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The calm before the tempest of youth.

Previous thread >>59104
Character blurbs: www.touhou-project.com/others/theater


I could tell that the stress from upcoming exams was already getting to people. My classmates were liable to start snapping over small things like not returning a borrowed eraser suitably clean. The worst part was that the usual escape valve, clubs and after school activities were suspended for the duration of the exam period. That didn't usually affect me nor Suika but even goody two-shoes like the class rep became insufferable.

It wasn't hard to get Kaguya to agree to partner up with me. I asked her directly, without hesitation, confident that she'd say yes. The last time we were on the roof together she seemed to be open to the idea, after all. She was thrilled, modestly stating that she wasn't sure that she would be able to be of much use to me. I smiled and told her it was okay, making sure to gloat at the other poor fool that had approached Kaguya a few seconds before me. His intention was clear but he hesitated, likely intimidated.

Things got off to a very regular start. We decided to meet in the library for our study sessions and started covering the year's material methodically. I didn't have a lot in the way of notes, for obvious reasons, but I managed to get enough spare copies of old printouts to have a coherent enough structure. We sat side by side, and did a different subject per day. When we had covered most of the topics, we decided to focus on particularly tricky areas that we had struggled on previously.

“I suppose that literature is the main problem I have,” Kaguya stated. It was about time for the library to close and we were putting all of our study materials away.

“Hmm, that's surprising,” I told her, cramming a pile of papers into my my bag. The poor thing barely got any real use most of the year and now it was stuffed to the brim with notebooks, stationary and printouts. “I thought you liked literature.”

“Very much so,” she said quietly, trying not to disturb the other students around us. Her book bag was leaner than mine, no doubt to her superior organizational abilities. “The problem I have,” she explained, “is that the texts covered in this school are different than the ones I studied. So in essence, I must read them by myself to be on equal footing.”

“I thought that the classics are the classics,” I said, walking with her out of the library.

“Indeed they are,” she smiled softly. “There is a lot in the canon which makes teaching everything impossible even for the most industrious students. Fortunately, there is some overlap so the burden isn't so great.”

“I don't think I can help you with that, unfortunately,” I said. Couldn't read for her, after all. “Is there any other subject that you're finding difficult.

“Well...” Kaguya hesitated giving an answer. She paused to look at me while we walked, as if trying to read my mind. “I do not wish to burden you any further.”

“We're study partners, we're supposed to help each other with our weaknesses,” I told her. She had helped me out with grammar, after all. “Asking someone for help isn't a big deal.”

“I already have asked for help,” Kaguya stated, “from Eirin.”

“You're in good hands then,” I told her, “I wish I could get her to help me out. From what she's told me she's really well-studied.”

“The thing is... her explanations, while detailed and helpful... I fail to retain them. What's more,” she said quietly, “I sometimes remember them incorrectly much to my embarrassment.”

“I don't mind helping you revise if Eirin's explanation isn't enough,” I told her. “I take it this is for science.”

“Biology,” she said quietly. Though she walked at her same usual slow, deliberate and even elegant pace I could see that she was embarrassed by the topic. She avoided direct eye contact and held her book bag in front of her body, as if somehow that would shield her from the world.

“I'm not sure why you're uncomfortable with me helping,” I told her. “I'd be glad to.”

“I wouldn't want you to think me air-headed,” she confessed. “I seem to have made a good impression on you. Academically, of course, I mean,” she added quickly, as if in a mild panic. Her way of speaking became more complex and her vocabulary ornate as she spoke quickly, unsure of herself. “I would not wish to inflict unnecessary hardship upon you and become onerous. You must think me a dullard – a vainglorious one at that. Your assistance thus far is more than sufficient and I would not wish to impose further.”

We were nearly at the main gates and she looked panicked and flighty, eager to bolt instead of continuing the conversation. I suspected that she wouldn't run away without saying goodbye properly, she was too polite to simply take off. Quite different from some of the other people that I knew. They'd choose escape at the drop of a hat. I was going to try my best to help her regardless of how much she was panicking at the moment. We still had a weekend ahead of us for study so we could easily cover everything that was needed in that time.

Tomorrow would be Saturday, which meant that the library worked only until midday. We would have to go somewhere else afterwards if we wanted to study all day.

[] Tease her a little. Seeing her fret is adorable.
[] Insist again that it's no problem at all and let her make her escape with dignity.
[x] Insist again that it's no problem at all and let her make her escape with dignity.

considering the good impression Arc has, I wouldn't want to risk messing it up.
[x] Tease her a little. Seeing her fret is adorable.

Never pass up an opportunity to tease a touhou.
[x] Tease her a little. Seeing her fret is adorable.

I'm not sure, but I think this option lets Arc keep her around while the other one lets her go? So I'll vote for this one.
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[x] Insist again that it's no problem at all and let her make her escape with dignity.

She's the type to escape-a place or a friendship- if she feels a certain threshold is broken. We will address this, but not today and not so soon.
[x] Insist again that it's no problem at all and let her make her escape with dignity.

Relax, don't push it.
[x] Tease her a little. Seeing her fret is adorable.

This is a golden opportunity - how often do we get to tease Kaguya, of all people?
Alright, because I want to do at least one more today (I know, I started later than usual) I'm going to leave it open for another half hour. 2:30 site time.
[x] Tease her a little. Seeing her fret is adorable.
“Perish the thought,” I told Kaguya. “I think myself a good judge of character.” I adopted some of her mannerisms on purpose, stretching out my sentences, “I would not associate with a dullard nor a lout, simpleton or buffoon. I would only deign to spend my valuable time with someone worthy. In short, I have judged you spectacularly worthy. Why else would I ask you to be my study partner.”

“Ah, well...” she began.

I cut her short, “a peerless mind for a peerless maiden. Any deficiencies on your behalf are superficial and therefore of little consequence. To wit – a gentleman such as myself would be a fool to expect perfection itself. It would be dull and ungainly in a manner of speaking. I do not wish to heap adulation unto a graven idol but I do with to consort with a peer. A human peer.”

I thought I was perhaps losing sight of what I was trying to do by hamming it up so much. I winked at Kaguya, who recoiled with a look of uncertainty. It was more than her usual modest presentation could handle and so she smiled weakly and seemed to be trying her best not to look too affected.

“I will not worry so much then,” she voiced softly, her words barely escaping her lips. “Forgive my foolish worry.”

“I'm flattered that you would try to seem as perfect as possible with me,” I told her with a soft chuckle, “but it's not really necessary that you try so hard. We're friends, right? Study buddies. It's natural to show at least some of our imperfections. It's part of getting closer to another person.”

“I suppose you're correct,” she nodded, her eyes bright with purpose. “Forgive me as I do not tend to associate with individuals long enough for this to come naturally. Much less those of the opposite gender.”

“Quite alright,” I said. With her polished ways, it was altogether too easy to forgive her for being too reserved. “We'll keep at it tomorrow, right?” I asked.

“Yes, tomorrow,” she smiled and said her farewell. Kaguya walked with a lightness in her step that wasn't there before.

There was barely anyone left at school. The sun hung low in the sky and the cawing of crows in the distance seemed to urge me to go back home. With Marisa around the house, dinnertime had become a more regular event. We tried to eat together and so were a bit more punctual about the time we were back home. Cooking was rotated and exceptions could be made if given advance warning. So far, a little over a week into the system, it seemed to be working. A couple of times when her mother wasn't home, we had invited Alice over too. There was something fulfilling about having a group of people at the table. It wasn't something I had realized I had been missing in my life.

“You over there!” a gruff voice called out to me. A scowling girl leaning up against the wall was the source. I couldn't see her full face as she wore a hoodie over her uniform. “Yeah, you,” she said as I looked around, “come here.”

“Oh, it's you,” I said, recognizing her as Fujiwara when I got closer. “I don't have any cigarettes on me – not a smoker.”

“What's your relationship with that girl?' she asked with a scowl. No beating around the bush with her.

“Classmate, study partners. What's it to you?” I asked neutrally, knowing that they had some sort of history together.

“Stay away from her,” she warned, “don't have anything to do with her. If you know what's best for you.”

“Now why would I want to do that?” I asked with a laugh. “We happen to get on just fine.”

“You're just the latest moron she's taking advantage of,” Fujiwara stated. She snorted and cleared her throat, spitting at a spot next to me. “You're going to regret it if you hang around with her.”

“Thank you for the concern for my well being,” I said sarcastically, “but unless you explain why, I'm afraid that there's no reason I should listen to you.”

“Suit yourself,” she said with a shrug. “You're on your own, buddy.”

“It's Arc, I told her, “don't forget the name of someone who has done you a favor.”

“Whatever,” putting both hands in her pockets, she began to walk away.

The hell was her problem?

[] Ignore her.
[] Call her out for her rude behavior.
Just a reminder that I don't count votes that don't have some form of comment attached to them. It's been a while and some people may have forgotten.
[x] Call her out for her rude behavior.

I'm not in the business of letting people walk all over me. Show some backbone, Arc, unlike that time with Patchy.
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[x] Call her out for her rude behavior.
"Just because he ditched your ex boyfriend you don't get to assume shit" or something like that.
[] Call her out for her rude behavior.

Take the bait. I do'nt think Teruyo could shove Mokou on us harder than this.
[x] Call her out for her rude behavior.

I don't know what the hell her problem is but Arc isn't gonna take it
[x] Call her out for her rude behavior.

Ha, can't dodge the plothook.
Inb4 surprise punch to the face.
[X] Tease her a little. Seeing her fret is adorable.

Fretting is fun
A little late on the vote there.

[X] Call her out for her rude behavior.

If nothing else, this builds up some rapport with Mokou, even if it is negative and we'll come out of this knowing a bit more.
[x]Hit on mokou.

I'm changing my vote to this. Lets flirt with her.
[x] Call her out for her rude behavior.

Fistfight soon. Maybe Suika will come to help Arc wh en it is time cause she might fight dirty.
[X] Call her out for her rude behavior.
[x] Call her out for her rude behavior.

Someone has to call her shit.
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“Wait up!” I called after her. She didn't stop and so I started walking alongside her. “What, you're just going to leave after talking a bunch of crap about one of my friends?”

“...” she ignored me, reaching out in to her breast pocket for a cigarette. I frowned, not that she cared to even acknowledge my presence.

“Come on, don't be rude. I've only ever been nice to you. Helped you out when you needed smokes.”

“Don't care,” she said with a grumble as she lit up.

“This is complete crap,” I said, sternly. “You can't go around treating people poorly and then expect them to listen to you.'”

I don't care,” she repeated, her voice firmer.

“Yeah, well, too bad,” I said, “I'm here to tell you that you should care. You can't go around treating people like crap. I don't know why you're so antisocial I'm sure we'd get alone just fine if you didn't act so rough and aloof all the time.”

“I'm not here to be your friend,” she took a long drag, her eyes focused on the path ahead. “Leave me alone already.”

“No,” I told her, grabbing her cigarette right out her mouth. She stopped dead in her tracks and finally faced me. A cold murderous glare was directed at me. “You can't have it both ways. Either you talk to people and they talk to you or you shut yourself away and quit with the stupid and cryptic warnings. Anything in between is poor bullcrap made so that you can keep this personal of yours mysterious and unapproachable.”

“Great, a psychiatrist,” she said with unambiguous sarcasm, “just what was missing in my life. Stop being a wanker and give me back my cig.”

“Apologize first,” I said, tensing up. I didn't want to fight her but given how the confrontation was going, it seemed like it might be inevitable. Her fists were balled up and her eyes had the same look of that of a cobra about to strike. “I just want to get along but if you're going to be difficult then someone has to call your stupidity out. You're not impressing anyone,” I sort of started giving her a rambling, pointless speech, “no one cares that you're tough and dangerous. I know all about you, you idol, so I know you can be demure and feminine as well. Who are you kidding by trying to pick a fight with the world?”

“Forget you,” she sighed, turning away. “Enjoy your happiness while it lasts. That slag will chew you up and spit you out,” She drew another cigarette and lit it up. “I'm not going to apologize, you can just bite me.”

“You know what the worst part about you is?” I asked, putting out the cigarette on the ground by crushing it.

“Yeah, what's that?” she asked with a 'I don't care in the least' look.

“That you're pretty good-looking yourself. If it weren't for the attitude you'd be surrounded by guys and friends all the time.”

“Sod off,” she smiled darkly, as if imagining what she'd like to do to my face with her fists. “I don't give a toss what you think. You'll have to do better than that if you want to impress me.”

There really wasn't any more point to talking to her. She ignored my provocations and parried with curt phrases. She began to walk away again and I let her go. Fighting her wasn't going to solve anything either. Or maybe it would. But I wasn't going to throw the first punch, at any rate. Thankfully Suika hadn't been around. She wouldn't have put up with Fujiwara's rudeness. At least one of them would be bloodied and beaten.

We met up as usual in the morning at the gates. Kaguya greeted me politely and we walked towards the library without much ceremony. Something about her felt off. She wore lip gloss for one, making her lips seem fuller and a bit moister than usual. But that wasn't it. Nor was it the appearance of two delicate-looking silver earrings, shaped like small crescent moons. If I had to describe the feeling in my gut in a word it would have to be 'confidence'. The normal coat of courteousness was still present in her words and her gestures but mixed in were more direct and absolute words.

“Let us sit and revise,” she said. Like we had no time to waste. Or perhaps she somehow began to enjoy our mostly muted sessions in a way I didn't understand. I had no objections and sat next to her and went over things. The time flew by quickly. Several times I found myself distracted, captivated by the different energy that she seemed to be projecting. Whenever she noticed my distraction she would stop and politely ask if anything was the matter, a s knowing mile more at home on Eirin's lips than hers.

A little after midday we left the library. It would close soon enough. “What now?” I asked, walking out at a leisurely pace. It as a Saturday and I was in no particular rush to go anywhere.

“Lunch, I believe,” Kaguya replied. If she was at all worried with getting around to the material she was weak with, she didn't let it show. Hers was an expression of tranquility.

“I meant after that,” I clarified, “we still have to go over the tricky bits.”

“You mean where will we do it?” she asked. And paused, thinking for a moment. We were near the gates and a few students were loitering, probably making time to meet up with others still inside the building. “I suppose it will have to be in one of our homes. I am not sure mine would be too appropriate, as there is much that is going on there at the moment. It may be hard to concentrate in that environment. But I will defer the decision to you.”

I wasn't sure myself. I could get a fair bit of privacy and quiet at home if I wanted to so that wasn't an issue. It didn't seem like her place would be good for that. Being relaxed was important. Especially if we took breaks from studying.

