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First thread: >>47422
Previous thread: >>48096


Conner is just a normal guy living in the city, trying to get by as well as he can. Up until recently he’s had no real job, choosing instead to make end meet by jumping from one temporary position to the next. His siblings Rinnosuke and Nazrin (not related by blood) disapprove of this kind of lifestyle, but so far he’s found no real desire to settle down into anything more stable.

Conner has always been a weirdness magnet, but recent events have proven to be odder that even what he is used to.

-A recent investigation into a low-paying job for the Nitori Corporation has landed you a testing role directly under the company’s head engineer, Nitori Kawashiro. So far the position has mostly involved dodging explosions caused by the various things this young woman has invented, but hopefully the pay will be worth it in the end. (Assuming you live long enough to collect your first paycheck)
-A recent outing with your journalist friend Aya has netted you two things; the wrath of a princess from the moon, and a gauntlet that has seemingly merged itself to your right hand. You doubt that you need to worry much about the former seeing as you don’t expect to encounter her again, but the latter has caused you some grief. After digging around a bit, you’ve discovered that the gauntlet is holy in nature, originating from a people who call themselves “Celestials”. It seems doubtful that the gauntlet will cause you any direct harm, but all the same you’d like to learn how to get it off your hand as soon as you can.
-What you originally thought was a babysitting job has turned into something much, much more. Remilia Scarlet (a vampire, of all things) has designated you as the primary caretaker of her younger sister, Flandre (also a vampire). Flandre seems to have some sort of immense power that she is attempting to keep under control, as well as some sort of trauma from her past that is affecting her greatly. Fearing that she will hurt you by accident, she’s been attempting to drive you away. Despite that, you believe you have been getting closer to the young(?) girl bit by bit, although if you want to make any real progress you feel like you need to learn what happened in this girl’s past. Since asking Flandre about it seems to cause some sort of trauma to resurface (and her powers along with it) you may need to seek out Remilia for your answers.
-On top of all this, a group of young girls have recently created a small gang of sorts, dubbing themselves “The Fairies”. Their antics have mostly involved petty theft and crime, and most of the city seems to consider them nothing more than a nuisance. You don’t have any direct connection to the group outside of a few chance encounters, but you’ve been hearing some pretty shady rumors about them, including the fact that the members are all orphans, and that they seem to be doing things for someone named “Lily”. Aya and her new friend Letty seem very interested in them (with Letty being interested in one Fairy, Cirno, in particular), but you don’t really consider the group’s doings to be any of your business.


Current on-hand Inventory:
[X] Sidebag (9/10 slots occupied)
-[X] Ball of Fever (1 slot)
-[X] Wand of shock (1 slot)
-[X] Notepad and pens (1 slot)
-[X] Rope (1 slot)
-[X] Rope hook (2 slots)
-[X] Screwdriver kit <1 slot>
-[X] Nitori Security Badge (0 slots)
-[X] Nitori Campus Map (0 slots)
-[X] Nitori Employee Handbook (1 slot)
-[X] Flash Capsules(1 slot)
-[X] Letty’s Business Card (0 slots)
[X] Utility Knife (holstered)
[X] Wallet (Pocketed, $435 + $2,000 for the Flandre job) <$500 of Flande’s money used during the recap>
[X] Cell phone (Pocketed)
[X] Key Ring <Key to your apartment> (Pocketed)

Items stored at your apartment:
[ ] Laptop (2 slots)
[ ] Laptop charger <1 slot>

Items stored in your locker at Nitori Corp.

Contacts in cell phone:
Hina <Business line>

Conner seems to be developing bullshit Jedi powers, although he isn’t exactly fully aware of it. A summary of unlocked abilities is listed below. Note that active abilities must be activated via a command, whereas passive abilities are always on.

Self-Meditation (Active): Conner is able to concentrate on the current conflict, granting him slightly increased battle abilities as well as subtle insights to move the battle into his favor.

Fumble (Active): Conner is able to reach into his opponent’s mind and make them either lose their focus on the task at hand or their current train of thought.

Force Dodge (Passive): Conner is able to sense and react to things in the blink of an eye, although whether or not he can move out of the way quickly enough is a completely different story.
[x] TIMESKIP, GO!!!!!

Update: Flandre
It’s been about two weeks since you first started gardening with Flandre. Since then the two of you have continued working outside the mansion, making very little progress. Still, moving around seems to get Flandre to open up a bit, so you aren’t complaining. Aside from that, you ended up using the money Remilia gave you to purchase a cell phone for Flandre. (One of the nicer models, just so that Remilia has no complaints) She seems to like it well enough, but since you, her sister and Sakuya are her only contacts it doesn’t get much use.
As for the other residents of the mansion, you haven’t seen too much of them. Both Remilia and Sakuya always seem to step out the moment you arrive at the mansion, something that you suspect might be more intentional than not. Also, while you have past the librarian’s assistant in the hall a few times you have yet to find any real reason to enter the library itself, so the identity of the chief librarian still eludes you.
You believe that a trip to the city might be a good next step for Flandre, but you aren’t exactly sure where you would take her, especially considering that you’d have to do it during the night. And you also haven’t made any real progress in figuring out what happened to Flandre in the past, so it might be time to corner Remilia and get some answers out of her.

Update: Nitori
You’ve been called back by Nitori a few times in the past two weeks, but so far nothing has really come of it. Pretty much every item that she’s attempted to hand off to you has had some sort of issue that caused it to either not work or, much more often, explode. Because of this, you found yourself away from the campus more often than not, waiting for Nitori to call you back when she had something new for you. You did try to get your paycheck in the meantime, but since you logged so few hours all you managed to get out of it was $75.

Update: The gauntlet
It’s still stuck on your hand, dummy. After learning of its holy nature you put learning how to get it off of your hand on the backburner, deciding that since you aren’t a demon you probably don’t have to worry about it blowing your hand off. You did pass off what you learned to Aya, but so far there have been no new leads.

Update: The Fairies
Aya and Letty have been doing their best to convince you to help them snoop around the orphanage that they discovered the Faries are based out of. They haven’t been able to discover anything else about the group, although they did say that the head of the orphanage seemed really nice when they talked to her. Considering the fact that most of that group probably considers you a pervert or worse, you’ve been doing your best to not get involved.

As this timeskip wears itself down, we find Conner…

[ ] At Remilia’s Mansion…
-[ ] Working with Flandre in the gardens once more.
-[ ] Getting Flandre to show him the library
-[ ] Preparing to confront Remilia about Flandre’s past.
[ ] In Nitori’s lab.
[ ] Trying his best not to let Aya talk him into something he will regret.
[x] In Nitori’s lab.
[X] Trying his best not to let Aya talk him into something he will regret.

We ended last thread on a Flandre. Let's start with something different.
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[x] In Nitori’s lab.

Flan can take a hike, I don't even know why she's in the story. Seems like a random sideshow. Aya is... alright, but I'd rather a kappa.
[X] In Nitori’s lab.

No better way to segue back into a story than dodging explosions.
[x] At Remilia’s Mansion…
-[x] Working with Flandre in the gardens once more.
[x] At Remilia’s Mansion…
-[x] Working with Flandre in the gardens once more.

Come on people, it's a job that we already started. We might as well try to finish it in a timely fashion so we can get on with the rest. I'd rather not piss off Remilia by ignoring the job we're being paid to do.
[X] At Remilia’s Mansion…
-[X] Working with Flandre in the gardens once more.

Yeah, alright.
I wouldn't say they'd be getting ignored, and Nitori's seemingly more neglected by how little there was under her bit.

I'm quite certain that regardless of what we choose, the other jobs will still be there. Or at the very least, the choice is secretly not whether or not we abandon Flandre or we suddenly cure her.

[x] In Nitori’s lab.
[x] Trying his best not to let Aya talk him into something he will regret.
Calling it for Nitori's lab.
Sorry to do this, but I'm going to have to delay the update until I have things back under control over here.
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[x] In Nitori’s lab.

“So you see, I think I managed to finally figure out a way to vent the excess energy out of the device, which in turn will prevent any build-up of said excess energy that could result in a combustion based release. To put it another way, as long as the input of energy into the cannon is less than the output, we shouldn’t see any of those pesky explosions anymore.”

“That’s great Nitori, really, but did you really have to call me up in the middle of the night and drag me all the way to your lab just to tell me all of this?”

It’s currently 2:30 AM, and you find yourself standing next to your small blue haired employer as she veritably bounces around one of her workspaces in her lab. To be honest you really aren’t that tired right now, most likely due to the recent shift in your sleep schedule in order to accommodate Flandre a little better. Still, you don’t like being called in late at night if it isn’t a real emergency as it sets a bad precedent for any such events in the future.

“Science waits on no one, Conner, and if it means that we have to stay up all night long to figure out the mysteries of the universe, so be it!” She finished tinkering with a familiar looking black square before she hands it over to you. “Anyways, the short of it is that I think the Portable Light Cannon should be ready to test out now, so go ahead and give it try on the range, alright?”

You can’t help but give her a look of skepticism as you pick up the square considering that was what she had said the last three times you’ve tried this out with her. She just gives you a sheepish look and a small shrug before pointing you back over to the range with a pleading look in her eyes. You can only sigh and begin walking over to the range; after all, you aren’t going to get paid if you don’t do your job. At the very least, Nitori seems to have learned her lesson from the last few times and is staying a respectable distance away, so you won’t have to help her duck and cover if the need arises. (Not that it will help you very much if the cannon decides to go off again.)

As you reach the range you push the button on the square, causing it to pop out into its cannon mode. You take your position on the range and hold the cannon steady as you wait for Nitori’s signal.

“Alright Conner, go ahead and take the shot!”

You brace yourself as you pull the trigger, but surprisingly you don’t feel the need to jump out of the way. The cannon hums loudly and you can feel a wave of heat wash over you, but after a few seconds a bright beam of light erupts out of the end and surges towards the dummy you were aiming at. You can’t help but grin as the beam engulfs the target completely for a full moment, and as you let go of the trigger and let the light disperse all that is left standing is…the dummy in its entirety. Heck, it barely looks damaged at all; the only difference you can notice are a couple of singe marks near the center of the dummy.

Nitori doesn’t seem to mind, as she is currently jumping up and down in her little test station with glee. “It worked, it worked, it worked!” As you approach her bench she runs over to you and gives you a tight hug. “I did it Conner, I finally got it to work!”

“Doesn’t seem like it did much, though,” you say as you indicate the lack of damage on the dummy.

“Well of course not,” Nitori says as she lets you go with a roll of her eyes, “Even if it is a little bit enhanced, the only thing coming out of the cannon is light. Unless you’re targeting something that is specifically weak against light by its nature you probably aren’t go do much more than blind them for a time.”

“You mean like a vampire?” you ask before you realize what you’re saying.

Nitori lets out a laugh. “I suppose if they are weak to light in general yeah, though I can’t really say that I’ve met enough vampires to test that out.” She chuckles for a bit before giving you a serious look. “Still, probably best to not aim that thing at sentient creatures if you decide to take it for a test run, alright?”

“Natrually,” You say with a nod, “But what do you mean by ‘test run’?”

“Well I’ve been thinking about how we can utilize you and your talents to the fullest, and I think that having you test things like this out on the field would probably be the most efficient way of doing things. A controlled environment is good for making sure your variables are stable, but we can do all that without your specific kind of help. Instead, you need to take the things I give you and apply them to your everyday life. Y’know, see if they hold up in the real world and all that.

You give Nitori a blank stare. “What kind of normal, everyday activity would involve me shooting a bright beam of light on a regular basis?”

This causes Nitori a moment of pause. “You’ve got a point there, but at the same time I still need you to test it out.” Something seems to click in her mind, and she begins to rummage in a few nearby drawers. “Now where did I put that thing?” she asks as she moves from one location to the next. It takes her around 15 minutes of searching to let out a cry of success as she carries what she was looking for back to her workbench and dumps it next to the cannon. The thing looks more or less like a black hairdryer with what appears to be a heavily modified grappling hook attached to the end.

“This is one of my older projects that never went anywhere, mainly because we couldn’t find anyone willing to test it out. I’m pretty sure that you would be able to manage though, so if you don’t want to lug the cannon around with you I’d be willing to let you try this out as an alternative.”

“What does it do?” you ask as you pick the device up and turn it around in your hands.

“Just try it out on the range and you should get a good idea.”

