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53442 No. 53442
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(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aY8vOpIXGYE)

Somehow, irresistibly, my eyes are drawn to Eiki after flicking over to Parsee for a moment.

Eiki.

We'd hit it off right from the get-go, hadn't we? When I woke up after being knocked senseless by Hatate, she was there, caring for me. Throughout this whole thing, Eiki has been there, remaining calm despite the impossible situation we found ourselves in. A beacon of strength for me, I have to admit. Despite her obvious fear, she managed to hold her self together and be a valuable ally. A valuable friend.

After a moment, I find myself walking over to where the Yama of Xanadu is considering the titles arrayed on the shelves, a slight frown creasing her features. I notice briefly that Parsee is rubbing her forehead with a confused expression on her face, but in the next moment I'm standing next to the slender judge herself.

She really does have nice legs, you know.

...And she smells nice, at that. Is it because she just exerted herself? Well, now isn't the time for such thoughts.

"Find anything interesting?" I ask her quietly.

Eiki raises an eyebrow. "Well, 'interesting' is one word for it," she says. Turning to me, Eiki holds up two of the films she had been looking at. Both of them fairly well-known pornographic exploits.

I consider the movies for a moment before giving Eiki a placid expression. "I never knew you were into such things, O Lady Judge," I say with a straight face.

Eiki's face twitches. "Alfred? I'm very good at disciplining my subordinate, Don't make me demonstrate those skills on you."

"Funny you should mention that," I remark, "But to the best of my knowledge, one of these films delves rather deeply into the subject of discipline. A certain subset of our guests find it very... thrilling."

Eiki stares at the movies and wrinkles her nose. "...And you have to deal with such people on a regular basis?"

"Regrettably," I sigh. "Deal with, serve, avoid like the plague when they get drunk and, god forbid, frisky. I assure you, there's nothing as disturbing as a woman old enough to be your mother making suggestive comments to you while constantly glancing at a scene of depravity on the television." I shudder at the memory.

Eiki's giggles a bit. "True story?"

"Yes," I groan. "Fortunately, Eric got me out of there in a flash and reassigned me to kitchen duty. I refused to go out again until that group of guests was gone. I had nightmares about it for days."

"You know, most of us here are old enough to be your ancestor," Eiki points up with an amused smile.

I consider this for a moment. "You're remarkably well-preserved," I tell her.

Eiki laughs. "Maybe. I suppose I can take that as a compliment. Anyway, you're forced to deal with depravity on a regular basis are you?" I nod in response, and Eiki snorts. "Welcome to my world, Alfred."

"Ah," I nod in understanding. "The souls you must judge. I can only imagine what deeds you must bear witness to on a regular basis."

"To hell with the souls, I mean Komachi," Eiki grunts. "I mean, that woman never stops."

"...She can't be THAT bad," I protest.

"I wouldn't call her a pervert exactly, but she's certainly more liberal than I'm comfortable with." Eiki sighs once again. "That woman is constantly filling my ears with some new perversion. Honestly, I think she only does it to get a rise out of me. I really can't see her doing some of the things she recommends."

"Perhaps she's just trying to be a friend and get you to lighten up?" I suggest. "Offer you an extreme possibility to get you to agree to something lesser?"

Eiki blinks at this. "Well... maybe," she admits. "I mean, there were times Komachi would pester me to go drinking with her, and I'd turn her down, saying that I had work. Then she'd come back fifteen minutes later and suggest we go to some of her favorite clubs... the ones with topless men... and I'd go to one of the tamer bars just to get her off of my back." The judge blinks for a moment. "Huh. Maybe she's more clever than I though..."

"And a better friend than you give her credit for," I note. "In fact, It seems that every other word out of your mouth is something about this Komachi. One would almost think that there was something more between you two." I smirk a little bit as I say this.

Eiki just stares back with an unimpressed expression before holding one of the films out at arms' length. In one smooth motion she releases it, then suddenly kicks upward with a powerful straight kick. The movie case goes flying across the room, bounces off the wall, and lands perfectly in a trash can. Lyrica gives an impressed whistle.

"...You know, I could charge you for damaging mansion property, Miss Eiki," I say calmly, quietly impressed. Powerless or not, the woman has some serious power in those legs.

"Bill me," Eiki says flatly. "It looked puerile anyway. Now then, did you get the little message there, Alfred?" There's a sweet smile on the judge's face.

I consider for a moment. "You're serious about being capable of literally kicking my butlery behind?" I suggest. Eiki nods sweetly. "Ergo I should stop making embarrassing comments towards you?" Eiki nods again with an even sweeter expression upon her face. "Alas, it seems that my dreams will be lonely tonight." I sigh in mock despair.

"Kindly keep them that way," Eiki says with an amused tone of voice. "Honestly, can't a woman have a good female friend without men thinking 'lesbian' as soon as hearing about it?"

"Absolutely," I say with a smile, "But it certainly improved your mood, didn't it now?"

Eiki smiles back at me. "It did. You have a knack for that, don't you? But I'd almost say that you were cheering yourself up at the same time, Alfred."

I shrug innocently. "What can I say? Talking to you improves my mood." Eiki blushes at this, and I suddenly realize what I have just said. But after a moment, I admit to myself that it's true. "After all," I continue, "You've been supporting me constantly since the start of this whole thing. I can rely on you, and that's something I appreciate."

"Rely on a powerless Yama?" Eiki laughs bitterly. "An ancient nag that people want to avoid like an infectious disease? Alfred, you're the one who's been carrying us through all of this. I've just been along for the ride, as it were."

"With an analytical mind and an inner strength that I admire," I tell her quietly. "To say nothing of your genuine compassion and desire to help. Don't dismiss yourself, Eiki. I, for one, am very glad to have met you. It's a bright light in what has been a very dark night for me." I glance out the window at the black sky. "Literally."

Eiki just stares at me for a moment before quietly putting the movie back on its shelf... and then leaning in to me in a surprisingly vulnerable gesture. Concerned, I put my arms around the slender woman as she holds me tightly. "Eiki?" I prod her.

The Yama takes a deep, shuddering breath. "Inner strength? You must be joking. I've been scared out of my mind ever since I lost my powers. After millennia of being a judge of souls, I lose my strength and suddenly start to fly apart at the seams. I'm... frightened, Alfred. And I hate being scared like this. I just want to go back to my normal life, and I hate that such thoughts are the first thing on my mind."

"We've been through that before," I say quietly, "And there's no shame in it."

"I know," Eiki nods in my arms. "I do know that. But Alfred, I've been following your lead this whole time. You've always seemed to know what to do, and I find that... encouraging. Reassuring. You've been a source of strength for me." The slender woman gazes up at me. "...But you don't have to put on a show for us all the time, you know?"

I take a deep breath, and as I exhale my butler's facade slips away. "...Is it really that obvious?"

Eiki smiles tenderly. "You've let yourself slip more than once," she says. "I can tell. You're putting on such a strong front for us... when you're probably more frightened than anyone else here."

I hesitate. "Of course I'm frightened, Eiki. The rest of you are used to supernatural occurrences. You have experience in battle. I don't. I've been running on adrenaline, and forcing myself to act like my grandfather just to stay sane."

Eiki considers. "And would your grandfather have charged a pack of monsters screaming bloody murder?"

I laugh. "Wouldn't put it past the old man."

Another giggle is her response. "That was really inspiring, you know," Eiki murmurs. "For a moment, I wasn't afraid at all. I felt strong, like I could accomplish anything. I owe that to you." She squeezes me tightly. "We're all afraid, Alfred. You've been our strength all this time. Go ahead and rely on us too, okay?"

"I already have," I say as I squeeze back, remembering their ferocity in battle. "I'm glad I met all of you." I ponder for a moment and then look back down at Eiki. "You know, you've never really told me much about yourself. You job, your home, your subordinate, yes... but what about you? What makes you tick, Madame Shiki? What interests do you have?"

Eiki looks up at me thoughtfully for a moment, then breaks our hug and takes a step back. Without warning, Eiki suddenly moves into a short series of graceful motions, ending with a twirl that causes her skirt to fly up tantalizingly high. It's a startling sign of new depths to the officious woman. Eiki just shrugs at my surprised expression. "I like to dance," she says quietly. "I don't get to do it often, but it's how I relax, whenever I get the opportunity. Not a lot of people know that."

"...I wouldn't mind seeing that some time," I admit.

Eiki smiles at me. "I almost jumped up and joined Iku and Hina when they started their performance earlier. It feels like a lifetime ago."

"I'm sorry you didn't," I confess, mind wandering. What does Eiki like to dance in? In what environment? What would it be like, to paint an image of her, locked in a peaceful dance? To be able to watch her, putting the vision before me onto canvas? I can almost imagine the paints that I would use...

I suddenly realize that I'm staring at Eiki's gorgeous legs.

"You're leering," Eiki scolds, a smile and slight blush on her face. She doesn't look the least bit put-off by it.

"It's art appreciation," I scoff. Those legs really do look sculpted by a master craftsman.

Eiki shrugs, looking a bit pleased. "I was a statue before ascending to godhood, after all. I suppose I can take that as a compliment." Eiki twirls in place once more, and I watch as the muscles in her legs work. "You know, one time Komachi talked me into wearing a leather miniskirt. I was embarrassed as all hell... but damn if it didn't work for me."

It's a tantalizing mental image, I have to admit. "I'm sorry I didn't get to see that," I say with a raised eyebrow.

"I'll bet," Eiki laughs, "You've been staring at these things all night!" She pats her legs for emphasis.

"Damned right I have," I say proudly, "And I'll probably keep doing so. Provided you don't damn me to hell, that is."

Eiki seems to ponder this, smiling a bit smugly. "...We'll see," she says finally. After a moment,the two of us start laughing. I feel like my mood has drastically improved.



[ ] Go ahead and say something to/ask something of Eiki.
No. 53445
Posting so you guys can get creative with the rap again. Was fun last night.
>>/blue/18095

[ ]Lead Eiki into ballroom dancing. No music, just Alfred taking the lead and waltzing her around the room to his invisible beat
No. 53446
Alfred you suave bastard. I can feel the sexual tension here.

Just needs a bit more.
No. 53449
[X] You said you were initially a statue? If you don't mind , I'm really curious about your past.
No. 53451
[X] You said you were initially a statue? If you don't mind , I'm really curious about your past.
No. 53453
[x] So, how does a statue become a Goddess exactly?
No. 53454
[X] You said you were initially a statue? If you don't mind , I'm really curious about your past.
[X] What form of dance do you prefer?
-[X] I would really love to paint you as you dance, should the opportunity arise.
[X] KISS HER YOU FOOL!

As someone who voted for Parsee, her confused expression there was like a kick to the head. Keine or Satori involvement too?

Then again, Eiki was a close second so I'm still fine with the way things are going.
No. 53455
>>53454
Man, I voted for Eiki and that still hurt.
No. 53456
>>53445

Fool! Trying to do romance while this isn't over? That's a death flag right there!
No. 53457
>>53456
Maybe that's Keymaster's whole plan?
No. 53459
[X] You said you were initially a statue? If you don't mind , I'm really curious about your past.

>I notice briefly that Parsee is rubbing her forehead with a confused expression on her face

Haha you are a heartless monster KM.
No. 53462
[X] You said you were initially a statue? If you don't mind, I'm really curious about your past.
-[X] How does a statue become a goddess exactly?
[X] What form of dance do you prefer?
-[X] I would really love to paint you as you dance, should the opportunity arise.
[X] KISS HER YOU FOOL!

Of course this has to end with them being the only two left when they defeat the "killer", and they stare off into the sunrise, with some sombre line about the night's events.
And then they hold hands. TOO LEWD! R18! GB2 TO /at/!
No. 53463
[x] You said you were initially a statue? If you don't mind, I'm really curious about your past.
-[x] How does a statue become a goddess exactly?
[x] What form of dance do you prefer?
-[x] I would really love to paint you as you dance, should the opportunity arise.

I can get behind this.
No. 53465
[X] You said you were initially a statue? If you don't mind , I'm really curious about your past.
[X] What form of dance do you prefer?
-[X] I would really love to paint you as you dance, should the opportunity arise.
[X] KISS HER YOU FOOL!

Well...
No. 53472
[x] You said you were initially a statue? If you don't mind , I'm really curious about your past.
[x] What form of dance do you prefer?
-[x] I would really love to paint you as you dance, should the opportunity arise.
[x] KISS HER YOU FOOL!

Go for the Kiss you fool!
No. 53481
[X] You said you were initially a statue? If you don't mind , I'm really curious about your past.
[X] What form of dance do you prefer?
-[X] I would really love to paint you as you dance, should the opportunity arise.
No. 53488
[X] You said you were initially a statue? If you don't mind , I'm really curious about your past.
[X] What form of dance do you prefer?
-[X] I would really love to paint you as you dance, should the opportunity arise.

Kissing seems a bit too sudden. And death flag.
No. 53490
[x] You said you were initially a statue? If you don't mind , I'm really curious about your past.
[x] What form of dance do you prefer?
-[x] I would really love to paint you as you dance, should the opportunity arise.

Parsee... ;..;
No. 53503
Mmmkay, some good questions to work with! Vote called, update later.
No. 53509
>>53503
Waiting warmly.

In the meantime, here's an epileptic tree.
This is all just a "murder mystery weekend" blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda and EVERYONE, except the "targets" are in on it. Yukari obviously, Tenshi to manipulate the weather, Yuugi to take away everyone's powers ("control over supernatural phenomena" and all that), Nitori to set up the Kappa tech, Komachi for the stretchy hallways, Aya to snatch people, and so on...
But here's the real tweest. The actual mastermind isn't a bored Yukari.
It's Komachi, and the whole thing was a setup just to get Eiki laid while the other guests/targets are there to make it seem real. If we had chosen another route, the mastermind would have been someone related to them instead.

Yeah, no.. That's starting to sound ridiculous even by my standards. Never mind.
No. 53510
>>53509
It is feasible, but I find that actual murders would be a valid response to that situation. To say the fucking least.
No. 53511
File 137607724888.jpg- (840.03KB , 800x1230 , a relaxing companion.jpg ) [iqdb]
53511
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RxfjsoHNG4)

As our laughter subsides, I find myself pondering Eiki even further. "A statue," I muse out loud.

Eiki nods, still smiling. "A statue. It's true."

I take a long moment to take in Eiki's figure. She's slender, but still has feminine curves, with a modest bust, delicate yet strong features, and of course spending her amazing legs. Which I spend more than a few moments checking out. "If that's the case, I wish I could thank the individual who carved you," I remark.

Eiki rolls her eyes again. "Laying it on thick, are we? You know, being an official of the heavenly courts, I could take offense at such a brash attitude."

"...Are you?" I inquire with a smirk.

"I said 'could,'" Eiki reminds me, preening a little bit. "After all, a lady does like to be appreciated from time to time." Saying this, Eiki leans against the film cabinet, rather deliberately stretching her longs, flawless legs out.

I takes me a moment to realize that I'm staring.

"Stop that," I scold her.

"Nope," Eiki quips back, smirking like the Chesire Cat. "...Do you actually want me to?"

"...No," I admit. Seriously, if this woman started life as a statue of all things, how exactly did she get so life-like? And silky-soft looking? Tearing my eyes away from Eiki's fabulous features, I force myself to look into her amused eyes. Her clear, crystal-blue eyes in a delicate face...

Damn. Legs aren't this woman's only nice feature, not by a long shot.

"So, how exactly does a statue go from standing in a courtyard to judging the souls of the dead. While looking like anything but cold stone, at that?"

Eiki shrugs. "Quite simply, I was once a statue in a temple courtyard. People prayed to me as an intermediary to the heavens. Over time, I gathered so much faith that I awakened as I divine being myself. Now, people weren't praying to me directly; I was simply an intermediary. This caused the celestial bureaucracy to recruit me into their ranks."

"Celestial bureaucracy?" I ask, trying to wrap my mind around the concept.

Eiki hesitates. "It's a long story," she finally says. "Explaining it all could take weeks, especially when I get into matters involving jurisdiction and different faiths. Let me just summarize by saying that the heavens DO exist, and that despite what naysayers may believe, we DO care about the common man. And people who sin DO pay for their crimes; no one gets away on a technicality."

I nod slowly. "That's... somewhat reassuring," I admit.

Eiki shrugs, smiling. "We've had a long time to get our priorities straight, and we're a lot more adaptable than most people think. But anyway, it was into this apparatus that I was inducted. With my skills, I quickly rose through the ranks until I reached the position of Yama. That's the short version, but it about sums things up."

"And now you judge souls, complain about lazy subordinates, and shamelessly flirt with innocent young butlers," I comment.

Eiki snorts and nudges me in the side. "Who's flirting, now, mister 'work of art?' Are you saying you want me to wear a longer skirt, then?"

"That would be tragic," I sigh. "Fortunately for me, you have little chance to change your wardrobe."

With apparent innocence, Eiki runs her hands across her legs, making a sound like silk on satin. It actually sends a bit of a shiver up my spine. "Well, I suppose I can withstand your attention for a little while longer," she says idly.

"How kind of you," I wryly respond.

"I do try to look out for people," Eiki says back with a wink. "Are you complaining?"

"Far from it," I laugh. "So, that's the truncated version, then? What about the full version?"

Eiki ponders for a moment. "Well, meeting Komachi for the first time was certainly an experience. As was meeting with delegates from various different faiths. Sadly, it's a very long story, and we have not the time for it right now." Eiki sighs, appearing genuinely regretful.

"...If possible, I'd like to hear it in full sometime," I say quietly.

Eiki blushes, but doesn't look at me. "...I think I can manage something like that," she murmurs back.

For a moment, neither of us say anything, only enjoying one another's company and the relative quiet. It honestly feels like the storm is losing some of its intensity. I have to admit, just sitting near Eiki is... relaxing. Like being with a fellow professional who knows the importance of letting go of your position for a while and just being a person.

Hell, that's exactly what this is.

"What sort of dance do you prefer?" I ask all of a sudden.

"Hm?" Eiki looks up at me; it seems that she was on the verge of dozing off.

"You mentioned that you like dancing. I was just curious as to what type you preferred."

"Hmmm." Eiki mulls it over. "I like all kinds, really. But I generally prefer gentle, flowing dances. Like a ballroom dance over tap-dancing for instance. I just find it meditative and relaxing."

I nod. That's about the mental image I had. I really wish that we had the time and room; I wouldn't mind taking her out for a spin on the dance floor. Pity the ballroom might as well be a million miles away at this point.

Eiki coughs. "Though... there was this one time that Komachi got me very drunk and... got me to pole dance."

This takes a moment to sink in.

"What?!" I yelp, startling the others in the room. My head whips over to face Eiki, who his hunkering down with an embarrassed expression, face nearly tomato-red.

"It's true," Eiki says quietly. "According to Komachi, I was pretty good at it. I remember the whole thing, including just how drunk it was." She pauses. "After Komachi said that, it took me three hours to calm down and stop chasing her. She was laughing the whole time. I was about ready to cave her damned skull in."

I suddenly start laughing. It's just too much. After a moment, Eiki joins me, and we just stand there, laughing like loons. The other guests roll their eyes and go back to whatever they were doing (save Parsee, who seems to be lost in some sort of internal meditation).

Eventually, the two of us regain our senses and just relax there, enjoying our mutual companionship. After a moment, Eiki leans her head against my shoulder. "This is nice," she comments.

"Hm?" I ask.

"Just this. Standing around and talking. Laughing together. I... don't do this nearly enough. Probably due to my position. It's just nice to be able to let it go for a while, you know? Let it go and just be myself with someone." She sighs contentedly.

"And I'm doing it without being paid," I crack.

Eiki giggles. "There is that," she admits, "And maybe... this is the sort of thing that I wanted all along." The two of us fall silent once more, just enjoying the moment. After a little while, our hands slip into one another's and hold on tightly. It feels natural, somehow.

"I'd like to paint you dancing some day," I say quietly.

"Huh?!" Eiki jumps at this comment and stares up at me, shocked.

"Once I get better at it," I amend. "It would... be a good challenge, I think. Capturing you on canvas like that. I think I'd enjoy it, however the painting turned out."

