Previous thread >>46337 Character blurbs: www.touhou-project.com/others/theater
The afternoon sun gently warmed the city. People in the streets relished the fact, shedding jackets and sweaters that had been appropriate for the still-nippy mornings. It would only be a short while until it was summer and all pretensions of being warmly-clothed would disappear entirely. Then the sun would no longer be the welcome friend that it was and would instead be a pest that made life uncomfortably hot and sticky.
Come to think of it, there was already a change in attire at school. Though the short-sleeved summer uniform was still not officially required, students had begun to wear their blazers and sweaters less. Personally I hadn't made a conscious choice about my uniform, just wearing my clothes as sloppily as I always did. Come rain or shine I was always as scruffy-looking as usual. Marisa, however, seemed to project a mixed message. While she wasn't wearing legwarmers she still had her sweater on but the top button of her blouse was undone.
She smiled casually at me, noticing how I was staring, and asked, “is there something on your mind?”
“Just getting a feel for how you carry on,” I replied non-committedly.
“You're liable to make me blush at this rate,” she said with a giggle. “I'm not used to being stared at so intently.”
“Mm, I've caught you staring at me during class like that though,” I turned the tables on her, “it's only right that I get to quietly size you up too sometimes.”
“I was probably just wondering what was on your mind. Or seeing how close you are with Suika. You two really seem to get along, you know.”
“What, me and that lunkhead?” I chuckled. “We're often fighting and giving each other crap. Don't know if that's something that great. It can be an unreasonable pain.”
“Is that why you had those bruises the other day? Fighting with her?”
“Pretty much, don't tell her that you know though, or she'll get too full of herself.”
“Mmm...” A grin manifested itself on her. I wasn't sure what to make of it. “You really are close,” she concluded, a look of understanding in her eyes.
“If I didn't know any better, I'd say you sounded a little jealous,” I teased.
“No, that's not it,” she shook her head, “just appreciative. I remember when we were like that as kids.”
I drew a blank. I couldn't remember much of the past. I tried not to think about it too much. There few fond memories there and a lot of unpleasant ones. I steered the conversation away from the past, “at any rate, you're perhaps too reasonable. There's nothing wrong with being a little jealous every once in a while. Everything in moderation, as they say. It shows that you care.”
“Maybe I should mark my territory then,” she said with an impish glimmer in her eyes, kind of like the one she had when she told me to kiss Kaenbyou. “Come Monday I'll kiss you right in the middle of homeroom.”
“Relax, I was just joking,” she laughed. Evidently my thoughts had shown on my face. Too many considerations about fallout as well as my reputation at school had crossed my mind. “I'm not going to do anything that you don't want me to,” she told me. “Besides, I couldn't do something so callous to Alice. She's been really nice to me even though she's had no reason to be nice. I did, after all, claim that I liked someone that she liked.”
“Oh, don't worry about it,” I told her, “we aren't like that. We're just neighbors and childhood friends. I think she'd rather marry a gorilla than ever go out with me. I just don't think of her in that way and I doubt she thinks of me like that either.”
“We're childhood friends too,” she reminded me, “and you shouldn't be so inconsiderate of how others feel. Maybe it's mutual denial with the both of you. She won't talk about herself with me, but is quick to bring you up.”
“Complaining about something I did more often than not, I bet.”
“She complains alright... but there's a real warmth behind her words. I think you're too hard on one another.”
“You're too kind,” I shook my head, “giving love advice about one of your rivals. Even if we disagree isn't that a bit too much?”
“I just want all of us to be happy,” she answered. “Besides,” her expression darkened for just an instant, “I'm not nearly as nice as you make me out to be. I'm also being really unfair.” A statement like that begged an inquiring followup. But, like I had changed the subject earlier, Marisa chose to do so as well. “It's been sweet of you to walk with me to work,” she said, “but I think that I've taken up enough of your time.”
“I could say the same to you. You really came through for me today, thanks. And it's no bother to walk you all the way there. We're almost there,” I said, looking around at the busy streets. The normal weekend bustle meant that the streets were full of shoppers and bored people.
Still, she'd have none of it, forcibly waving goodbye. I couldn't really stop her because of the flow of pedestrian traffic – once she ducked into a stream of people I lost track of her. It was a bad habit of hers to unilaterally decide to leave.
Well, at least it had been nice walking with her.
 Spend the weekend working and make money
 See what other people are up to
Alices please. Maybe we can get some insight into Marisa's darkside. Alice is one of the few named character Marisa regularly interacts with. Option two would be the cafe owner.
Dammit writefag, I want to know Marisa's secrets.
>>46927 Just vote. Not like it'll make a difference judging how all but one are the same. Love is more important than wealth but maybe that's just me. But you should always vote since it at least encourages me and maybe gets things moving. You'd be surprised at how small things have a big impact on this site.
And yeah, Orin definitely isn't a tsundere. Put yourself in her shoes, Arc has been forcefully prying into her private life. Even if you think that the person doing that is kinda cute, it's still not something most people would accept easily. Next thing you know you'll be calling Marisa yandere...
>>46928 >And yeah, Orin definitely isn't a tsundere. Put yourself in her shoes, Arc has been forcefully prying into her private life. Even if you think that the person doing that is kinda cute, it's still not something most people would accept easily. Next thing you know you'll be calling Marisa yandere...
Yes, that's exactly what I thought. She's pretty easy going, from the first meeting with her. Not as much as the others, of course, but still. We did made her angry, by doing something very bad.
Well, if you insist...
[X] Spend the weekend working and make money
It's not that I disagree with your love > money, but having dates is is good way to work on love. Merely planning for the future.
Also, still ignoring posts with no comment, eh? What if I have nothing to say? What's the minimun level of comment do you accept?
>>46930 Oh please, that's so cliche. She'd be hiding under the bed and listening to Arc's breathing as he slept
>>46931 Anything will do pretty much. It's nice if you have something to add to the discussion but even just a single line about the update/a character or whatever is good enough. It's a useful filter for people who haven't been following the story among other things.
“Wow, did you get dumped or something?” Auntie greeted me with a gamine smirk. Cutting to the quick as always. If it was anyone else saying it. I'd have been bothered. But with her it was easy to accept.
“If I had been dumped, I'd at least have been in a relationship. That's more than I can say for a certain spinster whom I live with,” I jabbed right back.
“Such cruelty~” she laughed, “I couldn't go find myself a man until my wayward charge found his way in life. Anything else would be shirking my duties as a guardian.”
“Well then, o thoughtful guardian,” I rolled my eyes, “I've come to work.”
“Yeah, fine, get a move on then,” she indicated to the room out back. I got changed and got right to it.
Nothing too exciting about spending a weekend working. Doing inventory, restocking and working the register were tasks that a monkey could do. Auntie was easygoing enough but she wasn't afraid to crack the whip when we got a little busier. There often wasn't a chance to think much either. The prerequisite for that was having idle hands – a luxury not afforded to a working stiff.
“We're done for the day,” Auntie announced mid-afternoon on Sunday. The store closed earlier on Sundays and most of the customers came right before or after lunch, looking for wine mostly. She went over the accounts, writing in income and expenses in the appropriate columns. Good bookkeeping was the cornerstone of a successful business, she had told me before. “I trust you'll be wanting your wage?” she asked, raising an eyebrow as she crunched a few numbers on a calculator.
“That'd be nice.”
She opened up a small lockbox with petty cash with a key she kept around her neck. Grabbing a few bills, she handed it to me, “there you are.”
“Glad to be of service,” I smiled and took the money.
Auntie was busy writing in the ledger. Still, she had time to make some small talk, “are you saving up for anything? This last week you've worked pretty much every day here. First and advance and then a weekend. You better not have knocked anyone up,” she laughed but I could tell that a small part of her was serious. I couldn't blame her. There were plenty of reasons to think me irresponsible.
“Is that really how you think of me?” I acted like that hurt.
“If the shoe fits...”
“You don't know how much I dread getting a call from some other parent telling me about the untoward things you've done to their daughter and how you should take responsibility. I know you're in the springtime of your youth but you wouldn't want that to end with a shotgun wedding.” There was nothing unreasonable about that. It would suck to have my carefree days end like that.
Still, she shouldn't worry about it. “I've got it handled, I'm not going to screw myself that hard anytime soon,” I sad.
“For your sake, I hope you don't, prudence is key.”
“Well, for your information, I just want to have money handy,” I told her, “it's useful for a lot of different things.”
“Like buying your dear relative a thank you gift for all the work she's done raising you?”
“Maybe,” I teased, “maybe I'll spend it on cigarettes and alcohol. Maybe a tattoo.”
“Go ahead, ruin yourself,” she did not suffer my insolence, giving me a stern warning, “girls these days don't care for losers like that. You'd be only hurting your chances.”
“Yeah, yeah. Well, see ya,” I waved a goodbye to her, not really wanting to get into another pointless argument. She had voiced her concerns and I had appropriately dismissed them. My prerogative as an arrogant young man.
I had enough money to last me for a while. The advance I had gotten earlier was already more than enough and the money from the two days of work was like icing on the cake. Enough to warrant a little fun.
Feeling like a million bucks, I decided to head into town for a little fun. The sun would be setting soon, transforming the lazy sunday afternoon into a vibrant night. Nothing wholesome was going to remain open for much longer. That was fine by me.
While walking past the park, I found myself witness to an odd scene. Two women were bickering rather loudly. A few people turned their heads as they passed by but no one wanted to get too drawn into it. By the looks of it, it was a heated argument. A woman with short hair and tidy-looking clothes was wagging her finger violently at her companion. Looked like a self-conscious office lady. The other woman wore much more casual wear, a bit loose and even a bit sloppy. She was a redhead with shoulder-length hair and twin ponytails held in place by hair beads.
Looked like a parent scolding her unrepentant child, sorta, save for the fact that they were close in age. Still, I knew how that went. It wasn't fun. As luck would have it, I was singled out. I made eye contact with the bored-looking woman and her face lit up in a smile. Like she recognized me. She waved at me, loudly proclaiming, “yoo-hoo, I'm here darlin'!”
The woman broke away from her companion, and walked on over towards me. The other woman followed closely, nagging as she came near, “Komachi, we're not done here!”
“Yeah, yeah, I've heard you. I'll have my half of the rent by tomorrow, I'm off to work now. This here is my coworker.”
The woman scrutinized me briefly, deciding quickly that I wasn't much to look at. Disdainfully, she observed, “you shouldn't work anywhere seedy enough to hire a kid like this. He looks like he's barely old enough to be in school.”
“It's not like I'm doing him or anything,” Komachi smiled a little provocatively, “at least, not yet.”
“You're hopeless!” the other woman fumed. “I'm sick and tired of looking out for you while you do whatever you want. If you're involved with some underage kid then I won't be able to help you if you get into a jam again.”
“Ha, don't worry,” she winked, “unless you're saying all that because you're jealous? Didn't know you had a thing for younger guys.”
“I do not!” the woman looked so livid that I had the impression that her head might explode at any moment. Her face was red with anger and her eyes showed absolutely murderous intent.
“It won't do you any good to deny yourself pleasure, Shiki, you'll look like a granny in no time from all the stress.” Without waiting for her stunned companion's reply, the woman stuck out her tongue and bid her goodbye. I was swept up in the moment and forcefully pulled along away from her friend.
“Hey, let go of me already,” I said with a mean scowl. The intensity of the moment had made me passive but after we had left the angry woman behind my senses had returned to me.
“Yeah, ok, sorry kid,” the redhead apologized. “That must have been unpleasant for you, huh?”
“Yes, it was. Do you make it a habit to involve strangers in your messes?”
“Oh, so you don't remember me?” she said with a chuckle, highly amused by my statement.