You raise an eyebrow, but begin walking back to the range nonetheless. It looks like this thing has a simple trigger underneath the main body, as well as two separate dials, on one each side. You point the hook-end towards the dummy and pull the trigger, causing the hook to fly out of the gun with a thin looking cable trailing after it. You’re barely able to hold onto the thing from the large amount of recoil that occurred and nearly drop it on the floor, but in the end the hook pierces the dummy all the way through, after which the hooks at the end seem to extend out, much like a prize claw would.

“You probably should have held onto that with both hands, Conner.” Nitori says, not bothering to look up as she tinkers with something at her station.

“Thanks for advanced warning there,” you say bitterly, “So I get that you can potentially kill someone with this thing, but wouldn’t a normal gun be more efficient?”

Nitori gives you a look of horror. “This isn’t a murder weapon, Conner, it’s an alternate means of transportation! The fact that the dummy is shaped like a person is completely irrelevant to the fact that you should never point this thing at anyone, ever!”

“Then what good is it for?” you ask.

“Change the setting on the left dial and pull the trigger again, would you?” she says as she goes back to whatever project she’s working on. You do as she asks and the device starts pulling the cord in, forcing you to move along with it. Soon you’ve reached the dummy, and as the hook slips back into the hairdryer the claws seemingly detract back, allowing you to remove the claw with only moderate effort.

You walk back over to Nitori and place the thing back on the bench. “So what, is this thing a grappling gun or something like that?”

“Exactly,” Nitori says with a nod, “It’s still an early prototype, but I’m pretty proud of it nonetheless.”

“What does the dial on the other side of the gun do?”

“It adjusts how quickly the gun reels the cable back in, but you shouldn’t touch it. I haven’t exactly ‘fixed’ the higher setting, which means that there’s a good chance it would pull your arm straight out of its socket at that setting.”

You decide not to ask why she bothered putting the dial on there in the first place. “So you want me to take both of these out into the city and just play around with them?”

“No, I can only let you take out one at a time,” Nitori says, a twinge of sadness in her voice, “Hina doesn’t want to have more than one unfinished piece out at one time; something about ‘keeping the theft of our assets down’, or something along those lines.”

“…alright, so which one do you want me to take?”

“Weeeelllll, to be honest I’d prefer it if you took the cannon, since that has the most relevance to what I’m trying to put together right now, but on the other hand I do want to move forward on the grappling gun project…” She mulls it over for a few moments before turning back to you. “I can’t decide, so why don’t you go ahead and choose whichever one your more comfortable with?”

Geez, management at its finest. Well whatever, it’s pretty clear to you as to which one you should take.

[ ] The Portable Light Cannon
[ ] The Grappling Gun
[X] The Grappling Gun

As Conner said, despite all the recent events the light cannon probably wouldn't be useful in his day-to-day affairs. A grappling gun could come in handy though.
[X] The Grappling Gun
[X] The Grappling Gun

Much more useful.
[X] The Portable Light Cannon

Because it's so damn cool. Also, is it just me, or do the effects sound a lot like danmaku?
[X] The Grappling Gun
[X] The Grappling Gun

It's awesome and practical. Who wouldn't want one?
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I’ve finally got the time to do some more writing. This one’s a pretty short update due to my poor transitioning skills, but if you guys vote quickly enough I’ll probably be able to post the next part tomorrow.


[X] The Grappling Gun

“Awww,” Nitori says with a sad pout as you pick the grappling gun up, “You’re really going to go with that one?”

“Hey, you’re the one who gave me a choice,” you say as you move to put the gun in your pack, only to realize that you don’t have enough room for it. “It seems like the more practical option, and you said that this thing needs more testing yourself.”

“The light cannon’s cooler,” Nitori says with a huff, but you can tell that she knows your right. “Fine, go and test that thing out, and at make sure to bring back the black box at the very least.” She seems to consider something else before turning back to you. “Actually, if you don’t want your pay to be docked you should probably try to damage that thing as little as possible.”

You grimace as you remember that particular piece of legal work from the contract that you signed. “Out of curiosity, how much damage would be considered enough to dock my pay?”

Nitori gives a half-shrug with one of her shoulders. “Honestly, as long as I’m able to more or less put it back together again you should be fine. These are testing pieces, so a few nicks and scratches are going to be expected, and we can’t exactly hold you liable if a single part falls off or goes missing during the testing process.” (You can’t help but picture the grappling gun falling apart piece by piece as you travel through the air, and you’re forced to repress a shudder) “The main concern is that the parts themselves can be somewhat costly to constantly replace, so Hina added the compensation rule to try and discourage reckless behavior with the stuff we give you.”

That does sound kind of reasonable, but all the same you want you pay to be docked as little as possible. You’d better do your best to make sure nothing significant happens to this thing. “I’ll keep that in mind,” you say. “Now is there anything else you need me to do before I head on out of here?”

“Nah, you’re good,” Nitori says with a small yawn, “I think I need to take a nap anyways, so that’s probably good for now in any case. I’ll keep in touch, so let me know what you thing about the grappling gun after you use it, alright?” With that, the two of you both take your leave of the lab.

Item Gained: Nitori Grappling Gun Prototype (3 slots)
Item Stored at Nitori: Rope
Item Stored at Nitori: Rope Hook

You end up deciding that having rope and hook on hand would be somewhat redundant, so you end up storing both items in your locker on campus. Having done that, you find yourself wondering what your next move should be, especially considering that it’s the middle of the night. You consider going back to bed, but the act of coming all the way out to the Nitori campus has seemingly woken you up, and you don’t think you’re going to be able to go to sleep any time soon. Might as well try and think of something to pass the time.

[ ] Take a brisk walk around town.
[ ] Try out that nifty new gun of yours.
[ ] Head to the mansion to check up on Flandre.
[ ] Something else <Write in>
[X] Take a brisk walk around town.

Walking around for a little bit doesn't sound too bad.
[x] Take a brisk walk around town.
[x] Take a brisk walk around town.
[x] Try out that nifty new gun of yours.

These two things are not mutually exclusive.
I've gotten a good portion of the next post written, but it's just not gelling the way I want it to, so it's probably not going to go up today/until I'm satisfied with how it's written/until my brain decides to stop feeling like mush.
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[X] Take a brisk walk around town.

As you step outside the cool air seems to gently wrap around you like a cool compress, slightly soothing your aches and giving you a feeling of invigoration. Even if the night isn’t young anymore you still don’t feel like going to bed, and a quick walk around town will probably do you some good regardless. You set off from the Nitori campus in a random direction and just start walking without a single destination in mind.

For a while you just zone yourself out, keeping yourself only barely aware of your surroundings as you let random thoughts run through your mind. Flandre, the Faries, your family, Aya and her new evil friend Letty, and your new boss; you drift from one topic to the next as you make your way around the darkened streets.

After a short while you find the road you are following branch off into some of the many back allies of the city. Rather than turn around you make the sporadic decision to see if you still know how to get around through the back roads. You, Suke and Naz used to run around these back alleys all the time, at times just for fun, and at other times when you needed an escape route. And while you don’t tend to use them that much anymore it never hurts to have an extra escape route planned just in case.

You traverse the narrow passages in near complete darkness. A lamp or two flickers here and there, but for the most part there is a lot less illumination then on the main streets. It’s a little bit annoying, but you figure that it serve the point of the exercise pretty well. After all, there is no guarantee that it’ll be daytime the next time you need a quick getaway.

At first you stumble around pretty badly, startling a cat here and there and smashing your feet into things more times than you would like to admit. After a little while it starts coming back to you, though. Little by little your senses get used to the darkness around you. You focus less on your surroundings and more on the path in front of you, planning the best path ahead based on what little information you can gather. Soon enough your making relatively good progress, moving along at a decent pace while only hitting your foot every once in a while.

As you go along you take note of some familiar areas, places where you and your family were able to squeeze through when you were little to make shortcuts around the city. Sadly, you are much too big to even think about trying them anymore, but it still brings back fond bittersweet memories none-the-less. You probably wouldn’t wish your childhood on anyone, but without it you and your siblings wouldn’t be nearly as close as you are today.

You trip down memory lane is interrupted as you find yourself in a dead end. Guess that finding your way around in the darkness isn’t exactly like riding a bicycle, is it? Still, it’s not like this is a big issue. All you have to do is turn around and…


You aren’t alone.

It dawns on you that not focusing on your entire surroundings while you were walking through the dark back allies of the city might not have been such a good idea. You think back, trying to think when on earth someone started tailing you, but you were so focused on relearning the streets that you come up with a blank. Well, even if the streets haven’t changed that sure as hell doesn’t mean that you haven’t. You brace yourself with your back to the wall, keeping your hand near your knife as you do your best to expand your senses all around you. You soon realize that there are multiple beings following you, and as they near the entrance to the dead end you tense up, ready to lash out the moment one of them attempts to strike the first blow. You can see that at least one of them is carrying some sort of light source, and as it gets closer their shadows only get larger and larger. As they turn the corner the light blinds you for a moment, and you feel a surge of panic coming on as you prepare for the worst.

“Aha! We’ve trapped you now you stupid idiot! It’s time for some payback!”

As soon as you hear that voice all of the tension that has been building up inside of you seems to flow back out in one giant wave. “Geez, don’t scare me like that Cirno, I thought that you might be someone who actually wants to hurt me.”

“[b]What the hell do you mean by that?!?[b]” Cirno screams, clearly not amused by the lack of respect that you’re giving her. As she does she startles the girls around her, giving you a clear look at what you are currently dealing with. It looks like Cirno probably ended up spotting you randomly and decided to follow you out of impulse, as there are only a few girls standing next to her. You recognize Star, Luna and Sunny from your little adventure at the warehouse. Sunny seems to be pumping herself up, whereas Star seems to be taking the situation in stride with a smile on her face. Luna seems to be trying to avoid looking at you, but considering what happened the last time you encountered her that might not be a surprise. (You begin to wonder if you shouldn’t apologize for what you did, although this doesn’t seem like the time to do it). Aside from that, there is a familiar looking girl standing near Cirno who is openly scowling at you, and a green haired girl that you don’t recognize who is trying her best to stay out of your sight behind Cirno. All in all you really consider this group to be an actual threat, but for all you know another group might be on their way.

By the time you’ve finished analyzing her little group Cirno seems to have cooled herself against your earlier retort. “Well whatever, it really doesn’t matter what you think. Right here, right now I’m going to get revenge on you for all the insults, slights and perverted acts you’ve ever done to me and my own! Prepare for war, Scum!”

You can feel the air around you start to chill, and you notice that both Sunny and the scowling girl are begging to attempt to flank you. And despite all that you can’t help but feel a bit amused. After all, an unknown opponent is one thing, but you’ve certainly dealt with Cirno before. The only question is how you are going to handle things right now.

[ ] “Well if it’s a fight you want…”
[ ] “How about instead of that I ask you lot a few questions?”
[ ] “I’m not really in the mood for pummeling young girls, sorry.”
[x] “Well if it’s a fight you want…”

Best opportunity to tease Luna more.
[x] “How about instead of that I ask you lot a few questions?”

This might catch them off guard.
[x] “Well if it’s a fight you want…”
[x] “Well if it’s a fight you want…”
Luna route GO.
[x] “How about instead of that I ask you lot a few questions?”
[X] “Well if it’s a fight you want…”

Somehow I doubt Cirno will feel like answering any questions...but it's ok, we can ask her after she tires herself out.
[x] “How about instead of that I ask you lot a few questions?”

Make friends not war.
[x] “How about instead of that I ask you lot a few questions?”

Do want to see our guy fluster her, and possibly get her to not want to attack us.

Oh! And try to apologize to Luna, as gallantly as possible. Leading to further misunderstandings, but that's hilarious, so it should be okay.
[x] “Well if it’s a fight you want…”
she's not the only one there and what makes you think fighting a bunch of little girls would end well? If Conner has bad enough luck to get cornered by them, odds are his luck would extent to someone catching him doing that.
Aaand why do you believe it's necessary to charge at them fists swinging until they're all down on the floor?

