and take Tama away.
[] You're tired of waiting around for the day, head over and get things done now.
[] See if there isn't some kind of way you could lure Tama away alone. [Optional: write in plan]
[x] Wait outside and ambush them when they leave, aim to subdue the group and take Tama away.

They won't ever see it coming. After they are done, claim your price.
Hey! I've been listening to Book of the Five Rings on audio lately, and I'm dying to use it!

[x]Flowing Water Cut

Hmmm.... actually, it does have tactical advice for something like this. It also has swordfighting advice/tactical/life advice too. Fun shit.

[x] Wait outside and ambush them when they leave, aim to subdue the group and take Tama away.
-[x] If Tama bolts, get at least one of the group. Tell them that Rin will tell embarrassing Tama stories until he gives himself up.

>-[x] If Tama bolts, get at least one of the group. Tell them that Rin will tell embarrassing Tama stories until he gives himself up.

Now you're thinking like me.
[x] Wait outside and ambush them when they leave, aim to subdue the group and take Tama away.
-[x] If Tama bolts, get at least one of the group. Tell them that Rin will tell embarrassing Tama stories until he gives himself up.
[x] Wait outside and ambush them when they leave, aim to subdue the group and take Tama away.
-[x] If Tama bolts, get at least one of the group. Tell them that Rin will tell embarrassing Tama stories until he gives himself up.
[x] Wait outside and ambush them when they leave, aim to subdue the group and take Tama away.
-[x] If Tama bolts, get at least one of the group. Tell them that Rin will tell embarrassing Tama stories until he gives himself up.
Updates are due. I'll try to have something by Tuesday.
[x] Wait outside and ambush them when they leave, aim to subdue the group and take Tama away.
-[x] If Tama bolts, get at least one of the group. Tell them that Rin will tell embarrassing Tama stories until he gives himself up.

You don't want to cause a scene inside the building, considering it is filled with youkai. Visions of an old west saloon brawl come to mind; tables being kicked over, bars rolled over, chairs thrown. Someone falls from a balcony with a stock scream effect. Several windows are broken... hmmm... nah, actually that would just be a headache to deal with.

“We could ambush them outside,” you say, looking back out the door. “Lay in wait for them to exit and then spring on them, beat them all to the ground and then drag Tama away.”

“Works for me!” Rin says, heading out first, and Utsuho and yourself follow closely afterwards. Once outside, the three of you head over to some rocks beside the building and set up a stakeout, crouching or otherwise laying prone to hide yourself as best as possible while still being able to see the doorway.

“This ground is so dusty,” Utsuho complains, looking at the dirt road beneath her with contempt, running a hand over it and grimacing. “My wings will get all filled with sand, ugh.”

“Hush, you,” Rin replies, looking over your back at her bird companion, who sulks in response to being scolded. While Utsuho is laying nearly flat on the ground despite the large... thing on her chest, Rin is in more of a crouch, with her hands palm down between her chest and the road, and squatting on her knees. She reminds you of, well, a cat getting read to pounce, go figure. A few minutes of silence passes and a few people exit the restaurant, one of which is carrying a paper bag.

“Wah, I should have gotten a doggie bag,” Utsuho complains again, resting her chin on her hands.

“But those are for dogs, Okuu,” Rin retorts, a smile creeping across her face. Utsuho looks a little troubled by that response, and lapses into a ponderous hum.

“I suppose I should have gotten a birdie bag then,” she says after a few more minutes. More silence follows, and then some more people begin to emerge from the doorway, which gets a small chuckle from Rin.

“There they are!” she whispers, visually tensing up, hands rising to her fingertips, and planting her toes on the ground. Definitely a cat-like pose. “Hit them with your best, Okuu!”