[] Home is better.
[] Go to her place.
Be ready guys, she's about to make 'her move' and we gotta call her on it. What, you think Kaguya was the perfect girl without any issues? Haha and, indeed ha.

In b4 she makes a common gesture and we overreact.

Anyway... home turf is better but we risk misunderstandings.... oh to hell with it.

x] Home is better.
>>[] Home is better.
Home field advantage is strong. Marisa, if she's home, won't be a bother. The main variable is how Kaguya will react to the fact that Arc is living with a girl. Will she be understanding or put off? I think she's proved to be pretty magnanimous so far, but I don't really want to assume that her sensibilities wouldn't be offended.

[] Go to her place.
Not a terrible option. She most likely lives with Eirin and maybe even Reisen. Who knows. It could be interesting.

So have we gotten enough points with her or will she react negatively to Marisa's presence?
Do we want to meet her family now? Eirin is bound to be pretty protective.

This is a really hard choice.
She's going to find out sooner or later. Do we want it to be Arc who tells her or someone else?

[x] Home is better.

Maybe she already knows. Girls usually have an impeccable intel sources.
[X] Home is better.
[] Go to her place.

For more Kaguya backstory, Eirin, and maybe rabbits. Going to her place will put Arc much closer to her past as an idol, and may even find old pictures of the idol pair together. Perfect opportunity to solve their issue.

Marisa living in Arc's home is really not relevant to Kaguya. At least Arc is not trying to romance her.
[x] Go to her place.

Why pass up a chance to see 'Eientei'? Might even get a chance to see Eirin, Tewi or Reisen.
[x] Home is better.

doesn't seem too comfortable about it. so pass for now
Slow day apparently. Well, writing all the same.
[x] Go to her place.

I would like to go to her place. Sounds like more fun and I fear that Marisa/Alice might make problems here. But mostly Alice.
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There was nobody home. Kaguya and I first had lunch before getting back to studying. She didn't seem to be uncomfortable coming into my home and was at ease over the small talk we had over our meal. We wasted no time in studying. My room was the quietest and most private place available so I led her there and placed a few cushions for her to sit opposite me on the floor.

With no distractions around, we got right into it. We tackled biology and the trickier subjects that we had saved up. It took us a few hours to cover the areas where she was weakest and for me to wrap my head around all the long foreign words used for processes and microscopic features. Save for one or two particularly tricky concepts, we didn't really have much of a problem making it through things. I explained things as best I could to her and, on occasion, she tried to explain a few things I wasn't too sure about.

“Should we take a break?” I asked after we finished discussing a particularly long word problem. “I'll make some tea and bring us a snack.”

“That would be fine,” Kaguya agreed and bookmarked the page we were on in the textbook before closing it. I also wanted to stretch my legs a little. Sitting for so long was tiresome. “Please don't rush on my behalf, we've covered most of the syllabus already. We should be done before it gets too late.”

At the pace we were going, we'd be done before it got dark. I wasn't accustomed to being so efficient at studying. Kaguya had a natural knack for time management. She knew just how much time to dedicate to every subject and every topic.

I stood up and walked over to the door and opened it.

“...what are you doing there?” I looked down at the floor in surprise. A look of panicked confusion on her face, Alice looked up at me dumbly. Like some sort of animal stunned by bright lights, she didn't quick know what to do. She had stumbled backwards onto her rear and didn't seem to know how to pick herself back up.

“I-I came over to see Marisa,” Alice explained in a hurry, looking around for something that wasn't there. “We were going to study together. We talked and then were going upstairs to her room...” she cleared her throat and picked herself up. Some semblance of calm returned to her. “At any rate, Marisa stopped in front of your room because she alleged that there was something strange going on. I may have joined her briefly to listen in if that was the case and... well, you opened the door.”

“You were eavesdropping?”

“Not at all,” Alice forcibly cleared her throat again. It was a dry and awkward action. “I'm sorry but I really should get back to studying...”

“Alright, suit yourself,” I said, not really wanting to make a big deal out of things. Clearly she had been trying to listen into the conversation we were having along with Marisa. The latter ditched her as soon as she heard footsteps, leaving her to take the fall. I couldn't blame Alice for being slow – she wasn't used to snooping around. Better luck next time.

“Make sure you're prepared for finals,” she said firmly, trying to seem reasonable and focused. Out of the corner of my eye, however, I could see that she was trying to peer into my room and see what was going on inside. Unluckily for her, Kaguya was just outside of sight, sitting in the far end.

“Good luck with your studying,” I said as I closed the door behind me. That prompted her to walk away with a nod, as if saying that she didn't need any luck. As soon as I made it all the way down the stairs, I laughed out loud a little. Didn't those two know that curiosity killed the cat?

I made the tea and shoved a few rice crackers into a bowl. Not much of a feast but enough to enjoy properly our little break. When I returned, I found Kaguya reading some of my manga. She seemed to be concentrated and didn't notice that I had come back.

“That one's been going on for as long as I've been alive with no end in sight,” I told her, placing the tray nearby.

“It's so violent,” she remarked, “and so detailed. I'd never seen anything like it before.”

“It's not very popular with girls,” I said with a chuckle, “for obvious reasons. Even the romance is tragic. Everything is gritty.”

“I confess that I'm rather ignorant about visual media,” she said, putting down the volume. “Everything besides historical novels and classic literature I am not well-versed in. It's interesting to see what other people enjoy for a change.”

“Feeling confident about exams?” I asked, helping myself to a cracker. Kaguya nursed her cup and waited for the tea to cool, occasionally blowing softly on the liquid.

“Much more after spending time revising with you,” she said diplomatically, an agreeable smile on her lips. “I'm in your debt for your assistance with my weakest subjects. I am not sure how to best repay you.”

“You've helped me out plenty as well, so the score's even,” I said. As much as I enjoyed her polished ways, I wasn't about to take advantage of her good manners. Besides, it was true that over the hours we had spent pouring over the subjects, I probably had gotten as well prepared as I humanly could for the exams.

“I confess,” she started, finally taking a small sip of her tea, “I was a little nervous at the prospect of coming to your home. I thought that perhaps I was being too bold and that a neutral location would have lowered expectations.”

“Expectations? Mine or yours?”

“Both, perhaps,” she said with a distant look in her eyes. For the first time since I met her, she looked unapproachable, like a marble statue staring out towards eternity. “Individuals are quick to feel entitled about things that aren't naturally their own, wouldn't you agree?”

“Sorry but I'm not sure I follow.”

“Pardon my meandering words, I spoke of feelings and desire when I should have held my tongue,” she apologized with a slight smile. Kaguya took another sip from her cup and then placed it back on the tray. Brushing aside a strand of her long dark hair from her leg, she appeared to be close to sighing. “I should not dictate the pace of conversation while I am your guest.”

[] I wanted to know about the nature of the expectations and type of feelings on her mind.
[] Turn the conversation towards the encounter with Fujiwara and what she makes of it.
[x] Turn the conversation towards the encounter with Fujiwara and what she makes of it.

This is as good a time as any. Let's find out what happened between the two.
>Individuals are quick to feel entitled about things that aren't naturally their own, wouldn't you agree?
I get the feeling that something is on her mind that she wants to talk about it with Arc. She seems to trust him and she already gave hints about what she wants to talk about. I think it might be what is really bugging her and it might move us forward with solving the whole Mokou/Kaguya problem. If you think about it, it could be about her problems with Mokou, not directly but related. Usually I would vote to not probe further but it is the right time and place for this.

[x] I wanted to know about the nature of the expectations and type of feelings on her mind.
[x] I wanted to know about the nature of the expectations and type of feelings on her mind.

My sentiment is that asking about Mokou would ruin the mood, then again, Kaguya is remarkably level headed so I could very much be mistaken.
[x] I wanted to know about the nature of the expectations and type of feelings on her mind.

We asked her to be more relaxed around us before. Why not see what she wants to talk about first?
[x] I wanted to know about the nature of the expectations and type of feelings on her mind.

I'm curious about what she's thinking though what was this "strange" thing Marisa was referring to? Arc studying?
[x] Turn the conversation towards the encounter with Fujiwara and what she makes of it.

I want to hear her side of things.
[x] I wanted to know about the nature of the expectations and type of feelings on her mind.

She's being rather vague, sort of like she wants Arc to ask. Very subtle.
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No updates until much later because of reasons. So general survey question which you may or may not want to answer.

Needs more opportunities with new characters?
[] Hell yes! You promised us TD and later ages ago.
[] They're ok. Trying to consolidate relationships with the current cast is more important.
[] Needs more magician orgy/hate sex/oni smut.
Full disclosure: It's unlikely to alter my plans in the short term. But maybe in the medium term after a few upcoming major events.

Also, Alice. She cute.
[x] They're ok. Trying to consolidate relationships with the current cast is more important.

that's my opinion, that and considering the number of characters, not sure how the story'd take them.
[x] They're ok. Trying to consolidate relationships with the current cast is more important.

You've done an excellent job with the current cast, but don't feel disinclined to introduce new ones every so often.
In general, I think preference should be given to already-established characters, but I am by no means against introducing new ones.
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[x] Hell yes! You promised us TD and later ages ago.

Kagerou, Miko, Yoshika, etc.
[x] Hell yes! You promised us TD and later ages ago.

Here's hoping for some Wakasagihime.
[X] Needs more magician orgy/hate sex/oni smut.

Can't not go for this vote.
[X] They're ok. Trying to consolidate relationships with the current cast is more important.

Certainly fine to have many characters but only as long as enough focus is given to the ones you have.
[x] Hell yes! You promised us TD and later ages ago.
[x] They're ok. Trying to consolidate relationships with the current cast is more important.
[x] Needs more magician orgy/hate sex/oni smut.

Well, fuck, I'm picking all of them.
[x] They're ok. Trying to consolidate relationships with the current cast is more important.

We only managed to go all the way with Tenshi (no, I'm not talking about sex) and I think Kaguya, Marisa and Alice deserve it as well.
>[] Hell yes! You promised us TD and later ages ago.

Is Tenshi included in this one?
>[] They're ok. Trying to consolidate relationships with the current cast is more important.

Is Tenshi included in this one?
>[] Needs more magician orgy/hate sex/oni smut.

Is Tenshi included in this one?

Basically, which one has more Tenshi? Arc has a relationship to consolidate with her, but she is hardly considered a part of the cast. I'm guessing she's mostly in the first and second options, so, in that case, if the first one is TD+th14 over SDM/PC/IN/SA/Tenshi, I will be voting for the second option.
[x] They're ok. Trying to consolidate relationships with the current cast is more important.

We should try to woo the current characters before trying to hit on some others. Like Reisen.
[x] They're ok. Trying to consolidate relationships with the current cast is more important.

Wouldn't mind Kagerou or Sekibanki, but consolidation really is key.
[x] They're ok. Trying to consolidate relationships with the current cast is more important.

Don't care about the new girls. Will actively vote against them.
“I don't really care about formality,” I told her. “If you want to speak your mind, then go ahead. Forget that I'm the host for a moment and just say whatever you feel like saying.”

“You must think me coy,” Kaguya said, “but I was taught to converse about things that were of mutual interest. More than that, that was of interest to the other person. Being the center of attention is something best avoided.”

I paused for a second. I tried to phrase things as best I could, “let's say that whatever is on your mind is interesting to me. I want to know about the expectations and desires on your mind. Is that enough to get you to talk about it?”

“It makes me a little uneasy to talk about, if I'm truthful,” she confessed, looking distant and hard to read. I wasn't sure if she was stalling for time or purposefully bringing the speed of the conversation to a crawl. Either way she created an uneasy pause where I wasn't sure if she was going to say anything else or not.

“I'm not going to force you to say anything, I'm just curious,” I said. The way she danced around the subject made me all the more curious.

“Well, if you must know,” she began, finding it hard to look directly at me, “I hoped to make a good impression upon you. The expectation that I'm behaving properly given the location and, umm,” she bit her lower lip slightly, “your presence is something that weighs on me.”

“I'm not sure I understand why,” I said. She was being too roundabout for me to really get what she meant. “How would being elsewhere make things different?”

“It's natural to wish to make a good impression on those whom you have an interest in,” she explained, not being any more direct. “If it's in a more intimate setting then it's easier to have the intent distorted or otherwise misinterpreted. There is a lot of pressure to act in a certain way at certain moments, in short.”

“So you're saying that if you don't behave perfectly I might take it the wrong way?” I asked.

“Essentially,” she nodded. “I'm very nervous right now.”

I laughed. Kaguya didn't seem to know what to make of my reaction, retreating into a polite facade with an agreeable smile as she tried to shield her confusion. “I don't really care about how you think you're supposed to act,” I told her. “I'd rather you just be yourself and relax. It doesn't matter if we're at school or in my room. Just follow your desires. I think we'll both be happier that way.”

“But there may be misunderstandings if-”

“Don't sweat it,” I interrupted, “I'll be cool about it. If I'm ever confused about anything I'll make sure to ask you directly about what you mean. That way we'll both be on the same page. You have to do the same thing for me though, promise?”

“Very well,” she nodded in agreement. I still wasn't sure what her actual desires may have been but at least she seemed to be back to the previous level of confidence.

“So then,” I continued with the inevitable, “now that we're being honest with each other... I think we should get a things out of the way.”

“Such as?” she asked.

“How it's been fun studying together. You're probably still hung up on all the bio stuff we went through because you needed help but I really don't regret it one bit. I learned quite a lot. So please don't feel guilty about that.”

“I'll try not to,” Kaguya smiled.

“I'd also like to know why it is that you're so obsessed with making a good impression on me,” I said with a smile of my own. “I mean, I think we both know that I wouldn't be spending to much time talking to you and studying together if I didn't enjoy being around you.”

“That's... something a little embarrassing, actually,” she said directly, trying not to act reluctant as before. I could tell that she wanted to brush the subject aside deep down. The fact that she didn't meant promises seriously. I gave her a bit of time to collect her thoughts without pushing her further. Kaguya explained, “most of the people I have met try to get close to me because of my appearance or popularity. When we sang, there were many who were drawn to what we represented rather than who we were. And so, I would like that any positive feelings you may have for me are because of who am I than for any other reason.”


“I think that's enough for our break,” she interrupted me. With a bright smile, she picked up her notebook and pen. “We should make sure to cover any odds and ends.”

[] Go back to studying and give her space.
[] Grab her hand and tell her unambiguously that I liked her for who she was.

Since there was a gap between updates, might leave this up longer before writing to get people checking again. Will depend on votes I guess.
[x] Grab her hand and tell her unambiguously that I liked her for who she was.

Well, we're moving in the right direction. She's almost too perfect, we'll have to be careful.