We could just take them out somehow, or even avoid most of them entirely...like, we're in an alleyway, that grappling hook we took could be useful to escape the dead end, our get to a better place.
the "you want a fight?" choice implies actaully fighting them not trying to escape.
Gonna put the story on hold for another few weeks, since things are getting really busy over here. Also, I'm having trouble writing this next part, and inspiration hasn't really hit me yet. (Currently on my fourth re-write) I'll let you guys know when things settle down a bit more.
Aaaaand I'm putting this on hiatus for the time being, at least until I manage to regain the urge to start writing again. (I.E. probably sometime in the summer when all these freaking video games stop being released one after the other). Until then, take it easy alright?
Waiting warmly. Not too warmly.
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Ok, I think we’re safe for now, at least until Super Smash Brothers comes out for the 3DS in the summer. In the meantime, let’s see if I can’t get back into the swing of things.


[x] “Well if it’s a fight you want…”

You can’t really say that picking fights with young girls is normally your thing, but right now you the urge to tease these girls is just too strong. “Well if it’s a fight you want, then I think I can spare a minute or two. Try to go easy on me, alright?”

Cirno narrows her eyebrows. “Be careful girls, he’s up to something.” Sunny and the other girl stay in place, eyeing you warily as Cirno tries to get into a more favorable position. As she moves you go over the current battlefield layout in your mind; from what you know Cirno is the only one who can pack some serious damage, but you also remember that Sunny can do at least one light-based attack as well. Considering that she seems to be concentrating on keeping things lit you aren’t sure whether or not she’ll actually be able to do anything at the moment, but you’ll need to keep your eye on her nonetheless.

As for the other flanker, you really aren’t sure what she can do. All you’re getting from her at this point is a sense of déjà vu as you try to recall just where you’ve seen her before. Regardless, until you know what she can or can’t do you probably shouldn’t take her too lightly. After all, there must be something driving her if she’s willing to step in the ring alongside Cirno.

Cirno stomps on the ground, starting this scrap by creating a stream of icicles that races against the ground and straight towards you. You let your meditation take your body into auto drive as you consider how you want to proceed with this. Despite the fact that you accepted their fight, you really aren’t keen on beating up a group of young ladies into a bloody pulp. (It’s not something that looks good on a resume, for starters…) You probably wouldn’t have much trouble with that usually, but it feels like Cirno is getting a little bit too good for you to take it easy here. As hard as it might be to admit it, you feel like Letty might actually be on to something in terms of Cirno’s potential. Heck, this ground-based icicle trick is something that you haven’t seen before, and doesn’t it feel a little chillier than usual?

Your body reels as you find yourself more or less leaping backwards instinctively as two rather large icicles fly by where you just were half a second ago. See, this is what you’re talking about; now it seems like she can create ice out of thin air without any sort of direct contact. If you didn’t have reflexes that were quicker than her ice she probably would have impaled you where you stood.

That said, you can tell that this is probably a trick she isn’t used to yet, as she seems to have lost a large chuck of her energy from that one move alone. Cirno is standing a distance away from you with her arms crossed in front of her, panting in place as she glares daggers at you. Sunny and the other girl are still keeping their distance, waiting for Cirno to signal them to move. As you recover from your leap you notice that the green haired girl is approaching Cirno timidly, tapping her on the shoulder in an attempt to get her attention. “Um, Cirno, you should probably calm down a bit, you don’t want to hurt him too-”

“Shut up, Dai,” Cirno says as she continues to recover from her last attack. “If our past fights have taught me anything it’s that if I go easy on this guy for even a second he’ll beat us into the ground. I’m not giving him the chance to run this time around.” The green hair girl looks like she wants to intercede further, but a single glare from Cirno forces her to flinch back.

So yeah, taking it easy here will probably cost you, but since you’re unwilling to go all out on these girls you’re going to have to figure out another way to take them out without resorting to excessive violence.

The most obvious route is the defensive one; Cirno is probably going to tire herself if you can trick her into using those fancy new tricks of hers, and assuming you survive her onslaught for long enough she may just end up beating herself, allowing you to pull yourself back from having to go all out. Of course there’s no telling what tricks the other girls might be hiding that might help Cirno get a hit on you, so it’s got its share of risk as well.

On the other hand, you could try to be somewhat creative in how you tackle this situation. Taking note of your environment, you spot a trash can lying near the alley’s walls. If you can manage to work your way over to it and empty it out you might be able to trap one of the girls inside, effectively giving you either a leg up in the battle or a hostage to force the other girls to keep their distance. It’s not exactly the most honorable tactic, but it could very well turn the tide of battle to your advantage in an instant.

That said, sometimes the wisest path to take in a fight is the one that leads out of it. You could try to engage the girls in conversation, although you probably aren’t going to have much luck there unless you can get Cirno to cool her head a bit. And you can think of at least one way to get out of this situation entirely if you have to, even if the idea of relying on Nitori’s prototype to is somewhat unappealing.

[ ] Fight Defensively
[ ] Make your way to the trash can
-[ ] <Choose the Fairy that you want to attempt to trap>
[ ] Fight a different way! <Write-in>
[ ] Let’s see if we can’t talk this one out
[ ] Make like Batman and get out of here
Beating up little girls makes a guy look like a jerk, but so does trapping one in a trashcan.

[x] Fight Defensively
-[x] Flirt with Luna, feigning inattention to the fight with Cirno.

Sunny and Star seemed interested in juicy gossip earlier, so giving them some should distract them from the fight. While Connor is splitting his attention, he has Force Dodgehax to offset that. Meanwhile, Cirno will lose her cool and melt make mistakes, which Connor can use to down her in one blow.
[x] Fight Defensively
-[x] Flirt with Luna, feigning inattention to the fight with Cirno.
At the risk of achieving maximum pervert status, I think we need to take one of them hostage. Tickling our hostage until she divulges all the juicy secrets of the fairy organization is prolly our best bet for helping them out, should we choose to do so.

[X] Fight Defensively.
-[X] Once Luna or Dai enters melee range, snatch her up and run.
[X] Fight Defensively
-[X] Flirt with Luna, feigning inattention to the fight with Cirno.

This sounds good.
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Ok, I’m having trouble writing this next part for a variety of reasons:
1) I really can’t see Conner flirting with Luna like this. Yes, I let you guys kiss her near the beginning of the story, but aside from the fact that I was more focused on the weird system I was trying to put together I never really felt that Conner put that much thought into what he was doing. In his mind, there was a young girl in front of him who needed to be distracted, and the best way to do that was to give her the illusion of romance. I never really intended for Luna to be anything other than a minor character, so I didn’t think too hard about where that action could take us. And even if we put all that aside, Conner is really feeling more guilty over Luna than anything else. I just can’t see him flirting with a girl that he knows he hurt in the past as if nothing ever happened. If anything, he probably wants to apologize to her for what he did more than anything else.
2) Taking this action would probably put you on very bad terms with the Fairies, which is kind of detrimental to where I want this story to go. At this point the girls are more or less letting their minds go wild with the possibility of what Conner could be, but he hasn’t really done anything solid to make most of them hate him outright. If Conner starts flirting with Luna in front of Cirno and the others it’s pretty much going to push all their opinions of him over the edge, and none of them would be willing to trust Conner in any way going forward. Since the next part kind of relies on at least one of the girls being willing to talk to Conner, it’s not really a path that I want to follow, which kind of leads me into my next point.
3) This part of the story has already lasted forever in my mind, and I’ve been doing my best to keep things moving towards the climax as much as I can recently. If Conner gets on bad terms with the Fairies it’s going to mess with the paths you guys can take, and I’m probably going to either have to spend a large number of posts coming up with a convoluted path to get things back to where I want them, or else rewrite whole chunks of the story, which is something I’d rather avoid.
4) I’m just not comfortable posting the stuff from my attempts to actually make this post work. I know that authors are supposed to push against their boundaries by writing things that they aren’t experienced with, but I can’t help but find my attempts at having Conner flirt with Luna to be somewhat creepy/douche-like. I’m sure that if I were someone like Keymaster I might be able to pull it off without a hitch, but as it stands this just isn’t stuff that I would be proud to post on the internet, even on an anonymous image board.
So just to tldr; this would be out of character for Conner in my mind, it would put you on bad terms with the Fairies, which in turn would force me to derail the story (again). Plus, I’m just not comfortable writing this next part. So unless you guys absolutely insist on seeing the BAD END that would come from this I’m going to ask you to change your vote to at the very least not include the part about flirting with Luna. (Note, however, that I would be willing to take a vote like >>58429 since even though many might consider it to be even worse than the flirting I’m pretty sure that I could make it work by having Conner act more like a clueless idiot rather than a flirting creeper.)
Oh, fair enough.
Then I'll change my vote (>>58430) to
[X] Fight Defensively
-[X] Stall for time, perhaps they'll be more open to conversation once they've exhausted themselves.

Conner's great at dodging and fairies aren't known for their stamina, so I reckon this might work. If not, we still have the grappling gun for a quick getaway.
I don't think anyone intended for super-serious flirting, dude. Comedic dissonance between the danger of the fight and obviously-feigned nonchalance, with the intention of making Cirno lose her cool, would probably be the flavour of the day.
Of course, if you think it won't fit in the story, then it won't fit in the story.
[X] Fight Defensively
-[X] Stall for time, perhaps they'll be more open to conversation once they've exhausted themselves.

Fair Enough.

I actually agree with you here. I know that everyone was rooting for the comedic flirting, and I'm pretty sure that a lot of authors could have made it work, but for some reason my mind couldn't put the pieces together in a way that didn't spell "douchebag" in my mind. Also, I think I'm really, really bad at writing battle flirtations. It's something to work on, but at least for the time being I'd like to keep my attempts offline until they stop making me feel like a creeper myself.
I was thinking Connor would act like a gigantic ham when I suggested flirting - something that couldn't be taken seriously under any circumstances.

[x] Idly chat about inane things with the fairies
-[x] Feign inattention to Cirno, maintaining dodgehax
--[x] If Sunny uses that light attack again, try blocking it with the ball of fever

Because simply stalling is boring. And I want to try to force things with the disco ball.

You could replace "flirt" with "be friendly to" with the same effect. For some people they're pretty much the same thing anyway. Just have Conner apologise for how he treated her before, while completely ignoring Cirno.

It's fine if you'd still rather not though.
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[X] Fight Defensively

There’s no need to rush into action here. You’re in no real hurry, and Cirno is the type to act hastily and make mistakes, so if you hang back and let her wear herself out you should be able to take her out after she tires out, after which the other girls shouldn’t really pose any sort of real threat. Opening your senses to the world around you, you shift your weight in preparation and get ready to move as soon as an attack comes your way. Cirno recovers from her last attack relatively quickly, and you soon find yourself dodging ice once again.

Unfortunately for you, Cirno seems to pick up on your strategy fairly quickly. She seems to shift her attacks from large, heavy hitting strikes to multiple smaller ones, forcing you to move quickly in order to move between the gaps of her attacks. Even so, this isn’t even close to the exercise Nitori put you through before, so you don’t have much trouble keeping ahead of her chilly blasts.

After a few minutes Cirno loses her patience, but not in the way you expect. “What are you standing there for Sunny?” Cirno yells out. “Come and help me!” The orange hair girl rushes next to Cirno and assists her friend by dousing the ball of light she’s been holding up in order to fire beams of light directly at you. If that wasn’t enough, it seems like Sunny is channeling every available ray of light from the environment, including any illumination from nearby lamps and the moon, which means that you find your field of vision reduced next to nothing when she fires at you. On the flip side her attacks can be seen coming from miles away, and they tend to disperse when they hit something, causing the entire area to light up. And since Cirno is just as blind when Sunny fires as you are, meaning that she generally isn’t able to pinpoint your exact location.

After a minute or two Cirno has had enough. “Sunny, stop! You’re just getting in my way!” Sunny flinches back with flaming cheeks and scuttles back to her original spot, holding up the ball of light once more. “Everyone just stand back, you hear me? I’ve got this!”

You dance back and forth with the ice girl for a few more minutes, but it slowly begins to dawn on you that Cirno is trying to play things just as safe as you are. It looks like she isn’t acting as rash as you first thought she would be and is doing her best to conserve her energy for as long as she can. As you wonder why she would do this you realize that she’s playing the long game better than you are; in her mind it probably doesn’t matter if she takes a fall here, as long as she can wear you out enough for the rest of her gang to overwhelm you when she’s out. You aren’t sure whether or not that would actually be possible for her group to accomplish, or that they would catch on to what she wants but you have to applaud her cunning nonetheless.

