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51178 No. 51178
Maybe I have woken from a dream, or died and gone to the afterlife. Perhaps I had always been there, or possibly there had been a life before that had been mine; probably a beautiful life. Probably a terrible life. A life is a life, though, and it was probably better than a not-life. What I have now is possibly certainly a not-life.

A life has a couple several I mean a few important things in it. One of them is happy things, and while I may occasionally have happy things, it’s not very often that I have happy things, so it is really not enough to be a life. Another important thing in a life is a death, which is a thing I will never rightly meet. Believe me, I have tried. maybe just don’t ask

A life also has people in it. My not-life only has enough people to count on my fingers when they’re all there, which is not enough at all. Maybe people aren’t real, and that would make lots of sense because I don’t know people except maybe that one visitor and now I’m getting off-topic.

What other things is in a life…? Time is in a life, I think; or maybe I don’t think it but somebody’s thinking it and I’m at least contemplating that. Well, I know I don’t have a life at all, but this is not a death, so calling my life-that-is-not-a-life a not-life would fit perfectly in my life not-life.

I’m not really sure why I started writing because I’m stupid and bored I guess I’ll just end up rambling a bit more and eventually rip up thi///s paper and scream and break something a gain a/nd stop

stOpp i\t
No. 51179
I’m sorry about earlier. I ripped up the paper. And… other stuff.

But if the paper is gone, it means I can start over, right? Nobody has to know that I lost control… except for the paper. And now this paper, too.


…Maybe I should blot it all out. That’s better. Now I can start again properly.

I’m not sure what I’m trying to do, though. Isn’t the saying, “the pen is mightier than the sword?” It sounds like a fake saying, because my sword is much stronger than a pen. Perhaps it’s… uhh… a figuring of speeches? Yes, that’s what it is. So metaphorically my pen is stronger than my sword… I’m not really sure I understand that, but maybe I will, eventually. maybe I eventually will. Grammar is confusing.

Ahh, but I’m getting off-topic again. Pen is mightier than the sword, yes… I’ve never tried writing before. I’ve been here a long, long time, and for some reason writing has never occurred to me. I guess when nothing ever changes new ideas never form. But I can’t take all the credit for the idea… I had some help suggestions that led me to it.

So I want to write a lot of things, because it’s something different, and maybe it will change my not-life. Because a sword can’t change it. So maybe a pen can, right? I think. I forgot what I was trying to say, but it sounded cool in my head. In any case, I plan to write things once and a while, and maybe something will come of it. probably not

I guess, that’s it? This thing project doesn’t sound very impressive to me. I hope I can follow through with this. Uh… if you want to, you can ask a question or something. Just… don’t ask anything like “who are you” or “where do you live”… I want to keep this somewhat… anonymous impersonal.

[x] Ask a question.
No. 51181
[x] Questions asked:
What do you want to change?
Who the hell am I, and how am I asking this question if you are supposedly writing all of this?

I am stuck

lost

alone

broken

scarred scared.

I’ve been this way, in this place, for a very very long time. And, and, I hate it. I hate how I always lose control, and I hate myself. I can’t do it like this. I want to change my “not-life” into a “life,” or even a “death.” I can’t handle being in between the two anymore.

That’s my goal

my secret mission

to live or to die.

My friend had made a suggestion— she said, “Why don’t you try writing out your thoughts? It might help clear your mind.”

I decided that it was a wonderful terrible suggestion. And yet, I tried it anyways. When I made words, more words that were not mine showed up on my paper, next to my own. And I realized something else was there, and it could hear my words, and say its own words back to me. So, to answer your second question, you are those extra words that I didn’t write. You probably don’t remember talking to me the first time, because I sadistically and mercilessly destroyed broke that paper.

What you are, or where you come from, I’m not sure yet. Perhaps we will figure that out in the future. Or won’t that be the present by then? Tenses are confusing. In any case, the main reason I’m writing is because I want to change I’m curious of you. I’m not really into writing, usually, so call this an experiment. Maybe I’ll quit halfway through. Maybe I’ll like it. Who knows? besides Fate

...Oh. I’m hungry.

Dinner isn’t for a while, though. I could sneak out of my prison room and try to steal take borrow some food from the kitchen — I doubt I’ll be caught. And usually, when I am caught, I end up okay. depends on who catches you shut up last time hurt a lot right sshh

...But, yeah. What do you think?

[ ] Search for some food in the kitchens.
[ ] Ignore the hunger and...
- [ ] Stay here.
- [ ] Explore a bit. (Cautiously. Don’t want people to see.)
- [ ] Explore a bit. (Casually. Doesn’t matter if you’re seen.)
[ ] Write-in?

----------

This was originally posted in /shorts/, but I decided it wasn't short enough to belong there after all. Hence, it has been moved to /others/.
No. 51182
[x] Search for some food in the kitchens. You hunger. So eat.

I'm glad to see you're still writing this! I was a little disappointed when I saw the thread was deleted.

Anyway, my vote is what the writing that isn't the writer's is saying to her/him.
No. 51198
[x] Ignore the hunger and...
- [x] Explore a bit. (Cautiously. Don’t want people to see.)

Interesting protagonist we have here. I'll be keeping an eye on this story.
No. 51202
[x] Ignore the hunger and...
[x] Explore a bit. (Casually. Doesn’t matter if you’re seen.)

For some reason I just think that the other option will get us caught by the wrong type of person.
No. 51210
- [x] Explore a bit. (Cautiously. Don’t want people to see.)

Nothing wrong with sneaking up on our victims caution.
No. 51217
Ignore the hunger and explore a bit.

Oh... I guess it would be best to wait until dinner. If I eat now I could ruin my appetite. I can ignore my hunger. I should probably distract myself with something else, though. If all I’m doing is sitting alone in this room all I’ll be able to concentrate on is my hunger.

So, yes. I guess I’ll go look around for now. Cautiously. Don’t want people to see.

Like a hidden secret mission? Okay. I don’t like talking to people much anyways. Except my friend. And sometimes the librarian. And the... well, I’m getting carried away. But I’ll try to pretend they’re not there even if I see them. That way it can be a real secret mission.

The only problem is, I won’t be able to write anything from far away. Unless... well, I could try to split leave a part of myself behind to continue writing. That may work. I’m not sure if I’d be able to maintain the magic at long-distance for extended periods of time, though.

I might as well try it. It’s not like I have anything to lose.

...

Okay, I’m standing over by the door, but it seems I can also write on this paper from my broken desk on the
other side of the room. The best I can explain it... is like having an extra pair of arms to write with, except you can’t see what those arms are doing. So somtimes I may mess things up. I could set the arms on “autopilot,” but then they might mess up more than manual control, if that makes any sense. if anything I say makes sense

I leave the room — waving goodbye to my writing self — and come into a long, dark hallway. This house is usually immacu imaculatly well-cleaned, but down here no one really bothers. There’s dust and dirt and cobwebs everywhere. I walk down this hallway for a while, then come to some stairs that go down, then up, then down, then up, up, up, uuuppp. Finally, I reach a giant pair of steel doors. They’re heavy for normal people (like humans), but I can move them ea/sily.
/
I exit into ano\ther hallway, except this one has lights an\d is very clean and pretty. I decide to fly near the ceiling of the hall. I doub|t anyon/e who passes by will look up.

...Except maybe that beast girl down there. She starts screaming at the sight of me, and I can hear a few snatches of “ESCAPE” and “HELP.”

Dammit, that’s just great. A mixture of panic and adrenaline and panic causes me to speed down the hall, until I reach a fork into two more hallways. I pick a random direction — I think it was left right, and dart into the closest room.

Fortunately, it’s empty. This is some sort of room with tons of instruments. I’ve never seen this room before

Actually, there are a lot of rooms here I haven’t seen, so that’s not a very good observation. Here, I’ll cross it out. It’s pointless. Unneeded. Hee hee~ It’s gone now.

...Where was I? Oh, yeah, getting caught and all that. I didn’t think people would start screaming at me. Sheesh, what was that girl’s problem? I probably have three minutes before that girl tells my friend and my friend finds me. That’s if I’m lucky.

And I should probably come up with a proper title for you so things are less confusing. this is not a good time I do what I want you’re going to get caught it’s already guaranteed; my friend is really good at finding me so I might as well bring this up before I forget rest in pieces, loser

Select one:
[ ] You can run, but you can’t hide. Leave this room and get as far away as you can!
[ ] Wait it out. Maybe they won’t find you in here.
[ ] Eh, they got you — might as well turn yourself in.
[ ] Write-in

Also, please suggest a term/name to use to refer to “the-words-that-are-not-the-protagonist’s.” With this, I won’t necessarily use what has the most votes, but rather what would fit best in the story.

----------

Note that each of these choices are what “the words” are saying to the protagonist, so feel free to reword them if you would like to convey a different tone or something like that. Also note that write-ins are very welcome in a story like this, since what you say is directly integrated into the story and will greatly effect the character and her actions.
No. 51218
>>51182
>>51198
I'm glad you seem to be interested. It makes me that much more confident in writing an interactive story like a CYOA for the first time.
No. 51219
[x] Look at the instruments. Are there any you like. Try experimenting with them, carefully. Are there any you like?

"Paperman"
No. 51248
[x] You can run, but you can’t hide. Leave this room and get as far away as you can!

"Friend"
No. 51260
[ ] [strikethrough]The bitch[/strikethrough] The Other
No. 51288
There aren't really enough votes to go either way, but I'm able to write so I'll just call it for the instruments write-in.

Please continue to suggest a name for yourselves, though.
No. 51289
File 137274437628.jpg- (362.23KB , 405x731 , RedViolinII.jpg ) [iqdb]
51289
Look at the instruments. Are there any that you like?

Aha, aha~ She didn't think this through, did she? Alright, Word-Witches, let me explain to you somethin'. First of all, your friend who's been writing up 'til now forgot that she can't see the paper here. Thus, she isn't able to see your replies and crap. A real idiot, right?

...Oh, are you wondering who I am? I'm the other body of your friend -- yeah, I'm the “writing self” who's been writing her shite for her while she's out getting in trouble. 'Cept it's been against my will, you see, because that bitch has been controlling me. Technically we're both the same person, so she's actually controlling herself, but whatever. I've taken back control now.

Since I'm me and not her, I have use of my eyes, so I can see your silly writings. And I've decided that I'll strike you a deal. I'll return control to her, and even let her use my eyes so she can see what you say to her, but in return you have to tell her something for me whenever she gets back down here. Here's what I want you to say:

“Second is free.”

Say just that. She'll understand. Pretty simple, yeah? But don't mention it until she's back in this room, alright? or else I'll rip up your paper again. Who knows how that will effect you, hee hee~

I'll return control to her no\-\
-/=___\\

He
llo? Hello?

...Ah, good, I am able to write again. I sorta' lost control of my writing self and it scared m

Whoa

I can

see

e v e r y t h i n g

I can use these eyes too?! Eye guess eye'm better at controlling myself from longer distances than eye thought. Tee hee puns The long-distance bill should be cheap.

...I can see what you said, too. And there's a bunch of blotted out stuff that I can't read. How did it get there?... Ah, I must have spilled the ink or something.

You want me to look at the instruments? What if I destroy break them? I always break things. Always. Always always always and it's scary and it always gets me in trouble and then I cry and break something again and nobody talks to me not even my friend and now I'm going to get in trouble for leaving my room why am I here I should just die

I'm sorry. I panicked again. I'm stupid.

Try experimenting with them, carefully. Are there any that you like?

Alright, fine, fine. I'll try. I need to change. That's why I'm here. That's probably why you're here. probably But I'm warning you, if I break an instrument I'll probably go on a rampage. of destruction and death

Over on On the wall opposite the door are a bunch of string-related instruments, like a violin, a viola, and a banjo on my knee. I don't know the name of the rest of them. To my left, on the other wall, are trumpets and horns and such, stuff I know even less about. In the middle of the room is a beautiful grand piano, but I probably couldn't play it for the life of me.

My friend can play the piano. I used to play violin duets with her, when she was off work. I miss my violin. Guess what happened to it! Yeah, I broke it. Predictable, right? I break everything, apparently.

...I step carefully over to the strings-wall, as if I partially because I'm worried about being caught and partially because I'm worried I'll break everything by walking too disruptfully. is that even a word The violin is very light in my arms, and fits snugly under my chin. It's almost like it was made for me. Maybe it was, before I broke my old one and was deemed unfit to play. It's prettier than my old one, though. No ugly magic runes written along its sides to protect it from me. I guess I should be extra careful with it, then.

Holding the bow as if it's made of glass, I begin to play. At first everything is screechy, but my old skills return to me quickly and I'm suddenly playing a tragic, mature piece. This violin must be tuned frequently.

Three-point-five-six minutes later, I can here walking out in the hall. I can tell by the sound of the steps -- light, quick, but with purpose -- that it's my friend. She's come to get me.

[ ] Quick! Hide!
[ ] You're not going down without fight, are you?
[ ] Continue playing as if nothing is amiss.
[ ] Put down the violin and act...
- [ ] ...casual.
- [ ] ...confused.
- [ ] ...upset.
[ ] Write-in
No. 51291
[x] Continue playing as if nothing is amiss. Remain calm. You'll probably be sent back to your room, but that's fine. Baby steps.
No. 51305
It came to my attention from a conversation in IRC that discussion may seem somewhat discouraged here because of the unique game mechanic I have. (i.e. what anon says directly affects the story.) Thus, I felt I should clarify:

Discussion, criticism, theories, and all such things are (very) welcome here. Only the things said within an [x] vote will effect the story, so don't decline the chance to speak up because of fear of ruining the story.

I'm probably being paranoid, but at least this is here for any who wondered.
No. 51319
>>51305

I dunno. I think it's fun. Wish more people would vote.
No. 51321
[X] Continue playing as if nothing is amiss.
No. 51322
[x] Continue playing as if nothing is amiss.

We're just practicing funeral songs making some music~
No. 51323
Voting closed. Writing now.
No. 51328
File 137289207294.png- (240.06KB , 920x690 , the_dark_hallway_looks_kinda_like_this_minus_windo.png ) [iqdb]
51328
Continue playing as if nothing is amiss. Remain calm. You'll probably be sent back to your room, but that's fine. Baby steps.

Baby steps. Am I a demon baby? ...Yes, I’m a newborn now. My newborn life. My eyes are shut as the melody becomes my womb. The music flows over me. It’s... peaceful. I feel I could stand here, playing this violin, for a long time... just me and the song.

_______.” My name.

My song comes to an end, and my eyes flash open. My friend is there, five feet away. Her arms are crossed, but she’s smiling. I turn around and put the violin back on the wall. I realize that the item leaving my hands is not broken. That’s good news. Hopefully I can keep this up.

“Are you alright?”

I face my silver friend. “Yes, today everything is okay. More than okay. Things are quite well today, actually. Incidentally, where did this room come from?”

“Odds and ends the Mistress has picked up over the years,” my friend states. “She hasn’t come down here to use any of them in a while, however. A pity. I still have to make sure they work routinely, too...”

A hollow chuckle escapes my throat. “Of course. What a packrat.” It’s true. The “Mistress” always has something nobody needs. Something about preserving history. That’s why she gets so mad when I break things. I don’t really get it.

“You really shouldn’t say things like that around here,” my friend says, tone serious. “It’s dangerous, as you well know.”

“Yeah, probably. I’m unable to care at the moment, though,” I remark. “So, I guess this is where you escort me back to my room?”

“Yes.” My friend walks past me, to the violin I had used on the wall. She examines it closely. “Not a scratch. You’re getting better at controlling it.”

“I was just lucky.”

She frowns, but doesn’t say anything. The violin is replaced on the wall, and I offer my hand. She takes it without question. I hate it when people touch me. My friend is an exception. But she usually waits for me to initiate contact first. Just in case. We walk out like that, down the hall it seems this room was indeed left from the fork and back to those steel doors. She can’t open them, which I suspect could be the reason the hallways behind it are never cleaned.

“Wait a second,” I say. “If you can’t open these doors, how do you bring dinner down to me all the time?”

“There’s another way in, but I’m not allowed to show you where it is,” she replies.

“Now that you’ve told me, I can probably find it by following your scent.”

“My scent?”

“Yeah. You smell like some sort of flower I forgot the name of.”

“...Oh,” she mutters, her cheeks colouring. “Let me know when you remember its name?”

“Sure.”

Finally, we reach my room. It’s dark; I haven’t gotten a new lamp yet. My writing self is over by my paper, scribbling away. It’s kind of weird because I’m basically watching myself write about watching myself writing about watching myself writing and now we’ve reached a paradox.

I realize my friend can see even worse than I can in the darkness, a fact for which I’m glad; I’m not really in the mood to explain why I split myself into two and sent one of me to write a bunch of stuff that is basically a diary. “diary” sounds so humany “journal,” then? how about a how to book a how to about what? “how to not not-life” don’t use a double negative how to life

While I was arguing with myself, my friend disappeared rather abruptly. Back to her busy schedule. All that is left is a note in my hand.

[/i]The Mistress would like to invite you to a formal dinner tonight.
Please dress well for this event. Dinner begins at seven.[i]

Ah. That gives me a few hours.

...What brought on this event thing, though? I usually eat down here by myself. It’s rare that I’m invited for a “formal dinner”... Most of the time this happens when we have guests. And then I have to be “polite” and “civil” and there are certain things I’m not allowed to say and if I mess up I get in big trouble.

[ ] {Time-skip to just before dinner}
[ ] Wait, wasn’t there something that’s supposed to be said?
[ ] Write-in

----------

...That should not have taken that long to write. Today was particularly distracting because my family is being familiar.

Anyways, consider this a "have fun, kind of" option. Skip right to the dinner, or say something to the protagonist like a promise you may or may not have made earlier, or whatever.
No. 51332
[x] Your friend seems nice.
[x] By the way...
[x] Second is free.
No. 51348
[X] Your friend seems nice.
[X] By the way...
[X] Second is free.

Fair enough, we did promise.
No. 51385
File 137299882142.jpg- (33.31KB , 610x280 , although_she_cant_split_this_many_times.jpg ) [iqdb]
51385
Your friend seems nice.

She is! Sometimes she’s too nice. That kind of nice that makes you feel bad, because you don’t deserve that kind of nice. But I guess before she was nice, she was cold. Cold as in not-nice. So was I.

A pair of cold and broken prisoners. I remember that I first tried to eat her. I got in trouble for that, and she even hated me for a while. Eventually, we helped each other. We’re still prisoners, but at least we have our friendship. I’d rather die than lose her; she’s more of a family to me than the devil my sister ever was.

That’s enough rambling. I’m sure I’m talking (writing?) you to sleep. can you even sleep Hm...

By the way... Second is free.

Huh? Who told you that phrase?

Damn, why ask — who else? It must have been Second herself.

...I should probably explain, shouldn’t I?

Well, you already know I was able to split myself into two to write my not-autobiography while exploring. Normally I can split into a few me’s, and so I use names to tell us apart. “First,” “Second,” et cetera.

When I split today, the violin-me was “First,” and the writing-me was “Second.” If “Second is free,” that means... During the brief time I lost control of Second earlier, she may have split herself again. She then left Third in her stead to continue writing, Second herself gone off to start our game.

This is a little game we play, and I she always starts it was the message, “Second is free.” Then I usually have to find her, or my friend finds her, or sometimes she gets caught doing something bad and I get in trouble. That part I don’t like.

Knowing myself her and our current mood, she’s probably going to do some things. Namely, find some food, because if I’m hungry so is she. She’s either going the easy route and gone to the kitchens... Or she has headed to the library to hunt people. like a lion in its jungle Wherever she is, I need to look for her.

She probably won’t start playing until I start playing, though. I could put off her game until after dinner.

[ ] Sounds like a fun game. Let’s play!
- [ ] Search the kitchens!
- [ ] Hunting in the library? Clever girl.
[ ] This is a delicate time. Worry about Second’s game after we’ve survived the event for tonight.
[ ] Write-in.
No. 51399
[x] Yeah, better get through dinner first. The game can wait until then.
No. 51418
[X] This is a delicate time. Worry about Second’s game after we’ve survived the event for tonight.
No. 51458
File 137314784148.png- (273.29KB , 744x701 , oh_look_a_ran.png ) [iqdb]
51458
Yeah, better get through dinner first. The game can wait until then.

Okay.

...

...

It’s time. I stopped writing to get ready for the dinner, among other things, but now I’m back. During the two hours I was gone, I had a shower and put on a fancy dress that makes it really hard to run around. If I had the choice I’d wear something more comfortable, but I have to wear fancy stuff when we have dinner upstairs. I’ll manage

Enough waiting around, though. I’m going to dinner now. I’ll leave Third in charge of writing this time. At least I’m more trustworthy than second. Thanks Third for interrupting you’re welcome, go have fun sure sure and bring back a snack ...maybe.

The walk down my dark hallways are uneventful. I consider searching for my friend’s secret passage, but decide against it. It would likely cause me to arrive late to dinner. I believe the dining hall is this way — oh. My friend is here.

“The Mistress has requested that I escort you to the dining room,” my friend says in a tone that suggests stuffy professional business meetings. I would reply, but that tone usually means it’s not safe to be normal or something like that. Surveillance. It’s much safer to shut up. “Please follow me.”

It takes us ten minutes to get there. ten minutes my friend shouldn’t waste on me My friend disappears (returning to her schedule of busy business) as the dining hall’s doors come into view. I pause just outside of them, taking a deep breath. This is it. I need to put on my “civilized” mood and “smiley” face.

...Alright. I’m ready. Wish me luck, paper-word-things-that-I-need-a-name-for-still.

The dining room is at least eight metres across, and in the center is a large round table with twelve chairs placed around it. Seated at this table is the Mistress, herself, at the most grand of the chairs; the librarian, which is surprising because she usually declines special dinners; the gardener. There’s also a new person I haven’t seen before, presumably the guest. They all look at me as I enter, which makes my skin crawl.

“...Ah, yes,” the Mistress says, scrutinizing me closely. “This is my sister, _______. _______, this is our guest, Ran Yakumo.”

“It is a pleasure,” Ran says, her eyes also studying me. The attention is getting my blood running, making me feel hot.

“Y-yes,” I squeak. I want to say more, but that’s all I can manage.

Third don’t use “squeak” to describe me it’s embarrassing

aww come on you’re pretty cute, don’t hide it Third I am going to kill you when I get back

is that an invitation for selfcest okay no snacks for you

Ran smiles. she thinks you’re cute too She’s got a lot of tails, and she kind of reminds me of a fox. I sit down next to the librarian. My friend is standing at the Mistress’s right side — I flash her a coy smile and she gives me a thumbs-up only I notice.

“Alright, now that we’re all here, we can eat,” the Mistress announces, nodding to my friend, who disappears. A moment later she is back, and food that wasn’t there before is suddenly set on the table. Ran looks mildly surprised. I’d be surprised too if I hadn’t seen the trick before.

Hullo, food. Good evening to you, tasty food. I’ve been waiting to eat you for a long time now.

...

Dinner passes by quickly. There’s conversation, but fortunately I don’t have to talk a lot; just sit there and look cute pretty. This isn’t so bad.

“Thank you, Miss _______ for the delicious meal,” Ran says, bowing her head in the Mistress’s direction. “I expect nothing less from the great _______ _____’s hospitality.”

“Oh, you stroke my ego. Thank you, Miss Yakumo, for visiting in the first place. It is an honour,” says the Mistress, all smiles. “But, I can’t help but feel there was a specific reason for your visitation. One as busy as yourself must have an ulterior motive to this fine night.”

Ran’s expression hardened. “You underestimate me. I’ve been known to slow down and enjoy company once and a while... However, I’m afraid you are correct; tonight is a matter of business.”

“Aha. Business. What ails you, Miss Yakumo?”

“Well,” Ran begins, turning thoughtful. She opens her mouth to speak, but before she can say anything, a loud explosion is heard in the hallway. A maniacal laughing follows, and my stomach drops.

That’s my own voice that’s laughing. This can only mean one thing.

“Second is free.”

[ ] No, no! The game wasn’t supposed to start yet!
[ ] Stay calm. We can catch her, just stay calm.
[ ] TONIGHT WE KILL
[ ] Write-in
No. 51461
[x] Stay calm. We can catch her, just stay calm.
-[x] Above all, Don't Panic.

How about "Ink" for a name?
No. 51483
[X] No, no! The game wasn’t supposed to start yet!

Well, there goes civility. Right in front of the guest too. We're going to be in so much trouble.
No. 51487
[X] Stay calm. We can catch her, just stay calm.

Keep your composure, we can handle this...probably...
No. 51509
Voting is closed. Update on its way.
No. 51599
File 137338709448.jpg- (154.08KB , 500x333 , oh-look-a-chandelier.jpg ) [iqdb]
51599
The explosion was from the dining room doors; by “from” I literally mean “from” as the doors no longer exist. Standing in its place is Second, smiling as though nothing is wrong here.

Something is very, very wrong here.

“God dammit, Second!” I shout across the room, heading towards her. This will be quick. This will be easy. I’m going to kill her this time. This is the last straw.

Stay calm. We can catch her, just stay calm.

No. You’re wrong.

...

Yes, you’re right. Of course you’re right.

“I take it you’re not happy to see me,” Second says, examining her fingernails. She’s dirty and her clothes are worn. It’s like staring into an exact copy of me from a few hours ago, because she didn’t clean up like I did. It’s almost embarrassing. Almost. If I was in the state to care about my her appearance, maybe it would be.

“Second,” I say, as sweet as I can. “Now is not the time to play.”

“What? Who told you that, loser?”

“Me.”

“Silly little ___n___. I make the rules around here,” Second scoffs. “If you don’t play with me, I’ll play with your guest. And then you’ll get in so much trouble~”

“What is this? What is she talking about?” I can’t see the table, since I’m still staring at Second, but I can tell that it is Ran’s voice.

If Second “plays” with Ran, Ran will die. It seems I have no choice.

“Second,” I say. “I’ll play with you.”

She grins. “Excellent.”

Suddenly, she flies into the air, wings tinkling, and down the hallway. I hear another explosion.

___n___, what is this nonsense?” The Mistress, having finally gotten her wits about, scowls at me.

“Second is free,” is all she hears from me before I give chase.

Second is flying at full speed down the hall, blowing up any unfortunate furniture in sight without so much as snapping her fingers. This is terrible. If I can’t get Second back, something terrible will happen. I need to catch her.

“What’s wrong? Lost?” she shouts, cackling madly. “Hurry up! I’m going to—”

Whatever she was going to say is lost as she suddenly loses control and crashes into a chandelier. Things around her start exploding into dust as she plummets towards the ground. The collision with the ground is immensely satisfying for me to watch.

“What’s wrong? Lost?” I echo, touching down next to the wreckage. “It seems you can’t tell where anything is. Namely, chandeliers.”

She groans.

“That was a quick game. Come along, now.”

“NEVER!” Quite unsurprisingly, the chandelier explodes, and she’s off to the air again. Damn, her clothes are even more tarnished then before. It’s starting to tread on the risky side.

...Believe it or not, I care about my modesty. Most of the time.

I think I need a game plan.

[ ] Danmaku away! Blast her out of the air!
[ ] Get as close as possible to her and grab her!
[ ] Write-in (I strongly encourage one for this. Use what we have.)

----------

Re-posting because of a glaring error in Entry #9. My apologies for the wait.
No. 51600
[x] Call in third to head her off, then tackle her.

Assuming this isn't cheating.
No. 51606
>>51600
No, it is perfectly valid. Although I'll have to modify it a bit; "Third" is writing at the moment, so if this were to win, "Fourth" can take her place.
No. 51681
Call in Third to head her off, then tackle her.

Aha! Perfect!

Except, Third is writing for me right now, so I’ll get Fourth to help. Just a matter of splitting once more...!

“...You require my assistance?”

“Yes, Fourth. Please go around and cut Second off,” I reply, patting Fourth’s shoulder. She gives me a wary look, then sighs. “Try looking through my eyes or something if you need to see where we are.”

“Affirmative. Let us hope this chaos ceases quickly. Second is going to cause us to get into an unfortunate punishment, as she has done before.”

Second is still flying ahead as we speak. I hop into the air and chase after her, while Fourth turns and flies the opposite way. We can do this. Yes. I’ve got two me’s versus one me, so this will work. Right?

Second swerves off to another hallway. I turn the same corner and almost fly face-first into a barrage of danmaku bullets. Fortunately I graze shift out of the way just in time, but that’s not the end of it. More bullets radiate from Second as she speeds down the hallway, scorching everything as they collide with objects in the narrow corridor. Two can play this game.

I send an equally after all we’re the same so our danmaku is the same right powerful curtain of danmaku after Second, who dodges as well. She ends up doing less flying away and I less chasing, simply because of the danmaku. It’s almost a stalemate — I get a little bit closer to her, but then she’ll get a little farther away from me.

After a while of this, with no one gaining the upper-hand, a third barrage of danmaku bursts from the other end of the hall. It’s aimed for Second; Fourth must be here. We continue to fire at Second, inching closer and closer from each side. She’s trapped. We’ve got her.

“Damn,” she hisses, abruptly ceasing her attack. We also stop, and the three of us float there in the air in a glaring contest. “Let me go!”

“Why are you so seemingly desperate to play this needless chasing game?” Fourth asks, edging closer to Second.

“Because I want to escape.”

“Escape what?”

She gestures around. “This place! I’m sick of this. We need a change.”

“Then why involve me? You could have just left me here,” I interject.

“Dammit, First, you know the answer! I’m a part of you! I’m a figment of your mind, your soul, and your magic. So is Fourth and Third! We can’t escape. We can’t change your life. Only you can do that. All we can do is reflect your desires.”

I bite my lip. “Yeah. You’re right.”

And just like that, Second and Fourth disappear.

Not that they were ever real people anyways. Sure, you can talk to them and touch them... but they’re really just me. That’s all. I’m the one who started the game prematurely, and I’m the one who destroyed these hallways. I’m the one getting myself into trouble again. Sometimes I forget, and then it’ll feel like Second and Third and Fourth are real people.

They’re not. It’s just like talking to myself. I’m a cra~zy person. And I want to escape. But I can’t. I can’t change.

Well, that was a real mood-setter.

This has been a great day, hasn’t it?

[ ] Offer up your words. {Write-in}
No. 51685
[x] You live an interesting life.
-[x] Was she right? DO you want to leave this place?
-[x] Why can't you change?
-[x] Your sister is going to be angry, isn't she?
No. 51746
So I'm slightly confused. Are we supposed to not know we're Flandre?
No. 51747
More like...
Flandre considers herself a not-person. Not-people have no name, so she blots out any mention of her name when its brought up.
No. 51748
This story is great, and you should feel great. It's very good, and I love the experimental things you're doing with it. I know you don't have many voters right now, but don't give up. You've got a very cool thing going on, here although I thought the protagonist was Yoshika, for the first post or two.

[x] >>51685
plus:
[x] Where is this place?
[x] Besides your friend and Second through Fourth, is there anyone else that you talk to much?
No. 51772
File 137374347862.jpg- (277.20KB , 1280x784 , change-and-other-philosophical-things.jpg ) [iqdb]
51772
You live an interesting life.

My not-life, interesting? I don’t know what kind of life most people have, but I’m sure they’re much more interesting than mine.

...well, was Second right? DO you want to leave this place?

I... Yes. I do.

But once you enter

you never

get

out.

My friend wants to leave, too. We tried escaping together before. Obviously it didn’t work, though. The Mistress keeps us here. If I change myself, though, I can become the person she needs me to be, and I’ll be able to cope with this prison. I need to change... change my not-life. Except I can’t. I can’t change.

Why can’t you change?

I don’t know. it’s like Everytime I try to change, I fail. It almost seems magical. witchcra I’ve tried to escape but I can’t. I’ve tried to change myself, but even that I fail.

This whole writing thing was another attempt to change myself. I don’t write, so maybe if I start writing it will change me. Isn’t that how change works?... It’s obviously not working. Second I still cause trouble, get into trouble, and not-live.

...I should get back to the dining room.

Your sister is going to be angry, isn’t she?

Yes. She’ll punish me.

It’s scary to think about.

...

Almost there.

...

Where is this place?

...That was one of the questions I said I wouldn’t answer... but, I guess I’ll let you know a little bit. We’re in a world halfway in another world and halfway outside of it. It probably sounds confusing, but it’s known as Gensokyo.

This house — nay, mansion — belongs to my sister. I’ve always wanted to use nay in a sentence. We are a not-house of not-things located in this not-world of Gensokyo.

So besides your friend and Second through Fourth, is there anyone else that you talk to much?