Eiki is silent for a moment, then squeezes my hand. "I wouldn't mind being your muse," she murmurs so that only I can here. "Maybe... one day?" I nod, feeling something warm inside. It's something to aspire to, at the very least. For the sake of doing this woman justice, I need to get better at my chosen craft.

The results will be worth it.

A polite cough jars us both from our private moment. "Sorry to interrupt your little flirt-fest," Parsee says dryly.

Eiki and I both leap away from each other, looking chagrined. Parsee just rolls her eyes in response.

"Ah, sorry, we were just, uh..." In one inglorious moment, all of my training and experience fails me, and I am left there sputtering, lost for words. My only consolation is that Eiki is no better off than I am, mouth opening and closing like a fish, desperately trying to find something to say.

But Parsee simply waves us off. "Forget it. I was lost in my own little world too." The bridge guardian hesitates, looking confused, then shakes it off. "Well, I was thinking about something, anyway. But then I heard a noise." Her ears twitch, and Parsee is suddenly very, very tense. "Something's coming our way. We need to-"

And then the hallway door bursts open.

And they come.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsMj63cunRA&list=PL663AAD73DC8B43F5)

The creatures from before. But many, many more of them. Long and gangly, with long arms ending in claws. Bodies made from debris and the swirling back-purple stuff, eyes studded throughout their bodies. Purple eyes, sweeping around in panic; cold yellow eyes glaring at us. They come through the door to the hall, slowly, inexorably. The come from the door to the gameroom, from the crawlspace to the hidden passage. The walls of the room twist and bulge outward, and they begin to rip out, or perhaps form, from there as well.

They are everywhere.

[ ] Fight through them.
[ ] Stand your ground.
[ ] Retreat.
No. 53513
Welp. The goatmen are here.

Fighting them all sounds kind of hopeless, but we have nowhere to go-not that I know of. We don't know where the true culprits are.

[x] Stand your ground.
No. 53514
>>53511
Just for clarification; if the things are coming from everywhere, is there actually anywhere to go for the "retreat" option?
Some doorway, passage or even window that ISN'T full of them?
Otherwise it's just backing into a corner, which never helps.
No. 53515
>>53514

Retreat means to find SOMETHING to use to escape without fighting, even if it's going through the windows.
No. 53516
>>53515
Okay thanks.
(Why do I get the feeling that that would end with someone heroically holding them off so everyone else can escape?)

[X]Stand your ground

Because at some point you just get tired of fleeing. Even if it means that you might all die here, enough is enough. Better to all go down fighting together than being picked off one by one.


>>53510
And the best part.
If Parsee had won the vote the mastermind would have to be someone related to her. Since she has no friends, no acquaintances, no penpals, no nothing, the mastermind for Parsee route would have to be Parsee. Isn't multiple personalities fun?
No. 53517
[x] Stand your ground.
>>53516
Yeah, retreat sounds too much like "Run! I'll hold them off!"
I do want some western style close-up, and harmonica.
No. 53519
[X] Stand your ground.
No. 53520
[X] Retreat.

There are way more here than we can deal with, we gotta leave.
No. 53521
[X] Stand your ground.
No. 53524
>Retreat means to find SOMETHING to use to escape without fighting, even if it's going through the windows.

You know that due to the panic and chaos that everyone will get lost and half of the rest will get caught/killed. Then he will end up somewhere even worse off and all alone.

[x] Stand your ground.

Enough of that shit. Even if they have no powers they still know how to fight and hold the ground. Running away is just what will cause the most harm here.
No. 53530
[x] Fight through them. 

No more hiding. Time for these aresholes to be the victims. Carve a path into victory!
No. 53533
[x] Fight through them.
I'd rather get somewhere where it's possible to restrict the number of them able to come at the group simultaneously.

>three mentions of something of some sort going on with Parsee
This isn't foreshadowing at all.
Go away, Paranoia! I'm tired of you hanging around constantly.
No. 53534
[x] Fight through them.
No. 53535
[X] Stand your ground.

TONIGHT! WE DINE IN OLD HELL!
No. 53536
>>53533
Do you deny that you aren't secretly a Communist and/or unregistered mutant, Citizen?

Yeah, that might lead to... Interesting things.
No. 53537
>>53536
I'm pretty sure my clearance isn't even high enough to be a filthy Commie or know if I'm a mutant.
No. 53543
Mai Hime end. Calling it now.
No. 53544
>>53543
TV or DVD? One is less everything's-okay-yay than the other.
No. 53559
File 137614740067.jpg- (11.25KB , 259x194 , images.jpg ) [iqdb]
53559
[x ] Stand your ground.

Gettin real tired of your shit, scary shadow creatures.
No. 53561
File 13761480491.jpg- (176.47KB , 850x659 , unto the very end.jpg ) [iqdb]
53561
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVGfPG6gsYE)

I grit my teeth and ready my hatchet, stepping forward to meet them. Beside me, Eiki and Parsee make themselves ready as well, hefting axe and crowbar respectively. Yumeko immediately falls into a combat stance, poker raised and ready. Suika stand in the path of the oncoming tide, a large knife in each hand. Lyrica springs to her feet and accepts a butcher's cleaver that Parsee passes to her. We are ready.

They are many. And they don't slow down.

One of the monsters lurches up to me, raising its claw to slash at me. I step into the blow, bringing my hatchet down on what passes for a head on the thing. It cuts in deep, feeling like I'm hacking into clay. With a follow-up kick, the entity goes flying down to the ground, trampled underfoot by its fellows. Three step up to take its place.

Parsee is shouting her rage at the oncoming monsters, axe hacking left and right. She manages to take down two of them when one lashes out at her with a clawed hand. Jerking back, Parsee manages to avoid a heavy blow, but her sleeve still receives a massive rip as razor-sharp claws catch on it. It doesn't faze the woman in the slightest, who instead drives her axe into her assailant's body.

Eiki glares at the oncoming horde with fierce concentration. A claw lashes out at her, and she ducks beneath, rising up again to crush the arm with her crowbar. Another attack, and she dodges again, counterattacking once more. With absolute concentration, the Yama reads her opponents' strikes, retaliating for the most damage.

Yumeko is a blur of activity, dancing through the strikes and striking back with a dizzying blur of thrusts and strikes. Before her, the creatures fall back, press forward, and are driven back yet again. One by one they fall, brought low by a multitude of strikes.

Suika is screaming, her eyes blazing at she lashes out wildly with her knives, tearing deep wounds in anything that comes near her. Still, the things seem to have no concept of fear or pain, and simply push in closer, only to be torn apart by a flurry of blows. This, then, is what an angry Oni is in battle: a blur of wrath and bloodlust. I can only imagine the destruction she would cause with all of her strength intact.

Lyrica holds her position as best as she can, teeth gritted and cleaver held in a two-handed grip. Her strategy is to hack at any limb that reaches for her, which is keeping her safe for the time being. Her courage is admirable; in the face of this devilish tide, she stand firm, unwilling to give an inch.

We fight as though our lives depend on it. Maybe they do.

We fight hard, and take down many of the creatures that lurch towards us, slow and awkward.

It isn't enough.

There are just too many, and they absolutely do not stop, not for anything. Where one falls, four more spring up to take its place. It's a battle of attrition, an oncoming wall of eyes and claws which slowly overruns our position.

Lyrica is the first to fall. Her cleaver lodges in the arm of one of the monsters and is pulled away. Moments later, one of the things simply falls on top of her, pinning her to the ground as she screams in despair. Several other beings follow suit, and Lyrica is suddenly hidden under a blanket of otherworldly monsters.

Suika hears Lyrica call out, and tries to rush to her side, cutting and thrusting, desperately hacking her way through anything that stands in her way. She gets close to Lyrica when one of the many-eyed abominations throws its arms around her in a bear-hug. Snarling, Suika stabs it wildly, causing it to disintegrate, but another is behind it. And another. And another. Suika falls just as Lyrica did before her.

They keep coming from all sides, an endless wave of monsters. Yumeko dashes from side to side, trying to hold back as many as she can, but it simply isn't enough. Eiki, Parsee and I have our hands full as the unending tide closes in on us. My arms are getting tired. I can hear Parsee and Eiki gasp for breath.

It won't be long now.

Yumeko pauses long enough to cast a desperate look back at us, directed at Parsee. There's a brief moment where the two blonde women lock eyes, some unspoken communication traveling between them. Then Yumeko is back into the thick of things, lashing about her left and right, fighting with a desperate intensity.

Parsee suddenly breaks off from us, dashing off to the side to grab a chair, which she hefts through the air and hurls into a window, shattering it. With her axe, she clears the frame of any remaining shards of glass.

I barely notice this, as I am frantically hacking away with my hatchet, trying to keep away no less than five of my assailants. Behind them, I watch as Yumeko goes down under a pack of the creatures, lashing away even as she is brought to the ground. All of a sudden, I see a claw reaching out for me, ready to wrap around my face...

And then a strong hand grasps the back of my jacket, pulling me away and to safety. In a sudden movement, I am picked up and thrown out the window, onto the grass outside and into the pouring rain. It takes a moment for my brain to catch up to what has happened, and when it does Eiki is suddenly tossed unceremoniously onto me. Moments later, Parsee leaps over the two of us, landing on the ground and spinning to face the shattered window, axe in hand.

"Get up!" she shouts, and Eiki and I spring to our feet, weapons ready to face any monsters that come to follow us.

We stand there in the rain for a full minute. Nothing pursues us. After a moment, I carefully creep forward, my companions flanking me. Carefully, we peer through the window.

Devastation. Damaged walls, overturned furniture, and ruined flooring. Nothing else. No sign of any monsters. No sign of our friends. Nothing.

Feeling numb, I turn to face the others. Parsee isn't looking me in the face, and Eiki's face is twisted in frustration. Finally, the Yama throws her arms around me, seeking comfort in a tight hug. I return the embrace in full, trying to fight back tears.

"It's not fair," I hiss as the rain slackens off. "We were doing so well. We fought and beat that sonuvabitch..."

"I know," Eiki murmurs in a soothing voice, pulling my head down to rest on my shoulder. "I know. We let our guard down, and we paid for it. But against something like that, there's nothing we could have done. You know that."

My body shudders with anger and grief. "We don't even know what happened to them," I choke out, "We don't know if they're all right. Dammit, I don't know what to do..."

"We stay calm," Eiki tells me firmly, "We know that whoever this is has a limited amount of power to bring to bear. This might have tired them out. They may be vulnerable. Right now, we need to regroup, and go after them while they're still weak."

Her voice is even, strong. It brings me courage just listening to her speak. I take a deep breath, inhaling her pleasant, flowery scent. There's a noticeable tang of sweat underneath it. Eiki smells like a combination of a garden, and heavy exertion. It's... kind of sexy, really.

"You're right," I manage, then repeat myself in a stronger voice. "You're right. They may to trying to fight their way free even now. We have to-"

"Guys," Parsee interrupts, her voice loud but somehow stunned. "Look up. Right now." We do so.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jce3Frxot9s)

...The first thing I notice is that the storm has suddenly stopped. There is no thunder, no lightning, no rain. As a matter of fact, there isn't much of anything. About thirty feet from the mansion, the ground just stops. Beyond it is... something. I can't quite call it nothing, but I have only so many words to describe it.

The mansion, and the ground surrounding it, are hovering in some sort of purple-black haze. Floating within this haze are innumerable purple eyes. These eyes stare around wildly; some stare in obvious panic, some are squeezed tight as though trying to shut out the world, while others are twisted into what looks like sorrow or pain. Most of them seem damp, as though on the verge of tears that they are unable to shed. Distantly, I hear feminine sobbing, a voice wracked by fear, despair, and agony.

It sounds like Yukari,



[ ] What do you do?
No. 53563
[X]- Call out to Yukari

Whoever the hell this guy is, he apparently has the ability to take over other touhou's powers.

If we're in a gap, maybe Yukari will hear and give us at least a hint.
No. 53564
Well this is horrifying.
I actually have no idea what to do now.
No. 53566
[X] Find Yukari
-[X]Calm/comfort her, if necessary.

Assuming the eyes are representative of how Yukari feels (not to mention the crying), she is likely afraid, hurt and possibly panicking.
Meaning she basically needs someone to hold her and tell her things will be okay until she can calm down.

I have no idea if things actually will be okay, but when dealing with someone who is scared or hurt it's important to at least appear like you know what you're doing.

Once she's calmed down, she can probably lead us towards the resolution of this mystery.
She was after all the first one to disappear, so she should at least be able to tell us what happened when she was taken, and then we can move on from there.

Inb4 we find only about half of Yukari and this really is murder weekend from hell, and we're all gonna die.
No. 53572
[X] Call out to/seek Yukari

I...I don't have any idea about what we're facing now.
Yukari managed to gap the entire mansion, it must be tiring as hell for her right now, and we have no idea where she is and in what state she's currently (she could actually be dead for all we know and this a resurgence.)

Good, flapping my arms at nothing; I love this story.
No. 53574
[x] Call out to/seek Yukari

This should do.
No. 53575
Are you guys nuts? This is a trap and you are walking straight into it. It would be better to investigate the surrounding instead of going straight towards the voice.
No. 53578
>>53575
So basically just add "[X]And be careful, it could be a trap" to the vote?

Besides, what surroundings? We have thirty feet of lawn before it's Gap-land, and I don't think exploring an endless void of eyes will help that much.

Right now, the only thing we have to go on is the sound of her crying. It's either that or just ignore a friend in need and... What? Climb back in through the window and hunker down for round 2?

I doubt they'd just blithely wander into a trap while searching for her, either.
"Find Yukari" doesn't mean "la la la la la-oh hello, I will now walk up to you without thinking and oh no it was a trap, silly me".
No. 53582
Yeah. Either this is the antagonist (one of the antagonists?), in which case staying away would be best, things are proceeding exactly as planned for Yukari, in which case dull unamusement is probably the correct response (but not very befitting the mood at the moment), or else there is actually something wrong with Yukari and we'd better do our best to help. Actually, we'd better do our best to help regardless - whatever we're up against at least hasn't tried to imitate its victims before, so we can't really assume it's the antagonist(s) and aside from vague rumours of a reputation for trolling we have no reason to assume Yukari would set something like this up. Ergo, it's probably her and she probably has a reason for not sounding too good.

[X] Call out to/seek Yukari
No. 53583
Paralysed with indecision.
No. 53589
File 13761783342.jpg- (125.24KB , 850x1133 , agony.jpg ) [iqdb]
53589
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0o_ayNKrPY&list=PLE9883EFAB1E32F9F)

For a moment all that I can do is stare out at the swirling void, stunned. I listen to the sounds of Yukari's familiar voice, choking out pained sobs, and I feel my heart be tugged by them. What could have possibly happened to her?

"Yukari..." Eiki whispers, slipping her hand into mine. I squeeze it, seeking to give her a little bit of comfort. Not to mention receive some myself. After a moment, Eiki presses up close to me, her arms wrapped around my own. The warmth of her body feels good. "Is she still alive after all, then? What happened to her?"

I shake my head, speechless. Beside the two of us, Parsee just stares out at the eye-filled void with an expression of shock upon her face. After a moment, I slowly begin to make my way toward the edges of the world as I know it. Eiki is pulled along with me, and Parsee follows in our wake.

"Where are we?" I wonder out loud, staring around us at the swirling emptiness filled only by eyes and grief.

"It looks a great deal like the gaps Yukari uses to travel through," Eiki replies, not moving an inch from my side. "She used one to bring us here, actually. It appears that the entire house has been transported inside whatever space it is that she uses."

"Not to mention, those creatures we were fighting? The substance they were composed of looked like this as well." As I point this out, Eiki gets a worried expression on her face.

"What could have happened to her?" she wonders. I have no answer to give to this. Instead, I lead the way to the very edge of what is left of the mansion's property. There really isn't far to go.

As the three of us stand there, on the edge of sanity itself, I stare out into the strange void. It's peculiar; the swirling space seems to be both very close at hand and yet infinitely far away. There's probably some principles at work here that I could never understand in a million years. Reaching out past the edge of the land accomplishes nothing; my hand just sweeps through empty air. I do get the attention of several eyes, though; they stare at me with a desperate, pleading impression, and Yukari's sobs seem to get louder.

"...Yukari?" I call out into the emptiness, "Yukari! Can you hear me? Are you there?"

There is the sound of someone taking a breath, somehow audible yet distant at the same time. After a moment, I clearly hear Yukari's voice, calling out as though from the bottom of a well, tight with pain and distress: "...help..."

"Yukari!" Eiki shouts out, straightening up with a determined expression on her face. "Yukari, where are you? Are you alive? What's happening?!"

"...hurts so much..." Yukari's voice comes back. ...can't move... not meant to be used like this... dangerous... won't stop doing it..."

"What isn't meant to be used like this?" I ask loudly, "Do you mean your powers?" Several eyes focus on me and bob in what I take to be a nod. I hesitate. "Yukari, are you and the others alive?" I finally ask, heart beating in my chest.

"...Yes," Yukari replies, voice stronger for a moment. "They're here with me. We can't move. It... ugh... what's being done to us is... can't think straight...My powers aren't under my control anymore. Got taken by surprise." A shudder seems to run through the murk, and most of the eyes suddenly seem to clench in pain. "Help us..." she pleads, her voice fading again.

"Yukari!" Eiki shouts out into the void. "Stay with us! Try to concentrate! Where are you? How are your powers being controlled? Who is behind all of this?!"

For a moment, there is silence and pained breathing, then Yukari manages to speak once again. "Don't know... some kind of room. We're all here. Hooked up to machinery. It's making me do things... but that's dangerous! There... are... things in these spaces. Dangerous things. This is madness-" Yukari's words are suddenly cut off by a pained cry.

"Yukari!" I shout out now, "Stay with us! Where are you? How can we find you? Tell us, who is doing this?!"

But Yukari doesn't respond. Instead, all of the purple eyes close tightly with some sort of strain. In their place, a number of new eyes appear in the murk. Gold eyes, staring at us with cold contempt. Eyes that suddenly narrow with concentration.

"Look out!" Yukari gasps. It's all the warning we have before a massive hand suddenly seems to shoot out of the murky void. A hand made of the eye-filled nothingness itself. Adrenaline rushes through my system, and in one hurried movement, I tackle Eiki to the ground, shielding her with my own body.

But the hand isn't aiming for us.

With a surprised shout, Parsee is seized by the massive hand and yanked back into the void. She disappears almost instantaneously. In her wake, there is a muffled grunt of exertion, and then pain, and the golden eyes scrunch up tightly. I start to feel raindrops falling on my back. The golden eyes stare at me with cold hate, and the purple ones stare with a frantic plea deep within them. Then they start to fade away, and the rain begins to pick up again.

I don't even think about that. I don't think about Parsee; I accept that she's gone. All I know is that I can't lose Eiki too. Heart pounding in my chest, I leap to my feet and pull Eiki up after me. Then it's the Yama herself who starts pulling me back towards the house in a dead run, rushing for the front door. We hurry away, as fast as we can run, from the place where the massive hand reached out for us. The rain picks up once more, increasing in its intensity.

Finally, Eiki and I make it to the doors themselves and slam into them, pushing them open and running inside, our weapons at the ready.

Nothing greets us but a silent, empty hall. There is no sound save for the rain falling behind us once more. Casting a glance over my shoulder, I see that the land has returned to normal; under the slowly lightening sky I can see the road and the trees. The rain is still as intense as ever, but the thunder and lightning has stopped. Strangely, the rainfall almost seems soothing now.

Then Eiki tugs on my hand. Looking over to her pale, drawn face, I notice that she is pointing to something on the wall. Following her gesture, I look for myself, and see a message written on the wall in what looks like thick black ink. A simple message, that is somehow more insulting and infuriating than all of the ones that came previously:

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

The two of us stare at this message in silence as the rain drums away on the roof.



[ ] Now what do you do?
No. 53590
Dammit I voted for Parsee! Well, now we know the kidnapper has yellow eyes, so that narrows it down a bit.

[X] Head back to where Parsee said she heard the humming.
-[X] Search around there for a passage entrance, a locked door, anywhere where the machinery and the captives could be hidden.
No. 53592
[X] Head back to where Parsee said she heard the humming.
-[X] Search around there for a passage entrance, a locked door, anywhere where the machinery and the captives could be hidden.