That said you have no intention of letting things carry on like this. All that excess energy that you had when you left Nitori has burned out by this point, and the fact that you were woken up in the middle of the night is starting to catch up to you. Every time you dodge an attack it feels like it takes more and more energy, and even if you don’t think of the Faries as too much of a threat you’d rather not let them weaken you to the point where they can overwhelm you. With every passing minute more of the gang seems to discern the location of your battle with Cirno, and you don’t like the odds of taking on the entire group that has amassed here. You think that it might be time to consider a strategic retreat.

After Cirno lets loose another round of icy bullets you decide to speak up. “Well this has been fun girls, but I think that it’s time for me to take my leave.”

This causes Cirno to pause, and after a moment of confusion you can see a large smirk plaster itself on her face. “Didn’t you hear me before?” She asks with a trace of venom in her words. “I’m not giving you the chance to run this time around. Even if you manage to beat me down, the rest of my girls have this area blocked off. And since I know you can’t fly, that means that you aren’t going anywhere!” Cirno pumps a fist into the air, and the rest of the girls respond with a loud cheer. “Of course, I’m very well known for my generosity, so if you’re willing to give us everything you have I might consider letting you go.”

As the crowd gives Cirno murmurs of approval you can’t help but let out a small chuckle. “Oh Cirno, still so naive to the ways of the street, I see.” Cirno frowns with confusion, which the rest of the group mimics as you begin to reach into your pack. “When are you going to learn that out here, one can always find a way out as long as they have the right tools.”

As you pull out the grappling gun Luna lets out a shriek. With a single cry of “He’s got a gun!” the entire group goes from being a solid wall in your path to a panicking group of young girls. Most of them try to run from the alleyway, and those who can’t do their best to take cover by leaping behind objects or some of the other girls. As Sunny makes a dive of her own her light dissipates, leaving the entire area shrouded in darkness for a bit before the light from the street lamps and moon make a comeback.

The only one who stands her ground is Cirno. Having not moved from her position she glares at you in the moonlight, a look of disgust on her face. “So this is what you resort to when you can’t win, huh? Can’t really say that I’m surprised at how low you are willing to stoop.” She shifts herself back into a fighting stance. “But if you think that something like that will be enough to stop me, THEN YOU’VE GOT ANOTHER THING COMING!”

You can’t help let out a laugh as she says that. “You really shouldn’t be so casual with your life there, Cirno,” you say as you aim the grappling gun above you. “I’m pretty sure that your friends here wouldn’t want you to sacrifice your life just for the sake of proving your honor.” Cirno’s bravado turns into shock as you take the shot, sending the gun’s hook flying into the air and towards a ledge sticking out above you. Luck is with you tonight, as the claw manages to hook on to something on the first try. “Well anyways, it’s time that I headed back to bed. I’ll see you girls around, alright?”

You turn the reversal dial and brace the gun against yourself as you pull the trigger once more, but just as the reel starts to pick up the slack a shout rings out into the night; “OH NO YOU DON’T!” As your feet begin to leave the ground Cirno lunges at your legs, and as you rise into the air you find that you have a hitchhiker along for the ride. Because you need to hold onto the gun with both hands just to keep the two of you from falling you aren’t able to knock her off as you ascend, and even if you could it only takes a moment for the two of you to be too high to even consider it. Even if she was trying to hurt you tonight you aren’t going to let her fall to her death.

The higher the two of you rise, the stronger Cirno’s grip on your leg becomes, and you can tell that she’s beginning to question the wisdom of her move. Fortunately, it only takes a few more seconds to reach the ledge, and with the gun’s momentum you have little trouble getting yourself up and over it, even with the young girl clinging to your leg. As you begin to pull yourself up and over Cirno reaches out and grabs onto the ledge herself, but doing so causes her to let go of your leg. As you secure yourself on the rooftop Cirno finds herself clinging to the roof with only a single hand, and as you turn around you can tell that’s nowhere near enough to give her any real support. You can see her eyes widen as her hand slips, and you can’t help but let out a small groan as your sacrifice your stability to reach out and grab Cirno’s arm.

A gasp can be heard from the girls below as you dangle from the rooftop, one hand holding Cirno from falling to her doom while the other does its best not to pass out from supporting your combined wait. A passing moonbeam highlights Cirno’s face, and you can see that she’s trying not to let herself go into a state of panic. Back at the ground Sunny lights up her ball once again, and you can see that the group below is panicking as they try to determine how they should act in this situation. It’s pretty clear that the group is disorganized without Cirno there to direct them, but you can see that the green-haired girl is trying to arrange the girls to try and catch their friend in case she falls.

You consider just letting Cirno drop to her friends below in order to save yourself, but decide that you can’t trust the group below to know how to save a falling person. Instead, you move Cirno back towards your leg and shout for her to grab on again. She hesitates for a moment, but ultimately grabs your leg with her other arm before letting go of your hand to complete her death grip. You grimace as you strain your ailing arm to pull the two of you high enough to allow you to grab on with both hands. Once again, you do your best to secure yourself onto the rooftop, this time instructing Cirno not to do anything until you give the word.

It takes a bit longer than before, but you are able to secure your upper torso enough so that Cirno is able to climb over you to safety. You worry for a moment that she might take the opportunity to push you back over, but the girl only sprawls against the roof and pants loudly in relief. Soon enough you are able to pull yourself up as well, and you end up collapsing in a sitting position to join Cirno in her recovery as you hear cheers of relief coming from below.

It only takes a few moments for you to recover, and soon enough you get yourself back on your feet. “Well, that was an interesting experience,” you say as you stow the grappling gun back into your pack, “but I think that’s enough excitement for one night. See you,” you say with a wave as you walk across the roof toward a nearby building.

“I told you, you aren’t going anywhere!” You stop in your tracks and turn around, surprised to find that Cirno has picked herself up off the ground, albeit with much less energy then she had before. “Don’t think that little stunt back there means anything. I said I would be taking you down tonight and I meant it!”

Alright, this is starting to get a little annoying. “Sorry, but if you think I’m going to stick around any longer you have another thing coming.” With that you sprint away, maneuvering yourself to jump across a gap to a nearby building. Cirno lets out a shout and chases after you, surprisingly clearing the gap herself with very little effort. After that, the chase is on as you try to shake the girl chasing you off as she tries to pelt you with chunks of ice.

Not wanting to have a repeat of the hanging incident, you manage to find a fire escape a few buildings down which lets you get back down to ground level. Despite the fact that you take it at least two steps at a time you aren’t able to throw Cirno off, and the chase continues first through the back alleys, and then into the main streets. No matter how many things you throw in her path to slow her down, nor how many vendor stalls you jump over, slide under or crash through as a shortcut she always seems to find a way around before you can get out of sight. (You do make sure to avoid the cart belonging to the local cabbage merchant, though. Poor guy has it tough enough without you smashing through his merchandise)

As you run around another corner, Cirno puts on a burst of speed and takes you by surprise, grabbing onto your right hand with her left. “GOTCHA!” Before you can force her to let go you feel a great chill wash over you. Looking back, you can see Cirno standing with a tired yet triumphant grin on her face, and you grimace as you set eyes on where your hands currently meet. Both your hand and Cirno’s are now encased in ice, preventing you from getting any further away from Cirno than you are now.

“There…<huff> … I’ve got you…<puff>…now…” Cirno says as she gasps for breath. She holds her other hand up in order to attack you once again, and you can’t help but brace yourself as she does. After a few moments, however, you realize that nothing is happening, and as you can’t help but feel a bit relieved as a look of horror appears on Cirno’s face.

“Running on empty, are you?” you ask with a tired smile. It would seem that Cirno has finally run her magic dry, with that last trick of fusing your hands together apparently draining away the last of the magical energy. She begins to tug at the block connecting the two of you as she tries to get away, no doubt picturing the numerous horrors that she suspects you will bring down upon her. “S-stay away from me, you hear!” She yells as she tries to pull back, only to find herself unable to make you budge.

“I’d love to,” you say with a sigh, “but it’s not like I exactly have that option, now do I?” Cirno’s horror only grows as she begins to realize how hopeless her situation is, and despite how much she might try to hide it from you, you can see tears begin to build up in her eyes.

“Calm down,” you say as you walk over to a nearby bench and take a seat, more or less dragging Cirno along with you. “Believe it or not I can’t say that I’m in the mood for dealing with this any more than you are, so how about we just work on getting ourselves loose and take our leave of each other, alright?”

Cirno lowers herself onto the bench as well, doing her best to keep as much distance between the two of you as possible. Rolling your eyes, you direct your direction towards the block of ice between you. Being unable to move your hand at will is really starting to bother you, and you don’t want to think about whether or not frostbite will set in before you manage to free yourself. “Alright, you can go ahead and break this thing. I’m sure that at this point you want to be free from it as much as I do.”

Cirno squirms slightly in her seat. “I…can’t.”

You give the girl a deadpan stare. “Come on, I know you have no magic left, but you made this, right? You must have some idea of how we can get out of it.”

Cirno shakes her head. “Even if I had any magic left, I only know how to make ice, not to make it go away.”

You just stare at her as she continues to squirm under your gaze. Well this is just great, instead of being able to go back to sleep you are either going to have to find a way to free yourself from this predicament, or else wait until the ice thaws out. (IF it does; you have no idea if magical ice works the same way that normal ice does) And considering that your hand will probably freeze before the ice melts away you aren’t exactly fond of the latter idea. What to do…

[ ] Yuugi can probably get you free, even if your hand might not survive the process.
[ ] If you find something warm or hot, maybe you can help speed up the melting process.
[ ] Letty can probably help get you free, but the only way you can think of tracking her down right now is through Aya.

Of course, you more or less have a captive conversational partner right now. You are going to be stuck together for a while, so you might as well try to strike up a conversation while you have the chance…

[ ] Ask about Lilly and the Orphanage
[ ] Ask about the reason for the Faries’ crime spree
[ ] Ask Cirno what she thinks about Letty
[ ] Ask Cirno what she thinks about you
[ ] Ask Cirno what Luna thinks about you
[ ] “You know, we’re actually more similar then you might think…”
[x] Letty can probably help get you free, but the only way you can think of tracking her down right now is through Aya.

I don't want Yuugi breaking off our hand and I doubt magical ice can simply be melted with water.

[x] Ask about Lily and the Orphanage
[x] Ask about the reason for the Faries’ crime spree
[x] Ask Cirno what she thinks about Letty
[x] Ask Cirno what she thinks about you
[x] “You know, we’re actually more similar then you might think…”
-[x] In your best stereotypical villain voice: "We're not so different, you and I."
[X] Letty can probably help get you free, but the only way you can think of tracking her down right now is through Aya.

[X] Ask about Lilly and the Orphanage
[X] Ask about the reason for the Faries’ crime spree
[X] Ask Cirno what she thinks about Letty
[X] Ask Cirno what she thinks about you
[X] Ask Cirno what Luna thinks about you
[X] “You know, we’re actually more similar then you might think…”

Wall of text!
[X] Letty can probably help get you free, but the only way you can think of tracking her down right now is through Aya.

[X] Ask about Lilly and the Orphanage
[X] Ask about the reason for the Faries’ crime spree
[X] Ask Cirno what she thinks about Letty
[X] Ask Cirno what she thinks about you
[X] Ask Cirno what Luna thinks about you
[X] “You know, we’re actually more similar then you might think…”
Writing is progressing. I'm trying to incorporate everything in a natural manner. Some items might get less of an emphasis than others, and it's not going to be in the order above, but it all should be there in the end. It's going to be a doozy of an update, but I'll see if I can't finish it up sooner rather than later
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Ugh…you really wish there was a better alternative, but right now Letty is probably your best bet for getting your hand out of this icy prison. You aren’t sure where you’d be able to find something to help melt the ice off at this hour, and the only other alternative you can think of is seeing if Yuugi could somehow help you out of this situation. And considering how she usually handles her problems…yeah, it’s probably best not to go down that route if you want to keep your hand intact.

Of course, there are two issues with finding Letty. The first is that Cirno probably going to like this idea even less than you do. You could probably just drag the girl along with you, but you’d really rather not do this by force, so it might be best to not mention Letty’s name until the last minute.

That thought brings you to the second issue, in that you don’t actually know where Letty is right now, as you never bothered to figure out where she is staying in the city. The only person that you can think of who might actually know is Aya, but for once not swapping phone numbers with her is actually working against you. Still, you know where Aya lives, and by this hour she’s probably busy putting together articles for that rag of hers, so it’s a pretty safe bet that you can track Aya down, and through her Letty.