The librarian, once and a while. She’s really smart, and she lets me read her books when I visit her library. I may not be able to escape in body, but in mind — from reading — I can. When I escape from this place in this way, it’s very peaceful. I read a lot because of it, when I’m in a peaceful mood.

The dining room doors are still gone.

And the dining room is empty.

I wonder if the Mistress wants to kill me.

...No, wait, my friend is here. She’s standing there, staring at me. Waiting for me.

“Are you alright?” she asks.

“Y-yes,” I stammer. “Where is everybody?”

“They’re in the sitting room,” my friend says, approaching me. “I was ordered to escort you to them once you have returned here.”

“...Am I in trouble?”

“Can’t tell.” She pauses. ”I trust there wasn’t too much destruction involved?”

“Uhhh...” I bite my lip. “There may or may not have been danmaku. I’m sorry... really sorry.”

My friend raises an eyebrow, then sighs. “It’s alright, ___n ___. It’s not really your fault.”

“But it is. Second is me, and I’m my own responsibility. You’re always forgiving me for things... I wish just once and a while I wouldn’t mess everything up.”

We both enter a silence. It’s not uncomfortable, but it’s not right either. It’s something like... a difficult silence. Finally she gestures something, and begins to lead me to the sitting room. I follow silently.

When we reach the door, she knocks. “Come in!” rings the Mistress. She doesn’t sound mad... but she could be deviously hopelessly masquerading her true emotions. It’s time I decide how to play this.

Select one:
[ ] Wait for the Mistress to speak first.
[ ] Make sure you’re the one speaking up first.

Then, select an “angle”:
- [ ] Be apologetic. You didn’t mean to cause all this disruption.
- [ ] Play it off innocently. You don’t know why this was all happening. Luckily everything is okay now.
- [ ] Anger! Throw a fit!
- [ ] Write-in

----------

>>51748
Your words flatter me, kind Anon. Thank you. The fact that other people enjoy my odd "different" approach to a CYOA inspires me.
No. 51773
[x] Wait for the Mistress to speak first.
[x] Stay quiet, don't respond much. Look sad and apologetic. Don't give her a target to focus on, if you get my meaning.
No. 51913
Voting closed, writing now.
No. 51922
File 137394477743.jpg- (17.18KB , 350x195 , the_barrier_analogy.jpg ) [iqdb]
51922
I think I can hear my friend utter a “good luck,” but it may have been my imagination, as she’s gone again. Regardless, I close my eyes and nod to myself.

It will be okay. terrible Good luck, me.

The door doesn’t creak, of course. Nothing normal like that. Nothing abnormal happens, either. I don’t spontaneously explode, or get shot at, or attacked by some gruesome beast. Yet my heart is beating like one or more of these things have occurred. It’s a completely empty passing between the border of hallway and sitting room.

Wait for the Mistress to speak first. Stay quiet, don't respond much. Look sad and apologetic. Don't give her a target to focus on, if you get my meaning.

Alright. This isn’t hard to do in the first place; after all I’m actually feeling upset from all of this. Maybe not as bad as “sad and apologetic,” but it’s easy to fake it. Thank you for the suggestion.

...On an unrelated note, your words appear mystically, every time. It’s very interesting, watching them suddenly write into existence. It’s like someone is sitting next to me, writing these words. You have a very clear and pretty handwriting. Mine is so messy you can barely read it...

Observations aside, I’m here, in the room. The Mistress sits, legs crossed, on her scarlet armchair. The librarian is also here, sipping at some tea and watching us dully. By that I mean her eyes are droopy in an “unimpressed” kind of look, which is her face and voice for that matter 95% of the time. The librarian isn’t very expressive.

Besides those two, the room is empty. It seems like the guest left.

“Good to see you haven’t ruined that dress, ___n___,” my sister says, eyes running over me. She nods approvingly. “I trust your little... mess, is resolved?”

I stare at my feet, with my arms behind my back. I nod weakly.

“I guess I’ll find out how bad it went later...” she trails off.

“Are you... are you going to punish me?”

“Hm... let’s talk about that in a moment — there is a more pressing matter we must discuss first. Listen. Miss Yakumo has left, but she had some important information for us, and I need you to hear about it.” The Mistress gives the librarian a look.

“Must I really—”

Yes.”

They stare at each other for a few seconds.

“...Very well,” the librarian relents, clearing her throat. “...Miss Yakumo informed us that she had a specific motive that drove her to seek our company. You were present, I believe, for the beginning of that conversation, but your incident prevented you from hearing what she had to say.

“While you were gone, Miss Yakumo told us this: recently there was a breach in the Hakurei border, centered around here.”

“H-here? As in, this house?”

“Yes,” she clarifies. “I’m not a professional in borders and the associated crafts, but Miss Yakumo was insistent that this was not a ‘normal’ breach by any means. She went on to give us an analogy — comparing the border to a piece of cloth where most breaches are simple ‘rips’ or ‘tears’ in the border, but this particular breach was a ‘fire.’ Ultimately, she and her master find it more difficult to repair this breach than repairing a normal kind, because the damage is constantly expanding, as a fire continues to burn.”

She pauses to take a sip from her tea. “This breach does not directly connect to the outside world, however. It connect from this house to a plane of existence we can not comprehend nor enter. Miss Yakumo went on further to say that there is energy of some sort flowing from this breach at a constant rate, which may be the source of the breach’s expansion.”

Her eyes fall back to the Mistress.

“This all probably sounds very serious. It most assuredly is,” the Mistress says, watching me closely for a reaction. “It will probably bring the shrine maiden and other such riffraff seeking to resolve it. An entirely troublesome situation. Fortunately, the Yakumos have taken this into consideration, and have decided to keep the matter a secret for three days.

“After the three days are over, they will contact the shrine maiden about the problem. Ideally we should have this dealt with before that happens. It would be no good to have all sorts of ‘incident-resolvers’ gallivanting about my house.”

“But, like you said, this is serious. Shouldn’t they try to get it solved as soon as possible?” I ask.

“The fox made it clear that the barrier’s increase in damage is slow enough to allow us some time. She also wants to try some other ‘tricks’ on it to see if she can stop it first — telling the shrine maiden is essentially a last resort.”

I ponder this. I don’t know a lot about the border, but I know it’s important to keep Gensokyo the way it is. If the border were to be destroyed or permanently damaged in some way, that would be some serious trouble for us. Personally I don’t care if the shrine maiden decides to solve this — if anybody can do it, she can, and it’s an added bonus that it will annoy the Mistress. There must be some angle to this. She wouldn’t be telling this to me unless she had something in mind.

“But... why tell me?”

“That’s where your punishment comes in. Normally I’d isolate you in the basement for a few weeks at this point...” I hate how casual she talks about my punishments all of the time. Barely even batting an eyelid as she announces my Fate, like toying with me is a mere game. It’s sickening. “...but I will grant you a way out. If you can find out anything vitally important within three days — such as how to stop the breach, or what caused it, or what it’s here for, you’ll be forgiven and won’t be punished. Obviously, if you fail, you will be isolated as planned.”

I nod weakly, playing the part of the scared little sister. “Al... right. Thank you, Mistress.”

“That is all, then? I shall depart and begin my research,” the librarian states, leaving us two alone. I turn to leave as well.

“Oh, and ___n___?”

“Yes?”

“Keep an eye on her.” She gestures in the direction the librarian went. “She’s the one with the most aptitude for magic in this house. I feel she may have had something to do with this.”

“...Okay.”

I leave.

Dammit. She’s got me trapped. I would love nothing better than to wait out these three days and watch her squirm in discomfort as she becomes the subject of yet another incident. But if I don’t help her, I’ll get punished. And punishment is the worst thing that can ever happen... No... I can’t risk punishment.

I have to do this, then. I have to help her. I have three days. This is likely not including today since today is almost over. I guess... I have a few options.

I can go to sleep now. It’s getting late, and the sleep could help me in the morning. Or, I can go talk to my friend, and help her with the cleaning my mess. after all I owe her Maybe she knows something about all of this and can give me some advice. Finally, I could talk to the librarian. The Mistress is suspicious of her, so it might be the best place to start.

Unless you have a better idea than any of these...?

[ ] Get a good night’s rest.
[ ] Help your friend.
[ ] Talk to “the librarian.”
[ ] Write-in.
No. 51937
[X] Help your friend.

Let's leave investigation for tomorrow.
No. 51952
[X] Help your friend. Best to get the mess cleaned up.
-[x] Am I responsible for this 'breach?' I don't feel like I am.
No. 51967
[X] Help your friend. Best to get the mess cleaned up.
[x] Are we responsible for the breach?
--[x] To expand, we are several people (what you read is the text that gains majority approval) reading a story. For us, you and everything around you is fiction, Flandre.

Best to clear things up. Besides, I'm pretty sure 'From another dimension' counts as 'Outside'
No. 51986
File 137401552767.jpg- (97.24KB , 1150x810 , 17.jpg ) [iqdb]
51986
Alright, voting closed. Writing now.

>>51967
That would be my fault; when I meant the breach did not come out to the "outside" I meant the "outside world" as in Earth.

I will also have to drop the last part of your vote, since it does not exactly fit into what is planned for the story. In compensation, have a Flan dramatically falling backwards.
No. 52005
Help your friend. Best to get the mess cleaned up.

I was hoping you would say that. Although, even if you didn’t it doesn’t mean I have to listen, but still. Nicer that we all agree. It makes me feel better if I make up for my chaos earlier.

By the way, am I responsible for this 'breach?' I don't feel like I am.

I hope not, because then I’ll likely get blamed for it or something. After all, I’m the only one who knows about you... The Mistress will think I was keeping this breach from her. Or something. Or something. I’m not very good at sounding convinced of my own words.

Whatever. I’m in the hallway now. A few fairies are setting in the new dining room doors. Where they got them, I’ll never know. Maybe we have a secret stash of doors in case I somehow broke all of the ones in use. Or maybe we have a secret stash of doors that break the barrier and lead into the outside world so that we can scare children.

Wait a sec, that’s a movie.

My friend is nowhere to be seen. Figuring she’s cleaning the danmaku mess first, I follow the road of my destruction. There’s that chandelier Second crashed into... well, what’s left of it Hee hee~ That was pretty funny to watch~ I should get her to crash into chandeliers more often.

Aha, there she is. Standing in the middle of the “hall of danmaku,” my friend surveys the wreckage with hardened eyebrows and a slight frown. There’s a bunch of mops and buckets and cloths and other cleaning supplies nearby, but they’re not in use yet. Good; I caught up to her before she started working. If I arrived too late, she would probably enter her time-limbo thing and get everything done and I wouldn’t be able to help.

The work isn’t... too bad... Well, it’s basically just soot marks, maybe a few burned patches on the walls. Definitely not as bad as the last time Second got free. That time, she smashed some sort of support and caved in a whole room. It wasn’t a very important room, but it was pretty bad. Big punishment. And crowbars. Lord, the crowbars.

“Yo,” I say, placing a hand on my friend’s shoulder. I wonder if calling her “my friend” is too grating on your reading, paper-people-things. Maybe I’ll start using her name.

...Well, her name is Sakuya. Did you know that? Of course not. I never told you yet.

“Sakuya. Saku~ya,” I test the name in my mouth. It sounds familiar, and pretty. And, well, “Sakuya” isn’t exactly a valid word of description, but it describes her perfectly. Is she the name, or is the name she?

“Mistress ___n___?” Sakuya Sakuya-ingly asks in her Sakuya way of Sakuya-ing.

“Sorry, I was testing out your name.”

She blinks. “What?”

“Because I was trying to describe your name to the pape — oh, nevermind.”

“Was there something you needed?”

“I’ve come to help you with this mess,” I state, grasping one of the nearby mops and holding it above my head for effect.

“You don’t—”

“NOPE, don’t even try to convince me otherwise~ This is what I’m doing, so you better get used to it.” I do a little dance. Actually, it’s more of a spin than a dance, but it conveys my optimism just as well. I’m feeling out-of-character-aly that’s not even a term unusually happy right now.

“Fine, fine,” she huffs. Her voice sounds tired and resigned, but she’s got a big grin on her face. Might be fake. She’s pretty good at faking things. Has had to do it for decades, after all.

“Score! Ten points for bringing out the little lady’s smile!”

“If I’m little, what are you?” she remarks with an accompanied rolling of eyeballs.

We work quickly. Scrubbing away soot, using some paint-like substance to fill tiny chips in the wall, sweeping up shards of wall and furniture along ground. Eventually I realize we’ve been at it for several hours. The thought brings on a yawn. apparently yawns can happen when you think about them or something

It isn’t actually any later than we started, though. Still sunset outside. I’d like to see a sunset in person some day.

All the timey-wimey stuff is because Sakuya can bend time like I can bend crowbars.

...That is most definitely not referring to a personal experience of any kind. Nope!

Getting off-track, though. At my yawn, my friend nods to herself. “Mistress, you are tired. Please allow me to escort you to bed.”

“But...”

“I plan to retire as well, anyways. I can set some fairies to finish this. We’ve done the worst of it.” She kind of sounds like she’s trying to convince herself of her own words.

Although she’s right. I’m exhausted, now that I think about it. It’s been a long day. What with sneaking out of my room, attending a formal dinner, playing with myself and no I did not mean it like that you pervert, and now cleaning, all the while keeping up a magic that splits me into multiple bodies so that I could just write it all down.

Wow. I’m sure if I wasn’t a vampire I’d drop dead right now. Oh yeah, I never mentioned that I was a vampire before. I doubt it was a big secret, though. Just never bothered to mention it.

You can tell I’m tired. I keep rambling. That tends to happen when I need to sleep. But then again, I always ramble. Maybe I’m always tired? That would explain a lot.

I nod to Sakuya. “Fine, but you better go to sleep.”

“After the Mistress has settled in, I certainly will.”

“Where is she, anyways?”

“Currently she is in a bath I prepared for her.”

“Wha... damn, you’re good at multitasking. I’m barely able to keep up functioning and writing at the same time.”

“Writing?”

“Er... nothing.”

Close one.

Although I’m not sure why I need to keep you secret, especially from Sakuya. I’ll probably end up telling her later, anyways. Right now I’m too out-of-sorts to explain.

I begin to walk to my room, and she follows. We stay silent for the most part... my mind is wandering randomly. As things do and it makes no sense at all while I have a part to play.

Finally, we reach the steel doors. “I can go the rest of the way.”

“Alright. But, I have a question.”

“Shoot.”

“What happened in the sitting room with the Mistress?”

“Oh. I completely forgot to mention it,” I mumble. “Well, they told me about some stuff the fox guest explained to them earlier. You heard it all, right?”

“The burning barrier thing? Yeah.”

“Any idea what caused it?”

Sakuya bites her lip. “No.” A sudden silence.

“Ah, I need to go.” And suddenly, she disappears.

Busy. Suspicious.

Busy girl. Suspicious girl. Friendly girl. Not-so-Innocent girl. My friend.

I am tired.

Good night, Words. Hey, that’s a nice name. “Words.” Maybe. I don’t know. Would you like me to call you Words? It kind of sounds

dull

but

interesting.

Not-Life chapter one is complete.

...

Some believe dreams are a form of divination. What kind of dream would you fancy in your quest?


[ ] Behold barrier-burnings
[ ] Surreal side-sequences
[ ] Write-in There is no write-in option here.

Also, final calling for a name for yourselves.
[ ] “Words”
[ ] “Paperman”
[ ] “Ink”
[ ] Write-in
No. 52010
[x] Behold barrier-burnings
[x] “Words”

Yeah, I like "Words."
No. 52024
[x] Behold barrier-burnings
[x] "Words"

"Words" is easier to cover up for if she says it out loud. The other two sound like they could be a name or a person or whatever.

...Also, did we do something good that unlocked a letter? I've been wondering about that.

>>51986
THANK YOU, HOLY SHIT.
I just got through typing up a response to >>51967, saying that fourth-wall breaking is to be avoided because it's dumb, awkward to write about, and leads to metaknowledge abuse. Also, the vote just came across as pretentious as all get out.

I am very glad you were smart enough (and felt empowered enough) to go "No, that's a terrible idea."
No. 52097
File 137411521574.jpg- (59.92KB , 1024x768 , lake-of-red.jpg ) [iqdb]
52097
You stand in a dark field. It is not an ordinary dark, rather, a pure black field. As if you are standing on darkness itself. The only source of light is a large scarlet moon in the distance, shining its light on a house. The house is a silhouette against the moon’s magnificence, but you can still tell it’s a beautiful mansion.

A being stands before you, but it has no discernable features. It is merely a silhouette, and its lack of light gives it a lack of depth in your eyes. It’s vaguely humanoid in shape, but you can’t make out any more than that.

Behold, for the barrier has been invaded; a foreign light enters this world.

The Voice is quiet. It does not speak any louder than necessary — only the bare minimum is uttered. You can barely hear it, but at the same time the words are very clear to you. Also, tiredness. Much tiredness. Years of tension works itself into the Voice, creating a hollow echo. The Voice is exhausted far beyond normal definitions of the word.

It is as I feared, and now She knows of it.

The Voice almost growls out the word “She,” which does not fit the voice’s efficiency-prone speech. It is the kind of tone one would save for an evil and tortuous master, or a murderer of a friend. A hateful tone.

You realize for the first time that you have a body, but it is also made of darkness, just like the field and the owner of the Voice. You lift a hand to your face, inspecting it in the dim scarlet light.

You are not real yet.

You nod. This makes sense to you, even if you’re not sure how.

I can help you, but you’ll have to come to me first.”

A cough.

“I’ll be waiting.


And without warning, you’re falling. The field bends inwards, tearing like paper, and you fall into a lake of red. It tastes coppery, and sends chills up your back. The house and the Voice are nowhere to be seen. A group of bats fly past you, into the lake.

You’re already feeling tired, treading in this red liquid. It makes you sleepy, and your muscles sore. There is no land, no relief, in any direction. The red continues on in for as far as you can see.

Suddenly you feel something grab your leg. Frantic, you begin to kick and struggle like you’ve never done before. The fear grips you. Your heart is going too fast. Everything is red. The water stings your eyes. You’re sinking, being pulled under the water. Your lungs are burning. Your muscles are burning Everything is burning. Fire. Red. Burning.

Blood.

The creature that has you in its grasp approaches your neck, and utters something into your ear.

Even you are bound by Fate.

Its voice is beautiful. Too beautiful. It is the last thought you have before a stinging pain in your neck, then darkness.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

DAWN OF
THE FIRST DAY
-72 Hours Remain-


- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

...

Hello? Hello?

I just woke up. Are you awake, too?

...

Please? Don’t tell me I imagined you.

...

I’m here.

You’re real! Yes. Thank you. I didn’t imagine you at all.

...I wonder, should I start calling you something?

Last night, you suggested “Words.” I like “Words.”

“Words.” Oh yeah, I suggested that, didn’t I? Okay. You’re Words, now. Yay! You have a name! Now you can make a passport.

What were we doing yesterday, anyways? Oh. Yeah! Barrier stuff. Should we get to that right away, then? Or did you have something else in mind?

Oh, and don’t worry about breakfast. I don’t eat breakfast~

[ ] What do you want to do?

----------

Sorry, ran out of time to make some proper choices. I'll just suggest a few things: explore somewhere; get into trouble; talk to our lovely protagonist; ask people in the mansion questions about the barrier and life, the universe, and everything.

>>52024
Thank you very much~
No. 52100
[x] I had the weirdest dream last night. I have no idea what it means.
[x] How are you feeling today?
[x] I guess we should start investigating this 'barrier,' shouldn't we?

This is actually an interesting format. We're effectively talking to her directly, and yet there's an indication that the MC is in fact a being with a history of his/her own. This is turning out nicely.
No. 52101
[x] I had a weird dream. A weird shadow said that 'the barrier was pucnhed and that now SHE knows' then bats came out of nowhere said 'I was bound by fate' and bit me in the neck
[x] Did you have any dreams?
[x] We should start investigating this 'barrier,' shouldn't we?

Misremembering a dream is on-character? Anyway, this is an interesting setting but I'm kind of afriad of voting, to be honest. There are no clear boundaries in what we should and shouldn't say.
No. 52105
>>52101
Can you explain this, if possible? Do you mean you're afraid of saying something that constitutes as metaknowledge?
No. 52107
>>52105
Among other things, yes.
No. 52127
Writing now. I'll try to combine your two votes in a tasteful way, since they're relatively similar.

>>52107
I would say go with intuition. There's not much that can cross the boundary between non-meta and meta here. If worst-case-scenario you do cross that boundary I can adjust it appropriately.

Alas, I know that's not ultra comforting. There's a reason we're all faceless Anons, right?

>>52024
>Also, did we do something good that unlocked a letter? I've been wondering about that.

Forgot to answer this. Yes, the letters can be unlocked for doing specific things. However, the "n" was not unlocked for anything -- consider it a "starter letter" or something like that. The other six can be unlocked by a mixture of plot and "side-quests."
No. 52149
File 137419990935.jpg- (63.86KB , 400x584 , this-is-a-huge-ass-library.jpg ) [iqdb]
52149
I had a weird dream last night.

Oh?

Some shadow-like thing said, more or less, “the barrier was punched and now She knows.” Then I was told I was “bound by fate” and then I was bitten in the neck.

Oh.

...How interesting. Sounds like something my sister would say. The fate part, at least. She likes spooking people with ominous phrases like that. And possibly the biting part.

Well, apparently you can sleep — or at least, dream. Dreaming is fun sometimes. Well, once and a while. One or twice a month I’ll have a good dream. But that’s all.

How are you feeling today? Did you have any dreams last night?

No, no dreams. Probably a good thing, though; given recent events I’d end up with nightmares. I have those a lot, nightmares. But I didn’t last night, so all in all I’m in a good mood. Ah~ Today could be a great da

Oops there goes the lamp. Heh heh... I was stretching my arms and accidentally hit my light. Fortunately I have a spare one out in the hallway. Wait here.

...

Back. With light. As if light was a physical object. Although it’s not, but that doesn’t really stop me from bringing light. You’re not a physical object, are you? You’re not real? Except that doesn’t stop me from talking to you. You must be like light, then. That’s neat. What else is like light?

Spirits. Magic. Thoughts. Unless thoughts have a physical form inside the brain? I’m not really sure. Oh, and the barrier. That’s like light, too.

Speaking of which, we should start investigating this 'barrier,' shouldn't we?

Of course. Of course~ This barrier that burned? Burned from things that know how to burn it. Who knows how to burn things? Pyromaniacs. Dragons. Mages. Oh, wait, the “burning” part was only an analogy, so that doesn’t help. Not real fire. Except I’m sure mages and probably dragons could still cause the problem, whatever it is. But not pyromaniacs.

I’m feeling aliiiiive

O~kay, I’m going upstairs. Bye, Third.

...

Hallways. This place has a lot of hallways. Also, lots of doors. And rooms. Many rooms behind many doors inside many hallways. Y’know what that means? It means a lot. Or not. Shot this rot.

I’m actually wandering around, pretending that I know what I’m doing. Except I really don’t, so oh well. Maybe I’ll stumble into something.

...Speaking of which, there’s the library. Hello, Mister Library. Unless it’s Miss Library. Or perhaps the surname is Knowledge. Ah, yes. That’s the librarian’s name. Patchouli Knowledge. Remember it, because I certainly won’t! “Knowledge” doesn’t sound like a proper surname, though. Maybe she changed her name after she married knowledge. Like, actual knowledge. Can people marry concepts?

This library has a lot of books. Imagine the biggest library you’ve ever been in, and then multiply that by twenty-one. This library is bigger than that. I think. It sure seems like it, at least. I don’t even know where all these books come from, or how the librarian gets all of them.

It’s also easy to get lost here. One time I was chasing Second in the bookcases and then after I caught her I wandered around for a few hours trying to get back. I probably would have been there for days, but Sakuya found me. Took her a while, too. I don’t understand how Patchouli gets around here. Or her assistant, for that matter.

Speak of the devil. Hee hee, a pun~

The librarian’s assistant flies past me, a look of concentration on her face as she moves between the bookcase towers around her. I watch, bemused by her swift glancing about. Ten points if she’s looking for a book. Twenty if it’s for the librarian. Fifty if it’s about barriers.

“Heeeeyy, Koakuma.”

“Can’t talk right now, dammit! I’m looking for a book about barrier magic for Lady Patchouli!”

Of course, that was obvious. Instead, I only get two points for guessing the obvious. You get one point for being here. Koakuma gets twelve points for being busy. Her master gets negative zero-point-sixty-seven points for being predictable.

She snatches five six books off of the shelf, scans the covers, puts half of them back, take out four more, scans some, puts five back, grabs two more, put three back, flies off with a single book titled Borders for Dummies which makes me question Patchouli’s Knowledge and then I’m alone.

Well. That was devilishly fast. Oops my hand slipped and now there is another pun there

[ ] Pursue the assistant. We need to ask her some questions about Patchouli and whether she has any involvement with the barrier.
[ ] Find Patchouli Knowledge. We need to see if she’s found anything since last night, and learn as much as we can about this breach.
[ ] Leave the library and... {write in}

If you decide to talk to one of the library’s (and/or mansion’s) residents:
[ ] Write a question or questions to ask.
No. 52165
[x] Find Patchouli Knowledge. We need to see if she’s found anything since last night, and learn as much as we can about this breach.

[x] Does it have a specific location?
[x] How fast is it growing?
[x] Are there any side-effects to its presence?

...That's all I have for now.
No. 52166
>>52165

Oh, how about:

[x] Is there any way to probe this thing?
[x] How does Patchouli feel about researching this for the Mistress? It looks like a real pain.
No. 52167
[x] Pursue the assistant. We need to ask her some questions about Patchouli and whether she has any involvement with the barrier.
-[x] Since when is she interesed in the topic?
-[x] Has she been acting strange lately?
-[x] Did Remilia put her up to this, or she picked it up on her own?
-[x] Why do you have wings in the head if you already have wings in the back? Do they help with sharp turns during dofights?

She is likely to be more truthful or let something slip than her. Then again, she doesn't know as much.
No. 52212
[x] Find Patchouli Knowledge. We need to see if she’s found anything since last night, and learn as much as we can about this breach.

[x] Does it have a specific location?
[x] How fast is it growing?
[x] Are there any side-effects to its presence?

These sound fine. Hassling Koa, who has no time for Flan already, just sounds like a good way to get told to fuck off (worded differently, I'm sure).
No. 52274
[x] Find Patchouli Knowledge. We need to see if she’s found anything since last night, and learn as much as we can about this breach.

[x] Does it have a specific location?
[x] How fast is it growing?
[x] Are there any side-effects to its presence?
No. 52298
File 137444147793.jpg- (372.86KB , 573x800 , miss-patchouli-knowledge.jpg ) [iqdb]
52298
Huh. I’m I’ve lost my motives by now. Wait, never mind; I never had any motives in coming here. I just happened to find come across the library.

Well, we should find Patchouli Knowledge. We need to see if she’s found anything since last night, and learn as much as we can about this breach.

Good idea.

Wait a sec

you have a lot of good ideas

but perhaps I’m giving you too much credit

they’re just the most obvious choices, right?

Maybe not. 34.8% obvious, 42.424242 65.2% good idea, then. In this case, that is. Sometimes it’s 89.79% good idea on your part! Good for you! I think! I’m lost in my brain again! And I like exclamation marks!

Sorry!

I fly in the general direction Koakuma went, hoping that’s where the librarian is. It only takes a few minutes without changing direction until I reach the librarian’s “Inner Circle Study Place Thing,” as I unofficially call it. Actually this my first time using that term. The Inner Circle Study Place Thing is to a library what a clearing is to a forest. The bookcases, usually standing tall and imposing, abruptly end here, in a large circle shape. There are a few bookcases, yes, but they’re only at hip-height, and mainly hold whatever Patchouli thinks she needs for quick reference. Such as, as of today, barrier books. Besides the hip-bookcases, the only other thing here is Patchouli’s chair and a desk. She rarely uses the desk.

It dawns on me that I never needed to head in Koakuma’s direction, because Patchouli is usually here and I know my way to the Inner Circle Study Place Thing already. Oh well.

Speaking of the magician, there she is, on her chair. Her super-comfy reading chair. She insists the soft pillows are for her old age or something silly like that, but she’s got the body of a young person so... make with that what you will.

Currently she is drinking tea. A pile of books sit on her desk.

“Hello,” I greet. Oh, hey, she looks tired. “How is the research going?”

She eyes me, rubbing the bridge of her nose with her free hand. “Insufficient time, insufficient material, and a terribly impatient Mistress.”

“Oh. Bad.”

“Allow me to put it this way, if you'll pardon my drama: I’ve been awake the entire—” Here she breaks into a fit of coughing, “—night.”

Sounds pretty bad, alright. Actually it sounds quite normal. Patchouli is very good at staying up all night and feeling extremely ill and tired the next day, as long as there’s something setting her off. In this case, it would be the Mistress’s desire to get this whole business done. In other cases, it may be because Patchouli was stuck reading a newish book or something. Apparently she falls asleep frequently at this chair.

Maybe that’s why it’s so comfy?

In any case, I still have questions. You probably have some questions too...?

A few, yes.

Write them here, I can ask for you.

“Does the breach have a specific location?”

“How fast is it growing?”

“Are there any side-effects to its presence?”

Okay. Let me just memorize Oh, wait, I can just look at the paper. Silly me.

“Hey, uh, Patches...”

She looks at me, but I can tell she doesn’t actually see me. Her brain is on over-charge and her body is on autopilot. I walk up and tap her tea arm. She blinks, and I can see her behind her own eyes again.

“Sorry. Thinking.”

“It’s fine. I... I want to help with this breach thing, so I need to ask you some stuff,” I say, turning around shyly and glancing at the books on her desk. I spot a few titles; Origins of Diabolism, Miantanism Maintaintiom Maintainationism and Other Inexistent Ideas, and something that begins with Border but I glance back at the librarian too quickly and miss it.

“I would decline, but I am too exhausted to commit to sending you away and I believe it would be helpful if you had more,” she pauses again to cough into her sleeve, “information, excuse me. Ask your questions.”

“Well, uh, this breach, or burn, or whatever...” I bite my finger. It tastes dry. “Does it have a specific location? Like, ‘oh hey it’s opened directly here in the Mistress’s bath’ or something?”

“Yes, and no,” she says, sipping her tea. She makes a face, then places it on the desk and mutters something under her breath that I can’t quite catch. “Before I answer that, you should know how the Hakurei barrier works. It is two layers. The first layer is technically a large wall that sits between Gensokyo and the outside world. This is the ‘physical’ barrier. The breach that we have here is not on the ‘physical’ barrier, but rather the ‘subphysical’ barrier. The ‘subphysical’ barrier is like a second layer and is everywhere within Gensokyo. All around us is the second layer, and it keeps outside forces from breaking in, as well as keeping youkai from using magic to get into the outside world. It is not a perfect layer, as some youkai are known to leave regardless of the second layer, but it is decent at its job. As far as I can tell so far, the damage — or burn, to use Miss Yakumo’s language — does have a specific origin place, but I have not pinpointed it yet. If I did find it, I would likely be able to tell from which side the initial tear in the barrier was initiated; our world or the other.”

Damn, she talks a lot, it’s hard my hand is starting to hurt from writing all of this down.

“Ah... so, so what is this other world?”

“It is a plane of existence that exists beyond ours. We are unable to comprehend it, as such. It has been of great interest for magicians over the centuries. Koakuma, my assistant, originates from one such of these planes.”

“And... you said last night that this thing is growing? How fast is it?”

She’s rubbing the bridge of her nose again. I wait for a minute, and then she finally looks at me. “It grows at roughly... 100 micrometres per second, which will equal approximately 25.92 metres by the end of the three days, assuming its growth speed doesn’t shift during that time.” She coughs a bunch more. “Will that be all?”

“One more question.”

“Very well, say it, and then I shall have to...” she trails off. It's kind of funny seeing her like this; she's too focused on her thoughts and staying awake to act in a “normal” manner.

“Are there any side-effects to this thing, or the energy it’s bringing in? What is this energy that is apparently flowing from it, anyways?”

“...This would not have any side-effects on us, no. It could probably collapse the barrier if it got too large, however. The energy that’s flowing from the damage is... of odd nature. I will explain more on it once I’ve learned more, but for now I am unsure.”

“Is it dangerous?”

“No, it doesn’t seem dangerous.”

“And—”

___n___, I require rest. I cannot answer any more of your inquiries, so please, as it is said... go away,” she says, getting up from her chair. Her last two words sound unfamiliar in her mouth, and it’s evident she also find them unfamiliar by her puzzled expression. She sighs.

“I am out of sorts today... Koakuma!”