“Roger!” Utsuho replies, pushing herself up quickly and bringing her hands to the large red eye thing on her chest, which begins to emit a rapidly brightening glow. You hear someone in the emerging group shout, and almost immediately afterwards, a bright flash of light emerges from Utusho as she fires a huge roiling fireball down the road at the group, followed quickly by a few running steps and a leap into the air as she takes flight, raining down more small fireballs apparently fired from her wings as she swoops in behind the ball of fire. Following the bird's lead, Rin springs over the rocks and lands in a dead run. You're the last to move, doing all you can to keep up with two youkai. Utsuho's initial attack scattered the group rather quickly, a few of which are laying on the ground smoldering already while the others dodge the hail of firey attacks coming from above while Rin jumps from youkai to youkai, swinging her wheelbarrow like some kind of hammer. You enter the fray as well, drawing your sword and turning it to the blunt edge. You're instantly targeted by a panicked youkai among the group, who launches into an attack you easily avoid by catching it with your stomach.

In fact, the only reason it wasn't an utter failure of an attempt on your part is because at the time the blow to your stomach connected, you managed to club the youkai in the head with the blunt of your sword, infused with the spirit energy you could muster on short notice, which is enough to disorient the guy enough for him to stumble back. You manage to swallow the pain rather easily for someone on the verge of evicting your stomach's contents, pressing on to make a few more swings at anyone fighting back, scoring a few more hits and landing a knock out blow on one you took by surprise. With the 'battle' having come to an end with your ambush team the clear victor in a small group of unconscious and lightly singed youkai, Utsuho lands, and you all begin searching for the actual target among the casualties.

“He's not here,” Rin says with a sneer, kicking one of the downed youkai in annoyance.

“Maybe he got burnt to ash?” Utsuho says idly, looking a bit more concerned with brushing off dirt from her clothes than actually searching the scene. Rin grumbles, then grabs one of the least unconscious groupies and drags him to his feet and jostles him awake with a shake.

“Hey! Where'd Tama go?” Rin shouts to the awaking youkai, who instantly turns to rubber.

“I dunno, lady! He ran when the fighting started,” the captive blubbers. Rin gives him another shake, which is met with a weak whine as the beaten youkai is rattled. “Stop! I don't know where he went! Seriously!” Rin lets go of the guy, and he collapses to a heap on the ground.

“Ah, damn it. We should have just went for Tama and forgotten about the riffraff,” Rin complains, crossing her arms over her chest and glaring back at you. “We need a new plan now.” You frown at having the burden placed on you again, but you run through a few ideas anyway, until a thought occurs to you.

“You said Tama's one of your charges, right Rin?” you ask, eliciting a nod in response. “So, would you know a lot of... secrets about him?” you continue your questioning. Rin nods again, looking a little more confused than angry now. “Well... what do you think this group would think of these secrets?” Rin's face blanks entirely, then quickly jumps straight to mischievous grin.

“Oh... that's... ahahaha,” Rin obviously enjoys the idea, her eyes shining with an evil light. Truly the eyes of someone holding many dark and terrible secrets that will forever destroy the reputation of a certain someone. “Let's get the audience prepared! It's story time!”


A few minutes later, with frequent trips back into the restaurant for rope and the assistance of the captive already taken, the group of battered youkai start to come around, seated in a half circle in the middle of the road, their hands and feet bound, with Rin and Utsuho standing in front of them.

“Good evening, boys!” Rin says with cheer. “Allow me to be your host for today's 'Storytime with Orin!' Now, you all be good little kids and sit still, or else my friend Okuu here will burn your body and soul to nothing!” Rin takes a moment to indicate Utsuho standing next to her, who is very clearly radiating heat, the large eye thing on her chest glowing brightly while the two girls smile innocently. You've never seen a group of people so quickly and irrevocably fascinated before in your life, all eyes on Rin and not a one dares to turn their head or even move on pain of terrible death.

What follows the introduction is a collection of embarrassing stories about Tama, the nights subject, and the various misadventures and situations he's gotten himself into around the household. It's informative for you as well, as you learn of the master behind all these pets, one Satori Komeiji, as well as a bit more behind their home, 'The Palace of Earth Spirits'. Of course, learning that Tama is actually a very obedient kid otherwise and a total brown noser despite his penchant for causing trouble is also entertaining, as well as the fact that he's helplessly determined to win over Rin's heart.