I am glad that we ditched the idol performance.
[X] Grab her hand and tell her unambiguously that I liked her for who she was.

Not like him to just leave things be.
[x] Go back to studying and give her space.

I want to move in the other direction, just give Kaguya her space.
[x] Grab her hand and tell her unambiguously that I liked her for who she was.

More than straightforward here. She already said what she thinks so yeah. Just go and do it. Tell her.
[X] Go back to studying and give her space.
[X] Grab her hand and tell her unambiguously that I liked her for who she was.

It sort of seems a bit awkward to say this after the fact that she's told us that she wants us to like her for who she is, but I can see it as reassurance in a way.
[x] Go back to studying and give her space.

Seems rational to give her some space. Otherwise you're smothering her.
[X] Grab her hand and tell her unambiguously that I liked her for who she was.

I see it as being true and it's basically why Arc didn't go through with the mission
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I wasn't about to let things just end there. She looked too vulnerable and exposed for me to not to follow up.

So, naturally, I made a move. I took her hand into mine. Kaguya seemed a little surprised, though not unwilling. Her eyes went to her hand and then to my face, her lips forming a guarded and ambiguous smile. If she wasn't spurning me outright it may have been equal parts uncertainty and politeness.

Undaunted by that possibility, I spoke, “I hope you listen to me and listen well. The reason I've spent so much time with you is because I like you. And not because you're the new transfer student or a famous idol or smart or anything. It's because I like your personality.”

“Arc-” she tried to say something, but I would have none of it.

“You stuck up for me in front of the class and have helped me study and face people at school who would otherwise delight in making my life harder, 'I continued, not letting her speak. “So yeah, you're popular and attractive and a lot of people have different reasons for wanting to be around you. But I'm here because I like spending time with you and I like you for who you are. I like the polite girl who likes history and literature and sometimes starts speaking all formally when she's flustered. It's endearing. And I hope that you like me for who I am too. I think you do, otherwise we wouldn't be here I think. So forget about the study partners thing for a moment.”

“Excuse me,” she interrupted me little speech with a quiet interjection. It was firmer than before and succeeded in silencing momentarily. I waited for her to say what she wanted to. Instead she merely pointed with her eyes towards the door.

“Yo,” Auntie greeted. “Sorry about interrupting. Looks like something interesting was about to happen here.”

“Doesn't anyone in this house ever knock?” I asked incredulously. Irritation didn't begin to cover what I was feeling. The door was closed, for goodness' sake. I let go of Kaguya's hand and felt like sighing.

“Certain cultures in the Orient think that communal living and the needs of the many trump notions of selfish privacy,” she said with a mix of vexing indifference and condescension. “Besides which, I should be free to go wherever I please in my home.”

“It's our home,” I countered, “I get a say as well.”

“That's not what the deed says...” she smirked. Much to my annoyance, she was right. “At any rate, the girls told me that there was something strange going on in here, so I thought it my duty as the head of the household to investigate.”

“As you can see, nothing strange going on here,” I snapped at her, “now leave us alone.”

“Now now, don't be rude. Aren't you going to introduce me to your adorable friend here?” To my horror, Auntie was adopting a 'playful' attitude, almost treating us like we were a bunch of kids. “It's so rare that he ever brings over any friends.”

Kaguya stood up to greet Auntie properly. As expected of her, she observed ever formality with impeccable decorum. It was enough to get a reaction from Auntie. She stiffened up, not having expected a formal greeting and introduction.

“What a lovely young woman,” Auntie said, sounding like someone twice her age, “it's so rare to meet such well-behaved youth. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, my dear.”

That was the end of the moment I was trying to share with Kaguya. As she answered politely to Auntie, the two of them got to talking. About this and that, making small talk like the two were the best of chums. It didn't help that Auntie brought up her love for flower arrangement and Kaguya just happened to be knowledgeable about the subject. No surprise there but it meant that I was bored out of my skull by the conversation.

“Oh heavens, has it really been so long?” Auntie checked her wristwatch, “I should leave you two to your studying. I'll have to get dinner started soon.”

Deciding that there wasn't really enough time to cover all the loose ends in depth, Kaguya instead suggested we spend a few minutes highlighting anything we weren't 100% certain of before telling me that she should best get going. The mood was totally ruined. I couldn't bring myself to continue the conversation from earlier.

“Best of luck,” she wished as I saw her out the door.

“Yeah, you too,” I said with a smile.

During dinner Auntie had apparently forgotten all about the massive breech of my privacy and was all smiles. I had expected some teasing or a quiet figurative pat on the back but got neither from her. Alice joined us and neither she nor Marisa made mention of the incident earlier either. With all of them playing dumb or having moved on, I saw no benefit in pouting and acting upset. Being outnumbered and outgunned sucked. Well, in a way, things were easier to handle that way.

The next morning I woke up refreshed. It was Sunday, the last day before exams.

[] Spend the day revising to really nail the exams.
[] I earned a day off. Have a bit of fun in town.
[x] Spend the day revising to really nail the exams.

We've come this far. We can always goof off after the exams, but studying will only be helpful now. Let's go all the way and when they're done, have a great day to relax.
[x] I earned a day off. Have a bit of fun in town.

what was this strange thing? arc being nice? or just female bickering?

I think a change in scenery would be nice, that and the momentum got lost. Blah.
[x] Spend the day revising to really nail the exams.

Yes geek the shit out of it. You studied now study more and become number one.
[] I earned a day off. Have a bit of fun in town.

Everyone is a cockblock in this story.
[x] Spend the day revising to really nail the exams.

Go the extra mile and get it done. We'll miss the random encounter though. Who'd be slackin' off on the day before exams anyway?
[X] I earned a day off. Have a bit of fun in town.
Slow day apparently. Well, going to write now since there's a majority anyhow.
Continuity is power. I spent most of the day buried in notes instead of doing anything fun.

I was left alone for the most part. At some point I left my room to get something to eat and noticed that nobody else was home. Even Alice wasn't home by the looks of it. Her curtains were open and she wasn't inside her room. Well, it didn't really matter. A boring day was fine from time to time.

Exams began the next day. For a lot of classmates, panic was the default emotional state. Despair was clearly written on their faces. Even the ones that tended to do better were all worked up. There was just something about boiling down a year of effort to a series of timed evaluations that stressed people out. Well, obvious reasons aside, I didn't really let it get to me. And not just because I had actually bothered to study. I just didn't care about school enough to feel upset about getting mediocre grades.

We sat our first exam. I was done with time to spare. I tried to double and triple check my answers to pass the time but found myself tuning out. I lay my head down on the desk and napped through the rest of the allotted time. Mima didn't bother waking me up until time was up, probably knowing that it was just me being me. Students immediately gathered around to talk about the exam afterwards. I went on to grab lunch. And then the whole thing repeated for the afternoon exam.

And so forth for a couple of days.

On the last day of exams I was pulled aside by the teacher.

“Ms. Saigyouji wants to see you,” Mima told me before I could bolt for home. IN her face was mild amusement, probably thinking that I was in trouble again. “Some luck, huh? On the last day of the semester.”

I shrugged and blew Mima kiss before wishing her a nice break. She caught it in midair, tossing it towards to the ground with disregard for my pure feelings. I matched her wry smile with one of my own. That would tide me over until classes started again.

“Oh hey Arc,” Big Sis greeted me casually. “How's it going?” she asked, not addressing the most obvious issue at hand. Sitting on her desk, legs crossed with casual modesty sat our dear headmistress. She smiled lightly at my arrival, not saying anything.

“Great now that I've gotten to see my favorite guidance counselor in the world,” I said sardonically. Yuyuko closed the door behind me.

“Isn't he just a lovable rascal?” Big Sis asked the headmistress with a forced laugh.

“Certainly quite the free spirit,” the other woman said with a level tone.

“Good to see you too, Yukari,” I said.

“Perhaps a little too bold for a mere student,” Yukari said with a narrowing of her eyes. She took her glasses off, turning to Big Sis, “It's a good thing that we're stepping in to bring a little more order to his life.”

“Indeed it is,” Big Sis nodded, “he's lucky to have dedicated educators like us take an interest in his future.”

“So what's it going to be?” I asked, “talk to a beautiful student stuck in a coma in hopes that she'll wake up and come back to classes?”

“He's got a fanciful imagination,” Yukari said, ignoring me. “I think we should set things straight before diving right into the subject.”

Big Sis shrugged, deferring to Yukari. With a broad smile, she turned to me, “we should get a few things straight first. I understand that this time of year is stressful for students and so I want to check on your well being. Have you been eating properly?”

“Why don't you ask Auntie?”

“I'm sure she'd tell me if I asked, but I'd rather hear it from you.”

“Yes. Now move on to the next weirdly intrusive question.”

“Things at home stable?”

“No complaints.”

“I've seen Kirisame,” Yuyuko said, “she seems to be happy living with you. That experiment is going well, at least.”

“Next,” I said, forcing a yawn. “Let's get to the point please.”

“Alright,” Big Sis shook her head, “I'll get to it. The main thing I”m concerned about are your academic results. Now apparently you've been at the school library in preparation for the exams. I hope that's gone well for you.”

“...you said something about getting to a point?”

“Very well. With your exams done I want to know how you think you've done. And your overall academic position.”

[] I was more or less confident I did well. All the effort paid off.
[] The question was annoying. I couldn't have done well because half of the semester I was running stupid errands for her.
[X] I was more or less confident I did well. All the effort paid off.

All things considered I don't think Arc's exactly neglected his studies. Didn't something a thread or two ago mention he hadn't done bad on some test?

Besides, I don't think now's the right moment to antagonize two very powerful people.
[x] I was more or less confident I did well. All the effort paid off.

Goddamn right I'm confident. All that studying wasn't just for show!
[x] I was more or less confident I did well. All the effort paid off.


Not sure if it was a good or bad thing tho. Imposing our will over the girl we're supposed to woo didn't seem like a good idea. At least now there's some mystery.

-[x] Install a lock in your room.
[x] I was more or less confident I did well. All the effort paid off.

A tiny but of snark about the errands as well would be nice, though. Maybe something like

"Considering I spent half the semester running errands? Yes, I'm pretty sure I did quite well."
[x] I was more or less confident I did well. All the effort paid off.

Can't really complain about the errands, though I think will likely just encourage them to give us more of them.
Snark is the other option.

It'd do you guys some good to think why the other options are there though. Bandwagoning isn't healthy. Especially if you start whining about good or bad choices later on. The reasoning and outcomes tend to not be esoteric. I really don't want to hear people complaining about a lack of older women, for example, when you keep voting against seeing them or going out. Or like the guy who was going on about Tenshi when you keep voting to stay with the characters in the homeroom. You get plenty of opportunities. If you don't want to think of why another choice might be appealing that's fine, just don't expect me to hold your hand later on.

Unless I'm still around in an hour or two, I probably won't write. Will say something if I do. But open until later as always.
[x] The question was annoying. I couldn't have done well because half of the semester I was running stupid errands for her.

Th is more like Arc's kind of answer. He fired shots like that at their question and I want to know what is really up here.
[x] The question was annoying. I couldn't have done well because half of the semester I was running stupid errands for her.

It's okay, I find the students more interesting, and thus don't mind the consequences of those particular bandwagons.
[x] I was more or less confident I did well. All the effort paid off.

As much as I'd like to snark I feel this is better because of all the studying, what's the point of all those votes before hand?

I seriously question how well this story is going to do just because of how inconsistent everything is, particualrly anon. It makes it hard to vote because what's the point when a bunch of HS story-starved idiots hiveminds something.
Wouldn't it be equally mindless to do the opposite of what's the majority...just for the sake of doing the opposite?

[x] The question was annoying. I couldn't have done well because half of the semester I was running stupid errands for her.

I'm choosing this because I imagine things would play out like this:

The first choice would lead to them encouraging us to continue the errands, since they don't seem to impend our education.

The second sounds like it could lead to Yuyuko asking us if we want to continue these 'stupid errands'.

The second choice thus sounds more interesting in my mind.
[] I was more or less confident I did well. All the effort paid off.

Studying with Kaguya was the key to success.

I don't want to not have more assignments from Yuyuko, they help in keeping the story moving and meeting more people.
It doesn't matter if you find the result of this or that choice to be favorable. That's happy coincidence. Think of a case where things don't go as you want because everyone doesn't bother to think about the other option.

Cut that shit out. You're not doing yourself, your fellow readers, me, the story nor the site any favors by saying frankly stupid and divisive things like that. Be constructive and get along with people and not a needlessly destructive wanker.

No one is saying that you should do the opposite of the majority for the hell of it. Just to take a moment and think about why the other option is there instead of going with whatever makes the best initial impression. This is why I encourage people talking to each other and perhaps changing their minds later. There's different perspectives and no one choice should ever be clear-cut. Example as to why this choice is not clear cut: no one here has bothered to consider how it might not be a good thing to say that things have gone well in case they haven't and the consequences of that. Instead what I'm seeing is "we studied so we did well!" as the main logic. If the other choice can come off as antagonizing, as some have claimed, then wouldn't be bragging about something unproven also have negative consequences?

It's like people who were all for engaging Mokou, thinking that it was some sort of overt plot hook. When, you know, calling her out on her shit may have just pushed her away even more. No one made that case and I feel that they should have at least tried. Or the same thing with Kaguya and not giving her space. It's not my place to spoonfeed you these things or tell you that you're wrong or right about anything but this is why I'm telling you that bandwagoning is no good and that a little thought about why the other choice is there is a good thing. No one choice is ever superior to the other and going with your first impression isn't always a good idea. Note that the previous examples are me just offering perspective and not saying that this or that is better or worse.

With all that said, I am not sure when I'll be able to write today. Might be a short while, might be a long while. Will call and post about it when I have the time.

Thing is, when the Moukou choice came, both choices could be excused (second being plot hook, first being damage control)

I didn't vote in that one, but since both choices sound viable, why not just go with your first impression? What would you do in that situation?

I don't think people choosing the second option did so because they didn't see any possibility of the first choice doing any good. It's because they could see the advantages of both choices but would personally prefer doing the second.

Or maybe that's just me.

Anyway, unless you're actively planning the interesting stuff for the option which doesn't seem to reflect the first instinct of the majority (which I doubt you do), voting for your first impression isn't lazy. It's just a voting philosophy when both choices have advantages and disadvantages, as you said yourself.
[x] The question was annoying. I couldn't have done well because half of the semester I was running stupid errands for her.

Where ever I go, I must also snark
Teruyo, I respect you as a writer, but please stop considering bandwagons a bad thing. It is aggressive to readers. Every post like that translates to: 'Your vote was wrong' regardless of your actual intention.
I'm afraid I agree with this. I read those posts like you're biased, want the other vote to win and try to influence voters to pick what you want.
There won't be an update until sometime mid-Sunday (site time) at the earliest. Sorry but though I technically have the time to write right now I'm not really in the right head space for magical girl fanfiction.