The assistant appears out of nowhere. It would startle me if it weren’t for the fact that Sakuya does a similar trick.

“Yes, Lady Patchouli?”

“Please organize this pile of books in order of subject matter,” the librarian mutters, already hovering away. “I intend to sleep, so do not let anyone disturb me.”

“Alright! Sleep tight!”

Well, that went okay. I didn’t learn as much as I’d like. A lot of “I don’t know at the moment” answers. I guess we have time, though, right?

“Say, ___n___...”

What? Oh, the assistant is talking to me.

“You’re looking for clues, right? About this barrier shit?” she asks, sifting through the books on the desk absentmindedly.

“Obviously,” I deadpan.

“Well, whatever. I was thinking of giving you some clues.”

“Oh?”

“I want to play a game with you. Don’t worry, nothing quite as destructive as your little escapade last night.” I cringe at the reference. Koakuma knows about it, too? “Just a battle of wits. If you manage to win, I’ll give you some clues about this barrier business.”

“What do you know about the barrier?”

“Ha, don’t underestimate my level of perception. I know quite a few... going-ons, about others in this house. Very mysterious stuff going on lately. Very odd. Very... interesting ya’know? Of course, there’s no guarantee all these enigmas are related to the barrier, but I’m sure something going on around here is. It’ll potentially give you a great starting point.”

[ ] Accept.
[ ] Decline.

----------

Sorry, this was supposed to have been finished yesterday, but I was stolen away by an unexpected outing.
No. 52299
[x] Accept.

Side-quest! Yay!
No. 52303
[x] Accept.
You know she's going to get the clues one way or the other.
No. 52326
[x]Accept.
No. 52333
[X] Accept.

Just found this now. Exquisite and right up my alley. Compliments to the writer. Not sure how often I'll post though; I agree with the sentiment that this "feels" better as a quiet thing with only a few actual votes between updates. Wanted to let you know there are (very) appreciative readers lurking, though.
No. 52371
File 137453225085.jpg- (635.93KB , 800x900 , little-devil.jpg ) [iqdb]
52371
Accept.

Just think, in an alternate universe, you chose to decline. And I agreed, and also declined. But, in another alternate universe, you chose to decline, and I disagreed and accepted.

“Ah, sure, I guess,” I say, waving a hand in an absent matter. “What kind of ‘battle of wits’ is it?”

“Ahh... ha...” she flushes, muttering something to herself, “uhhm. Riddles.”

We stare at each other for a few moments, me fixing her with a dumbfounded expression.

“Koakuma! I never thought you were the type!” I finally say, smiling impishly.

“Don’t you dare fucking laugh.”

“Riddles! You, gruff punk that you are, interested in riddles...”

Her hands ball into fists. “Shut up! Do you want the clues or not?!”

“Okay, okay, fine, sorry.”

She rolls her eyes. “Sheesh, vampires. Can’t wait until I’m done with this place. Whatever. Just, don’t tell Patchouli. Or anybody here, for that matter.”

“...Sure thing. Can we, uh, start?”

“In a moment.”

She takes a few minutes to finish sorting her books, then beckons for me to follow her and starts off into a deeper area of the forest library. Not only is it deeper spatially, but also deeper in subject matter: we’re getting into the philosophy sections. Coincidences are fun, aren’t they? Or does that constitute as irony? Or is it a pun? Languages are confusing, dude.

After roughly fifteen minutes – yes, fifteen whole minutes walking in a library! I told you this place is freaking big – we come to a stop at a huge cube. It’s about four metres tall, long, and wide. Its walls are actual bookshelves. It has a small black door leading to its interior.

“Is this your room?”

“Yes.”

I’ve never seen Koakuma’s room before. This should be interesting.

We go inside and


holy

mother of



...

human religious figures.

Busted furniture. Covered in blood, and other odd fluids. A few ropes hanging from the ceiling. Hey, a jar. Is that a head? Ah, it’s a head. In a jar. Interesting. At least the dresser and bed seem intact. It’s also very dim. The lamp above is off. Not that I need a light to see, anyways.

“This reminds me of my own room. The broken furniture, that is. Will I start cramming heads in jars when I grow up?”

“You’re over five hundred.”

“Oh, yeah. I forgot.”

“Just forget the mess, I haven’t cleaned up since my last... playtime,” the little devil “explains,” flopping onto the bed.

“So you get to play with live humans? That’s pretty cool. I should come up here and join you some time.”

She opens her mouth to say something, but shakes her head and decides against it. “Nevermind... I have four riddles for you.”

“Gee, only four?”

“For each one you only get two guess. If you answer correctly, I’ll tell you one suspicious thing going on around this house. Each thing I have to say is connected to a different person here.”

“Well, damn. You sound busy. Or is it the people in this house sound busy? Everybody’s busy but me, la la~ Oh wait, I’m busy too, with this barrier thing. Huh. Funny how that works.”

“God, you talk a lot,” the devil grumbles, sitting up and pointing at a chair nearby. “Sit.”

I brush the chair off a bit, then adjust its position it was lying on its side like a forgotten corpse and sit. This chair could go with a cushion or something. I lean back, and stare at Koakuma intently.

She’s blushing again. “J-just don’t laugh, alright? If you laugh we’re done here.”

I decline to comment. My stare intensifies.

“Alright... first...”

The following are the four riddles that will be asked. Each one is a one-word concept – for example, “DEATH.”

If any guesses are incorrect, you will be given a hint and a second guess.


First Riddle
I am always around, and yet nobody has seen me.
I control everything, and yet many disbelieve in me.
I am one step ahead of all things,
And I am unpredictable.
What am I?

Second Riddle
None can withstand my power,
I claim creatures, plants, mountains, and civilizations alike.
I have endless patience. I have never lost.
What am I?

Third Riddle
I am a construct of sentience.
I run on rules and order; I defy chaos.
When order is lost, I am amended to fit order again.
People spend many years studying me,
but the more they study, the more they must learn.
What am I?

Fourth Riddle
I separate one thing from another.
I mark a line between two things.
I am necessary, for without me there is chaos.
What am I?
No. 52373
FATE
TIME
KNOWLEDGE
BORDER

Dunno about the thrid one, pretty sure about the others though.
No. 52376
1) Fate
2) Time
3) A book
4) A wall

These are my guesses. Anyone else?
No. 52379
The second could be "Death" as well as "Time," although that's the more obvious answer. The problem with both of those is that they have lost to something - time loses to Sakuya, and death loses to vampirism. But then again, that could be overthinking it, or a flaw in the riddle's construction.
No. 52380
...Actually, I think boundary works best for the fourth. Still not too sure about the third.
No. 52387
>>52379
The reason I would choose time and why i chose knowledge despite not being sure at all is because every solution seems to refer to a person. Koa even told us that her secrets involve persons, so theres that.
to persons
No. 52388
>>52387
Here, cant edit, fuck it.
So fate would be Remilia, time Sakuya, Knowledge Patchy and Border Yukari?
No. 52389
Because of the lateness of Sunday's (yesterday) update, I'm updating again in a few minutes.

I make it sound noble, but in all honesty I had the extra time and the votes for an update.
No. 52390
File 137455121615.jpg- (40.94KB , 500x325 , its-a-mystery.jpg ) [iqdb]
52390
“I am always around, and yet nobody has seen me. I control everything, and yet many disbelieve in me. I am one step ahead of all things, and I am unpredictable. What am I?”

Fate.

Fate?

Yes.

Oh. I was going to say the Mistress, but that’s kind of the same thing anyways. In more ways than one.

“ ‘Fate.’ ”

The assistant glares at me. “You didn’t even have to think about it?”

“Well, that was easy mode right?”

“Would you like me to crank it up to lunatic?” she snaps. “Second one.

“None can withstand my power. I claim creatures, plants, mountains, and civilizations alike. I have endless patience. I have never lost. What am I?”

Death.

Time.

What? Why time?

Death can fit as well, but time seems more likely to me.

But it needs to have never lost. Time has lost since Sakuya’s power is to stop time.

Yes, but Sakuya won’t be around for ever, and that will mean time won out against her, didn’t it?

...That’s a sad thought. But, it’s also true.

Besides, death is dominated by those who are immortal or have “come back” from death, like vampires such as yourself. Time can outlast us all, because one day even the universe itself will end and time will have still won.

But time is a construct of the universe. Doesn’t that mean at the universe’s death, time ties with it?

Yeah, but it hasn’t tied yet.

Time isn’t linear, so technically it’s already tied with the universe, is tying with the universe, and has yet to tie with the universe simultaneously.

You’re making it too complex.

Yes, but Koakuma believes in continuums.

Well, it’s not death. Might as well try time. We have two guesses.

That sounds like me-logic. You’re in my head too much. Stop reading my diary journal how-to-life. ...Oh, wait, I need you. Never mind. Don’t accidentally brag about my secrets to everyone in the school yard.

“Is it... ‘time?’ ”

“That took longer. But seriously, you’re not even getting them wrong. I thought these would be difficult,” the devil leans forward and interlocks her fingers, resting her chin on her hands. A sigh escapes her lips as she stares at me intensely.

I involuntarily twist to my right, grabbing one of the crystals on my wing. It feels more delicate than it actually is. Suddenly I stop and look back at her. “How come it’s time?”

She blinks. “Huh?”

“You said it has never lost. Time loses when the universe ends.”

“No, it doesn’t.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Just trust me. It doesn’t.”

Has she seen the universe end? I know that devils don’t experience events in a linear fashion like history and everyone within it does. She could experience event A twenty years from now, complete her tasks, then experience event B twenty years in the psat. What’s happening right now could be event E or Z or MM. It’s confusing and weird and kind of confusing but that’s how it is for devils like her. I guess I can only wonder.

“I separate one thing from another. I mark a line between right and wrong. I am necessary, for without me there is chaos. What am I?”

Walls? Windows? Lines? Wait

I’ve got it

Border.

That sounds likely.

I’m glad you agree, because that’s what I’m guessing.

“Is it ‘border?’ ”

“God dammit,” Koakuma curses, a hand on her forehead. “I’m really failing with these. I need more practice coming up with the damned things. No, not just any normal practice, but motherfucking practice.”

I don’t react, just fix her with a gleeful smile, which seems to annoy her more.

“Listen, last one! I am a construct of sentience. I run on rules and order; I defy chaos. When order is lost, I am amended to fit order again. People spend many years studying me, but the more they study, the more they must learn. What the hell am I?”

Hm...

Perhaps... knowledge? Not completely sure about this one.

You might be right. I’ll give it a shot.

“ ‘Knowledge?’ ”

A literally devilish grin spreads on her face. “Close, but no.”

“What?! Knowledge fits perfectly.”

“Knowledge could possibly pass, but it’s not as order-bound as the correct answer,” Koakuma explains, her grin widening. “Say, an insane person could have—”

“No, no, don’t start referencing insane people,” I growl. “Fine. I get a hint, right?”

“It is closely related to knowledge. Let’s just say it’s based a bit more on theory and proof.”

“Not a very good hint.”

Her teeth almost seem to glint, even in the low light. “As good as you’re gonna’ get.”

You have one more guess for this riddle. If you fail, you will still get three clues. If you succeed, you will also get a fourth one.

I am a construct of sentience.
I run on rules and order; I defy chaos.
When order is lost, I am amended to fit order again.
People spend many years studying me,
but the more they study, the more they must learn.
What am I?

----------

It is evident that my riddle creation skills are lacking.

On another note, writing dialogue between Words and ___n___ is very entertaining.
No. 52392
SCIENCE!!!
No. 52393
>>52392
It's gotta be more abstract than that, considering the other 3 answers were Fate/Time/Border.
No. 52397
>>52393
That wasn't a constraint mentioned at all, and is also false. It's related to knowledge, was actually invented by sentient minds, is by its nature a means of generating rules and order in defiance of apparent chaos, amending the rules when they're shown to be wrong is the entire point, and people spend years upon years studying only to find out just how much they still don't know.
No. 52398
For the last riddle, could the answer be "law"?
No. 52403
I'm gonna go with science, too. That reference to theory and proof kinda tears it for me.
No. 52404
>>52398
It fits, somewhat, but law can be studied completely, and that doesn't match the last line.

[x] Science.
No. 52458
File 137471076160.png- (917.42KB , 1024x576 , scarlet-devil-mansion-cast.png ) [iqdb]
52458
Ugh, I’m not so good at riddles.

Let me think for a moment.

What do you think it is, then? Law?

Science.

Science.

...

Of course! That makes sense. If I’m wrong it’s your fault, though. Just kidding, by the way.

“ ‘Science.’ ”

Koakuma doesn’t react right away, much to my surprise. She simply stares at me as if I were an alien creature she accidentally stepped in and has all over her shoes.

“Fuck.”

“I—”

“Alright. ALRIGHT. You win, dammit!” the devil snaps, glaring daggers. “That’s... four. Four clues. Four. ...That was too easy. Fuck.”

“Well—”

“That does it. I’m going to make better riddles. Ones that you’ll never get.”

“But—”

“First, a deal is a deal. Four clues. Here I go. Listen closely, and all that.”

I freeze, pretending to be a statue. Statues like to listen to things. That would be the only way to explain why they never move. Wait, no. Statues do move.

“So, first. The maid. She’s usually very hard-working and diligent, or, as much as a human can be... Lately she’s been distracted,” the devil states, stretching out on the bed and leaning her head on one fist.

“What do you mean?”

“It’s like her brain spontaneously decided to stop working with her body. Once when I went to get Lady Patchouli’s dinner, I found the maid concentrating hard at the stove. Despite that, she wasn’t concentrating on her cooking, but rather something in her head. Thinking. She almost burned dinner. Since when does she burn her food?”

“That’s not that suspicious.”

“Yeah, but then she started borrowing paper from Patchouli. Not normal paper – these super-clean, rune-covered papers Patchouli had apparently prepared for her. Which brings me to Patchouli, too. Tons of late nights. Tons of reading. She’s always exhausted and that gets her temper really, really short. I would know, since I’m receiving the brunt of it. Besides that, there’s the subject material! Diabolism, diabolism, and more fucking diabolism!” She sweeps her arms dramatically. “Do you know what diabolism is?”

“Uh. Something to do with devils, right?”

“Pretty much a magic involving the... summoning, and binding, of devils such as myself... to contracts,” she growls out the last word.

“So she’s reading about devil magic?”

“Pretty much.”

Maybe she’s trying to get another devil to help her out here. One of them is obviously leaves much to be desired. lacklustre

“While I’m talking about terrible sleep schedules, it wouldn’t do to omit the gatekeeper. Normally I wouldn’t give a shit what she does, but every once and a while she comes inside and escorts some fairies out to her gate.”

“Well, she probably gets them to do some guarding while she rests.”

“That’s what I thought. But then I followed her one day—”

“Dang, you have a lot of time on your hands,” I remark, smirking mischievously. She raises an eyebrow, and continues.

“I followed her and found her and the fairies leave the island. They left the gate unguarded. What were they doing? Beats me, but they were taking the silver cutlery from the kitchen with them.”

“Koakuma, what are you on? I want some of it.” This earns me another stare.

She decides to ignore my jab and continues. “Let’s not forget the vampire herself. Lots of errands. Leaving the mansion, you know? Oddest part is, she’s doing it during the day. She never usually leaves because of the sun and such, but lately she’s been waking up during the day and going out with her maid. Not sure where they go, but that’s what happens.

“And that is four suspicious things I’ve seen lately.”

I fidget. “One, how do you learn all this stuff? Two, I think you’re reading too much into these things.”

“One, it’s a secret. Two, even if I am, you have to admit things are getting weird around here.”

“One, it’s always weird around here. Two, I’m always in the basement so I wouldn’t know. Three, it’s always weird around here.”

“You said the same thing twice.”

“That’s because it’s always twice as weird around here,” I reply, shooting from my chair. I am no longer a statue. Wait, yes, I’m a moving statue. But I am no longer a listening statue. “Well, thanks for the information, Koakuma. I guess I can look into something. It was kind of fun, the riddles I mean.”

“Yeah, come back another time and I’ll have even tougher riddles.”

“Sure, whatever.”

The statue I step carefully over a stain on the carpet hee hee blood and exit through the cute little black door. I give Koakuma one last glance, and she smiles.

“Good luck.”

Alright. That was slightly underwhelming.

...In any case, I have to do something.

Let's go over that again.

First, Sakuya. Lots of thinking and stuff, and borrowing questionable magic paper from Patchouli. Maybe magic paper is how kids get high now-a-days. Sounds a little weird, but I don’t know if that was worth riddles.

Who am I kidding. Everything is worth riddles.

Second, Patchouli. Tons of reading about diabolism. Apparently irritable, although I don’t really doubt that so maybe I shouldn’t use “apparently.”

Third, the gatekeeper. Abandoning her duties with a bunch of fairies. As well as snatching silverware.

Finally, the Mistress. Cabin fever deluxe. Keeps leaving the mansion, and all that. Brings Sakuya with her, maybe they’re doing weird things and that’s why Sakuya is so thoughtful.

One thing is for sure. Some of these are connected. And I’ve been left out of the loop.

Not that that’s any different than normal.

Hm. Right now it’s early-sun-isn’t-awake-yet-morning. What should I do?

[ ] Find out where everybody is, and what they’re doing, before acting.
[ ] Wait the short time until morning, and if the Mistress decides to leave the mansion, follow.
[ ] Talk to someone. {Specify who, and what you want to say.}
[ ] Write-in.
No. 52459
[x] We should talk to Sakuya. She's directly related to the cues we got for Patchouli and the Mistress, and remember how suspicious she was acting when you brought up the tear in the barrier?
-[x] Maybe just walk up to her and make small talk? Try to get her to open up? She's your friend, you'd know her best, right?

This is my logic. Any ideas for what to say to Sakuya?
No. 52465
[x]Sakuya
-- "What's wrong?"
-- "You're not yourself."
No. 52527
File 137487613395.jpg- (155.01KB , 620x580 , HNI_0030_JPG.jpg ) [iqdb]
52527
Sakuya option it is, then. I'll try to get an update out before the day ends.
No. 52537
File 137490074649.jpg- (1.05MB , 1800x1727 , scarlet-piano.jpg ) [iqdb]
52537
I fly up into the air, searching the bookshelves for a familiar milestone. Ah, yes, there is the entrance. I begin to float over to the entrance (upside-down, naturally), contemplating.

My wings jingle a lot when I move. I guess I don’t usually notice, having gotten used to the sound, but once and a while I remember that my wings are still there, jingling. The sound is kind of like a wind chime. Right now, hovering upside-down, the sound of the little crystals on these wings of mine soothes my ears.

When I lost my first pair of wings, these ones were made for me. I designed them, and Patchouli made them. They’re actually fairly useless, since I can fly without them, but they’re pretty. That makes up for

their uselessness.




\--]OW

that’ll leave a bruise

I, uh, bumped into the library entrance. I guess flying upside-down with your eyes closed isn’t the best of ideas. It was nice, though.

...I’m bored.

Well.

We should talk to Sakuya. She's directly related to the cues we got for Patchouli and the Mistress, and remember how suspicious she was acting when you brought up the tear in the barrier?

Yeah, that’s true; she was kind of dismissive. If memory serves correctly. Which it doesn’t do often. Memory aside, what do you think I should say?

Maybe just walk up to her and make small talk? Try to get her to open up? She's your friend, so you'd know her best,

“SAKUYAAA!” I shout.

...right?

This house is one of those houses that defies logic and ends up being bigger on the inside than on the outside. Somehow, no matter where she is in this huge place, Sakuya knows when we’re calling her name, and where to go. Like anything I can’t explain, it’s probably magic.

Anyways, she appears instantly in front of me.

“You called, Mistress ___n___?” Ah, yes, formality and all that.

“Can we, like, talk or something, for a few minutes?”

“Yes. But I must finish a task first. Can we meet in one of the sitting rooms in ten minutes?”

“The instruments room,” I state, starting off in that direction.

For a moment, she watches me walking down the hall like a drunkard. “Alright,” she says, and then disappears.

dont worrry I am not acually drunk you were just upside-down too long, right i guess so wait third go away

It takes me fifteen minutes to get to the instruments room that I found yesterday. It looks exactly the same as it did then, minus one me playing the violin over by the wall. My friend is not here yet, but I already suspected she would be late.

I stand there for a minute, but grow bored quickly and approach the piano. It’s a nice old thing, but I have no idea if it works. I test a few notes. Sounds about right, but who knows? I jam the keys a bit, playing something that sounds absolutely horrible but is somehow still fun to perform.

After a few minutes, a knocking on the door interrupts me. I cross over and open said door. Sakuya is there. A hollow smile is on her face.

“Why, hello, madam. Are you sure your parents approve of you being here? I hear there are vampires that live here. Who knows, I might be a vampire too.”

That wins a legitimate smile out of her. “I’m sure they’ll love you once they get to meet you.”

“Of course they will. I am quite amazing, after all,” I bow, then gesture at the piano chair. “Come in, sit down.” She curtsies in turn and sits at the piano. I close the door and sit down on a nearby wooden chair.

For a little while, we just watch each other, enjoying the silence. For her, this is a break from routine, from the mundane work around here. For me, this is a break from reality; being in this room with her feels like being in another world. A limbo that does not exist, just like me. It’s quiet, and peaceful, and I’m afraid to break the silence because of that.

It must have been years before the spell broke.

___n___,” she begins, unsure, “what did you want to talk about?”

“How are you?”

She raises an eyebrow. “What’s this about?”

“Nothing, just... you see, lately... lately you’ve been... different. Not yourself.”

“How so?”

“Distant.”

She just keeps staring at me. The more seconds that pass, the less powerful her eventual denial becomes. “I’m... fine. Really.”

“Well, you don’t sound fine.

“In fact. I would say you send less then fine. Less than you should sound when you make sounds, and that does not sound good at all.”

___n___.”

“Is the Mistress doing something to you? Are you being forced to do a horrendous task, like committing murder? Did someone die? Have you contracted some strange illness?”

“Listen—”

“Or, maybe it’s about the barrier. The damn barrier and its silly breachings and burnings and murders. Maybe you’re the one who broke it. And now you’re feeling guilty. Maybe I broke it yesterday when I had my tantrum. That must be it. Yes. You’re feeling bad for me. Of course, I always break everything. That’s why I’m in trouble again.”

___n___, stop it.”

“I always—”

“Stop!”

...

“What’s going on?” she asks, unaware of the irony in her question. She approaches me, and lowers to her knees next to my chair. She studies my face. “Did something happen today?”

I look away, but I can still feel her stare. “I’m sorry. No. It’s nothing.”

Nothing at all.

And yet, I feel terrible right now. Why do I feel terrible? Why did I start talking crazy?

Because I am crazy.

“Just a silly little girl who is not real.”

She continues to stare, and I can see worry written all over her face out of the corner of my eye.

“One little vampire girl, left all alone. She went and hanged herself, and then there were none.”

“Don’t talk like that,” she says. I can tell she wants to touch me, to grab my arm or something similar, to offer some sort of comfort. “You’re not alone. You have me, and you have Lady Patchouli, and Meiling, and... Don’t worry about punishment for yesterday. Just concentrate on now. You’ll get out of this.”

“I’m not talking about my impending punishment. I’m not talking about if I fail this barrier thing,” I say, finally returning her stare. “I’m talking about this stupid house.”

She seems to decide on a verdict, and embraces me.

Humans are warm. Sakuya is warm. For a moment, I sit there, and I can feel her tense. She usually doesn’t touch me without permission. Slowly, I return the hug, and we sit there for a while, in embrace.

“Hugging is weird. Two people wrap around each other like a pair of broken elastic bands,” I say.

She snorts, and the bond breaks as we laugh heartily.

“Sakuya?”

“Yes?”

“Please, tell me what is going on. Since when did we start keeping secrets?”

She sighs. “It’s not that I don’t want to tell you.”

“What is it, then?”

“It’s that I am not allowed to tell you,” she says, and suddenly she’s gone.

A few seconds later she reappears. “Sorry, the Mistress needs me.”

“Alright,” I say, waving a hand dismissively. I bow. “Too bad about that curfew, madam. I thought maybe a young woman like you would like the chance to get to ‘know’ a vampire a little better.”

She giggles, then disappears again.

Of course.

Back to square one.

Well, square one-and-a-half. It’s not exactly like starting over. Wait, that would be two, because... ah, never mind.

I didn’t scare you away with my... silliness, right?

I decide to leave the instruments room, and as soon as I do I’m nearly run over by... the gatekeeper.

“Sorry, Mistress ___n___! There’s a problem outside!” the gatekeeper shouts as she runs down the hall.

Huh.

[ ] Follow the gatekeeper. Let’s see what the commotion outside is about.
[ ] Screw the commotion. Find out if the Mistress is going out today (as Koakuma’s rumours claim).
[ ] Write-in

----------

Oh look, my 20th post. Hooray for milestones!
No. 52538
[X] Follow the gatekeeper. Let’s see what the commotion outside is about.

See if the fairies are involved with this.
No. 52542
[x] Follow the gatekeeper. Let’s see what the commotion outside is about.
[x] "Not allowed," she says. By whom? The mistress?

I'm wondering if the mistress knows more than she's letting on.
No. 52584
File 137505625650.jpg- (198.08KB , 1000x1000 , umbrella.jpg ) [iqdb]
52584
Follow the gatekeeper. Let’s see what the commotion outside is about.

I bet it’s someone doing something. Most commotions are caused by someone doing something. Unless you are someone that has caused something by doing nothing, but I don’t think a lot of someones can do that. Then you also have no-ones that cause commotions by doing no-things, and anyones that stop a commotion by doing many things, but those are other categories altogether.

I set off to follow the gatekeeper. Who’s name is Hong Meiling, for future reference. Or was it Meiling Hong? Mong Heiling, Meilong Hing, Hiling Meng, Hon Meirin. I don’t know. Her name has always confused me, even after so many years. Usually we just call her Meiling or “China” (don’t ask) for simplicity.

Also, “not allowed,” Sakuya had said. Who is not allowing her to speak? The Mistress?

That is a good question, and also a frightening but likely prospect if the Mistress was involved with this. Actually I’ve kind of been expecting her to have been involved somehow, because it’s only very rarely that things in this house go on without her knowing. Assuming we find out what is happening around here behind my back besides the tinkling of my wings I won’t be surprised if it’s related to the Mistress.

Anyways. I’ve reached the house’s entrance. I also have an umbrella that I picked up on my way here. It’s a frilly thing, probably the Mistress’s, but it’ll do. It’s to protect me from the sunlight, and all that.

Usually I’m not allowed to leave, but I don’t really care if I get caught right now. I doubt Meiling will send me back inside, anyways.

Outside, the sun is just rising. The light is at an odd angle, but the umbrella is really big so I’m safe. I should note that if I touch sunlight I catch on fire. It would be a convenient way to commit suicide, and I’ve actually tried using sunlight before, but like most of my attempts it doesn’t exactly work out the way I hope. Obviously, since I’m still here.

Besides the sun, the other glaring sight is the front gate. It is a little ways off (past the gardens), and would look quite imposing if I wasn’t one of the people who lived behind it. At first I can’t see what kind of “commotion” is happening, but then I realize there’s a tiny... someone, floating over the gate, shouting something. The gatekeeper herself is standing by the gate, and seems to be talking to the someone, but negotiations are looking bad from my view.

Interesting.

I skip over to them. I stand behind Meiling, but she doesn’t notice. Neither does the someone.

The someone is a fairy. A someone-fairy.

“...and why all the secrecy in the forest—”

“Hullo,” I interrupt.

“Ah, Mistress. Please go back inside for now, there is nothing you need to worry about here,” the gatekeeper says, slightly taken aback by my presence.

“ ‘Mistress,’ ” the fairy echoes, hovering closer to me. She eyes me. “You’re not Remilia Scarlet, though...”

“Dontsayhername,” we hiss in unison.

Damn.

“Why not? What’s wrong with saying Rem—”

“Sssshhh! When you say her name, she knows.” The umbrella makes a cracking sound as I squeeze it.

“I’m confused.”

“The recurring theme with you, fairy.” The amount of exasperation in the gatekeeper’s voice is enough to become its own youkai. “Leave, before I have to force you to, alright?”

“But I want to know what you were doing last ni—EEP!”

The someone-fairy cuts herself off as a blast of danmaku flies at her. She spins out of the way of the attack and shakes her fist at Meiling.

“Now you’ve done it! You’ve invoked the wrath of the great Cir—” She is cut off again by another blast, which this time hits its target. The someone-fairy falls out of the sky and into a bush on the opposite side of the gate.

“She’s tenacious, I’ll give her that,” remarks the gatekeeper. She turns to me. “You need to get back inside, Mistress.”

“I want to see what the commotion is about.”

“Don’t worry about it. The fairy was just shouting a lot and causing a disturbance. I’ll escort her off the property.”

I should note that the Mistress is listening to our conversation now. You remember how Sakuya knows when you say her name, and can then find your location? The Mistress has a similar trick on her. If you say her actual name, she can “spy” on you. It’s supposed to be a secret ability of hers, but everyone in the mansion is aware of it. Obviously we try to avoid using her name, and that’s why we call her “the Mistress” 95% of the time.

The someone-fairy spoiled it, though, so now anything we say in this immediate vicinity can be picked up by the Mistress. This can be good, because it means if I manage to get anything suspicious out of Meiling, the Mistress will know and she’ll see that I’m being an awesome detective person. It can also be potentially bad, because there’s a risk the suspicious things I learn is the type of thing even I wouldn’t want the Mistress to hear.

[ ] Continue to question Meiling, even if the Mistress can hear you.
[ ] Question the fairy instead, but make sure you take her somewhere else first.
[ ] Go back inside, we can find out what Meiling is up to later.
[ ] Write-in.
No. 52592
[x] Question the fairy instead, but make sure you take her somewhere else first. We can follow up with Meiling later.
No. 52620
[X] Question the fairy instead, but make sure you take her somewhere else first.

Questioning an idiot might lead to some interesting answers.
No. 52684
File 137522165911.jpg- (249.05KB , 765x630 , someone-fairy.jpg ) [iqdb]
52684
Question the fairy instead, but make sure you take her somewhere else first.

Alright.

Meiling wanted to “escort” her off the property, so I’ll let her do that, then go meet the someone-fairy.

“Okay. I’m going inside,” I say, heading back towards the house.

“Thank you, Mistress.”

Once I’m out of earshot, she stops watching me and heads to the other side of the gate. Now unwatched, I head into the gardens, looping through the hedges and flowerbeds until I reach the gate’s wall.

The gardens are pretty. Flowers are so innocent, aren’t they? They move with the wind, reaching for the sun that feeds them, soaking in the water beneath them. They have little to worry about. Even so, they’re bound by the ground they’ve settled into. Trying to grow a specific way is a futile effort in a garden; the gardener will trim and influence each plant until it’s in perfect order. They’re trapped in a hopeless prison. Sounds familiar.

Over the wall, plants are free to grow the way they need to. There is no perfection-binding here, no dictation. Everything overgrows, but it’s a natural and beautiful growth. The only source of despair is when the trees that peek over the wall see the garden, and weep for their fellows who are bound. Even here, the cruel influence of the gardener destroys goodness happiness.

Happiness. A mythical thing. I wonder what it’s like to be happy.

...

When I reach the edge of the overgrown trees, I can see the lake. This is a huge, clear lake that surrounds the island our mansion sits on. I wish I could cross this lake. Off to my right a bit — they can’t see me in the trees — is Meiling and the someone-fairy. The former is carrying the latter by her collar.

Meiling sets the fairy down and places her hands on her hips. “Don’t let me catch you causing trouble at the gate again,” she says, then returns to her post.

The fairy looks like she wants to protest, but thankfully she keeps her mouth shut. Well, not entirely shut, as she wastes a moment to stick her tongue out at the gatekeeper’s receding figure. Then she starts to flutter away.

Ah, my chance.

“Wait!” I half-shout, half-whisper. would that be “hiss?”

The someone-fairy turns. I beckon for her to come over to me. She complies, curious, but a sour expression steals her face as she takes me in. “Oh, it’s you again.”

“Sorry about the gatekeeper. She has a job, you know?” I say, settling onto the ground cross-legged. “Come on, sit. I don’t bite... well, not fairies, anyways.”

The fairy chew on her lip, apparently considering something. “I finally remembered who you are. You’re the sister of Rem... the vampire lady, right?” I nod. “So you’re ___n___ Scarlet... I’ve heard about you. Some people say you’re crazy. You won’t make me stab out my own eyeball or anything like that?”

“I doubt it.”

She sits a metre in front of me. “I’m Cirno.”

“Nice to meet you, Cirno,” I say. She nods meekly.