“We've met?” I couldn't remember who she was for the life of me. Normally I'd remember someone as troublesome as her. Especially if they had a nice face and a well-endowed chest like she did. I didn't know that many redheads either.
“Sorta,” she stated, keeping the mystery to herself, “it's not important. I just want to thank you for being a trooper and helping me out of that. She was liable to continue chewing me out for a good while. Some people need to understand that we have other priorities in life other than paying the rent right away. A girl needs her small luxuries, otherwise what's it all for?”
“...whatever.” I was beginning to sympathize with her angry friend. This woman was clearly a handful. The type to shy away from pulling her own weight when it came to shared responsibilities.
“Alright, thank you anyways kid,” she kissed me on the cheek, “I owe you one. If we meet again, I'll be good for that debt, you hear?”
“Uh-huh, I'm sure,” I was certain that I'd never see her again as she disappeared into the crowd of people. What was with that? Some things in life had no satisfying answer, I reckoned.
 Unwind at a bar
 Spend time at the adult entertainment district
>work at a seedy place
>sorta met before
Angel?" No way, he'd recognize her for sure... wait, that was months ago from his perspective. And ours, for that matter. Well, there's an easy way to find out right here.
[x] Spend time at the adult entertainment district
She's no Reisen, but she wears rabbit ears. Close enough.
>Too bad I wasn't interested in little sisters in that sort of way, I found them annoying. Sure, I accepted that I was biased because of my experience with my cousin but I just couldn’t bring myself to think of someone like the younger Scarlet in romantic terms.
I kinda forgot to cry over this, last thread. I guess there are characters we can't have?
And still sad that we've seen no Sanae yet. This story is nice, but the fact that only a few characters are a constant makes me even sadder. So many characterizations to see~
>>46957 >>46958 Flandre isn't interested in stupid boys who would promise the world to her. She'd rather discipline the ones who show promise, making them serve their blonde Queen. Or something. I'm not sure where I'm going with this.
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As city lights and neon signs came on, a different kind of person began appearing on the streets. Instead of families out for a Sunday stroll and schoolkids enjoying their day off from school, an older crowd of fun-seeking 20somethings and bored salarymen took to the streets. They tended to keep to themselves and seldom were an obstacle to doing my own thing. The code of the street was an unspoken, but normal, part of the nightlife. Live and let live and mind the vomit.
I wandered into a side street (alley more like – plenty of back doors and garbage), away from the glitzy glamor of the clubs and bars which proudly advertised that they were open for business. The best places were away from the limelight, tucked away and hidden. There was a large, heavy wooden door about halfway down the alleyway. A small brass plaque on it indicated the name of the locale, “Paradise Hall”, and offered no hint of what kind of establishment it was.
Naturally, I knew what I was in for. I pushed open the door. Soft piano music came from within. I stepped inside and let the heavy door close behind me. Inside was a world completely separate from the city that surrounded it. Large, cushioned seats filled the space and equally-comfortable booths lined the sides and corners. Well-padded stools lined up in front of a tall bar made from a noble dark wood. The small size of the room made it feel intimate and the dim lighting relaxing. Time was meaningless in this safe haven, it was a refuge for all the regulars from the harsh realities of life.
Not that I was really a regular, I was just a guy who had managed to stumble upon the secret world. Completely by accident too. Not even Suika knew of this place's existence, it would feel like a grave trespass to tell anyone about it. It was some months ago when I was just sick of trying to get into the popular university bars. Too much noise, too much distraction. As well as high prices. Discovering this relaxing hole in the wall had been a godsend.
I sat on a stool, leaving the other patrons in peace. They were there for a reason, likely to escape real life. They didn't need me badgering them for no good reason.
The barkeep was impeccably attired. A true pro not only in looks but in skill. I watched him mix up a perfect grasshopper effortlessly and serve it to a female patron. He then turned to me and took my drink order, evidently not going to ask questions about my age. Discretion was part of his job and anyone who set foot into his establishment earned exemption from scrutiny and judgment.
“Oh, what surprising good taste,” my stool neighbor observed. “I thought no one asked for gimlets in this day and age.”
“And no one makes them with gin anymore,” I said, “it's only here that they assume you want a classic.”
“Maybe I should have gotten one myself,” she said.
I turned to look at her drink. “A sidecar isn't too bad,” I said, “perhaps a bit too sweet for me.”
“Perhaps,” she said with a coquettish giggle that was all too particular to the female sex, “it's fine for a lady, however. My name is Yukari,” she introduced herself, “and you are?”
“Arc,” I replied, sizing her up. And boy there was a lot of her to size up. Long, straight blond hair that flowed smoothly in a golden cascade down to her waist. And those eyes, beautifully deep and intense, yet somehow softened by both the lighting and the contrast from her amber-colored drink. Full set of lips, painted a glossy ruby red. Stirring in more ways than one. Not to mention that slender neck of hers, so fastidiously framed by a plain dark ribbon used as a choker. Her décolletage was plainly exposed for the world to see and her dress casually displayed generous portions of cleavage while snuggly nestling her bosom. It ended somewhere above her knee, it was hard to judge exactly where while she was sitting. Her long boots also obscured just how tall she was and projected the illusion of legs that went on forever, there was pale and unblemished flesh as far as the eye could see.
Her appearance just screamed adult sophistication and her aura (mixed with her delicate perfume) made it hard to look away.
She bore a playful smile, looking like I was the most interesting thing in the world. Female wiles truly were horrible, since I believed it from the depth of my soul. Logic had long since been silenced, shot by the dual revolutionaries instinct and desire. “A pleasure to meet you, Arc,” her voice took care of any remaining partisans. It was as smooth as velvet.
“May I buy you a drink?” I offered, following standard procedure for a babe by the book.
“Kind of you to offer, but I think I'll just try a bit of yours if you don't mind,” she winked and took my cocktail glass, slowly bringing the rim to her lips. She only drank a sip, smiling and thanking me. A red mark where her lipstick rubbed off remained on the rim. “That was lovely, it's been a while since I tasted one of those.” Yukari hailed the bartended, “another one of those for my friend, if you will, on me.”
“Thank you, but I'm not quite done with this one,” I said and waved the bartender away. She had subverted the time-honored tradition of buying a girl a drink. Not that I cared.
“I may have ruined it for you,” she said, “I realize that a lot of people are mindful of other people touching their drinks.”
“Nonsense,” I picked up the cocktail glass, smiling, “I don't mind if someone like you shares a drink with me.”
“Next thing you know, you'll be offering your coat because it's cold in here,” she giggled, “and I was told that politesse was a thing of the past.”
“Even if it was, I wouldn't mind reliving the old days a little,” I told her, taking a drink.
And that was just the beginning of a lot of conversation. A few horus (and drinks) later, we were still at it. She didn't tell me much about herself, instead we talked mostly about the city and our favorite drinks. I may not have been as sophisticated as she was, but one of the perks of growing up working in a liquor store was that you picked up a lot of knowledge about spirits and how to drink them. I impressed her with my knowledge of different drinks and several times she ordered what we were talking about so we could both try. We shared a single glass more often than not, like it was the most natural thing in the world .That suited me just fine.
“So tell me then Arc, what line of work are you in?” she brought up after a rather fine glass of shouchuu. It was the first real personal question she had asked me.
Hmm, we haven't seen enough of her to confirm she either would or wouldn't. Even if she did admire Arc's lying skills, I don't believe she'd like to be lied to herself. Not many people like that sort of thing.
So far Yukari seems like a very flirty and playful woman like she usually is portrayed as. I think she's going to be the sort with a high amount of class. It'll certainly be an uphill battle if we choose to chase her though. It'll probably be as hard as if we had chased after Eirin.
Allright. I caught up with the story in 3 days i think and i must say i havent read something as good in some time now. In the beginning i thought there might be too many cliques and just living off references but i was wrong. While it references many older games, and newer ones, which gives off a good nostalgic feeling it.
But mostly it lives off its characters. I swear everytime i get to discover more and more things about them. Due that i find Marisa the most interesting and thought she might need someone to protect and love, it came as a surprise to see how resolute she is. Or partying with suika. Very refreshing that the writer parted with the traditional ways.
The whole thing with Tenshi really got me down and i hope we can have some chances to move on that soon enough. If possible, maybe we can sneak out at night into town more and maybe discover some things. His whole character is just forward and flirting, asking girls out still being pure enough to ask about what color the girls panties are.
>>46984 He could also not specify what kind of student he is either.
The point of the choice, however, is deciding how to best present yourself to Yukari. It's about how to be interesting to her. Someone who the protagonist thinks is sophisticated and mature might not care to associate with just a kid. Sometimes people want to believe a lie if they're enjoying themselves. 'course you could argue the opposite, that being honest and upfront is interesting in its own way. And then I guess it gets more complex if you factor in metaknowledge like some people have, which is really speculation either way. And, finally, there's also the endgame with her to consider. Yeah, I didn't envision it as a straightforward moral choice. It's more about how it affects characters and perceptions.
You know, both options have good potential. Honest might impress Yukari with Arc's more daring atitude, while lieing might flatter her by trying to impress her, sending her the message that Arc wants her.
Indon't know which one would be better, though. While lieing is something childish to do (pretending to be a grown up), it also has more potential for fun, once Yukari takes the lead in their conversation.
>>46997 That is what i thought too. But then Yukari might be looking for something fun and a good lie might brighten her mood even if she knows the truth already. She may look for some excitement afterall.
>>47029 Sorry about not updating then. Oversimplified: I just haven't been in the right mindset to write for this story due to several factors. I don't mind people asking about updates if it's been a while nor do I mind people bothering me on IRC.
>>47033 I thought someone mentioned it in one of the earlier threads. I'm Zer00 and you can find me in #eientei on rizon.
>>47039 Truthfully, sometimes I just need a kick when not writing. Other times it's life being life. I have a clear idea of what to do for this update though, it's just a matter of not feeling up to it. Not much of an excuse.
>>47103 >Watch me be a total faggot and not push for a Tenshi route. Yeah, I said it. Forget about Tenshi.
Whoa. Hold your horsest here buddy. I don't wish to quote here but Tenshi really needs help. And not in the way that we were asked to help her.
>>47104 She doesn't want help. Despite what white knights live by, you can't save everyone from their troubles, especially if they are content with where they are. Arc's a good person through and through, but I also see him as a realist. Kids pragmatic. He's pretty responsible for his age despite the stupid crap he gets up to. Orin and Okuu are different. They want to get better. They want to change. Tenshi doesn't. It's going to be a miserable experience to be rebuffed again by Tenshi.
>>47110 What do you have against Marisa? She is a nice girl who waits patiently for Arc every day. Just remember the time she asked if he could go home with her and he said no. That broke my heart. The scene with Rin showed that she is just more than a shy and quiet girl but has dedication and knows what she wants. Just the whole thing with waiting until the he accepts and pays attention to her is stupid.
And about Tenshi: People voted against her and did not seem to care that much about her later on. Oh how fast you people lose track of what is important. Whatever.
My first priority is to save Tenshi. Like i said a few times already.
Against her? Nothing much, really. Doesn't mean I have anything in favor, either. I just like the other girls more, that's all.
>Just the whole thing with waiting until the he accepts and pays attention to her is stupid.
There are people more active in Arc's life that deserve more his attention than Marisa does. Like Alice. The girl who cares enough about Arc that she wakes him up everyday and even tended to his wounds.
Lets get back to Yukarin. What do we do about Yukarin? She most likely knows Yuyuko because the two are linked in canon as being old friends, though Arc doesn't know it yet. So lying will have us pegged from the start. On the other hand, Yukarin might play along for fun before reveling new info.