It's not really an argument I'm making about any specific situation. The point of the choices is that they should always be attractive in some capacity. Going by the comments (which is the only real measure I have of what people are actually thinking) it doesn't always seem like people consider why the alternative is there. In the end though I don't really mind if people go with their gut or their first impression. Truly. The thing is though when the consequences play out, there's almost inevitably complaints or sour remarks. I guess this wouldn't be such a big deal for me if I didn't keep seeing comments about, for example, alleged backfiring, damage control, cockblocking or things generally not working out. It's probably human nature or something but it's always the negative and never the positive consequences that people obsess about.

I know I'll never have everyone always happy. Sometimes it feels like instead of enjoying the choices and outcomes in what's a generally lighthearted and playful story the readers have blinders on and just focus on one very trivial detail. And yeah, that's not just about bandwagoning and any one choice but I think that it's an easily addressable point nonetheless. So it's valid, sure, but not ideal to people always go with the first thing. Especially if other people then say stuff and it gets discussed. I think the story works best when you compromise, possibly change votes and talk it among yourselves. What I wrote up before were examples of different perspectives, not much else. But I'm blathering on about stuff and I think I've sort of digressed from my original argument. Sorry about that but hopefully you understand a bit more of what I'm concerned about.

Sorry but I won't so long as there's fallout from the readers later. Multiple bandwagons are terrible for reasons I've outlined several times in these threads. Your vote can never be wrong because otherwise it wouldn't be a choice. I'm talking about the thought process, the outcomes of votes, and then the frustration of some. I don't care what you vote for so long as you try to consider why the alternative is there. It's like people who were against groping Alice because of preconceived notions. Note that I'm not saying that that was the best/right choice just that they had a bit of tunnel vision about the consequences. And through people discussing it, some came to see the benefit of the other perspective. All I'm saying is that when you bandwagon and don't really think about why the alternative is there, you're potentially missing out.

I am biased. Very much so. Though probably in a way you wouldn't expect. And, hell, if I was a reader I'd probably vote for a lot of things that you might think I'm biased against (I totally would have taken taken Kaguya's hand for example or talked to Mokou). None of that matters though. Because, let's be honest, as a writer I could just railroad you into whatever conclusion I wanted at any point in time. Or, in a more subtle manner, could manipulate the audience with a scene into liking/disliking a character. So worrying about whether I want you to vote for one option over another is silly. Take it at face value - that I want you to think more about why the choices are there and what their potential consequences are. The story is at its best when there's plenty of different opinions and reasoning. Otherwise you might miss out on something that you potentially might have really enjoyed because no one articulated a point that would have totally convinced you to flip sides or something.
Well, what THIS makes me want to do is just further push a bandwagon each time you try to influence a vote now.

Not all posts should have a lengthy discussion. You're a good writer, yes, but NOT to that point. For some things, you cannot seriously expect voters to care enough to discuss it. And arguing over options usually just annoy voters more, especially if this turn into a fight.

Like right now. This is just a vote for one goddamn answer. Why should we care that much about the winning like it's going to influence everything else forever? And if it doesn't do that, then why should we think much about it? I have better things to do with my time than arguing or analyzing votes that aren't truly important and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feel that way.
Be at least a little less malicious, Anon. The call for lengthy discussion isn't really what matters to Teruyo, he just wants us to consider the benefits of each option and hopefully argue for them.

Admittedly, I'm of the opinion that sometimes we as a collective will inescapably vote for certain options no matter what, but there is no point for us to get into arguing semantics on the mentality of bandwagoning and the merits of discussion with the writer, especially because it's been done and it just ties up more time.
Apparently can't into creative writing because reasons. Not bothering with ETAs - it'll be done when it's done. as well as a bonus scene maybe

I think you are fundamentally misunderstanding what I'm saying and are getting worked up for no good reason. Please reread what I"ve written and if it's still unclear to you, I'd be happy to elaborate further.

>each time you try to influence a vote now.
Please point out an instance where I have done so.

>Not all posts should have a lengthy discussion
Please point out where I've said that they should.

Furthermore, I'd say that the discussion in this story is for the most part civil and productive and almost never a fight. See: every discussion in the past few threads. Suit yourself if you don't think it's worth your time to talk about a choice. So long as you don't later complain about how a series of 'unimportant' choices taken together led to something bigger that you don't approve of, I'm cool with that. And, no, I'm not being sarcastic here (hard to tell over the internet at times). I've meant every word.
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“I've probably done well enough,” I said. “I did study for the exams.”

“No difficulties at all?” Yuyuko asked.

“Just that it took too long to sit through them,” I said. “I was more prepared than I usually was.”

“You've become a model student, at least when it comes to the pure academics,” she said with a smile. I wasn't sure if she was making fun of me or was serious about her. Damn her ambiguous smile.

“At any rate, I think I did better than most of my classmates. Most of them were freaking out.”

“Yes, being calm and steady is important,” she stated, meaning something else entirely I felt. “Proving dependability further...” she trailed off, “cleanup shouldn't be too difficult if it proves to not be the case.”

“It would seem that your soft touch has had results,” Yukari said to Yuyuko, ignoring me entirely. The emphasis she put on her words led me to believe that she was joking or possibly being sarcastic. It was hard to tell when both women kept neutral body language and agreeable facial expressions at all time. I didn't want to be too self-centered but I thought maybe that they were purposefully messing with me.

“We'll see soon enough,” Big Sis said with her usual light smile. It was because I was the subject, I figured, that it came off as particularly smug.

“There's less paperwork involved if you don't need to do that,” Yukari chuckled.

“As always, I'm grateful that you delegate all these things to me.”

“I've always been the more aloof one, you know that,” Yukari said with a dismissive flick of her wrist. “Your earnest attitude and social skills have gotten you many fans on the board, you know. If you'd like I'll introduce you to a few of the younger and most ardent admirers.”

“I'll pass thank you,” Big Sis declined the headmistress' offer. “I'm not really into the trust fund snob type. Help yourself first, my dear friend. Otherwise you'll go past your best-by date without noticing it.”

Yukari frowned, “we're the same age, you know.”

“Is that so?” Big Sis humored her with cruel kindness,”Indeed we were in the same year when were were students. It's easy to forget. I suppose you've just always come off as more mature and distant. Which is why I have the counseling job and you're the aloof and overworked headmistress. Why I could pass off as a student again if I tried. Isn't that right, Arc?”

“I-” I tried to say something.

Predictably, I couldn't get a word in. It was a rhetorical question. “There are limits to shamelessness,” Yukari said with a bitter smile. “Don't expect me to care when you come looking for a shoulder to cry on the next time another bohemian breaks your heart.”

“Noted,” Big Sis said with a roll of her eyes. “At any rate, don't you have any of that interminable work to get back to?”

Yukari sighed. She shook her head and a smile returned to her lips. “Yes, I suppose I do. I'll entrust you with the rest then.”

“I'll take care of it,” Yuyuko said with a nod. The headmistress got up from the desk and walked right past me without even so much giving me a look.

“We're still on for dinner, right?” Yukari asked, pausing at the door before leaving.

“Yeah, we'll do the usual,” Yuyuko replied. Yukari left the room with a small nod and closed the door behind her. Big Sis wasted no time addressing me, “it's the end of the school year as I'm sure you're aware.”

“Hooray. Only two weeks until I'm a senior,” I said sarcastically. “Only a single week of vacation in that time too.”

“Yes, you'll be moving on to the final phase here,” Big Sis didn't address my flippancy. Instead, she continued to talk about what that entailed, “there's a lot of pressure for students to keep their grades up if they then want to have good prospects moving forward. It's also the final chance for the athletes to compete for the school. And for the cultural clubs to put on brilliant displays. There's a lot of stress and a lot of working hard for almost everyone. Even during the summer break or even on the final class trip.”

“Describing all that unnecessary work isn't exactly appealing to my sense of sentimentality, you know,” I said.

“I didn't expect it to,” Big Sis said with a chuckle. She placed a hand on my shoulder gently, as telling me to relax a little. “It's been decided that we're going to entrust you with a very important role this upcoming year.”

“Hooray, more errands!” I exclaimed with predictable happiness.

“No,” Big Sis said ominously, “we're done with errands. From now on, you'll be making your own decisions.”

“Hooray for free will,” I said flatly. “And to what do I owe my liberty?”

“The headmistress mostly,” Big Sis said with a shrug, “if it were up to me, I'd keep you under close watch. You're the type that can use intensive guidance. But that's neither here nor there,” she shook her head, moving on, “I wouldn't be celebrating just yet before you hear about what we want you to do.”

“Let me guess – I get to pick between an antisocial shut in and a struggling club this time.”

“Like I said,” Big Sis chuckled, “that kind of decision is your own now. No, you see, we're putting you up for student council. You'll be the vice president.”

“Oh, that's a good one,” I laughed. “I suppose I'll just nominate and elect myself without worrying about being popular or campaigning. I'm a real serious contender.”

“It's already been taken care of,” Big Sis said without emotion. “Only a few people wanted to do the job and they've been dissuaded from pursuing the possibility. You'll run unopposed and, what's more, your lovely class representative and president-to-be will likely endorse you.”

“...how the hell did you manage to get Reimu to play along?” I asked, dumbfounded. It was one thing to subvert the will of the electorate with the illusion of choice, it was quite another to get the strong-willed class rep to even look at me and not disapprove. I shuddered slightly, realizing that I was way over my head when it came to dealing with Yukari and Yuyuko.

“That's not important,” Big Stated with indifference. “I'm informing you now because I expect that you'll have a demand or two you'll have to make in order to save face. It must be hard being such a maverick all the time,” she said with condescension. “And yet – your independent thinking is exactly why you'll make a great veep.”

“Fine,” I said, not bothering to fight against her twisting my arm. There was nothing I could do even if I wanted to. “For starters, I want you to tell the teachers to let me nap in class as much as I want.”

“Strange request, but done,” she agreed. I was just testing how far she'd go for me.

“Oh and I want access to the cafeteria's food reserve. The one they keep for teachers. I don't feel like fighting over the best bread anymore.”

“Fine. Anything else?” she asked, with a raised eyebrow.

“One last thing...” I went for the biggest request yet.

[] Big Sis had to agree to help me set up a date with whomever I wanted. Faculty included.
[] Alice had to be drafted too.
[] Both her and Yukari had to stop trying to manipulate me all the time.

No bonus for now. Took long enough to do this.
[x] Alice had to be drafted too.

This is a really tough choice.
Initially, I wanted to choose the Faculty included date for more Big Sis time, and even now I'm sorely tempted by it.
Asking to be free from manipulation has some seriously good incentive behind it. Imagine having a conversation with Big Sis where we can be certain that she isn't giving us half-truths!

However, in the end, I think getting Alice involved will have the most lasting impact. Reimu wants Alice in the council and Arc has also noted that she'd be perfect for that sort of role. She's joked that taking care of Arc is a full-time job, preventing her from joining the council, so now's the time to call her bet. Plus, Arc is more likely to enjoy his vice-presidency if he has his trusted childhood friend at his side.
[x] Both her and Yukari had to stop trying to manipulate me all the time.

Freedom sounds nice and anon lacks focus to really make the most of the date thing.

I doubt Alice would be amused by getting dragged into something against her will, and when she finds out Arc was behind it, it won't end well.

I think things will be better with Big sis and Headmistress if Arc doesn't feel he's a puppet.
[] Big Sis had to agree to help me set up a date with whomever I wanted. Faculty included.

Let Alice free from work, acquire date with Yukari.
Here, realizing what the date choice entrailed, still prefer freedom though.
[X] Big Sis had to agree to help me set up a date with whomever I wanted. Faculty included.

I don't feel like forcing Alice on it. Surely we can try to ask her, no?

That and I want more time with Yuyuko. Would be nice to just manage to surprise her for once.
>I don't feel like forcing Alice on it. Surely we can try to ask her, no?

This, guys. Forcing Alice into the Council, without even asking her if she really wants to join it, is, at least, rude as fuck. She told Arc she did not want the extra work and troubles that come with joining the SC, Arc has no right to simply draft her into it.

'She might want it, but X/Y/Z'. Maybe, maybe not. Arc doesn't have any certainty yet, despite trying to sell ALice the idea. Without at least asking her if she wants to join with him, this is a terrible thing to do.

And, you know. We really need to give some attention to the older ladies. Be it by confronting them or having dinner at an expensive place.
[x] Both her and Yukari had to stop trying to manipulate me all the time.

Free yourself from the older women yoke. Show them that you are not a toy of those two. At least not all the time.
Alice just wants to spend more time with Arc. shes not opposed to it in principle. It's a good chance to get her to be closer to him. Even if she complains a bit she'll be more than fine with the results. besides, she'll be a good counter to reimu and not having her there will just make her sad in the end. cant join after elections either and I think she's too proud to say anything otherwise

so yeah
[] Alice had to be drafted too.
Yeah, I should probably give it more time. But I have to write when I can. So giving this another half hour (from whatever timestamp this post gets) before I call and write.
[x] Both her and Yukari had to stop trying to manipulate me all the time.

As someone who wants more of the adorable, eternally young ladies, this should help in getting close to them, as they should begin seeing him like a man.
[x] Alice had to be drafted too.
More Alice is never a bad thing.
[x] Both her and Yukari had to stop trying to manipulate me all the time.

Shit, I did nto expect to change votes, but the date option is too wild for me.
[X] Big Sis had to agree to help me set up a date with whomever I wanted. Faculty included.

Alice will join if we ask. We should go for this option.

Why not just ask her instead of having them twist her arm?
File 140590796277.jpg - (91.58KB, 1280x720, 1405276242727.jpg) [iqdb]
Can we ask Alice to join us in the council?
Also, I like this new direction. I blame Haruhi, Toradora and all that shit tier anime I like so much,

[x] Both her and Yukari had to stop trying to manipulate me all the time.
“My, now that's an interesting choice,” Big Sis said with a toothy grin. “I'll do my best to accommodate you.” She crossed her arms and leaned back against her desk. I got the feeling that she was lording her power over me. Or maybe it was just her way of playfully teasing me about my last request.

“So is that a yes or a no?” I asked. I didn't feel like dealing with ambiguity.

“It is what it is,” she said. “You'll see soon enough.”


“Don't pout,” she teased, “you're the upcoming student body Vice President. Have a little dignity.”

“I'm not pouting,” I argued, “I'm simply expressing my intense disapproval with the hard stare and the raised brow and wrinkled nose.”