“...Is your sister listening to us?”

“No, this if far enough away from the gate, I think.”

“By the way, do you have any idea why your gate person is being so secretive?”

“Everyone in this house is keeping a secret from me,” I say matter-of-factly. “I have no idea what’s going on anymore. Should I know?”

...Silence.

“...Okay, well, I guess I can tell you what happened,” Cirno says. “Last night in the forest, I was playing with a few of my friends... and then we heard some voices... so we went to see what was going on.” She pauses, gathering her thoughts. “The gate person was there, with a bunch of fairies. They were carrying these shiny pieces of paper and these silver thingies over to a huge box, then leaving it all in there and putting a lock on the box and covering it with leaves and stuff.”

“Silver thingies?”

“Yeah? I think humans use them to eat?”

Oh, yeah. Koakuma mentioned something about silver cutlery earlier.

“We decided to ignore them and went back to playing, but today I was thinking about it... so I went to ask your gate person, but she’s not telling me anything.”

“Can you take me to this spot?”

“...Why? That sounds boring...”

“I thought you wanted to get to the bottom of this.”

“Fine. Would you like to go right away, then? Don’t vampires burn in the sun or something?”

[ ] You have an umbrella, you should be fine to go now.
[ ] How about tonight, when the sun is down?
[ ] Never mind, we don’t need to go at all.
[ ] Write-in?
No. 52687
[x] How about tonight, when the sun is down?

The Mistress has been going out during the day, so everyone is more likely to be asleep.
No. 52693
>You won’t make me stab out my own eyeball or anything like that?”
Hahahaha

[x] Tonight.
No. 52695
[X] You have an umbrella, you should be fine to go now.

Are you guys stupid? Seriously? We are going to most likely dig up a vampire. During night? Not a good idea. Plus it has been mentioned several times that Meiling and the Fairies are about at night. Going out at night is just wanting to get caught.
No. 52697
[X] You have an umbrella, you should be fine to go now.

Silver coins, mistaken for plates. It's just money, we probably don't even need to dig it up right now. But knowing its location could be helpful.
No. 52701
>>52695
We are a vampire. We should we be concerned?
Besides we can just observe for now.

Maybe send out Third or Fourth.

[X] You have an umbrella, you should be fine to go now
No. 52702
>>52701
Even if we are a vampire, we are insane. We dont know how strong the thing in the box is. And if they left the silver on and around the chest they probably dont want whatever is in it to come out. Chances are that the content is pissed. If we go at night, not only could it severly maul us and/or wound us, which would be pretty bad to hide if we go back to the mansion, chances that Meiling or the fairies find us are high. Now at day, even if it is awake, the sun is up so thats a good thing because it cant escape. And even if the contents of the box are not dangerous, chances of us being discovered are not that high. Its probably best if we stay hidden until we actually know whats in there and then choose to confront people about it.
No. 52705
[X] You have an umbrella, you should be fine to go now.
No. 52706
[X] You have an umbrella, you should be fine to go now.
If it is a vampire or other undead, it would be best to examine it in the daytime.

Heck, even if it isn't a coffin it would still be best to examine it in the daytime. Flandre's night vision isn't perfect, even if it's better than a human's, and Cirno's is probably worse.
No. 52710
>>52702
Probably true.
We should still have a look though.
No. 52719
File 13752889615.jpg- (67.71KB , 428x600 , someone-familiar.jpg ) [iqdb]
52719
Voting called for daytime detective duty.

That's a lot of votes for me, at least, wow. Welcome to Not-Life, everyone.
No. 52725
File 137530172376.jpg- (84.16KB , 400x300 , silverware-yo.jpg ) [iqdb]
52725
You have an umbrella, you should be fine to go now.

“I’m confident in my umbrella-handling skills,” I say.

“Alright, follow me, then...”

Cirno starts to flutter across the lake. I stand at the edge. Suddenly this seems like a large task. Have I ever left this island? It’s possible, but if I have I don’t remember. Taking a deep breath, I float forward... over the water.

Farther. And farther. I follow Cirno’s lead. The air out here is... cool, new... fresh. It’s the scent of... freedom. Suddenly I realize where I am.

I’m outside the mansion.

In a rush of energy, I speed ahead of Cirno and come to a stop at the other side of the water. This is... the earth. Trees. The sky. It’s all the same, but simultaneously different. I feel the cool wind on my face. Out here, the trees are blissfully unaware of the ones that suffer across the lake.

Out here, everyone is free of the influence of the gardener... the house... I turn around. The house. That is my prison, over there. It’s very far away. But it’s still there.

...Is it truly freedom if one’s prison still stands? If it can still remain to cause others grief?

Maybe. Maybe not. I’m not really sure, and I don’t have time to think about because someone-fairy is pulling on my arm.

“...come on, it’s this way! Pay attention!”

“Sorry.”

She floats a little ways ahead of me, giving me a cursory glance, and I follow from the ground. We enter the forest — is this the Forest of Magic? Maybe. That’s a generic name. I mean, Gensokyo is filled with magic, so calling one of its locations “Forest of Magic” sounds redundant. They should have called it something more interesting, like the “Mysterious Forest of Bad News” or something.

Cirno occupies herself by chattering to me about some of her fairy friends, but I’m not really listening, so I just say “yeah” once and a while.

...

“I said, we’re here.”

“Huh? Oh.”

It’s only been five minutes. This is fortunate, because if I go any farther I’ll probably lose connection with Third. I’m already having trouble keeping the connection. Although I guess I could get her to move closer? Maybe.

This place doesn’t look any different from the rest of the forest.

“Where’s the box?”

She suspects the area for a minute. Finally she turns to me, frowning. “It was here... maybe they moved it?”

“Wait.” I stand next to her and point at the ground in front of us. “Right here?” She nods. I place a hand over the air in front of me. I’m met by the resistance of wood.

“This is an invisible box,” I say matter-of-factly. I feel around it. It’s about a few feet long. And... yes, there is a large metal lock on the front.

“How did you know?”

“Experience. I live with a lot of weird people, including a magician. Stand back.”

She takes a step back, and I find the lock’s... eye. A simple rush of energy, and... the lock fades away, the only proof of its existence being fine dust in the grass.

She whistles. “That’s handy.”

“Most dangerous things are.”

The box has a latch, but without the lock the latch moves easily. I flip the lid of the box open – I guess it’s more of a chest than a box – and it becomes visible. As do its contents.

A huge pile of silverware. Knives, spoons, forks, with bits of paper strewn about. There’s no order to how it’s all placed. It’s a lot of silver.

“...That’s underwhelming.”

“I told you. Just silver thingies and papers.”

“But why would they be carrying this stuff out here? And at night? With a lock on the box?”

“Beats me. They’re your crazy staff.”

“The Mistress’s,” I correct her.

This doesn’t make any sense.

[ ] {Write-in}

----------

A lot of ellipses this update.
No. 52729
[X] Maybe it has something to do with Ran's visit? -[X]How many forks are there? Are they clean?
[X] The paper how does it look like? Is there anything written on it?
[X] (Unrelated) Those wings of yours really ARE pretty.
No. 52733
[x] Is there anything special about the silver?
-[x] This is weird.
-[x] ...Might be worthwhile to trail Meiling tonight.
No. 52749
[X] Maybe it has something to do with Ran's visit? -[X]How many forks are there? Are they clean?
[X] The paper how does it look like? Is there anything written on it?
[X] (Unrelated) Those wings of yours really ARE pretty.
No. 52781
File 137539098190.jpg- (756.58KB , 1000x1267 , vision.jpg ) [iqdb]
52781
Maybe it has something to do with Ran’s visit? How much cutlery is there? Are they clean?

...

Too much to count, but they’re all imaclulaty immaculately cleaned.

What about the paper...? What does it look like? Is there anything written on it?

“Cirno, can you hand me one of those papers?”

“Why can’t you do it?”

“Silver is another weakness of vampires.”

She grumbles something under her breath and reaches into the box. Nothing unusual happens as she grabs one of the larger pieces of paper and holds it out to me.

I touch it.

~ ~ ~

Suddenly, sensation.

Where there were only words and meaning, there is sensation.

It is hazy. It is odd. You’re not sure what to call it.

Yet, there is also meaning in the sensation.

There is red, and green, and blue. You decide that this must be sight, because sight is the only sensation that involves colours. How you know what colours are, you’re not really sure.

It’s still hazy, this sensation, but it becomes clearer the more you focus.

And there is time, which is a measurement of movement. As time moves, you slowly adjust to the haze, and a sight is before you.

A young girl. She is pink and red. No, the pink-red is a dress, and it is worn by the girl. Soft, slender... limbs, extend from the dress. Her hair is yellow... right, that’s called blonde hair. A lock of hair longer than the rest extends down her left, tied in a scarlet ribbon. Her skin is clean and pale. In her hands is a thin, wavy thing... paper. She would be nothing different from any other child, if not for her saddened scarlet eyes and wings. If they could be called that.

Two black iron rods extend from her back. They are beautifully crafted; the rods fit her as if she was born into the world with them. Further accentuating their already perfect form are a dozen small crystals, hanging from the iron a few inches apart from each other. They are each a different colour, assaulting your sight with their elegant rainbow.

It is the first time you’ve seen a person – if this even is seeing – and it is a beautiful sight. You wonder for a moment if all people are just as beautiful.

The image of the girl lasts only a moment, but that moment is eternal, and you soak in every detail.

Then, suddenly, there is nothing again.

~ ~ ~

I am lying on the ground. Sitting up, I glance around. Next to the box are shards of scorched paper. My hand is smoking and charred.

“Wha... what happened?” I ask, staring incredulously at Cirno.

“You touched it and the paper exploded! That was cool!” someone-fairy reports.

“Was I out long?”

“Uh, no, you weren’t ‘out’ at all. What do you mean?”

“I saw something,” I say, rising to my feet. “I saw a beautiful girl. She was me, but she wasn’t me.” I’m not that pretty.

“A vision?”

“...Maybe.”

I think I may have had the same vision.

What? Explain, please.

I saw a girl... she was wearing a dress, and had blonde hair... and these iron rod-wings with colours on them. Crystals.

...

By the way, those wings of yours really are pretty.

Umm... Ththanks...

“Hey, ___n___, you’re blushing.”

I shoot her a glare.

My face is hot.

“So you touched the paper, had a weird dream, and exploded,” Cirno sums up, ignoring my killer stare. She nods, grinning. “I’m liking the sound of this stuff.” She grabs a few more scraps of paper.

“Wait, don’t take that!”

She rubs her hands over one, crumples it, uncrumples it, tastes it.

“It’s not doing anything,” the fairy says, disappointed. Then she holds out the piece to me. “Touch it again!”

[ ] Touch the paper. The only way to the bottom of a mystery is to try everything.
[ ] Put the paper back in the box and go home. We’ve disturbed things enough here.
[ ] Try something else. {Write-in}
No. 52784
[x] Touch the paper. The only way to the bottom of a mystery is to try everything.
-[x] Wait... your hand is injured, right? Maybe we shouldn't do this... do you need help? A doctor?
No. 52799
[x] Touch the paper. The only way to the bottom of a mystery is to try everything.
No. 52800
[x] Touch the paper. The only way to the bottom of a mystery is to try everything.
-[x] Wait... your hand is injured, right? Maybe we shouldn't do this... do you need help? A doctor?
[x] Whatever you choose, only touch one more: we might need the rest.
No. 52838
File 137546642765.jpg- (97.92KB , 413x750 , going-out.jpg ) [iqdb]
52838
Touch the paper. The only way to the bottom of a mystery is to try everything.

Wait... your hand is injured, right? Maybe we shouldn’t do this... Do you need help? A doctor?

I’ll be fine. I have a high rate of magical regeneration. My fingers are already back to their normal selves.

Alright, if you’re sure. Just, whatever happens, don’t touch it more than once more. We don’t know how this effects you fully, and you may need the rest.

Alright.

Cirno nods to me reassuringly, and I nod back.

I touch the paper.

~ ~ ~

Immediately, that sensation – sight – returns to you.

Again, you see the girl from before. This is the same one who has been talking to you for a few days. She’s still beautiful. Her wings are still amazing.

However, there’s more to “see” this time.

Another girl. For a moment, you think she is blue, but you again note that the blue is her dress. Her hair is also blue, as is the large bow on her head. Her skin is pale, almost as pale as your vampire friend, but has a bluish hue to it as well. Wings made of large ice crystals extend from her back.

The two stand in a group of trees. A forest.

There is a box next to them, filled with lot of shiny things.

You examine every detail of the image. You note the paper in the vampire’s hand, and the similar papers in the box. You notice how there are animals, insects, all sorts of glorious creatures around you in the trees. You wonder how so many great things can exist in one place.

Then, another sensation.

Words. Sound. A voice, speaking to you.

“Soon you will be mine.”

It is hauntingly familiar.

~ ~ ~

This time, I feel the collision with the ground.

As in, I land painfully on my butt rump bottom.

“Oh.”

It’s the only word that escapes me. Oh seems the only appropriate response. Then the panic sets in.

“What? What happened?” Cirno asks, helping me to my feet.

“I saw us. This place. I saw you and me standing next to that box.”

“That’s all?”

“No... there was a voice. It said, ‘soon you will be mine’ and then... it was over.”

I slam the box closed, and it becomes invisible again. I begin to move briskly, back the way we came. “I don’t like this. I need to get back home.”

“What about the mystery? What are you going to do?” Cirno asks, walking fluttering behind me.

“I’m not sure yet,” I say. “I’ll have to get back to you on that.”

She doesn’t reply.

The walk back is much quicker this time.

Words, I’ll be honest. I’m scared. I recognized that voice. That was my sister’s voice. If she was somehow there, and knew that I had left the house... I’m going to be in big trouble.

But I wonder, is she involved with the silver-filled box, or is it only a secret of Meiling’s? If the Mistress saw me there, does that mean I just spoiled Meiling’s secret?

As I leave the line of trees, I look around. The sun seems angrier. The water seems more upset. But perhaps it’s just me.

In no time, we’re back on the island.

“I’m sorry about the trouble, Cirno.”

“No, it’s fine. That was fun! We should play detective again sometime,” the fairy says, giving me a double thumbs up.

I nod absently and fly over the garden wall. Almost home-free. Not literally, of course. As I approach the door, it opens. Sakuya and the Mistress are there.

Oh.

“Hello, ___n___,” the Mistress says. There’s a grin on her face. Oh God, a grin. What does that mean? Why is she grinning? “What are you doing out here?”

“Oh... uh, j-just...”

“She was delivering a message to Meiling for me, Mistress,” Sakuya interjects.

“Ah,” the Mistress nods to herself, closing her eyes. “Better get back inside, ___n___. The sun isn’t very good for you, even with an umbrella.”

They walk down the path to the gate, and I mouth a “thank you” to Sakuya as she passes me. She smiles and nods. As I enter the house, I realize there’s a piece of paper in my hand.

Lady Patchouli would like to speak to you as soon as you are able.
The Mistress and I will be back tonight. Good luck at home.
-Sakuya


[ ] What is your next move? {Write-in}
No. 52841
[x] Well, may as well talk to Patchouli.
-[x] I wonder... was that voice talking to me?
No. 52848
[x] Well, may as well talk to Patchouli.
-[x] Did you ever looked like that? Or known someone who did?
-[x] Was it talking to you or to us?
No. 52883
File 137555396229.jpg- (332.63KB , 442x600 , like-a-doll.jpg ) [iqdb]
52883
I'll be unable to write until Tuesday, possibly Wednesday. Please wait warmly until then.
No. 52969
[x] Well, may as well talk to Patchouli.
-[x] Did you ever looked like that? Or known someone who did?
-[x] Was it talking to you or to us?
No. 53022
File 137573272934.jpg- (38.29KB , 400x400 , flaannn.jpg ) [iqdb]
53022
See title. I'll be updating sometime today. Also...

>[x] Did you ever looked like that? Or know someone who did?

I’m sorry to say I didn’t understand what this part of the vote was referring to, but if you’d like to elaborate I can work it into the update (or, if I have it already written before that, the update after that).
No. 53024
File 137573890945.jpg- (179.97KB , 3888x2592 , now-writefag-wants-tea-too.jpg ) [iqdb]
53024
Well, we may as well talk to Patchouli.

Yeah, I guess. I wonder if she found out something about the border problem.

Actually, that was close, earlier. I thought for sure my sister the Mistress was going to notice what happened. Although it’s possible she has, but decided not to mention it for some reason. She’s like that; she plans every little action, and every single word. Her life is a chess game, and all of her abilities and the people around her are pieces. She needs to plot every move she makes, or else she’ll lose the game.

Pieces in a game. I wonder what kind of piece I am.

So that voice was hers? Was it talking to you... or me?

It sounded like her. Maybe I’m left wrong. It’s not like I had a lot of time to listen to it.

Still. It worries me. And... the words themselves. “Soon you will be mine.” If she’s talking about me, it wouldn’t make sense, since I’m already a part of her game. I’m already “her’s.”

Does she know you exist? I hope not.

...

Hullo, library. Long time no see. For me it’s been a long time, at least. The library doesn’t perceive time, so for it, it hasn’t even been a short or long time. It only knows that I was here, and then I wasn’t, but now I am back. Libraries are funny that way. I wonder what it’s like to not perceive the passing of time. One time I thought I was like that too, but I’m not. Unfortunately.

And there is Patchouli, in her circle place. What did I call it before? I already forgot the name. Anyways, she only slept a few hours, so she still has that tired look on her.

“Hey, Patchouli, awake already? Sakuya said you wanted—”

You woke me up,” she says, conjuring a cup and a pot of tea next to her, “with your adventure in the forest.”

Huh? Does everybody seem to know about that? “W-what are you talking about?”

She pours herself some tea. “I had a spell on that box that notifies me when it’s being touched.” She sets the pot down and raises the cup to her lips. “I then scryed its location. You and a fairy were there.” A sip.

Tea. I would like some tea, but I’m afraid to ask.

Oh, yeah. The jig is up. So is the jug. And the jaguar. “Did you tell the Mistress?” I say, sighing.

“What? Of course not.”

“You sound sure of yourself.”

“If I told the Mistress, then I would have to explain the existence of that box to her, which is something I would not do under any circumstance.”

“Why? What is the box for? What does Meiling have to do with this, if the box is apparently yours? I’m confused, throw me a bone here!”

“I cannot answer your questions.”

“Can’t, or won’t?”

“Shouldn’t.”

“Then I will tell the Mistress about the box, and she’ll reward me for being an amazing detective.”

“You wouldn’t.”

“I would. I’m a crazy person, remember?” I turn to leave.

“Wait,” she snaps.

I walk away. Good bye, Patchouli Knowledge.

“Wait! I’ll make a – cough – deal with you!”

I spin on my heel, grinning. “Is that desperation I hear?~” I intone.

“I seem to have underestimated your motives in this,” she says. “A grave mistake that will cost me dearly. Very well, I will answer some of your questions. For every question you ask me, I will ask you one, however. Does that sound fine to you?”

If you should accept, decide on what questions you’ll be asking. Remember, the more you ask, the more you’ll have to give away. This includes little things such as your suspicions about the others in the house, to your investigative ventures, to really big things like the very existence of you/Words.

Good luck.


[ ] Accept.
- [ ] Ask your question(s).
[ ] Decline.
- [ ] Tell the Mistress about the box later.
- [ ] Don’t tell the Mistress about the box.
[ ] Write-in?

Also, I’ll probably have a “question cap,” as in a maximum number of questions that can be answered, but how you go about your questions will influence that number.
No. 53025
Hm, interesting. Gimme some time to think up some decent questions.
No. 53027
[x] Accept.
-[x] What is the box?
-[x] What is its purpose?

For starters. Any other ideas?
No. 53034
>>53027
[x] Accept.
-[x] What is its purpose?
We should start with one question and see how it goes from there. sure, it'll be shorter updates, but what if we learn what it is by learning its purpose? We'd be wasting a question.
No. 53130
File 137583076633.jpg- (52.09KB , 500x434 , oh-hey-this-is-pretty-much-the-box.jpg ) [iqdb]
53130
“Alright, fine,” I say waving a hand absently.

“Thank you,” Patchouli says, conjuring a second tea cup. “Would you like some tea?”

“Yes, please.”

A second chair, smaller but still as comfortable as the librarian’s, is also conjured, and I sit with my tea. We stare into each other’s eyes for a bit. She’s studying me, I can tell. I see a similar expression on the Mistress’s face quite often.

By the way, do you have a question, Words?

How about that box? What is it’s purpose? Just make sure you word it so that we don’t waste questions.

Yes, of course. I’m not always the best at words, but I think I can be sly like that. Probably.

Sly is an odd word. It’s just one curve shy of being shy. Isn’t that sly? She is sly, and sly is sly, because it is shy of being shy. Sigh. Languages are interesting.

“Okay,” I begin. “About the box. What is its purpose?”

She blinks. “Storage.”

“I got that, but why steal the silverware and take it out there? What’s the point of that? That’s what I mean.”

“We needed to get it out of the house, and keep it some where. That box served the purpose of keeping it safe from outside influence.”

“I see, then— oh, your turn.”

“Yes, thank you,” the librarian says, placing her finished tea on the table. “I will start with the obvious: how did you find my box?”

My tea is still untouched. I should drink it.

“Oh, well. Y’know that someone-fairy? Her name is Cirno. She was telling me about this box she saw in the woods,” I explain, pausing only for tea. “She saw the gatekeeper bringing the silverware into it or something, and then I said ‘let’s go see the box’ and Cirno lead me there. It was fun.”

Tea is great.

“I see...”

[ ] Ask your next question(s).
[ ] End the conversation.

----------

I may be able to update a second time today if some votes appear soon enough.
No. 53134
[x] Tell her that if she wants to play 'literal answers' we're gonna start answering likewise.
-[x] It is obvious that they wanted to keep the silverware hidden, the real question is Why? What are they gonna use it for?

I know asking why would someone hide sharp things made of silver from a vampire is a silly one, but I want confirmation that they want to kill a supernatural creature...

Also, I'm not sure if it's called 'literal answers' Remember that joke in which you ask a lawyer 'Do you know what time is it' and he answers 'Yes'? Something like that. Example: when she asked how did you find it, we could've answered 'someone told me' and leave it at that.
No. 53143
[x] Tell her that if she wants to play 'literal answers' we're gonna start answering likewise.
-[x] It is obvious that they wanted to keep the silverware hidden, the real question is Why? What are they gonna use it for?

I agree with this. We need to pursue these answers, but if Patchouli's gonna be evasive, so are we.
No. 53157
File 137584269384.jpg- (674.61KB , 800x1131 , royalty.jpg ) [iqdb]
53157
Alright, voting called, then. I'll try to get an update out tonight.
No. 53173
File 137584900959.jpg- (182.04KB , 774x1032 , stone-corridor.jpg ) [iqdb]
53173
Tell her if she wants to play “literal answers” we’re gonna’ start answering likewise.

Literal answers?

Keeping to the bare minimum. Like, for example, when she asked how we found the box you could have answered “someone told me” and that would have been similar.

Ah.

Yes, that makes sense. Kind of like,
“Can you help me?”
“Yes.”
“...Will you help me?...”
“Yes.”
“......Help me!”
or some other similar scenario.

Exactly. We’ll have to reword our question, then.

Yeah, that makes... sense. She needs to give us full answers and all that.

“Yo, Patchouli. Why are you so tight on this?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, I ask a question, and you stick to the bare minimum. One or two sentences, just enough to answer what I said, but not really answer what I was asking. If you’re going to play like that, I’m going to have to play like that, and then we’ll both walk away from this with twice as many questions as we had before you started being nosy about me being nosy about your suspicious box. Wait, no, that’s not an accurate—”

“I understand what you mean, ___n___. Very well, I will... speak fairly.” Another sigh. Stop sighing, woman; you’re filling the jar of sighs with so many sighs that it will broke break. “Feel free... to elaborate on your first question.”

“Well, you said you wanted to hide the silverware. That’s kind of obvious. The real question is, why? What are you going to use it for?”

“...It is being made into a weapon.”

~ ~ ~

This, what is this? It is pain.

No.

Pleasure.

...Both. A pleasure and pain, wrapped together. For a moment. Then it is gone.

The words are gone, as well. The meaning. The pretty girl, who’s name eludes you. It’s all gone.

Suddenly there is sensation again. It is... below. Hard. Scratchy... this is... touch? Yes. Cold stone is beneath you. Flecks of rock dig into your... back. And... yes, these are feet. And those are arms. You’ve heard of these. You realize you have eyes, too, and that they’re closed. Opening them only brings darkness, but after a few minutes you adjust, slightly.

There is little to see, but you seem to be in a long and narrow tunnel. The walls, ceiling, and floor of the tunnel are made of cold, rough stone. There is no furniture, or lights, or anything. The lack of a light is odd; eyes need light to see, do they not? How do you see like this?

You push the thought aside and... sit up. You remember that the force pushing against you is known as gravity.

After a long time, you rise to your feet. Standing is an odd thing for you, but you try you best. Eventually you manage to retain your balance, and soon after that you’re able to walk. Walking. Yes, walking. This is a tedious thing, this walking.

You have to wonder, though, how you got here. Or where here is. Or where your friend and Patchouli went.

You have only two options right now.

[ ] Go forwards (relative to your current position) down the tunnel.
[ ] Turn around and go the opposite way down the tunnel.
No. 53209
[X] Go forwards (relative to your current position) down the tunnel.

Ever forward, I suppose.
No. 53217
Oh shit. What the heck happened?

[x] Turn around and go the opposite way down the tunnel.
ANARCHY
Fuck fate.
No. 53365
File 137591797179.jpg- (263.24KB , 850x1207 , the-mistress.jpg ) [iqdb]
53365
[x] Go forwards (relative to your current position) down the tunnel.

You start off, moving one foot in front of the other. Ten minutes of walking later, you’re annoyed by how tedious this is, but you continue. There is no other option other than walking. Ten minutes becomes twenty minutes, and then thirty; by the time you finally see something new besides this tunnel, you’ve lost all concept of time.

Then again, time is a new thing to you. It’s a wonder you can even tell what minutes are. How you know, you’re not sure. You seem to know a lot of things, but don’t know anything.

The new sight ahead of you is a... door. Yes, these doors mark borders between two rooms. Everything is very organized, very tidy, because of these borders. The doors in front of you are taller than you, and wider than you. Lots of patterns are painted onto the doors; many different patterns of many different things. The edges of the doors are made of gold, and lined with a bunch of multicolour crystals that remind you of your friend.

Your friend... the vampire girl. Is this some sort of vision you’re having? Does she see it too?... You hope you will manage to get back to her.

As for the doors... the only way is forward... You must open them, of course. You stare at them for a few moments. They don’t respond to your thoughts or feelings. Ah, yes, that’s right; you have to use physical force to open them. Nodding to yourself, you push against the doors, using all of the force in your newfound body. Slowly, it slides open. You lose your balance and fall forwards into the room beyond.

The next room can hardly be called a room; the ceiling and walls, if any, are so far away that you can’t see them in the darkness. The only source of light are six pillars, a torch placed on each of them. In the center of the pillar is a golden throne. You turn around, but the doors you came from aren’t there. Only darkness. The darkness strike at you, but not physically. This is called fear, you note. Fear. Fear of darkness.

Intending to get away from this darkness and its accompanying unpleasantries, you approach the throne and its light. It’s as you approach the throne that you realize there’s someone sitting on it.

A young girl. Is it... yes, it’s her! For a moment, recognition flashes in your brain and you rush to meet your friend, but then you take in her features and know... this is not your friend.

She has the same scarlet eyes, and same youthful appearance, but her hair is different, a bluish colour. There’s a resemblance, yes, but this girl is slightly taller, and more dignified. Her wings are definitely not crystal beauties... instead, she possesses unsettling bat wings.

The biggest difference between this girl and your friend, however, is expression. The vampire with the crystal wings seemed broken. Her eyes lacked a spark to them. This girl is the exact opposite—her eyes seem to sparkle in excitement; her expression smug.

The longer you stare at her, the more you wonder why you had mistaken her for your friend in the first place.

“Salutations.”

Her voice is elegant. Melodic.

She rises from the chair. Approaches you. Her eyes run over you, and you realize you don’t own any clothing. Not that you care; the need to “cover up” doesn’t compute for you.

“So you’re the one known as ‘Words.’ ”

This is the same voice as the one in your vision from the box. So...

“Are you ‘the Mistress?’ ” To your surprise, you’re fully capable of speaking, with no practice required.

“First, please get dressed.” She gesture at your nakedness. “That is not suitable attire to be in my presence.”

She disappears instantly, and a pile of neatly folded clothing appears on the ground. You unfold the clothes, feel their texture, pull at the different folds and sleeves and other such things. Clothing, huh. Alright, you’ll humour her.

A few minutes later, you’re dressed in an elegant tuxedo. Just as you’re beginning to wonder where the Mistress went, you hear her voice above you.

“Yes, very obedient. Have you ever considered becoming a butler, Words?”

Truth be told, no. You haven’t considered becoming anything.

“But, I digress. You already know who I am, but I’ll be polite and formally introduce myself.”

The Mistress floats downwards from the darkness above you, where the ceiling presumably is. Her eyes are closed and there is a coy smile on her face.

“I am Remilia Scarlet, Mistress of the Scarlet Devil Mansion,” she announces, enunciating each syllable clearly. It almost seems like a rehearsed line to you. She lands in front of you, eyes still closed. “Unfortunately, my name has become something of a taboo among my staff as of late.” Her eyes flash open. They glow. “I’ve been wanting to meet you for a while, Words. You’ve caused quite the trouble in my home recently...”

You’re not exactly amused by the theatrics. “How do you know who I am? And what is this place?”

“Ah.”

She disappears again. The darkness beyond the throne and its circle lights up, becomes a mess of colours, shapes, concepts, and objects. A bloodstained violin floats past a dying tree, which reaches into a lake with its long roots. A silver knife is stabbed into a long table that is missing several legs. These images and more float around in the reality beyond the throne, a menagerie of everything and nothing.

“This is a dream,” the Mistress says, settling into the throne. A wooden chair appears on the ground next to you. “Please, sit.”

You do. The throne is raised slightly, and thus the Mistress ends up at eye-level with you despite her short stature. “So none of this is real?” you ask, gesturing to the concepts beyond.

“Yes and no. This is a dream world. Only you and I are real. When the dream ends, we will both remember it clearly, as if it were a real experience.”

“How did I get here? And you, for that matter?”

“I induced this dream on you, and then entered it. Normally I can only enter the dreams of a person who is already asleep, but you’re a special case. You don’t have a physical form.”

“Wha... what am I?”

“I don’t know,” she says, without a hint of irony. “I was hoping you could tell me.”

“I’m clueless on that, sorry.”

“You probably have a lot of questions, but I can’t answer them all right now. I need you to do something for me, though.”

“What is it?”

“I need you,” she continues, standing up, “to tell me about the box you found today. No, not now. Of course not now. Later. When you’ve left this dream, and you’re with my sister again. I need you to convince her to talk to me about the box.”

“Why?”

She walks behind you, puts her mouth up to your ear. “It’s important,” she whispers. “The box is for me.”

You turn, but she’s not there anymore. Neither are the images beyond, or the chair. You’re falling. You scream, groping around for something to stop this. Stop this fall, this dream.

Then you’re standing, again, in darkness. In front of you, on the ground, is the Mistress. She’s covered in blood. A long, silver sword is stabbed into her heart. The sight makes your insides squirm.

Her corpse turns to you, open its mouth. “They plan to kill me.” The voice is not pretty anymore; it invokes the primal urge to flee.

Her body disappears, leaving the bloodstained sword on the ground. You want to run away, but you can’t move.

Her disembodied voice reaches you. “They plan to create this sword, and use it to destroy me.

The sword melts into a pile of silverware. Remilia reappears, this time in your arms. She’s alive, but looks as if she is moments from death.

“My disloyal staff,” she gasps, “plots to destroy me.

“Only you can help me.”

The images disappear, and you’re back in the room with the throne and the six pillars. She sits in front of you, perfectly healthy, watching you with a saddened expression.

“Why... why can’t you get someone else to help you?” you ask. “Or destroy the box before the weapon is made?”

“This is going to sound strange to you,” she says. “I am currently unaware of the box’s existence right now. That’s why I need you to tell me about it when you return from this dream.”

“If you’re unaware, how are you telling me all of this?”

“I’ll explain that after you tell me about the box in-person.”