Well, first thing’s first. “Ok, here’s the deal,” you say, “I think I know someone who can get us apart, but we’re going to have to track her down first. Are you good for a little more walking?”

Cirno narrows her eyes. “How do I know that you aren’t going to just take me somewhere to do unspeakable things to me?”

You roll your eyes. “Do you really think that I would need your permission to just carry you away if I wanted to? You aren’t exactly at the top of your game right now.” Cirno just gives you a small scowl as she turns away from you. “Look, I think we both know each other well enough by this point for you to know how I operate. I promise I won’t do anything to you, so would you mind humoring me on this?”

Cirno continues to scowl, but she slowly gets up off the bench. “I’m warning you now; if you do anything to me my girls are going to kill you when they find my body.”

“Good to know,” you say, trying not to show how tired this whole situation is making you. “Let’s just start moving before frostbite sets in for both of us, alright?”

“Maybe for you,” Cirno says with a smirk, “The cold’s never bothered me one bit, so I’ve go nothing to worry about.”

You give a small shrug as you start moving, trying not to think about your whole hand turning black and falling off. After a minute or two the idea really starts getting to you, so you decide to engage Cirno in conversation to try and get your mind away from the current status of you hand. (Chilly)

“So tell me about Lily,” you ask without a lick of taste. You can actually feel Cirno tense up as the words leave your mouth. “She’s the head of the orphanage that you live at, right?”

“Don’t you even think about going near her, you pervert,” Cirno says with as much venom as she can muster. “I swear, if you even think about touching a single hair on her head I’ll-”

“I think that I’ve got more than enough problems with you alone, thank you very much,” you say as deadpan as you can. “Look, I get it, she’s someone you really care about and-”

“You don’t know anything!” Cirno yells. “Lily is the greatest person ever! She took us off the street when we had nothing, and she’s done nothing but give everything she has to help support us when no one else would!”

“Chill, chill,” you say with a wave of your non-frozen hand, “I get it; she’s really important to you and your group.”

“Damn right she is,” Cirno says, simmering down a bit. “She’d do anything for us, and we’d do anything for her, even if…” the girl seems to realize something and suddenly goes quiet, leaving an awkward silence between the two of you.

“Even if what?” you ask.

“It’s none of your business,” Cirno says as she moves away from you in an attempt to leave the topic alone, but you’re pretty sure that you can see where this chain of logic is going.

“Even if she’s started asking you to do things that you might find somewhat questionable?”

“Shut up.”

“Things like maybe going around the city and committing what amounts to petty theft and crime whenever you have the chance?”


You stay silent for a bit, watching Cirno’s reaction. It’s clear that she’s furious at you for bad mouthing her caretaker, but at the same time you can see the hesitation on her face. You can tell that she’s having the same troubling thoughts that you are, even if her admiration for this Lily person is keeping her from actually doing anything about them. The question is whether or not you should press her on it any further, and in the end you decide that there is at least one more thing that you need to ask.

“Look, I’ll drop the subject if you’ll just tell me this; has Lily done anything to hurt either you or any of the other girls?”


“You didn’t answer my question.”

“[b]NO, SHE HASN’T HURT ANY OF US, AND I CAN GUARANTEE THAT SHE NEVER WILL!” Cirno is almost foaming at the mouth by this point, so you decide that now’s probably a good time to leave the topic alone. You got the impression that Cirno wasn’t lying about Lily, so for now you don’t think you should push any further. Even if she’s hiding something it’s doubtful that she’d be willing to talk to you about it, considering how well she currently seems to think of you.

The two of you continue walking for a few minutes, and Cirno eventually falls into something of a simmer. It’s pretty clear at this point that she would rather not be near you at all if she could help it. That said she seems just as uncomfortable at walking in silence as you are, so it isn’t long before she breaks it herself. “So who’s this friend of yours that you think can help us?”

You cringe internally. You probably should have guessed that she would ask you this at some point before you tracked Letty down, but you were hoping that she would be too distracted by the whole “hands frozen in ice” situation to think too much on it. Wishful thinking on your part, you suppose. Still, you aren’t one for lying when pressed for the truth, and it might just be the transition you need to ask Cirno about her thoughts on your current target. “Her name is Letty, and-”

The moment the name leaves your lips Cirno tries to bolt away from you as fast as you can. You nearly fall over as the young girl’s attempts to flee pull you along with her, but after a few seconds you’re able to regain your footing and dig into the ground. Cirno lets out a small yelp and nearly trips herself, only managing to stay upright with your help. “Look, I know that you don’t like Letty. Hell, I don’t like Letty, but right now she’s the only person that I can think of that can effectively help us out of this situation.”

Cirno shakes her head vigorously. “If we let her help us she’ll hold this over me as a favor, and I don’t want to owe that woman anything!” Something seems to click in Cirno’s mind, and she glares at you accusingly. “Wait, how did you know that I don’t like Letty?”

“I ended up meeting her after witnessing one of your shouting matches on the street. You weren’t exactly being subtle about your dislike of her.” Cirno blushes and turns away as you decide to exclude the fact that you were technically still eavesdropping, even if it wasn’t difficult to do so. “For whatever reason she ended up picking me out of the crowd afterwards to ask something, and it’s been hell on earth for me ever since.”

“Is she’s that sociable?” Cirno asks in a confused manner. “It seems kind of weird that she would attach herself to a stranger like that.”

“Who knows,” you say with a shrug, trying to divert attention away from the fact that Letty ended up busting you on said eavesdropping, “but she ended up tagging along with me for a bit as I met a friend of mine and for some reason the two of them ended up becoming bosom buddies. No idea why they get along so well, but it means that I end up seeing way more of her than I would like.”

Cirno shudders. “I can imagine,” she says, “I hate being near her for even a second, so I couldn’t stand running into her all the time. But if you don’t like her as much as I do, then why are you dragging me along to see her?”

“Can you think of any other way to break ourselves out of this?” You ask, indicating your fused hands.

Cirno bites her lip. “Maybe we could find something to melt it with?”

You give a one-shouldered shrug. “You would probably know better than I would. Any idea of something we could find at this time of night that might work?” A few seconds pass before Cirno shakes her head in resignation. “Sometimes it really sucks being this powerful,” she says in a lamentful manner. “We’ve tried melting my ice before with a hair dryer, and no matter how much we turned it up it always ended up taking forever to melt away.”

“I do know someone who might be strong enough to break us out of this with pure strength alone,” you say, seeing the hope rise in Cirno’s eyes. You dash it just as quickly by saying, “Unfortunately, she’d probably end up crushing our hands to bits if she tried. Subtlety isn’t exactly her strong point.”

“So it’s either wait for hours being stuck with you, or getting that witch’s help, huh?” Cirno says with a sigh. “I don’t like either option, but I honestly can’t stand the idea of being stuck with you for hours on end even more. Let’s just go and hope that she doesn’t hold it over us.”

“My thoughts exactly,” you say as you do your best to find your way towards Aya’s place again. “Still, I know how you feel. That woman just irks me in all the wrong ways. She understands nothing about what a family really is…”

“…she isn’t aware that just because someone doesn’t share her worldview it doesn’t mean that they are wrong…” Cirno continues.

“She’s too prim and proper for her own good…”

“She always tries to win her arguments by yelling harder than you do…”

“And the worst part of it is,” you finish off, “is that she’s actually a really nice person.” Cirno looks at you as if you had just said the most confusing thing in the world. “Shocking, I know, but I’ve never actually seen her force anyone to do anything against their own will, and she is always willing to lend a hand if you need it, even if she’ll expect a favor in return later.”

“And being a nice person like is a bad thing?” Cirno asks, still completely confused.

“Yeah, because it makes it that much harder to actually hate her for all that irksome stuff that she does. If she were a horrible person then I could just write her off as pure evil and be done with it, but like most people she’s just more complicated than that. Heck, I even doubt she’ll go as far as guilting you to leave your family behind over a single favor like this; it just isn’t her style.”

Cirno just can’t seem to process the fact that anyone could possibly say anything nice about the woman she abhors. “W-well good, ‘cause I’m not leaving them for anything and that’s that!” She marches of quickly, forcing you to speed up a bit just to keep up her pace. “I don’t care if she can help me get better with my ice magic, my family is more important than something like that!”

You can’t help but let out a chuckle as she says that. “I’d probably say the exact same thing if I were in your shoes,” you say as you look up towards the sky with a small sigh. “You know, we’re not so different, you and I.”

“Considering that I’m not a creepy pervert stalker I’d say that we’re very different.” Cirno says as she continues to march on ahead.

“Come on, there’s more to me than just that,” you say jokingly, hoping that Cirno won’t take you too seriously. When she doesn’t say anything back, you decide to continue. “I was an orphan growing up too, y’know.”

You can feel Cirno falter in her step, but she does her best not to show it. “You’re lying,” she says, “You’re just trying to get on my good side so that I’ll resist less later when you try and take advantage of me.”

“Get your mind out of the gutter, will you?” You say with annoyance, “It’s true though, I had no parents growing up. It was just me and two other kids, trying their best to survive on the city streets.”

“Why didn’t you just find an orphanage like me and the rest of the girls did?” Cirno asks, “Seems like that would be a smarter move than just living off the streets.” She still sounds doubtful as to whether you are telling the truth or not, but at least she seems to be playing along for now.

You return her question with a one-shouldered shrug. “Honestly, I was surprised to hear that there was an orphanage now; there never was a place like that when my sibs and I were growing up, since the city never really seemed to care enough about tramps like us. It was all that we could do to keep out of its way and make ends meet at the end of the day.”

“Your ‘sibs’?”

“The other two I mentioned. We helped each other as best as we could, and we grew stronger because of it. They are the family that I’ll fight for until the bitter end, no matter how were related. Know what I mean?”

Cirno nods, and then seems to slump a bit as she lets out a sad sigh. “It doesn’t get any easier, does it?”

“Sure it does,” you respond, and Cirno looks back up to you in surprise. “At least it did for us. We kept the lessons we learned with us as we grew, and while I wouldn’t exactly call my current situation stable at least I have some control over it. Heck, you’re probably in a much better position that I was at your age; it isn’t like I could shoot ice all over the place when someone was giving me trouble back then.”

Cirno seems to get a little flustered at that statement, so you press onwards. “Look, I know you think I’m this horrible guy whose out to do goddess knows what to you and your own, but I’m nowhere near as bad of a man as you girls seem to make me out to be.”

“Then why did you kiss Luna?” Cirno asks, eliciting a groan from you. “Doing something like that doesn’t put you in a good light.”

“I really need to apologize to her for that,” you say as you palm your face with your non-frozen hand. “I kinda, maybe, sorta wasn’t thinking my actions through at that point and time, and I get the feeling that I hurt her more than I should have.”

“You should probably just stay away from her, then.” Cirno says, trying to keep as straight a face as possible.

“She really hates me that much over what I did?”

Cirno gives you a shrug. “That girl is the biggest airhead that I know, so it’s hard to tell if she’s actually feeling anything at a given moment. You’d probably have better luck asking Star or Sunny than me.” Cirno gives you a piercing look. “Not that I’d allow it, of course.”

You sigh, feeling somewhat tired over Cirno’s mistrust at you. “Do you think that you can at least help me apologize to her, then?”

Cirno looks as if she’s about to rebuke you right off, but as she catches your gaze she seems to hesitate. “I’ll think about it, but just keep away from my girls until I say otherwise.” With that she turns around, making it clear that she’s no longer in the mood for talking. That’s fine by you since you don’t have anything else that you can think to ask her. You choose to let silence reign as the two of you continue to walk under the starry sky.


It doesn’t take too long for the two of you to make it to Aya’s place, a simple looking building of brown and white nestled in the better part of town. Despite being somewhat small and cramped, it nonetheless gives off a cozy feel in the chilly air of the night. (Also your hand, but you are still trying to keep your mind off of that) You can see that the light is still on in Aya’s room, which means that she’s probably still awake and working on her newspaper of hers.