This humming must have been the machine, chances are there are more hidden passages closer to ti we could take if we find em.
No. 53593
[X] Head back to where Parsee said she heard the humming.
-[X] Search around there for a passage entrance, a locked door, anywhere where the machinery and the captives could be hidden.

Sounds reasonable...Or we could separate into two groups and search two different areas. Nothing could go wrong!

In other news , someone is due for a thorough beating. They took everyone in two updates.
No. 53599
[X] Head back to where Parsee said she heard the humming.
-[X] Search around there for a passage entrance, a locked door, anywhere where the machinery and the captives could be hidden.

Where the fuck are Reimu and the rest of the playable characters?! They should be all over this!

inb4theyareandthestoryendswithReimu/Sakuya/Marisa/Youmu/Sanaebustinginandkickingass
No. 53601
File 137618527613.jpg- (29.36KB , 768x481 , f3meXxd.jpg ) [iqdb]
53601
No. 53602
[x] "Eiki, who has eyes like that?"
No. 53604
>>53602

Related: http://en.touhouwiki.net/index.php?title=Special:Search&limit=500&offset=0&redirs=0&profile=default&search=%22yellow+eyes%22
No. 53605
Well this took an interesting turn in a hurry.
No. 53606
[X] Head back to where Parsee said she heard the humming.
-[X] Search around there for a passage entrance, a locked door, anywhere where the machinery and the captives could be hidden.

This sounds like the most reasonable thing to do right now.
I can't really think of any other clues we have to follow at the moment.


And this suddenly reminded me of an RPG scenario called... something about a Nightingale. It was a sci-fi horror scenario in a roleplaying magazine I had several years ago.
Mostly because it was a similar "people disappear, one by one" kind of thing.
No. 53607
>>53604

Whoops, wrong color: http://en.touhouwiki.net/index.php?title=Special:Search&limit=500&offset=0&redirs=0&profile=default&search=%22golden+eyes%22
No. 53609
[X] Head back to where Parsee said she heard the humming.
-[X] Search around there for a passage entrance, a locked door, anywhere where the machinery and the captives could be hidden.
--[X] "Eiki, who has eyes like that?"
No. 53610
[x] Head back to where Parsee said she heard the humming.
-[x] Search around there for a passage entrance, a locked door, anywhere where the machinery and the captives could be hidden.
--[x] "Eiki, who has eyes like that?"

Almost sad to see this drawing to a close.
No. 53611
Well, on the bright side, no one's actually dead.

On the other hand, they're powers are being hijacked in a very painful manner by someone. We'll have to assume that they will also be able to use the powers of everyone who was kidnapped. Which means a breakup between us and Eiki in a jealous rage is very possible, considering that Parsee was just taken.

Which mean that if Eiki is taken, it's Game Over for everyone. And I don't mean just this group.

Because everyone will WISH they were allowed to die...
No. 53619
>>53611
So then, a quick rollcall of what we need to worry about:
Yukari: Gaps and borders and all that. She also seems to have enough willpower to fight back against it since she managed to give us some help just now.
Hatate: Not much, really. Spirit photography isn't exactly a combat skill, and they've already got cameras everywhere anyway.
Kasen: She has a bunch of various powers, but none that seem too threatening to our situation.
Hina: Drawing misfortune to herself. As long as they don't figure out how to reverse it...
Iku: Ability to read/control the atmosphere. Not exactly threatening, given everything else in this situation.
Yumeko: Not much, if anything. She has no special powers as far as I can find.
Parsee: Jealousy. But since we haven't all been gapped hours ago, I don't think they can just use the powers however they wish. Meaning we should be fine, we're already emotionally high strung as it is and a little jealousy won't do much for the overall situation.
Lyrica: Illusions. Could be really troublesome, depending on how much control our antagonist has over stolen powers.
Suika: Manipulating density. Don't think it will add much to their repertoire, to be honest. Ability to imbibe ridiculous amounts of alcohol. The most powerful ability of them all!

Those abducted just now may take some time until their powers are hijacked, so if we're fast we might not have to worry about it but that's a best case scenario.
No. 53620
Well, just for my own curiosity, I Looked up the PC-98 era characters. Nine times out of ten, if they have blonde hair, they have yellow eyes.

It should be noted that only one of them had their eyes described as "gold". This one was young Alice, but her most recent appearance had them as "a dark green".

Now, the Watasuki Sisters both have gold eyes. But they are powerful enough to not need to sneak around in the dark like this, so they are likely innocent.

A short list of all characters who have gold eyes, in the current cannon (As actually described as gold): Lunasa Prismriver, Yukari Yakumo (Dark Gold as of IaMP and SWR), Shou Toramaru, Rinnosuke Morichika (It would make sense as he has no fighting ability, so he would have to take everyone by surprise/one at a time while he amassed power), and Rin Satsuki (Her coloration is Fanon, but most agree that she would have golden eyes)

If we are literal and only go for the ones with "Golden Eyes", then this is all we are left with. If we choose to go with Yellow=Gold then someone else can draw up a list for that. Bare in mind that if they have blonde hair, they likely have yellow eyes so it doesn't really narrow things down.

Besides, this is all conjecture at this point. It's entirely likely that Keymaster gave us an OC antagonist just to screw with everyone.
No. 53623
[X] Head back to where Parsee said she heard the humming.
-[X] Search around there for a passage entrance, a locked door, anywhere where the machinery and the captives could be hidden.

Woo, I get to be smug as hell for coming up with the "they're being hookup up to a machine" theory. I'm way too lazy to make a list of all the touhous with golden eyes though.
No. 53624
File 137623983958.png- (407.49KB , 716x963 , one possibility.png ) [iqdb]
53624
(http://www.rainymood.com/)

Eiki's hand is soft and warm in my own, a desperately needed beacon of comfort. Judging from the tightness of her grip, she feels the same way. Silently, I reach back and close the front doors, muffling the sound of the rain ever so slightly. It makes the silence of the mansion all the more stifling.

Silently, rigidly, the two of us walk up to the message on the wall, considering its meaning, its ramifications.

"Fresh ink," Eiki notes, "It would have been written while we were outside. Maybe while we were talking to Yukari. Maybe while we were running for the house."

I mull it over. "The former," I decide. "Judging from the signs of exertion those other eyes showed, whoever did this would be too weak to run back inside and write this message. This was another set-up; they were expecting to grab Parsee, possibly you as well, and leave this message... for me? For us?" I shake my head.

"Arrogant," Eiki notes. "Whoever is doing this is trying to present themselves as omnipresent, and in absolute control, when they clearly are not. Though they clearly do have great power at their disposal."

I frown, thinking. "Eiki, who has gold eyes that you know of?"

She shrugs helplessly. "Any number of individuals, really. I can think of a dozen off the top of my head. What interests me more is the nature of the powers at their disposal."

"It seems quite broad in scope," I muse. "Incredible speed, silent movement, warping the structure of the household, plus summoning those monsters... whose bodies looked partially composed of the same material as what we saw outside."

"And Yukari indicated that her powers were being subverted," Eiki agrees, thinking hard. "With that in mind, much becomes clear. Yukari ws the first to be captured. 'Taken by surprise,' were her exact words. Then she was hooked up to some sort of machine."

"That figure in black was using some sort of device on its wrist," I remind her.

"A control device, no doubt," Eiki nods at me. "If we assume that Yukari's powers have been hijacked somehow, or she's being forced to act in a specific way, we have a reason for our enemy's mysterious strengths. For instance, if Yukari was being forced to manipulate the boundary between what is loud and what is silent, we have an explanation for our foe's stealth."

I see where she's going with this. "Manipulate the boundary between slow and fast for speed. Tamper with the boundary between near and far to warp the house. God knows what sort of manipulation to create those monsters."

Eiki nods, grim certainty marring her visage. "Yukari was hooked up to some sort of mechanism, and her abilities bent to someone else's will. That is the source of our problems. Everything started after Yukari was taken."

"She got blindsided, knocked out, and abducted," I nod. "That is... troubling, in many ways." I glance back at the front doors. "Yukari seemed to be troubled by how her powers were being used. She said there were dangers of some sort within the spaces she uses. Plus, our opponent clearly doesn't have a good command of her subverted powers, given how they seemed visibly exhausted by using them."

"They barely knew what they were doing," Eiki says. "Part of that may be exhaustion on Yukari's part; her powers are broad in scope, but immensely draining for her. As much as she can warp reality, reality tends to push back at her. I fear that she's being pushed beyond her tolerances."

There is a moment of silence as the two of us consider this. After a moment, I tug Eiki towards the mansion hallway.

"Where are we going?" she asks me.

"Parsee first heard the sound of some kind of machinery around here," I recall. "If we can find the source of this sound, we might find the others. Not to mention our foe."

Eiki nods seriously. "When we find... that individual, we should try to damage the control unit on their wrist. That should cut them off from their control of Yukari." I nod in agreement, and come to a stop in the middle of the hallway.

"...It was around here," I murmur, recalling that terrifying walk through the dark. I get down on my stomach and press my ears against the floor. There it is; some sort of vibration, similar to the generator running in the basement, but just slightly off. A different model.

Eiki is humming cheerfully above me. "What has you so happy right now?" I ask.

"I just have a very good vantage point to check you out right now!" Eiki replies cheerfully.

I laugh a little at the absurdity of it, then shift my head to observe Eiki's magnificent legs from an excellent vantage point. "I concur," I say with a smile.

"I suppose I have that coming," Eiki admits, "But don't let your eyes go too high, mister!"

"Then I have permission to stare? Lovely!" I say happily. "But fear not, the view is perfect right now, I assure you!" Eiki laughs but doesn't scold me further. Actually, she flexes her legs a little bit, letting me see the delicate play of muscles under her silky skin.

God dammit, I love nice female legs.

"All that aside," I say standing up, "I can't tell where the noise is coming from."

Eiki nods. "All right. Then here is my suggestion. Let's sweep the mansion from top to bottom, and see if we can hear the sounds more clearly from one area than another. For all we know, this being's headquarters could be in a crawlspace upstairs."

I nod. "All right. Then let's search the mansion, and then go into the crawlspaces again. There may be something that we missed there."

Eiki sighs. "You're right... but let's see if the gods are merciful, and leave them for last. I do not relish going into them again."

"Nor I," I say quietly, taking Eiki's hand in my own.

We start off in the east wing, looking through each bedroom in turn. In each one, we find a secret door leading to the crawlspace, a ladder leading up to the next room, and leading down to the secret passage itself. The small stairway at the end of the wing is barren of anything unusual, but all of the women's bedrooms on the second floor naturally have a secret door of their own.

"Such preparation." I murmur as we walk down the hallway, "To prepare a network of tunnels and surveillance equipment. No wonder Yukari was taken off guard; our enemy probably waited until she was distracted, slipped into her room, and somehow neutralized her."

"At least the security equipment seems to be ruined," Eiki points out. "Whenever we stick our heads into one of the passages, the wiring is damaged. Using Yukari's powers to warp space must have ruined their devices."

"Though we can't assume that they're completely blind," I note. I glance into the rooms as we pass them. "Just think. These rooms were supposed to be filled with the merry cries of lovemaking, while us servants tried very hard to hear nothing. Such a tragic waste."

"Why Alfred," Eiki says in a sultry tone of voice, "Are you saying that you want to remedy that situation?"

I glance at Eiki's teasing face. "Yes," I say evenly. Her face immediately flushes red. "Though I fear that our enemy would enjoy the show a little too much, don't you think?"

Eiki snorts in embarrassment. "I walked right into that one, didn't I?"

"Like a minefield," I agree. "Besides, I much prefer an appropriate period of courtship before any intimacy."

"You know, there are those who would consider that terribly lewd, Alfred," Eiki chuckles.

I shrug helplessly. "What can I say? The depravity of previous guests has infected me." I push open the doors to the ballroom. "Now this is a room that I regret we didn't get to use."

Eiki considers the grand ballroom approvingly. "It's quite lovely. I would have loved to have a dance here." She sighs. "But it's another case of this not being the time, isn't it?"

"I fear so," I say with genuine regret. With its grand windows overlooking the garden, this would have been a lovely attraction for the guests. "Well, so far we can barely hear anything from the east wing, and I really don't hear a thing up here, either."

Eiki hesitates. "Show me around anyway?" With her hand already in mind, I find it hard to refuse my fair lady.

There isn't much upstairs anyway; the central building is mainly taken up by the ballroom, a large open sitting room, and some storage closets, none of which have any clues to provide. After a few fruitless minutes, we set off for the west wing.

The upper west wing has two huge rooms to its name: a massive library, and a long sunroom where guests can lounge even on a rainy day. There's a sort of interior greenhouse in here. "This is one of the favorite rooms of the staff," I mention to Eiki. "On a rainy day, you can sit in here with a nice cup of tea amid the plants and just watch the rain dribble down the windows."

Eiki looks out at the dark sky, just barely starting to brighten up with the coming dawn. "A pity. I would have liked to relax here. Though I think I would have preferred your company to one of Yukari's hired men." She adjusts her grip on me so that our arms are linked. I smile a bit.

Neither sun room or library have anything to offer us. Instead, we make our way down the stairway at the end of the hall and slip into the pool room. The signs of our earlier battle are still there; rents in the floor where those peculiar golems tore up from the ground. We look around the pool and jacuzzi area for a bit before peeking in at the sauna and then into the changing rooms. I do manage to find the secret entrance Yumeko and Parsee had noticed earlier. Holding my head into the empty, still passage, I shake my head.

"It's too quiet," I say, "The generator is most probably under the central building."

Eiki doesn't respond, instead looking towards the ladies' changing room with a curious expression. "I just want to check something while we're here," she says at last.

"Specifically?"

Eiki turns to me with an awkward expression. "I'm very curious as to what Yukari considered an appropriate bathing suit."

Sixty seconds later, we have an answer to just that, regarding ten boxes each with the names of one of the guests on them. My eyebrows are raised nearly to the roof, while Eiki's gapes at her own offerings with a crimson face.

"Bathing suits?" I wonder, "There look more like handkerchiefs with a very small amount of string."

"Th-this one's transparent!" Eiki sputters.

I take a long considering look at Eiki's rather exposing swimsuit, held in her trembling hands, then at her rather lovely body. "It would be a nice look," I say gallantly.

Eiki gives me a cold glare before marching over to the men's changing room and marching back with something very small and neon-pink. "Only if you wear this," she challenges me.

I am silent for a moment.

"Never mind," I say at last.

"Good," Eiki nods in satisfaction. Then she regards the extremely abbreviated swimsuit. Then me again. A somewhat perverted grin crosses her face as her eyes glaze over.

"Stop that," I tell her.

"Nope!" she cheerfully replies.

We leave the pool room with Eiki still grinning at her private fantasy, while I consider what it would be like to paint a posing Eiki in that lovely transparent swimsuit. Yukari is such a creative woman, after all. We take a moment to peek into the empty game room, and then the devastated television room. There is no sign of our friends. Not even a scrap of cloth.

I look around at the dilapidated hallways. "...This is going to be a bitch to repair," I note.

Eiki shrugs. "Make the culprit pay for it. Repeatedly." I nod my agreement.

From here, we make our way back to the central building, checking in on the front lounges. One is ruined. The other, spotless. There is no other sign of activity.

"Have we been forgotten after all?" I wonder.

"Doubtful," Eiki replies, "It's more likely that we are still being targeted, and being lulled into a false sense of security. Keep your guard up." I nod. Eiki is probably right.

We check the hallway and then make our way into the dining room, which shows no signs of any secret passages. Then into the kitchen, where one of the tall cupboards has a false back opening up into the concealed hallways.

"They really are all over the place," I note, "Who the hell could have done this?"

"The kappa, when they're motivated," Eiki says simply. "I'm just glad that these doors are easy to locate once you know the trick."

"Each of them are subtly marked," I agree, "Perhaps so that our opponent could recognize them on the run?"

"Perhaps," Eiki muses, "Which makes me wonder once again just how prepared this individual actually was."

From there, we take a moment to slip into the servants' quarters. We find no sign of any hidden passages in the walls, but do ultimately find a trap door in one of the closets. So even this place would have been vulnerable to attack. I also notice that the noise of the generator is a bit louder here. We must be getting close. As I turn to tell Eiki this, I see that she is caressing the frame of my painting. Turning back to me, the Yama notices my gaze and shrugs.

"For luck," she tells me. I nod my understanding. "Anyway, which room is yours?"

"My, how forward for a judge," I say in mock astonishment.

Eiki just gives me a sultry smile and tilts her head. "I'm on leave, after all~." she sings. It takes me a moment to find my voice after that. Damn if the woman doesn't know how to act appealing when she wants to.

In any case, I show Eiki my own room. It's fairly small, but does have some of my personality imprinted on it. Mainly, other paintings I've made and some books on art and sailing. And of course, my personal collection of teas. Eiki looks around for a moment before sitting on my bed and bouncing on it for a moment. She looks up at me and winks suggestively. "I think Komachi would call this a good one," she tells me. I feel my face flush and Eiki laughs merrily. After a moment, I join her and the two of us fill the empty hall with our mirth.

There isn't much to see after that. We do take a moment to duck down into the basement, but while the other generator can be heard form there, we do not find any other passages. Storage room, wine cellar, and laundry room all show no signs of tampering. Though I doubt we could have holed up in here; our enemy probably had a contingency if we tried to make this our refuge.

And so, Eiki and I return to the kitchen and stare at the doors to the servants' quarters, hand in hand.

"That's the place we can hear the sound the best," I note. Eiki nods in agreement. "Then, we'd better check it out, hadn't we?" Eiki nods again and turns to me, something glimmering in her eyes. I open my mouth to ask what is on her mind, when Eiki leans into me.

And kisses me.

......

Her lips are very soft and warm.

It feels very nice.

I'd really like to keep doing this, but we don't have the time, do we? Cursed cloaked figure.

After a moment, the two of us break the kiss and stare at each other, breathing heavily, and hungering for more. At least, I am. Judging from the look in her eyes, Eiki feels the same. Something to aspire to, then. End this madness, then kiss a Yama. I can get behind that.

"For luck," Eiki says quietly.

I nod. "I feel lucky already," I tell her quietly. Eiki gives me a dazzling smile and slings her crowbar over her shoulder. Returning a confident smile to her, I heft my hatchet and stride forth, opening the door to the servants' quarters, Eiki by my side.

I see the figure in black pointing a gun at me. It pulls the trigger with a loud *clack* and I feel a sharp pain in my shoulder, which proves to be a dart of some sort. I stare at it, stunned, when a blast of wind hits my face. I look up, mind numbing, to see Eiki's eyes bulging with shock, a chemical-smelling cloth held to her mouth by a black-gloved hand. I try to raise my arms and do something. I can't. I can't move. I can't think. My vision is going blurry.

I see Eiki slumping over. I see the hood turn to face me. I see cold golden eyes boring into my own.

And then I see nothing but darkness.

************************************************

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhhlYAlCS_c&list=PLA05ED6901D61A88F)

I open my eyes.

I am alone.

I am sitting slumped in a chair in the intact first-floor lounge. The rain has stopped, and early-morning sunlight is streaming in through the windows. The storm has finally passed.

And then I remember. Eiki. The figure. Eiki.

Eiki!

I surge to my feet, breathing heavily. I slap at my shoulder, searching for any sign of a wound, but there is not so much as a bruise. What the hell kind of tranquilizer was I hit with?! But screw that, Eiki's gone, I have to do something-

It is then that I see the envelope sitting on the table in front of me, and the huge wad of cash sitting beside it. The envelope is addressed to 'Mr. Westcastle' in flowing script. For a moment, all I can do is stand there and stare at it, shaking. Then, with halting steps, I lurch forward, pick up the envelope, and slowly, carefully open it, unfolding the letter within. I read.


Mr. Westcastle,

I apologize for any trouble that I may have caused you last night. Rest assured, that I will make reparations to the house. It will be as good as new, you have my word. I also apologize for the injury I was forced to give you last night. You have proven to a be a worthy foe, and I felt that I had no other option but to use drastic measures. Still, I believe that any inconvenience caused you will be more than made up for the the sum of money I have left you. It should be enough for you to pursue any dream you may have. And on that note, I would like to express my great appreciation for your assistance. Miss Shiki is indeed a fine woman, and I will certainly find good use for her. I approve of your taste thoroughly, though I am certain you understand that pursuing an actual relationship with her would be pointless. You are better off leaving her in my care.