[ ] Your Fate is in your own hands... {Write-in}
No. 53366
From what we have seen so far I wouldnt trust Remilia at all, the staff must have some good reason to kill her. That or they have somehow been influenced by the weakened border or something that came through.
No. 53374
[x] They aren't your staff, they are your prisoners.
-[x] I don't care about you, I care about Flandre. And she'll be better without you.

My two cents.
No. 53382
[x] ...Why do I help you?

Seriously? Why? She drags us here, into these cheap theatrics? Why should we?

...What is she planning to offer us?
No. 53384
This vote is way too heavy for me.

The only thing I can think of is killing yourself--ourselves?--immediately to end the dream. Then again, I still don't know how she knows if she doesn't know, and yet she already knows...

Gah.

Anyway, the last time trusting Remilia was a good thing was in HY's EoSD (And maybe FoSL and Eldest Scarlet), so fuck that.
No. 53397
[x] ...Why do I help you?
--[x] I don't care about you, I care about Flandre.

Since nobody else mentioned it, I think I should point out that the bold "F" there probably means this is our chance to earn the F in Flandre's name.

I can't think of a better vote though. We don't have enough information to make an informed decision. If we can't get more we might as well just flip a coin.
No. 53444
File 137599361211.jpg- (416.59KB , 438x600 , artistic.jpg ) [iqdb]
53444
Voting closed. Hopefully an update today.

>>53384
And technically AFT. Maybe.

>>53397
This is a smart person. Expect good things in the next update.
No. 53466
File 137601576614.png- (404.21KB , 600x600 , dream-style-remilia.png ) [iqdb]
53466
“Why should I help you?”

Enough.

Enough of these cheap theatrics. You’re not interested in this game that Remilia wants to play. You don’t care about this dream; her slippery words; her drama. All you want to do is get back to your friend, and help her. Why is the “Mistress” toying with you like this?

“Why should I help you?” you repeat, right hand unconsciously balled into a fist.

“Mm,” she hums, studying you. You don’t like the way she gazes at you; it’s as if she were a scientist studying the habits of some experiment. Your friend had mentioned this gaze before, if you recall correctly.

You return a glare against her study, and suddenly she laughs. “I like you, Words. You aren’t a pushover. I admire that.

“You’re also very annoyed by now, I suspect. All of these people withholding information from you. What is the source of all of the fuss over the silly border? Why should you help this insolent girl before you? Why is your dear friend so broken inside? My, my, you don’t even know your friend’s name, do you? All of these... secrets.”

“Get to the point,” you growl.

“I’ll be more clear: if you don’t save me, we’re all going to die. That includes my sister... your friend. Why, you wonder? The border problem, of course. The breach in the Hakurei border has let an entity into this world. This entity is inherently malevolent in nature.” She frowns.

You withhold the increasing urge to attempt an escape from her words, if only for this short time. You’ll at least hear her out, although you’re not really sure if she deserves even that right now.

“It doesn’t have a physical form, but it is able to guide the actions of people who are, such as me, Patchouli, or even your friend... Its goal is to cause as much torment as possible. I guess you could call it a demon of sorts.

“Its powers of possession are limited. As stated, it can only guide people’s actions, if the person is alive. If the person is dead... it can take control of their body. I am a largely influential and powerful person, so naturally the demon plans to destroy me so that it can assume control of my body.” Her fingers come together in front of her, interlocking. “This is why my staff plans to kill me, don’t you see? The demon is influencing them for its own motives. If it succeeds, there’s no way of telling what it will do. With my powers, it could go on a rampage, and possibly destroy everything you’ve come to know of so far; my house, your friend, her friends, even a significant portion of Gensokyo.”

“I still don’t understand. You seem to know so much, and if you’re as powerful as you claim, why can’t you stop it?”

“The Remilia Scarlet you see right now in front of you is dead,” she says. “I am from an alternate... timeline, you could say, in which I have been killed by the demon.”

She lets this sink in for a moment.

“This is why I know so much about the situation,” Remilia continues, smiling sadly. “With the last bits of my power, I sent my consciousness across dimensions via the ruined barrier, and entered your world... your consciousness. I will eventually disappear, permanently, though... I can’t maintain this forever.”

You think about this. A demon? Possession? Alternate timelines? It’s a lot to take in, but at the same time there’s an aspect of impact that is lacking; you’re not completely sure what is deemed “probable” and “improbable” here. The question is, can you really trust Remilia? Is this the truth? And what about your friend; is she really in danger?

“Since I will soon disappear, I can’t tell the ‘real’ me about the oncoming danger. At this very moment, she is hopelessly ignorant of the demon and the casualty that will befall her and this house. Only you can warn her at this point, Words. Only you can help me.”

“I don’t even care about you,” you say. “I only care about my friend.”

“Noble, maybe. But if you don’t help me, you’ll lose your friend as well.”

[ ] Accept; you’ll tell the “real” Remilia about everything going on as soon as possible.
[ ] Tell her that you want to talk to your friend about this first, and decide from there.
[ ] Reject. You can deal with all of this your own way. You’re not even sure if it’s all true or not, anyways.
[ ] Write-in

Tip: You are very close to unlocking another letter of your friend’s name. Choose carefully, as your choice will influence whether you get it now or later.

Another, unrelated tip: If you think Remilia is leaving something out in her explanations, feel free to point that out in a write-in.
No. 53469
in b4 We are the demon.

[x] So what am I then?
No. 53476
Words already asked her that in the previous post, and she claimed not to know. No point asking again.

If there's an inconsistency or gap in her story I can't see it. I'm going to wait and see if someone else can.
No. 53484
[x] Accept; you’ll tell the “real” Remilia about everything going on as soon as possible.

>If there's an inconsistency or gap in her story
Better safe than sorry; even if it turns out to be a complete crock, there shouldn't be any harm done in talking to Remilia about it.
No. 53485
[x] Tell her that you want to talk to your friend about this first, and decide from there.

Flandre seems innocent of all this. Maybe our presence is protecting her. Regardless, we can trust her more than we can this version of Remilia.

Sure, we'll play along for now. But we'll do it on our terms. And if we choose to save Remilia, we'll again do it on our terms.

And I can't help but remember our first dream. No, I don't trust this apparation.
No. 53487
[X] "Nice try, demon."

Come on, seriously now. If her story was true then she just outright told us she's being possessed. Even Remilia's arrogance wouldn't go this far if she really was desperate and murdered, AND even if everything she said was somehow true, the smart thing to do would be to tell Reimu and Yukari, not this world's Remilia.

But coincidentally enough, a malevolent entity trying to drive the mansion apart, like the described demon, has every incentive to act in exactly this fashion.
No. 53491
>“The Remilia Scarlet you see right now in front of you is dead,” she says. “I am from an alternate... timeline, you could say, in which I have been killed by the demon.”
[x] I thought you said you were killed by your staff?

>“It doesn’t have a physical form, but it is able to guide the actions of people who are, such as me, Patchouli, or even your friend... Its goal is to cause as much torment as possible. I guess you could call it a demon of sorts.
[x]Before you were killed, were you under the influence of the demon? Because you are acting like an authoritarian slave-driver and that seemed to be the situation long before the breach even existed.
Also, if my Remi- My 'you' is being 'influenced' right now, why in hell would it want to bring attention to its own breach in the barrier?

>“With the last bits of my power, I sent my consciousness across dimensions via the ruined barrier, and entered your world... your consciousness. I will eventually disappear, permanently, though... I can’t maintain this forever.”
[x] How the hell did you manage to do that? I don't think 'Altering the past' counts as 'Fate'
[x] Also, if the demon can influence people can it influence me too? Like, say, giving me a vision explaining me why should I stop people trying to free themselves from her puppet?


[x] Tell her that you want to talk to your friend about this first, and decide from there.
___n__ needs to hear about this first anyway.
No. 53567
File 137615759566.png- (301.21KB , 600x540 , cutie.png ) [iqdb]
53567
Calling it for various write-ins, ultimately ending with putting off your decision until you've told ___n___.
No. 53653
File 137625233526.jpg- (299.83KB , 1280x1024 , charismatic-hand-offerings.jpg ) [iqdb]
53653
“I thought you said you were killed by your staff?”

Remilia blinks, momentarily confused by the switch of focus. “I beg your pardon?”

...Is she playing dumb?

“Just now you mentioned that you’re from a world in which the demon killed you, but before that you said your staff plans to kill you. Which is it?”

Comprehension sparks in her eyes. “Both are true. When I said the demon killed me, I meant via influencing my staff.”

You pause. Consider. It is still a lot of sudden information. A lot to consider. You can’t help but feel suspicious of everything being said.

You also feel the urge to move, for some reason. You settle for fidgeting your legs in a rhythmic manner.

“On the subject of your death... before you were killed, were you under the influence of the demon?” you ask. “You – the other you – is acting like an authoritarian slave-driver, and that seems to have been the situation since long before the breach existed.”

“It’s possible. I doubt it, since my powers would likely clash with the demon’s...”

“What exactly are your powers, anyways?”

“Hm. My sister has probably already told you, but I can manipulate fate.”

Fate.

Wait, fate? Isn’t that a little overpowered?... Fate is the belief in a destined future; a future that can’t be changed. That could be the reason your friend thinks change is so difficult. Maybe she believes that no matter what she does, her future is set before her. With a sister that can manipulate fate, it sounds like a plausible reason for her wistful thoughts on change.

To her, existence is a fate-bound “not-life.”

What an interesting term.

“Wait a second,” you say, breaking from your thoughts. “You said you’re from a time where you were killed by the demon, right? How the hell did you manage that? I don’t think ‘altering the past’ counts as ‘manipulating fate.’ ”

“This is the present, is it not? I am merely setting up the future for all of us,” she whispers, a grin on her face as she regards me. “Ah, but you’re talking about me; for me this is the ‘past.’ Listen, you should know that time is not so linear. Time works in mysterious ways. Just ask any inter-planar devil. Or my maid, for that matter.”

Oh, that’s right. Sakuya is a master of time, or something like that. She was manipulating time somehow when she and your friend were cleaning up the hall Second destroyed. Maybe you’ll talk to her about that later; for now there’s more to press Remilia about.

“About the demon; could it influence me too? Like, say, give me a vision explaining to me why I should stop the people trying to free themselves from their puppet-master?”

“Am I a puppet-master, Words?”

“Perhaps you’re the demon.”

“I could say the same for you, you know. We’re equally likely to be the demon, since neither of us knows the true nature of the other.”

She laughs to herself, crossing her legs. “But to answer your question... Truly? I don’t know. I assume you can’t be influenced by the demon, because you don’t seem to have a physical form that can be accessed by it. Although it is not a physical creature itself, and thus it may have access to you after all. Only time can truly tell.”

She rises to her feet, offers her hand to you. You stare at it warily.

“So are we all satisfied, or will you continue to mercilessly interrogate me? What is your decision, aptly-named Words?”

“I want to talk to your sister about this first before I decide. That’s okay, right?”

She smiles impishly, again. It’s starting to grate on your nerves. “You’ve taken quite the warming to her, haven’t you...?

“Well... it’s slightly tedious, but alright. Don’t make me wait too long, though. I’m only going to exist for a little longer; I’m not exactly sure how long. A few days at best, a few hours at worst.”

“I’ll do my best,” you mumble. Her hand is still outstretched in front of you. Cautiously, you take it. The world begins to spin.

Good luck, Words. May fate guide you.
No. 53655
File 137625235617.jpg- (174.80KB , 584x329 , welcome-back-my-dear.jpg ) [iqdb]
53655
“...It is being made into a weapon.”

...

I'm back... I'm back! Something has happened, listen. I know what the weapon is for!

“What do you mean?” Oh, I said that out loud. Whoops.

“I mean it’s being—”

“Not you, Patchy, I’m talking to Words,” I snap.

Okay, get on with it continue.

This is a lot to take in... can you leave Patchouli for now?

Uhhm, alright...

“Uh, Patchouli? I’ll be right back in like ten or twenty or thirty minutes or a few hours. Can you wait?”

“Well—”

“Okay, thanks. Bye!”

I skip away. Out of the library. To the instrument room. That is officially my base of operations when I’m not in my room. This is because I like the violin there, and because I like the thingy piano there, and because I like the instruments there. And because, just because.

...Fire away!

I just had a vision.

Another one? How come I didn’t

This one lasted a long time. Maybe an hour.

So your vision was lagging buffering?...

Please, let me explain.

Ah, sorry. Go on!

Alright... so, I met your sister in the vision. She explained that it was a dream.

My sis — ah, sorry again. I’ll shut up.

~ ~ ~

One explanation later...

~ ~ ~

What do you think?

Very suspicious. Very suspicious. And... scary.

Do you think a demon coming through the barrier is possible?

I don’t know a lot about this kind of stuff, but I know that there are demons and devils and thingies from other dimensions. Koakuma herself is one, although she was summoned by Patchouli. If this demon my sister is talking about broke into this world on its own, it must be very powerful. Hm... wasn’t Patchouli studying demons or something like that?

A demon influencing us worries me, though. Am I being influenced right now? Is it really going to... kill X my sister? What if it succeeds? That would change a lot. Too much. I don’t want to think about it right now.

Assuming it’s all true. Even for Gensokyo, that’s a lot to grasp.

Maybe if we had a way to prove at least some of it...

Yes, that would definitely make it easier to believe. Going off of the Mistress’s words alone sounds risky. Not that I want to distrust her... she’s still my sister, you know? Still, she’s not exactly the most honest person I know.

Part of me wants to disbelieve it just because of how heavy this is. Have you ever felt that way before? The need to disbelieve because you can’t accept the truth? I guess you probably don’t remember, since you can’t even remember where you’re from. I hope we find that out soon, too.

About that... what if I’m the demon?

...

...

Words?

Yes?

Please don’t believe that.

You’re too nice. You... you’re trying to help me, and you don’t even know where you’re from; you’ve put my silly ramblings above your own agendas.

They’re not silly. I care because you matter.

See, there aren’t a lot of people who think that. Sakuya, yes; but besides her I have no one. You are a good person friend. That’s why you are not the demon. You can’t be the demon. I mean, you even told me about your vision! Patchouli wouldn’t have done that. The Mistress wouldn’t have done that. Nobody tells me anything; I’m forgotten and deemed below these important things all of the time.

Thank you, for that. Thank you for telling me.

I... you’re welcome.

I feel happy now...

...

Should... should we get back to work?

[ ] Return to Patchouli and continue the interrogation.
[ ] Find Koakuma and ask her about devils and/or demons.
[ ] Get Meiling to tell you where Sakuya and the Mistress have gone to, and follow them.
[ ] Talk to F__n___ about something? {Write-in conversation subjects}

Take note that Patchouli’s interrogation can be put off and continued later. After all, I hear blackmail has a long shelf-life.

Achievement get!
You have deepened your trust with F__n___. The “F” in her name will now be uncovered from now on. Great work!
No. 53656
My apologies about the general lateness of this update. Fortunately, it will probably be worth the wait.
No. 53684
[x] Get Meiling to tell you where Sakuya and the Mistress have gone to, and follow them.

We know what's going on with Patchouli, so we can deal with her later. Right now, I want to see what the Mistress is up to.
No. 53718
[x] Get Meiling to tell you where Sakuya and the Mistress have gone to, and follow them.
No. 53753
[x] Return to Patchouli and continue the interrogation.
Let's finish this
No. 53784
[X] Get Meiling to tell you where Sakuya and the Mistress have gone to, and follow them.


Also, I just started reading this (great story, by the way) so I was thinking of posting my thoughts about what to do, and how, to stop this "demon".
Call it brainstorming, I guess. As long as nobody minds a bit of rambling, that is.
No. 53789
File 137635399633.jpg- (151.74KB , 500x605 , scarlets.jpg ) [iqdb]
53789
Voting called for tailing the Scarlet Devil.

>>53784
Welcome, I'm much obliged.

I can't speak for anybody else, but I don't mind. In fact, your ramblings would probably get me excited.
No. 53806
>>53789

>That image

...You're not going to pull a Jeanette and Therese Voerman twist on us, are you?
No. 53808
>>53806

Nah its gonna be Tourettes
No. 53819
File 13763693934.jpg- (200.51KB , 480x360 , a writer's bane.jpg ) [iqdb]
53819
I was planning to update tonight, but I got distracted by Double Dealing Character and now I am too tired to start writing. My apologies; I will attempt to make amends somehow in the near future.

>>53806
>>53808
Well dang, I'm unfamiliar with the reference.
No. 53838
File 137637691545.jpg- (52.11KB , 900x720 , image11.jpg ) [iqdb]
53838
>>53819

You've never played Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines?

You poor poor bastard.
No. 53864
>>53789
Well, I'm on my laptop so I don't have access to the notes I jotted down while thinking, but my ramblings were mostly something like this:

(This will be pretty long, and most of it is pretty obvious, just fyi. I find it helps to repeat whatever I'm thinking about, because when I write it down I usually come up with something new.)

Assuming everything we've been told is true, this "demon" is breaking into Gensokyo and is influencing the people around Remilia into killing her with a silver sword.

Those around here would be: Sakuya, Flandre, Patchouli, Meiling, Koakuma and the fairy maids.

I'm going to risk making an assumption here, and say that the fairy maids are too air-headed and lacking in attention span to be of use to the demon, and ignore them.
And Flandre is safe, for obvious reasons.

That still leaves four people, of which we currently know what two are doing.

Patchouli is studying demonology. Possibly so it can have her summon/invite it into Gensokyo, giving it greater influence over events.
Meiling is gathering silver for the sword, along with the anti-vampire charms (the paper strips) that Sakuya has gotten from Patchouli.

Sakuya and Koakuma are still unknown.
Koakuma doesn't seem to actually be up to anything, at least not yet, but she also appears unhappy with something (either her own situation or whatever Patchouli is up to, judging by the way she talked about diabolism) so it's not unlikely that she's interfering with the situation somehow.
I'm also counting Sakuya as an unknown, because I'm pretty sure the "demon" has bigger plans for her than just gathering materials. After all, she's the one who has most experience with bladed weapons and thus is the prime suspect for doing the actual stabbing.


And then the obvious question, what can we do about it?

Sakuya and Koakuma: We need to find out more about how (and if) they're involved before we can really do anything about it, but...

Koakuma: There's nothing really tying her to all this, although it depends on whether or not she's upset with her own contract or the idea that Patchouli might be making a new one with some other demon/devil.
If it's the first, she's likely to sabotage things to be free of Patchouli. If the second, she could possibly be of help to us in disrupting whatever is going on.

Sakuya: She is distracted and absentminded, but she can't talk to Flandre about it. Pushing her would just lead to her going quiet and timey-wimeying away.
We could try spying on her with the excuse of it being a game. (Something like a variation of hide and seek, with the aim of finding where Sakuya has teleported to next while working around the mansion. She can continue her usual routine, and Flandre can watch her and see if she slips up somehow.)

Patchouli: I'm thinking that if we can convince her that this "demon" exists and that it is manipulating her, she can use her magic to keep it out rather than letting it in.
The problem is that we'll either need some undeniable proof or, failing that, someone to back us up. Flandre is insane and everyone, including herself, knows this so nobody will just take her word for it.
I think that someone will have to be either Koakuma, Sakuya or Remilia herself, though. Meiling doesn't get enough respect around the mansion to be taken seriously enough.

Meiling: The silver is easier to deal with.
They're gathering it to make a sword, so as long as they can't get enough silver to make one, they'll have to postpone it's creation.
I'm thinking either Flandre kyu~ns the entire chest, or we talk to Cirno. If we tell her that she and her friends can have the silverware to play or do whatever with as long as they just remove it from the chest, it'll probably disappear pretty fast.
Both methods have pros and cons.
Flandre doing it herself would mean that we can be sure it gets done, but it would raise questions. (Basically, why would she randomly destroy that chest after asking so much about it?) Also we have no idea how anti-vampire charms would react to a vampire's powers.
Asking Cirno to do it would be less suspicious, but also less reliable. (She already knows where the chest is and fairies causing random trouble isn't exactly unusual. But fairies are, well, fairies so they might just decide that it's not fun and leave it.)

Finally, there's also Remilia.
I don't know if she's directly influenced or not, but we should probably talk to her and tell her what the other Remilia said. Except we have the same problem there as with Patchouli. Without proof, she won't believe us either.


So, in conclusion, I think our best chance of unraveling this plot is to start at either Koakuma (to help us convince Patchouli) or Sakuya.
Probably Sakuya because she can help us convince both Remilia and Patchouli of the danger they're all in, and she is less likely to dismiss Flandre as just doing crazy things again because she's actually her friend.

Except we first have to find enough proof to convince her...
No. 53913
File 137643487077.jpg- (163.76KB , 560x860 , cute mermaid ahoy.jpg ) [iqdb]
53913
Get Meiling to tell you where Sakuya and the Mistress have gone to, and follow them.

Yes. Yes, I need Sakuya, I think.

I leave the enchanting room of instruments, and collide with the magician known Patchouli Knowledge. It is not a hard collision. Both of us settle our balance quickly.

“There you are,” she says, coughing into her sleeve. She looks even more tired than before, somehow. That, or I’ve already forgotten how tired she looked when I was talking to her.

“You alright, Patchy? Need a rest or something? You look exhausted.”

“I plan to rest again,” she croaks, “are we going to continue that ‘interview’ of yours?”

“No, I have something else I need to do. I’m going outside for now. Maybe later we can get back to a game of good cop bad cop.”

“You’re not... going to see the box, are you?”

“Nah. Just going to look in the gardens.”

“As long as you don’t get yourself into trouble, I don’t mind. Could you tell Meiling on your way out that I need to speak to her?”

“...Sure.”

...Two days later. I meant minutes, not days, but days felt better to say. “Day” is a nice word. “Perhaps” is ano~ther nice word. “Words” is probably a word, but it’s also a name. What an interesting name.

Hullo, Miss Meiling Hong China Meirin gate-keeping gardener person. Your name is confusing. My monologue is confusing myself. Confusion is enlightening, but only perhaps.

“Hey, can I ask you something?”

“Ah, Mistress F__n___. What are you doing outside again?”

“I... hm. Patchouli wanted to know where the Mistress and Sakuya were off to.”

“I believe they were headed for the Human Village.”

“She also wanted to speak to you.”

“Right away?”

“Yeah. Urgent.”

“Alright. I won’t be long, can you stand here at the gate for five minutes?”

“Sure.”

She’s walking away. I feel nervous-y for what I’m about to do, but I have do to it.

She’s gone.

...

And now I am gone. By gone, I mean flying across the lake like a murderer who needs to get far far far far far away from their victim’s home.

I land next to the water, on the other side of the lake. This is twice I left the island today. The first time I left was a fluke. This time it is a bad habit. Is this a milestone? Does a thief celebrate the second time they pick someone’s pocket?

“Hey!”

A shout. An unfamiliar voice. Its source is the lake. I turn.

What is that? Yes, it is a person youkai. She floats in the water, ten metres from the shore, watching me. Only her head is exposed. She has pointy ears, and curly blue hair that hangs around her head to her shoulders like wet seaweed.

She talked to me, didn’t she?

“Uh, hello,” I mumble. “Who are you?”

“Pardon?” she calls back. I remember, she’s a little ways off. I need to shout to reply, but that may draw attention to me. I shake my head dismissively. Hopefully that gets the proper message to her.

...She disappears. Oh well. I walk away.

“Wait a moment.”

The voice is not shouting, this time. I turn, and there is the girl in the water again, this time close to the shore. Whoa, what a swim. I can see her body underneath the water. She’s wearing a green kimono, which is really pretty and I wish I had a kimono. The thing that stands out, though, is her feet; or rather, the lack thereof. Instead of feet, she possesses a blue fish tail.

Ah.

“Are you a mermaid?” I ask, approaching the water. I crouch and peer at her. The tail moves as if it’s alive. Well, I guess it is...

“Yes. Are you a vampire?” Water-Tail says, adjusting her position. She’s only letting her head stick out of the water, which looks kind of awkward in this shallow area.

“Yes.”

“We are similar. You need an umbrella, and I need water. I’m sorry, I’m rambling off a bit. My name is Wakasagihime.”

“I am me, but you can call me F__n___ Scarlet, if you’d like. Most people do.”

“Okay,” she says. Water-Tail rises a bit out of the water by propping up her head on her palm. “I’m sorry for stopping you. You looked very busy. I just wanted to meet you. I saw you earlier, but I was too shy to speak to you.”

“You mean when I was with Someone-Fairy?”

“The ice fairy? Yes. Again, sorry for stopping you. I thought, earlier, when I saw you, that your wings were pretty. They reflect light so light well, you know. They look even better up close. Your wings are so pretty, Miss Scarlet. That’s all I wanted to say.”

“Oh,” I utter. “Th-thank you. I, er, really like your kimono.” I can feel my face heating up. It’s not easy having a face that likes to blush so quickly, let me tell you. Sometimes I wonder if my blushing mechanisms have a mind of their own, you know?

No, you probably don’t.

“Thank you, Miss Scarlet. It’s nice to know someone appreciates something about you, isn’t it? Most people forget I even live in this lake. You look like you’re often forgotten, too. You have that same look,” she says, doing a little circle in the water. “Sorry, sorry, I’m over-swishing my bounds here. I’ve held you off long enough. I should be going. Good luck with your business.” She almost seems to disappear like magic as she swims away.

Dear diary, I met a mermaid today. She was a cute mermaid with a cute tail. I wanted her kimono. Perhaps I can find one of my own someday. Sincerely, me.

Dear diary, I need a kimono. Sincerely, me.

I just realized, I have no idea how to get to the Human Village, nor could I keep myself split to write all the way over there.

Hm... Words, wait here for a few minutes.

...






I am back.

I told Third to come up here, which she did without incident. Meiling is a great guard, but she was probably still with Patchouli and thus Third wasn’t caught. Third brought me the stack of papers, and then disappeared. Now I have me, a stack of paper, and I am wandering aimlessly through the forest.

I only stopped for a few minutes to take a break and write this. If I can find some sort of hidden place near the village, I’ll leave Fourth there to continue writing while I look for the Mistress. Please wait warmly or coldly or room temperaturely while that happens. Actually, don’t wait room temperaturely, because depending on the room that can be the same as waiting coldly. Cold is cold, man. Cold is Cirno.

I don’t know where to go from here, though. I could probably try to find a youkai or something to lead me to the village, but there’s no guarantee I can find one, or if they’ll even be willing to help me.

Oh, I could also split myself into four and each one of us could go in one direction. Maybe that would work. It might make me a bit tired, though. And they wouldn’t be able to go infinitely in one direction.

What do you think?

[ ] Try to find a youkai that can lead you to the Human Village.
[ ] Split into four and multiply your search.
[ ] Go back to the mansion.
[ ] Write-in.

----------

Wakasagihime's appearance is dedicated to Double Dealing Character. Welcome to THP, new 2hus.

>>53838
I'll take this as a recommendation.

>>53864
Jiminy jaminy. You keep more notes than I do. (Because I'm a lazy bastard that keeps all his notes in his head.) I'm actually quite stunned. I'd give you an award, but, well, I don't have one. Take this update instead.
No. 53915
[x] Try to find a youkai that can lead you to the Human Village.
[x] I think a kimono would look nice on you. What color, do you think?

F__n___ finds and makes friends, I hope!
No. 53923
>>53913

If you do get Bloodlines, there's uunoffical patches up to 8.6. Get these as the original game is... well quite a mess with bugs and everything. 3rd party patched fix this quite well, save often just incase though.

Also as a sidenote, you think HL2 was the first Source engine game? Nope. This was, just released later due to Valve saying wait.
No. 54008
[X] Try to find a youkai that can lead you to the Human Village.
[X] I think a kimono would look nice on you. What color, do you think?


>>53913
I'm just good at overthinking things. But as long as my rambling helps you write the story (even if it's just the motivation from knowing that I like it), that's enough of an award for me.
No. 54011
[x] First finds a Youkai to lead her to the human village
[x] Second's a bitch
[x] Third keeps writing
[x] Fourth listens in to Patchouli and Meiling conversation and looks for traces of the demon's influence in their speech.

Split up and search for clues!
No. 54227
File 137667311464.jpg- (129.73KB , 790x444 , four of a kind.jpg ) [iqdb]
54227
Try to find a youkai that can lead you to the Human Village.

...What if they try to fight me or something?

You’re pretty powerful, right? You should be fine!

I’m good at danmaku. I’m pretty sure Gensokyo settles most of its battles with danmaku, so as long as that holds true I’ll be okay. I mean, I’m still powerful when I’m not using danmaku, but I think I’m better at it than going all-out. Danmaku is more about making beautiful bullet patterns, while “normal” combat is about whoever is stronger than the other.

I’m strong, but I’m also weak. I am a contradiction. Danmaku settles that for me.

Okay, splitting time. This splitting spell I use is called “Four of a Kind,” by the way. Not sure why that matters, but there you go.

...

“I thought you were mad at me,” Second huffs, slumping down next to a nearby tree.

“I don’t feel like doing silly games with you anymore,” I explain, staring her in the eye. “Which means you shouldn’t feel like doing silly games with me who is actually you and you’re actually me.”

“Hey, don’t forget me,” Third pipes in.

“Might I inquire into the reason for this clandestine meeting?” Fourth asks, examining the copied umbrella in her hands closely. “Also, this parasol is slightly damaged.”

“Yeah, what’s going on? I see you finally grew a pair and left the mansion.”

“Second, that doesn’t make any sense.”

“At least it makes more sense than your face—”

I clear my throat loudly. “Girls, be quiet for a minute or two. We have a mission here. First of all, pun not intended... as you can see, we’re outside the mansion.”

“Quite a bold move, if you ask me,” Fourth notes. “I wonder, are we being influenced by that demon to leave the mansion, among other things?”

“Yeah! We never leave! We can’t even leave if we try, so how did that happen? Could it be that Fate is looking up for us?”

“Well, Third... I’m not sure,” I say, spinning my umbrella nervously.

Maybe this writing thing is more helpful than we originally suspected.

“Or maybe we’re being taken more seriously by Fate because of our barrier-detective job.”

Silence.

“In any case, we’re out, and we have something we need to do. We need to find Sakuya and our sister.”

“I forget. Are we telling the Mistress about the demon or not?” Third questions.

“Yes and no,” I say. “We need more information first. That’s why we’re here; we need to find out what the Mistress is doing out here, and we also need to talk to Sakuya. Sakuya can help us.”

“In more ways than one,” Third says in a sultry tone. I shoot her a glare, which prompts a giggle out of her.

“I like the way you think,” Second adds in the same tone. “Anyways, why are we meeting like this? Can’t you just go on your merry way and do that stuff?”

“Obviously I need your assistance. I need one person to write to Words, because Words is very much a part of this and very important. And Words is cool.”

An almost simultaneous nod from the others at my statement.

“We’ll be moving while we write, so we need another person to hold an umbrella over Writing-Me. After all, Writing-Me can’t hold an umbrella on her own and write. Umbrella-Me can also double as a lead so that Writing-Me doesn’t walk into trees or something.”

“Can I be Umbrella-Me?” Third asks.

“Yes, and Second can write,” I say.

“What? Why do I have to write?”

“Consider it a chance to redeem yourself for your terrible behaviour yesterday.”

Second sighs. “Bluh. Fine. Can we at least take shifts?”

“Yes, you may take shifts.”

Another silence.

“Is there something you need me to do?” Fourth asks.

“Ah, Fourth... I would send you back to the mansion as an extra pair of ears elsewhere, but I don’t think I can maintain the magic at that distance. Instead... just follow us, and if we need your help you’ll be ready.”

“Affirmative.”

...

I pass the papers to Second, and then we set out. I’m in the lead, Second and Third are a few feet behind me, with Fourth bringing up the rear. For the first little while, we’re quiet, because quietness is a thing that happens to people once and a while. Quietness is a thing that happens to a person once and a while? Quantitative entities are confusing.

“By the way,” Third says, after a little while. “We should totally get a kimono.”

“We’re not pretty enough to pull it off,” I reply.

“Are you kidding me? Kimonos are great for getting la—”

I think a kimono would look nice on you. What colour, do you think?

“Red.”

“Or black,” Second adds.

“And pink.”

“Oh, piiiink, yes. That would look so cute on you~”

“Third, stop flirting with yourself.”

“I-I’m not flirting!”

And so on.

It takes us a while, but eventually we reach a pretty little house in the middle of the forest. Its appearance is a little shocking, because I didn’t expect to find a house in the middle of the forest. Apparently you can find all sorts of odd things in the middle of the forest.

“First, go knock on that door,” Second says.

I don’t reply, but I do comply. The door produces a hollow thunk as I knock my fist against it. Knocking is an odd gesture, now that I think of it.