“Your lips look pouty to me,” Big Sis said, “and your eyes remind me of a puppy. All sad and alone, makes me want to hug you.”

“You're being patronizing,” I shook my head, “have a little more respect for a member of the student council.” No use fighting it. Might as well embrace it. Or embrace her. She wasn't serious about hugging me, keeping her arms firmly crossed as she spoke.

“See? There you are! A stupid boyish smile suits you way better,” Big Sis chuckled, “looks like you don't need a hug after all.”

“How disappointing,” I said with a sardonic grin. “So, what are your plans for the night? Going to have a ladies' night, drink until you can't walk straight?”

“I wouldn't want anyone to take advantage of Yukari,” Big Sis said with a smile, “she gets into such a suggestible state after drinking a few. Very handsy if you get my meaning. Don't worry about our safety. We'll have fun as we always do and that's all you're going to get from me. The sanctity of our night's out shall not be infringed.”

“You're just saying that to make me even more curious,” I had had enough of her. I walked towards the door.

“Have a nice week off~!” she waved goodbye with a wink. Simply infuriating.

Student Council Vice President, huh? I let it sink in for a moment. Didn't really seem like something I would be good at. I stared out one of the hallway windows out to the front entrance. There were a few students left, happily chatting away with their friends. Everyone was in a good mood because exams were over. In a week's time, after our break, they'd be singing another tune. Everyone would be anxious about the results and, while most people would be happy to just pass, there were some that tried to be at the top of the class. As part of the student council I'd be expected to be near the top.

I wondered if I was going to have any responsibilities or whether Reimu was going to shoulder the whole workload. I doubted she would trust me. Even if she had agreed to have me as vice president, she was probably ambivalent about my prospects. At best.

Well, worrying about it wasn't going to get me anywhere. I had a whole week off. That was cause for celebration. Time to push out into uncharted territory and forget all about responsibility.

[] Look around the school for any stragglers.
[] Outfit an expedition into town.
[x] Outfit an expedition into town.

Into the town we go to explore and find older women to hit on. Or someone else.
[x] Outfit an expedition into town.

What choice won? It wasn't clear
[] Look around the school for any stragglers.

Would go to the city, to find Yukari and the like, but we just saw her and she will be busy with Yuyuko. So I want to try and find Tenshi.
[] Look around the school for any stragglers.

This straggler better be Tenshi.
So which vote actually won that one?

[x] Outfit an expedition into town.

When was the last time we even went into town?
Maybe we can visit the Arcade.
[x] Outfit an expedition into town.

Arcade sounds good, maybe find Suika or Reisen.

>Very handsy if you get my meaning.

lol yep, they gossip about it.
If there's a couple of more votes in an hour or so and I'm not too tired I might write again. Otherwise done for the day.

You're likelier to find schoolgirls at school.Other characters elsewhere. At least this time around. I don't think finding Yukari and Yuyuko's private party is viable, though.
>likelier to find schoolgirls at school

>>59614 here
changing to
[x] Look around the school for any stragglers.

I'd be happy with a Reisen or maybe a Patchy. A Rin is fine too.
[x] Look around the school for any stragglers.
School searchers, unite!

I'm fairly sure that the stop manipulation vote choice won, I think it had the majority.
[x] Look around the school for any stragglers.

Well, considering I can't remember any 'not-school' characters of the top of my head...
[] Outfit an expedition into town.

well, lets see where this goes
[x] Outfit an expedition into town.

I'm hoping we'll see Yuuka again. We should give her the heads up on Marisa, and maybe get to see what clothes Yuuka considers "extra nice".
I'll try writing now despite the tie. If I wait any longer and I'm liable to go do something else/pass out. Both options are good and so I guarantee that you won't be disappointed either way.
[x] Look around the school for any stragglers.

I pick this because the characters I like are all members of the school. Simple, eh?

>'m hoping we'll see Yuuka again
Me too! But it is not likely, unfortunately.
no thanks to your vote. You have no right to say things like that when you contribute to the problem.
Stop that. Directly attacking another voter like that only means you're contributing to an even worse problem. If you don't like a user's reason for a vote, feel free to give a counter argument, but all that a remark like yours serves to do is stir up resentment.
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There weren't very many students left in the building. Naturally enough. As soon as exams were over, the vast majority rushed away to make the most of the week-long break. Though I thought about skipping out and going into town, I stayed at school for a while longer.

It was the responsibility of a member of the student council to check in on the welfare of the student body, I thought to myself with sarcasm. Truth was, I would probably be staying after school a lot more than I would ever want. Alice and the others were long gone and all of the second year classrooms were empty. The seniors, probably skittish about the upcoming entrance exams, had also abandoned school quickly. It was only in the first year classrooms that I found any sign of life.

“...that's how it is,” a nervous sounding male was talking in I-A, “so please go out with me Flan!”

Nothing sordid was going on, for a change. A simple love confession in a classroom painted red by the setting sun. Brushing aside thoughts that perhaps I was becoming a voyeur, I stood by the door and watched the scene unfold.

“...I don't really know you,” the popular little blonde girl replied. She didn't sound callous so much as uncertain. Not that it did the guy any favors either way. She was sitting on a desk with her back against a window, her legs swinging back and forth gently into the air. The long socks she wore weren't part of the dress code. Nor was the ribbon tied to the left side of her hair, creating a side ponytail. “I'm sorry but I don't think I can answer your feelings.”

“But Flan! I'd climb the highest mountain for you, swim across the broadest ocean and do anything you asked! I'd kiss the ground you walked on and then kiss your feet if you wanted. Just give me a chance! I swear that you won't regret it.”

Flan giggled, “you sure have a funny way of expressing your love.”

“I'm dead serious,” he said, being annoyingly insistent. He sounded too desperate to get anywhere with her. I was certain of it. The fool didn't know how to do a proper love confession. Amateur. “I'll do anything you ask if you were to favor me.”

“Mm...” the girl put a hand on her chin as if she was trying to think about something difficult. “Alright, let's try it,” she said softly.

“Oh thank you!” the guy exclaimed happily, “I can't believe that you're going to go out with me!”

“I didn't mean it like that,” she said. “I meant, I want to see you kiss my feet. Right now. You said you'd do anything I asked.” Flan slid off one of her shoes brusquely, like she was impatient.

“Oh...” the guy seemed to be at a loss. Yeah, I didn't expect that turn of events either. “Sure, ok, I'll do it,” he said, apparently trying to convince himself it was a good idea. He got down on his knees and gently cupped Flan's foot with his hands. He hesitated, not a good sign, while Flan looked on with what could only be described as an almost sadistic curiosity. Her smile broadened as he tentatively and haltingly brought his lips towards the tip of her foot. With a sudden jab-like motion, he planted a quick peck over her thin black and white striped socks.

“That wasn't much of a kiss, don't you think?” Flan sounded immensely disappointed. I could see the poor soul tense up.

“S-sorry!” he was in way over his head. Still, his desire to please her seemed earnest enough. He brought his mouth back towards her foot and once again planted another kiss. It was a proper one. And, as if to prove that his dedication wasn't lacking, he began to kiss every single one of her toes.

Flan laughed uncontrollably, “stop that you idiot, you're tickling me too much!” She grabbed her sides, trying to control her spasms. Ewww!” she exclaimed between fits, “you're slobbering all over my socks. What kind of pervert licks a girl's toe without asking first?”

“I'm sorry!” the guy fumbled backwards, in a panic. “Flan's foot was just too small and cute and I couldn't help myself. I-I hope that I've proven my sincerity.”

“All that you've proven is that you're not my type,” Flan said coldly, popping off the desk and picking up her missing shoe. “You have no self control and you don't listen well to directions. Besides, like I told you, I barely know you. A cute little girl like me can't just start going out with random people because you happen to have a foot fetish. That's disgusting.”

“B-but I was only doing as you asked!” the guy complained, to no avail. He was already on his knees but his supplications fell on deaf ears.

“I'd only date someone tall and cool anyways, like that upperclassmate who has been watching you grovel like a worm,” she tilted her head at me with a cutesy little smile.

“Hello,” I mumbled.

“Nice to meetcha!” she said, completely ignoring the poor fool on the floor. Was he crying? The idiot. “You're probably in my sister's year, aren't you?”

“Remilia?” I said, recalling her surname, “yeah I've seen her once or twice.”

“Oohhhh~” she giggled, lowering her voice, “it looks like you know her big secret too. My sister is a naughty girl and a bad example for Flan, don't you think?”

“I, uh... don't know what you're talking about,” I didn't feel comfortable admitting that sort of thing to someone I just met. She smiled mischievously, tiptoeing around me as if trying to read my mind just by looking at me. The poor classmate was forgotten and her attention was turned solely to me.

“It's alright. Flan is really good at reading the perverted thoughts of others. I don't think she's fully into girls so much as she's into Sakuya. So you still have a shot in getting in the middle of that. That is, if you like that sort of thing. I think that you like all sorts of girls and all sorts of naughty situations. You're a big, grown-up guy after all.” Flan giggled, like a precocious little vixen, “say, Mr. Handsome Upperclassman, what do you think of Flan? And be honest. I'll get mad if you try to lie to me.”

[] She's cute alright. That ribbon really suited her. I could understand why she had such a fanatic fanbase.
[] It didn't matter what I thought. I had a strict policy of not getting involved with younger girls. They were too much trouble.

Please don't do that. Yeah, you're completely right. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy if you never actually vote for the other characters. But there's more diplomatic ways of going about it. Please don't be aggressive to other people in this thread. Jerl is right about the resentment.
[] She's cute alright. That ribbon really suited her. I could understand why she had such a fanatic fanbase.

Oh hey, it's everyone's favorite crazy gril! Nice.
[X] It didn't matter what I thought. I had a strict policy of not getting involved with younger girls. They were too much trouble.

Say no to drugs Flandre
[x] She's cute alright. That ribbon really suited her. I could understand why she had such a fanatic fanbase.

It is true, that and I feel that trying to lie and back out wouldn't end well. But we should remember to maintain whatever ground we had.
[] She's cute alright. That ribbon really suited her. I could understand why she had such a fanatic fanbase.

What harm ever came from indulging Flan?
[x] She's cute alright. That ribbon really suited her. I could understand why she had such a fanatic fanbase.

Uh, never thought we'd actually meet Flandre. Ever.

This pleases me, somewhat. Making friends with her should facilitate befriending te rest of SDM, and meeting Patchouli again.
[x] She's cute alright. That ribbon really suited her. I could understand why she had such a fanatic fanbase.

That cute/cruel Flan suddenly. Sure let's see where this is going. Might be fun to spend time with other girls.
[x] It didn't matter what I thought. I had a strict policy of not getting involved with younger girls. They were too much trouble.

Don't want Flan.
[x] It didn't matter what I thought. I had a strict policy of not getting involved with younger girls. They were too much trouble.

After that display, no thanks.
[X] She's cute alright. That ribbon really suited her. I could understand why she had such a fanatic fanbase.

This is a terrible idea and nobody in their right mind would do it.

Fortunately, I'm not in my right mind.
I don't think any of us are. Getting involved with Flan is a terrible idea. We just can't say no.
[x] It didn't matter what I thought. I had a strict policy of not getting involved with younger girls. They were too much trouble.

No. Nonononono. This path is the path to madness.
[] She's cute alright. That ribbon really suited her. I could understand why she had such a fanatic fanbase.

Suddenly, Flandre. That's ok too. Need new and interesting people, a younger girl that could make Arc feel powerless and confused.
[x] It didn't matter what I thought. I had a strict policy of not getting involved with younger girls. They were too much trouble.

She seems interesting, but my personal tastes do not care for this approach. I apologize
[x] It didn't matter what I thought. I had a strict policy of not getting involved with younger girls. They were too much trouble.
Her eyes lit up at my answer. “I knew it!” she exclaimed and pounced right on me. Hugging me around my neck, she basically dangled off of me like an oversized necktie. “Older guys always have the best taste.”

She pressed her head against my chest. For a moment I thought she was going to take a bit out of me. “You're hurting my neck there,” I tried to ease her off of me.

“Oh, sorry,” she let go, smiling sheepishly. “Flan just got really excited and happy and her body just moved on its own.”

There was something about her 'cuteness' that seemed very forced. A bit like Big Sis could go over the top at times. But unlike that foul manipulator, Flandre didn't seem to be doing it with evil intent. Or maybe I was just getting sloppy at reading people. Either way, it looked like I was getting sucked in by her.

“I wish that my fans were as tall and handsome like you. With longer hair, and a vest, you could be the perfect butler!” Flan exclaimed happily, referring to what was likely a weird fantasy of hers. I could see that the enthusiasm in her eyes was pretty real. “Then you could spend all day helping me out, bringing tea, protecting me from zombies, helping me pick my clothes and brushing my hair.”

“I don't think that butlers do all of that...” I doubted the zombie part, at least.

“Well, there's always training,” she smiled as she nodded. I was sure that, in her mind, she could already picture the scene perfectly.

“Yeah...” I tried my best not to roll my eyes. It wasn't the kind of deal that I'd agree to anytime soon.

“Hmm...” she stared into my face intently. “I can tell that you'd also want to do all sort of perverted stuff with Flan as well. That's fine. We could do this and that in the bath or in the mornings when you come to wake me up. Or at night when the zombies were trying to get we could go to the saferoom and be alone together. Kyaa~” she yelled, “it'd be sooo romantic.”

The poor freshman happened to be listening in to our conversation. Tears streamed down his face and he had taken off his glasses. I told him with my eyes that I was sorry and I didn't ask for things to turn out the way they did. He didn't care. He left the room through the rear door in the lowest of spirits.

I wanted to say something about the poor guy to Flandre. She should have let him down gently.

Before I could say anything, a beep from her pocket quieted the babbling Flan down. She checked her phone. And frowned. “I gotta go now,” she said quietly, “I'm sorry but I can't stay around and play with you. Maybe some other time.” Hugging me before I could react, she said goodbye and scurried off all the while waving back at me.

What an odd girl with a wild imagination.

There were no more students left inside the building. So I grabbed my bag and left. There were even less stragglers by the gates. A group of boys that had stayed behind to play in the field passed by, looking dirty and sweaty. Behind them, I spotted a familiar face. She was carrying a bunch of equipment, looking like she was struggling a bit.

The boys suddenly stopped and started chatting to a pair of girls by the gate. The girls looked uncomfortable but were too polite to tell them to go away. Oh, I could see why they were talking to them. It was that transfer student from II-B. They were probably asking her out to drink tea or go do karaoke. I knew that that's what I'd probably be doing.