I will be direct, Mister Westcastle. I am declaring victory. You know my resources, my powers. It would be better if you simply accepted defeat at this point and left peacefully. Forget this night ever happened. Claim you were attacked, if you must. But I have no further use for you. Take your payment, and leave.

I trust you will find the logic in my argument.

Sincerely,

A friend



By the end of the letter, my fist is shaking in rage. A FRIEND?! How dare this... bastard, talk to me like that?! And resources? Where were your resources when you had to throw Lyrica at me, god damn you?!

I crush the letter in my hand, not even looking at the pile of money. Eiki has been taken. I will get her back. And nothing will stop me, even if I have to rip through hell itself.


[ ] Your enemy has Eiki. Get her back.
No. 53625
[x]Your enemy has Eiki Parsee. Get her back.

Bitterness aside. Time's up. Let's do this. LEEROYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY-
No. 53626
[X] Your enemy has Eiki. Get her back.

SPLIT YOUR LUNGS WITH BLOOD AND THUNDER WHEN YOU THE GOLDEN EYED!
No. 53627
[X] Your enemy has Eiki and Parsee. Get them back.
No. 53628
File 137624235399.jpg- (61.31KB , 200x200 , Jules.jpg ) [iqdb]
53628
[x]"I will strike upon you with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to kidnap and hurt my guests. And you will know my name is Alfred Arthur Westcastle when I lay my vengeance upon you!"

Screw your given options, I have pop culture references!

Also, I suspect our "friend" might be Eric, or the owner of Pleasant Meadows.
No. 53629
Its Rinnosuke wanting to get laid,calling it now.
No. 53630
[X] Bring Ilya Eiki back!
-[X] Batman/Rambo prep-time montage!
No. 53631
Has it been mentioned if Yukari's magic lets Alfred read or do we assume culprit tweaked it so he can?
No. 53633
>>53629
Christ. Its that one doujin series isn't it? You know the one I'm talking about.
No. 53635
[x] lock n load montage
No. 53636
[X] Your enemy has earned your undying rage. Battle butler modo activate.

Goddamn that song, haven't heard it for a while.
No. 53639
>>53633
Which one? Sadism in Gensokyo or King of Gensokyo?
No. 53641
[x] A butler never allows their guests leave unhappy.
-[x] Remove the source of their unhappiness
-[x] With great vengeance and all the sound and all the fury.
No. 53642
[X] Your enemy has insulted your character. Get them back for this.
No. 53644
>>53639
>King of Gensokyo
Nope.
>Sadism in Gensokyo
NOPE NOPE NOPE.

[x]Your enemy has Eiki Parsee all of the Touhous. Get them back!
No. 53647
>>53639
Now I am full of rage and hate.

[x] Your enemy has Eiki. Get her back.

Fuck you bitch it's on. Time to activate that batler mode.
No. 53648
[x] A butler never allows their guests leave unhappy.
-[x] Remove the source of their unhappiness
--[x] With great vengeance and all the sound and all the fury.

I'm curious about something. With all the times it was mentioned about Pleasant Meadows being able to accommodate whatever the guest may wish does that mean they're set up for sport shooting and/or hunting? Because even nonlethal ammunition can stagger or stun.
No. 53657
[x] Take the wad of cash; it's not like you have to act on a bribe if you do, and you may need it just in case.
[x] A butler never allows their guests leave unhappy.
-[x] Remove the source of their unhappiness
--[x] With great vengeance and all the sound and all the fury.
[x] Batman/Rambo prep-time montage!
-[x] You have fencing armor, right? Get that.
-[x] Some of the guests like sport shooting, don't they? Get some guns.
-[x] Go get those building plans just in case there's some hidden room you missed.
-[x] A big first-aid kit, your guests will need it.
No. 53658
[X] Your enemy has Eiki. Get her back.

It's time to go kick down a door and find that we're all out of gum.
No. 53661
I'm curious how a non-action guy is exactly supposed to take on such a powerful foe. It would be a good time for some sort of useful ability to be unlocked (the BBEG wouldn't see it coming)
No. 53662
[X] Your enemy has Eiki. Get her back.

We probably need a bad-assing up montage, where he gathers up various extra weapons and does something like remove his shirt to up his MANLY level.


>>53626
SPLIT YOUR LUNGS WITH BLOOD AND THUNDER
WHEN YOU SEE THE GOLDEN EYES
BREAK YOUR BACK AND SAVE YOUR GUESTS MAN
IF YOU WISH TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE
THIS BUTLER'S PRIDE IS WHAT PROPELS ME
HATCHET RAISED TOWARDS THE SKY
AIM DIRECTLY FOR HIS CROOKED BROW
AND LOOK HIM STRAIGHT INTO THE EEEEEYE!
GOLD EYES

Aaaaand I can't think of something to replace "Holy Grail" for the final line. EIKI'S THIGHS?
No. 53665
File 137625806318.jpg- (118.40KB , 850x573 , in alfreds mind.jpg ) [iqdb]
53665
Are you ready?

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

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko0TMAPy_JU&list=SP10DE7E228A002D56)

Enough. I've had more than enough. This ends now, while this colossal fucker sits in his or her little lair, laughing at how they've won, how everything has gone according to plan. Well, I've seen how things have been flying apart for this idiot, and I am NOT going to be intimidated.

I am a butler. I never allow my guests to leave unhappy. Therefore, I am going to remove the source of their unhappiness. Forcefully. And I am going to enjoy every second of it.

I crush the letter in my hand and start running. Out the door, down the hall, and through the back door. The morning air is crisp and refreshing, and I don't slow my pace as I rush for the boathouse, slamming the door open in my haste. I see my target at once: fire axe on the wall, in case of emergencies like needing to cut through a burning ship's hull. Right now, I need to cut through something different.

I raise my foot and kick through the glass, then seize the axe out of its brackets before tearing out of there and back towards the mansion. Rushing in through the back door, I hurry through the kitchen and into the servants' quarters. I take a moment to stroke my picture for luck once more. Maybe it will work this time. Or maybe I need to make my own luck. Either way, it's show time.

I find the trap door in the closet and immediately hear the sound of the generator, somewhere far away. Whoever that being with the gold eyes is, they have to still be near, otherwise there would be no need to threaten me to leave. I still have time; I just have to make use of it. I leap into the hole.

Landing on my feet, I look both ways down the hallway. It looks vaguely familiar, but I can't place it. Spinning to my right, I follow the pathway, quickly coming upon a familiar empty space, with breakers on the wall labelled L-30. This was where we took a breather, earlier, when exploring these tunnels. The passages seem different this time; obviously whatever warping effect that was affecting this place is no longer in effect. Good.

It doesn't take me long to navigate things. No longer affected by Yukari's powers, the hidden passages are actually fairly small and straightforward. The pathway I'm following leads to a familiar passage that leads to the bedrooms, then onwards to open up into the devastated lounge. Alright. Wrong way. I spin around and head back the other way, past L-30 and onwards.

These pathways are very different than the first time I passed through, There are several ladders leading up, probably to the ballroom and upstairs sitting room, but I ignore them. There isn't enough space to conceal anything up there. Further on, I kick open doorways to the kitchen, the other lounge, then onward to openings into the west wing. I find nothing else.

For a moment, I stand there and gnash my teeth. Nothing! Where the hell could this psychopath be hiding?! I've been everywhere, and all of these passages look exactly the same...!

No.

Wrong.

There was one area that looked different. An area I've been to several times. An area that had a lot of cables running to it and it never even occurred to me!

I rush back to the area with the breakers labelled L-30, and stare at them accusingly. I look at the cables, the power lines running into the boxes. Pressing close to the wall, I look just behind the boxes, and see the power lines running into the wall itself.

So close to the wall, I can hear the humming of the generator behind it.

Motherfucker. We were so close, but it never even occurred to us to look more closely at an obvious anomaly. Then again, we didn't realize that it was an anomaly, now did we? The shrouded wonder must have been quaking in its boots, worried that we were getting too close, but no one even suspected. Well, time to correct that mistake.

It takes me three minutes of searching to find the switch along the top of the wall, hidden behind some cables. Taking a deep breath, I push on it firmly.

With a click, the wall pushes away from the rest of the hallway. It easily slides away at my touch, revealing a dusty brick hallway behind. Part of the original foundations, long ago built over. And, apparently, renovated for a monster. Hefting my axe, I make my way along the hall towards the sound of the humming.

Twenty feet in, I find the lair and freeze.

They're here.

I a place of prominence is Yukari, strapped to some sort of odd contraption that I can't even begin to comprehend. Her arms and legs are shackled, and a strange sort of helmet with a visor is on her head. I see several IV lines running into her arms from medical machines, and a strange, thick cable runs into a harness on her back. She is awake and in visible pain, with tears running down her face as she concentrates furiously on something, face a mixture of terror, panic, and suffering.

The others are here as well, shackled to the walls. The have the same kind of helmet lowered over their heads, but none of the other equipment. I notice that all of the helmets have lines that run to another odd piece of equipment with menacing lines and eerily glowing bits. The women themselves are in various states of consciousness, with Eiki snarling in exertion, while Hatate is staring blearily into the distance, looking half-conscious.

Off to one side is this place's generator, humming away constantly. I don't recognize its make. On another wall is a bank of monitors. Some of the monitors are black, some covered in static, but a few are still clear. The clear ones show the interior of the mansion, each one focused on a different room. Someone had the perfect setup for voyeurs installed.

The last thing along the walls that gets my attention is a bronze arch in the corner that has a strange, shifting quicksilver bounded within its arms. I can't even begin to imagine at its purpose.

But of course, the real object of my attentions is in the center of the room.

As I walk into the room, the guests groan and look up at the intrusion, each in varying states of awareness. Eiki is the first to see me, and she tries to say something. However, her throat locks up and she falls into a fit of coughing. The sight only serves to enrage me further. Yukari looks up and gives me a look full of hope and worry combined. The others all look at me, one after the other.

Hatate. Iku. Hina, who looks away in shame. Kasen. Lyrica. Suika. Yumeko. Parsee. I take the time to give Eiki a confident smile, but it quickly fades as I set my sights at what sits at the center of the room, at a large desk, sipping a goddamned cup of tea.

The desk has several oddities on it. The gun I was shot with earlier, with several disassembled darts beside it. A glass ball with swirling mist inside. An peculiar contraption of gold and crystal. Several sheets of paper with complex diagrams on them. And of course, a tea service.

Such awful taste in tea.

I come to a halt, staring at the one who has tormented us all night long, unable to miss the heavy cloak hanging on the far wall. After a moment, the fiend who has bedeviled us sets down the teacup and rises, facing me.

He brushes silver hair out of his gold eyes and straightens, taking a moment to push his glasses up on his face and adjust his blue and black clothing. Then he stares at me dispassionately.

"It's a pleasure to finally meet you, Mister Westcastle," he says in a deep, cool voice. "My name is Rinnosuke Morichika."


[ ] How?
[ ] Why?
No. 53666
>>53629
Here, I knew it.

Fuck everything, kills him before he pulls some shit.
No. 53667
[X] distract him with conversation regarding why, get tea. Then scald him with the tea at the opportune moment, and stab him to death while he is blind with one of the knives we have.

FIRST RULE OF KNIFE FIGHT DON'T STOP STABBING
No. 53668
File 137625925493.gif- (35.75KB , 673x505 , 1337524533866.gif ) [iqdb]
53668
>My name is Rinnosuke Morichika.

OH FUCK THAT ANON CALLED IT. FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

[x] Why?

I want to know why before we slaughter him.
No. 53669
>>53667
Tea to the face, messed that up.
No. 53670
[X] How?

I can guess the why, but I'm curious about the hows.

Though if there's a chance to stab him in the face mid-sentence we should probably take it.
No. 53671
[x] Why? Just what in the hell possessed you to do this?
[x] Inquire just how insufficient his masculinity is to resort to something like this.

Really Keymaster? REALLY? If someone more aware of the series was in Alfred's shoes, I'd have him going on a triade on how obvious/bullshit the whole thing is. It's something straight out of some doujin.

In before the reason he's chronically overlooked in Keymaster's yuri-leaning Gensokyo.
No. 53672
>>53671
That would mean that he did something to Hina to make her cooperate.
No. 53673
[x] "Care to explain why you assaulted my guests, and why you think you can get away with it? Kidnapping so many notables is at best a death wish from what I understand."
No. 53674
>>53672
don't remind me of how hard it is to believe that the Tengu would go about making her stay on the mountain. That and how could he of all people convince Hina to go along? He's not normally someone of great influence or power, hell he's the favorite butt of jokes by those yuri leaning, often making him gay if not uninterested in girls

I must say regardless of how trite this is, I'm hoping this Rinnosuke ends up like the Yellow Bastard from Sin City.

I think it's something we can all agree on.
No. 53675
>>53667
>>53669
We can axe him questions I am so sorry after we have him at our mercy and break his hands & legs or something.

If it's just a choice between those two:
[x] Why?
No. 53676
[X] "How? Why?"
-[X] Once he's swept up in his little monologue, jump him and knock his ass out.
--[X] If he's too far away or we can't incapacitate him, damage the machine and try to free someone.

Why the hell are we even considering listening to his guy? If we want to know his plan, we can ask Hina or torture it out of him after we've beaten his ass down.

He's half-youkai, even without his disgustingly-inhumane power-stealing machine he's probably physically strong enough to overpower Alfred in a fight.

Our best chance is to axe him while his guard's down and before he can get the upper hand.
No. 53677
File 137626076332.jpg- (96.41KB , 640x437 , Now You Fucked Up - Amish Man With Arms Spread.jpg ) [iqdb]
53677
Now that I think about it I'm kind of hoping for something similar to this when the axing commences. There's a whole lot of stress to work out here.
No. 53678
>>53676
He probably thinks that Alfred is his rival and that he is winning this game of minds or something.
Evil guys tend to talk and boast about how great they are. We need to buy time for now and figure out how to best kill him and save the girls.
No. 53679
>>53676
I doubt he's that strong; if he was, he wouldn't need to resort to such petty tricks. That and there's a lot to say about a sucker punch/axe to the face.
No. 53681
[X] Why?

Ok, screw it, I'm curious.
No. 53683
[X] Why?
Considering this apparently takes place in the Being Meiling universe, I REALLY want to know how he managed to pull this off. I mean, this is the sort of Supervillain shit that DaiCirno was made to beat up!
No. 53686
[X] Why?

Oh good god, this really is some Tiramisu Tart bullshit. Don't drink the tea, it's probably drugged.
No. 53687
[x]How? Why? You know what, who cares? just start breaking everything!
No. 53688
So, bullshit story time. Not a Rinnosuke fan, Keymaster?

[X] Why?
No. 53689
[X] Why?
A good choice for a villian
No. 53690
[X] Why?
I like Rinnosuke, but the bastard's going down, painfully, several times.
No. 53698
[X] Why and fuck you.

How is easy. Kappa tech can be very advanced and where did Yukari get those brochures for Pleasant Meadows?

Rinnosuke's shop.

That motherfucker.
No. 53702
[X] "First and foremost, Fuck you."
-[X] "Secondly, Why?"
--[X] "Thirdly, Did you really think you could bribe me?"
---[X] "Fourthly, Who the hell are you?"
----[X] "Finally," say nothing more, but slowly advance with the ax by your side nonthreatening. When close enough, drop the ax and start punching the guy in the face until he passes out. Possibly for a little longer than that.
No. 53704
File 137627871086.jpg- (16.51KB , 159x195 , 1299178767977.jpg ) [iqdb]
53704
[X] How?

This is immediately actionable intelligence, the kind we need. If we must axe him a question, this is it.

The "why" is irrelevant, because in thirty seconds or less we're going to fire-axe that fucker harder then a late-round atmos tech.
No. 53705
[x] Why?

Inquiring minds want to know.
No. 53710
File 137628236388.jpg- (189.39KB , 1280x720 , Cap Understood That Reference.jpg ) [iqdb]
53710
>>53704
>The "why" is irrelevant, because in thirty seconds or less we're going to fire-axe that fucker harder then a late-round atmos tech.
Heh.
No. 53711
[X] "First and foremost, Fuck you."
-[X] "Second, how?"
No. 53714
[X] "First and foremost, Fuck you."
-[X] Did you really think you could bribe me?"
No. 53719
[x] "My name is Alfred. Fuck you."
-[x] Go Axe Cop on this motherfucker.

Got axe, will cop.
No. 53722
>>53674
Rinnosuke is at least 1000 years old, so while he's only a weak half-youkai, he has a lot of pure experience and knowledge. Plus any weird artifacts he's picked up along the way.
No. 53727
[x ] Why?

WHAT? Well that certainly came out of left field?
No. 53732
>>53722
>Rinnosuke is at least 1000 years old
Is he really? Damn, I was sure he was at most 60-100. He's on par with Aya then.
No. 53733
[X]"How?"

This is information we can use. His motivation is irrelevant right now because whether he plans on becoming King of the World or just has the biggest case of blue balls ever, it doesn't get us any closer to saving anyone.

Once we get any sort of information, though, I think we're better off trying to axe some part of the machinery than him.
He had to rely on a sneak attack to take down Yukari, and without her hijacked powers he probably couldn't have beaten anyone else, except for Alfred who is an ordinary human.
Rinnosuke may be small fry when it comes to Gensokyo power levels, but he's still way beyond a mere mortal like us.


Generator: Everything stops, people are free. At the very least, this seems to be some pretty advanced machinery and even just fluctuating power would probably fuck it up. (Hopefully it doesn't do the same thing to everyone connected to it.)

Machine connected to helmets: The helmets obviously does SOMETHING to the prisoners and whatever it is, it can't be good. I'm guessing it's something to keep them compliant, judging by the difference between Eiki (struggling) and Hatate (barely conscious, and she's been here the longest except for Yukari).

Quicksilver thing: Since it gives me some sort of "arcane machinery" vibes, it could be what's shutting down their powers. Alternately since it's an arch, depending on it's size it could be his escape route (magical portal).
In which case either the orb of the golden contraption is what shuts down everyone's powers.

Depending on where it is and where it goes, we could try to hack through the cable connected to Yukari's harness or the machine it leads to, because it's obviously related to hijacking her powers (since nobody else has anything like it).
No. 53737
>>53667 Here

Gonna have to switch to [x] HOW? Cause really at the end of the day his motivations don't matter, he's an evil dude, we need to know what critical piece of equipment to fuck up, after we shank him during the monologue
No. 53739
[X] How?
No. 53743
>>53737
To add onto this the fact that he was able to depower the two strongest beings in Gensokyo (Eiki and Yukari) is way more important than any personal motivation he might have for it.
No. 53744
[X]"How?"

"Today, at the edge of our hope, at the end of our time, I have chosen not only to believe in myself, but in others as well. Today none of us shall stand alone. Today, I face the monsters that are that kicked down our door and take the fight to them! Today, I am going to dance with Eiki!"

Then, once Rinnosuke has us on the ropes, DaiCirno shows up, goes Pacific Rim on his ass, and saves the day! Right guys? Right?




Right?
No. 53748
>>53722
You make him sound more clever than he is as the group pointed out various flaws in this scheme, for all we know he might be under the depower effects as well and not caring as hey what is a weak human going to do i my moment of Triump?

>>53733
Some of us want to know why and the how is rather obvious, that and if he gets into Bond villain gloat mode, he'll reveal how anywayss.

>>53743
Yukari did say she was taken by surprise, which is easy as no one expected Rinnosuke to do this. By the same virtue, the element of surprise is our best weapon against him as he won't see it coming.
No. 53750
Vote called. The why comes first. We'll learn about the how later. Update sometime today.
No. 53751
>>53748
>You make him sound more clever than he is
Except he made a point of kidnapping the biggest threat first, and does in fact have several artifacts present in the room, suggesting prepardness.

>The element of surprise is our best weapon against him as he won't see it coming.
If one is smart enough to keikaku doori ten touhous in a single night, they're smart enough to pay attention to the only person who almost stopped their plan from succeeding. Don't assume the enemy is careless when they've already managed to get this far.