If we aren't using our meta-knowledge of the Touhou canon, then we assume we know nothing about Yukari and Yuyuko and either admit to being a student, or lie. Arc is a sour knight. Guy doesn't like doing the right thing, but he never does the wrong thing either. He mostly wants to just lay back and enjoy life. But there's all these girls who have very serious problems. Okuu's a broken bird (He he, a joke), Orin is emotionally wrought over Okuu and the upcoming meet. Alice is still far to scared to admit her feelings to us. Something is up with Marisa's home life (Did you catch all her evasion for questions regarding her home?), Tenshi is emotionally withdrawn and fucked up, and Suika's stressed over potentially loosing her best friend.
Arc can't help but try to fix/save/help them because it's his nature to do so. But the kid's pretty pragmatic at it. The time's Arcs blantly lied were when telling the truth would upset the goal. He know's what he's good at. Interacting with people. And he uses it well, Rin and Byakurens being great examples. It doesn't all ways work such as for Okuu and Tenshi, but Arc behaves like him self. He's not hiding who he is. It gives a measure of his character, which is overwhelmingly positive with few bad traits.
Based off all that, Meta-knowledge bound, I'd lie to Yukarin and play her games. Sticking with just Arc's knowledge, I'd tell the truth and admit I'm a student. Based on her questioning, I feel she's convinced we aren't of age and if we lie and get caught, it'd look bad on Arc. It'd be more pragmatic to tell the truth and deal with the consequences, like we've done for most of the previous choices.
Alice hasn't made a claim on Arc, just act tsundere all over.
Suika hasn't made a move past Friendzone Arc with hope for possible future relationship upgrades.
Tenshi rebuffed his advancements and efforts at least friendship
The older ladies have no romantic interests in Arc
Okuu is deathly afraid of him
Marisa's the only girl who's confessed to liking Arc and is the only one who's claimed him as hers.
It's a bigger step than any of the other girls. You remember her words from recent updates? She knows she's being selfish. She knows she gets jealous but she does her best not to get involved with Arc's decisions because she can't force him to love her back.
But you have to admit, if you were in that situation, wouldn't you be a little pissed? Wouldn't you be hurt? Jealousy is the most human reaction I can think of. And why only for Byakuren? Well, the other girls past Alice, to Marisa at least, don't have a chance to take Arc because they are busy dealing with all their problems. Byakuren is the only one who isn't. She's well adjusted, pretty, and firm on her ideals. What person wouldn't be upset by that? So while I can't deny it was a bitch move, I can't deny I understand why she acted the way she did, or at least from what I've seen of her character. I can also understand that it's part of this Marisa's charm. She's a normal school girl and a hard worker. Her actions fit that image, right? It's that normalcy and down to earth charm that makes her so damn appealing to read.
As for Byakuren, we might have had a chance, but I doubt it would have went anywhere. Arc is to pragmatic, to realist to truly get along with Byakuren, especially considering she'd most likely find our quests for Yuyuko well intended but horribly executed in their morality. She might not hold anything against Arc for it, but I doubt she'll be happy with him, if not very disappointed. I most certainly don't see her willing to compromise her work with the temple with a relationship in the first place.
>>47126 >But you have to admit, if you were in that situation, wouldn't you be a little pissed? Wouldn't you be hurt?
That's still no excuse, not an acceptable one. In fact, that only makes it worse.
If it was someone else in place of Marisa, would she also feel jealous? Would she, however, ruin the date? Think of that. Marisa is tending more to stalker/obssessed girl material than any of the others, and that's really bad. And no, it's not yandere moe in this case.
>And why only for Byakuren?
I'd say it's more because she's friends with the rest, while Byakuren isn't known to Marisa. So there is a friendly respect for the others, or at least was. I really dread how it's gonna be now.
>She's a normal school girl and a hard worker. Her actions fit that image, right? It's that normalcy and down to earth charm that makes her so damn appealing to read.
Honestly, you speak as if she was the only one. She is not. Almost all girls are normal and dedicated to their own things. Reisen and her cheerleading club, Alice and her dolls (and Arc too, to a certain extend), Reimu, and her shrine, IIRC...
Marisa isn't anything special. She's just annoying, and not as appealing as the others.
>>47120 >Alice. The girl who cares enough about Arc that she wakes him up everyday and even tended to his wounds.
Childhood friends never win anon. And that is what she qualifies as.
>>47125 >She's an annoyiong brat, who keeps bothering Arc because of a stupid "promise" made when they were kid. For fuck's sake, she ruined Arc's date with Byakuren, because of of that!
What you would call annoying i would call dedicated, cute and gentle. At no point did she do such a thing as spoiling the date. Yes she may have said that they are fiancées and reminded him of their childhood promise. It's not like she declared war on the girl and tried to tell her to keep her hands off him. If you ask me, it is not in her character to behave like that. Besides things weren't going so hot with Byakuren anyway and she used Marisa as a method to get away. Let's vote for Byakuren is hopelessly utopian, right guys?
>She's nothing more than an inconvenience. Sure, we found a use for her recently, but the downsides are still worse than her good points.
Her qualities lie in her loyalty, holding back while arc screws around with other girls, gentleness, confidence that he will choose her and her set goals and course which she doesn't stray from. That sure are enough for me.
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Sorry about not updating, I wanted to move another story into its final segment before resuming this. That didn't really pan out due to lack of activity and interest. That's affected my disposition towards writing and by extent my willingness to update this. Sorry about that too but moving towards having to drop something after years of effort and dedication isn't exactly conducive to focusing on something that's supposed to be outright fun like this is. Real life isn't doing me any favors either so that's also a factor.
With all of that said, the persistent activity here has made me feel ashamed for letting readers down. Enough to get me to try to force something out even if it's not very good. That'll be soon and hopefully it'll be decent enough.
>>47130 Dude, I love this story because it's *fun*
While I love plot and winding suspense, laid back slice of life is just plain enjoyable. I make it no secret that I love your Marisa and I definitely want to get through her story, I also want to see you write about other characters because you make them enjoyable to interact with.
This story isn't about the overarching plot. Hell, I see Yuyuko's blackmailing as a plot device to get us to interact with other students. And it's good enough.
What matters, and is important, is the interaction. The conversations. They're what makes this story so much fun to read. And I don't mean fun as in taking stupid bullshit and retarded choices that lead nowhere or derail the story. And it's a testament to how enjoyable the story is that Anon isn't trying to make it keel over. The fun is following Arc around and be a normal kid trying to help others.
So Anon, calm your tits. Have some fun with it. There's no need to get uptight or super serious. Characters will come back and go by.
And Zer00, keep up the good work you've done in this story. You made the characters delectably human. We could use more stories that do so.
Turns out that I'm too hung up on other stories to do a proper job with this. So forget what I said a few days ago. I can't say that there's any guarantee of an update anytime soon. Compartmentalizing isn't working out anymore and, for what it's worth, I'm sorry that this is collateral damage.
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“Have I mentioned how lovely your eyes are?” I said with an award-winning smile. A charming rogue was a charming rogue regardless of any other attributes. Keeping the perfectly lovely vision of a lady who was having drinks with me amused was a top priority.
“Certainly that's not all that's lovely about me?” she asked with a smile.
“Most certainly not! Both those full ruby-red lips and that magnificent smile are enough warrant the launching of a thousand ships.”
“And you'd have me believe I am as fair as Helen herself,” she giggled, “I must admit that's surprisingly smooth. Not many people would allude to the classics.”
“Part of what I need to need to know. I'm a student after all,” I admitted simply enough, adding with a wink, “and the comparison holds even if there is no Troy left for me to burn.”
“Oh, poetry,” she looked suitably impressed. “You're just full of surprises, aren't you? You must be an exceptional student.”
“Hardly,” I joked, a kernel of truth in my words, “I'm just up to a lot of extracurricular activities. I pick up a lot without even meaning to.”
“I'm in education myself,” she said before taking another drink from her well-garnished cocktail glass. “As an educator, not a student.”
A line like 'I could have mistaken you for one' at that point might backfire. Women didn't find it cute to be reminded about age except in very specific circumstances. An example would be calling a daughter and her mother sisters – it might flatter the mother. I just went with a more neutral and playful line, “perhaps you could teach me all about your specialty.”
“I see that I'm encouraging some sort of pedagogic fantasy in you,” she fired back, still looking amused.
“Perhaps an involuntary one,” I answered, “I'm always hungry for new experiences.”
“How frightful. I'm sitting with some sort of famished beast.”
“I'm no monster,” I assured her with a very self-confident smile. “I only bite if you want me to.”
“Is that so?” Yukari acted like a coy little girl, coiling a strand of her long blond hair around a finger. With a gamine smile. she added meekly, “I sure wouldn't want to be ravished by a big bad wolf. I'm just a simple defenseless maiden.”
“I wouldn't want to do anything untoward to someone so defenseless, now would I?” I chuckled, finishing off the last of my drink. A pleasant feeling of warmth and comfort blanketed me. I was enjoying myself too much to care about the real world for a while. That's why when the time came to settle the bill I didn't mind paying a premium price. The lovely Yukari was still talking to me, after all, and that was more than enough compensation for financial drain.
“It's certainly past curfew,” the innocent maiden intoned with a slight smile. “A good girl like me should be tucked into bed at this hour. I've work and much else to do in the morning. A student like you no doubt has class to attend to.”
“I'm getting all the education I need from you at the moment,” I said. “It doesn't matter if I show up a little late.” I walked her to the door, opening it for her. There were only one or two patrons left in the rest of the bar. “It's been nice spending an evening together.”
“Delightful,” Yukari agreed. She pulled her coat tightly around her, insulating her upper body from the chill of night. With every footstep she took her boots made a satisfyingly full noise on the pavement. She stopped a few steps into the alley, turning to look at me. Like she was trying to figure what she should do about me.
I wasn't foolhardy enough to presume that I would be able to tag along home without an explicit invitation. For all her mock demurity, she was sharp and assertive. Regardless, there certainly was plenty of space I could play around in. She would go as far as she wanted to and no more. That much was obvious.
 Suggest a nightcap in a more intimate setting
 Make a move sooner rather than later
I'm surprised to see people far more optimistic than the protagonist himself. And a bit confused because some of the rationale works better for the other choice as there is clearly a break with the moment. I thought both choices bold but with rather different chances and implications. Since I'm loathe, as always, to update with unanimous votes anyways I'll give it around another half day.
I can see her shooting him down easily with the first choice, but moves made in a dark alley at night can't be taken back~ Besides, if he doesn't get home tonight he'll worry Alice. That'd be terrible, seeing her worried face.
but the vote's all but decided already. Oh well.
>>47223 That's pretty dense of you then. Going back home with someone or to a hotel room usually doesn't imply playing cards and other platonic activities. They're both about making moves and how smooth the protagonist acts is (thankfully) not determined by this or many of the other votes. No reason to compromise ability with the usual schizophrenia.
>>47219 It's all in the context. In this case read the second half of the update and try to imagine the reasons for and against suggesting to go somewhere else as an endgame. Dialog and internal monologue are pretty important. The choices aren't a coinflip.
>>47225 Heading back to Yukari's would put her in stronger postion, if not feel more comfortable. Elders generally do not like loosing control of a situation or being seen as the lesser part of a dynamic.
I filled in the blanks for her, allowing her to reach her conclusions much faster. Yukari showed me an ambiguous smile as I positioned myself close to her. We ended up gravitating away from the alley entrance and off to the side. The shadows grew longer and obstacles like trash bins and fire escapes highlighted the relative seclusion of the area. There wasn't much in the way of signs of activity apart from the usual. Late as it was the city still wasn't fully asleep – the occasional car passed by in a nearby street and occasionally the wind would carry other urban background noises.
“I'm sorry that I can't make the night last longer and tomorrow arrive much later,” I whispered quietly to her. There was no chance that anyone else was around to overhear. It was purely to enhance the mood.
“And what would you do if you could?”