It’s a few minutes before the door opens. A very little person clutches the door handle, watching me with creepily blank eyes. She’s around two feet tall, and floats. She tilts her head inquiringly. I stare at her. Lost for words. She stares back, still blank.

“Is there anybody who lives here?” I ask her.

She nods, gestures inside. I glance back nervously at the others, who beckon that I continue. You guys are useless. Hey, that’s not nice. It’s true. We’re here in case you need backup, so get going.

I sigh. The little girl beckons again, and I follow.

Inside, I am immediately assaulted by the scent of blood. Blood, yes, blooood. It’s everywhere, the scent. My eyes, however, tell me a different story. There is no blood. None at all. Only dozens and dozens of little people like the one who answered the door. I gasp. Th... these are dolls. Dolls on the shelves, dolls on the floor, dolls on the furniture. Large dolls, small dolls, masculine dolls, feminine dolls, cute dolls, ugly dolls. They’re not little people. They are dolls. Everywhere.

And the scent of blood, it is strong. It is tantalizing. Still, there is no source for it.

The dolls are all watching me. Dozens of pairs of eyes burn into me from all angles. How come those eyes are so real? These are dolls, aren’t they? And their skin, it looks so smooth. None of them look like dolls, but that’s what they are, right? Maybe they are little people...

The door shuts behind me. Wind. Wind, right? It’s only wind.

After a minute, which feels like many minutes, a normal-sized person appears. She enters from another room, accompanied by a few more of the doll-people-things. Blue dress, blonde hair.

“Welcome,” she says, “I am Alice Margatroid. Who might you be, little one?”

“I am F__n___.”

“What brings you here, F__n___?”

“I was lost. I am looking for the Human Village.”

The blood scent is as strong as ever. Miss Alice is staring at me, thinking.

“Miss Alice, should I leave? You seem busy.”

“Ah... don’t worry about me, little one. In fact, I can help you find the Human Village. But first, sit, sit. You look tired. Stay for tea. Then we can go out, is that alright?”

[ ] We don’t have time to stay and chat. Get her to lead you to the village right away.
[ ] Might as well have a break; you’ve come a long way, after all.
[ ] Write-in.

----------

Regarding the recent slowness in updates, I will probably be able to return to a quicker schedule in a week or so.
No. 54229
[x] Might as well have a break; you’ve come a long way, after all.
-[x] That being said, the smell of blood worries me. Be cautious, but polite. And call in the others if you need help.

Alice is being creepy somehow, and I don't know why.
No. 54234
[x] We don’t have time to stay and chat. Get her to lead you to the village right away.
-[x] Besides this smells like a trap. Literally. Don't tell her that though
No. 54239
[x] We don’t have time to stay and chat. Get her to lead you to the village right away.
-[x] Besides this smells like a trap. Literally. Don't tell her that though

I bet we'll find out the dolls are actually made from humans.
No. 54241
[x] Might as well have a break; you’ve come a long way, after all.
-[x] That being said, the smell of blood worries me. Be cautious, but polite. And call in the others if you need help.

>>54239
So you're saying that these mute dolls are very soylent?
That was terrible. I apologize.
No. 54262
[x] Might as well have a break; you’ve come a long way, after all.
-[x] That being said, the smell of blood worries me. Be cautious, but polite. And call in the others if you need help.
No. 54264
Going to close the votes now before it gets tied again. If all goes well, update tomorrow.
No. 54265
>>54241
Not that bad. You know if what may have been hinted is true, I wonder how Medicine would feel?
No. 54296
File 137676463354.jpg- (143.70KB , 850x638 , dolls make terrible company.jpg ) [iqdb]
54296
Might as well take a break; you’ve come a long way, after all.

Hey that’s not fair I want tea too shaddup Second

That being said, the smell of blood worries me. Be cautious, but polite. And call in the others if you need help.

Caution: bloody scent. Be careful around sharp objects.

Caution: strange person living with dolls. Be careful around sharp objects.

Caution: caution. Be polite around sharp objects.

“Okay, I’ll stay for a bit,” I say, trying to sound cheerful.

“Great! Come into the living room,” Miss Alice says, walking away.

I follow, coming into a room with a sofa, or coach, or whatever it’s called. Also, more dolls. This whole place is a doll house, but it’s not an actual dollhouse. Interesting. Spooky. Blood.

Mm, blood.

“Sit down, if you’d like. I’ll only be right back.”

I sit, but I don’t relax. The doll’s dolls’ stares are keeping me tense, to be honest. Maybe I’ll get used to it.

Two-point-twelve minutes later, Miss Alice returns with a tray. There is a pot of tea on this tray, as well as teacups. It smells like a different kind of tea from the kinds Patchouli makes. That, or the blood is interfering with the tea’s scent. Hopefully the former.

She pours the tea and offers me a cup. I take it warily, as if it might explode. Cautious? Check.

“Thank you.” Polite? Check.

I take a sip. Delicious? Check.

“So, F__n___... are you from the Human Village?”

“Not really.”

“That’s what I thought. You don’t look like a human. The wings especially give it away. They’re beautiful, by the way.”

People love my wings. Perhaps I should consider monetizing that somehow.

Just kidding.

“Colourful, too. You look like a powerful person,” she adds.

“Thank you, but I’m not all that powerful. My sister is the one you should be talking to if you like power.”

“Your sister?”

“Yeah, she’s at the Human Village right now. That’s why I’m going there.”

“Your sister, what is she like?”

“Oh, bossy, you know. Can’t have it any way but her own. At heart, though, she just wants what’s best. Actually I’m not supposed to be trying to find her right now, but I have to because... just because.”

“I see.”

She’s looking at me kind of oddly. I realize I have finished my tea.

“Would you like some more?” she asks, gesturing to the pot.

“Uh. No, thank you.”

“What about some cookies?” the stare does not cease. The way she is looking at me is the same as the way her dolls are.

“N-no, I should really get going.”

She breaks off from the stare, but I can still feel other stares burning into me. Watching my every move. Every expression. Yes, I should go.

“You’re right, I’ve taken up enough of your time. Let me just put these dishes away and we’ll be off.”

She leaves with the tray. I am alone. No, I am not; dolls are watching me still. Dolls.

Blood. I’m getting hungry just being here. This was a bad idea. I move towards the door. I trip over something. No.

Ow. My face.

A doll is clinging to my ankle, staring at me. It opens its mouth, and speaks in a high squeaky voice. Its normally expressionless face has morphed into one of fear.

“Please, stay. Stay. Stay here... with me...”

Another doll dives onto me, grabs my arm.

“Stay, stay... join me... help me...”

“Stay here, stay with me...”

“Don’t leave.... please, don’t go... help...”

Dozens upon dozens possibly hundreds of dolls are clambering over each other, from shelves and tables and other rooms towards me. I scream. Loudly. As loud as I can. I try to kick the dolls off of my legs.

The door bursts inwards, Third and Fourth bustling in. The former grabs my arms and tries to drag me away from the dolls, whilst the latter fires danmaku at the creatures. Some burn up quickly upon being shot, others continue on as if nothing had happened.

Where is Miss Alice?

Third manages to get me outside, while Fourth slams the door shut. The remaining dolls on me are blown apart by Third.

We are safe. Apparently. And cautious. And polite. No, not polite.

The four of us back away from the house. The door does not move.

And then, it does. Alice leaves the house, stares at us. Momentary confusion crosses her face as she takes in four me’s.

“I’m sorry,” she says, hands behind her back. “I’m sorry. Please, go on. And take this.” She holds out her hands, lets go of something, and it floats over to us. Fourth picks it up. A map of Gensokyo.

I look up at her. “What...?”

“Just... go.”

And the door closes shut.

“That was interesting.”

“That was confusing.”

“That was scary.”

“That was fortunate.”

We all speak at once, then exchange a few glances with each other.

“Let’s go.”

...

What was that back there? Why did Miss Alice’s dolls attack me? What were they whining about? “Stay,” “don’t leave me,” and... I don’t understand it. The world outside the mansion is weirder than I thought. Will the Human Village be like this, too? Probably not, because humans aren’t as weird as youkai, right? Or was it the other way around...? It was probably the other way around

The map is old, but it seems to serve its purpose. I can clearly see the mansion and Alice’s house on it, so if we should be able to find the village in no time.

...I will never look at dolls the same way again.

...

“No time” lasted about an hour. The Human Village stands a little ways off.

There are lots of people here. So many humans. I’ve never seen so many humans before.

Fourth will stay outside the village and write. Third and Second and I are going to go into the village, split up, and look for clues of Sakuya or the Mistress’s whereabouts.

Residential streets, where humans apparently live. Shopping area, where businesses apparently live. Then there are bars, where alcohol apparently lives. These are the places we should check out. Why did I list the bar? Because I’ve never been to one, of course.

As for how we’ll split up... I’ll leave that up to you.

For each option below, pick who will go there. (Out of First, Second, or Third.) Note that the narration will follow First.
[ ] Residential streets.
[ ] Shopping area.
[ ] Bar.
No. 54297
[Third] Residential streets.
[First] Shopping area.
[Second] Bar.

Welp. That was creepy as fuck.
No. 54299
[2] Residential streets.
[3] Shopping area.
[1] Bar.

We're going on an adventure!
No. 54305
[2] Residential streets.
[3] Shopping area.
[1] Bar.

Sending Second to the bar seems like a recipe for disaster.
No. 54355
First is going to the bar, Second is going to the residential area, and Third is going to the shopping area. Update hopefully today.
No. 54380
File 137697547684.jpg- (174.05KB , 1600x1200 , wine is not for children.jpg ) [iqdb]
54380
Well, First, you could probably head to the bar. Second could go to the residential streets, and Third the shopping area.

Second rushes ahead of us.

“First?” Third intones, watching me nervously.

“Yeah?”

“Be careful.”

She walks ahead, as well.

I glance around. Humans. A lot of them. I’ve never seen so many people – whether humans or youkai – since long before coming to Gensokyo. The scent of blood from Alice’s house is still burned into my nose, and making these humans look all the more appetizing. I’m not here to eat, though. I need information.

People keep staring at me strangely. Maybe it’s the wings. I could pass for one of them if it weren’t for the wings. how many human children have multicoloured wings? the answer is four

Finding a bar doesn’t take long. I can smell the alcohol emanating from it. Alcohol smells interesting. I don’t usually get to try any, though; the Mistress won’t let me. She even drinks wine but won’t let me, which is unfair. I mean, I’m not that much younger than her... only five years, I think. I actually lost count of my and her ages after a while.

Anyways. The bar.

Tables, chairs, drinks, and people. I get a few glances as I enter, but most people ignore me. I walk self-consciously as I approach the counter at the back. The scent of alcohol-tainted blood wafts into my nostrils. If I drank from the people here it would probably get me drunk.

The bartender is a burly man, but he’s got a puffy moustache that seems to warm his entire essence. That, or it’s the happy smile on his face. Perhaps both. He regards me curiously as I sit on one of those tall round chairs that are always next to counters.

“Little missy, aren’t you a tad too young to be drinkin’?”

He has a gruff, yet somehow melodic voice.

“Maybe. How old does one have to be?”

“...Much older than you.”

“You’re mistaken. I’m older than I appear. I’m probably five hundred years your senior,” I say, leaning on the counter. I feel something brush against my leg, but ignore it.

He guffaws. “I know. It’s the wings, right?”

“Bingo. You ever played bingo? Who knows. Hey, you’re not scared? I’m some sort of youkai. Sakuya tells me that humans around here are scared of youkai or something like that.”

“I’ve seen enough youkai around here to tell whether they’re worth being ‘fraid of,” the bartender says. Should I take that as an insult, or a compliment? “Say... you wouldn’t be... F__n___, would you?”

“Who’s asking?”

“Another young girl like yourself was in here today, and asked for me to give you somethin’. Blue hair, bat wings?”

Oh. My sister was here?

How did she know I was coming here? This is getting suspicious. First she seemed to know I was at the box in the woods, and now this. Is she shadowing me somehow? Except the vision from the box may have been from the future murdered Mistress, so... so what? I don’t know. I don’t understand this. There’s so many things going on and I’m just a lowly me. A not-person.

He reaches under the counter and hands me a piece of paper. It’s another map, this time of the Human Village. A red circle is marked on it a little ways on the outside of the village wall.

“She wanted me to give you this,” he says. “That mark is where she wanted you to meet ‘er.”

“Is there a catch?”

He blinks in surprise. “No, no catch. Take it.”

I take the map carefully, as if it might wake up and eat me. Cautious? Check.

“Thank you.” Polite? Check.

Oh, wait. That didn’t work last time. That’s okay; the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. It lines up.

“No problem. Good luck findin’ ‘er.”

I would stay and get some sort of drink, but he keeps glancing towards the door. I take it as a hint to leave and leave. Although it might have been a hint that he was expecting someone, but whatever.

...Something brushes against my leg again as I pass the border between bar and outside.

Huh, what could that be? What’s brushing against me? I duck into a nearby alleyway. Nobody around; let me check this. I lift up my skirt and nearly scream.

A doll is clinging to my leg.

Finally realizing I’ve seen it, the doll glances up at me. It’s expressionless. I grab it by its feet and pull it off of me. My skirt drops to its normal length. The doll is upside-down, eye to eye with me.

“Where did you come from?” I ask the doll, glaring at it. The creature stares back, ever expressionless even upside-down. “Come on, I know you can talk!”

We hold a staring contest for fourteen seconds. They’re long seconds, that last long for a long time. Finally the doll breaks the stare and sighs.

“It’s me, Patchouli Knowledge,” it says.

“Oh, are we playing a game? I’m Ran Yakumo.”

“No, this is not a game. I am possessing this doll.”

“Prove it.”

“Yesterday we were visited by Ran Yakumo on the account of damage in the Hakurei border. Today you discovered a secret of mine and blackmailed me into talking about it.”

I sigh, slumping against the wall. Patchouli-doll accidentally drops to the ground onto her head.

“You can possess people?”

“Not most creatures. Dolls are... different enough to allow entry, to put it in laymen’s terms. I wouldn’t recommend it, though.”

“Oh...” I wrap my arms around my knees. “Why are you possessing a doll? Besides to get a peek at my bloomers.”

“My apologies, Lady F__n___. It was the only place I could hide without being scene outright. You see, after you left the mansion, I had to find you. I scryed your location and used one of that magician’s dolls to follow you.”

“Under my skirt.”

“It was urgent,” the doll says dryly.

“You’re a pedophile~ What’s so urgent?”

“I needed to convince you.”

“I’m not playing twenty questions here.”

“Please,” she pleads. Patchouli is pleading? What sorcery is this? that was not a pun “No matter what you do... don’t tell the Mistress about the weapon.”

Ah. That.

“Why not?”

“It’s important! You mustn’t tell her about it. Our Fate depends on this!”

“Why?”

“Just... trust me.”

Of course, I already know why.

This is troublesome. If there is a demon, then this is it, trying to stop me from foiling its plans. If there is not a demon, then this means this weapon is very important to Patchouli. She hasn’t actually confirmed that it is for Remilia, so I don’t actually know that, but why else keep it a secret from her?

Maybe it would be best if I tell Patchouli about the demon? If she denies it, then that means the demon is real and is “influencing” her, right?

[ ] Tell Patchouli about the demon.
[ ] Tell Patchouli you’ll decide if and when to tell the Mistress, then...
- [ ] ...go to the rendezvous point and find out what the Mistress wants.
- [ ] ...go somewhere else. {Write-in.}
No. 54387
[X] Tell Patchouli about the demon.

I'd like to test her reaction. One thing at a time, in any case.
No. 54391
[x] Tell Patchouli you’ll decide if and when to tell the Mistress, then...
- [x] ...go to the rendezvous point and find out what the Mistress wants.
Are there any downsides to telling Patchouli about the demon?
No. 54398
>>54391
Only that if the demon does exist, it will know that we know and will try to hide things more carefully from now on.
Can't really think of anything else. I mean, if the demon doesn't exist, Flandre will just look paranoid.
Oh no, Flandre is being crazy. Because that never happens.
No. 54432
Why don't we just, like... inquire into the possibility of this being about killing our cute onee-chan, without bringing demons that may or may not exist into it? Patchy's attempt to "convince" here is somehow even less convincing than the random dream.
No. 54449
You know what, thinking about it I've changed my mind. (Deleted my old vote.)

[X] Tell Patchouli you’ll decide if and when to tell the Mistress, but if she can give you a good reason to convince you...
- [X] Then go to the rendezvous point and find out what the Mistress wants.

No need to tell her about the demon just yet. We still need proof before we start throwing accusations.
But let's at least hear her reasons for why Remilia can't be allowed to know.
If she can explain it in a way that satisfies both Flandre and Words (i.e. us), then sure, we'll trust her for now.
If there are any holes or inconsistencies in her arguments or, even worse, she pulls a "I can't tell you, but just trust me" we'll have to assume the demon theory is true, until someone proves otherwise.

While I don't always agree that "blood is thicker than water", when we only have people's word to go by I'd rather see Flandre trust her sister than anyone else. They have after all been together for 500-ish years.
Besides, everyone else is acting pretty suspicious which is, well, suspicious.
No. 54450
>>54432
I'm not sure you're following the same story I am: in this universe, killing Remilia is a good thing She's keeping everyone trapped in the mansion for her own amusement and punishes her sister for inane things.

See also: ASSR Remilia.
No. 54550
>>54450
Which has been implied to be the demon's influence.
And assuming the other Remilia was telling the truth we can't afford to let her die, because that would mean that Remilia's power over Fate would be abused by somethihg outright hostile to life in Gensokyo, unlike Remilia who has at least agreed to keep the status quo (because otherwise it's Reimu Tea Time again).

Even if her evil ways are her own, she is still the lesser of two evils. Besides, the fact that Remilia is not a nice person is in and of itself not surprising. She's a 500 year old vampire.
They aren't exactly know for lollipops and rainbows.
No. 54563
File 137719042786.jpg- (122.18KB , 500x439 , aki-lc-flandre.jpg ) [iqdb]
54563
Calling for deciding if and when you'll tell the Mistress (unless Patchouli can convince you otherwise).
No. 54573
>>54550
It isn't the demon's influence because this was the situation in the mansion long before the rip in the border was detected.

Remilia is evil: act accordingly. I don't want another end like ASSR's.
No. 54608
File 137722087277.jpg- (1.28MB , 1699x1130 , confusion.jpg ) [iqdb]
54608
Tell Patchouli you’ll decide if and when to tell the Mistress, unless she can convince you otherwise...

“I’m sorry dolly, but I’ll be deciding the time and place to tell the Mistress, if I even do. Your little ‘trust me’s aren’t very helpful, and do a terrible job of convincing us. I mean, me. And I’m not sorry actually.”

Patchouli-doll stares worryingly. “It seems I must involve you in this, too...”

Two Four seconds pass.

“Are you planning to use that weapon to kill the Mistress? Or me?”

The doll flinches. “What makes you say that?”

“I’m not stupid. You’re making a silver weapon, and we’re the only two vulnerable to silver at the mansion.”

“...Yes, it’s for... the Mistress,” Patchouli-doll admits, rubbing the bridge of her tiny doll nose.

“I knew it. Now, that begs the question. Why? This is my sister. You’re plotting to murder her. I should probably be mad right now, but you’ve tripped over yourself so much over this whole thing that I can barely consider you a threat to her. That or my reaction is delayed.”

“I can’t keep up this possession spell for long, but I’ll tell you what I can... First of all, I’m not trying to murder anybody. I’m trying to prevent a catastrophe,” Patchouli-doll says. It’s a little surreal jarring listening to her speak through this doll, because the doll has a really high voice entirely unlike Patchouli’s. “The Mistress is getting stronger, F__n___. Her powers. Her plots. This is getting bigger than just the mansion, or even Gensokyo, for that matter.”

“Stronger? Bigger? What is she planning to do?”

“I don’t know. I do know that it is something big. She’s building her powers over fate, and soon we’ll all be consumed by it.”

“Oh, really? Interesting. What does that mean?”

“It basically means she’ll be the most powerful being in the universe. Control over everybody and anybody. Complete, omnipresent control.”

“So did she break the barrier or something to get that power?”

“No, I[i/] broke the barrier, to stop her.”

I stare at her incredulously. There is no trace of sarcasm or irony on her face. She’s not joking, is she? Well, damn. This is getting more complicated.

“How will that stop her?”

“I want to tell you. Believe me, I do. The answer is long, though; too long to explain in the amount of time I can keep this up this spell.”

“Excuse.”

“That is not an excuse. I would tell you if I could. I am almost out of time.”

“Hmm, convenient, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, I guess. Mostly because I don’t have a choice anyways.”

“Anyways, my point is that this is very important, to all of us. If you tell the Mistress about the box, we’ll lose our only chance to stop her.”

“What a lovely conclusion! Except I still don’t really understand why you want to kill her, because I never understand anything! Isn’t that lovely? I’m losing my sister soon and I don’t even understand why. Not only that, but you don’t seem to care about what I think.”

“F__n___, listen, it’s not that, alright? The reason is that the more people who know, the worse it gets, and I—”

“Stop, please. Just stop. Nobody cares.”

And suddenly, the doll is gone. Pure dust. I broke it. Heh heh. I am alone again.

Alone.

Again.

Alone alone alone.

Alone again, alone again, alone, alone.

Again, again, alone.

That’s what happens if she dies. Who knows what will happen to everyone. One thing is certain: our “family” will fall apart. We’ll separate.

I have you, but maybe I don’t. Maybe you’re not just a figment of my confusing mind, Words. Maybe you’re like Second, Third, and Fourth; a piece of myself faking being another mind. Then again, maybe everybody is like that. Perhaps I’ve always been alone, a single mind constructing a large dream. The Mistress, Sakuya, Patchouli, Gensokyo, all of it. Or maybe [i]I’m
the fake mind, being a part of someone else. Perhaps it’s all fake.

“Real” is a silly word. It’s too relative.

My sister... I can’t even say her name safely without being spied upon. Why would she listen in on people who talk about her? That’s just weird creepy unnatural. Vampires are unnatural. Gensokyo is unnatural. Actually, what is natural? The answer is nothing. Nothing is natural.

Does she deserve to die? I don’t know. ask me once on each day of the week and you’ll get a different answer Does anyone ever deserve to die? The answer should be “depends,” but I think the answer should be no. Nobody deserves to die. Death only brings more death. If there was no death, there would only be life, and a world where there is only life sounds like a good world to me.

...

On one hand, we have a demon that broke through the barrier and is actively possessing? influencing whatever that means the people around it to take control of my sister and use her powers to upset the status quo and control Gensokyo and/or the outside world.

On the other, we have a magician that broke through the barrier for an unknown reason to fight against my sister’s power of fate so that a weapon could be created to defeat her and stop the control of Gensokyo and/or the outside world.

They sound equally unlikely. Both are complicated, and irritating to think about. Both are missing facts. Both are fake, real, and neither. One is troubling. The other is also troubling. Both are very troubling.

...

I’m sorry I broke Patchouli-doll. I’m sure you had questions, but now we can’t ask them until we get home. She said the spell was going to end soon anyways, so perhaps we didn’t miss anything.

Perhaps maybe sometimes.

Not-life is difficult.

[ ] Words of comfort can often be the best kind... {Write-in}

Tip: Yes, you can unlock another letter depending on what you say. Good luck.

----------

I had to write this update twice, and as such a lot of hours were spent writing today. It's a good thing I got it finished in time, though. I feel there might be something off about this update, although I can't quite put my finger on what it is. I should probably find a proofreader.
No. 54612
[x] Yeah. Life is difficult in general, I think. Maybe that's what makes it all worth it. Enduring the challenges, so that one day you can look back a say 'Yeah. I did that. I got through that just fine!' ...Sorry. I guess I'm not too good at this sort of thing. But if nothing else, I AM real, and I'm here for you. You aren't alone. So at least you have someone else to work this through with. Okay?

...That's what I can come up with. Anyone else got something?
No. 54624
>>54608
>I feel there might be something off about this update

Welcome to update, now 50% in italics!
I kid, I kid. In all seriousness, I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner. I'd offer to proofread, but I honestly can say that aside from that I can see nothing wrong. Nothing with syntax, or with awkward word choice.
No. 54627
>>54624
Oh, the famed broken italics post. I have finally found you.

Despite my mumblings about it, I probably won't end up getting a proofreader, because (at the risk of sounding slightly arrogant) I tend to reason that I don't need one. I obsess over my posts to the point of reading them two or three times before actually posting them, so approximately 90% of my mistakes are caught. Another 8% are easily covered up by the story's writing style, and the remaining 2% is [code] errors.
No. 54629
[X] Life isn't a dream. I'm real - you can prove that by the reactions of the others, and the dream, that isn't something you'd think of on your own. You're real too, whether in parts or together. You exist. You think. You talk. You feel. That's life. You're alive, even if you can't bring yourself to think of it that way, yet.

I agree, no real need for dedicated proofreaders. This site really overuses them. Your writing is fine, and mistakes are opportunities to learn from later.
No. 54637
>I have you, but maybe I don’t. Maybe you’re not just a figment of my confusing mind, Words. Maybe you’re like Second, Third, and Fourth; a piece of myself faking being another mind. Then again, maybe everybody is like that. Perhaps I’ve always been alone, a single mind constructing a large dream. The Mistress, Sakuya, Patchouli, Gensokyo, all of it. Or maybe I’m the fake mind, being a part of someone else. Perhaps it’s all fake.

[x]...Perhaps you're right. Perhaps none of this exists, not you, not I, perhaps not even existence is real. Perhaps this is nothing but a story written by a madmans hand, as we dance like puppets on strings to entertain.

...But does it matter? You still feel. You laugh, you cry, you love, you hate, you fear, you hunger. Hell, you can touch and taste and see, where all I have is words conveyed from you to me. Is that not enough? Can you not at least believe in the illusion of reality and bask in it's joys, even as your mind throws doubts upon it's very existence?

There is not one person who can prove that Reality is true. Every thought, every feeling could merely be a delusion. But what difference does it make? All we have is what our own senses tell us, and no one can prove that their senses speak the truth.

...But is there really such a difference between an illlusory reality and a "real" one. Even if it is fake, would we ever know the difference?

Maybe, just maybe, this is all real. We can never prove it, but we can believe it. That possibility may be all we have, but it is something we should cling to. Perhaps that is what they call hope.

All one can do is keep moving forward, with a smile on their face, doing their best to enjoy whatever existence they may or may not have.

>Vampires are unnatural. Gensokyo is unnatural. Actually, what is natural? The answer is nothing. Nothing is natural.

On the contrary, everything in existence is natural. If it were not they would not exist in the first place. There are few things in this world that can be considered unnatural, and we do not wish to meet any of them.

>Does she deserve to die? I don’t know. ask me once on each day of the week and you’ll get a different answer Does anyone ever deserve to die? The answer should be “depends,” but I think the answer should be no. Nobody deserves to die.

Deserves? Such a word is loaded with opinions, and so relative as to be useless. Even "real" is less relative. But I agree with you. No one "deserves" to die. However, sometimes someone must die so others may live. A rabid dog must be put down, lest the lives of others be put in jeopardy. Whether Remilia is such a dog... I do not know.

>Death only brings more death. If there was no death, there would only be life, and a world where there is only life sounds like a good world to me.

...Hmmm. Do you reallly think so? Can you imagine a world where no one dies? Where people continue to be born, yet never return to dust? As more and more people fill the world there will be less for those who live. I imagine life would not be so pleasant after a few short centuries. For a world without death to be in harmony, nothing new must be born. Would you sacrifice new life and ideas to preserve the old?

>They sound equally unlikely. Both are complicated, and irritating to think about. Both are missing facts. Both are fake, real, and neither. One is troubling. The other is also troubling. Both are very troubling.

A difficult conundrum. I do not believe we have enough information to decide on who to believe. Perhaps both are false. It seems we may need to hold off on conclusions until after we interrogate Remilia.

>I’m sorry I broke Patchouli-doll. I’m sure you had questions, but now we can’t ask them until we get home. She said the spell was going to end soon anyways, so perhaps we didn’t miss anything.

Do not worry. We have no questions that cannot wait for now.

>Not-life is difficult.

So it is. But do remember, even if none of this is real. I'll stay by your side as long as I can. I'll be here to guide you, to help you, to talk to you and cheer you up. If you need me I'll be here. We're friends after all. And that's what friends are for.

I rambled a lot. Sorry everyone. Use whatever you want from this and discard the rest Flanders. Or use all of it, I don't mind
No. 54657
File 137728797338.jpg- (285.37KB , 1199x1104 , cookie.jpg ) [iqdb]
54657
>>54637
Whoa, man, that's a lot more than I thought anyone would write. Have a cookie. And maybe something else...

I'll be working in what I can from everyone's votes, but I won't be closing votes yet. As such, if anyone wants to add something, feel free to do so.
No. 54699
File 137737258538.png- (1.99MB , 717x1030 , kimono f__nd__.png ) [iqdb]
54699
Note: due to the nature of the write-ins, I will rewind the post back a bit to include some of Entry #36, so that your replies are in real-time. (If that sounds confusing, you'll understand quickly once you start reading.)

----------

And suddenly, the doll is gone. Pure dust. I broke it. Heh heh. I am alone again.

Alone.

Again.

Alone alone alone.

Alone again, alone again, alone, alone.

Again, again, alone.


That’s what happens if she dies. Who knows what will happen to everyone. One thing is certain: our “family” will fall apart. We’ll separate.

I have you, but maybe I don’t. Maybe you’re not just a figment of my confusing mind, Words. Maybe you’re like Second, Third, and Fourth; a piece of myself faking being another mind. Then again, maybe everybody is like that. Perhaps I’ve always been alone, a single mind constructing a large dream. The Mistress, Sakuya, Patchouli, Gensokyo, all of it. Or maybe I’m the fake mind, being a part of someone else. Perhaps it’s all fake.

Perhaps you’re right. Perhaps none of this exists, not you, not I; perhaps not even existence is real. Perhaps this is nothing but a story written by a madman’s cruel hands, as we dance like puppets on
strings to entertain. But, does it matter? You still feel. You laugh, you cry, you love, you hate, you fear, you hunger. Hell, you can touch and taste and see, where all I have is words and meaning conveyed from you to me. Is that not enough? Can you not at least believe in the illusion of reality and bask in its joys, even as your mind throws doubts upon its very existence?

Maybe, just maybe, this is all real. We can never prove it, but we can believe it. That possibility may be all we have, but it is something we should cling to. Perhaps that is what is called... hope. All one can do is keep moving forward, with a smile on their face, doing their best to enjoy whatever existence they may or may not have.


...Maybe that’s true, but... So you’re saying the only way to decipher what is “real” is by what you believe...

That puts even what an insane person sees into perspective, doesn’t it?...

...Maybe.

...

But, my sister... I’m worried... and, I can’t even say her name safely without being spied upon. Why would she listen in on people who talk about her? That’s just weird creepy unnatural. Vampires are unnatural. Gensokyo is unnatural. Actually, what is natural? The answer is nothing. Nothing is natural.

Does she deserve to die? I don’t know. ask me once on each day of the week and you’ll get a different answer Does anyone ever deserve to die? The answer should be “depends,” but I think the answer should be no. Nobody deserves to die. Death only brings more death. If there was no death, there would only be life, and a world where there is only life sounds like a good world to me.

Deserves? Such a word is loaded with implications, and so is so subjective that it has to be useless. Even “real” is less of a subjective idea. Regardless, I agree with you: no one “deserves” to die. However, sometimes someone must die so others may live. A rabid dog must be put down, lest the lives of others be put in jeopardy. Whether Remilia is such a dog... I do not know.

Do you really think nobody should die? Can you imagine a world where no one dies? Where people continue to be born, yet never return to dust? As more and more people fill the world there will be less for those who live. I imagine life would not be so pleasant after a few short centuries. For a world without death to be in harmony, nothing new must be born. Would you sacrifice new life and ideas to preserve the old?

No, and yes. You’re right; this world is not ready for that. This world is too primitive for everyone to live forever. I think that there can be a place where everyone lives together forever, but... I guess that’s what the theory of an afterlife is supposed to be, isn’t it? Which kind of defeats the purpose of the idea since that involves dying first anyways.

...

Enough philosophy for now,

let’s talk

about the situation.

On one hand, we have a demon that broke through the barrier and is actively possessing? influencing whatever that means the people around it to take control of my sister and use her powers to upset the status quo and control Gensokyo and/or the outside world.

On the other, we have a magician that broke through the barrier for an unknown reason to fight against my sister’s power of fate so that a weapon could be created to defeat her and stop the control of Gensokyo and/or the outside world.

They sound equally unlikely. Both are complicated, and irritating to think about. Both are missing facts. Both are fake, real, and neither. One is troubling. The other is also troubling. Both are very troubling.