Keymaster, nice choice of villain. I happily await the next update.
No. 53756
File 13763380819.jpg- (244.26KB , 850x479 , who would suspect him.jpg ) [iqdb]
53756
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44IHB8qSUJ4&list=SP10DE7E228A002D56)

For a moment I just stare at this man, who has caused so much pain and terror. As I glare at him, he just stares back blandly, as though nothing in the world could possibly be wrong. I take a deep, shuddering breath, trying and failing to calm myself. It takes all of my willpower to keep from charging him right here and now. Instead, I ask the first question that comes to mind, one that I need answered before anything else:

"Why?"

Rinnosuke nods. "A fair question. A fairly simple one, though there are actually three such questions I could answer. I will assume, however that you want to know why I did all of this in the first place."

I look at the women strapped to the walls, and then back to Rinnosuke, sneering. "That hard up, are you? Can't get a girl to go on a date, so you need to kidnap them?"

The silver-haired man just chuckles at this. "I assure you, I have no intention of mating with any of them. No, if I truly feel the need for a rendezvous, there is a lovely little crested ibis youkai who comes by my shop." There is a pause, and when Rinnosuke speaks again, his entire demeanor has changed. His eyes seem to twinkle, his mouth is turned into a smirk, and he has a relaxed air about him. "All I need to do is turn on the charm, and the young lady practically dives headfirst into my bed." He chuckles in a perversely warm voice.

"Tokiko..." Hatate whispers in a strained voice. "You jerk... she really cares about you!"

"I know," Rinnosuke says with a dismissive shrug, back to his cold, uncaring self, "It makes things a lot easier. Less hassle, that's why I bother with her. But back to your question, Mister Wescastle; no, I am not doing this to form a harem of sorts."

I work my jaw, irked at how the man spoke so dismissively of a young lady's feelings. It's like she isn't even real to him. "Then why? What is the purpose of this?" I demand.

Rinnosuke raises a finger in the air the punctuate his next statement. "Self-improvement." He chuckles at my blank stare. "I mean it. I'm just going about it in a different way. You see, I'm a half-youkai, Mister Westcastle... may I call you Alfred? I never knew my father, and I barely remember my mother. But that isn't important. What is important is the rather awkward place I occupy in Gensokyo."

"Don't tell me that this is some sort of sob story about being stuck between worlds, and no one understands you," I say harshly.

Rinnosuke's eyes flash, but his face remains impassive. "It isn't. But it is true that neither group, neither human nor youkai, particularly likes me. To each, I'm an outsider. I've learned to live with it. But what I'm getting at is that, though I have youkai blood, I really have none of their strength. Humans can come to wield rather massive magical power, with training. Youkai are born with vast power. Me?" He chuckles again. "I can tell, roughly, what an object does. Also, I'm a bit stronger than your average human. That's about it."

"So what?" I ask him.

"So, Gensokyo is a land where those with power rule. The mightier you are, the more respect you incur. Weak beings are beneath contempt."

Yukari stirs at this. "What a moment, that's not true-"

"Isn't it?" Rinnosuke asks, not turning to face her. "The mighty have their tea parties and lounge around in contentment, while those beneath them are just that- beneath them. It takes a significant being indeed to change this, and they usually do it by changing themselves. In other words, acquire greater power."

"You're blowing things out of proportion!" Kasen shouts.

The half-youkai snorts. "I don't think I am. And honestly? After a while, it gets to you. I've never been able to harness my heritage to strengthen myself. Human magics don't come to me, and youkai powers are inhibited by my human blood. I'm permanently stuck in mediocrity. After a while, that starts to... grate on you. You get sick of always being the strange , forgettable shopkeeper."

I nod slowly. "So when you can't get power of your own... get someone else's."

Rinnosuke smiles darkly. "Precisely, Alfred." He gestures behind him to Yukari. "Behold the mighty Lady Yakumo, shackled to a device which binds her powers to my will." He shakes a device on his wrist to demonstrate. "It pumps her full of nutrients, allowing her to utilize powers that would normally exhaust her. Which she then utilizes at my command."

"A process which exhausts and pains her," I spit out.

"Unimportant," Rinnosuke says dismissively. "This is just the first step, in any case. The helmets you see are a sort of conditioning system, altering their thought patterns to my whim. It will take some time, to be certain, but eventually, they will all obey me absolutely, and without question." He smiles. "It's nice having my connections. I know some people with some very interesting mechanical ideas, and more importantly, I know how to urge them onward."

I clench my fists. "In other words, you're ultimately going to brainwash them, turning them into your loyal soldiers."

"And many of them have servants of their own, which will also come to belong to me," Rinnosuke adds. "With them at my beck and call, I won't need massive magical abilities of my own. I can simply order them to do as I wish, and they will. Even if it's murdering a loved one."

I take a steadying breath, appalled at this man's lack of conscience. "And what then? Do you intend to make yourself into a king?"

Rinnosuke smiles. "You know what? I haven't really decided yet. I suppose I could, but that might bring the wrath of some rather powerful beings down upon my head. No, better to spend the rest of the weekend ensuring that their minds are my own. Then if I ever need something, they will provide it for me, like good little puppets. They might even be able to go back to their lives, just a little bit. Or, maybe not. I'm not sure what the long-term effects of the conditioning will be. But then, that's an unimportant detail, no?"

My heart is pounding in my chest, and my face is growing hot with anger. "You said there wre three questions you could answer. What are the other two?"

Rinnosuke smiles. "Why would Hina help me set all of this up?" he asks. The curse goddess in question closes her eyes, tears streaming down her cheeks. "The answer is quite simple: bitterness. A goddess lives and grows strong based on the power of prayer. The more faith she receives, the stronger she grows. And poor Hina has been shackled to youkai mountain for a very long time."

Hatate starts at this, her eyes focusing on Rinnosuke. "What...?"

The half-youkai shrugs. "Hina long ago grew frustrated with her situation. People mistrusted her, feared her, despite her great love of humanity. The prayed to keep her away, despite her efforts to remove their misfortune, despite her role in keeping them away from the dangerous mountain. So, she did what any deity in that situation would do: she tried to move away. And the tengu stopped her."

"Huh?!" Hatate is wide awake now. "Wait a minute, we'd never imprison her on the mountain!"

"Of course you wouldn't," Rinnosuke agrees, and Hina's eyes shoot open in shock. "The truth is, the tengu are just very bureaucratic and conservative. Hina had been on the mountain for a long time, and when she made plans to move somewhere closer to human civilization, to spread the truth about her and gather more worshipers, the tengu had what could be called a fit. Basically, Hina's planned action would result in a situation they weren't used to, and they wanted to keep things the same. So, a group of tengu came to her doorstep, and argued loudly about what she was doing. Terms like 'irresponsible' got bandied around. Really, it sounded to me like a bunch of old men angry about their favorite restaurant closing. Horrible change afflicting a very conservative group." He pauses. "But if Hina had really pushed for it, they wouldn't have been able to stop her, of course."

The curse goddess stares at Rinnosuke with a slack jaw. "So Hina was talked out of moving away by a bunch of grouchy tengu?" I ask.

"Nagged, more like," Rinnosuke grunts. "But to her ears, it sounded like she was being forced to stay. A misunderstanding, yes... but one I caught wind of through my friends among the kappa, and one I was willing to use to my advantage."

"You came to visit me," Hina whispers, "You listened to me, and invited me to come see you. You told me about Yukari's trip, and even got her to ask me along."

Rinnosuke nods. "Yukari had mentioned this little outing to me, and I immediately recommended you. Then I made sure to befriend you, and remind you of all the injustices you had suffered. Bitterness is such a useful, tool. Especially when it's misplaced." Rinnosuke turns back to me with a smile. "She'd been seething over this for years, you see. All I had to do was promise her that I'd ask my friends among the kappa to speak up in her defense, and to help her build a lovely new shrine far away from tengu territory. All she had to do in exchange... was help me pull a little prank."

"A prank," I say hollowly. "She didn't know what was going on."

"She thought this was all a joke to yank the chain of a few youkai," Rinnosuke agrees. "A few mock kidnappings to humble them a little bit. But, well, reality began to sink in, and I had to grab her before she spilled the beans completely. She still helped me with Miss Iku, of course." Rinnosuke rolls his eyes. "Honestly, she's such a gullible shrew." Hina chokes with shame and humiliation, clenching her eyes tightly closed again. Hatate gives her a pitying look.

"Lovely," I say with forced calm, "You've shown your ability to manipulate the emotions of unhappy women, Good for you. Then let's get to the final question: what was the point of this little game?!"

Rinnosuke shrugs. "I was just having fun."

I stare blankly. "What."

The half-youkai smirks. "You weren't in my original plan. I had intended for the house to be devoid of anyone but the guests themselves. I was going to lay out a few trays of food and an apology note myself, but then you came along. I wasn't expecting it. I toyed with the idea of removing you, but realized that this might have tipped off your fellow staff members if they were to call in, and my whole plan would be in ruins. Besides, the situation had potential!" Rinnosuke laughs, an unpleasant sound. "A butler, all alone in a house with a group of frightened women, trying his best to defend them. Now, I had to take the women one by one, but I decided to use your reactions as a cue, and avoid the ones you favored most. I suppose I was curious as to which one you liked the best. And since I was going to grab them anyway, why not make a little game of it?" He purses his lips. "Mind you, it was a touch more complicated than I had anticipated, and by the end I decided to just end things. I had a good grasp on Yukari's powers by then, you see."

I take deep, slow breaths. "So this whole thing... from the very beginning... was just you playing a game?!"

Rinnosuke shrugs innocently. "Who says you can't mix work and play?"

It takes all that I have not to rush him then and there.

[ ] Amusing. So how did you pull all of this off, anyway?
[ ] You almost make it sound like you knew what you were doing. So, how did you accomplish all of this?
[ ] How the hell did you get all of this set up, you bastard?!
No. 53758
[X] You almost make it sound like you knew what you were doing. So, how did you accomplish all of this?

The implied burn is the best burn.
No. 53759
>>53758
Besides, thing got pretty hectic to him in the end, so he had to finish things quickly. It wasn't his choice and he knows it.

[X] You almost make it sound like you knew what you were doing. So, how did you accomplish all of this?
No. 53760
[ ] You almost make it sound like you knew what you were doing. So, how did you accomplish all of this?

Brainwashing helmets? Oh God, this really is something out of Tiramisu Tart. I can't wait until we axe him right in his smug face.
No. 53761
[X] You almost make it sound like you knew what you were doing. So, how did you accomplish all of this?

So, he needs to use the wrist-thing to control Yukari's powers. Meaning if we are close to something to fuck up, it all comes down to reaction time. And whoever acts first usually wins contests of speed, when dealing with such short timeframes.
tl;dr Get within range of something we want fucked up while he's talking, and then go for it at an opportune moment.


Also, I must say that you've managed to make Rinnosuke into a good villain. I'm seriously disgusted with how carefree he sounds while talking about erasing someone's free will.
No. 53762
[X] You almost make it sound like you knew what you were doing. So, how did you accomplish all of this?

I assume an epic showdown battle will be in order?
No. 53763
Wow. Serious Rinnosuke hate, Keymaster? Because now I'm just ready to forget this whole story existed.
No. 53765
[x] You almost make it sound like you knew what you were doing. So, how did you accomplish all of this?

A shame we didn't bring some of the cash with us. We could have thrown it in his face to blind him and took a limb or two.
No. 53766
O-Kay. Wow.

[X] You almost make it sound like you knew what you were doing. So, how did you accomplish all of this?
No. 53767
[x] You almost make it sound like you knew what you were doing. So, how did you accomplish all of this?
No. 53768
>>53763
Not seeing it as 'hate,' really. Would it have been any different if it had been the Watatsuki sisters, or Mima, or an original character? For this scenario, there needed to be a villain, and whether Rinnosuke was planned to be that villain from the start, or just happened to fit the requirements, that's how he's being portrayed here. It's no different from scenarios where Remilia is a callous noble only concerned for her own entertainment and pride, or where Yukari is a nigh-omnipotent mastermind who gets her jollies by shuffling around all the little pieces/people on her chessboard and watching how they scurry about. Both have been done before, as well as been avoided and toyed around with.
No. 53769
[X] You almost make it sound like you knew what you were doing. So, how did you accomplish all of this?
Well, if he's going to go all Bond villain on us, might as well get our Sean Connery on.
No. 53771
[ x] How the hell did you get all of this set up, you bastard?!

Keep him monologuing guys, while we think of a plan of action! Like in the Incredibles!
No. 53773
> Rinnosuke's sudden(?) will to gain power over the strong.
> DDC's plot.

This fits far,far too well. Either keymasters stupidly lucky, psychic or is a master of improv plot threading.
No. 53774
>>53768
There's various reasons why people reacted like this: it being too obvious and overdone, stuff like that and Hina's story out of the blue considering the normally light-hearted nature of his universe,etc.

If it was an OC I think people wouldn't have been so upset

I must say he is a good villain, not someone stuck in the position despite it coming out of nowhwere in the Being Meiling universe. It also casts his relationship with Tokiko in a sinster light.
No. 53777
>>53776
Part of it is various weak youkai wanting to improve their lot, though there's more to the incident than just that. The real mastermind is the stage 5 boss, the stage 6 boss was just getting used
No. 53778
>>53777

Ah, gotcha. Well, chalk this one up to coincidence. Weird.
No. 53779
[x] You almost make it sound like you knew what you were doing. So, how did you accomplish all of this?
I almost expect him to have a Nekomata or a Kasha in his lap, saying "No Mr Westcastle, I expect you to die."

He makes a good vilain, but that won't protect him from Alfred's Hatchet.
No. 53780
[x] You almost make it sound like you knew what you were doing. So, how did you accomplish all of this?

>>53763
Nah. He makes a good villain. The reasons why and how he cares nothing about anyone else does the job.

Either way, he is scum. The whole talk about this being a "game" just is too much.
No. 53786
[x] You almost make it sound like you knew what you were doing. So, how did you accomplish all of this?

He can't use their powers himself, only brainwash the girls to use them for him.
We may not be completely fucked.
No. 53857
>>53778
What's more the exact mechanics of what happened caused the "weak" to become aggressive and borderline crazy in an effort to improve their lot. In most cases this only ended in various weaklings getting Reimu'd as they blindly attacked her, but if one those weaklings was to use their head....
No. 53869
[x] How the hell did you get all of this set up, you bastard?!

Ah, toying with the last remaining protagonist is so entertaining~ I do love a good, properly composed villain. We need to bum rush him after this to properly play the role of his opposite.

>>53774
>obvious and overdone
Name all the many stories on this site where Rinnosuke's the villain. It's "overdone," so it should be easy, right?

>Hina's story came out of the blue considering the normally light-hearted nature of his universe,etc.
Touhou canon has plenty of layers, many with unpleasant implications, if you actually bother to look farther than "cute girls doing cute things and/or shooting lasers."
No. 53870
>>53763
Moonbitches.
Moonbitches.
Moonbitches~
No. 53872
>>53869
Not that guy but while Touhou canon has plenty of layers, Being Meiling was a humourous slice of life with a bit of romance so it's quite a switch for the next story suddenly being murder weekend survival horror.

(Not that I mind, as long as the story is well written. It's just a bit surprising.)
No. 53877
Vote called! Alfred will be using his mightiest weapon against Rinnosuke: snark. Update later today.
No. 53882
>>53869
>Name all the many stories on this site where Rinnosuke's the villain. It's "overdone," so it should be easy, right?
Not the guy you were responding to, but I can start.
THIS SHRINE. He's only a minor antagonist there, though, before the story went from funny stupid to power failure stupid.
I'm sure there are more, but I haven't read enough of this place's stories that actually have villains.

He may also have been thinking outside the limits of this site. Outside the site, there's that Acting on Instinct doujin, and many more doujins where he's the villain. Particularly, there are many sexual doujins where he's a rapist or an evil-type seducer or something.
No. 53883
File 137642656968.png- (462.02KB , 720x900 , uncaring.png ) [iqdb]
53883
I keep my face as calm as I can manage, and take a deep breath to steady myself. Anger would accomplish nothing, here. If anything, this madman would probably feed on it, assuming he cared at all. No, I'm tired of being jerked around by his sick interests. Instead, I'm going to deal with Mr. Morichika the same way I would deal with any other unpleasant guest.

With massive amounts of snark.

I sigh and shrug. "Well, that's really quite amusing then," I say evenly.

Rinnosuke nods at my composure. "I thought you might think so-"

"You almost make it sound like you knew what you were doing," I finish, in the same tone I would use if I were talking about the weather. The twitch on Rinnosuke's face is very satisfying.

"I DID know what I was doing," he insists, face dark with outrage. "Or had you not noticed how I had all of you running around at my whim?"

"What I noticed was your expertise at running into walls," I reply, "As well as your skill at pitching female guests at me as projectile weapons. But never mind your questionable execution, Mr. Morichika. I'm curious: just how did you set all of this up in the first place?"

Rinnosuke glares at me for a moment longer before taking a steadying breath of this own. After a moment, his composure has returned in full, his face a bland mask. However, I can still see a flash of anger in his eyes as he speaks with a bland voice. "...It all started when Yukari found a brochure for your mansion in my store," he tells me, "An old one, far out of date, but Yukari was enthralled by the place at once. We got to talking, and she told me of her idea: get some of Gensokyo's women together for a lovely weekend of feminine pleasures. I saw an opportunity, and encouraged her to follow though on it."

"No doubt you were excited at the thought of females having pleasures," I quip, "Much like a young lad's first pornographic magazine. Anyway, please continue."

Rinnosuke's eyes flash, and his jaw works as he glares at me. After a moment, he continues. "In any case, at that point I began to discreetly observe Yukari. You see, over the years I've accumulated a wide variety of magical artifacts. Such as this one." Here he lays his hand on the crystal orb with a swirling mist within. "A classical crystal ball. It took me some time to learn how to use it, but once, I did, I became one of the most well-informed men in Gensokyo. I started to follow Yukari's movements."

"Oh, even better for the lonely young man!" I remark, "Though I shudder to imagine just where you were spying on her. Your interests seem a tad too... unconventional for my tastes."

Yukari snorts. "You know what? Under different circumstances, I might actually be flattered."

"In any case," Rinnosuke says quickly, voice betraying some annoyance, "When she first visited this place to investigate, I made my move. Over there..." here he gestures to an odd arch in the corner, "... is one of the most powerful artifacts in my collection. A literal portal to anywhere I set the arches. The other end is in my shop."

Yukari jerks in her bonds. "You followed me," she breathes, "I thought I felt something, but decided that it was just my imagination. You followed me when I came to visit Pleasant Meadows the first time and met with the owner, exploiting the gap in the barrier that I had to make."

Rinnosuke nods, not looking at her. "Using the magic of the portal to make a one-way trip is... unpleasant, to say the least, but it was worth it. Using my crystal ball to set the coordinates, I had no trouble making my way here and lugging the other arch along with me. Then I waited until this place was deserted and made my way in. I associate with kappa, Mister Westcastle. Breaking in and avoiding your security system was child's play for me."

I nod slowly. "And then you could renovate our mansion to your liking, all using your own home as a base of operations," I realize.

"My shop," Rinnosuke agrees.

"Your junk store," Lyrica snorts.

"Junk store?" I chuckle, looking at Rinnsuke's rather unusual garb. "How fitting."

"Regardless," Rinnosuke continues through clenched teeth. "The next step was setting the stage. Of course, I made sure that our dear Hina here was in on the 'prank,' and I naturally kept an eye on Yukari and the other guests. But the real work was done by the kappa."

"Why would they help you?" Kasen asks with a frown.

Rinnosuke shrugs. "I'm on fairly good terms with one of them. She's suffered a great deal of personal frustration lately over that whole affair with the ice fairy- long story, Mister Westcastle- and was ecstatic at the chance to work on a special project in a human mansion, in the outside world, no less. As far as she knew, this was all a part of Yukari's plan. The rest was just putting on a little charm to convince her, and supervising the work. Everything was in readiness two days before you showed up, mister Westcastle."