Not wanting to wake up the other occupants, you pick up a small nearby rock and toss is at Aya’s window, to which there is no response. Exasperated, you pick up another rock and try again. Unfortunately, your aim is slightly off and you end up hitting the darkened window next to Aya’s, causing Cirno to stifle a giggle over how bad you messed that up. You’re just about to try a third time when the window you just hit opens up and a sleepy looking Hatate sticks her head out. She stares at you for a second before pulling her head in and closing the window. You hear some kind of commotion occurring inside, and it isn’t long before the front door opens to reveal a frazzled looking Aya. “Conner? What are you doing here at this time of night?” You can tell that she’s been neglecting her sleep a bit, but at least she looks more awake then Hatate did. She spots Cirno standing next to you, and her eyes gravitate towards the place where your hands are connected. “Oh. Geez, how in the world did you manage to end up in a situation like that?”

“Lady Aya, is everything alright?” A tired looking figure steps out behind Aya. Despite having pure white hair, the woman looks to be the same age as Aya does, although the white bathrobe she is wearing and the obvious sleeplessness aren’t doing her complexion many favors at the moment.

“It’s alright Momiji,” Aya says with a wave of her hand, “It’s just Conner. You can go back to bed.” The white-haired woman nods with a yawn as she moves back towards her room. Aya turns back to you, and you can’t help but see a smirk make its way on her face. “So I’m guessing you want me to help you in regards to…well, that, right?” She indicates the ice block, clearly amused by your suffering.

You suppress a groan. “Look, can you let me know where Letty is staying?” You ask. “She’s the best person I can think of to help the two of us get out of this mess.”

“Hmmm…” Aya says as she taps her lips with one finger. “I miiiiight know where she is, but such information doesn’t come cheap, y’know?”

“Aya…” you say, unable to keep your groan suppressed any longer. “Really?” When Aya just stands there smirking you sigh in defeat. “Fine, what do you want?”

“If you give me your phone number, I might be able to tell you where Letty is,” Aya says, her smirk not decreasing in the slightest.

“You can’t be serious,” you say, wondering if this was such a good idea after all. Cirno lets out a groan. “Dude, just give it to her. The sooner we get this over with, the better.”

“It’s your choice, Conner,” Aya says with a small shrug. “If you want to know where Letty is staying, then cough up that number of yours. Otherwise you can just go and find her yourself.”

Why is Aya doing this to you now of all times? You wonder if this is revenge for that whole Yorihime stunt that you pulled a while ago. You try to come to a decision as you try to ignore the fact that you aren’t sure if you can feel your hand anymore.

[ ] Give Aya your number
[ ] Don’t give Aya your number
[x] Give Aya your number.

It had to happen eventually.
[x] Give Aya your number
The only other alternatives are getting an oni to smash the arm or trying to melt magic ice. Both of those seem pretty horrible.
[x] Give Aya your number
[X] Give Aya your number

Conner can always change his number if Aya decides to overuse it.
[X] Give Aya your number
[X] Give Aya your number
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[X] Give Aya your number.

Screw it; it’s just not worth it to deny her at this point. You knew that you’d probably end up giving her your number at some point anyways, and you don’t really feel like arguing when you have your hand encased in ice. Grumbling a bit, you fish out your phone from your pocket. “Fine, but I want your number in return.” You hate to admit it, but things probably would have been much easier if you could have just dialed Aya up when all of this began. You might as well get her digits down as long as you have the opportunity.

Aya just grins as she lists out her number. You give the number a ring, and her grin seems to only expand as she takes out her cell phone and confirms that your call has come through. “Finally! I swear, getting your number took way too long, Conner. You’d think that I would have been able to get it ages ago but-”

“Ahem,” You interrupt, holding up your frozen hand in the process.

“Oh, right,” Aya says, looking slightly embarrassed, “Come on in and make yourselves at home; I’ll go wake Letty up and let her know you’re here.”

“…what do you mean, ‘Wake Letty up’?”

“She’s been bunking with me for a while now,” Aya says as she heads towards the stairs, “It’s cheaper than staying in a hotel, and we make some good rent until she can find a place of her own in the city.”

You feel something inside of you fall into the pit of your stomach, and you slowly begin to realize a horrible truth. “You were going to tell me where she was even if I didn’t give you my number, weren’t you?”

“Hey, it’s not my fault that you don’t think these things through,” Aya says with a smirk, “Anyways, go and sit on the couch while I wake Letty up.”

You shuffle inside, feeling a wave of defeat wash over you. You flop onto the couch in Aya’s den, trying to ignore how Cirno seems to be mirroring the smirk Aya was just wearing. The den itself is somewhat messy, with numerous newspapers scattered all over the place. There is a desk that is more or less completely buried with paperwork off to one side, a bookcase that looks as if it is about to explode from how crammed it is with various books, journals and newpapers, and past the coffee table and a few other chairs lies a small television. As you consider whether or not you should turn on the TV to get your mind off of your loss you see Momiji messing around in the kitchen from the corner of your eye. It looks like she’s decided not to go back to bed, and is instead grumbling about late night guests in the kitchen as she sets up a pot of tea.

It doesn’t take too long for Aya to coax Letty downstairs, although you can clearly tell that she would have much preferred to stay in bed. The ice master is currently decked out in a set of silvery pajamas, complete with a silvery-white nightcap. Looking at you and your connected companion, she can’t seem to decide whether she should be annoyed or ecstatic.

“So not only is Conner paying for his misdeeds again, but in doing so he has brought my desired pupil directly to me? I must still be dreaming,” As Letty draws near you can feel Cirno tense up next to you, and you can feel that she would probably be bolting away right now if she had the option. “Still, it is much too late in the night for a house call, even for something as good as all this.”

“I could not agree more.” Momiji says with a small grumble as she sets a tea tray down on the small table in front of the couch, with Aya frowning in disapproval. “Don’t give me that look, Lady Aya,” Momiji chides, “Even in the middle of the night, one must always treat one’s guests with hospitality.”

“I think we’ll be fine, Momi,” Aya says with an exasperated sigh, “So please, go back to bed. I can handle things here.” Momiji doesn’t seem to find any reason to disagree, and soon disappears up the stairs. In the meantime, Letty has been examining the prison holding your hand captive, giving her head a little shake as she does. “Honestly, why on earth would you handcuff yourself to this ruffian of all people, Cirno?”

“I-it was an accident,” Cirno replies with an indignant look. “It doesn’t matter; just break this thing so I can get out of here, alright?”

Letty taps her finger to her lips. “No, I don’t think I will.” You don’t even need to look next to you to know that Cirno’s horrified expression is matching your own. “Even at this late hour, I would be remiss if I let a teaching opportunity like this pass on by.”

“Seriously?” you ask, resisting the urge to throttle the woman in front of you, “Do you honestly think that I haven’t suffered enough already for this little incident?”

“As much as I would like to hope that this little incident has taught you something personally, I was actually referring to Cirno here.” You can feel the girl next to you try to tug away from you as she tries to move out of Letty’s proximity. Upon seeing this, Letty gives a small sigh before lowering herself down to Cirno’s eye level. “I cannot force you to be my student Cirno, but I am not going to sit idly by as you waste your talent either. Even if you will not be my protégé, you simply have too much potential to be left untaught.”

“I don’t need any of your help!” Cirno yells as she does her best to press herself into the couch and away from Letty as much as she can. For her own part, Letty only gives a small smile and nods. “I agree completely,” Letty says in reply, “You do not need my help at all in this situation, as you are completely capable of resolving this problem on your own.”

You, Cirno, and Aya can only look dumbfounded as Letty gives off her happy little smile. After a few moments you are the first one to recover. “No, no she can’t,” you say, “I already asked Cirno if she could get rid of this stuff and she told me that it wasn’t something that she didn’t know how to do. If her getting rid of this stuff was an option, I’m pretty sure that we wouldn’t be coming to you with this problem.”

“Even if a person doesn’t know how to solve a problem it doesn’t mean that they are incapable of solving it, Conner.” Letty says with a small click of her tongue. “It’s just a matter of trying different things until one has found a new path.”

“I hate to agree with this idiot, but he’s kind of right,” Cirno says, trying to hide her blush of embarrassment. “I can’t control this stuff after it leaves me, I can only direct it before I let go of it.”

“That is pure and utter nonsense, child,” Letty responses as she taps the ice cuff. “The magic is still your own, even if it’s outside of your body. You just need to get it to listen to you.”

Cirno lets out an unladylike snort. “Even if that was possible I’ve already used up all the magic in me. There is nothing for me to use to get this ice off of us.”

“All the better,” Letty says with a small nod, “The fact that you are running on empty means that you should have a much easier time coaxing the magic back inside of you. All you have to do is reach out and tell it to come back.”

“And how do I do that?” Cirno asks with a scowl, to which Letty shakes her head in response. “I believe that gives you more than enough hints to start out with.” Letty moves to sit in one of the chairs on the other side of the table, and proceeds to simple gaze in your general direction.

Cirno does not take this well. “What, you say that you want to teach me, and then you decide to keep your lessons to yourself? What kind of teaching is that?!” You can feel the girl’s rage building, and you get the feeling that if you don’t step in you might end up with a tantrum on your hands. You have no idea what Letty is going for here, but at the same time you don’t want to be on the same side of the coffee table Cirno in case things go south.

[ ] Interject
[ ] Keep Quiet
[x] Interject

I think letty is too used to students who were formally introduced, not bundles of raw talent that only had themselves to learn from.
[x] Interject
[x] Interject

Agreed. We gotta jump in before shit gets nasty.
[X] Interject

How about we leave the 'figure it out yourself' lessons for when our hand's not in danger of being frostbitten?
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[x] Interject

You yank your ice shackle back, eliciting a yelp from Cirno as she falls back onto the couch. “Calm down.”

“Calm down?!” Cirno yells, focusing her attention on you, “Have you been paying attention? She’s not trying to help us at all!”

“She’s trying to help you in her own way, despite the fact that this is neither the time nor the place for it,” you say as you try to keep your own demeanor as calm as possible.

“Conner…” Letty says in a tone that tells you to stay out of this. You just glare back at her with as much fury as you can, causing the woman to shrink back into her chair by reflex. “I can’t really say I care one way or another about you wanting to teach Cirno, Letty, but I would really prefer that you do it during a time when my freaking hand isn’t encased in ice.

Cirno nods in agreement. “Yeah, get us out of this mess already!”

Letty is taken aback for a moment, but soon regains her composure. “Like I just said, there is no need for me to interfere here. Considering the natural talent you have with magic, the hints I gave you should more than suffice in helping you with your plight.”

Cirno considers Letty’s words for a moment, at which point she turns to you. “So can we beat her up now?”

“I wish,” you say with a groan as you let yourself lean back into the couch, “But considering the condition that we are both in I’m pretty sure that even the both of us together probably couldn’t take on her magic at this point.”

“I’m right here,” Letty says with a huff.

“I noticed,” you say with a roll of your eyes. “I hate to say it, but you should probably just go with her flow for a moment and try things out her way.”

“What? No!” Cirno says as she jumps up to stare down at you. “Even if I wanted to do what this witch said, she still hasn’t told me how to do it?”

You shake your head. “Considering that she more or less has the upper hand over us strength-wise right now it seems like the path of least resistance. I doubt that either of us will be able to pry any more info out of her unless you at least give it a shot.”

Cirno’s gaze starts to heat up again and this time it’s more or less entirely focused on you. “What have I got to gain by following her instructions?”

You give a small shrug. “What do you have to lose?”

Cirno sputters, stamps her feet and scowls, but as the moment pass you can see your logic pass through her mind, making her more conflicted with every passing second. In the end she lets out a howl of frustration and throws herself back on the couch. “FINE! I’LL DO IT!” The girl focuses her glare at the chunk of ice holding the two together, and after a few moments a growl emerges from her mouth. “This isn’t working.”

“That’s because it looks like you are trying to win a staring contest with it, not reach out to it.” You say as you sit back up. “I’m pretty sure that if looking was the only condition for controlling your magic here we probably wouldn’t be in this predicament.”

“Conner…” Letty starts up again in that accusatory tone of hers.

“Shut up, Letty,” you bark back, once again sending the woman flinching back into her chair, “Just because you don’t want to help anymore doesn’t mean that I’m not going to.”

Cirno smirks at your reaction, and you can feel some of the anger dissipate off of her. When you focus back on the ice, Cirno does as well. “Alright, so we somehow have to get you to reach out to this ice magic stuff and pull it back into you,” you say, trying to reason things out. “So let’s take a couple of steps back and work off what you already know; how do you control ice magic when it isn’t outside of your body?”