“Spend more time getting to know you and enjoying your company, of course,” I stated with no hesitation. “I'm afraid that it seems like all we have for now is a quickly-ending present.”
“My, what big eyes you have,” she whispered in turn, stroking my cheek with a soft hand
“All the better to see you with, dear,” I replied, gently pushing her against the wall. She certainly looked good enough to eat. The sweet scent of her perfume and her fair features both intoxicated me more than a whole evening's drinking had. A buzz like no other made me want to grin like a fool.
“Good thing I have nothing to fear,” Yukari said with the same ambiguous smile. Although she was the one physically cornered and supposedly playing the role of the affected maiden, I was the one who was soon snared by deceptive appearances. Not that I felt like complaining about it. The way things played out was more than satisfactory.
Her hand stroked my cheek once more before dropping lower. With a single finger she traced a path. It ran down my face, neck, chest, belly and finally my trousers. The finger danced around my lap and she drew concentric circles around my groin. Her eyes focused on my own, never straying from my gaze. The smile on her lips transformed from undefined to unambiguous in meaning. She carried about with every fiber of her being exuding a most disciplined confidence.
An exploratory probe by the way of two fingers held together expertly rubbed the center of the circles. It wasn't the only new development. Her touch found my body more than prepared for her advances. She continued to stare calmly right into my eyes as she rubbed the area over my clothes, massaging the swollen area with smooth and measured motions. The friction caused by my clothes didn't exactly make the contact itself all that exciting. If I were to do it by myself I would have found it very unstimulating. Yukari made all of the difference. Her presence set my head swimming and saturated my senses. Her soft touch was electrifying, her scent divinely inspiration and the sight of her focused and intense eyes set the hairs on my neck on end.
The rustle of fabric being shifted about acquired a strangely harmonic property and each rub played a melody with my heart. It was torture of the most cruel and unusual kind. Something which shouldn't have been very pleasing had become wonderful in her hands. The pun I thought up would have made me smile if I weren't already smiling for very different reasons.
Still, she refused to rest on her laurels. Yukari went one step further. She stopped the movement momentarily and undid my zipper. I didn't need much help from her to burst out and through the hole and expose my member to the cool night air. It throbbed wildly, a direct reflection of the feelings I experienced. Without saying a word, Yukari got to work immediately. Her hand gripped around the girth of the shaft and moved slowly backwards. She stopped just when the skin was about fully retracted before reversing course and fully moving forward. With that single, agonizingly slow stroke, she began her more direct stimulation.
It honestly was torture. The softness of her hand, the slender and graceful character of her fingers and her immaculate skin was all I could think about. My tumescent bit was being pumped with the most tortuously sluggish stimulation ever. What was worse – it was proving to be almost too much to bear. In denying standard treatment, she kept me woefully expectant and attentive to what she was doing. I was hypersensitive and could feel every subtle tightening of her grip and movement of her fingertips.
“My, what a big nose you have,” she finally said something again. I obviously wasn't expected to continue to answer, as indisposed as I had become because of her. A soft giggle escaped her lips as she finally deigned it time to go a little easier on me.
Her hand sped up to a normal pace. Having become somewhat used to her painstakingly slow and complete movements my body underwent a massive shock. It was like starting down the steepest part of a roller coaster after that long climb to the top. It sent my heart racing. Yukari knew what she was doing and didn't let up. I got no quarter. As I began to feel that I could become used to the way things were going, she sped up again. She kept me off-balance and led me precisely to where she wanted me to go.
When it was finally too much to bear I erupted with impressive force. Yukari had probably seen how my breath had quickened as I approached climax and accordingly had moved slightly to the side. I ended up causing a mess on the alley wall. A move that was about as pragmatic as what I expected from her. I looked away from her and to the mess I made, feeling a little uncomfortable.
“Goodnight,” she said with a rather playful smile, stopping to kiss me on the cheek before parting ways. I would have said something to her had it not felt like my very soul had been shot out just a minute earlier. I slowly collected myself and watched her walk away. She disappeared into the night once she turned the corner. I could have gone after her but it felt like there was no better fitting end to the night. I didn't have her number or any other details about her either, save for her name. I got the feeling that that was the way she wanted it to be.
It took some effort to get back home. My body was in a relaxed state and refused to push itself to do anything strenuous like walk for more than ten minutes without stopping. That meant that when I got back it was only a few short hours before the next day began. I snuck back in easily enough. No angry guardian waiting up for me. Always an encouraging omen.
I threw myself on the bed, not bothering to undress. I wasn't even sure if it was worth going to sleep. If I had any hope of going to school then it meant not falling into a trap of deep sleep. I'd be miserable. I could always have a day off if I pretended to be sick. A note left on my door for would-be intruders and the ability to cough convincingly on demand made it a more or less practical proposition.
>“All the better to see you with, dear,”
Oh he is such a smooth talker. This update sounded a bit noir to me.
I am actually pretty surprised. There were many chances for things like that and i doubted that we could get to something like that with the given choices.
Yukari seems like an interesting older women who i would like to wish once again. Maybe not so much because of the fun part but to find out more about her. And i am not saying this because she reminds me of those older girls from the old games...
They have their own charm.
[x] Sleep and take the day off
I actually would like to take the day off. This way we could find out some interesting things or meet someone you usually wouldn't meet. Maybe it could help with the ongoing request from Yuyuko.
Morning came sooner than expected. Passing the time was simple. A healthy dose of video games and computer use filled the vacuum. Only the most hardcore of computer addicts were around at the hour and everything, from online games to sites with user-generated content, was uneventful and slow. Despite that it was easy to lose track of time and refresh pages endlessly in hopes of being able to see activity.
I changed into my school uniform and grabbed a bite to eat downstairs. Nibbling on a piece of toast, I lay on the couch and watching the morning forecast and news until it was finally time to go.
“Good morning,” I greeted Alice as she opened the front door. She nodded but before saying anything in return looked at me and frowned. “Something the matter?” I asked. Couldn't resist the urge to have a little fun at her expense, “not happy to see me up and about already? I thought you already knew I was perfectly capable of getting up in the mornings without your help.”
“Let's just go,” she said with a very sour expression. She turned and started to walk ahead without me, leaving me wondering what had crawled up her backside and died.
I tried walking at a normal pace. There was plenty of time before the first bell rang and no reason to rush. The morning air relieved me of some of my fatigue and the sunlight woke me up some. Alice, however, would have none of that. Whereas I was easygoing and wore a smile, she was preoccupied and anything but jolly. She walked a few steps ahead of me, her pace deliberately faster than mine.
“Hold up,” I overtook her as the school came into sight. “You'd normally tell me if I did something wrong,” I observed, recalling her usual direct chastisements. The reason was plain enough – if not for her, I'd be lost. 'Because no one else will bother' were her exact words, in fact. “Is everything alright at home?”
Alice slumped her shoulders and stopped walking. “Everything at home is fine,” she said as she reached into a pocket. She took out her handkerchief – a delicately embroidered and homemade thing. Pressing it against my cheek and wiping, she gave me a flat recommendation, “have a little more self-respect.”
Tossing the handkerchief to me she then carried on walking to the school, leaving me to realize what she meant. I opened the crumpled fabric to see a most familiar red glossy hue. Just my luck I didn't wash my face properly. Being tired made left me prone to making mistakes.
Not surprisingly she was dour and withdrawn when I arrived at our classroom. She wasn't chatting with any of her friends, instead choosing to scribble something inside of a small notebook. I lay my head down on my desk, looking out towards the window. Suika showed up and said something, but I ignored her. She took the hint well enough, leaving me alone. As classes started I tried at least appeared to make an effort to pay attention to the teachers but my mind was anywhere but on the lesson. Occasionally I took a look around the class but nothing really seemed out of place. I got a smile from Marisa when she saw me looking into her direction and everyone else was too busy with learning to notice me.
When the first break for the day came along I had a chance to do something other than sit and stare at the board.
 Talk to Alice
 Forget about her
>>47240 Hah, 'crass choice'. Way too many assumptions there, chief.
“Hey, could we talk for a bit?” I asked as I approached Alice's desk. She outright ignored me, refusing to so much as look in my general direction. “Come on,” I insisted, “we both know that it's no good to ignore one another. You'd give me hell if our situations were reversed.”
“Looks like there's trouble in paradise again,” Suika couldn't help but to butt in. The annoying smirk on her face was just there to bait me. “Our married couple is fighting again, everyone,” she said loudly. Even though no one was really paying attention to us I wasn't in the mood for that sort of crap. “Wonder if he'll have to sleep on the couch again tonight?” Suika laughed, harder when she saw that I was getting annoyed.
“Fu-” I started.
But I was interrupted.
“Mind your own business. Nobody likes a nosy busybody,” Alice interjected, glaring at Suika. She got up from her chair and the atmosphere became real heavy, real fast. Suika didn't like being called out. More accurately, she gladly accepted any and all challenges. And being talked down to was one hell of a challenge.
I half-expected a fistfight to break out in the middle of class. Suika would jump on the interloper and beat her into submission. And I would be smack in the middle of two very angry girls. Lucky me.
“That kind of insolence isn't appropriate for a schoolgirl,” Suika said as she cracked her knuckles. She took a look around the classroom and noticed what I had – that more and more people were beginning to look at us and wonder what was going on. “It would be a waste to bloody that pretty but smart mouth of yours. Especially when it's clear that it's not me that you want to take your frustrations out on.” With a laugh, she added, “I'm bowing out of this one. She's all yours, Arc.”
The live bomb had been passed back to me.
“Come on, we're going for a little walk,” I grabbed Alice's arm. She glared daggers at me. Her hostility was obvious. At least she didn't hit me. I whispered to her, “there's no point in making an even greater mess of things in class, right? We wouldn't want teachers to make our lives miserable.”
Alice had enough sense left in her to not stir up any more of a fuss. I escorted her out of the classroom and far away from any scrutinizing eyes. The destination was, naturally, a quiet spot to which I had the key. The roof was empty as always and afforded us privacy.
“Don't pick a fight with Suika,” I told her, “she won't hold back if she's irritated.”
“Well, I guess we're alone, huh...” I tried to think of something else to say but only kept drawing blanks. I defaulted to an apology, “Sorry about Suika, she only says stuff like that because she's my friend. We keep giving each other grief whenever we can. It's just the way our friendship works. But it's never anything serious. She probably doesn't have anything against you.”
“What do you want from me?” Alice asked. She was none too eager to communicate. “I don't really want to talk.”
“We're practically family, you know,” I said, “it's kind of weird for us not to at least be able to talk to one another.” Living next door to someone for most of my life and seeing them on an almost daily basis was enough to make me accept them as a regular part of my life. I may not have approved of being nagged at but I could understand why it happened. Most of the time anyways.
“Just get away from me,” she took a step back, raising her gaze to my eye level. I could recognize her usual graceful determination in her eyes but more, unfamiliar, emotions lurked deep within them.
“Just tell me why. Surely you can do at least that.”
“You stink,” she informed me. “You smell entirely of a strange flowery perfume and I don't like it at all.”
I hadn't realized that. Was she particularly sensitive to the smell or did was I really that saturated by it? I couldn't tell. I didn't smell anything out of the ordinary. If I could have detected it on myself I would have washed up more carefully.
“Look I know you don't approve-”
“No, you look,” she cut me short again. “I don't want to have my senses assaulted. Even if I approved of whatever it is that you're going to try to justify now I think that I'm not wrong in stating that it's wrong of you to flaunt just how little you think of others. No one at school or in public wants to know in detail what you're up in private.”
“Yeah, you're right,” I admitted, “sorry if it seemed like I was making a show of things. It wasn't my intention.”
“That's hard to believe.”
“You'll just have to take my word for it. You won't see me so indisposed in the future, promise.”
“I... alright, but that's not really the point...”