I nod. "Enthralling. And how, exactly, did you convince anyone to create these... devices?" I ask, gesturing to the mechanism Yukari is hooked up to, as well as the eerie machine that everyone's helmet leads to.

Rinnosuke shrugs. "Alcohol."

"Naturally," I say dryly.

"It's true!" Rinnosuke exclaims. "When under the influence of alcohol dear Nitori is capable of the most amazing work... while properly supervised, of course. She just needed me to egg her on, and put a little something in her drink later to make her forget."

"I'm surprised you didn't just brainfuck her too, you bastard!" Parsee spits, straining at her bonds.

Rinnosuke just shrugs. "I didn't want to risk damaging her technical skills. She's too useful to me as she is, and easily manipulated. No, I'll leave her alone. No reason to hook her up to this machine, when all I have to do is provide an open ear and three bottles of sake."

Bastard.

"In any case, with the stage set, all that I had to do was wait," Rinnosuke tells me, looking pleased with himself. Of course, your arrival was a bit of a surprise, but I already told you how I adapted to that. Still, I made sure tho learn the routes that the rest of the staff would be coming from, as well as Yukari's hired prostitutes."

"Escorts!" Yukari shouts at him.

"Everyone knows better," Rinnosuke chuckles. He taps the odd device of gold and crystal. "A weather-control mechanism. Currently drained dry of all of its magic, but it allowed me to manipulate local weather patterns to prevent anyone from arriving by car. Save you, of course, since you were here too early. The others arrived via one of Yukari's gaps."

"An impressive array of magical equipment," I admit. "Tell me, whom did you have to fellate to acquire it all?"

Rinnosuke actually snarls. "During a long lifetime where you specifically collect the odd and unusual, you manage to acquire a wide array of artifacts, Mister Westcastle. But enough of your childish provocations." He clears his throat and straightens up. "With the house closed off from the rest of my world, my first target was Yukari. I went after her as soon as she went to her room. I had acquired a fascinating weapon from the kappa that shoots darts. Darts that I coated with a strong sedative, strong enough to even render a youkai unconscious. I made sure to lock her door, just in case." The half-youkai smirks. "It was quite a chore to lug her back here, but it was worth it. You should have seen her expression when she woke up in my apparatus."

"I was terrified," Yukari hisses, "I still can't believe that you're doing this!"

"Your beliefs mean nothing," Rinnosuke says dismissively. "Regardless, by manipulating her powers remotely, I was able to give myself great speed and great stealth. Enough to make it to her room first and prepare it for you once I realized that you were on your way." He nods over to the bank of monitors.

"And did so with all of the skill of a rank amateur," I sniff. "You might have impressed a student filmmaker with low aspirations. Maybe. We certainly saw through it when we actually looked at it for more than five seconds."

Rinnosuke hesitates, then shrugs. "It served well enough. And by then the game was on. I kept careful watch over all of you via my cameras, and grabbed the women one by one."

"What about Iku?" I ask, frowning.

Another pause. "That... proved difficult, I admit. I wasn't expecting you all to just hole up like that. Fortunately, I had Hina on my side." Rinnosuke spares a cold smile for the goddess, who looks away in shame. "All I did was throw on a raincoat, make a sign for her to read, and then make my way around to the window. When nobody else was looking, I got her attention and showed her the message. It basically said to cause a distraction and make sure Iku was near the window."

I nod in understanding. "And then when everyone else was distracted, you used your newfound speed to rush in, shatter the window as a red herring, and grab Iku."

Rinnosuke nods. "I used an iron bar for that. It worked well enough. After that, I decided that it was time for me to cut the power and switch to my own generator." He frowns. "Thank you for switching on the main one, by the way. It seems my cameras can't see though the darkness all that well."

"Such a well thought-out plan," I chuckle.

Rinnosuke glares at me icily. "It worked, didn't it? And once I started to use Yukari's power to warp the halls themselves-"

"You could barely control it!" I snap, "Like a child trying to program a mainframe! Honestly, the whole thing was such a transparent ploy to terrify us, it fell apart just as soon as we got our heads straight and actually looked! Really, what are those papers on your desk? Schematics of your devious plan? Did your plan involve running like a chicken with its head cut off down hallways you warped yourself? I seem to recall that you barely got away from us that time!"

"But I did get away from you!" Rinnosuke shouts.

"Yes, because you had to run from a coward from the very group of people you were trying to scare in the first place! In the end, you had to swarm us with a mob of those... things! Not to mention ambush me to bring me down and capture Eiki. Incidentally, I can't help but notice that your little weapon seems to be lacking ammunition."

"The drugs are costly," Rinnosuke growls. "And it doesn't matter. Yes, things were a bit more... awkward, than I had expected, but it doesn't matter! I have everyone right where I want them!"

"Except me," I note. "Such an honor, to be the wrench in your plans. Which, by the way, look like you ripped off an Agatha Christie novel. A fan, are we? She did it much better than you. Now, next question, what the hell is with those helmets, exactly?"

Rinnosuke's outrage lodges in his throat at the sudden change of topic. "...The device uses a form of concentrated faith to overwrite mental patterns. Youkai are particularly susceptible. Gods, less so, but still more so than humans. It will take some time, but I will eventually reprogram everyone here to be loyal to me, and me alone. Hadn't I already made that clear?"

"Yes, but I needed to confirm it," I tell him, striding towards his desk. Rinnosuke tenses up as I approach, eyes locked with my own. I come to a stop on the other side of his desk and stare into those gold eyes, cold with rage. It seems that I've managed to anger him. Good. He's not nearly as clever as he thinks he is. In the end, he only won this game by applying massive force which he could barely control. Though, that does present a problem, now doesn't it?

Calmly, I reach over and pick up the tranquilizer gun by the barrel, examining it from all angles. Rinnosuke relaxes a little but, looking a bit proud of his possession. It really does look like quite the exotic toy, I mus admit. I purse my lips and nod, opening my mouth as though to say something...

...and then I throw it into his face as hard as I can.

"Ungh!" Rinnosuke grunts, more startled than hurt. Then he sees my axe, descending towards his head. Instinctively, his arms raise up to protect him, successively putting his control bracelet directly into the path of my weapon. With a loud smash, the device's sensitive machinery shatters, though the axe is regrettably stopped by the underlying metal. Still, that had to have numbed his arm, at the very least.

I am quickly proved wrong in this assumption as, with a feral growl, Rinnosuke's hand lashes out, knocking the axe away from me with strength that I never would have imagined could have existed in such a slender frame. Then his other arm comes around for a backhand-

*THWACK*

Oh.

Ouch.

I'm flying.

That hurt.

I hit the ground with a pained grunt and roll several feet, my head spinning. I shake myself to clear my senses, and come to the sudden realization that Rinnosuke's blow has knocked me a good ten feet away from the half-youkai. Who, by the way, is staring at me with undisguised hate. He glances down at the bracelet's remnants and strips it off with a shake of his head.

"Meaningless," the man spits out, "Maybe I can't control her powers directly, but she's still unable to so much as breathe without my consent. I'll just have to do this with my own two hands. Somehow, I think that I'll enjoy it!"

Carefully, I rise to my feet. All right, I've been disarmed, but more importantly Rinnosuke is no longer utilizing Yukari's abilities. That even things out a little bit.

And then Rinnosuke picks up his desk and hurls it into the wall fifteen feet away hard enough to shatter the wood. He does this with seemingly no effort. Must be the youkai blood.

That isn't good.

Eyes burning with deadly intent, Rinnosuke takes a step towards me. He doesn't say anything. He doesn't have to. Everyone can tell what happens next.

"Alfred!" Eiki calls out to me, frightened. For just a moment, I lock eyes with her and feel a surge of determination run through my body. She is why I'm doing this. She is why I am going to put down this sociopathic half-youkai maniac like a mad dog, no matter what it takes.

I refuse to let him win.

As they say, it's go time.

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

BOSS FIGHT: RINNOSUKE MORICHIKA


All right. You're fighting Rinnosuke, and he intends to kill you. Rinnosuke no longer has access to Yukari's abilities, but he's still half-youkai, way tougher than you, and angry as all hell. Also, you've been disarmed. You need to fight this guy, somehow, and win.

Name your strategy. The more thought put into it, the better Alfred will do against Rinnosuke. Here are some options to get you started:

[ ] Fight physically: clobber him!
[ ] Fight mentally: outwit him!
[ ] Fight verbally: snark the hell out of him!

These are just starters. Use your imagination, and feel free to ask questions about the environment.

Be warned. Bad ends are active as of now. Rinnosuke has no more interest in keeping Alfred alive.

But hey, you're a butler, or at least the next best thing. And you're doing this for your guests, one of whom you're particularly fond of. You're not gonna let her down, now are you?
No. 53884
I'll defer to my fellow readers on this. I'm never good in boss fight write-ins for quests. I'll just support the most effective one that appears.
No. 53885
I'm not sure why even fighting him physicially is even an option as it's mainly viable if Alfred had more of background in something involving combat.

Our best bet is to try to outsmart him or snark him into doing something stupid. I doubt he'd let Alfred get enough time to free anyone.
No. 53887
[X] Fight mentally: outwit him!
-[X] Fight verbally: snark the hell out of him!

Keep him distracted and off-balance while we set up a trap.
No. 53889
[X] Fight Mentally: outwit him!
-[X] Start edging away from him towards the brainwashing machine, snarking all the while to keep him distracted with rage. When close enough, smash it to keep his plan from succeeding.

Not sure how we're going to actually KO Rinnosuke, but this should be our opening. Denying him what he started all this for is certain to piss him off.

He seems to have a bit of an inferiority complex with his weak abilities and is trying to overcompensate by dominating strong youkai.
Poking fun at his shoddy plan and how inferior he is to the people he's trying to lord himself over is sure to prevent him from making any thought out moves.

It also ensures that should we fail or get knocked out again, we won't wake up to find Eiki or any of the others working for Rinnosuke. I'm not sure how long they'll be able to hold out and if the effects won't be permanent.
No. 53890
[x] Fight mentally: outwit him!
[x] Fight verbally: snark the hell out of him!

All we have to do is hang out near the machine and make him angry enough to accidentally damage it by throwing something heavy at it, or by carefully dodging his punch. Like a bull fight. We could even pull out some loose wires or something while we're there.
No. 53891
File 137642943758.jpg- (36.05KB , 620x349 , hopefully not us.jpg ) [iqdb]
53891
Alright, gloves're off. Let's do this shit!

First of all, we need to get that axe back first and foremost. We're at a huge physical disadvantage here; fighting Rinnosuke barehand is tantamount to suicide. Of course, making a blind dash to the weapon will tip him off, and he'll stop us before we even get close. Therefore we must decieve him, distract him. I propose the following:

[X] Fight verbally: snark the hell out of him!
-[x] Circle him slowly as we do so, until we get close to the axe/blunt object.
--[x] Pretend to drop your guard. Let Rinnosuke get near you.
---[x] And once he's in range... BAM!

Rinnosuke tries to look like a calm, collected villain, but his reactions to our quips prove otherwise. If we manage to upset him with our natural Butler Snark (TM), he'll lose his focus, be more prone to slip-ups, and ultimately create an opening for us to go for the axe. For example, Alfred could point out the hypocrisy of his plan: he wants to change the system of Gensokyo where the strong rules over the weak, but for him to get this far, he had to use force.

Once we get the axe, it'll all come down to a single surprise attack. We only got one chance to strike him, else he'll be wary of our weapon and make the fight even more difficult than it already is. If we manage to have the axe at hand reach, we could pretend to drop our guard, let Rinnosuke get near, and then pick up the axe quickly deliver the (hopefully finisher) blow.
No. 53892
[X] Fight mentally: outwit him!
-[X] Fight verbally: snark the hell out of him!

Use machinery as cover, try to free your allies while keeping him off-balance or look for an opening. There has to be something you can use around here...
No. 53893
Hmmm...would it be possible to somehow set up >>53891 to somehow destroy or at least disable the devices holding Yukari and the others in place? Defeating Rinnosuke on our own just is not viable right now on our own. Freeing the ladies is tantamount to victory anyway so shouldn't we work towards that instead of beating the boss?
No. 53895
Some questions, then:

Is there anything particularly mobile? The lines leading into the helmets, or any metal rods or tools that could be picked up? Fighting straight up in terms of physical strength is likely out now that we don't have the drop on him, but being able to have options or use something as a shield/parry would be useful.
No. 53896
[x] Fight physically: clobber him!
-[x] Get in close, fast, to surprise him. As he reacts, deal blows to the knees and side under the ribcage before retreating. Repeat.
--[x] When he's moving slowly, get your axe and finish him.

Dancing in and out of range will tire him more quickly than us. Continually hitting soft and weak places on the body will wear him out and make him incapable of fighting back when we retrieve our axe.
No. 53897
>>53896
>>53895
So the plan is to basically Dark Souls him?
No. 53898
Eiki said that the power-seals are being powered by an external source. If we got Rinnosuke to destroy that, the girls would be able to break free and pulverize him.

She also said the power source is magical, though, so I'm not exactly sure if it's being powered by the generator. Don't know if it's Magitek or not.
No. 53899
>>53891
>he wants to change the system of Gensokyo where the strong rules over the weak
Except that's wrong.
>"Then why? What is the purpose of this?" I demand.
>Rinnosuke raises a finger in the air to punctuate his next statement. "Self-improvement."
He only wants personal power, and snarking that he's so terrible and immoral for having such a motive will do jack all since he's already demonstrated that he really doesn't care.

>>53889
>>53892
Do you know that the machines are vulnerable and easily broken with our bare hands? Because if they're not, you're just wasting time and energy while he closes in on us.

>>53897
Exactly.
No. 53900
How is he so strong when he himself said he is barely stronger than a human?
No. 53901
>>53895

The lines leading into the helmets are reinforced cables. The aforementioned iron bar is sitting in a corner that you can see, and there's also a toolbox along one wall. Beyond that, nothing that really stands out as a shield.
No. 53902
>>53893
I'm >>53891.

What I voted was just a sort of initial guideline. I expect the rest of you to modify it, pulish it and improve it as you see fit. Going by your suggestion, if we don't manage to finish him off with the surprise blow, at least we'd buy precious time to do something to the machinery, possibly even free one or two of the girls to aid us in battle. I don't think we'd recognize what's blocking their powers at first glance, much less in the haze of battle, so I suggest freeing the girls most talented at CQC (Parsee, Yumeko, Suika).
No. 53903
>>53900
It's a logarithmic scale. He's X times stronger than a human, while most youkai are X times stronger than him.
No. 53904
[x] Fight mentally: outwit him!
[x] Fight verbally: snark the hell out of him!
[x] Use the Environment to our advantage!

GET A SHIV! There are lots of electric things that we could get him to shock himself with or smash him into if we anger him enough. Also given his strength and speed it would be ill advised to try and get the ax back. using it gives him far too large of an opportunity to get in close adn rip limbs off, something more maneuverable like a knife or a shiv is better if we can improvise something. What we want is to get him off balance have him make a mistake and then fucking take him for all he is worth, stab the shit outta him and don't stop till all his blood is outside his body.

Anyway, onto the enviroment, what is around us with arm's reach? is the water he used to make tea around and is it still hot? Are the thin monitors bolted into the wall or can we tear them down and break them on Rinnosuke's face if need be? Really what Alfred's mindset needs to be is What would Michael Westin/Jason Bourne do? Granted Alfred isnt a superspy assassin, but anything we can use to get one over on Rinnosuke and kill him needs to be brought into play.
No. 53905
[ x] Fight mentally: outwit him!
[ x] Fight verbally: snark the hell out of him!

Alright gentlemen, time to end this. Since a physical engagement more than likely will end with us getting murdered, let's count that out.

We must use our superior English wit to full effect if we want to have a chance of besting this bastard.

Basically pull a Spider-man and taunt the hell out of him.
No. 53906
[x] Trick him into damaging the generator

We'll snark him into even more of a rage, then use his own strength to destroy the one thing that's most likely powering not only the machines, but the power nullification plates as well.

Then hopefully the girls that aren't as drained will be able to get free and take him down. I don't see Alfred being able to handle Rinnosuke 1v1. And even if it causes the lights to go out, at least Parsee (and Yumeko, and sorta-Suika, but they might be too drained) can see in the dark.
No. 53907
[x] Get the axe. it's the only thing keeping you on anything close to physical parity and it would be best if he didn't get it.
[x] Snark more and fight smart, make him angry and more liable to make mistakes you can exploit. We can't win against someone this strong head on.
[x] Axe the cable coming out of Yukari, it might be needed for the power drainer as that wasn't started until after Yukari was taken. If we can re-power the girls they may be able to help us.
No. 53908
>>53904

There is a small set of supplies off to one side that you can see, sort of like a small kitchenette. There also a small sort of bathroom, as well. The supplies include a few foodstuffs, a hotplate, and a few knives. Looks like Rinnosuke has been here for a while. He's made his lair nice and cozy. You even see a small, unused cot in the corner.
No. 53910
>>53908
And these are close to us? also where is the ax in relation to us now?
No. 53912
>>53910

Not exactly close, but you can see them past Rinnosuke. The axe is ahead of you and near the wall to your right. Ironically, it's quite close to where Parsee is shackled.
No. 53914
[ ] DON'T fight physically! He's got Suika's super-strength and can probably kill you with an easy gut-punch. Also, if you do get a lucky killing blow then Eiki will have to send him to Hell. You don't want to hurt your waif more than she already is.
[x] Fight verbally: snark the hell out of him!
-[x] Be sure not to give him the idea to one-shot you with one of his stolen powers (like Suika's density control), or remind him of such powers present.
-[x] Ask him where he's going to get his faith since the only ones who believe in youkai are more than likely to marshall forces against him.
-[x] Speaking of which, ask your guests if they have any powerful friends who can marshall said forces. This will hopefully get Yukari to mention that she's lovers with a dimension lord.
[x] Fight mentally: outwit him!
-[x] Get him to break the machinery, your priority is releasing Hina since she can absorb misfortune and therefore make a daring plan more likely to work. Second priority is Suika to deprive him of her powers. Third priority is Yukari since she can non-lethally one-shot him, though she may be too drained.
--[x] Try not to get close to him, however, nor endanger the guests.
-[x] Disable the machinery yourself when possible, but nothing more time-consuming than chopping a cable with an axe.
No. 53916
>>53914

Just to clarify: he was only hijacking Yukari's powers, and that controller was destroyed. He's only using his normal strength... which is still way beyond your own.
No. 53918
>>53882

He's also a villain in Dolphin Rider Koishi.
No. 53919
[x] Kissu
No. 53921
>>53916

In that case I'll change my vote:
-[x] Yukari's second priority; non-lethal one-shot, but she may be too exhausted.
-[x] Don't get Suika out unless you have to, Kourin dies and Eiki has to send him to Hell.
No. 53924
>>53919
THIS! Kiss him! He'll never expect it!
No. 53925
[x] Fight mentally: outwit him!
-[x] Fight verbally: snark the hell out of him! (this should be enabled by default)
[x] Stay out of range at all cost

If he's angered enough he might just try to come directly at Alfred with no particular tactics, making it easier to avoid.

The goal of this game is to survive until one or all of the Krakens present is released,

Do we have a single clue about what artifact is powering the seals? If not it should be top priority to obtain this information,
maybe by appealing to his laughable weakness or outright asking the hostages themselves.
No. 53929
File 137644107252.gif- (1.18MB , 200x143 , Dark Souls.gif ) [iqdb]
53929
>>53897

>Dark Souls
No. 53932
[x] Remove jacket.
[x] Fight mentally: outwit him!
-[x] Fight verbally: snark the hell out of him!
-[x] Try to find out what's powering the seals, and destroy it somehow if possible.
-[x] If that won't work, grab the closest weapon and stay on the defensive. Bait Rinnosuke into stunning/electrocuting himself with an ill-timed attack, then jump in to finish him.

Repowering the girls seems like the best idea to me, unless Yukari herself is the power source. Trying to free them ourselves with an angry Rinnosuke after us would be difficult.
No. 53935
>>53932
This reminds me, are we wearing a tie? if so get that thing the fuck off immediately.
No. 53936
So, I don't suppose Alfred knows Tai Chi?