Cirno gives a small shrug of indifference before a contemplative look begins to grow on her face. “I dunno; it’s not really something that I ever needed to think about before. I can just feel the energy inside of me, and when I want it to come out in a certain way I just move the energy around so that it does in the way that I want it to.”

“Seems like a good place to start,” you say with a nod, “You already know how to move the energy around; the only issue seems to be where this magic is currently located.”

“Yeah,” Cirno says with a contemplative nod of her own, “Considering that my hand is trapped in this ice you’d think I’d be able to feel the magic, but even though I can feel it on my own skin I can’t get it to move around at all.”

“Alright, so touching it doesn’t seem like it’s enough.” You can see Letty looking somewhat pleased out of the corner of your eye, and it takes a large amount of willpower to not try and hit her with another glare. “So let’s figure out why you can control it on the inside of your body, but not the outside.”

It takes a few moments, but after a bit Cirno seems to start mulling over something. “It’s like... everything inside of me feels like “me”, right?” You raise an eyebrow in confusion as Cirno tries to explain further. “It’s like there is this other part of myself that is “me” that goes all the way to one side of my skin, but the moment you cross over it just ends, y’know?” You shake your head, still not understanding a word. “Augh! Look, if the magic energy is part of this other part of “me” then I can control it, but if it isn’t I can’t!”

“In other words, there is a part of yourself, an “aura” if you will, that is able to control the magic at your whim as long as it resides in said aura.” Aya says, having apparently gotten caught up in the discussion. Letty frowns at Aya’s intervention, but unlike with you she doesn’t say anything to keep her friend quiet. (Goddess-damned favoritism)

Cirno nods and points at Aya. “Yeah, what she said.”

“Alright,” you say as you pinch your forehead in concentration, “Then it seems like if you could somehow move this “aura” over to the ice, you’d be able to control it somewhat, wouldn’t you?”

Cirno falters upon hearing this. “But… I don’t know how to do that.”

You give a small shrug. “So try something different, something you wouldn’t normally do.” To be honest you are kind of grasping at strings at this point. You have no idea how this “aura” of Cirno’s could be moved, but at the same time you have a gut feeling that it shouldn’t be too hard for her to piece together how to do it. “Like I said, you’ve got nothing to lose, so you might as well give it a shot.”

Cirno is still hesitant. “But...but what if something goes wrong?”

You point a thumb over at Letty. “We’ve got a professor of ice magic sitting right next to us. Our feelings about her aside, I’m pretty sure that she’ll be able to get things under control if they get out of whack.”

“I’m still sitting right here, you know?” Letty says, clearly annoyed at the fact that you aren’t including her in your conversation directly.

Reaching out into Cirno’s mind a bit, you can tell that the girl is still feeling hesitant, nervous and a little bit afraid, but at the same time you can also see a large amount of determination building up as well. “Alright,” she says with a deep breath as she closes her eyes, “I’ll give it a shot.”

With that, Cirno goes silent. The seconds pass slowly, and after a minute you can feel your attention begin to waver a bit as Cirno maintains her own. You have to wonder how damaged your hand is by this point. After all, it’s been in contact with the ice for at least an hour, and your hand seems to have gotten used to the chill to the point of you not being able to feel it anymore. You really, really hope that you won’t have to get it sawed off or anything like that, since-

Your thought process is interrupted by a large whooshing noise, and before you can even blink the ice holding you and Cirno together is gone. You sigh in relief, rubbing the gauntlet on your hand as Cirno holds her own hand open in front of herself, staring at it. “It’s like I pushed the “me” onto the ice, and the moment it touched it all just rushed back in me,” she says in awe. Letty gets up of her chair, a smile on her face and waaaaaaait a minute….

“Conner!” Aya says with a gasp as she points to your now freed arm. Your throw your gaze towards your arm in a fit of hope, but the only thing that results from said action is disappointment. You could have sworn that you felt the gauntlet just now as you attempted to rub some feeling back into your hand, but all you can see is your normal arm with that goddess-damned symbol resting on your hand’s back. Was it just a trick of your mind, or is the gauntlet actively trying to troll you right now? You attempt to wrap your head around the issue, but you end up being distracted by an odd surge of emotion coming from Cirno as she leaps off the couch and bolts for the front door.

“Wait!” Letty shouts out as Cirno throws the door open and escapes into the night. “I just want to…” Letty cuts herself off with a sigh as she lets herself fall onto the couch next to you. “I suppose it doesn’t matter. She wouldn’t be willing to listen to a word I said at this point anyways.”

“Can’t say that I blame her,” you say with a snort as you continue to examine your arm. You can feel Letty’s gaze of rage fall upon you, but you can’t actually bring yourself to care. After a moment the woman lets out another sigh. “I really wish that girl could just see reason, and not let her hatred of me be the sole guide to our interactions.”

“I don’t think that hatred was why she was so quick to run out of that door,” you say as you give up on your investigation, letting your hand drop to your side. As you do Aya rushes over and catches it before it hits the couch, and proceeds to examine it herself. You should probably call her out on personal space issues, but you honestly don’t have the energy to do so.

Letty’s glare of rage turns to one of annoyance as she hears your comment. “And what do you think made her want to get out of here so fast, hmm? The only thing that you seem to have made abundantly clear tonight it’s the mutual dislike of me that the two of you share.”

“Can’t really deny that,” you say with a shrug as Aya begins banging your arm against the couch, probably hoping to illicit some sort of reaction, “but I can tell you that when she was bolting off of that couch, I could feel three different emotions going through her mind.”

Letty raises an eyebrow at this. “I find it highly unlikely that you of all people have the ability to enter someone else’s GRK!” Letty shakes her head as her though process hits a brick wall, and you can’t help but smirk at the look of awe on her face. “How in the world…?”

“It’s just something that he does,” Aya says with disgust in her voice as she graciously throws your arm back towards you, apparently getting nowhere with her examination. “Don’t worry, he can’t do much else than throw you off your train of thought. It’s annoying, but all you have to do is hit him until he stops.”

“Noted,” Letty says, not taking her eyes off you, “But still, being able to get even a glimpse into another person’s mind is incredible! Tell me, what were these emotions that you felt from Cirno?”

You think back to a few moments ago when Cirno bolted off. “Let’s see… I could feel both fear and disgust coming off of her, to begin with.”

“Not surprising, all things considered,” Letty says with a sad sigh.

“You don’t understand,” you say with a shake of your head. “I’m not really that sure about this, but from what I could tell those feelings weren’t actually directed at you so much as they were directed at herself.”

“What?” Letty asks in confusion, “But that makes no sense! We both know that Cirno isn’t the type to let her emotions hold her back, so what on earth could have caused her to feel that way about herself at that point?” Something seems to click in her mind the moment she says that. “Wait… it wouldn’t have anything to do with that third emotion that you felt would it?”

“Most likely,” you say with a nod, “And the strange part is that’s the emotion that was directed at you.”

“Well don’t hold us in suspense!” Aya says as she pushes her way into the space between you and Letty, anticipation in her eyes. “Tell us what it is already!”

You rack your mind to find the appropriate description for what the young girl was feeling towards the lavender-haired annoyance sitting near you. With a nod, you let the word loose from your lips, bringing only more confusion from the two sitting near you.



Letty attempted to grill you further about your abilities and what Cirno felt, but in the end you were about as adept at explaining those things to her as Cirno was in explaining her abilities to you. After all, you only know what Cirno was feeling at the time, not why she was feeling it. In the end, Letty ended storming up the stairs, warning you that this wasn’t the last you’d hear from her on this. Aya offered to let you sleep the rest of the night off on the couch, but in the end you decided that you didn’t want to stick around anymore than you had to, even if you could potentially score some pancakes from Momiji in the morning. Saying goodnight to Aya you walked back to your place, noting with relief that your door was still in one piece. Despite your exhaustion, the events of the night ended up keeping you awake for at least a few more hours before you were able to coax yourself to sleep.

A combination of both sleeping through the day and partial laziness finds you waking up in the late afternoon, which suits you just fine. You were planning on heading over to Remilia’s mansion tonight, so not having to pinch yourself to keep from falling asleep will be a nice bonus.

As you get yourself ready to go you go over the game plan you have in regards to the vampire sisters. You feel like your affinity with Flandre is growing, but not fast enough for Remilia’s liking. The elder sister seems to be getting more and more anxious in her inquiries on Flandre’s progress, as if some sort of deadline were coming up that she fears you won’t be able to make. You never get the chance to press her on these feelings though, as she always seems to find some sort of excuse to leave the mansion as soon as you arrive.

You don’t want to push things too quickly, but you get the feeling that if you don’t make some progress quickly Remilia might end up declaring the whole job null and void. The only thing you can think of that might speed things up is the secret Remilia seems to be holding back from you, and how it pertains to her sister. The question now is whether or not you think it’s worth it to press Remilia to speak about it right now.

[ ] Yes
[ ] Sunny Milk
Why is Sunny milk the other choice?

Let's find out.

[X] Sunny Milk
[x] Sunny Milk
[x] Sunny Milk.

Can't go wrong with the fairies.
File 140649904940.jpg - (199.09KB, 850x1226, sample-842e27abe6b3a4342e00ecdf192992dc.jpg) [iqdb]
[X] Sunny Milk

Sunny couldn’t help but let out a breath of relief as she saw Cirno exiting the building alone. She didn’t know if mounting a proper rescue would have been possible with Cirno stuck to that man’s hand like that (or possible at all, really) so it was good to see that the boss was able to handle the escape herself. Motioning for Luna and Star to follow, Sunny walked out of the alley and did her best to catch Cirno’s attention. It only took a few moments for Cirno to notice and change course, and soon enough she was standing right next to Sunny’s trio.

The boss was furious, with her face contorted in a scowl and her arms appearing as though they could barely be constrained from lashing out against everything around her. Sunny probably should have known better than to ask, but her curiosity got the better of her. “Geez Cirno, what on Earth did they do to you to rile you up like that?”

“It’s…” Cirno took a moment to regain her composure before speaking. “They didn’t do anything to me, Sunny. If anything, it’s me that I’m disgusted with.”

Sunny could only tilt her head in confusion. “You’re angry at yourself? Why?”

“It’s…” Cirno seemed to hesitate for a bit, before giving her head a vigorous shake. “It’s nothing you need to worry about. Star, did you manage to get that idiot’s aura or whatever down?”

Star gave an enthusiastic nod. “Yup! As long as he’s somewhat close by and moving I should be able to track him easily.”

“Good, I’m glad that we managed to get something out of this night.” Cirno began walking down the street, but when Sunny and the others tried to follow she raised her hand to stop them in their tracks. “Nu-uh, you guys need to stay here until the dumbass leaves, and then track him back to his place.”

“Why are we doing this again?” As always, Luna was slow on the uptake. Star loved the airhead, but it was exasperating at times to keep her caught up. You would think that having an interest in the target would help her concentrate, but even that didn’t seem to do too much.

Cirno groaned, but in the end she decided to indulge Luna this one time. “This guy has been a pain in the ass for way too long, Luna. Need I remind you of what he did to you?” Luna couldn’t help but blush slightly and turn away, mumbling something out of earshot. “Exactly. We need to get this guy to stop getting in our way, and the first step in doing that is to figure out where he hangs out and what he does. Once we know that, taking him down should be much easier.”

Luna seems to think on what Cirno says. “So in order to get him to stop stalking us, we’re going to stalk him first?”

Cirno blanched at Luna’s words. “No, that’s… Augh! Look, just follow the guy back to his place, then come back to get some rest during the day. The guy seems to be mostly active at night these days, so you three will follow him around town using Star’s ability and figure out his patterns, alright?”

Sunny gave a nod of confirmation, and Cirno left in a huff before Luna could ask anything else. With their current task set in front of them, the girls huddled back into the alley, waiting for their prey.


Following the guy back to his place had been the easy part; since Star had managed to learn what his aura (or whatever) felt like, they were able to stay a good distance back as the guy went back to his apartment. After confirming the building he lived in and taking down the address the girls headed back to the orphanage to get some rest.

Unfortunately, just because the girls knew where the guy lived didn’t mean that they knew what his plans were, meaning that the trio had to wake up earlier than they would have liked in order to stake out his home. It had been two hours since the girls had begun to watch the place, and Sunny was bored out of her mind. Luna was sitting against a nearby wall taking a catnap, while Star was reading a book that she had brought with her.