“Oh, I get it,” I nodded, understanding part of the root cause of the problem, “you're concerned if I got into any trouble last night. Let me assure you that I didn't do anything out of the ordinary, really.”
The expression on her face told me that she didn't believe me. The raised and skeptical eyebrow was a giveaway. That was my cue to explain myself further. Familiar enough with her. It was something that happened a lot when I just did as I pleased.
 Tell her what she wants to know about the night while omitting the juicy parts.
 Too bad. She said it herself, no one likes a nosy busybody.
I can't decide for now. I might vote later today.
Talk to Alice:
Risk saying something unnecessarily hurtful in our sleep deprived state. Might cause some serious problems for the future.
Ignore her for now:
Knowing the nature of the story, we'll see Alice again, but it might mean Alice staying annoyed for a undetermined amount of time. It also means we might see someone else, but then again, we don't know what mistakes we'll make when tired.
Just a side note, it's usually better to try and talk things over, but the question is when....
> I opened the crumpled fabric to see a most familiar red glossy hue
That's some bad luck... I guess he should wash his face or something.
[x] Forget about her
We have enough problems already.
Also, adding some speculation: which girl do you guys think he'll end up with?
Alice is a good friend, but not really girlfriend material, in my opinion. Marisa could be an option, but she has some way too complicated issues that were brought to light at the karaoke. So that leaves... who?
>“Everything at home is fine,” she said
Something is wrong here. And i am saying this because someone said that she might get mistreated at home. Thank you. Now i am suspicious.
Even if i already know that she is just jealous of some girl getting closer to arc.
> Talk to Alice
What an amusing update. We have to thank Suika later on for what she did. What a grand buddy he has.
This vote is tough. Either tell her the truth, and knowing that she is already pissed off about him hitting it off with some women, make the situation even worse. Or just say nothing. For now she knows that something might have happened. Not in detail but she knows something. I do not wish to make it worse with telling her outright what happened. Even without the details. Knowing the truth is even worse than suspect what might have happened. Plus she is pissed off. There could be no worse timing.
I would vote for the other option but that just sounds like him behaving like an asshole. Or in short: I just don't like the wording.
Either "I met some girl and had a fun time" or "It is not of your concern what i do at night!"
I will wait for a bit in hope that someone else has a better idea. Or can deliver some more insight.
[x] Too bad. She said it herself, no one likes a nosy busybody.
Sorry Alice, you don't get to tell him nobody cares about the details before demanding details.
>>47249 Nobody. He'll be close friends with more than one person, as is proper, and the story will end long before any final choice is made.
“You're really not buying it,” I stated, observing how she continued to look at me like I was full of it. She was right, of course, but it was still annoying to have someone see right through me. “Well, fine,” I yielded, “I'll let you know what went down.”
So I started my tragic tale from the beginning. Of course that beginning was leaving the store in the afternoon. I freely admited to the unthinkable crime of wanting to unwind and have fun in town. That alone was enough to offend the most stringent puritan. I personally couldn't see what the big deal was. It was a free country and people should be able to do as they please if they're not hurting others. I skipped over running into strange people and simply told her that I eventually decided to go to a bar. Yes, I had imbibed the devil's juice, I didn't think of mincing my words there. Hopefully that was enough honesty to keep her off my case. I admited to sitting on a bar stool, drinking quite a bit of alcohol into the small hours of night.
“I may have had a stool partner for most of the night,” I confessed in the most oblique sort of fashion. “A lot happened and I enjoyed myself but I, and any other party, parted ways nearly as soon as we walked out of that bar door and into the street.” I concluded the story, “and that's what happened yesterday. I went home and stayed up all night thinking that it would be too hard to get up after only an hour or two of sleep.”
I gave her a shrug, as if to ask is she was satisfied.
She obviously wasn't. “You'd only reek of liquor and be pale from being sick if alcohol had been your only excess,” she said with a quick disapproving shake of her head.
“Well, what do you want me to say? I've told you more or less what happened. All of the relevant parts. I was having fun in a way ill-befitting a student but I didn't go crazy either.”
“Just keep in mind the consequences for your actions, that's all I ask,” she sighed. Like I couldn't be reached and was beyond redemption. Her body language seemed to tell me that expectations for me were higher – her hard eyes contrasted her now unaccusing expression and relaxed shoulders. There was disapproval present but, vitally, no disgust and a subtle tenderness. Butterflies flapped around in my stomach and I couldn't quite understand why.
“Alice-” I started but found that I couldn't find the words I wanted to say. It wasn't something I could describe properly, much less vocalize coherently. Surely it was because I hadn't gotten any sleep. Or so I told myself but wasn't convinced.
“We should get back to class,” she checked her watch, “break is almost over.”
“Hold up,” I stopped her from going. The moment was ending much too soon.
 For her own good, she shouldn't worry so much. I was hopeless.
 I appreciated her concern but I liked Alice's smile more than her frown.
>>47253 And here I thought the story was headed towards a definite Arc x Auntie end where it's revealed that they aren't blood related and she's also Maribel.
 I appreciated her concern but I liked Alice's smile more than her frown.
While sweet and a statement that would pull on Alice's heart strings, I'm not sure this is the right time for that. She's not very trusting of, or happy with, us at the moment because of the "gallivanting around with every female we know" and the risks we keep taking. But despite that, we aren't going to stop trying to help others, getting in trouble with SuiBro, or stop trying to enjoy life.
 For her own good, she shouldn't worry so much. I was hopeless.
Can be taken either way, either as self-deprecation, or as a joke to light up the mood, but either one Arc goes for, you know for sure it'll set off Alice. We've seen her try to get Arc to be better person more than once and she most definitely believes in him. Calling out selves hopeless, either as a joke, or if Arc really believe that is going to get a reaction at the least.
I may be reading all this wrong though...
 For her own good, she shouldn't worry so much. I was hopeless.
If I'm reading it correct, I want to see Alice's reaction.
Alice deserves better than to be told not to worry and being brushed off after all of that. Having someone who cares about you is important in life. I, for one, care about her and her concerns. Smiling Alice is best Alice.
[x] I appreciated her concern but I liked Alice's smile more than her frown.
>>47264 Both are supposed to be real sentiments and not specific wording. It's an honest opinion. If it was just a phrase to be said ad verbatim it would be between quotation marks. So it's a choice about how you see the relationship and, to a certain extent, how you want her to see it to. Mildly important, I'd say.
“Alice,” I started again, pausing but finding the words to continue, “I'm lucky that you care about me. Even though I probably don't deserve it. I don't like seeing you angry, you know. I think a smile suits you much better.”
“...what are you trying to say?” Alice made a difficult expression, looking about as uncertain as her question.
“I'm not sure. I'm saying thank you but that's not all I want to tell you.” I scratched my head trying to get to my point, if I had any. It was awkward to see her look at me expectantly and apprehensively. “I'm sure it's hard dealing with me, I'm not always as grounded as I could be and not always as appreciative as I should be. Uh this is hard to say if you keep staring at me like that...”
“I'll look away then,” she took me more seriously than I hoped. Alice turned away and faced the wall, prompting me to continue to blather on.
“Anyways! What I wanted to underscore was that I'd rather see you happy than mad or sad. It... feels better to see you not hung up on unpleasant things. It makes me feel better as well, I don't know if that makes sense or not.” I spoke what came to mind, not really filtering my thoughts properly. As a result I started saying things that didn't necessarily follow logically, “we've been neighbors so long that you're kind of my point of reference for how everything else turns out, you know. Sort of like looking out of the window in the morning and seeing a clear sky and expecting it to be a fine day. So yeah!” I tried to snap back to something like my original statement, “if you're happy then it's easier to feel at ease. I see you smile and I think to myself, 'hey maybe it'll all be alright'....”
I laughed nervously. That came out stranger than I had hoped. Slightly embarrassing as well.
“...” Alice didn't say anything. I realized that she was being considerate enough not to interject until I had finished saying everything that I wanted to say. As her back was turned to me, I couldn't see what kind of face she was making. All I had to go on was the back of her slender neck and, while it was visually pleasing to look at for some reason, it lacked the expressiveness of a human face.
“Yeah, sorry for taking so much of your time,” I said just as the bell rang. “I feel like I owe it to you to do something nice together sometime. You know, so you're not always upset with me. Like I said, I like seeing you happy so it's only natural to want to do something about it. That sound good?”
“Sounds nice,” she agreed, starting to turn back to face me. While still hard to read properly, the apprehension was markedly gone.
She was about to say more but there was a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach again. I cut her off before she could say anything, “we should get back to class, we're late as is. Next is Mima, right? She promised to make me suffer if I was late to one of her classes again.”
“Sod class,” Alice stated crudely. “I'm in no rush to go.”
“What?” I was completely surprised. Alice was the most responsible person I knew, save maybe for Reimu. For her to suggest forgetting about class was about as likely as for the moon to spontaneously explode. About as destructive for my sense of reality too. I had to do a double take, “we don't want to arrive to class after the teacher does.”
“Some things in life are more important than class,” she said quite seriously.
“I don't know what's gotten into you, but there's a time and a place for everything,” I argued in a strange case of role reversal. Never in my life had I pushed to rush off into class rather than put it off. “Let's go, you shouldn't get into trouble at my expense.”
“It's fine,” she disagreed. Stubborn and looking as taciturn as she usually did. But for all of the 'wrong' reasons.
“It isn't!” I insisted as I stepped in to grab her hand. “Let's go already!”
Though it was clear that she wanted to say something else, maybe protest some more, she didn't really put up much of a fight. She came along easily with me. Down the stairs, through the corridor and to the classroom. Almost everyone had made it back, only a few stragglers remained (who would be written up for tardiness). I let go of her hand by the class door. She didn't want to move on her own.
“We need to go in. Don't worry about getting chewed out. You go ahead first. I'll come in a few moments later and get become the new target for the teacher's ire. You'll get away with a slap on the wrist.”
“...” Alice hesitated to move.
“Come on,” I nudged her, “it'll be be fine.”
“That's not it. I just wanted to tell you some important things,” she looked uneasy, breaking eye contact.
“It can wait, right?”
“I'm sure it can. What's important now is to get through classes.”
The door slid open. A crossed-armed Mima stood with a particularly intense look of irritation. Beyond her the rest of the class was staring over, alternating looks of amusement and pity on their faces.
“Oh, yo,” I greeted her with my most charming smile, “you look particularly lovely today. Have you done something different with your hair?”
“Don't let me interrupt this little scene here,” she said cooly, “go on, finish whatever this is. We can all put class on hold until you're done.”
Alice was quick to the draw, “I'm sorry I made us late for class, my apologies Ms. Mima.”
“Hey, she's just saying that,” I shrugged, “you know how I'm a good-for-nothing, I just dragged her away. So if anyone has to take responsibility for disrupting class and being late, it's me.”
“No-” Alice began to insist.
“Shut up already,” I snapped at her, acting the part I was best at. “You know me, Mima sweetie, I just wanted something from her so I dragged her out of class. Turns out that I forgot to bring any money for lunch, you know, so I was bartering in advance for some of hers. Yeah, yeah, busted, I know, but hey, a guy needs to be resourceful. Childhood friends are easy to guilt like that.”
“'Sweetie'?” Mima frowned, “it's like you're trying to dig yourself into a deeper hole.”
“Nah, just telling it how it is. You're the loveliest and nicest teacher around. I'm lucky to be in your class.”
“Transparent flattery won't get you anywhere,” she cautioned.
“Right, I shouldn't be patronizing, gotcha,” I smiled, “geez, you're too clever for me, Mima honey.”
The class laughed, amused by my verbal ballet.
It looked like it had worked and I was about to get the reprimand of a lifetime when an eager soul added an unwelcome interruption to the exchange. “Hey teach!” Suika called on over from her seat, “Go easy on them, won't you? They were having a bit of a tiff earlier. You know how these school couples are, always hung up on some petty drama.”