[] Help Kaenbyou carry stuff.
[] Help Kochiya get rid of the boys.
[] Help Kaenbyou carry stuff.

[x] Help Kaenbyou carry stuff.

Hopefully she'll accept it
[] Help Kochiya get rid of the boys.

Sanae only showed up once, in the story. With Arc, at least. She deserves more.
[x] Help Kaenbyou carry stuff.

It is high time for us to talk to her again. Let's see what happens in the shed.
I don't mind helping her either just as long as it doesn't turn out ot be a repeat of the last time.
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[x] Help Kaenbyou carry stuff.

Hell's traffic accident, from whom all good things flow~
[x] Help Kaenbyou carry stuff.

I'm sorry, Sanae - maybe next time. I just can't resist a Rin right now. It's been way too long since we've seen her.

What happened the last time? All I remember is a retcon.
[x] Help Kaenbyou carry stuff.

Let's see if Rin's forgiven us.
bandwagons, getting deep with Sanae, a real seemingly unescapable mess.
[x] Help Kochiya get rid of the boys.
I know this is a 'pick your touhou' option but I'm getting vibes from another VN... ignoring a situation like this ends in a rape.

You wouldn't that Teruyo, would you? It isn't your style but... just in case, could you outright confirm that there are no negative consequences for picking Rin over Sanae besides less screentime and familiarity with her? If you do, consider this a vote for Rin.
If you haven't guessed already (and are still around), the chances of me updating more in the coming hours is pretty low. I'll try to pick it up again tomorrow at a faster pace but no promises.

Things that are in the story are there for a reason. If I feel comfortable with having Flandre of all things in a story (and enduring silly flanfags' delusions and unbridled lust) and have Sanae back, then you should be comfortable with it too. In short: I've got this.

I can neither confirm nor deny that sort of thing, sorry. Any events that happen to any character you'll hear about or see for yourself if appropriate when the time comes.
[x] Help Kaenbyou carry stuff.
I like Rin, I don't like Sanae.
[x] Help Kaenbyou carry stuff.

I wanna follow up with her here.

Can you start adding the winning option on your posts, Teruyo?
[X] Help Kaenbyou carry stuff.

Did we ever properly catch up after Arc's "assignment" with her?
that's not helping much as some of us will have that looming over us until we find out otherwise and given how this story tends to go all over the place, it might be a while.

What that guy said has me tempted to change my vote just so I don't end up feeling guilty about what happens. But I'll believe in your policy of "it's just a light hearted story"
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“Yo,” I greeted as I matched Kaenbyou's pace and walked side by her side. “Fancy running into you here.”

“What do you want?” she asked with a scowl, trying to balance a box over another box. The stuff she carried wasn't particularly heavy-looking nor bulky but it looked like she was having a hard time keeping herself coordinated nonetheless.

“Need a hand?” I asked, gesturing towards the top box.

“I'm fine, thank you,” she rejected the help and swaggered forward. Never mind that if she loosed her grip on the bottom box it would all come tumbling down with a din. The way she seemed to try to actively ignore me by trying her best to not look at me and at the same time make sure that I was still there with furtive glimpses from the corner of her eye seemed a bit reckless. Especially since she basically ignored the path in front of her.

“Are you sure?” I asked, placing my hand on the side of a box and keeping things from sliding around. “It'd be no trouble at all.”

“I said it's fine,” she snapped, pulling away at a faster pace. “I really don't need your help.”

“Come on,” I said, “you know that giving me the cold shoulder doesn't really work. I'm trying to be nice here.”

“I don't really have the time to get distracted by you,” she said with glowing smugness, “I've important business to attend to.”

“I can see. Carrying around stuff – real important.”

“Whatever,” she almost stumbled in order to roll her eyes at me properly but caught herself at the last moment. I had to hand it to her, she was really good at keeping her balance. As expected of a gymnast. Every time it seemed like she would flop down hard, her body would almost instantaneously counter the inertia by leaning slightly to the opposite direction. Her arms struggled a bit with the weight but that was because they were thin and flexible and not really built for carrying things. Kaenbyou growled, “I really am not in the mood for this.”

“For what?”

“For you popping in, making a spectacle of yourself and then going away elsewhere.”

“That doesn't sound like me,” I said. We were past the gates, walking down the street towards the train station. As we went downhill it became even trickier for her to control her momentum. “I thought we were on good terms. Or were those half waves we exchanged in the hallways a few times just for show? I”m hurt, you know. Here I thought you were the honest sort...”

“This is exactly what I mean,” she sighed, “you're making a big deal out of this when it doesn't have to be. Just go home and stop following me around.”

“Can't you at least tell me what's inside the box?”

“Surplus equipment. It's being given up for donation.”

“Oh, how charitable of the school.”

“More like they're running out of storage space,” Kaenbyou said with a sigh. I suspected she hadn't volunteered for the assignment. If I had to guess Yuugi forced it on her because she was too busy to do it herself. “Now go hold up your end and scram.”

“I didn't say I was going to leave,” I said much to her delight. She scowled harder, looking like she was struggling to hold her tongue. “Come on, at least let me walk with you, I'll be good, I promise.”

“No,” she said firmly. “You're being annoying.”

“We've barely seen each other these past weeks...” I whined, trying to sound as childish as possible. The old puppy dog eyes never failed. “I just want us to catch up and maybe have a little fun together...”

“Not going to happen,” she said. I was surprised that she had kept her cool for so long. Either she had grown a thicker skin since the last time I had properly dealt with her or she had just gotten better at hiding what she was feeling. Either way it was a little be frustrating for me. My shots seemed to be going wide off the mark.

[] Pity is key - follow her like a stray dog seeking attention. Melt her icy heart with persistence.
[] Pepper her with flattering remarks like how cute her butt looks when it wiggles as she's walking.

This will probably be it for today, as underwhelming as the update may be because of reasons. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

No, it's purposefully omitted because I integrate reader comments and thoughts into the scene. Which may include elements from the other choice(s) if appropriate/logical/wanted by the majority. The choice doesn't matter so much as how things unfold and the outcome itself. And that's usually self-evident in the update. At most a few updates down the line for more subtle choices.

I'm not going to spoonfeed you any more than I already do. And just because the story is light-hearted doesn't mean that bad stuff can't and doesn't happen. All it means that the bad stuff is not the main focus of the plot. Serious business and drama may happen in the background but because of the type of protagonist it'll always focus more on having fun with touhous. See: Marisa and Okuu - their problems were plenty serious but life (and the story) goes on regardless. Just like you can have comic relief in something grimdark you can have serious elements in something light and fun. It's a mater of presentation. PS: so completely ignoring a character makes the chances of them appearing anytime soon or ever again dubious at best
[x] Pepper her with flattering remarks like how cute her butt looks when it wiggles as she's walking.

Sure thing boss. Let's do this.
[] Pepper her with flattering remarks like how cute her butt looks when it wiggles as she's walking.

It's true, isn't it?
[x] Pity is key - follow her like a stray dog seeking attention. Melt her icy heart with persistence.

>so completely ignoring a character makes the chances of them appearing anytime soon or ever again dubious at best
Well shit, now I feel bad. I do like Sanae, but I just like Rin more.
[x] Pepper her with flattering remarks like how cute her butt looks when it wiggles as she's walking.
Okuu's issue never felt serious to me, so I guess that was a miss.
[X] Pepper her with flattering remarks like how cute her butt looks when it wiggles as she's walking.

You're not getting rid of Arc that easily.
[x] Pepper her with flattering remarks like how cute her butt looks when it wiggles as she's walking.

It's consistent with his usual behavior around her.
Someone has a good idea what the best course of action would be? I want to hear you guys thoughts on this so don't be shy to take like 10 mins and write them out.
To be honest, my vote for peppering was really just based on her reaction potentially being funny.

I guess I also just don't like being annoying. I mean, sure, it was funny with Alice since we're childhood friends, but I honestly have no idea whether it would even work on Rin. Just seems more likely that compliments would turn out with a better outcome, whether just by being more funny or potentially provoking another encounter with her.

[x] Pity is key - follow her like a stray dog seeking attention. Melt her icy heart with persistence.

Thinking about it, I've changed my mind. Since the other option is following her, this option is letting her go.

Gotta show our persistence, since our lack thereof is likely what she's pissed about.

If we follow her, we maybe can also explain that the police was holding us up. She doesn't know about that, does she? It would probably be a step up from what she's thinking about us at the moment.

Complimenting is what we did before we ditched her, so let's try something different.

Or maybe I'm wrong and this just ends up annoying her. Possible as well.
[x] Pity is key - follow her like a stray dog seeking attention. Melt her icy heart with persistence.

I can't remember a time when sticking around after being repeatedly told to leave went wrong.
Is it dead, Jim?
Looking at the votes, it's a tie, since the post without commentary doesn't count. While that is probably not the reason for the post delay, it should be dealt with.
[x] Pity is key - follow her like a stray dog seeking attention. Melt her icy heart with persistence.
She should know better than to try and ignore Arc.
If Kaenbyou was annoyed with me, she was doing a good job of hiding it. She carried on silently, doing her best to ignore me. I was determined to not let up so easily. I hovered around her, following at only a step or two behind her to her side. Naturally I stared and begged for attention silently and I was sure she occasionally stole a glace from the corner of her eyes.

There weren't very many people on the streets. I wondered what I looked like to the few strangers that passed us by. An older lady smiled, knowingly, and an old man shot me a sympathetic look. Two students walking along together, one of them a pitiful stray following an indifferent mistress - it was certain to look pathetic. I whimpered softly when we stopped at an intersection.

“Cut that out,” Kaenbyou finally threw me a figurative bone, “you're just embarrassing yourself.”

“All I want is for you to be a little nice to me,” I said with upturned eyes.

“Oh boy, just what I wanted,” she said with a sigh, “a guy who tries to use pity to get attention.”

“It'd be nice if we got along.”

“We get along well enough,” she sighed again, crossing the street when the light changed. “I'm just not in the mood to deal with you right now. You suck the energy right out of me.”

“I'll behave if you want,” I promised. Well, I wasn't sure if I was physically capable of behaving around there. There was something about her that just made me want to tease her.

“Hm, maybe next time,” she said with a wry smirk. “If you promise to leave me alone now, I'll promise to talk to you some more next time I have some free time.”

“I want to talk to you now though,” I whined, “come on, don't be such a spoilsport.”

“No can do. Either you accept the deal and leave me alone now or I'll continue to ignore you.”

“Your butt isn't even that cute anymore...” I mumbled to myself. Sour grapes were the name of the game.

“What was that?” she seemed to have missed my comment. “So deal or no deal?”

“Fine,” I pouted, “deal. But don't expect me to go easy on you next time. I'm going to make the most out of the opportunity.”

“Sure, whatever,” she dismissed me with indifference.

I left her at the next street, not feeling very confident whether or not the exchange had gone well. I hadn't really gotten her worked up, which usually was when I was able to lead her around her nose. It'd really only been with Marisa's help, or Patchy's, that I had been able to get anywhere with her. Those were absurd scenarios and she was overwhelmed by the lack of common sense. Most people would have been, probably.

Thinking more about what might have been, I returned home. And so the week-long break finally began.


I was so bored. So utterly and completely bored. I was bored of just lying around, bored of thinking about just how bored I was. Piles of clothes and bags of chips surrounded me. A half dozen magazines lay within arms reach, all thoroughly read from front to end several times. I couldn't recall I had just been lying there, doing nothing. At some point the music had stopped too, leaving me alone in the dark. I had even stopped thinking and just sort of stared at the ceiling.

I turned my head. My neck was sore because of the weird position my body had been in for the past few hours. There was sunlight coming in through my curtains. Morning already? After a few days of too much free time on my hands it was hard to tell how fast time passed. As it pained me to admit it, I was way too accustomed to having someone wake me up in the mornings for school.

There were a few more messages on my phone from Suika. I was tired of arguing with her. I couldn't recall how our argument had started but it had been days of on and off talk about who was the best pilot in that popular series. She was wrong, of course, but it didn't seem like we were going to reach an agreement anytime soon.

The weak rumble in my stomach was a reminder that my biological needs hadn't gone completely away. With much effort I got up and stumbled to the bathroom. Cleaning myself up and then changing my clothes, I then went downstairs and had a little bit of breakfast. It was mid morning. And I had the whole day ahead of me.

I needed a change of pace or I would transform into a useless blob.
[] Help Auntie out at the store for a shift.
[] Get a little fresh air at the lake.
Just resting/drinking. Go bug him on IRC about writing.
[x] Get a little fresh air at the lake.

Go Lake, meet touhous. Flawless logic.
[x] Help Auntie out at the store for a shift.

Get cracking, lazy-bones.
[x] Get a little fresh air at the lake.

As much as I want to build up Arc's cash reserves, I think the lake miight be a Tenshi option. Just a hunch.
[] Get a little fresh air at the lake.

The same lake Arc took Tenshi to?

[x] Get a little fresh air at the lake.

Hopefully Sanae's alright; I'm mainly voting this for a change of pace.
[] Help Auntie out at the store for a shift.

Auntie route all day erry day.
Get dat delicious incest /ss/.
[x] Get a little fresh air at the lake.

Don't worry, Arc. She promised a next time.
The bright sunlight blinded me momentarily as I stepped through the door. I winced and stopped as my eyes adjusted to the beautifully clear day. Summer was almost upon us and the deep blue with a few lazy clouds here and there hinted that the next few days would be much the same. How many days had it been since I last went anywhere? I wasn't too sure. The terrible curse of free time meant that I had spent most of my time being useless and enjoying it thoroughly.

I was in no rush to get anywhere. I adopted a lazy pace as I walked, enjoying the warmth of the sun against my skin. There weren't very many people on the streets. It was, after all, a normal workday. It was only us students that got to mess around for a while without supervision. Not that most people made of the most of it. I was sure that at least half of the student body still showed up at school. For club activities and practice. Suckers. I was certain that Reimu would be busy carrying out her class rep duties and talking to teachers despite our break.

The fresh air by the shore was invigorating. A gentle breeze blew across the surface of the lake, coming in from the direction of the far shore. The leaves on the trees and blades of grass swayed back and forth softly, dancing in tune with each passing of the air current. The taste of water was suspended in the breeze; It was that sort of sweet, light taste that was almost imperceptible unless you really gulped down.

I hadn't been to the lake in quite some time. The surrounding park was as clean and well-kept as always. There were a few people sitting by the many benches that faced the water. Mothers with prams for the most part. There was an occasional pensioner thrown into the mix. In the distance, the boat rental shop didn't seem to be very busy. There were only one or two boats out there, with young couples as usual. No one really had the luxury to come out and rent a boat on the weekday. Well, perhaps during lunchtime. And there was still a bit of time before that.