“Oh! I just remembered this one time I caught him 'cleaning'!” Rin says happily, clapping her hands and smiling ear to ear. “You see, being a cat, Tama is able to bend a lot farther than normal, and so he can reach a lot of places with his tongue. Well, it seems he got a little... carried away this one particular time. I had the misfortune of walking in on this scene afterwards, him furiously wiping at his face,” she pauses, likely to build tension, “it seems while he was 'cleaning', he had a bit of an 'accident' all over his own face. I actually had to help him wipe off some of the cu-”

“STOPSTOPSTOPSTOPSTOP!” a panicked voice calls out as a cat-eared boy runs towards the group, his entire face red as a tomato. “Don't say anything more! I give up! Take me home, please, please! Just stop with the stories!” Rin instantly grabs him by the back of the neck as he comes within range.

“Well, if you insist...” Rin says, feigning dejection as she hoists the boy into the air and floats up. “I'm going to take him home,” Rin addresses you before turning to the group gathered on the ground, “everyone is free to-” she never gets to complete the sentence, as the moment she says 'free', all the captives easily slip, break or otherwise escape their bonds and take off, scattering in all directions. Content with her victory, Rin flies off with her capture, leaving you behind with Utsuho. With just the two of you, you're not too sure what to do, or say. Utsuho's proven herself to be a bit dim, and you're not really sure of any kind of conversation you could have with her in the meantime. You do have one question, though.

“Say, Utsuho?” you call her attention, getting an inquisitive hum as she looks over at you. She's stopped emitting heat, and the eye has faded back to the deep red colour it normally is. “I was wondering what your power is exactly.” Utsuho smiles widely.

“My power is Nuclear... something,” the states proudly, losing steam almost instantly as her train of thought derails, “I actually forget what it was called again. I was told once, but I forgot since. It's really powerful though!” Nuclear... what. You've never heard of anything like that, but is it even safe to be near her? Wouldn't she be radioactive or something? You suddenly find yourself very concerned with your health, concern that must show on your face, since you're getting a very curious look from Utsuho. “Unyu?” she intones, a sound you still don't really understand.

“Uh, nothing... really. It's just... a little surprising,” you state, trying to make it look like you're not worried. Utsuho looks content with that explanation though.

“Thanks! What's your power then?” she asks in turn.

“I don't really have one,” you reply, looking down at your sword. “I can kind of use a sword, and a bit of danmaku, but I have no real power.”

“Oh? That's kind of sad,” Utsuho says, looking contemplative. “I could give you some of mine, if you want. I think,” she says, scratching her chin. “I do remember my power was given to me, so maybe I could give it to you too.”

“Really?” you ask, a little curious. If it would let you throw huge fireballs like she did not too long ago...

“Yeah! Maybe,” Utsuho cheers, but then seems distressed, “Oh, but wait... I had to eat something to get my power, and I don't really know if you could eat me...” You allow your mind to wander with interpretations of 'eat me' for a few seconds before Utsuho brightens up again. “I know! I could try just pouring some of my power into you! That worked to power up a few things before!” she exclaims excitedly as the eye on her chest begins to glow once again. FU-

“Nonononono!” you quickly interject, stepping aside and out of directly in front of her. “That's okay! You don't have to, I was just wondering if it was possible!”

“Oh? Okay then!” Utsuho says, her glow fading as she goes back to being occupied with her thoughts. Not too long after, Rin returns.

“Good news!” she says as she floats down, “Makie got herself caught by another pet that went out on an errand, so we don't have to go looking for her.” That is good news indeed. “Though, Satori learned about you and expressed an interest in meeting you, so if you want to come back with us for a bit, you're welcome to. Otherwise, we can go back to Yuugi and tell her you've completed your job.”

Well, you're all for collecting your pay and heading home, but you don't really know if you'll have a chance to go back underground any time soon. It might not hurt to try to make some contacts down here...