“Is that a fact?” Mima raised an eyebrow, clearly ticked at the prospect. I cursed Suika and all of her ancestors. Revenge was a dish best served lukewarm apparently and she certainly was serving it out. Mima continued, “This is a most surprising development. I thought you'd do better than this clod, Ms. Margatroid.”
“Um-” Alice was at a loss for words, being put into a spot unfairly like that. Even if she wanted to deny something outright the eyes of the whole class were on her. There was much invisible pressure on her to say something that they could laugh and gossip about. No doubt she knew that even if she denied it outright it would cause them to have fun at my expense. She wasn't about to hurt me if she could avoid it. I knew her too well.
I had to take the fall for myself. Thinking on my feet was what I specialized at. Something juicy but somehow plausible was the way to go. Two things with minimal collateral damage occurred to me.
 “I was planning a big surprise for my fiancée, Marisa, and needed some help.”
 “I'm in love with Mima. Alice was giving me advice. I can't bear to live a lie any longer!”
>>47281 Actually all you need is to fill up the dream gauge to max. You should then be able to autocollect Reimu, Marisa, Yuuka and Mima.
Naturally enough, a line like that generated quite the buzz. The girls in particular were impressed, buzzing approvingly and showing signs of support for Marisa. The boys laughed, but not too loudly, as was expected of them. The target of the line itself smile and nodded, and it felt like I had made the right choice on relying on her to play the part of the pleasantly surprised finacee.
“And they say that romance is dead,” Mima rolled her eyes, not buying what I had to say. But it didn't matter. Water had been thrown onto the flames and only embers remained. She shook her head and sighed, conscious that she was losing the attention of the class. “Well alright,” she bit her lip, “go have a seat then Ms. Margatroid. I'll have a talk with the betrothed after class.”
“Thanks there, Mima,” I winked at her, pushing my luck a bit further, “I knew you'd understand.”
“Just shut up, you're still in trouble,” she said quietly. I'd get an ear-full after class.
For the moment, however, I was doing pretty good. A lot of grins and giggles as I walked to my desk. A lot of expectant stares as well, seeing if I said something to Marisa. The only thing I did was shrug a little as I sat down and smile at her. She nodded, getting what that meant.
“Alright class... that was a big enough break, I feel.” Mima resumed class. She stood by the board and began to write on it, “if you'll turn to page 143 of your textbooks...”
“You'll pay for this,” I turned to whisper to Suika, “not cool at all.”
“You reap what you sow,” she reminded me with an impish smile, “now shut up, I'm trying to get my learn on. Don't make me call on the teacher.”
“Tattletale,” I clicked my tongue. I saw where she was coming from but I didn't like it. Involving other people wasn't the way to settle our beefs. Must have rightly pissed her off somehow, I concluded. Just another cross to bear. Never a dull moment and all that.
Mima wasn't kidding. I was in trouble. After class she made me go to the teachers lounge where I got an earful about my lack of discipline and my tendency to make a mockery of school. Learning institutions were a sacred thing and blah blah, I tuned her out for most of the talk. The bottom line is that I was made to clean up the classroom all by myself for a day or two. Because that would totally change my attitude.
“If I feel that you're being a negative influence on your peers I may press for harsher discipline. I'll bring in the vice-principle if I have to.”
“I am who I am, I'm not doing anything new,” I said. “Don't worry about Alice, I dragged her out of class. She's probably real worked up about being late. I can assure you that it's not going to happen again with her.”
“It better not.”
With a few more threats and very colorful language about what would happen to my sorry behind if I disrupted one of her classes again, she cut me loose. Since hers had been a double period it was now lunchtime. The ten or fifteen minutes of dressing down had cost me an opportunity to score something good to eat from the cafeteria.
I didn't really want to return to class, knowing that people would still be staring at me and Marisa. I didn't know what they expected. Even if I was serious about all that I wasn't going to make out with her in public or anything. Get us in trouble for one. Also showing off isn't really my style. So instead of dealing with all of that I went to the cafeteria and settled on one of the less popular leftovers.
I sat down and ate. People were busy talking to one another, happily talking about their school lives. I couldn't help but overhear some of those conversations.
“Hey, you know Kochiya in, B?” A guy from maybe II-D said to another classmate.
“Yeah, I know her, what about her?”
“I asked her out.”
“Really? You? You're a spineless wimp when it comes to girl.”
“Hey! Well, it's true enough. She's really cute though so I felt like I needed to make a move before anyone else did.”
“So? She turn you down, right?”
“Nope! That's the thing, she said she wouldn't mind going for a burger sometime.”
“Did she understand it was a date? Or did she mistake you for someone else?”
“Screw you man,” The guy punched his friend on the shoulder.
“Hah, well, I'm happy for you. But there's something about her that you should know...”
“Going to try to ruin my good mood, aren't you, you bastard?”
“This is real. Shirogane from A also asked her out apparently. She said yes to him as well.”
“What the hell...”
It was at that point that the conversation was drowned out by a group of students getting up from a table and chatting as they moved past me. The two friends also decided to move on by the time the noise level dropped. A shame. Those sorts of rumors were always interesting to know, especially if they could be used against me somehow.
After I was done eating I decided that I needed to take it easy for a while. Wasn't up to facing my classmates just yet. Not sleeping had made me feel tired as hell and cranky to boot.
 Idle on the roof
 Crash in the infirmary
>>47293 Sorry buddy, flipped a coin and began to write 10 minutes before you posted. Didn't think anyone else would vote.
Two updates! I feel happy and sad at the same time. Sad because i came too late to vote for the first.
I am not saying we should tell Eirin that something sexual happened so that she is not so disappointed of him. But maybe he can mention it as a side note. Maybe she knows Yukari or there will happen some other interesting things.
>curing Sanae of her sluttiness is a side-quest
I can imagine this happening. With lots of loving on the rooftop or other places in or around the school. She is a good and misguided girl.
[x] Idle on the roof
It is supposed to be 'slutiness' or 'lack of emotional connections with people' if you want to not talk like a moron, but that's obviously not the tone of the story. So I guess it'd end up being a girl playing with all the boys' hearts for some reason or another.
Or maybe naivety, I don't know, do we already have a girl with that trait in the story?
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Since I want to write before I'm busy/unavailable again and it's been long enough I'm flipping a coin again. Both are interesting choices for very different reasons so don't worry. As an aside: poor Sanae, being called a slut without even appearing in the story. You people are horrible.
I lay down on the floor, clear open sky above me. A gentle breeze blew over the top of the roof, cooling me gently from the sun's warmth. Not a bad way to spend a lunch break. I closed my eyes and lost myself in the pleasant feeling of freedom.
Until a voice roused me from my peaceful meditation. “And you're here again,” it said, “when I came by earlier it was locked.”
“That's because I have the key,” I said as I opened my eyes.
“It's probably not a good idea to let you have your own private sanctuary,” she said, astutely enough.
“It definitely isn't,” I agreed. A guy could get up to all sort of trouble unsupervised like I was.
“The girls I ran into climbing the stairs seemed disappointed to see you here.”
“Girls, what girls?” I asked, suppressing a yawn by covering my mouth with my hand.
“A pair of girls, I think they're in D, I don't really know them. They're always together.”
“Oh, you probably mean those two,” I nodded, “I know of them.” It was hard to forget about them, actually. They had used the roof as a private little playground to indulge in all sorts of scandalous activity. I just happened to accidentally be around to catch them in the act. I had no objections that they had chosen my roof as the place for their sapphic display. They had gotten something out of it and so had I. “Well, they'll just have to wait until school is over,” I mused aloud, not fussed that I had probably interrupted a chance for them to have another intimate moment.
“Wait for what?”
“It's nothing. So what brings you to my little corner of paradise?”
“Just returning the favor,” Kaenbyou stated, “you came to my home so I've come to yours.”
“I think you'd like my actual home a lot better. For one, the couch is pretty nice.”
“Well, it's easier to get back at you when you're trying to relax and unwind. Shoe being on the other foot and all that.”
“Hm, I get the feeling that someone put you up to this,” I stated rather lazily, not even bothering to face her but instead rolling over to my side.
“A girl has to know how to pursue her best interests.”
“Yeah, whatever,” I said, “I'm not really in the mood for this right now. Just tell me what you want and let me lie here in peace for a while.” I was too far gone, comforted by the sun and the breeze, to allow myself to get sucked back to the real world and its mundane problems. The laziness I felt was satisfying on more than one level.
“Is it really that nice to lie on a dusty roof and space out?” she asked, avoiding getting to the root reason for her appearance.
“You won't hear me complaining.”
“Out with it already...” I managed to get out before a yawn escaped my mouth. It paralyzed me for the time being, my body reminding me that it wanted to take it as easy as humanly possible.
“...I want to make sure I have your attention first.”
 “Do something interesting if you want my attention, otherwise leave me be.”
 “I'm going to close my eyes now and ignore you. You're welcome to lie down and relax silently too.”
Not entirely sure how you feel about write ins but...
[X] "Look I've had a crappy morning so leave me alone!"
and if you don't accept write ins
[X] “Do something interesting if you want my attention, otherwise leave me be."
I do feel both choices are kind of rude, yet this one has the most potential. Keep up the good work!
[x] “I'm going to close my eyes now and ignore you. You're welcome to lie down and relax silently too.”
>“Is it really that nice to lie on a dusty roof and space out?” she asked, avoiding getting to the root reason for her appearance.
She obviously wants to talk and not leave until she has done what she came for. Invite her to lie down and just be silent until she will talk from alone.
“Do something interesting?” Kaenbyou asked rhetorically, clearly annoyed, “I'm not here to entertain you.”
So troublesome. I would have to start to lock the door every time I was on the roof alone, I thought. Dealing with people who can't read the mood wasn't my idea of fun. And besides, what was wrong with spacing out and taking it easy? Absolutely nothing, that's what. A guy was entitled to his peace and quiet. Couldn't always be firing on all cylinders lest overheating became a problem.
I rolled over to my side, driving home the message that she was losing my attention.
That, as it turned out, was not the smartest of moves. Instead of playing along with all the lovely gaiety that schoolgirls ought to have, she decided to send her message across in a different way. All the discomfort of a foot on my backside coupled with ill-intent was what I felt.
“You can at least take off your shoes before you do that,” I complained while swatting at her leg with a hand.
“Do I have your attention now?”
“I only work with positive reinforcement, sorry,” I said as I succeeded dislodging her. “Bullies never win with me.”
“It's your just desserts for being a jerk. I'm not about to kiss you again to get you to listen.”
“Hey, what kind of monster do you think I am?” I was deeply disappointed by her perception of me. Without skipping a beat, I added, “I would settle for a little flash of whatever is under your skirt. Knickers always brighten my day. So does a little thigh. I'm not made of stone either, mind you, saying something flirty is also an acceptable alternative.”
That didn't go down well either. Predictably enough, she kicked me. A hard enough to hurt a little. My peace and quiet was nowhere to be found.
“Fine, you know what, you're obviously having lady issues and I totally understand that it's a cyclical thing so let's just say you owe me one. I'll write up the IOU...” I said, rolling a little further away from her, missing a much harder-looking kick by a hair's width. Quickly back on my feet, I wondered how upset she'd be.
Very, as it turned out.
Deftly and sagaciously (or so I told myself in retrospect) I worked through her inevitable verbal outrage. A few insults and promises to hurt me in sensitive areas was all I ended up getting. It could have been worse, surely. Finally it meant that we were able to get to the bottom of things. Why she had come to bother me in the first place.
“If you want to do something about Okuu, there's a chance for action soon,” she chirped, still looking a little worked up from the tongue lashing she'd given me.
“You know, Utsuho. The person that you claimed ever-so-emphatically that you wanted to help.”