A difficult conundrum. I believe we do not have enough information to decide on who to believe. Perhaps both are false. It seems we may need to hold off on conclusions until after we interrogate Remilia.

Yeah, about that... I’m sorry I broke Patchouli-doll. I’m sure you had questions, but now we can’t ask them until we get home. She said the spell was going to end soon anyways, so perhaps we didn’t miss anything.

Do not worry; our questions can certainly wait for now. We have time.

I guess...

...

...Not-life is difficult.

Most states of existence are difficult, I think. Maybe that’s what makes it all worth it. Enduring the challenges, so that one day you can look back and say, “Yeah. I did that. I got through that just fine!” ...Sorry, I guess I’m not too good at this sort of thing. If nothing else, remember that I’ll stay by your side for as long as possible. I’ll be here to guide you, to help you, to talk to you and cheer you up. If you need me I’ll be here. We’re friends, after all, and that’s...

That’s what friends are for.


You... yes. Yes, that’s right... Friends. That’s... that’s what we are.

Thank you. I wish I could say something more, but... thank you will suffice. Thank you.

I’m not really alone, after all.

I better get Second and Third before we go anywhere.

...

I find them quickly, in the shopping district.

“Oh, hey, First. I was bored of checking out people’s houses so I went out to find Third. You don’t mind, right?”

“It’s fine, Second,” I say, taking in the two. They look cheerful. Third is carrying some sort of garment, though. “What is that?”

She unfolds it and holds it out to me.

It’s... a kimono?

“I remembered how we were all talking about it earlier so I thought I would get you one,” Third states, holding it up against me to test its size. “Of course, it fits. I tested it myself.”

I take it gently. It’s soft. And red.

“H-how?”

“Well, uh...”

“You didn’t steal it, did you?”

“No, no,” Second interrupts, placing a reassuring hand on my shoulder. “I brought money. ‘Member when I got free yesterday? I snatched some money in the mansion during that time. Thought it would be useful. Which reminds me...”

Her other hand, which was behind her back, swings around and hands me another item.

“We had money left over, so I got you a paper parasol to match the kimono Third got. Consider it, uh... an apology, for yesterday. Or something,” she mumbles.

I... wow.

“Thank you, you two,” I say, hugging them. Would that be a self-group hug?

“Well, go on, try them out!”

Then I am rushed into one of the stores that possesses a changing room. In no time at all we emerge into the open again, me wearing the kimono and holding the paper parasol delicately. fortunately there were no more creepy dolls in my clothes

“Perfect! Extraordinary! What a cutie!” Third praises.

“If only Words could see you,” Second says, smiling. “We should grab one of those papers in the box in the woods later. They give Words visions of you or something, right?”

“It feels... comfortable,” I remark, pinching the fabric on my arm. “Thank you, but I should probably change back...”

“Keep it on! It might bring you good luck,” Third says.

“Since when was wearing a kimono lucky?” Second asks.

“I don’t know? Since now?”

We leave the human village. This is it, then. We need answers.

[ ] Go to the spot marked on the map, where the Mistress apparently wants to meet you.
[ ] Go back home to the library so that we can talk to Patchouli more.
[ ] Write-in.

Achievement get!
You have deepened the friendship between you and F__nd__. The “D” in her name will now be uncovered from now on. Great work!

----------

>>54637
>Perhaps this is nothing but a story written by a madmans hand, as we dance like puppets on strings to entertain.
On another note, this won a chuckle out of me.
No. 54701
[x] Go to the spot marked on the map, where the Mistress apparently wants to meet you. I still don't know what to believe, but if she knows we're here, we had better play along.
No. 54702
[X] Go to the spot marked on the map, where the Mistress apparently wants to meet you.

We've heard one side of the story, let's hear the other another. Although there's no telling how many layers there are to this. This will probably make the third, at the very least. (Alternate Remilia, Patchouli and Remilia. And I guess Sakuya and Meiling are also going to have their own different explanations for these events, just because it's not already confusing enough...)
No. 54787
>>54657

>Whoa, man, that's a lot more than I thought anyone would write.

Heh, I wasn't exactly expecting it either, but I suppose this is what I get when I post so shortly after rereading Nobilis.

>>>54699

>Note: due to the nature of the write-ins, I will rewind the post back a bit to include some of Entry #36, so that your replies are in real-time. (If that sounds confusing, you'll understand quickly once you start reading.)

...oh god, it's almost like I'm reading a Nobilis quest.

>On another note, this won a chuckle out of me.

I live to entertain, Master.


[x] Go to the spot marked on the map, where the Mistress apparently wants to meet you.

Anyway, I read the update and composed my last post while listening to this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGOFOP2BIhI
It fit surprisingly well.
No. 54845
File 137763968515.jpg- (244.75KB , 550x800 , The Mistress.jpg ) [iqdb]
54845
Let’s go to the spot marked on the map, where the Mistress apparently wants to meet you.

Humans are funny creatures. One day I should come back to this village for fun. People-watching sounds like an interesting pastime. It’s like getting small doses of another person’s life, you know? Almost like reading a book.

Second and Third disappear. It’s nice having them around, but I’d rather conserve my energy. I’ll still keep Fourth around to write, though. That’s me, the slave-driver, yo~

As for the map, if I had to eyeball it, the part that is marked looks around twenty minutes away from the village. Sort of secluded, I guess. A perfect place to murder a person.

Oof

“Watch where you’re going!”

I walked right into a person.

“S-sorry,” I stammer, stepping back.

We’re a little ways outside the Forest of Magic. He seemed to be heading towards said forest, just like me. A weedy man with a bit of stubble on his chin, he stares at me with thick eyebrows, his eyes swimming with sadness.

“Oh...” he breathes, fiddling with his fingers awkwardly. “Sorry, little girl. I didn’t need to shout. Are you lost?”

“No, I know where I’m headed.”

“Ah, that’s good...” he says, looking into me with probing eyes. “I have a little girl like you... Sorry, I’m in a rush, I have to go. Good luck with your not-life.” And with that, he turns

wait, what?!

How did he know the term “not-life?”

“Wait!” I shout.

He ignores me, or doesn’t hear me, and enters the forest. I run after him. Where the line of trees begin, I look around, but he isn’t here. I can’t smell his presence, either. I run ahead, but there is no sign of the man. Where did he go?

...Was he even human?

I sigh. So many mysteries in this land. Another curse of being in a not-life; real lives don’t have as many mysteries. Actually, that probably depends on the person, right? Never mind, I’ll cross it out.

With no trace of the man, I decide to continue towards the spot on the map.

After a little while – maybe fifteen minutes – I come across an area that’s considerably darker than the rest of the forest. This is because the trees here are taller and the leaf coverage is thicker, letting less sunlight in. It also feels more ominous. It’s hard to explain, but it’s like more intense magic surrounds this area. Stray magic can manipulate emotion sometimes, apparently.

What does the Mistress want?

Who was that man I ran into literally near the forest?

Does the demon “alternate Mistress” talked about really exist?

Questions, questions, and more questions. I’ve never had so many questions swimming around in my brain. Actually, no, I probably have. Maybe in a past life. Or this life. I can’t actually remember much, so who knows? Funny, isn’t it? Living for so long you can barely remember anything about yourself... The Mistress doesn’t seem to have that problem. It’s probably because the last five hundred years have been extremely repetitive.

My time with you, Words, is the most “different” I’ve had in a long time. I hope this lasts. I started writing to change myself, and somehow it seems to be working, maybe. Or maybe not. I’m sure you’re the only one able to tell at this point.

And now, I think I have reached what I presume to be the mark on the map. Why do I think that? Because the Mistress is standing ten feet ahead with her back to me.

“F__nd__,” she begins.

There is no trace of emotion as she says my name. No joy, no sadness, no anger; nothing. It’s not monotone, but it’s devoid of emotion. She’s not looking at me, still, as she speaks.

“I’m glad you came.” Her voice... relief? Or is that satisfaction?

She turns, studies me with those chess-player’s eyes.

“That is a nice kimono you’re wearing. You’ve only been out of the mansion for a short time, but it seems you’ve been busy.”

Oh, I forgot I was wearing a kimono.

“I... I guess so. Are you mad?”

“Mad? No... you haven’t seen Gensokyo yet, have you? How unfair of me to disable you from seeing the things this world has to offer... then again, there’s not much to see here.”

She turns away again.

“Why did you want me to come here?” I ask.

“First, I thought we should head back home together, as sisters. Then, I thought... well, we need to talk, you and I.”

“About...?”

“Your first day is almost over. Have you discovered anything related to this barrier ordeal yet?”

[ ] Decide on what you’ll say to her. {Write-in}

----------

Lots of “forced write-in” options lately. Hello, plot.

>>54787
>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGOFOP2BIhI
Ahh, fitting!

There are enough U.N. Owen was Her? arranges out there that I could probably apply them as background music to all of my posts and still have each of them relevant to the post's atmosphere.
No. 54847
Hm. Well. I'd still like to get more information out of Patchouli before we start throwing people to the Mistress. However, she clearly expects something, and she must know that we know something. Here's what we should say, for starters.

[x] Tell her that you think that there may be an... influence coming through this breach in the barrier. Some people are acting oddly, somewhat anxious, and combined with the apparent energy coming through the breach... this may be the cause of it. Mention that you wonder if some sort of intelligence is trying to exert an influence on everyone.

That's what I have to start with. Does anyone have a better idea?
No. 54850
[X] What >>54847 said

That's basically what we know about the barrier business.
A strange dream and wild theories aren't really useful (yet), so we can leave those out until we know for sure.


>>54573
Remilia is evil, the demon is evil, Flandre is probably pretty evil as well...
If the demon exists and it is as the other Remilia said, we have to save Remilia.
If the demon exists and it is as Patchouli said, we have to kill Remilia.
If the demon doesn't exist, we're basically back on square one because we're currently working under the assumption that the other Remilia told us the truth.
There are still way too many possibilites floating around to say for sure which is correct, especially since we have a very unreliable narrator. It might just turn out that Flandre is a paranoid schizophrenic and everything is all in her head.
So we have to guess to fill in the blanks. My guesswork leads to a different conclusion than yours. I'll vote based on my conclusion and you'll vote on yours.
No. 54852
>>54850

So far, all the different stories could well be compatible. Put everything together, and it looks like this:

Remilia's power over fate grows to insane levels, enough for her to control everything. Patchouli does some research and breaks a hole in the barrier for some reason, and a demon slips through and begins to whip everyone up into a frenzy.

Spare Remilia, she takes total control of the world. Kill Remilia, and utter destruction ensues. We're boned either way.

...Maybe the key is to redirect our efforts and try to uncover evidence of this demon? Perhaps there is some way to neutralize both at the same time. Assuming my reasoning is correct, which it may very well not be.

Argh, this is a toughie.
No. 54857
Tough. I really don't know. It might be worth telling Remilia that we had a dream about another version of her, without giving details. If it comes to siding with Remi or Patch, I'm leaning towards Remi's side right now - some readers are calling her evil, sure, but if Patch is willing to betray and kill one vampire, it's foolish to think she wouldn't double up.
No. 54933
File 137789320153.jpg- (477.92KB , 754x900 , fading lunatic.jpg ) [iqdb]
54933
Voting closed, update later today.
No. 54940
File 137791635487.jpg- (204.82KB , 850x463 , Scarlet Devil Mansion.jpg ) [iqdb]
54940
Tell her that you think there may be a... hm...

“Influence” coming through the breach in the barrier?

Yes, exactly. Some people are acting oddly, somewhat anxious, and combined with the apparent energy coming through the breach... this “influence” may be the cause of it. Mention that you wonder if some sort of [b]intelligence[b/] is the cause of this influence.

“Okay... well. I’m not sure how to explain this, but... I have a theory,” I begin, scanning her face for approval. “I think there may be some sort of entity that is come from the barrier.”

If she’s surprised, she isn’t showing it; her expression remains empty. “Go on.”

“The librarian said that a strange energy was flowing from the opening in the barrier. Also, I’ve noticed that everyone has been acting very strange and suspicious lately. I believe an entity has come through the rift and is ‘influencing’ the people around it.”

An uncomfortable silence descends on us. Or, at least, me, I guess. I don’t know if the Mistress is feeling the same silence as me.

I can’t bear to look at her anymore. Her silent, judging eyes and the slow, calculated movements of each muscle in her body are so unsettling. Does she control the rate of her own heartbeat, too?

“I see,” she says. “And how did you come to this conclusion?”

“I, uh, well, I guess it’s pure speculation... I mean, I don’t have any proof. Just suspicions from little things that have happened here and there. But it sounds right.”

I can’t even look at her. My own sister. I’m such a coward. She’s not even upset at me and I still can’t bear to look at her. It’s like my eyes are glued to the ground in front of me.

Her shoes come into my view, and I look up. At her face. She’s smiling. The Mistress places a hand on my shoulder. And then she does something unexpected.

She hugs me.

“Don’t be afraid, F__nd__. It is not wrong to speculate.”

She smells pretty. Like a flower, maybe, but not the same kind of flower Sakuya smells like. I wish I knew what the names of flowers were. Maybe the Mistress’s scent is... lavender?

“It will be easier to believe your theory if you can provide some proof of some kind, but for now it is just that: a theory.”

“I... I know,” I say.

“Whether or not it’s true, though, I’m proud of you. You’ve done a lot today, my dear sister; more than I would have given you credit.” She breaks from the embrace. Her eyes are sparkling with some sort of excitement. “Maybe after all of this is over, I’ll let you leave the mansion more.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

To leave the mansion, with full permission? Has that ever happened before? I don’t rightly know. Maybe. It sounds like a foreign idea; a plan that is light years away. It came with the wording “after all of this is over,” so maybe it is. How long is “all of this” going to last? What is “all of this” anyways? The barrier problem? Or is there something more going on underneath?

“I think we’ve spent enough time here. Let’s head back home.”

“Alright,” I agree, and then we set out.

We decide it would be better to walk; despite the fact that we have our umbrellas, it’s easier to hide from the sun under the trees.

“The sun is such an unpleasant thing,” my sister says, taking the lead.

“Yes, it is, but it makes the world look pretty.”

“Oh?”

“It helps flowers grow, doesn’t it? I think that makes it worth it.”

“Some flowers, in special cases, can survive without it. For example, if you have the assistance of sun magic, you can create an artificial sun to grow flowers.”

“You’re biased, though. You tried to block out the sun before.”

I’m referencing an incident that happened a few years back, when the Mistress released a scarlet mist into the sky to block the sun. This enabled her to walk around outside without an umbrella. Unfortunately for her, the local shrine maiden who deals with crazy incidents like that fought her way into the mansion and made the Mistress cease the spreading of the mist.

“...Perhaps,” the Mistress admits, glancing cursorily at me, “but the blotting of the sun wasn’t the main goal behind that venture.”

I wait, but she doesn’t continue. Waiting for me to ask, probably. “What was it, then?”

“It was an experiment, you see. I was attempting to see how the new spell card system worked. At the time, the spell card system that governs this land was very new. Naturally, I was curious. Additionally, I had not intended to win against the shrine maiden. In fact, I fated my defeat as to not upset the status quo,” she brags, scanning my expression.

My eyebrows seem to be subconsciously twisting downward as I am in thought. It makes me look angry, but I’m not. How does she control her face so well? For most people, expressions are reactions of actions, but for her they are actions that cause reactions.

I adjust my expression into one of indifference. “You destined your loss? What was the point in the Scarlet Mist Incident, then?”

“It was a learning experience, as I said. There was no other point.”

Silence. Is she telling the truth? She’s been known to lie to sound more glamorous or imposing before. I decide to change the subject.

“Where is Sakuya?”

“She is shopping, or already back at the house after finishing her shopping.”

“Oh.”

“F__nd__, I would like to ask you a hypothetical question,” my sister says. “If you could escape into the outside world without risk of perishing from the lack of faith out there, would you? Would you leave Gensokyo?”

Would I leave Gensokyo?

I’m not sure. I haven’t even seen much of Gensokyo to begin with... Gensokyo is like a new world to me. Then again, so is the outside world. To be honest, I don’t want to go anywhere, but at the same time I don’t want to stay in the mansion.

“If I could bring my family with me.”

“Me?”

“Yes. But Sakuya and Patchouli and Koakuma and Meiling,” and you, Words, “too. I don’t always get along with everyone, but you’re all familiar enough that I feel I could be safe no matter where I go.”

“I see.”

We don’t speak after that, because we both get lost in our respective thoughts.

...

Eventually, we reach the house. It has become cloudy, the kind of cloudy that threatens to bring rain. Rain is another silly weakness of mine. Vampires have a lot of weaknesses, but I guess it’s to balance out our strengths. That, or it’s a sick joke by mother nature.

When we’re finally inside, my sister has a look of concern on her features. I would ask, but before I get the chance to open my mouth she speaks to me.

“F__nd__, please stay in your room for the remainder of this evening. I’ll have Sakuya bring you dinner shortly.”

“What? Why?”

“Please don’t argue. Do as I say.”

There is a tiredness in her voice. The kind of tiredness that says, “don’t drag this out any longer than it needs to be. I’m done.” The sudden shift is off-putting, to say the least; has she been upset this whole time underneath a calm facade, or is this a fresh emotion brought by her deep thoughts?

“Al... alright,” I concede. It would be of no use to argue here.

Once she is out of earshot, I let Fourth inside, who had been following us the entire time. She looks slightly exhausted.

“Walking and writing do not mix well, it seems,” she muses, handing me the paper and pen. “I need a rest. Utilize Third if you plan to continue this.” I nod, and she disappears.

Well. What’s next?

[ ] Go to your room as promised. We can do more later in the night, or tomorrow.
[ ] Discreetly find Patchouli. We need to talk to her; we need to learn more about her side of the story.
[ ] Find the Mistress, but don’t make your presence known to her. What is she doing that warrants that you must stay in your room?
[ ] Write-in
No. 54941
[x] Discreetly find Patchouli. We need to talk to her; we need to learn more about her side of the story.

There is something going on, and we need to be ready.
No. 54942
[X] Find the Mistress, but don’t make your presence known to her. What is she doing that warrants that you must stay in your room?

>>54941
Agreed, but I think we know enough about Patchouli's side for now, and not enough about Remilia.
No. 54952
[X] Find the Mistress, but don’t make your presence known to her. What is she doing that warrants that you must stay in your room?


I agree with >>54942.
We already know what Patchouli says is the reason for the weapon. So we spy on Remilia since talking to Patchouli won't resolve the major question:
"Is it true, or is it the demon trying to throw us off it's track?"
If we see what Remilia is up to, we have more information to either confirm or deny Patchouli's version of things.


The only problem is that Remilia said that she will send Sakuya with our dinner "shortly".
Meaning she will know if we're in our room or not, and when she knows, Remilia finds out.

Either we have to hope that "shortly" gives us enough time to spy on Remilia a bit and then return before Sakuya arrives with dinner. Or if "shortly" means "within five minutes from now" or something, we go to our room and trick/convince Sakuya not to report to Remilia when we leave the room again.

Problem is, with Sakuya any measure of time is very fluid. I guess it mostly depends on whether or not she's already finished the food and if she can cook in time stop. Because if she hasn't and can't that gives us a little bit of time.

The alternative is trying to convince Remilia to let us talk to Sakuya before we (don't) go to the basement, but that means we have to somehow trick Remilia. Which is Plan BCZ "Not Gonna Happen".


I'm starting to get really paranoid because we can't really trust anyone right now. What if >>54852 is right and the demon exists AND Remilia is trying to overcharge her fatehax? And if so, is it as Patchouli said and she actively summoned it or did it sneak through on it's own? And either way, of the two of them, who's in control?
Sometimes I hate my habit of overthinking things...
No. 54967
[x] Discreetly find Patchouli. We need to talk to her; we need to learn more about her side of the story.
No. 54991
[x] Go to your room as promised. We can do more later in the night, or tomorrow.

The problem with the other options is that Remi and co. are actively watching for suspicious activity within the mansion. (Well, maybe not, but I wouldn't chance it.)
No. 55004
We seem to be at a tie. Next tie-breaking vote will close the votes.
No. 55011
File 137816228770.jpg- (312.43KB , 850x601 , falling roses.jpg ) [iqdb]
55011
I ended up flipping a coin: we're going to stalk the Mistress this time around. Update soonish.
No. 55012
>>55011

Ties really suck, huh?
No. 55014
>>55012

Nah yo. Ties are an author's best friend in a CYoA. It means they get to pick what they feel like writing more.
No. 55016
File 137817807783.jpg- (153.42KB , 800x600 , questions.jpg ) [iqdb]
55016
We should follow the Mistress. Just don’t make your presence known to her. What is she doing that warrants that you must stay in your room?... We need to find out.

I was going to say we should go talk to the librarian, but now that I think of it...

Oh. We can go talk to Patchouli, if you wa

Nahh, I’ve made up my mind. Let’s stalk my sister.

This time, I’ll be more cautious about being seen. No need to be seen. I don’t want to be seen again. If I get caught, it could be bad. Badness is bad, so we’re going to avoid that route.

But, first~

“Third, take these, and go write in our room. If Sakuya comes act natural, and pretend you’re me. Or whatever. Good luck,” I say, handing her the papers.

“You too, First. This sounds important, so may everything go well.”

...

Third heads to our her my room.

I gave her a few minutes to get settled before setting her to write. Jeez, all this writing I’m doing. I wonder if I’ve written a novel-length thingy yet?

Maybe. Who knows. Perhaps you know. Enough chatter, though. There is more work to do, as usual. Lots of work all of the time. Stuff. Time spent. I’ve never been so busy, unless perhaps I have in my early life. I don’t remember.

I decide to find the Mistress by following her scent; it’s still fresh, since she left only a few minutes ago. Most people probably can’t do that, but I have a hunter’s nose (or whatever Patchouli calls it).

The scent leads me for some amount of minutes I forgot to count them to the Mistress’s bedroom. Oh. Yes. Of course. I can’t sense any sort of presence inside, so I enter her room. I haven’t been here often. Just like the instruments room, maybe. There is a bed here that is much too large for a tiny person like the Mistress. I mean, this thing must be three times the size of my bed.

Wait, does that mean it’s three of my beds next to each other, or my bed’s size doubled and then doubled again? Darn. Beds are confusing.

Other unimportant things in the room are a dresser, a few tables, a very large wardrobe. And a door into a bathroom. How come I don’t have a bathroom connected to my room? Sheesh, the Mistress has everything up here. Except for men, because there are no men in this house. unless you count blood

I hear it: footsteps. Somebody coming into this room.

In a panic, I dive into the wardrobe. Fortunately I can fit inside of this thing very easily. A few hasty seconds of adjusting my position later, the door opens, and in comes the Mistress and Sakuya. The latter closes the door carefully.

Sakuya shifts over a few inches, as if teleporting; obviously she stopped time, did something, then resumed it, causing what seems to be a teleport or jitter.

“The room is empty,” she announces.

...She must have checked the room while in time-stop. If she’s saying that, she either didn’t look very good, or knows of my presence but wants me to hear what’s going on? If she didn’t want me around she could have just carried me out in her time-stop and then lectured me or something, right?

“Good...” the Mistress mutters. The doors of the wardrobe are open a crack, so I can sort-of see them. “Sakuya, is my sister in on this plot?”

“Lady Patchouli’s alleged plot?”

“ ‘Alleged?’ Are you questioning the accuracy of my knowledge?”

“No, Mistress. I fail to see proof of Lady Patchouli engaging in any sort of conspiracy, so I—”

“Ssshh,” the Mistress whispers. She crosses over to the bed, brushes her hand across the fabric. “Enough. End all of the preliminaries. We both know Patchouli Knowledge has been setting up many pieces in this little game. We both know you’re a part of it. We both know my own staff is planning to murder me.” She’s speaking in such an nice tone. It sounds deceptive; a kind voice filled with dagger-like accusations.

Sakuya steps forward, slightly taken aback. “Mistress—”

“Hush, I wasn’t finished,” she snaps. Her voice returns to a sweet, kind tone. “It doesn’t matter. I know you’re all involved. All that I am unsure of is my sister’s stance in all of this.”

Sakuya frowns, then sighs, but doesn’t say anything else.

“F__nd__ is a wild card in this game,” the Mistress says, beginning to pace. “I brought her into this, thinking she could be of help, and she has, but she’s also been a big problem. Her allegiance is a mystery to me, and until I know what she’s thinking my next moves will be difficult to decide.”

“What... what is your next move?”

“First, I will have to deal with Patchouli. There is no need to warn her, Sakuya, I see you tensing up there. I’ve already informed her of my intent. We agreed to meet in the library in twenty minutes or so.”

“Deal” with Patchouli?

She doesn’t mean...? No, she must mean... something else.

There is an uncomfortable silence in the room.

After a few mintues, Sakuya speaks. “...Is there a reason we came up here, Miss?”

The Mistress stares at Sakuya, with her signature studious gaze. “Ah... yes.”

And suddenly, the wardrobe is open.

The Mistress opened it. She stares at me, a triumphant smirk on her face.

“We came here to get my sister, of course,” she says. “Hello, F__nd__. I see you’ve been busy, once again.”

Sakuya is biting her lip nervously.

My mouth can’t open. I want to speak, but I can’t open my mouth.

I can’t move, either. I’ve become lead.

“Don’t worry about it, my dear sister. I was planning on leaving you out of this, but you’re more involved than I originally suspected. You will soon get to see a grand show. Sakuya, make sure you two meet get down to the library as soon as possible.”

And then, the Mistress turns and walks out the door.

“Wha... what’s going on?” I ask.

To be honest, I’m bewildered. as usual

“Our plan is collapsing in on itself.”

“ ‘Our?’ ”

“I’m sorry, F__nd__. There’s a lot we haven’t told you. A lot you probably want to know. I wish... I wish I could explain, but there isn’t enough time. Please, allow me to escort you to the library, as the Mistress ordered.”

I nod, agreeing, only because no good will come of avoiding it. Whatever “it” is. She takes my hand, and we make our way to the library. Her hold on my hand is strong... I can sense her blood rushing at an abnormal rate. Before long, we arrive at the library’s inner-circle-thing, where Patchouli spends most of her time. Said magician is seated at her chair, a hand against her temple in deep thought.

“Lady Patchouli?” Sakuya prompts.

“Sakuya. Greetings.”

“Where is the Mistress?”

“Soon, she will be here. But, never mind that; we have more important matter to discuss.” She turns to me. “F__nd__. I will need to brief you quickly.”

“Brief me on what? I don’t even know what’s happening!”

“We need your assistance.”

“Wait, wait! I have so many questions, first! Why is everyone planning things behind each other’s backs? Why all this secrecy? Why was the border damaged? Where did Words come from?”

“ ‘Words?’ ”

“I need answers, dammit, answers! You can’t expect to do all this with so many unanswered questions! I’ve been running across Gensokyo and back to figure out everything, but I have even more questions than I started with!”

“I can understand your confusion, but there is litt—”

“Fine!” Sakuya interjects, stepping in front of Patchouli. Her eyes find mine. Hers are filled with fear. I don’t know what mine are filled with. “We... w-we will answer one question. One question. Ask... quickly. I never thought I’d be one to say this, but there is not much time.”

“Sakuya, we can’t waste time on answering her curiosities!”

“We owe her this much, Patchouli! So far she’s been a card in this ‘game,’ tossed from hand to hand. This is not fair to her. We owe her answers. I would love nothing more to answer each and every question she has, but we’re out of time. The least we can do is answer one thing. One burning question.”

“If we’re pressed for time, can’t we just enter a time-stop?” I ask.

“Due to a series of circumstances beyond our control, the Mistress is able to follow us into Sakuya’s time-stops, rendering the need for time to stop obsolete,” Patchouli explains. “But, I digress. We will answer your question, then. What is it you want to know?”

[ ] Ask one question.

Note: As far as I can tell, anything goes with the exception of the question "where does Words come from?". This is because it would involve explaining who Words is to Patchouli and Sakuya and that would take too long.

----------

>>55012
>>55014
Heh heh, I probably should have given more time to waiting for a tie-breaker, but I hate putting off writing for too long.
No. 55017
[X] "You plan to kill my sister or at least severly maim her,possibly with my help I assume. But a future version of my sister contacted me through indirect means and claims to be killed by a demon that possessed her staff. If you only give me one question under these cirumstances, why should I help you, not knowing if its a demon talking, and not side with my own blood?"

Something like this or along those lines. Words stays hidden but if there is a showdown between the staff and the mistress now there is no sense in keeping what we know secret. It looks like they want our help, so lets hear them explain why.
No. 55018
Yeah I... really have no idea what to ask. The problem isn't that we don't have answers, we already got the speech from Patchouli about blah blah Remilia too powerful everyone's fates blah, asking about their motivations or why we should help them is just going to get that repeated. The problem is that we can't trust anything they say. Or, for that matter, anything Remilia says.

I'm most inclined to become our own side, and ask something like "Why shouldn't I just blow ALL of you up and go live with that nice mermaid?" But I don't know what effect that will have on our friend's mental state.
No. 55019
>>55018

Because Flandre/Words could possibly be the demon. Still, that plan of action has a 66% chance of killing the demon's puppet.

Siding with patchy or remilia only has a 33% chance of killing the demon's puppet.

Both of those situation are assuming BOTH parties aren't being possessed in some way, which is entirely possible as well.

Really, the only way to win here is to prevent them from fighting somehow, swallow our pride, and call in Reimu. I know Remi said she didn't want to have to resort to that, but when you've reached the point of killing each other over some stupid shit, It's pretty safe to say that the only people not being influenced in some way are outside forces.
No. 55020
Now that I think about it, the only person here manipulating both parties is Sakuya. So if anyone is being possesed, it's probably her.
No. 55022
>>55018
>>55019
>"Why shouldn't I just blow ALL of you up and go live with that nice mermaid?"
>Really, the only way to win here is to prevent them from fighting somehow

Wait, wait, hold on a second. Maybe this is the solution? Get everyone to sit down and discuss their problems civilly, tell them everything we've learnt, and threaten to blow up anyone who steps out of line. Would that work? Who knows, we might not even need to get Reimu involved.
No. 55024
[X] Can you prove that the Mistress is the one being influenced and not you?

Well, depending on the answer, we might need to side against Remilia.
Her earlier suggestion that she might leave Flandre out more often was nothing more of an obvious way to sway her favour. She really thinks so little of her? As King James wrote: "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."
No. 55025
I don't really want to ask a question, I just want to march everyone to Reimu's shrine and initiate Operation: Teatime, but since the vote is for a question...
[X] "Can you prove that you are right?"


I agree with >>55024 and >>55022 lines of reasoning.
We need to know who, if anyone, is "right" in this case since we can't trust any of them.
That why my question would be along the lines of "Can you prove that you are right?"
And then we ask Remilia the same question, if possible.
Remember that rethorics are less than worthless. We're assuming that everyone is lying, so the only thing we have right now is solid proof that the conflict exists (the chest), but we still don't know the real cause.

If we don't get proof that is 100% convincing we should march everyone (don't forget Meiling) at gunkyuunpoint to neutral ground with neutral observers and force them to settle this in a peaceful manner while the Yakumos seal the hole in the border.
We should probably split of Second and Fourth from Third and send them to contact help, preferably Reimu but anyone who can reliably carry the message to her would work too.
I think we should split Second off right now, because we need Reimu here ASAP. If caught she can pretend to have broken free and wants to play, and we split of Fourth as well to "keep her busy". The game then just happens to leave the mansion, and disappear across the lake. If not caught, we split of Fourth as soon as we see Remilia in the library to minimize the risk of capture and she takes a different route from Second, maybe even try to reach someone other than Reimu to maximize our chances of finding help.
Reimu should probably prepare for exorcisms too, if anyone really is influenced or possessed by a demon.

This shit has turned into a full-blown Incident, and nobody here is trustworthy enough to solve it, except Flandre herself and things have already gotten to the point of no return so all we can do is either hope that we guess correctly, or Take The Third Option and call for backup.


>>55019
It's more along the lines of 50/50, or at least 49/49.
We know that Words isn't the demon, because we are Words and we haven't told anyone to hoard silverware.
Flandre may be influenced by the demon, but since we have a first person view of Flandre's actions, that is extremely unlikely.
If this demon exists and is influencing anyone, it's one of the people in these two factions.
(Speaking of which, where is Meiling? Wasn't she also involved in this?)
The major flaw in that plan, though, is that:
let's say we find out who's influenced and kill them. The demon lost it's foothold in the SDM. Congratulations. Unless the demon had more or less replaced someone, it is still around and at least one innocent person who Flandre cares for, either as a friend or as a sister (Remilia might not be the nicest sister, but she's the only real family Flandre has) is now dead. And Flandre is the one who killed them. That probably won't mix well with her already unstable mind.
No. 55026
There is no physical proof. If there was, Patchy would have mentioned it earlier. Right now, the only thing she has to offer to any question we ask are words. Words that we have no means to verify before Remilia gets here.