[] Accept the invitation, you want to meet her too.
[] Decline the invitation, you want to get home ASAP.
[x] Accept the invitation, you want to meet her too.
[] Accept the invitation, you want to meet her too.
[x] Accept the invitation, you want to meet her too.
Huuuhhhh.... I almost feel sorry for making that write-in... but since I'm not sorry, it's 125.31% awesome.


I wonder if Rin's human-form is that flexible?

[x] Accept the invitation, you want to meet her too.
{X} Accept the invitation, you want to meet her too.
[x] Accept the invitation, you want to meet her too.

No shame in meeting Satori, and it'll be good for business in the future.

There are certain images now going through my head and they are sexy awesome, thank you for that.

[x] Accept the invitation, you want to meet her too.

I originally intended to write a short bit while Rin was being flirty/forward where she nearly licks the whole length of her leg, starting from the deep inner thigh to tease you further. In the end I didn't use it because of the vote that won indicating a desire to progress towards Tsukiko, but you're welcome to the mental image.
BTW, before I forget again : how the language-border-translation-babelfish set-up handle poems and songs? If you recite a poem that rhymes in your language but not in the language of the listener, would the listener still figure out that it rhymed? What about if you just said the thing in a monotone? How does it interpret songs or poems that have other foreign words stuck in it?

It would work about the same as translating the same thing across normally. I would say that it would make an attempt to make the result rhyme, but I don't really think that would be possible under most circumstances. They likely wouldn't understand it rhymes unless you told them it was supposed to in your native language in that case.

As for foreign words interspersed, I suppose that they would be straight translated as well. Really, it was more of an excuse to get around the concept of a language barrier, so I didn't really spend a whole lot of time thinking on how it works. Maybe if you simply believe it will work, you faith will be enough?
This is why not all haiku can be translated and still hold their form, and why the ones that are have that weird, unusual feel to them because you have to mangle the English a little to get it to fit 5-7-5 in both languages.

I think.
I already know about translation issues of that nature. (Or more accurately, it would be nearly impossible to find someone around here that doesn't.)

I do recall there being some odd tricks or implications one could pull off either way.
[x] Accept the invitation, you want to meet her too.
Would there still be an audience for this if I got around to updating again, or should I move on to one of my other ideas like Warlord, or A Certain Devilish Library?
File 126645402023.jpg - (340.34KB, 1150x450 , b9bb863ad71ec4877bf06e4e70e0145b.jpg) [iqdb]
>A Certain Devilish Library?
Do want.

I've been waiting for updates to this for quite a while.

Do what you want. But you could try for the Warlord idea, due to kirin announcing he's going to go AWOL.

Would I be a bad person if I said the first thing that came to mind when I heard Kirin quit which was like a week or two ago was pretty much exactly that?

Anyway, leaving this to see how many more replies I get. I might update it anyway since... I'm going to be having a lot more free time for a little while.
I'll read this if you update; I want to see how this little story ends.
I would read this since find it to be quite entertaining.

I like the notion of ACDL, but I'd rather have you finish a story before moving on to that.

I wouldn't mind if this story were updated as well, but I could get behind one or both of those.

Well... I never really had any overarching story idea in mind for this, more or less a completely by-the-seat-of-my-pants deal of slice of life problem solvan.

That said though, I think I'll start up ACDL, since it's the most recent idea I've really liked and I've already had many ideas for Voile-kun/Koakuma interactions and hijinx, so I suppose there's that.

... I wonder if I'm the only one that's going to attempt writing four stories at once. I wonder how successful that'd be.

In before catasrophic failure.
Angry Desu has about 6 going. Apparently the key is to update one of them a couple times a month and completely forget about the rest.
Jerl had 4 going at one point in time I believe

VTAiG and especially CTAiG shouldn't count.
This story is nice enough. Besides, it's been around for awhile now. Once we've mastered controlling your likeness, we'll have all the skill we need to manipulate you.

Also, I'm curious if the lack of flying ability is subconscious sabotage to avoid choosing whether or not to stay in Gensenkyo or not.
Gensenkyo, home to Honshuu, Erin, Kagosa, and I forget the third most recent name-butchering, but that one too.

Thread Watcher x