“Oh, really? What's happened?” I asked, adding the girl's nickname to my internal database. A curious one at that, didn't know what to make of it.
“We're just about to start training more seriously before competition season starts. If you focus on her then you'll have a chance to make a difference.”
“How" she won't talk to me.”
“If you make it clear that you'll always be there for any training there will be results,” Kaenbyou stated, looking a little too pleased with herself.
I suspected an ulterior motive. I called her out on it, “you're thinking that me being there all the time is enough to make her quit, right? I told you that it's up to her to decide what she wants to do and why.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Kaenbyou dismissed the accusation, “it's not going to get any easier for her. Whatever I want doesn't come into it. Either she has to deal with you or it'll be someone else. She'll have to make an effort either way and whatever happens will be on her. That's how you should see it, anyways.”
“...I thought you were trying to protect her.”
“I'm doing the best I can as her friend,” she said, looking a little uneasy to be put on the spot. I didn't know exactly what their history was together but I could tell that there was something that bound them close. “What I hope you'll accomplish doesn't really matter, I'm not telling you to act in one way or another. Besides,” she said quietly, “I don't think you have bad intentions necessarily. You're an... ok... guy.”
“That a fact?” I asked with a grin on my face, “being called adequate is high praise coming from you.”
“Shut up. This isn't about you and me.”
“Fine. I'll leave that aside for now,” I told her. “Could you help me a little more? I'm sure there's something that I'm missing that would help me deal with this effectively. No one has told me what her deal really is.”
“It's personal,” Kaenbyou deflected almost immediately. “I can't say. She wouldn't like others knowing. They wouldn't understand.”
“Do I really seem like the kind of guy who is close-minded?”
“You're a piece of work but no,” she agreed. “However, I promised her. And that trumps everything else.”
“Ok, can I ask something else then? I'll only ask it if you promise me that you'll say the truth.”
“Hmm... I get the feeling that I'll regret this, but go ahead. I can't tell you why she's doing this or behaves the way she does, so that's out.”
And regret it she would. By leaving out the really important details I didn't have much choice but to stray onto more flippant lines of inquiry.
 “Do you think I'm her type?”
 “I'm still curious about the color of your undergarments. Pink, right?”
>>47321 So many different things that could have happened at so many different junctions. You shouldn't worry about them. Otherwise you'll never rest easy. If people knew the full implications for a scene or what choice would mean time primarily with x character we'd never get anything done because of partisanship. I mean, just recently it could have been Eirin, Yuyuko or even Tenshi. You just have to make the most of what you decide.
[x] “I'm still curious about the color of your undergarments. Pink, right?”
Why not keep going with the teasing back and forth a bit. It is just his character.
She likes him. He fucked up one time but with help he came closer to her again. I just wonder how Rin would feel if he became closer to Okuu? Maybe jealous?
>>47350 Meeting Tenshi would be ugly. i am not sure if i like what will be.
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She stared at me vacantly like the words that came out of my mouth had no meaning - curious and unexpected noise that had no purpose. Would have thought she was accustomed to the way I operated. Everything about our interactions had been blunt and direct. It took her a moment to translate the noise into something intelligible and I could see how the process played out on her face clearly. First the blank canvas got the first signs of life through a widening of the eyes – this was surprise and shock. Then came the confusion – this was expressed via the furrowing of her brow and a slight pout formed by her lips. Lastly, and most dramatically, color flushed to her face and transformed her normal healthy pink hue into a vivid red. This was when she became livid. Her eyes narrowed and her forehead wrinkled and twitched from excitement.
“You moron!” she ejaculated, her words coming out in the form of a powerful torrent of abuse, “can't you ever be serious?! I wouldn't be surprised if your head was entirely hollow, that's how stupid you are! You're the lowest of the low and I take back anything remotely nice that I had to say about you.”
“That may be,” I said with a shrug, choosing not to engage her verbal vitriol, “but I asked a question nonetheless. And you said you'd answer. I was wavering between pink and white for the longest time but I think that it's pink today. Something in my gut tells me I'm right.”
“I'm surprised your entire face hasn't been mashed to a pulp! You're the enemy of women everywhere and any self-respecting gal would slap you silly.”
“Less commentary about genders, more confirmation about your unmentionables,” I smiled brashly, just asking for a good beating. Which didn't really come.
Instead, she sighed, her anger dissipating. At least externally. Beneath that reddened shell of a schoolgirl lay the heart of a wild beast, full of murderous intent. Wasn't sure if it was an improvement. Still she managed a sentence without directly insulting me, “I'm not going to tell you about something that personal.”
“A promise is a promise! A verbal contract is a sacred bond!” I cried out with the same candor (and all the sincerity and contempt) that a crooked lawyer had for the law.
“I call entrapment,” Kaenbyou parried, clearly just another spark away from another full-on outburst.
“I'm just going to assume you're not wearing any panties then,” I crossed my arms, “maybe I'll start a rumor about it too. You'll have twenty new fans by the end of the day.”
It was a perfect plan. Perfectly annoying. Worthy of an evil laugh.
“Ugh that's creepy,” she said. I wasn't sure if she meant the plan or my laugh. Maybe both, come to think of it.
“Well, it doesn't have to go down that way. Just tell me or, better yet, show me.”
“Guys are so gross,” she shook her head. I silently agreed with her. As a guy I knew how gross we were. Real sleazebags. “Isn't the mystery more fun that knowing for sure?” she asked, trying to be cleverer than I was.
“Only in certain cases. Right now knowing is better than guessing.”
“Fine,” she sighed, “I'll tell you: they're black.”
“Oh! An unexpected development!” I nodded vigorously, as if it were a surprising result to an experiment. That I had been wrong was of no consequence. As a scientifically-minded man of the modern era I had to get more data in order to construct a theory. “Plain or is there some sort of pattern or lace? It's very important that you tell me.”
“Go jump off a bridge,” she flipped me off, evidently having enough of my unyielding interest in her skivvies. That was all she could take, leaving the roof with a glare that could kill.
“But this is important!~” I called out, following out into the stairwell.
Kaenbyou huffed and puffed her way to class, ignoring me completely.
The bell rang just as she made it to her homeroom.
“This is where we part for today,” I called out to her from the door, waving. A few of her classmates were looking in my direction and smiled, evidently amused by how annoyed Kaenbyou looked. “I'll be thinking about them during afternoon class today. It'll be a good afternoon!”
That was enough teasing for the moment. I left before I risked causing a scene. The point was, after all, to get to her not to inconvenience me. Well, there was no risk of any major retaliation from her. If the kiss hadn't caused her to say anything something as inoffensive as my cheeky question wouldn't be the cause for anything major.
Afternoon classes were indeed made a little better do to my imagination. I breezed through a boring lecture and withstood the chore of lab work in chemistry class. As much as I would have liked to have avoided it, I was partnered up with Suika. Things weren't exactly cool between us but we understood each other well enough to get by with a minimal amount of words. Grunting and pointing like some sort of early homonid had the nice benefit of avoiding verbal spats.
Since it was the last period of the day most people were anxious to bolt out the door and get on with their afterschool fun. I could count myself among their number. That's why when the teacher called for a pair of volunteers to take equipment back to the storage lab as the bell rang, the class let out a collective groan. No one really wanted to do it and it always fell to the straightest and most responsible students.
A glare from my lab partner made me consider volunteering. I didn't want to deal with her for a moment longer. No one was jumping at the opportunity for an extra quarter hour of their day being used for academic purposes.
 Stay quiet
>>47350 Didn't get much a reaction. Maybe that's a little telling, I'm not sure.
>“Go jump off a bridge,”
Oh yes we are on the right track.
>A glare from my lab partner made me consider volunteering.
Sure thing Suika. As things are she needs some attention. Arc really left her on the side for many occasions.
>>47367 I think that Suika would be a very interesting choice. If it weren't for trying to save Tenshi or getting into Rin's panties. Plus, there are some interesting things about suika. Like her always being near the MC when something is up with him and some girl, or that she just vanishes sometimes. Or getting mad. There is just more to Suika.
Is there someone here who wants to spend some time with Reimu?
Seems there's a misunderstanding about the choice. It's not about spending time with Suika. Getting away from her is what the protagonist wishes to do (and will do). Is the lead up to the choice confusing? I'm asking honestly because it seemed pretty clear to me. I don't believe I've indicated it was otherwise but please tell me if it's my fault for being too ambiguous or something.
I'll give it a bit more time before writing as a result of this confusion.
>>47363 In order to have plot hooks you'd need a proper plot first.
>>47371 I am always up for something new. I am mostly for strolling out into the city at night and see if there are some new opportunities.
>>47373 I heard we missed some chances to meet Sanae. And we know now of her after school activities involving boys.
I think Reimu should be doing school president work? Or council. I am not sure what she is again.
I am not sure what to say. No one has engaged me in the chat in months regarding writing so I presumed that there were no new developments and it didn't matter. I don't really have a reason to check the site very often any more, as it's rather heartbreaking, and it was only because of the intersection of moderation work that needed to be done and the fact that the thread was bumped that I now feel compelled to say something. I do not know what will happen to this or any other story. If the present status quo is maintained, I suspect that there will be no more to come. Sorry about that. Even the continual flow of ideas and general interest in storytelling doesn't really offset the writing that's on the wall. Succinctly: I've failed as a writer throughout my very many attempts over the years. I don't really wish to elaborate by regurgitating examples from the past and present since it'll likely be shrugged off as a rant. Nor do I particularly care to waste my time on what are essentially pointless justifications anyways.
By now I really would have liked to have done a Valentine's day update but it doesn't seem that will happen. Once again, I am sorry. It'll likely be a while before I muster enough enthusiasm to check again so if there's anything pressing or a lack of satisfaction your best bet is to find me on IRC. Bloody thing is on nearly all the time anyhow.
The previous post came off more whiny and dramatic than I meant it to but I guess that's what you get when you force something late at night. The core of the message is still valid and tl;dr - Diminishing returns from writing and a lack of external motivation to counteract it.
It looks like this operation is in great peril. The efforts of one anon simply aren't enough. If we want this story back, we're going to have to invade IRC. I know there's what, four of us? Five? That should do it.
The server is Rizon, the channel is #eientei. I'll be damned if I let a writefag walk away from one of my favorite stories. How many have just gone dead without a word? Well, you have a chance to prevent that.
Or don't, let your apathy consume you for all I care. If that's the case, this site is dead.
>>48370 Not like that, but I think he's expecting more than we're willing to give. I think he'll be happier if he doesn't write here anymore.
That said, it is still a pity. This story was really good and had none of the flaws of his others CYOAs. One of the best of the site, that's for sure.
>>48372 Who knows. He's been getting votes, regular readers, and there's usually discussion over choices in the threads. He was getting more votes then other active stories when this was still updating, and to top it off, this story isn't even in /th/. Drama (from the writer) and people came less and the vote flow dropped. He never updated so its been lying dead for months. If he's willing to write, then we'll be there to read and vote. It's still two-way. If he's not making more efforts, then this story will die.
Also, who writes for just readers and votes? I thought writefags wrote here because they enjoyed writing and a user base that doesn't coddle them.
>>48371 I think his best fitting audience isn't here as the typical THP reader isn't prone to discussing every single detail and aren't likely to notice some of the references made (such as the old VN ones in this)
>>48370 Nope. I was just giving a partial explanation as to why I hadn't said anything until recently. I wasn't checking the site save for non-story stuff and no one asked in the chat.
>>48371 Oh yes, a backhanded compliment. Always lovely.
>>48373 There hasn't been any drama in this thread. Feel free to point out a post otherwise. Also thanks for speaking so authoritatively on my motivations for writing. In addition, please continue putting words in my mouth despite the very many posts over the years detailing why I write and what I expect.