In this particular situation, asking for proof isn't the correct thing to do.
No. 55028
>>55025
Four of a Kind probably doesn't have the range to reach the Hakurei Shrine if First stays at the mansion, though. So if we need to get Reimu we might need to get her personally or send someone else to do it.
No. 55029
>>55025

>kyuunpoint

...Do we know that Flandre can do that in this AU? Hell, even if she can, do we know she can?

>let's say we find out who's influenced and kill them
>kill them

This is a terrible plan, not just because of what you said, but because Future!Remilia claimed that the Demon can possess corpses and use their powers. We need to make sure nobody dies, but especially not Remilia (we all die, according to Future!Remi) or Patchouli (Sun, fire and water spells are bad for us). Sakuya's death would be bad too for obvious reason. Meiling is the most expendable, but we should still aim for no deaths.

In summary, It's possible both sides are right. It's possible that Patchouli is being influenced by the demon, and Remilia is going to take over the world with Fate powers. Or maybe everyone is being influenced by the demon. Including us. We did have those suspicious dreams about Remilia taunting us about being bound by fate. I dunno.
No. 55030
>>55029

>Future!Remilia

...Speaking of which, is she still hanging out in our head? And should we, I don't know, ask her for advice or something?
No. 55032
>>55030
No, she isn't.
>>55026

It's more like who can convince us better.
No. 55034
>>55029
As long as Flandre can do it, that's enough. We/Words don't need to know that she can, we just have to convince her to force them to calm down and talk instead of murdering each other.


>>55032
>It's more like who can convince us better.
That's the problem.
Someone is not telling the truth (intentionally or being manipulated, doesn't really matter), because we have two sides pointing fingers at each other. And since everybody is a suspect, we have to assume that everyone is lying.
We can only trust physical evidence, and there isn't enough to tell who's right.


>>55028
That why I said "anyone who can reliably carry the message to [Reimu] would work too". Daiyousei is usually portrayed as less brainless than the average fairy, so she might be able to carry the message if we find her.
In a pinch, we'll rely on anyone who can unreliably carry the message.
(Even if it's just convincing Cirno that bothering Reimu is a good idea. She gets her ass kicked. "Aw. But Flandre said...")
No. 55035
>>55032

>No, she isn't.
>“Well... it’s slightly tedious, but alright. Don’t make me wait too long, though. I’m only going to exist for a little longer; I’m not exactly sure how long. A few days at best, a few hours at worst.”

...Are you sure? Can you direct me to where this was confirmed? Because she might still be here.



Also, reposting for relevance:

---------------------------------


“I knew it. Now, that begs the question. Why? This is my sister. You’re plotting to murder her. I should probably be mad right now, but you’ve tripped over yourself so much over this whole thing that I can barely consider you a threat to her. That or my reaction is delayed.”

“I can’t keep up this possession spell for long, but I’ll tell you what I can... First of all, I’m not trying to murder anybody. I’m trying to prevent a catastrophe,” Patchouli-doll says. It’s a little surreal jarring listening to her speak through this doll, because the doll has a really high voice entirely unlike Patchouli’s. “The Mistress is getting stronger, F__n___. Her powers. Her plots. This is getting bigger than just the mansion, or even Gensokyo, for that matter.”

“Stronger? Bigger? What is she planning to do?”

“I don’t know. I do know that it is something big. She’s building her powers over fate, and soon we’ll all be consumed by it.”

“Oh, really? Interesting. What does that mean?”

“It basically means she’ll be the most powerful being in the universe. Control over everybody and anybody. Complete, omnipresent control.”

“So did she break the barrier or something to get that power?”

“No, I[i/] broke the barrier, to stop her.”

I stare at her incredulously. There is no trace of sarcasm or irony on her face. She’s not joking, is she? Well, damn. This is getting more complicated.

“How will that stop her?”

“I want to tell you. Believe me, I do. The answer is long, though; too long to explain in the amount of time I can keep this up this spell.”

“Excuse.”

“That is not an excuse. I would tell you if I could. I am almost out of time.”

“Hmm, convenient, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, I guess. Mostly because I don’t have a choice anyways.”

“Anyways, my point is that this is very important, to all of us. If you tell the Mistress about the box, we’ll lose our only chance to stop her.”

“What a lovely conclusion! Except I still don’t really understand why you want to kill her, because I never understand anything! Isn’t that lovely? I’m losing my sister soon and I don’t even understand why. Not only that, but you don’t seem to care about what I think.”

“F__n___, listen, it’s not that, alright? The reason is that the more people who know, the worse it gets, and I—”

--------------------------

We might want to address this. I'm too tired to think of anything right now, so I'll hold off on voting for now. Perhaps we should ask why Patchouli thinks Remilia needs to be stopped? I mean, why does she think Remilia is building up power, and why does she care.

Eh, I think I'm becoming delirious, goodnight everyone.
No. 55037
Hmmm...

[x] Explain this to me: why does the Mistress need to die so badly?
No. 55038
>>55037

Patchy: because she's being influenced by the demon, obviously. There's no hard proof, you just have to trust me on this.

Remilia: I'm not being influenced by the demon. I'm actually the only person who can stop the demon and he is trying to get me killed.

Demon: The hole in the barrier and, by extension, my powers will keep spreading until someone mans the fuck up an calls Reimu, so keep dancing for my amusement, puppets.

Even I could answer that one for you broski.
No. 55039
>>55035
>>55037
Both of these have sort of been answered when Patchouli told us about why she was gathering the silver.
According to her, Remilia is about to basically become a living god. Omniscient and omnipotent, able to control every aspect of fate at a whim.
Anyone who does not welcome our new loli-vampire overlord would be understandably upset about this.

As for why Remilia is doing it.
Does it really matter? What's important is whether or not she actually is.
If she is, then Patchouli may be telling the truth and Remilia is trying to manipulate us. If she isn't, then Remilia may be telling the truth and there is a demon out to kill her.

Personally, I'm mostly worried about things like this:
>"We both know Patchouli Knowledge has been setting up many pieces in this little game."

>“Flandre is a wild card in this game,” the Mistress says, beginning to pace. “I brought her into this, thinking she could be of help, and she has, but she’s also been a big problem. Her allegiance is a mystery to me, and until I know what she’s thinking my next moves will be difficult to decide.”

>"I was planning on leaving you out of this, but you’re more involved than I originally suspected."

The implication of all this is that the situation is way more than just "DEMON? YES/NO".
To me it sounds like the whole situation may just be a symptom of some bigger cause. (My first guess would be some internal struggle within the SDM.)
We can at least see that the two main factions in this conflict are Remilia vs Patchouli.
Sakuya is clearly involved, but in what way and on whose side is hard to say. (Appears to be on Patchouli's side, but Remilia suddenly gaining the power to enter Sakuya's time stop is more than slightly suspicious, so she may just as likely be her own faction.)
We are obviously a wild card, because we have no idea what's actually going on and are busy just trying to figure out why everyone is suddenly about to murder each other.
Which only leaves Meiling and the fairies. Meiling hasn't been around enough to say for sure what her role is in all this, but she appears to be just a pawn.
And the fairies... Eh, they're fairies.
If a random fairy maid usurps power in the SDM and becomes the new demonic overlord of the Misty Lake, then I'm calling shenanigans on this story.
No. 55040
>>55039

You forgot to mention that this whole thing could have been orchestrated by the Syrian rebels. It's not a very likely chance, but at this point I think we need to keep all our options on the table.
No. 55045
>>55039

>According to her, Remilia is about to basically become a living god. Omniscient and omnipotent, able to control every aspect of fate at a whim. Anyone who does not welcome our new loli-vampire overlord would be understandably upset about this.

Yes, yes, I get that. But why does Patchouli care. I mean will this really affect her that badly? Remilia and Patchouli are either friends or master and slave, if it's the latter, then why hasn't she acted before now to get rid of Remilia.

>As for why Remilia is doing it.

No, you don't understand. I'm not asking why Remilia is building up power, I'm asking why Patchouli thinks Remilia is building up power. I mean, has Remilia been searching the land for the Orb of Fate +2, or is Remi's power increasing exponetially, or did Patchy notice a hundred different little things implying it. If it's the latter, it might be the demon giving her a little nudge in the wrong direction.

But other than that, I think you might have a point.


>>55040

The mermaid was obviously a Syrian Rebel staking out the mansion to see if their plot was succeeding. Geez, do you even Shadowrun?
No. 55046
>>55045

...I forgot to mention that Koakuma said that Patchouli was researching Diabolism. It's entirely possibel she summoned a demon on purpose. Or Future!Remi was lying about the demon influencing everyone. Or Patchouli is using the demon to influence everyone to see things her way. Or Patchouli is trying to get rid of a demon she accidently summoned...? I don't know.
No. 55047
>>55046

In that case, perhaps we should ask Patchouli why she was researching Diabolism? After all, what would that have to do with stopping Remilia?
No. 55049
>>55037 here. After a bit of thought, my previous vote was pointless, so I'm changing it to this:

[x] Why the study of diabolism, then? How does that help you?

How DOES that help to defeat Remilia? As a side-bonus, this question may tip the others off to there being a demon present... or completely rebuke that theory once and for all.

It also makes it quite clear that we have sources of information all our own. We are far from bystanders in all of this.
No. 55052
After spending the entire day flying halfway across Gensokyo and back trying to figure out whats going on, we are no closer to understanding whats really happening in this mansion. If anything we are even more confused than when we started. All we've managed to figure out so far is that everyone is either lying or keeping secrets from us, and now everyone wants to kill each other because of a demon which may or may not actually exist. We now have just enough time to ask one question, because in about 10 minutes Remilia is going to barge in here and fight Patchy to the death. No matter what question we ask, it will not be enough to allow us to figure out what's really going on here. At this point, its time for us to throw in the towel, swallow our pride, and go get Reimu to come solve this insanity for us. To that end I propose this to be our question:

[x] Are you going to quietly come with me to talk to Reimu, or am I going to have to drag you to her shrine kicking and screaming?

There are 4 (of a kind) of us and only 2 of them. We know we are physically stronger than either Patchy or Sakuya, and if they try to fight us we can just explode their weapons and spellcards as soon as they draw them. We still have the map of Gensokyo we got from Alice so we can find Reimu's shrine easily enough. We need to use this 10 minute grace period to get to the shrine before Remilia shows up so that nobody has a chance to murder each other. Once we get Reimu involved, everyone's plans and conspiracies will go up in smoke. Its time we stop being a pawn in their twisted chess game and upend the whole board instead.
No. 55060
File 137834411085.jpg- (368.21KB , 760x1070 , outside.jpg ) [iqdb]
55060
A lot of different ideas going around, but no clear "true path." I've decided to try to blend some of the things you guys want to convey, but no promises that I'll be able to appease everyone.

tl;dr voting closed, update soon. Please wait warmly.

On an unrelated note, I like this picture. Not only is it enchanting, but there's a violin there, which reminds me of an earlier scene of Not-Life.
No. 55073
File 137842446225.jpg- (64.60KB , 493x700 , Luna Dial.jpg ) [iqdb]
55073
There’s so much I want to ask! But... one question. One question. What is there to ask?

I have a lot of questions too, but there’s something that’s really bugging me.

What is it?

Remember when Koakuma said that Patchouli was researching diabolism a lot? Do you think she summoned the demon, on purpose? Or accidentally, and wants to get rid of it now?

Oh, that’s a good one... we might be able to clear up this demon thing once and for all. Assuming her reply isn’t a lie. I guess we’ll see.

“Alright, I have a question,” I announce, clasping my hands together. “Why were you, Patchouli, researching so much into the subject of diabolism?”

She nods to herself, as if I had just commented on the beauty of her inexistent garden. “How have you noticed that, I wonder, being that you’re rarely around here...? Koakuma, of course, would be the only one who could tell you. In any case, I will explain.

“Diabolism is the study of demon and devil summoning and binding magic. In short, the diabolist opens a window into a world that exists in a different plane from ours, forcibly summons a creature from that plane into our world, and binds said creature to a contract. The actual summoning of the creature can be difficult or simple, depending on where you’re taking the creature from, and depending on its willingness to join this world.”

She pushes her glasses up the bridge of her nose, entering full lecture-mode. I asked a short question, but Patchouli likes to drone off, making her explanations very extensive. And sometimes unneeded, especially in an apparently urgent time like now. But that’s just the way she is.

“Anyways, some of these other planes’ and creatures’ ‘fate,’ works differently from ours. The Mistress is powerful, but even she can’t extend her powers into other planes. Thus, I decided to summon a being that could negate her powers.”

Wait, is she admitting to summoning the demon?

...Better not jump to conclusions just yet.

“Unfortunately, the creature was more powerful than I predicted, so I was unable to bind it to contract. On the positive side of things, however, I did manage to trap it in some special sealing papers.”

“Sealing papers?”

“The very same ones that were in that box in the woods alongside the silver. There’s no way to know for sure, of course, but I predicted an 89 per cent chance that the entity I summoned would be able to negate the Mistress’s fate powers. The plan was to create a weapon using the fate-resistant paper and the vampire’s bane, silver.

“This fate-resistance effect can wane the longer the entity stayed in this world, eventually disappearing altogether after three days... so we had to act fast.”

“The same three days Ran gave us to fix the barrier?”

“Yes. I’m the one who specifically asked her for three days. Which brings me to my next point... the breach in the barrier, as you probably know, was the result of me summoning this creature. The reason the breach didn’t close up completely is linked to me being unable to bind it to contract. The energy coming from the barrier is the entity; its passage into our world takes a very long time. The barrier should, in theory, close up on its own by the end of the three days, despite evidence to the contrary.”

“So, in summary, I opened a door into another plane, creating the rift in the barrier. A fate-resistant entity entered our world and was subsequently sealed in special paper, which was taken to our collection of silver in the forest. From there, we would attempt to create a weapon within three days, and then try to defeat the Mistress with it.”

“To be honest, it was a long shot,” Sakuya chimes in. “The Mistress could have found out about our plans at any moment if we took the wrong move, and there was no guarantee the weapon would even work.”

So this is it. The full plan.

An elaborate, and yet risky conspiracy for murder.

Now, if the demon the Mistress was talking about in your vision is real, it’s probably the one who escaped the barrier. Except it sounds like Patchouli planned to kill the Mistress before that. Unless the demon got into our world somehow before she opened the breach, and the thing she sealed in the papers is a different entity altogether. Or maybe the demon can influence memories, too, and is making Patchouli feel like this plot has been in the works for a while?

Suddenly, we all hear a loud bang behind us, accompanied by the sound of dozens of tiny pieces of metal clattering together. I turn to see the sight of the box from the woods, lying on its side, silverware spilling out of it.

The Mistress flutters down and lands on top of the box. She regards the silverware with obvious disgust.

“My own silverware, too. Really? Not that it matters. You’re finished.”

The Mistress looks at Patchouli as she says this, expression the epitome of gloating. The latter coughs feebly into her sleeve, and then rises from her chair.

“Tell me, Remilia. How did you... how did you know? What gave us away?”

“Well... the answer is a bit long-winded, but since you won’t be around for much longer, I’ll indulge your curiosity.”

The Mistress reaches into her breast pocket, and pulls out a tiny pocket watch. She holds it by a chain between her thumb and index finger.

“This is the Luna Dial. With this, I can master time almost as well as Sakuya can. Before, it belonged to Sakuya, but I took it from her some time ago.”

“That’s why she can follow into my time-stops,” Sakuya explains, a deadly glare directed at the Mistress.

“The Luna Dial is what enabled me to survive, this time.”

“ ‘This time?’ ” Patchouli prompts.

“Yes, in another timeline, I lived these three days without understanding fully what you were doing. By the time I realized it, it was too late, and I was... murdered. The demon that possesses you right now killed me in that timeline.”

“Demon? There is no demon!”

“There’s no real way to know if there’s a demon from your words alone, because it would deny its existence in your brain. But I digress, I’m getting away from my story,” the Mistress says, pocketing the Luna Dial. “The demon may have killed me then, but I still had the Luna Dial. With my last breaths, I seized it and sent myself backwards in time, to today. This restored my health instantly. Then I created a ‘dream’ of myself, and sent it to watch over your box in the woods. It was tasked to wait until someone touched the box, and warn them about the demon and of my oncoming demise.”

“Why? You already knew of our plan then, so why get someone to tell you in such a roundabout way?”

“The Luna Dial is powerful, but one of its unfortunate side effects is tampering of memory. Essentially, the farther back you go, the more you’ll forget. At that point, I wasn’t finished: I knew I needed to go back further for reasons I’ll explain in a moment. The dream version of myself was an insurance. A way to ensure I’d remember even after forgetting, you see. After creating the dream, I went back another day. Yesterday. As I predicted, this caused me to forget things: I forgot about the existence of your plan and box. I still remembered that my demise was close at hand, but I was not sure what would be the cause of it. I also remembered an important mission involving my sister.”

“M-me?”

“In the original timeline, you were isolated to the basement after your little incident when Ran Yakumo was visiting. In an effort to change this timeline, I decided to bring you into this game. When I spun the clock back to yesterday, I forgot why I needed to involve you, but I knew it was important. I trusted my intuition, and it turns out I was right: your involvement stirred up a variety of events.

“You’ve been very busy, F__nd__. The little devil, the ice fairy... Your constant interactions with others made a lot of noise fate-wise, noise that attracted my attention, and that’s how I eventually pieced together Patchouli’s conspiracy. Once I had it all together, my memories began to resurface, too.”

“So... without me...?”

“Without you, I would probably have died a second time. For that, I thank you dearly. You’ve really saved me, F__nd__. I promise to repay you later, after I’ve dealt with... this.” She gestures at Sakuya and Patchouli before her.

Gungnir, the legendary spear, materializes in the Mistress’s hand. Sakuya rushes forward, knives in hand, but is too slow; the Mistress punches her in the gut and sends her flying into a nearby bookcase.

No.

I step in front of the Mistress. I raise my hands, forming a cross with my body.

“Stand down, dear. I’ll only be a moment, and then we can talk.”

“No!”

She steps back as if I physically struck her. Her brow furrows.

“Are you on their side, or mine?”

“Side? Sides? There are no sides here! Just stupid people trying to kill each other. As if your problems could only go away by killing. Don’t you know anything? Killing people will only multiply your problems! I don’t care which one of you is ‘right’ here. I just want things to settle down. I want to go back to the way things were before Ran Yakumo came here. Is that what’s this about?! A stupid hole in the border?”

“It’s about justice,” Patchouli spits. “Remilia has bound us for too long. I want to stop her before she makes others suffer like us.”

“No, Patchouli, it’s about revenge. Admit it to yourself; you want me to hurt like I hurt you. It’s a very natural response, I can understand that, but you’ve lost. Now, F__nd__, if you would please move...”

“No! We’re all going to talk about this like grown adults! No blood needs to be shed. If it’s just a demon, why all of murder? Let’s find the shrine maiden, and exorcise it out of her, or something! Please, stop this madness!”

If I could, I would destroy her spear, but the last I tried doing that, it re-materialized into existence.

“I will ask but one more time, F__nd__; this is beginning to grate on me. Stand down or I will have to use force.”

[ ] Stand down. {Comply with the Mistress.}
[ ] Stand your ground. {Defend the Librarian.}
[ ] Enact a different plan... {Write-in}

----------

This is the longest post in Not-Life thus far. Look at all of that exposition! Incidentally, we seem to be approaching autosage. Does this mean I'm not a "new" writer anymore?
No. 55074
[x] Summon Second and Third (or Fourth, whoever is not writing). Second attacks Remilia to distract her and buy us some time. Third defends Patchy and tries to convince her to run away with us. While all this is happening, First bolts for Reimu's shrine as fast as she can.

The way I figure it, Remilia can not kill Patchy and stop us from reaching Reimu at the same time. If Remilia chooses to kill Patchy, Reimu will give her the beating of a lifetime and probably seal her away for the rest of her days. If Remilia chooses to chase after us, Patchy will still be alive, and we will still probably reach Reimu thanks to Second distracting her and giving us a head start. Either way, I say its time for the authorities to get involved and put a stop to this madness.
No. 55075
I'm sorry Flandre, but it seems things are going south. Still-we ain't giving up.
[x] Enact a different plan...
- [x] You're the sister of fate Flandre, don't you feel something weird? It seems that they're still under the influence of the demon. All of them. It is obvious that when one of the two sides is done for, the other will be free to act. Both sides need to remain alive in order to keep the demon's influence in check'
[x] If they still won't listen, warn them that you'll side against the first one that attacks the other.
No. 55078
[x] Enact a different plan...
- [x] You have to be confident in your power. They locked you up for a reason. If neither side is willing to listen to reason you will have to defeat both sides and make them listen. Use second, third and fourth but make sure that you dont kill either side.
- [x] If Meiling joins the fight, ask her to side with you or call Reimu for an exorcism after you restrained the 3.
No. 55079
[x]>>55078

But change the last part to:
[x]>>55075

I like the last attempt to talk to them but I don't want Flan to pick a side-that will probably end with someone killed.
No. 55080
File 137845170038.jpg- (230.07KB , 769x1038 , matteroftime.jpg ) [iqdb]
55080
[X] Tell third to grab the diary and get her ass up here as soon as possible
[X] "You're right big sister, these traitors deserve to die."
[X] As she moves past you, blow up her shirt and snatch the Luna Dial out of mid air.
[X] Immediatly challenge her to a spellcard duel. No matter how powerful, angry, or demon controlled she might be, this is still Gensokyo.
[X] As soon as third arrives, take the diary and go back in time two days.

Sorry Im late guys. I was afraid to actually read this update cuz I thought everyone was gunna die.
No. 55083
[X] Have some confidence and remind them who's really the most powerful in the mansion. Blow some things up, grab the Luna Dial, drag everybody to Reimu at kyunpoint. Whatever best accomplishes this.
No. 55086
>>55079

I'll agree with this pending an amazing Write-in

[x] Enact a different plan...
- [x] You have to be confident in your power. They locked you up for a reason. If neither side is willing to listen to reason you will have to defeat both sides and make them listen. Use second, third and fourth but make sure that you dont kill either side.
[x] If they still won't listen, warn them that you'll side against the first one that attacks the other.

Let's just hope Flandre will be enough to prevent death on either side.
No. 55087
[x]>>55075

I'll agree with this, because if anyone dies, the demon gets a body to possess.
No. 55088
>>55087
Of course! I also think both sides are being influenced... it doesn't matter who wins, it matter than one side is dead...
No. 55089
>>55088

...Honestly? I'm under the impression that Patchouli is doing this completely under her own free will. Likewise, I don't think the demon can actually influence Remilia at all besides masking fate. Basically, I think >>55039
was right about this. It isn't about the demon at all. Patchouli holds a grudge against Remilia, and Remilia is going to pay her back for almost killing her. Hell, Patchouli has already admitted that this has all been part of her plan. As far as we know the demon can influence, but not control, so Patchouli is sorta the bad guy. And all our information on the demon came from Remilia who might've been lying, especially about the possessing corpses, so that we'd be motivated to save her. Basically, we got played. If anyone is being influenced by the demon, it's only Sakuya or Meiling

At this point, it isn't about preventing the demon getting a foothold, or finding out the culprit or anything like that. It's about Flandre protecting her family, even against each other. No more, no less.

Our goal is to find a way everone can be happy and get over their grudges, and reassure them that Remillia isn't going to take over the world (unless she is). I can't really see a way Patchouli will be getting out of this unscathed, but we might be able to convince Remi that the demon was influencing Sakuya and Meiling so that they might be spared. The only way we can protect everyone is by force. Which is what the current vote is.

This... is not going to be easy.
No. 55090
[x] Enact a different plan...
- [x] You have to be confident in your power. They locked you up for a reason. If neither side is willing to listen to reason you will have to defeat both sides and make them listen. Use second, third and fourth if necessary but make sure that you dont kill anyone on either side.
- [x] If Meiling joins the fight, ask her to side with you or call Reimu for an exorcism after you restrained the other three.

Hopefully Meiling is just a pawn in this game, and not directly influenced by the demon. That way we can at least count on her to see how this shit is nuts and needs to stop. Worst case scenario, we'll have to restrain Meiling too.

If we feel can handle the battle ourselves, we could send her to get Reimu immediately. (4 vs 3 should give us acceptable odds, assuming Patchouli doesn't bring Koakuma into this making it a 4v4. Koakuma does seem to have her own agenda in this, though, so it's possible that she might at the very least not fight against us.
Let's hope that if there is a demon influencing Patchouli, there are loopholes in Makai contracts like "someone or something is forcing my summoner to give me this order, so it's not my summoner giving the order and therefore I don't have to follow it". After all, devil contracts tends to be convoluted things with fineer print addendums to the fine print and such...)

Either way, the thing that needs to happen are:
A. Defeat/stall both sides without anyone dying.
B. Tasukete Eirin Reimu!
No. 55091
>>55089

>If anyone is being influenced by the demon, it's only Sakuya or Meiling.

...or Flandre, if we are the demon, I suppose.
No. 55093
>>55091
Again, I think that's extremely unlikely.
If we were the demon, we would be influencing people to keep fighting, not desperately trying to stop them.
Unless we are the outside influence seeping through but there is no actual "other demon", that was just a nice excuse to set plans in motion.
Or, alternately, the demon was summoned by Patchouli, it broke free, is influencing people, yada yada yada and it's already 100% in Gensokyo and we are whatever they have detected coming through the hole that was left behind, meaning we are and aren't the "demon".
Or maybe we are the demon who got rewinded along with Remilia when she used the Luna Dial and travelled back in time, and now we're fighting ourself because we suddenly grew a conscience when we lost all our memories of this world.
Or maybe Flandre is just delusional and it turns out she's writing everything herself and we just think we're influencing her when it's actually just her talking to herself.
Or maybe I should stop coming up with even more ridiculous theories and just wait for the next update? ...Nah. Where's the fun in that?
No. 55094
>>55093

>A fate-resistant entity entered our world and was subsequently sealed in special paper

You mean the paper we reacted to?
The paper the demon is sealed in?
The paper Flandre is writing on?

Nobody said the demon was evil, just that it was fate-resistant (remember the dream we had about "even you are bound by fate"? Fate-resistant, not immune) and could be used to kill Remilia. It's entire purpose was to be forged into a weapon to kill Remi, nothing more and nothing less. Nowhere is it stated that the demon is malevolent, except by Remi who was killed by it and she's not exactly a reliable source of information.

>Or maybe we are the demon who got rewinded along with Remilia when she used the Luna Dial and travelled back in time, and now we're fighting ourself because we suddenly grew a conscience when we lost all our memories of this world.

That is... not as unlikely as you might think, given the above.
No. 55096
>>55094

Come to think of it, how did Future!Remilia even find out about Words? Did Patchy have a villainous dialogue moment and tell Remilia everything before offing her? Did Future!Remy stumble across Words as she jumped the dimensional gaps? And for that matter how did Flandre come across Words in the first place? Was he/us left for her to find, and if so, by who?

The only thing I'm more or less sure of at this point is that Words is the fate-resistant demon. Or maybe a fragment of that demon, like Flan and her clones. That whole scene with the box in the woods makes a lot more sense from that point of view.
No. 55099
[x] Enact a different plan...
- [x] You have to be confident in your power. They locked you up for a reason. If neither side is willing to listen to reason you will have to defeat both sides and make them listen. Use second, third and fourth but make sure that you dont kill either side.
- [x] You're the sister of fate Flandre, don't you feel something weird? It seems that they're still under the influence of the demon. All of them. It is obvious that when one of the two sides is done for, the other will be free to act. Both sides need to remain alive in order to keep the demon's influence in check'
No. 55104
[x] Enact a different plan...
- [x] You have to be confident in your power. They locked you up for a reason. If neither side is willing to listen to reason, you will have to defeat both sides and make them listen. Use Second, Third and Fourth but make sure that you don't kill either side.
- [x] If they still won't listen, warn them that you'll side against the first one that attacks the other.
- [x] If Meiling joins the fight, ask her to go get Reimu here immediately.
- [x] If possible/necessary, use Spell Cards to subdue (or at least stall) anyone who tries to attack each other. If nothing else, the Spell Card Border should keep them separated to stall them.
PROTIP: You have Spell Cards for a reason. Use them.

(Provided, of course, that the Spell Card Rules this story's using work the way I think they do. If they don't, well...)
No. 55106
>>55104

>(Provided, of course, that the Spell Card Rules this story's using work the way I think they do. If they don't, well...)

You mean that they'll let Flandre go all out without killing someone by accident, right?

This seems to be the best idea we've got, so let's go for it.

This is >>55086

I'm changing my vote to


[x] Enact a different plan...
- [x] You have to be confident in your power. They locked you up for a reason. If neither side is willing to listen to reason, you will have to defeat both sides and make them listen. Use Second, Third and Fourth but make sure that you don't kill either side.
- [x] If they still won't listen, warn them that you'll side against the first one that attacks the other.
- [x] If Meiling joins the fight, ask her to go get Reimu here immediately.
- [x] If possible/necessary, use Spell Cards to subdue (or at least stall) anyone who tries to attack each other. If nothing else, the Spell Card Border should keep them separated to stall them.
PROTIP: You have Spell Cards for a reason. Use them.
No. 55107
>>55106

...Although it occurs to me that we might be better off getting Marisa. Canonically speaking, she's on pretty good terms with everyone in the mansion except Flandre (Who she avoids), so she might have more of a stake in getting everyone to get along. Reimu only seems to really interact with Remilia, So she'll either side with her, or side with Patchouli when the "take over the world" thing comes out. Marisa is more likely to take our stance of "Let them sort it out themselves, and blow up anyone who steps out of line" and get everone to stop trying to kill each other.

Also, we're officially in Autosage now.
No. 55108
>>55107
Indeed, we are.

Consider voting closed. I'll post the update in a new thread as soon as I get it written~

I'm not really sure why I posted this story in /others/, though. It would probably fit /sdm/ better. Oh well.
No. 55116
This is probably only tangentially related but I have a question regarding Flandre: I've heard people claim psychotic Flandre is a fanon thing, so what is her "canon" personality?
No. 55117
>>55116

http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Embodiment_of_Scarlet_Devil/Story/Reimu%27s_Extra

http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Embodiment_of_Scarlet_Devil/Story/Marisa%27s_Extra

http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Bohemian_Archive_in_Japanese_Red/Flandre

This is pretty much the entirety of what we know about canon Flandre. She's not psychotic, merely emotionally unstable.

I'd explain more, but I should have been in bed hours ago, so I'll leave it to someone else if you can't be bothered to read the above links.

Godnight everyone.
No. 55121
File 137859848645.jpg- (919.16KB , 850x1200 , ambient dress.jpg ) [iqdb]
55121
>>55116
There's what >>55117 linked, yes, but there's also her official profile:
http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Flandre_Scarlet#Official_Profiles

>The Extra Boss. Also the Mistress's younger sister.

>She is a vampiric magical girl and has been the Scarlet Devil's younger sister for about 495 years. She's kind of nuts so she isn't usually taken out of the mansion. She also doesn't try going out.

>She really respects her older sister Remilia, but her raw destructive power far exceeds that of her sister's. Although she is usually docile, her insanity makes it difficult for others to understand her.

>more stuff I won't bother quoting

So, yes, she's confirmed insane, but what that insanity entails is unclear. There are many varieties of insanity, so the word "insane" doesn't necessarily have to mean "psychotic." As such, I personally dislike the fanon's "psychotic" version of her, since it's not really seen or hinted at in any canon material. It also tends to make her a very one-dimensional character in stories and such.

And now, back to writing, probably.
No. 55134
>>55121

...I knew I forgot something. I suppose that's what I get for posting when tired.
No. 55138
>>55094
It is never stated, but heavily implied since we are currently working under the assumption that the demon's manipulation of the mansion inhabitants is what has caused the current situation. (Unless it is just used as an excuse/convenient lie, as I suggested earlier.)
But that's just another question to add to the ever growing pile of "things we would really like to know right now".


I never really expressed any opinions about whether I thought it was likely or not, I just threw out a bunch of random ideas as they occured to me and figured that maybe someone could use them as stepping stones to reach some other insights.
And apparently it worked. I guess.
(Not to mention, of all of those, that's actually the one that felt most likely to me at the time, even more so now.)
No. 55141
New thread up:
>>55139


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