“Are you sure that our guy is still in there, Star?” Sunny asked as she considered following Luna’s lead. After all, the only one who really needed to keep watch was Star, what with her ability and all.

Star turned towards Sunny with a frown. “Yes, I’m just as sure as I was when you asked me five minutes ago, Sunny. If I feel that he suddenly isn’t in the building, I’ll make sure that you’ll be the first to know.”

“You don’t have to be snippy about it.” Sunny grumbled as she went back to watch the building. Even if Sunny could feel where the guy was, it wouldn’t hurt to have a second pair of eyes on the building. But before she could stew in her boredom any longer, a black car came around the corner and stopped in front of the pervert’s place. To Sunny’s amazement an honest-to-goddess maid stepped out of the vehicle, walked up to the front door and pushed one of the buttons nearby. A few moments later the target’s head popped out of one of the building’s windows, and he shouted something about being right down.

“Girls, I think we have a problem,” Sunny said. Star began to pack her book away, while Luna decided to keep on sleeping. With a roll of her eyes Star gave Luna a small push, causing Luna to snap out of her comatose state with a large yawn.

“The target seems to be getting a ride from some sort of maid today.” Star looked at Sunny with skepticism, to which Sunny pointed at the maid in question. “I’m being serious Star, look!” Star leaned over Sunny to sneak a peek, and found herself just as surprised as Sunny was. “If our guy gets into that car we won’t be able to follow, so we need to figure out a way to not let that happen! Any suggestions?”

“Let him get away and tell Cirno that we couldn’t keep up with a car?” Star asked.

“Go back to sleep?” Luna said with a yawn.

Star let out a sigh and turned back to get another look at the situation. She probably should have expected as much from those two; Star didn’t really think that this whole endeavor was really worth it, and Luna was… well, Luna. But as Sunny continued to think about what they could do her eyes fell upon the trunk of the car, lighting a spark of inspiration in her mind.

“Girls,” Sunny said, a crazed grin creeping onto her face, “I think I have an idea.”


“Sunny, not that I’m questioning your judgment or anything, but this was a terrible idea.” Star said as the three girls continued to be jostled around the small space they currently inhabited. Sunny herself was thinking something along the same lines, but she would never actually admit it. It seemed like such a good idea at the time; sneak into the truck and hitch a ride without the pervert or the maid knowing. Using her ability to bend light and Luna’s abilities to nullify sound made sneaking over to the car, opening the trunk and getting in before the maid drove off to be a cakewalk. But unfortunately, the trunk didn’t have enough space to allow the girls to sit upright. The three of them were forced to lie down right next to each other, and even then they barely had enough room to fit. Of course, once the car got moving things got much, much worse. The three girls were constantly jostled around the trunk while the car was in motion, and even though there should not have had any space to move the three of them still managed to get themselves tangled up in one another.

“Shut up, Star,” Sunny said as she tried to untangle herself from somebody’s arm before turning her attention to Luna. “How are you holding together, Luna?”

“I’m not sure how much I can keep this up, actually.” Luna said to Sunny’s concern. It was only the blond girl’s ability that let the three of them go unnoticed. If she couldn’t maintain her sound barrier, the other occupants in the car would most definitely hear them moving around in the back, and who knows what might happen then.

Fortunately, the ride only lasted a few more minutes, after which the car slowly glided to a stop. Star did her best to pull the emergency trunk release right awy, but Sunny forced her to stay in place until she could confirm that no one else was nearby. Sunny could tell that Star wasn’t happy with that, but Sunny didn’t want to chance someone seeing the trunk opening up, even if she could hide herself and the others.

After a few minutes Star confirmed that there was nobody else nearby, and the three girls did their best to get out of the small space as quickly as possible, even if it meant climbing over the other two.

Three minutes of accidental kicking, eye poking and hair pulling later, the trio finally managed to pull themselves out and get situated. They were in a small enclosed space with almost no light save for a small line of illumination coming from the bottom of one of the walls. Fortunately, Sunny’s ability let her grab that light and focus it into a beam, letting the girls get a better look of what was around them. It soon became clear that they were in a private garage of some sort, which made sense as they had just exited from the car.

“Alright,” Sunny said with a nod of authority, “We’ve managed to infiltrate the enemy facility. Star, do you still have a lock on the target?”

Star gave a small frown. “I can tell he’s somewhat nearby, but at this range it’s getting a bit hard to follow him around, and it feels like if he moves any further away he’ll be outside of range to get a lock on him at all.”

Sunny wasn’t sure how to take that information. On the one hand, following the target had a priority, and she didn’t know whether they would be able to easily pick up his trail again if they let him go now. The fact that this was a private garage suggested that their perp probably wouldn’t be going too far away, but that wasn’t something that Sunny knew for sure. On the other hand, the group was currently in an unknown location, which meant that they had lost the advantage of knowing the territory. It would be a good idea if they could get their bearings first and figure out where they were, at least so they could have some plan of escape if it came down to it.

[ ] Sunny needs to follow the target.
[ ] Sunny needs to let the group get its bearings and figure out where they are.
[x] Sunny needs to let the group get its bearings and figure out where they are.
[X] Sunny needs to follow the target.
[X] Sunny needs to follow the target.

>It would be a good idea if they could get their bearings first and figure out where they were, at least so they could have some plan of escape if it came down to it.
A plan? Fairies don't make plans.
they might not be exactly fairies in this verse and it's no good reason to choose the leeroy jenkins option (Cirno isn't the MC)

To clarify, all of the girls that comprise the Fairies are human, including Cirno, Sunny, Luna and Star.
[x] Sunny needs to let the group get its bearings and figure out where they are.

Oh god, I hope none of them have a chance to go 'kyuu'.
[X] Sunny needs to let the group get its bearings and figure out where they are.

No point in getting lost by chasing the target without knowing where they are.
[X] Sunny needs to let the group get its bearings and figure out where they are.
File 140927236195.jpg - (83.29KB, 850x1202, sample-290afb42b0c4ef4db9fe44c7a5459843.jpg) [iqdb]
[X] Sunny needs to let the group get its bearings and figure out where they are.

Thinking wasn’t really Sunny’s forte. In most situations, the girl would have simply pushed her group on ahead without any thought whatsoever, and try her best to adapt to situations as they arose. But most of the time the confidence to move on ahead without worry came from knowing the territory around them and having an escape route in mind just in case things went sour. Right now Sunny didn’t have either of those things, so despite wanting to rush after their target as fast as possible Sunny decided to play things safe.

“First things first, let’s head outside and see where we are, just in case we need to get out of here quickly.” Shifting her beam of light around, Sunny located a smaller door that led outside of the garage. Moving quickly, the girls went through the door and found themselves in a very run down garden. The garage they had exited out of was connected to a huge red building, whose color seemed to gain a patchwork tint in the light of the sunset overhead. Outside of the grounds was a single path leading into a forest, which was probably the way that they had been brought in.

Sunny squinted against the sun as she tried to figure out where they were. The lack of buildings surrounding them meant that they were probably out of the city proper, but the amount of time they had spent in the trunk suggested that they were probably were still within the city limits. Of course, Star’s ability would be more useful than her own intuition. “Any idea of where we might be, Star?”

“Not really,” the brunette said with a shake of her head as she pointed her finger away from the Mansion. “If I had to guess, I’d say that the city is probably that way based on the location of the sun and the mountain, but it’s difficult to tell exactly where we are without getting an overhead view.”

“Alright,” Sunny said with a small nod. “At the very least, we know which direction to run away if it comes down to it, and hopefully we can take cover in that forest if it comes down to it. Moving on, can you still feel where our target is located, Star?”

“Yeah, but… It’s weird,” Star said with a frown, “It feels like he’s much closer to us now than he was when we were inside the building.” Star stepped back inside the garage for a few moments before giving another nod. “I don’t know what’s going on, but it feels like there’s something going on with this place that’s messing up my ability to know exactly where people are moving to.”

“That’s…huh.” Sunny didn’t know what to say to that; she couldn’t think of a single time where Star’s ability hadn’t been able to work. “Well it’s just one building, right? Even if it’s pretty big, it shouldn’t take too long to find our way around the place and locate the target normally, right?”

Luna and Star didn’t look convinced. “Come on you guys,” Sunny said as she raised her fist in the air. “Luna and I will be able to keep anyone from seeing or hearing us, so we’ve really got no reason not to head inside, right? And even if we can’t keep track of our guy, you know that a place like this has got to have something valuable. At the very least, we can bring something back that will make Cirno and Letty happy, right?” That managed to perk the interest of the other two. Using the idea of finding things to make Letty happy as leverage, Sunny had no problem convincing the other two to continue with the mission. Having renewed the morale of her squad, Sunny led her team back into the garage in order to enter the mansion proper.


Deep within the mansion, a certain resident felt a twinge of magic on the edge of her mind, causing her to look up from her book. “It seems that some mice have made their way into the building. Koa, if you wouldn’t mind?” As her assistant took to the air the scholar went back to her reading. This wasn’t an issue that currently warranted her attention.


At first, the plan was simple; move around the mansion without being seen or heard, stalk the target as much as possible to figure out his weakness, and steal anything that looked valuable along the way. Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that this was going to be a lot harder than the girls had first anticipated.

“So we’re lost, then?” Sunny asked, trying to hide the growing fear in her chest.

“I wouldn’t say ‘lost’, but this mansion is definitely messing with us,” Star said as she examined her surroundings. “This place is like a maze that makes no sense; it feels like it’s taking us from one side of the building to the other, and when we want to go one way we always seem to go in the other direction no matter what we do!”

“Umm….” Sunny said as she tried to wrap her mind around what Star was saying. Star could only give her friend a deadpan stare before letting out a small sigh and pointing at a nearby door frame. “Look, I’ll make this easy for you. See the scratch on that frame right there?”

“Yeah?” Sunny said with a tilt of her head.

“I made that scratch a little while ago, around when we first started to wander around here.”


“So ever since we began, we’ve passed that mark at least five times.

Sunny blinked as the pieces fell into place in her mind. “You mean we’ve been going in circles?”

“It’s more than that,” Star said with a shake of her head. “You know how we’ve been looking inside these rooms to see if there was anything valuable to find, and we never could seem to find anything worth taking?”

“Yes…?” Sunny said as she began to worry more and more.

“That’s because every time we open up any door, it always leads to the same bedroom, time and time again.”

At this point, Sunny was really starting to freak out. “I don’t know about you guys, but I think that we’re in over our heads in here. What do you say to cutting our losses for now and getting the heck out of here?”

The other two were quick to agree, but before any further action could be taken Star froze in place, turning her attention down the hall. “Someone’s coming!” she said. Fighting down her panic, Star gave Luna the sign to cover them with her sound barrier, and Sunny got to work on making sure that the trio couldn’t be seen. As long as they took the appropriate measures, there should be no danger of being caught.

As the girls huddled off to the side, a red-haired lady came floating (???) down the hallway. She was dressed in some sort of black and white uniform, complete with a red tie, but what immediately drew the girls notice were the wings sticking out from the woman’s head and back, which seemingly propelled her as she floated along. Sunny wanted nothing to do with this woman, and hoped that she would simply pass on by, but much to her chagrin the woman came to a stop near the area where the girls were hiding.

“Let’s see, the intruders should be somewhere around here…” said the woman as she surveyed the area, her eyes passing over the girls. At the very least Sunny’s refraction seemed to be working, but what was concerning was the fact that she knew that they were around here regardless. After a few moments, her concern grew further as the woman took to sniffing the air around her. “Two… no, three of them? Augh, if only my sense of smell were just a bit better… maybe I should ask Ms. Patchouli if there is some sort of spell for that?”

Sunny could feel Luna shivering beside her, and decided that she shared the sentiment. Her group needed to get away from this woman and fast, but the question was how they should go about doing it.

[ ] Just stay still for long enough for the woman to pass you by, then get out of the area!
[ ] There’s no time to wait; you have to try and sneak by her now!
[ ] If one of the girls can act as a distraction, the other two can launch a surprise attack to try and take the woman down.
[ ] RUN AND PANIC!!!!!
[X] Just stay still for long enough for the woman to pass you by, then get out of the area!
[X] Just stay still for long enough for the woman to pass you by, then get out of the area!
[x] Just stay still for long enough for the woman to pass you by, then get out of the area!

Stay still and the scary devil lady wont see you.
On hiatus for a little while due to job stuff.
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