A thin-looking girl leaned up against the railing of a nearby observation deck. She slumped forward, putting all the weight on her outstretched and stiff arms, her red shirt riding up slightly and exposing her lower back. It looked distinctive, a little too out there to be casual clothes. Part of a uniform at a Chinese restaurant? The hem of her knee-length skirt had a floral design in faded gold, I couldn't really recognize any of the flowers at a glance. Her hair was about shoulder-length, wavy and slightly messy strands that all originated from under a small floppy cap atop her head.

The girl was muttering to herself, her lips moving as if she was reciting something memorized. Whatever it was she was saying getting carried away and distorted by the wind. Her expression neutral, if a little distant, I couldn't tell what it might have been she was repeating. She seemed to be about my age and, if I was honest, was kind of cute despite being overly pale.

A loud cry from the opposite direction distracted me momentarily. Applause followed.

I hadn't noticed before, but tucked in between a few trees in a clearing, a cordon of people surrounded some sort of platform. I squinted. It was a makeshift stage with a large curtain erected to one side and planks and cardboard making up the bulk of the surface. A figure moved slowly across it, making noise as it delivered lines. The crowd seemed to react favorably, cheering on the performance.

“Oh, I can't believe she's here again!” a pair of housewives got up from a nearby bench and started to chat excitedly to one another.

“She's so talented,” the other one said, picking up her purse and other belonging in a hurry.

“I know, right? The way she uses those masks is fantastic! They all look so delicate and hand-crafted. Like they were made for a doll rather than a person.”

“She's a pretty cute herself, reminds me of myself at that age,” the other housewife said with a chuckle, passing me by, “it's a bit of a shame she spends most of the play hiding herself. But maybe it's her way of dealing with stage fright. It's rather bold to perform for strangers at a park.”

“I don't know, that friend of hers that goes around announcing the performance does a good job. I think they're just talented youngsters that don't really have any other way to get noticed.”

An impromptu play at the park? The crowd was getting bigger. Curious onlookers closed in to watch as more people like the two housewives left their seats excitedly, apparently having caught previous performances.

[] Talk to the solitary girl.
[] Watch the play.
[x] Watch the play.

I would rather watch the play instead of just talking to her. We can talk to her after she is done. Just kind of curious.
[x] Talk to the solitary girl.

This might be more interesting.
[x] Watch the play.
Oh my, c'est Kokoro? That's interesting.
Talking to Meiling is more likely to be successful though.
[x] Talk to the solitary girl.

I'm not even sure who this is, the curiosity is killing me.
Besides, interaction is better than merely observation, in my books.
[x] Talk to the solitary girl.

Like the other anon said, it's better to speak to someone on a one to one basis than to just be an observer.
File 140703223020.png - (755.13KB, 850x1098, sample_7637f3152365e73c6d317c5df88d3fbf.png) [iqdb]
That's probably Kasen.
[] Watch the play.

Kokoro time
[x] Talk to the solitary girl.
Kokoro's cute but Kasen is always a winner.
[X] Watch the play.

I'd rather see Kokoro than Kasen.
[] Talk to the solitary girl.

not really interested in Kokoro
[X] Watch the play.

More Kokoro is always good.
[] Talk to the solitary girl.

I bet she's trying to summon a demon. Let's go talk to her and meet Koakuma.
Okay, calling it here and writing in a little while. Will try to speed up things a bit if possible today.
File 140709369581.jpg - (775.04KB, 750x1000, ofu-wha.jpg) [iqdb]
The girl didn't seem to be at all interested in the commotion happening at the makeshift stage. She continued to stare ahead lackadaisically, the breeze fluttering gently through her hair. My curiosity got the better of me. I approached her slowly, feeling like it would be wrong for me to suddenly just disrupt her quiet bubble. I mimicked her pose, leaning up against the railing and staring out into the lake.

The water peacefully moved back and forth as tiny waves regularly washed over the flat shoreline. Where I stood, it was possible to wade out several meters before the water reached knee level. Reeds and other aquatic plants grew near the shore, concentrating wherever there were small inlets that further isolated the water. Among the plants there were surface skimmers and the odd amphibian. The waterfowl were nowhere to be seen, probably off on another end of the lake. It was difficult to believe that I was just a few minutes away from very busy streets and high rises, teeming with people and activity.

The day was clear enough to see the far shore. Save for a few large waterfront estates here and there, it was mostly woods and unspoiled by the ever-expanding city. It wouldn't be too strange to find all sorts of animals roaming about there, including foxes and even deer. I wondered if there was someone else on the far shore looking back at the city and thinking like I was.

The girl noticed my presence eventually, her head moving awkwardly to the side as she continued to maintain her forward-leaning pose.

“Hello,” I greeted her, “nice day isn't it?”

“It is,” she said quietly, as if still struggling to collect her thoughts.

“Is everything alright?” I asked, “you seemed to be really lost in thought there.”

“I... wasn't really thinking,” she said, “I can't remember.”

I chuckled. “Oh, that's fine, I space out all the time.” Usually during classes. “It's easy to lose oneself when looking at something this peaceful,” I told her with a smile. Now that I was able to take a a closer look, I could appreciate her fine features. Her nose was thin and a little bit pointy at the tip, almost aquiline in shape. Her skin was almost impossibly pale, like there was no blood in her veins. It made her thin lips seem all the more vibrant and red by contrast. There was something almost distinguished about her appearance but it was muted by the slightly unkempt hair and her incredible pallor. It wasn't that she looked sickly or weak – just oddly devoid of life. I couldn't quite make sense of it.

“Peaceful... yes, I suppose it is peaceful,” she said as she tried to straighten herself up. What should have been a simple matter of standing straight and letting go of the railing proved to be difficult for her. Her arms moved stiffly and her joints barely bent. The end result was it looked like she was barely in control of her own body.

“Are you alright?” I ventured to help her our, helping her rise up by lifting up her shoulders gently. For all that I knew she was liable to be in pain and thus couldn't move quickly.

“I'm alright,” she replied. “I had an accident and since then it's sometimes hard to move my arms and legs.” Her arms came to a rest awkwardly at her sides as she stood upright. It didn't look like she was comfortable at all and I couldn't imagine that walking would prove to be any easier for her.

“Oh, do you need help to go somewhere?”

“It'll pass in a bit,” she said without emotion. “It's just some sort of inflammation of my joints I'm told. If I relax it'll get better for a while.”

“You're told?” I asked, worried. She might have been used to it, but it was unseemly to see her try to move. “You're not sure what you have?”

“I forgot what it was exactly,” she said with a carefree smile. Her off-blue eyes showed some light in them but it was both faint and distant. Her complexion completely betrayed her agreeable expression. “I lost my memories in the accident and since then it's hard to remember stuff sometimes.”

“Oh,” I could scarcely suppress the surprise in my voice. I'd never met an amnesiac before. Let alone one who was alone in a park. “What are you doing here?” I asked, “don't tell me you're lost.”

“No, nothing like that,” the girl smiled. But there was a pause as she seemed to struggle to form a proper answer. “I was sent on an errand and I guess I decided to take a break. I thought that I saw something familiar but I suppose that I didn't in the end.”

“My name is Arc, by the way,” I told her.

'I'll try to remember that,” she said with a mildly playful but, ultimately, self-effacing smile. “I'm Miyako... um, Yoshika,” Yoshika said but I wasn't sure if the gap was her attempt to humor or if it really was hard for her to remember her own name. Whatever the intended effect, I felt worried for her.

[] Offer to help her out with her chores.
[] Invite her to have some tea somewhere and relax for a while.
[X] Offer to help her out with her chores.

Oh, that was Yoshika? Well, alright, that's nice too.
[x] Offer to help her out with her chores.

What else. Be a gentleman and help her out here.
[X] Offer to help her out with her chores.
I wonder what Seiga is gonna be like.
[x] Offer to help her out with her chores.

It'd likely be an amusing thing in itself.
[x] Invite her to have some tea somewhere and relax for a while.

Relax with the Zombie moe~
[x] Invite her to have some tea somewhere and relax for a while

You know what? I want to see more Yoshika. It'd be easier to get to know her with this option. The other doesn't seem like fun.

I feel like this option is a bit more like the Okuu choice a while back. If we had chosen to see her more outside of school, things might have turned out differently.
[x] Invite her to have some tea somewhere and relax for a while.

Yeah, this would probably have us stick in her mind more.

Now that I'm thinking about it, if we want her to remember us in the first place, we need to go beyond what strangers would do for her.
[X] Invite her to have some tea somewhere and relax for a while.

Might as well.
She might get in trouble or end up forgetting about her chores leading to the first.

I think helping her would make her remember us more than some relaxing.

But disabled people get offered help all the time. To invite them for tea is more of a rarity.
If her chores were so important, she wouldn't be spacing out at the lake.
“Come on,” I urged her to come with me. Just standing around seemed really uncomfortable for her. I didn't want her to tire herself out doing nothing. Besides which, the day was too nice to stand around doing nothing. Sitting was preferable.

“Where are we going?” she asked, not really showing surprise nor resistance at my sudden suggestion. Yoshika gingerly took a step, shifting her weight reluctantly onto one foot before she took another step. It was a jerky motion, almost comically so.

I kept within arm's reach just in case she stumbled. Despite that first uncertain step, she was able to keep her balance and took another stiff step and then another. It was a peculiar gait, with her legs dragging behind her forward momentum but it seemed to work for her.

“Let's sit down and have tea,” I told her.

“Oh, alright,” she said. The awkward shuffle she did became a more normal walk as she picked up the pace. I led the way but was mindful of keeping close in case something went wrong with her. “Say, are you trying to romance me?”

“What makes you ask that?” her question caught me by surprise. It was pretty blunt.

“I've been told that I'm really cute and special a lot,” she said, sounding nonchalant about it. Perhaps more accurately put, it seemed like she meant it as an off-the-cuff absentminded remark. “Guys really like cute girls, right?”

“They tend to, yeah,” I said with a chuckle. “Sounds like you're really popular there. If a lot of people say that to you, that is.”

“It's...” she paused and furrowed her brow. “No, it's not a lot of people,” she stated. “Just really the one person. But she's usually the only one to talk to me.”

“Ah, I think I understand,” I said. Her frames of references were a little skewed if her memory was incomplete. What one person said to her probably weighed a lot on her mind. She was missing an entire lifetime's worth of memories, after all. “You are cute,” I told her, “but it's not just because of that that I'm inviting you for tea. I want you to relax a little so your joints get better.”

“Oh, thank you,” she accepted my reasoning without further comment.

There was a small parkside cafe a little ways from where we were. Just up a gentle hillock near the road. It was the kind of place that would fill up on the weekends or even the weekday afternoons, after work hours. There was barely anyone there. And so we were easily able to get a small table on the patio which overlooked the lake. A bored-looking waitress brought us menus and recommended their specialty.

I ordered an almost boring choice of green tea. Yoshika couldn't seem to decide, eyeing every item on the menu with some scrutiny. I didn't want to hurry her but she seemed genuinely helpless. So I prodded and pushed her to get whatever she liked. That meant a slice of cake along with her tea.

“You're certainly enjoying yourself,” I said as I watched her devour the slice of cake in no time flat. It was the most active that I had seen her behave yet. “We can order another if you like,” I tried to catch the attention of the waitress.

“I suppose I forgot how hungry I was,” she said quietly, staring at the completely empty plate hungrily. An image of her trying to eat the plate flashed through my mind.

“I guess it's close enough to lunchtime now, if you'd like to get something more substantial.”

“That might be nice...” she said.

Her superficial lack of liveliness belied her capacity for food. In the end she ate not only another slice of cake but a pair of sandwiches. She may have been capable of more but seemed mindful of me and my limits. Not that I really minded watching her eat. Subtle hints of color returned to her face as she stuffed herself and her body moved faster and without hesitation. By the time she had her third, and final, slice of cake she looked like an entirely different person.

“Everything was really good,” she told the waitress with a smile. The waitress smiled politely but looked flabbergasted. It wasn't every day she saw a girl eat that much, I imagined. She cleared the empty plates with good humor. “It was really nice of you to invite me,” she directed at me. “I... hope I haven't inconvenienced you, I don't really have that much money on me.”

“It's fine,” I told her. “I'm just glad to see that you're feeling better.”

“Oh, I guess I am,” she moved her neck from side to side. “You're a really nice guy... uh... Arc,” she said with a sheepish smile. “I was told that strangers are scary and I should avoid talking to them,” she said as if she just remembered it.

“I don't think we're strangers anymore now that we've had tea together.”

“I guess you're right,” she giggled. The color in her cheek game me a warm feeling. “It's nice to not be a stranger.”

The waitress brought me the bill. So much for having a vast cash reserve. I didn't really mind spending the money. As a bishoujo game had taught me long ago: you can't put a price on a girl's smile. Besides, there was still some left for any sort of emergency situation.

“I don't really know how to repay your kindness,” Yoshika said quietly. “If there's anything I can do for you, just let me know. I'm afraid that I'm not very imaginative when it comes to this sort of thing.”

[] I did have a pair of movie tickets we could put to good use....
[] She can keep thinking about it until she comes up with something.
[x] I did have a pair of movie tickets we could put to good use....

Might as well. No grand scheme here.
[] She can keep thinking about it until she comes up with something.

No. Not a good idea to waste the tickets on someone we just met.

They are perfect date material to invest in the other girls.
[X] I did have a pair of movie tickets we could put to good use....

Can't think of anything else. And it might be more fun for her.
[X] She can keep thinking about it until she comes up with something.

I'm with you, but for different reasons. She wants to repay us, so let her decide how she want to do it.
[] I did have a pair of movie tickets we could put to good use....

at this rate they'll never be used
Her blue eyes stared unblinkingly at the tickets in my hand. It was the same distant look she had when I saw her staring out into the lake. She didn't seem to understand what I was asking.

I explained again, trying not to sound like I was talking down to her, “they're for the movies. We can get in to any function that we like. We can watch something together if you like. You can even pick the movie.”

“...” she continued to stare at them without saying anything.

“Not a movie fan?” I asked with a nervous smile. I couldn't begin to guess what she was thinking, if she was thinking. Though her flesh had gotten a little color and warmth to them, Yoshika was still more or less unreadable. “Well, I guess it was dumb of me to ask,” I said with a sigh. I began to pocket the tickets.

“Ah...” she finally made a noise. “This is a date, isn't it?” she asked.


“I remembered doing something like this once before. I think...” she paused, “I think I was really happy at that time too. For some reason it makes my chest feel tight and I don't know why. It feels like it could hurt a little.”