[x] Fight mentally: outwit him!
-[x] Fight verbally: snark the hell out of him!
-[x] Use the environment to your advantage.
-[x] Try to keep him off-guard. Be surprising and confusing. Fight dirty.

[x] Primary goal: Get the girls' powers back by disabling the anti-magic field, or Yukari's back by releasing her.
-[x] Secondary goal: Release anyone else for assistance with the primary goal. He can't be in two places at once.
-[x] Last resort: Teleport! There must be someone in Gensokyo who can help.
No. 53939
[X] Fight physically: clobber him!
-[X] Get in close, fast, to surprise him. As he reacts, deal blows to the knees and side under the ribcage before retreating. Repeat.
--[X] When he's moving slowly, get your axe and finish him.

>>53896
Looks good to me.
No. 53943
Wait...can we use the arch to get to Gensokyo for help?
No. 53944
>>53943
If we do that, Rinnosuke could destroy the arch on his end. We wouldn't really be able to get back, and he'd be free to continue his plan. I think we'd be better off settling things here.
No. 53945
>>53944
Maybe we could do that instead. Piss the fucker off, have him rush into the Arch and close it after him.
No. 53949
Buy some time by insulting him and move towards the remains of the desk. Using the remains of either the glass ball or the gold contraption as a tool to blind him should gain enough time to see where the axe fell.
Once the axe has been retrieved it's only a matter of getting him to charge and using his own momentum against him to attack his legs.
No. 53951
[X] Fight verbally: snark the hell out of him!

As easily as we got under his skin earlier we'll have him popping veins inside of a minute. If you can't beat someone with force, beat them with words.

>>53945

Is it active? Unless we can distract him long enough to examine it I don't know if it's worth messing with.
No. 53954
File 137645296952.png- (85.13KB , 290x370 , stay frosty.png ) [iqdb]
53954
[X] Fight verbally: snark the hell out of him!
--[X] Insult his pride.
---[X] Free Parsee with the axe.
[ELSE] Get a small, stabbing weapon.

To be precise: Insult his pride as hard as possible. We want to whip him into a blind rage, yes - people who get that mad can hardly throw a punch correctly, much less analyze a situation.

However, whipping him into true bloodlust will encourage him to just chase us down and murder us as quickly as possible - something Rinnosuke could easily do. Rinnosuke has revealed himself as a classic sociopath; the ego, absence empathy, the utter selfishness, even the ability to "turn on" charm like flipping a switch. If we continue to mock his competency and control of the situation, he'll try to re-assert it by doing stupid things, like taking his sweet time to kill - probably by slowly strangling Alfred while gloating about it. Power is everything to "men" like this: its why Rinnosuke is doing this at all, and especially why he made an impromptu "game" of it. And its probably why he threw his desk against the wall; like a gorilla beating its chest.

Look down on him. Observe that he made a fool of himself, laying an elaborate trap only to throw away his advantages for the sake of masturbatory "gaming." Which almost cost him everything the instant he faced a single unknown element - you, who was far less susceptible to panic because you're used to having no special powers. And then he blundered further by insulting you and trying to buy you off in the same breath, demonstrating a marvelous inability to analyze and manipulate a new variable. He's a puppetmaster who can't puppeteer worth a damn, and in the space of seconds he's been reduced to a thug with no power beyond his own fingertips - by a goddamned vanilla human.

"You have lost control of this situation, Rinnosuke, and you're not getting it back."

Now is when our experience with maintaining the 'unflappable Butler' front under high stress comes to the fore. Keep hitting him with questions you know he can't answer or hasn't considered - if he's having this much trouble with you, what of Eric? He'll be here any time now, after all. When he gets back to Gobby-oh-ko and has to fool the dozens of followers, friends and acquaintances of his would-be slaves, how will he deal with the first suspicious person who's not suffering from infatuation or bitter tunnel-vision? How's he going to pull it off when he's already fucked up this bad?

The cool, detached air of the unflappable butler - or as close as Alfred can manage - turns these statements from hot jibes and childish taunts (like Alfred was throwing earlier) to nasty, truthful critiques. And for the finishing touch, when Rinnosuke's been whipped into a humiliated, vicious state, look him dead in the eye, sneer, and say "I am declaring victory, Mr. Morchika."

If THAT doesn't give you an opening, nothing will.

Why free Parsee? It's right next to the axe; and once we reach it we'll not have much time before Rinnosuke rushes us. Taking out the whole shebang would be great, but we've got to play the odds. Second, of all the touhous present, Parsee is the most formidable without her powers; as we've already seen. She can handle herself just fine, especially with a knife.

And if we can't reach the axe in the space of a single update, reaching a small knife or a screwdriver from that toolbox will be our best second option. Rinnosuke may be strong, but as he's strangling the life out of us and "enjoying it," we'll have a lovely opening to punch a neat, nasty little hole in some important organs. Half-Youkai or not, that'll give the sumbitch pause - and probably make him let go.
No. 53970
>>53954

Well I know what I'm voting for, thanks to this magnificent post.

[X] Fight verbally: snark the hell out of him!
--[X] Insult his pride.
---[X] Free Parsee with the axe.
[ELSE] Get a small, stabbing weapon.
No. 53977
[X] Fight verbally: snark the hell out of him!
--[X] Insult his pride.
---[X] Free Parsee with the axe.
[ELSE] Get a small, stabbing weapon.
No. 53986
There's a lot of good ideas on display here. I hope Keymaster can combine some of them somehow.
No. 53987
File 137648789584.jpg- (688.18KB , 1019x1440 , Naturally Suspicious.jpg ) [iqdb]
53987
> When he gets back to Gobby-oh-ko and has to fool the dozens of followers, friends and acquaintances of his would-be slaves, how will he deal with the first suspicious person who's not suffering from infatuation or bitter tunnel-vision?

And how long do you think it'll be before Reimu notices a prolonged absence or suspicious behavior? Let me know if that doesn't speak for itself.
No. 53990
>>53987
Reimu does have some insanely powerful intuition as in I think in TH2, she ends up avoiding a trap with it. And in that picture? She ends up nailing Marisa (who was outside) with it right in the face.
No. 54003
Uh wow. A lot of discussion on this one. Which is a good thing! Anyway, consensus seems to be on outwitting and snarking the shit out of Rinnosuke, along with a lot of other good ideas. I'll try to put it all together into a good update.
No. 54005
[X] Fight verbally: snark the hell out of him!
--[X] Insult his pride.

>>53954
I agree with this idea, even if not all of the exact wording. "I am declaring victory" sounds more like Rinnosuke than Alfred, to be honest. It just a little too much "Gloating Bad Guy", you know?

"You've lost control of the situation" and "how are you going to fool everyone else when you've already fucked up this bad" are spot on, though.
Although instead of "fucked up", he could say "when you couldn't even fool a regular human like me".
Rinnosuke's ego probably wouldn't take well to the implication that he's less than even the humans at the bottom of Gensokyo's power scales.
(Tthe logical connection is a little bit of a stretch so one of the touhous might have to fill in the blanks, but:
As stupid as they are, even FAIRIES are more powerful than humans, so that would place Rinnosuke below even them.
In other words, let's imply that even Cirno is smarter than him.)


He is nowhere as in control as he likes to believe and, most importantly, needs us to believe he is. That why he has now been reduced to pointless shows of force "like a gorilla beating it's chest" (nice analogy) in order to try and regain that control.
Keep him off balance while looking for a way to free at least one Touhou (probably Parsee). If we're wrecking one thing, and she's wrecking another he can't stop us both.
No. 54015
File 137651363972.jpg- (298.80KB , 595x764 , the face of hate.jpg ) [iqdb]
54015
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr-ATVc345E&list=PL4A0E4E981AD61C84&index=65)

All right. He's stronger than me, that much is painfully obvious. And he's clearly an absolute sociopath. Rinnosuke won't hesitate in the slightest to kill me. I'm unarmed, while he might as well have arms ending in sledgehammers.

But I have an advantage. This man clearly has an ego the size of a small mountain. And me?

I'm a butler.

I practically specialize in tearing down egos.

Time to get to work.

Rinnosuke takes another step towards me, hands twisting with murderous intent. His lips pull back from his teeth, and his eyes almost pulse with the heat of his wrath. I look him directly in his gold eyes, and sigh wearily.

"So it's come to this at last, has it?" I ask with weariness in my voice.

"Reality setting in, is it?" Rinnosuke growls out at me.

"It set in a long time ago, Mr. Morichika. And I really wish you would cease this nonsense. It's tiring." I nonchalantly walk away from him, though keeping him in the corner of my eye. "By the way, your lair is dusty. I suggest that you clean up. Or is that why I was all but dragged here? To be your live-in maid?"

Rinnosuke actually freezes in place, staring at me in disbelief. "What?! Have you completely taken leave of your senses? Do you have any idea of the situation you're in?!"

"Yes," I say coldly, staring at Rinnosuke down my nose with every ounce of disinterest that I can muster. "I'm stuck in a grown adolescent's pitiful revenge fantasy, and I really wish the he'd grow up."

Rinnosuke snarls and marches towards me, and I immediately start marching away at a brisk pace. It makes for a baffling sight, I'm sure: the enraged half-youkai stalking towards me, while I walk away with apparent nonchalance, as though I'm simply on business. My pace brings me towards a small kitchenette off to the sid., and I pick up a large butcher knife, causing Rinnosuke to pause and settle down into some manner of fighting stance. I inspect the blade, shake my head in dismay... and place it back down, with a disappointed sigh.

"Pathetic," I say.

"What the hell did you just say to me?!" Rinnosuke shouts.

I turn a cold gaze onto him. "I said 'pathetic', Mister Morichika, though it pains me to use an honorific that implies some measure of respect. It's a word that implies a certain amount of weary disdain. Quite simply... Rinnosuke... I have seen enough, and have taken my measure of you. And I honestly wish that you would grow up and stop humiliating yourself. It's tiresome."

Rinnosuke snarls and lunges forward, and I leap out of the way at the last moment. His fist comes down hard, shattering the counter into pieces, but I am already out of the way, and when Rinnosuke whirls to face me... I am nonchalantly walking away, as though nothing in the world is wrong.

"Do you even know what's going on?!" Rinnosuke yells at me.

I sigh. "You just asked me much the same question. Kindly pay attention. This is aggravating enough as it is." Rinnosuke sputters, and the chained guests stare at me in shock, their jaws hanging open. All except Eiki, who is smiling enigmatically. I give her a wink that only she can see, and stay on my course for a tool chest that has been neglectfully tossed into the corner. I stare at it and shake my head. "You haven't even been maintaining your tools. Sloppy."

Rinnosuke chokes with outrage and I open the chest rummaging through it. I pick up a heavy wrench and hold it up to the light, examining it carefully... and with my body obscuring most of my actions, carefully slip a long screwdriver into my jacket pocket. Shaking my head, I drop the large wrench back into the chest. "Pointless," I say.

"Stop stalling and face me, you imbecile!" Rinnosuke shouts, stomping towards me. "I am going to tear you limb from-"

I whirl on him. "That is enough," I snap, looking down my nose at him with contempt. He actually screeches to a halt, gaping at me in disbelief. "You are not impressing anyone with your antics, sirrah, so I will thank you to stop acting like the town drunk. We expect a much higher standard of behavior from our guests here, and now that I am present I will not tolerate any more childishness from you."

"Childishness," Rinnosuke says wonderingly, clearly taken aback. "What the hell do you mean by childishness? In case you haven't noticed, I have total control over all of you!"

I just stare at him coldly. "No. You don't. You never did." Without another word, I turn in place and walk away, leaving Rinnosuke staring at me in absolute consternation. Instead, I walk up to Yukari and heave a sigh, looking honestly apologetic. "Miss Yakumo, I offer my sincere regrets that this has happened to you. Perhaps if we had been more vigilant, a buffoon such as this would never have infiltrated the mansion."

"Buffoon?!" Rinnosuke chokes out. I ignore him.

"It's hardly your fault, Mister Westcastle," Yukari says with a benign smile, as though discussing the decor. "After all, I can hardly fault you for the actions of an uninvited guest."

"You're too kind, Miss Yakumo," I say with a slight bow. "And please, let's not stand on ceremony. By all means, call me Alfred!"

Yukari chuckles. "Then Alfred, let me assure you, I certainly do not blame you for this... individual, using my own magical nature to seal off everyone's powers-"

"Aha!" Rinnosuke cries in triumph, stalking forward again. "So that's your plan, is it? Well, the knowledge won't do you any good-"

"Be silent," I tell him dismissively, not even looking in his direction. Rinnosuke freezes once more, unable to believe his ears. "The adults are talking right now."

"I'm far older than you are, dammit!" is the angry reply.

"Then kindly act like it," I respond, then speak to Yukari again. "That makes sense, Miss Yakumo. He uses your abilities to... what? Set up a boundary between the magical and the non-magical?"

"Something like that," Yukari confirms, "Though the system has certain exceptions built into it so that my own abilities-"

Rinnosuke rushes forward and kicks me in the stomach. I go flying across the room and slam into a wall, hard. The air knocked out of me, I can only slump against the wall for a moment, trying to breathe again. There is a cry of dismay from the guests, and Rinnosuke leers in triumph, very proud of his cheap shot. Yukari just looks on impassively, as though at an eight-year old who just called the butler a bad name.

After a moment, I get my breath back and slowly rise up to my full height, ignoring the pain in my stomach. With a sigh, I dust off my jacket and look up at Rinnosuke, regarding him down the length of my nose once more. "You will be paying for any damages to my clothes," I tell him.

Rinnosuke's jaw drops nearly to the floor, unable to believe his ears. I take a moment to look around the room, carefully taking in the generator, the magical equipment, the handcuffs binding everyone to the walls. Turning my gaze back to Rinnosuke, I notice the keyring on his belt- ah. How obvious. But then, he probably likes showing off his control, doesn't he?

"You remind me of someone," I say out loud. "When I was a lad, there was a boy who had a seat in the corner of the classroom who always kept drawing these 'ultimate deathtraps.' He'd go on and on about how they were fool-proof, and how anyone who got trapped in one was utterly doomed. Then he'd throw a tantrum whenever somebody pointed out just how silly they were, and how easily they could be foiled. He made a fool out of himself every time. And frankly, sirrah, you are giving me a terrible case of deja vu."

"In case you haven't noticed, I have everything here under my total control!" Rinnosuke insists, his voice starting to crack.

I just roll my eyes. "Enough. You aren't impressing anyone, so kindly give it a rest. At least attempt to act like a civilized individual, would you?"

"You-"

"But I'm glad you brought it up," I say, very deliberately stepping over my axe without trying to pick it up. "Your 'control,' I mean. I just want to say, that this is one of the most intricate set-ups I have ever seen. Something that movie producers would salivate over." Rinnosuke hesitates at this, and looks pleased at the compliment. "The effect is ruined by what has to be the most contemptible execution that I have ever seen. Honestly, I think that a dog could have given a more convincing performance than you. This whole situation become utterly laughable from the word go, and I would appreciate it if you would simply own up to this fact, sirrah."

"Stop calling me that!" Rinnosuke all but shrieks.

"No," I say flatly. "Only when you deserve to be called something else. Back on topic, let us consider your performance. To begin, you had everyone at your mercy. You could have done whatever you wished with impunity. Your first act was to utterly ruin your own plan by deciding to play a game, sirrah, rather than consider doing something about the one individual least likely to panic in this situation, the one who lad no powers to lose."

Rinnosuke actually stops short. "Well... I didn't consider you a threat, really..."

"Indeed. It never occurred to you to deal with the one person who knew this mansion better than anyone, did it? You didn't even think that I could disrupt things, despite the fact that my very presence had already thrown your plans off." I shake my head in disgust. "And that's just for starters. You tried to inflict terror by throwing together poorly-made crime scenes, even though simple disappearances would have let you continue to act with impunity for longer. When discovered, these scenes only made your incompetence more clear, diminishing any respect you may have had. And by the way, you carried that nonsense on far too long."

"Well..." Rinnosuke hesitates, "I only thought that-"

"No. You didn't think," I interrupt him. "You also never suspected that we'd do something rational, did you? Like try and hunker down and wait things out, which form the sounds of things would have worked. This forced you to lose more credibility by engineering even more poorly thought out crime scenes. Honestly, did you think we wouldn't notice the window?"

"I.. I had no choice!" Rinnosuke protests, looking frantic. "I wasn't expecting...urgh!"

"Indeed," I say icily. "You didn't expect. You DID expect us to run around in a panic, and when we didn't your whole poorly thought-out plan came apart like tissue paper. Honestly, what were you thinking by grabbing Kasen right in front of us? Hina I could understand, but Kasen? From the sounds of things she gave you quite a struggle, and you went from shadowy nemesis to very real, and very vulnerable, kidnapper in an instant. Did you even realize that you were throwing all of your advantages away, one by one?"

"In my defense, I would have had him, if he hadn't gotten that cloth over my face," Kasen comments from the side.

"Shut up," Rinnosuke whispers.

"And it just got worse from there," I continue, stepping forward until I'm face-to-face with Rinnosuke. He actually takes a step back, eyes blazing with hate and confusion. "Why were you trying to scare us so transparently by warping the hallways? What did you really seek to gain? That whole incident made it quite clear that you weren't in control of your powers. Again, we became less frightened. Again, you frittered away an advantage. To say nothing of the debacle that followed, where you almost lost out of a desperate desire to continue your game."

"Shut up," Rinnosuke says again, his eyes desperate.

"But despite all of that, you managed to capture everyone. Congratulations. And your first move was to insult me and invite me to leave. Not capture me. Not kill me. Just sit me in a chair and gloat. What in the name of all that is holy did you think was going to happen?"

"W-well..." Rinnosuke tries.

"But more importantly, sirrah," I say firmly. "What do you think is going to happen now?"

Rinnosuke just gapes in shock.

"I alone was almost your ruin," I continue. "What happens when Eric and Sylvia get here? Because knowing them, they were awake as soon as the storm started, shouting into the phone to get dump trucks full of dirt up here to restore the road so that they can attend to their guests. Did you honestly believe the staff would just give up and call the whole thing a wash? They'll be here within the hour, I'll bet. And then they'll see the mess. Within ninety minutes, every police officer in the state will be here. What do you do then?"

"Uh... um..." Rinnosuke is looking frantic now, totally beyond words.

"Do you run back home?" I press him. "Do you leave everyone here? Of course not, you have to take them with you. Where do you hide them? Where do you go? And furthermore, many of these women have powerful friends, and resources who will miss them. What do you do when they come looking? How long until they find you? What then?"

"Ran, my servant, will already know that something is wrong through my bond with her," Yukari says calmly. "And Eiki's colleagues will definitely come searching for her. Do you honestly seek to defy the entirety of the celestial courts? Do you think you can?"

Rinnosuke just stand there, pale and trembling, unable to speak.

"You don't know," I say in disgust. "You never thought any of this through, and so you were doomed before you even started. No matter how this ends, you are finished." I stare at him in the eye for a moment. "You told me that you declared victory earlier. Well, let me declare this. I declare you a fool. I declare you an incompetent. And most of all, I declare you a complete, utter failure. Sirrah."

Rinnosuke screams.

Shrieking in utter hatred, his hands wrap around my throat and heave me into the air, choking my windpipe as he shouts into my face. "SHUT UP! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM?! I AM IN TOTAL CONTROL, I ALWAYS WILL BE, I'LL MAKE THINGS WORK, SO STOP INSULTING ME GOD DAMN YOU, OR I'LL RIP YOUR GUTS-"

Having pulled out the screwdriver, I stab him in the throat. As he stares at me in shock, I keep stabbing. His throat again. His chest, several times, punching through the skin, past the ribs, and into the delicate organs. With a strangled cry, Rinnosuke tries to fling me to the ground, but I manage to keep my footing, drop the screwdriver, bend down, scoop up the axe, and complete my spin-

-driving the axe into Rinnosuke's stomach.

The room goes still.

The women let out a gasp. Rinnosuke freeze in place, tears streaming down his cheeks, as he shakily reaches for the blade. Growling, I kick him to the ground, tearing the axe out of his midsection. The half-youkai lies there, blood pouring from his throat, his chest, his stomach, as he frantically tries to keep the wounds closed. Rinnosuke looks up at me in panic, trying to say something, but only getting out a wet choking sound. His eyes run wild in his head, looking for something, anything, to save him, but find nothing.