>>48374 Please stop it with the passive-aggressive comments wiseman since they don't really contribute anything positive. At no point in my previous post did I complain about this story or the people in this story. Nor really in any other post here. Also you're completely wrong about the references - most of them pertain to things post-tsukihime - the story itself is a homage to a bygone era however. I certainly have never expected the general population to pick up on more than the general atmosphere.
>>48372 I don't really want anything from you. I was just telling you what was up since I was asked. My problems with writing go beyond any one story (this story isn't really a 'problem' actually) and are more related to the fact that I can't get things done in the positive and entertaining way I envision them originally for a variety of reasons; I can't get through to people, they will not engage or react and general apathy are mainly what has weathered my optimism and enthusiasm (broad strokes and going for comprehension - it's both more complex and simple). Hence the line earlier about failure. As much as I may like this story and writing it, the fact that it seems like I'm incapable of doing most of what I set out to do. It's rubbish and unfair to people here and may seem like an uncalled for punishment to not update this but I can't simply ignore things that I've put so much time and effort into already.
Hopefully that's clear enough for you to understand. I really don't want to get any more specific if I can help it because I don't like cluttering up story threads with useless junk like this.
I dunno what else to say. I'm not asking for a call to arms like >>48369 has but I'll gladly engage anyone who wants anything else from me for whatever reason. I at least owe readers that much. I'm not sure what could be done anyhow that's directly related to this story.
>>48390 >I can't get through to people, they will not engage or react and general apathy are mainly what has weathered my optimism and enthusiasm
Maybe if you'd stop thinking you somehow deserve to be the #1 most popular writer on the site for some reason, you could be happy with your above average reader base. You need more discussion? Look at all the discussion after >>46968. Most writers here would kill for that level of interest.
"But the wizard story gets 100 replies for every story post!" And Harry Potter sold a billion copies, that didn't make everyone give up writing novels. Stop having unrealistic expectations and you'll stop being disappointed, and maybe you'll stop spitting in the face of all the fans you do have.
>>48398 Those are all strawmen. I don't care about popularity nor have I complained about number of votes. Or discussion. Or anything else about this story, actually. Please quit telling me what I supposedly believe I deserve.
The above status posts are there because people asked. I'm just saying what's gone on. I need to emphasize this because I'm not bitching but just taking my time to explain where appropriate. Yeah, people definitely have a right to be pissed at me but I didn't post to turn this into pointless back and forth arguing.
Right. The moral of this story is; if you're going to quit writing, please be mature and tell the people who are reading your story. Don't go full retard and play the silence game so you can go out with a bit of drama.
Thanks for playing everyone, and have a nice night.
>>48404 I haven't said I have quit writing. I just gave an explanation as to why I wasn't updating and why under present circumstances more updates didn't look too promising. What's more mature than telling the truth when asked? You seem to be the only one enjoying any 'drama' by kicking up a fuss and hurling insults. I sure as shit don't enjoy any of this.
Keep it about the story/writing please. This and all story threads are, to the last, places for the discussion of their respective stories.
>>48408 Let me get this straight; you're claiming that you haven't stopped writing this story, but that you aren't probably going to update it? Basically, at this point, all anyone is asking is, flat out
Do you plan on continuing this story
Period. No pussyfooting around it, just a simple yes or no answer.
To be honest, its better if I know its dead rather than every once in a while get the wild idea that this thing could be revived. I followed this story (still sort of do) with great anticipation. Continuing it would be awesome, but in the same vein, I'd like to definitely know if it will continue or not. Not some halfway answer between the two.
>>48455 A translation of "Well, I don't know if it'll continue if the status quo keeps up etc. etc." is "It's dead." Not enough praise and attention means no new content, which means no one new will come by, which means no new content.
>>48455 What I've been saying is that it could be revived. There's a chance but it's not going to increase just by itself. I've been avoiding making any definitive statement because writing means a lot of me for it to be just cast aside cold turkey.
>>48460 Never asked nor expected praise and the only attention I've wanted in stories are people participating and enjoying themselves.
Alright OP, here's the deal; myself and the other anon on this site held an emergency meeting, and we decided we are willing to forget this fiasco ever happened, if you are willing to dedicate at least one more thread to finishing this story. We can even ask a mod to kindly delete all these argument posts.
That way this site can boast it's first shining, completed high-school CYoA, and you get all the non-existent accolades that go along with that.
>>48481 While your offer of "get nothing and carry on being miserable" is mighty tempting, I'll pass. I'd rather put a story on ice than to rush it and finish it poorly. I'm not sure what exactly it is anyone can do but, once again, let me emphasize that nothing in this story thread is very likely to change how I feel. These, are nominally, status posts and explanations because the readers deserve at least that much. I'll gladly address legitimate questions in due course.
Now, speaking as a mod I'll ask you to kindly stop baiting by making these silly posts.
I've decided, at the urging of some, to finish another story since it's close to ending anyhow (the one I run in /forest/). I'm not sure where things will go afterwards (if they go anywhere) but it's the only thing that I'm currently writing. I doubt anyone here cares (or will see this message) but perhaps there'll be someone who will be interested in adding another story to the completed list.
If I revisit this story it'll only be after finishing that up and if I'm confident enough that things have improved. Sorry about that but it's at least some news for anyone who may still care.
>>48622 Do what ever you feel is best. I personally enjoy this story and it's what got me into writing here, so I hope you do come back to this one day. But I'm not going to throw a fit if you choose not to. Just let it be known that we like this story and those of us who have patience will wait warmly for an update.
Goddmanit TC, stop that! There are people reading your stories and your stories have faithful readers and voters compared to others. DEFT is a long running story and you still have decent amount of people voting there. Don't go "awww only 5-6 people voted" when some active stories around this site have 1-3 voters. This story got around 5-12 votes per update when it was active (Though there were some slow days like one update in this thread got 2 votes). That's really good. People still remember this story like me. It saddens me to see that you assume no one is reading this. Of course, you may say that your vote amount may be smaller compared to likes of "Being Meiling". They have their reasons (New concept, really fast update rate, new story etc).
TLDR: People remember this. They will come back if you update.
>>48736 I don't know who told you I'm complaining about the number of voters but they're wrong. I wasn't even complaining about ToY, in general, either. I don't know how many times I have to repeat that until it sinks in. It's sweet that you and others like >>48652 care about this story still and I'm appreciative for that. However, the bottom line is what I've said in >>48622
Since it's all I'm currently focusing on, your best bet to get me to do anything else afterwards is by helping that story along and voting/discussing and whatever. There's a much better chance of me returning to other stories if I feel I've actually accomplished something with an interested group. This isn't a promise nor an attempt to be coercive, I'm just being honest about the situation.
At any rate, I'm not really checking this thread that often so if you want to call me out, argue, ask something or just let your feelings be known the quicker and more direct way is through IRC.
You missed my point, but my bad wording may have caused that.
You say in >>48622 "I doubt anyone here cares (or will see this message) but perhaps there'll be someone who will be interested in adding another story to the completed list." and "Sorry about that but it's at least some news for anyone who may still care."
You assume people don't care. People care about this story like me and would gladly see it revived. Of course you are still writing DEFT so take your time.
>>48762 I know some people still care. I'm equally sure that some don't care anymore. That's all that I meant. I was also saying that those people here that are wondering if I'll ever write again should see the one thing I'm currently writing. Because it's a test of sorts and, if it goes well, the chances of this being revived rise dramatically. If it doesn't then I almost definitely won't bother trying to write again.
“What's the matter, Big Sis?” I gently nudged her towards an empty club room. Prying eyes were not welcome. “You've been avoiding me all week,” I said with a well-practiced frown, “I'm beginning to think that you don't like me anymore. That couldn't possibly be the case though, could it?”
“Arc...” Yuyuko showed a difficult expression on her face. Though usually bustling with her own brand of enthusiasm and levity, there was a gravity that sent alarms off in my mind. The urge to put off whatever the conversation was going to entail was all-consuming. “Truth be told, it's about time we had a little talk.”
“Oh, I get it,” I nodded, trying to preempt her. It would hurt me less in the long run if I just confessed to my misdeeds. At the very least it'd earn me some sort of respect from her. “This is about what happened in the art room with Houjuu the other day, isn't it?” I continued to come clean, trying to make it sound like no big deal, “I know we were on school grounds and I shouldn't do such naughty things with schoolmates out in the open... but it just sort of happened. A bit of modeling led to a few innuendos, then the art supplies that just happened to be there were so... useful in taking things further. I'm sorry about going through that many watercolors. I'll help with a fundraiser if necessary. I'm prepared to take full responsibility.”
“No, it's not that,” she said, at the same time not resisting a comment, “I hope for Houjuu's sake that you used protection.”
“Don't worry, it wasn't like with the Komeiji sisters in the gym storage shed.”
Though she seemed to blanche a little, she made no further comment on the subject. I had missed the mark entirely. Instead she continued to make that difficult face, looking like she wasn't sure where to start.
“Just spit it out,” I coaxed her. “Whatever it is, I'm sure that I've heard worse.”
“The superintendent has taken an interest in you,” she finally said. It clearly wasn't good news judging by the way she was avoiding eye contact. “I'm sorry, I know it's sudden, but you've been expelled.”
“Okay, you got me,” I laughed. “I'm guessing that I shouldn't have flipped up Ms. Mima's skirt in the hallway the other day. I'll apologize to her first thing tomorrow and bygones will be bygones, you'll see.”
“It's not like that,” Yuyuko insisted, “your academic record combined with an exposure of what we've been doing has made the school board and superintendent make a decision. Word cannot get out of what was going on. The principle pleaded your case but they wouldn't listen to her. I'm sorry I've failed you.”
“...you've got to be kidding me,” I responded, feeling that she was telling the truth, “isn't there anything you can do? Put in a good word?”
“I'm in hot water myself. I'll be lucky if I'm not kicked out on the street. If words gets out it'll be a huge scandal.”
“So... this is my last day here?” It felt like a ton of bricks had just fallen into the pit of my stomach. I found my breath getting a bit short. It wasn't so easy to think all of a sudden.
“Yes, this is all my fault,” tears were welling up in her eyes as she spoke, “I should have never dragged you into all of this.” Impulsively, feeling like it caught the both of us by surprise, she held onto me and pressed her lips against mine. “This is all I can give you. It's not much but I hope you grow up to be a fine young man no matter what your future has in store for you.”
Things became a blur after that. Rumors went about, I got into a few scrapes. Home was hell and the streets were no comfort. There was no one in the world that I could turn to that I hadn't alienated. By being so self-destructive I had pushed everyone away. Life wasn't really worth living but I just couldn't bring myself to justify losing it.
Somehow it came to be that I ended up a ward of the state. I didn't really care about what happened to me anymore. I drifted from home to home and program to program until I was given one final chance.
It was love at first sight. All of my problems evaporated instantly.
In that dreary academy in the middle of nowhere I found a single shining gem that made all of the color return to life. I was anxious, not knowing what to say at first. All of my bluster and boldness from my previous life had been sucked away by the months of uncertainty and despair. For once, I was at a complete loss when it came to romance.
“It seems that we're in the same study group,” my angel told me sometime after the second period. “Are you alright? You're spacing out.”
“Ah, yeah, I'm fine,” I managed to blurt out somehow. Remembering something about introductions being important, I used my remaining composure to babble some more, “my name is Arc, by the way. My friends called me that, anyhow. It's a nickname. You don't have to call me that if you don't want to.”
“No, I'll be delighted to,” the angel smiled, showing off a delicate little mouth and wonderfully delightful lips. “Well met Arc. I'm Rinnosuke, your new study partner. I hope that we get along.”
“Oh we will,” I said with the most genuine smile I had managed in my life. My heart was a complete flutter. “I think we'll do just fine together."