“Sorry, I didn't mean to upset you,” I said. I hadn't counted on dredging up some unspecified memory of hers.

Yoshika shook her head. “No,” she said, “it's not an unpleasant feeling. It's... it's like a good kind of pain if that makes sense?” Uncertainty was plainly visible on her face and body language. She crossed her arms a little, as if to hug herself but then stopped and looked straight into my eyes. “I think I'd be really happy to go,” she nodded with a smile.

“Ok then, it's settled,” I replied with a nod. “It's a ten minute walk from here I think.”

“Oh,” she paused and raised an eyebrow. Something made a muffled buzz. Then she reached into a pocket. She clutched a flip phone. “A message...” she noted before flipping the phone open. “Ah...”

“Is everything alright?” I said to break an uncomfortable silence.

“I can't go to the movies right now,” Yoshika stated quietly. “I hope that's alright. I need to get going. I forgot I had to be back quickly.”

“That's alright with me,” I said, feeling a tiny bit disappointed. Things were going so well too.

“If it's alright with you, I'd like to do it some other time. I know it probably sounds a bit weird but I think it would be good for me to go.”

I was okay with that. We exchanged numbers. Unsurprisingly she didn't know her own number and had to look it up on her phone's memory. I watched her leave and waved her goodbye. She waved back, hurrying on to wherever she needed to be. Save for a slight limp in her right leg, she looked as healthy as any other girl around. No doubt that she was a little strange but there was something endearing about her behavior too. Maybe that was just me being happy about actually getting an official date set up for once.

There's nothing else interesting going on by the lake. The improvised stage was gone by the time I returned to where I was and the crowd had dispersed. I took a casual stroll to pass the time. A office workers appeared at around lunchtime. Some bought food from nearby carts while others ate packed lunches. Lucky them, their offices must have been right next to the lake.

...I was boring myself again. That was troublesome. I liked spacing out on the rooftop but having too much free time was throwing me off my game.

[] Clearly I needed to visit the Hakurei shrine to get a blessing.
[] Since I was in town it would be a waste not to see Yuuka and maybe grab lunch.
[X] Clearly I needed to visit the Hakurei shrine to get a blessing.

That scene was pretty endearing, wasn't it? Makes me feel a little fluffy actually.

Anyways, I think shrine maiden is a go. Class rep, after all.
[x] Since I was in town it would be a waste not to see Yuuka and maybe grab lunch.

Does Yuuka know that Marisa is more or less fine now? We should make sure she knows so she wont worry.
[x] Since I was in town it would be a waste not to see Yuuka and maybe grab lunch.

Been a while since we've seen her, and more Yuuka is always welcome.
[x] Clearly I needed to visit the Hakurei shrine to get a blessing.

Zombie moe indeed...
And now is the perfect chance to break the news to the class rep that we'll be in her care as vice-prez from now on. If she doesn't already know, anyway.
[x] Clearly I needed to visit the Hakurei shrine to get a blessing.

Sorry Yuuka but Reimu needs a blessing from us.
[X] Clearly I needed to visit the Hakurei shrine to get a blessing.

Sorry Yuuka, it's time to annoy I mean visit Reimu.
even though she's had more screen time than Yuuka as of late? At this rate we'll have to tall this story theater of Reimu and the writer will take off his mask to reveal YAF who'd say "Didn't I tell you it'd be a Reimu route?"
[X] Since I was in town it would be a waste not to see Yuuka and maybe grab lunch.

Haven't seen her in a while after all. Also guys, remember this?

>“I promise that I'll wear something extra nice just for you if you manage to stay out of trouble.”

>“I'm definitely going to hold you to it,” I warned her.
[X] Since I was in town it would be a waste not to see Yuuka and maybe grab lunch.

I don't understand. Why go for Reimu now when we had the choice to study with her and our lovely wing(wo)man before? What's the point of building any sort relationship with her now outside of school when we've brushed her aside time and time again? The best we can do is prove our dependability. That is the only way forward with her.

Admittedly, I would vote for any option with Yuuka potential. So take all that with a grain of salt.
[x] Since I was in town it would be a waste not to see Yuuka and maybe grab lunch.

I want to let Yuuka know that Marisa is fine. Plus see if Arc can get more brownie points with her. Or at least find out where she learned her lock picking.
The cafe was still struggling to deal with the lunchtime crowd when I got there. Business was good but that meant that I had to wait until I was seated. Not a big deal. Yuuka was nowhere to be seen either, probably too busy working in the kitchen to interact with customers. A few people eventually left and I was seated.

I ordered up a sandwich, not really too confident that I could afford much else. The waitress actually bothered to write the order down, only probably because her attention was so divided between all the tables. “Make sure you tell Yuuka to make it with plenty of love,” I added, a little smugly. “I'd love to talk to her when things quiet down a little.” The waitress shrugged as if to say 'it's your funeral pal' but maintained the plastic smile that was expected of serving staff.

“Here you are, with love,” she delivered my sandwich with a roll of her eyes. It looked like a regular sandwich. Not that I expected any different. And yet, I was strangely disappointed.

Well, it tasted alright.

After I was done I wasted time, looking at other customers and the plants. The place cleared out quickly. Everyone rushed back to work. Only a couple of older-looking women sat in a corner booth, leisurely drinking their tea.

“Enjoy your meal?”

“I couldn't really taste the love,” I complained.

“How unfortunate,” Yuuka said, taking a seat opposite me. She wore a cooking apron marked with grease spots and food stains, casually untied and hanging loosely off her neck. “I made sure to really pour my heart into it.”

“I thought you'd heart would taste sweeter. You know - kind heart, gentle disposition and good looks. That's what comes to mind when I think of you.”

“Looks can be deceiving,” she said with a sly smile, “sometimes the prettiest flower has the biggest thorns. You'll get pricked and hurt if you don't handle them with care.”

“I'll be more mindful in the future,” I said with a shake of my head. “At least the food wasn't bitter,” I joked.

“Fancy that,” she said with a playful wink. “On another note, you're not so bad yourself apparently.”

“Oh? Your praise is like honeyed bliss to my ears,” I chuckled.

“It was my waitress who said as much when she described the arrogant loser that asked for me to add love, so there's that,” she smiled as her eyes laughed at me. I suppose that I walked right into that one.

I sighed.

“So what's up?” I changed the direction of the conversation. “I haven't seen you in a while.”

“Work mostly,” she said. “Entering numbers and figures into ledgers and calculating where to invest is a full-time job. Besides which training and supervising staff is always a hassle. Having your best waitress leave because she eloped one day is a major headache.”

“Love is great,” I said with a shrug.

“Indeed,” she sighed. “at least your tale of love and redemption worked out.”

“Eh? You mean Marisa?”

“I sure don't mean us,” Yuuka said. She pulled the apron over her head and folded it up before placing it on the empty seat next to her. A red v-necked blouse, nice. The fabric was light and airy and so whenever she moved her head, it would flutter slightly, showing off larger amounts of skin.

“I guess she's been here then,” I concluded. “Yeah, I'm sure she probably told you what's happened.”

“In a manner of speaking,” she didn't offer any more details. Instead she reached out across the table and smacked me hard on the shoulder. It made a lot of noise but didn't hurt at all. “You should have told me after you found her,” Yuuka said dryly. “It was only common courtesy.”

“Sorry,” I apologized, “my mind was elsewhere. I don't have a good excuse.”

“All's well that ends well,” she said with a shrug. “I suppose we're fortunate that things worked out.”

[] Remind her that she promised something extra nice.
[] Don't bring up the subject.
[x] Remind her that she promised something extra nice.

Come on it is jsut like Arc to mention this.
[x] Remind her that she promised something extra nice.

We DID warn her.
[x] Remind her that she promised something extra nice.
[x] Remind her that she promised something extra nice.

I'm tempted to just let it drop cause it might be a bit scummy but a chance like this might never happen again.
[X] Don't bring up the subject.

I'm only voting for this so Teruyo doesen't accuse us of bandwagoning again. I really want the other option to win. Maybe some other anons can vote for this and come up with some bullshit reasons so Teruyo doesen't get suspicious.
We never bothered going into the city or such after the conclusion of that arc, people too busy being focused on kaguya or Reimu. But yeah he never gave a specific option. still one of us should have realized this sooner and tried to effect such a thing, though we're ultimately at Teruyo's mercy with votes.

[X] Don't bring up the subject.

I just have doubts about bringing it up now.
What the hell, guys? It's not like she'll bite his head off over it.

If you were serious about wanting the other option to win, now is a good time to switch your vote.
Instead of writing that you could have spent like a few minutes to come up with some sort of logic instead of trying to piss people off here. The word counterproductive comes to mind.
[x] Remind her that she promised something extra nice.

Yuuka can be such a tease sometimes.
[x] Remind her that she promised something extra nice.

Either she'll actually do it or she'll tease Arc about it. Win-win.
[X] Don't bring up the subject.

He did not tell her anything of the matter even a week after it was solved. I think her not fulfilling that promise is just karma.
“You know,” I told her, “I managed to do everything without getting into too much trouble. No mafia-types or thugs knifed me or tried to steal my internal organs.”

“Good for you,” she said, probably playing dumb.

“Not impressed?”

“I think most people manage to do that every day,” Yuuka said with a patronizing smile. She was having none of my boastful reminder.”

“Right but most people aren't promised something extra nice by good-looking cafe owners if they manage to stay out of trouble and in one piece.”

“That's true,” she conceded with an impish smile. That was a definite sign that I was in trouble. Somehow I had failed to notice that she was the one that was dictating the pace of the conversation until then. “So, what did you have in mind?”

“Oh, I don't know... it's really your wardrobe and I don't know what sort of things you might have lying around.”

“Then let me say that this blouse is that little something extra nice,” she said, leaning forward. Was she even wearing a bra? I couldn't tell due to the nature of the silky fabric. Her bosom was squished together as she placed an elbow on the table and her hand on her chin.

“While nice, I don't think this is what either of us meant,” I complained, my eyes still glued to the ample area exposed by the sharp cut.

“It's all that you're going to get,” Yuuka said softly, “you haven't been a very good boy. And while I do like that you're assertive as always, mentioning a reward in almost the same breath as apologizing for neglecting to inform me of something important is a little too much. It both rash and shameless. You've still got a lot to learn about women.”

“I'd appreciate if you taught me more,” I doubled down, deciding that apologizing again wasn't going to get me anywhere.

“Hmm...” Yuuka leaned back, ridding me of the heart-throbbing view. “You're an idiot,” she concluded with a sigh.

“Have I made you angry?” I couldn't help but ask. It was hard to get a read on what was going through her mind.

“Only just a little,” she said with a slight smile. There was a hint of viciousness in her eyes as she explained, “If I were truly upset, trust me, you would know it. And you wouldn't be sitting across from me with a stupid little smile on your lips.”

“Now you're just baiting me to needle you some more,” I said, my curiosity piqued. The cliched line of 'you're beautiful when you're mad' had crossed my mind already. Part of me wanted a chance to use it, no matter the actual consequences.

“Do so at your own peril,” she said with ambivalence, her eyes now wandering towards the door. I really couldn't tell how serious she was though I did feel something akin to a shiver in my lower back At any rate, I felt that events were steering our little alone time towards an end.

“Fancy meeting you here,” Marisa said with a widening grin, “I would have bet anything that you were going to remain lost in your bedroom for the rest of the week. Hey guys,” she turned to the group of girls that had come in with her, “this is beginning to look a lot less like coincidence now.”

“No doubt it's fate,” Alice said with blatant sarcasm. She raised an eyebrow skeptically at the suggestion but greeted me with a slight nod all the same. The other girls in the group weren't really interested in me. They were more than satisfied talking among themselves for the most part. Save for one or two familiar faces that greeted me silently as our eyes met.

“Please have a seat anywhere,” Yuuka switched back to entrepreneur mode, getting up from the seat and addressing the group. Our conversation was placed on hold.

“Girl's day out?” I asked Marisa, standing up as well. The place was becoming livelier as classmates shuffled around and put a few tables together. It was a pretty big group of a dozen or so.

“Nah,” she replied, “I went out shopping with Alice and we started running into them here and there. Before long we were a big group. So we decided to have sweets and talk about girl stuff. Y'know,” she said with a wry smile, “gossip about our classmates, talk about clothes and the boys we like.”

“I guess I wouldn't be very welcome then,” I said with a sigh. Regardless of any reputation I might have had, I was a guy. That alone made me an unwelcome presence.

“Mmm, sorry,” Marisa said with a quick look around. They were already ordering things off the menu and asking a million and one questions about how many calories everything had.

“I'll be taking my leave then,” I sighed again.

“See you at home,” she said apologetically. I looked over at the girls and found that they were all very engrossed in their business. Not even Tenshi was very interested in me at the moment.

I left the cafe and started to walk around a little aimlessly. I sort of wanted to say something to Patchy and the others but I knew better than to force myself into their conversation.

[] Wait until it's dark and take in some of the nightlife
[] Stop spending money and go home.
[X] Wait until it's dark and take in some of the nightlife.

Might as well take a night stroll through the town.
[x] Wait until it's dark and take in some of the nightlife

Clearly it is time to spend more time in the City. Find more touhous in the heat of the night.
[x] Stop spending money and go home.

He's down to his emergency funds. We've done enough for today.
[x] Stop spending money and go home.

I'd really like to win a vote in this thread. Please?
[x] Wait until it's dark and take in some of the nightlife

Time to go to a certain bar and meet a certain someone~
[X] Wait until it's dark and take in some of the nightlife

Don't have to spend money to enjoy the late hours. If all else fails, just walking around taking it all in might do some good.
If you want to win, you'll have to fight for it.

Start with the weakest link: >>59935
Go for his knees.
[X] Wait until it's dark and take in some of the nightlife

Aiming for Yukari.

Also, did we ever have an option to go talk to Yuuka before this point?
[x] Stop spending money and go home.

I'm pretty sure that Arc's mentioned that he's down to emergency funds now. Wouldn't you rather spend those precious funds on a girl instead of yourself?
[x] Stop spending money and go home.

Gotta get more cash first.
[X] Wait until it's dark and take in some of the nightlife

Aw yes. The last time Arc went out in the city like this, we had pretty good results.

Meeting Yukari, finding Tenshi...and I'm pretty sure we met either Komachi or Koakuma once.

But anon, Arc will most definetly spend the money on a girl if he goes out at night. Or rather, a woman, but with a chance of a girl too.


It's not about money, it's about meeting a touhou. Opportunity is worth any amount of cash, and wasting this opportunity is a bad move. Even with just less money, there still are fun things to do and fun people to meet.
New thread >>59947

Yes. Of going into the city.
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