I loom over him, bloody axe in hand, and feel cold rage come over me at the knowledge that such scum had forced its way into our lives. But now, I can end it.

[ ] Kill Rinnosuke.
[ ] Don't kill Rinnosuke.
No. 54018
[X] Don't kill Rinnosuke.

If we kill him now, Eiki will most likely get stuck sending him to Hell. She hates sending people to Hell.

On the other hand, by not killing him - and smashing his kappatech wristwach instead, because we are not going to overlook blatant threats like he did - we hand him an even harsher punishment. We force him to continue being Rinnosuke Morichika.

Maybe he'll realize how pointless and miserable it is and stop being such a piece of shit, or maybe he'll continue being scum and end up facing the Yama's harshest punishment anyways, but either way, we're not putting a capstone of even more awfulness on Eiki's weekend.
No. 54019
[X] Don't kill Rinnosuke.

We don't want Eiki having to send someone to Hell, do we?
No. 54021
[X] Kill Rinnosuke.

Give him a clean death. Also given what he has done he would probably suffer far worse in Gensokyo, or would given that he is going to drown in his own blood in the next 10 minutes.
No. 54022
[x] Don't kill Rinnosuke.

Adding to what >>54018 said, we certainly can threaten to kill him... unless he tells us how to shut off the generator powering his power-inhibitor devices. Once that's turned off and the ladies are freed (whilst keeping a close eye on Rinnosuke to make sure he doesn't try anything funny, of course), then we let him live to face his punishment back in Gensokyo.

We've already won, there's no need to go any further.
No. 54023
>>54022
He has a punctured windpipe and carotid, he will be doing no talking, just put the dog out of his misery.
No. 54024
[x]Don't kill Rinnosuke.

We don't want to stain our suit with this scum's blood. And even if it is in "self-defense", a murder is still a murder. It's giving Eiki more work to deal with, and besides we could find ourselves in jail in our own world despite our heroic efforts.

Also, how do I put this... I don't like how Rinnosuke went from the Bond villain sitting in a chair in his lair to just a pathetic ruffian in just one update. Yeah, I know the control he though he had was false, and that Alfred's snark is superb, but even so I feel like the transition from calmness to childish tantrum was a tad too fast and sudden.
No. 54025
>We force him to continue being Rinnosuke Morichika.
I like how you are thinking. Something worse than death? Forever be an outcast or in prison suffering for what he did. And that will be for a long time.

[x] Don't kill Rinnosuke.

>>54024
He just put up a big show with nothing behind it.
No. 54026
>>54023
Make the bastard mime, then, I guess.
No. 54027
[X] Don't kill Rinnosuke.

Seal up his youkai powers and force him to live as a human.
No. 54028
[X] Don't kill Rinnosuke, for Eiki.
-[x] Smash his kappatech wristcomp.
-[x] Free Suika, have her restrain rather than kill him.
No. 54029
>>54018

This. Also, make sure he gets some rehabilitation, even if it has to be Doc Savage-style brain surgery.
No. 54030
[X] Don't kill Rinnosuke.
[X] Destroy Yukari's leash, whatever that is
Who are we to deny our esteemed guests their fun?

That doesn't seem to be the control bracelet, since it was smashed in the previous update.
No. 54031
[X] Don't kill Rinnosuke.
Not worth it. Yukari can dish out the punishment...or just hand him off to Shinki since the man effectively kidnapped her servant and old friend AND her lover. Oh, boy...the things the Goddess of Makai is going to do to him once she finds out.
No. 54032
[X] Don't kill Rinnosuke.
-[X] Start freeing the women ASAP, starting with Yukari as she was the lynchpin to his actions.
No. 54033
[X] Don't kill Rinnosuke. The snark was fantastic. He'll know better from now on..and if he tries something again anyone familiar with the victims in this will be notified...Hey, they could even get this in the news...maybe they could let Aya publish it for a bit of redemption. "Humble shopkeep to Bond villian to thoroughly defeated, tantrum throwing overgrown child! Rinnosuke, for his evil deeds faces great and dire consequences at the hands of his victims!"
No. 54034
File 137651831480.png- (33.04KB , 315x320 , 1364739237686.png ) [iqdb]
54034
Now the question becomes, what happens to Alfred and Eiki? Does everything end after this weekend. Sure they can likely have a whole day to themselves and maybe even become intimate during that period of time. But what about after that? Do they just part? Does Yukari wipe his memories? Or will he be offered to go to Gensokyo to stay with Eiki as her personal assistant? Don't look at me like that, between Eiki and Yukari...maybe even Shinki since he saved Yumeko and Yukari, they can make it happen. They might even be able to give him Youkai longevity. Not turn him into a youkai, mind. Just make him live as long as one so he can spend his days with Eiki. The bittersweet ending is fine too but considering this is Being Meiling-verse, we ALL want a happy ending for Mr. Westcastle. Hell, he can even take a personal Yacht to Higan and have Komachi make the river longer so he can have a romantic cruise with Eiki and he can paint her like his french girls.
No. 54035
[x] Kill Rinnosuke
He's gonna regenerate and take us down if we don't.
No. 54036
>>54034
Or they just take the arches and they can see each other whenever they want.

Age is a problem of course, but that can wait for later.
No. 54038
>>54036
...or that.
No. 54039
[x] Debilitate Rinnosuke

How durable is a half-youkai? The last thing I want is to spare the fucker just to have him get up and kill us.
No. 54040
[x] Ask the girls for their opinion; they're the ones most affected by his plot.

I feel I have to go with this choice even if it loses.
No. 54042
[x]Kissu
No. 54046
[X] Don't kill Rinnosuke... but don't help him either.

Whether he bleeds out on the floor or the youkai get their hands on him, he's finished. There's no way he's going to be allowed back to his shop after kidnapping and trying to enslave the big names of Gensokyou.

While he's down there bleeding out he can tell us how to disable the devices and free the girls, and we will tell him we'll "consider" treating him. If the girls want him to live, that's up to them.
No. 54047
[X] Don't kill Rinnosuke.
We'll leave his fate to the judge.
No. 54048
[X] Don't kill Rinnosuke.
-[X] But axe that cable attached to Yukari ASAP
No. 54055
Uhhh there's a very big difference in killing him and doing a very intelligent thing at the present moment.

[x] Knock him the fuck out with the back of the axe.

Not kill, the Celestial Courts will have his ass anyway for kidnapping a judge. But KOing him will probably be better for us in the long run.
No. 54056
[x] Ask the girls for their opinion; they're the ones most affected by his plot.

But we should probably tie him up or something. It'd be really lame to be done in by a cheap shot.
No. 54057
File 137653501042.jpg- (295.00KB , 850x1089 , there are things even she rightly fears.jpg ) [iqdb]
54057
I want to kill him.

It would be so easy to kill him.

He deserves it, right?

......

I look up at the foremost moral authority I know. Eiki. She looks back at me and shakes her head solemnly.

"Don't be like him, Alfred," are my Yama's words to me.

......

Dammit. She's right.

With a sigh, I toss the axe to the side. Killing Rinnosuke would gain me nothing. No, best to let those wronged by him determine his fate. Assuming he doesn't bleed out, but I suspect that the half-youkai might be a bit too sturdy for that. Unfortunately.

Instead, I lean down over Rinnosuke's prine body, locking eyes with him. The half-youkai just looks back at me in a panic. Distantly, I wonder if he will survive the injuries I've given him. However, I have, quite frankly, had enough of the twisted bastard one way or the other.

Instead, I reach for Rinnosuke's belt and tear the keyring there away. This done, I turn my back to him and walk over to Yukari, leaving it to the guests to inform me if he gets up to anything. Judging by his groans of pain, he won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

Walking up to Yukari, I catch the look of desperate hope in her eyes. No reason to drag this out. After a moment's hesitation, I first undo the latches keeping the peculiar helmet on her head and tug it off. She groans with relief as I do so. Next up comes the bizarre harness strapped to her back, and finally the shackles holding her in place. Released, Yukari staggers forward, rubbing her wrists. The youkai woman gives me a grateful look.

"Thank you, Alfred," Yukari says to me, then smiles. "I always had absolute faith in Pleasant Meadows' excellent service."

I bow politely. "Always at your service, Madam. Now, about the others..." I start towards them, but Yukari lays a hand on my shoulder.

"No need," she tells me, "With the system deactivated, everyone's powers should be back now." The guests still strapped to the wall blink, then glance at each other.

Suika is the first to react... by tearing her bonds out of the wall, then snapping them off like they were made of cardboard. "Oh yeah! I'm back, baby!" the Oni cheers.

Eiki is the next to release herself by simply glaring at her bonds, which explode into a fine dust. She immediately marches over to me and throws her arms around me in a tight hug. One which I return in full.

She feels good. Smells nice, too. And there's something else there, as well; a massive power, one protective and reassuring, that I can somehow sense in her slender frame. It feels... pleasant. Like basking in the warmth of the sun, but on a spiritual level. I don't know how else to put it, but it feels... right.

So this is what is feels to hold a deity in your arms.

Off to the side, I notice the other guests releasing themselves and each other from their bonds. Lyrica simply passes through them like they weren't even there, poltergeist that she is. The helmets don't last for much longer, and wind up smashed to pieces. I do notice Hina walking away from the group, quietly, while Hatate goes after her with a sad expression on her face. Parsee just leans against the wall with a confused expression on her face, blinking at the air as she rubs her head.

But that's all peripheral. My main focus is Eiki.

"You terrified me," she whispers to me, hugging me tightly. "For a moment, I thought you were going to die."

"How do you think I felt when I woke up and you weren't there?" I murmur back. "But it doesn't matter now. We're safe, Eiki. We're all safe."

Eiki sighs, relaxing in my arms for a moment, before tugging my head down to meet her lips in a warm kiss. There's something pleasantly electric about it. Actually, everything about Eiki just seems... heightened, somehow. Like she's who she was always meant to be.

"So, what do we do with him?" I hear Kasen ask.

Startled, Eiki and I break our kiss and look over to where the rest of the guests are gathered around the bleeding Rinnosuke, glaring at him icily. The shopkeeper himself has a look of absolute terror on his face. Well, that explains why we haven't been getting any wolf whistles.

"I'm going to send him to Eirin," Yukari decides finally. She raises one of her hands, and a strange sort of... tear... opens up in the air, bounded by ribbons of all things. She reaches in, pulling out a paper and pen, and writes out a short note which she then slaps onto Rinnosuke's chest. Yukari smiles icily at her former captor. "Don't worry. That note explains everything to Eirin. She'll patch you up, and keep you nice and safe in the hospital until we're ready to deal with you." Her smile becomes glacial. "And rest assured, we WILL be dealing with you. Later." With a sharp gesture, another one of those tears opens up beneath Rinnosuke, and he falls in with a look of blind dread on his face. As he falls, I notice that the interior of the portal is a swirling purple-back haze, with a large number of purple eyes floating around. Huh.

In any case, as soon as Rinnosuke disappears, Yukari slumps in obvious exhaustion. "What a day," the blonde woman sighs.

"Hell of a party, Yukarin," Suika quips, leaning against the wall tiredly.

"I think I would have preferred the man-whores," Parsee grunts.

"Escorts- okay, you know what? Fine. Man-whores. They were men I paid to whore themselves out to you all. Satisfied?" Yukari shakes her head wearily.

"What a fascinating vacation," Iku sighs. "I'm ready to go home for a rest. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm looking forward to seeing Tenshi again. She's easier to deal with."

Eiki nuzzles her head against my chest. "Well, it wasn't ALL bad," she sighs, "For me, at least."

Kasen chuckles. "I'm happy for you, but my head is killing me."

"Tell me about it," Lyrica groans, "Thoise machines did a real number on me. Let's get the hell out of here and have a real party. With alcohol. And more alcohol. And then: yet more alcohol."

"My kind of a party," Suika says with a tired smile.

"I'll take a rain-check," Yukari sighs, "I need to clean this mess up, and then I'm going to go get some sweet loving from my lady love. Then I'll think about celebrating."

"Huh," Yumeko ponders, "For the first time, that statement didn't embarrass me."

"It's because you were getting mind-fucked by that machine," Parsee points out. "What's a little girl-on-girl in the face of that?"

Yumeko snorts in amusement. "Good point."

Yukari looks around tiredly. "This is going to be a pain in the ass to clean up. Alfred, I don't suppose you can head off your coworkers until I can do something about this mess, can you?" I don't answer. "...Alfred?"

I swallow, trying to wet my dry mouth. "Pardon my nosiness, but shouldn't that portal be closed by now?"

There is a moment of silence. Yukari stares at me, then down at her still-open rip in space. She stares at it, concentrates, then looks confused, and finally worried. "...Uh-oh," says Yukari.

And then we hear a noise from the gap.

"Fuck," says Yukari, turning pale.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSe7jTmwWP0)

I...can't even describe it. There is s sound, but my ears refuse to process what it sounds like. First it sounds like a scream, then glass scraping against a chalkboard, and then a high-pitched whistle. It sounds like there's a rhythm, but maybe not. Then again... I shake my head as the sound turns into a low rumble. What in hell?!

Eiki goes stiff against me. "Yukari..." she says, voice tight with worry.

"...We need to get out of here. Now," Yukari says intently.

"What's going on?!" Kasen demands, looking very alarmed.

Eiki starts to draw me away from the gap, towards the exit. The others follow, some walking gingerly, others all but staggering. "There are... things... in the gaps I use," Yukari says quietly. "I try to avoid them. I CAN avoid them, and even suppress them, but there's an art form to it. What Rinnosuke was doing wasn't just tiring; it was dangerous."

"The fool got something's attention," Eiki whispers, face draw and pale, "And now it wants out."

That horrible, horrible sound again. The gap is growing. I... think I can see something moving inside of it. "We have to go now," I tell the others.

"Listen to the butler," Yukari says, and the fear in her voice chills me to my soul. "We're too weak right now. We have to get out of here, and hope that thing goes away. Dammit, Rinnosuke!" Whirling around, Yukari rushes for the hallway, only to stagger and fall to her knees.

"Blast!" I hiss, breaking free of Eiki's hold on me. Quickly, I rush to Yukari's side and haul her to her feet, pushing the woman down the hallway. "Hurry, all of you!" I shout, some deep instinct letting me know that everyone getting out of here now was really goddamned imperative. One by one, I help the guests hurry towards the hallway out of here, ending with Eiki, who thankfully is pretty stable on her feet. With one last glance at the strangely convulsing tear in reality, I start to follow after them, but have to stop when my chest suddenly pounds no wait that isn't right that hurts what the hell...

Oh.

There's something sticking out of it. My chest, I mean. Something sticking right out of the middle of it.

Something bad.

Something black and misty and hard to look at that twists in all of the wrong ways. It feels like it's sucking out my fluids. That isn't very nice.

Why is my head so hazy.

Eiki is turning and staring wide eyed and I think I'm dying and she opens her mouth and screams so loud and I want to reach out to her but I

can

barely

move...

Eiki lunges forward and grabs me, pulling me off of the thing that so rudely jabbed into my chest without permission and now I'm lying on the floor in her arms and she's crying and screaming my name, and the others girls are doing the same, and they're shouting and pointing at something so I look and-

OH DEAR GOD

That it sobers up my mind is the only good thing about this situation. Yukari's gap is yawning wide open, and there is something there inside of it. Something massive. Something black and indistinct that seems to go on forever. Something that, without eyes, is none the less looking right at us.

Eiki holds me close as large appendages... arms? Tentacles? Fingers? Start to reach out of the gap. That horrible sound is louder than ever, and it makes my body go cold.

Oh wait, no.

That's the blood loss due to the huge hole in my chest. The one blackening around the edges like some sort of infection. Even the warmth of Eiki's body as she holds me close isn't enough to counter it. And I know why. It's something I understand, deep within me.

I am dying.

[ ] Be Eiki.
[ ] Be Alfred.
No. 54058
[X] Be Eiki

Well shit. Looks like Alfred might become a part of the celestial bureaucracy.
No. 54059
[X] Be Alfred.

welp
No. 54060
[X] Be Eiki

I want to see things from her perspective
No. 54061
[x] Be Eiki

Oh boy.
No. 54062
[x] Be Alfred.
-[x] "Run."

The longer she stays, the more likely she dies.
No. 54066
[x] Be Alfred
-- [x] "Run."

I like this option.
After all, if Alfred dies then wouldn't he and Eiki be able to see each other forever if he ascended to nirvana?
No. 54069
Unless that /thing/ devours his soul.

He did kind of say that it felt like it was eating his fluids, and there's a weird black infection spreading over his chest. So.
No. 54070
>>54062
>>54066
I think it's merely a perspective vote.

I would vote though neither particularly stands out to the other, though I've got to ask why yet another thread? It sort of cheapens the victory won and it makes one wonder if there won't be yet another threat after that and another,etc.
No. 54071
[X] Be Eiki
No. 54072
[X] Be Eiki.

Despite how gruesomely awful the situation is and how inappropriate this comment is in relation to said situation, I would really like a change in perspective what with the whole "oh god MC is dying what do we do" stuff. Also, it would be interesting reading something other than Alfred's snark (which may or may not be prevalent due to death interfering).

Not that I don't like his snark, mind you.
No. 54073
[x] Be Eiki

Alfred saved everyone, now it's their turn to save him. And a new perspective is always interesting, I want to see how she thinks.
No. 54074
>>54070
Did you miss the part where this was blatantly foreshadowed? Although I was expecting the "dangerous things" to finish off Rinnosuke somehow.
No. 54076
[x] Be Eiki

>>54074
They may well have, considering Yukari just sent him through that very gap...
No. 54078
[x] Be Alfred.
That didn't go according to plan...
No. 54079
[x] Be Eiki

Heh, clever way to get Alfred and Eiki together KM.
No. 54104
[X] Be Eiki.
No. 54109
>>54057
[x] Be Eiki

THEN, BE VICTORIOUS! SCREW YOU ELDRITCH HORROR!
No. 54110
[x] Be Eiki

I want to see her perspective now, after it all being nearly said and done.
No. 54113
[X] Be the thing coming out of the gap.

So did this turn from a false-murder mystery to a cosmic horror story?
No. 54114
>>54113
It needs a reason to turn Alfred into a youkai or something the like. Happy end with Shiki.

Keymaster probably wants to build his own world of Gensokyo with all the events and characters present in his stories.
No. 54116
[x] Be Alfred.

Until the end.
No. 54117
>>54058
>>54066
>>54079
>>54114

I'm not going to say that I think that's not the most probable route, but Eiki did say earlier that he wouldn't fall under her jurisdiction, and with the black corruption(?) spreading around his wound, who knows what state he'll end up being after he dies, like >>54069 said.

I just think there is enough room for KM to make this either bittersweet or extremely depressing, and I for one being a sick bastard, would find that extremely glorious.
No. 54121
[x] Don't kill Rinnosuke.

We've come a long way, huh? I feel that not so long ago, we were delivering wine and talking to the new guests, and now we're in a villain's secret base.
No. 54122
>>54121
Well this is why I shouldn't leave open a tab for a few hours and not refresh it.
No. 54124
[X] Be Eiki.
No. 54126
[x]Be Alfred

We've been Alfred so far, and why chance a winning concept?
No. 54137
[X] Be Eiki.

I've got my eye on you, Parsee.
No. 54144
>>54137
I don't believe Parsee is worth worrying about (at least not the way you likely meant it). Her being distracted was likely foreshadowing.

When the three of them got outside the house before (her, Eiki, and Alfred), I had thought that her being distracted was due to picking up jealousy vibes from Rinnosuke. However, now I believe that she was picking up such from whatever this thing is. In a number of books, I've read that often enough dimensional invaders like this are somehow "jealous" of the physical, rational world and its inhabitants (the Things from the Dungeon Dimensions in the Discworld series come to mind most prominently for me), which is likely why she got distracted just before the attack.
No. 54146
Okay, pretty clearly in favor of being Eiki, so I'm gonna go start writing! Vote called, update later.
No. 54150
File 137659704534.jpg- (341.47KB , 724x1024 , why.jpg ) [iqdb]
54150
New thread:

>>/others/54149


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