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File 140844983956.jpg - (557.96KB, 788x1000, hammer is a treasure.jpg) [iqdb]
The boldness and beauty of youth.

Previous thread >>59459
Character blurbs: www.touhou-project.com/others/theater


The night life in a city usually peaked the closer it was to the weekend. In the middle of the week only the more hardcore pleasure-seekers and miscreants stayed out late and partied. I was lucky to count myself among their number. I had no problem waiting until it got dark and the seedy underbelly of the city really came to life. I didn't run with too excessive a crowd so I was sure that the little money I had would more than cover the price of admission for a night of fun.

I alternated between sitting at a park bench and walking around aimlessly, observing the transition from day to night. Small businesses closed first. Then came the salarymen in a zombie-like stream from their offices to the train station. Then people like me started appearing. People looking for a good time, walking with a special someone or looking for that special someone – sometimes willing to buy their company for a little while. In the side streets and back alleys, tough-looking types would also appear. It was best to steer clear from them as they often passed the time in cruel and unusual ways.

“Do you want to go there tonight?” I overheard a conversation between two university-aged guys wearing flashy clothes and way too much cologne. I was walking just behind them, trying to make up my mind on where to go.

“You mean that new nightclub? Dunno, it might be a bit too... uh, libertine for my tastes. I heard that a lot of weird stuff happens in the VIP room.”

“Don't be an idiot,” the first said with a coarse laugh, “that's just good marketing on their behalf. They want people to spend a lot so they make a buttload of cash. It's just a normal club.”

“Still, I heard that you can't even order your own trick, they pick for you.”

“Well, the club's name is Desires,” the first guy laughed again, “I think it's kind of cool that they guess what you really want really deep down and give it to you. In fact, when go in they ask you a few questions and look you over. They'll let you into the VIP room for free if they find you interesting. Doesn't that sound mysterious and cool? It's like destiny, you know. I was told that there's like ten of them in total. I wonder what mine really are.”

“Yeah, I can see the appeal,” the second relented. “Getting told about your heart's desire is neat. Still, I guess it comes down to if there are any cute girls there.”

“Of course they are. Total babesville,” the first assured him. “It's owned by a chick, you know. And a lot of the DJs are women. It's really trendy right now.”

Now there was an idea. I hadn't been there either. I thanked the two of them silently and walked slowly towards where the club was likely at. They all tended to be concentrated between a few key streets. Suika wasn't really into that sort of scene so I had to learn about that sort of stuff by myself. She could be relied on to go drinking and eating but not much else. I was on my own when it came to dancing and music.

Oh, I spotted a familiar face by another club. She went into the alley, towards the service entrance. It looked like she was alone, her nagging friend nowhere to be seen. It'd been a while and, though she caused me trouble last time we met, she owed me one for that. She explicitly said she'd be good for the debt. I tried to remember her name. Normally forgetting the name of a buxom and friendly redhead was unimaginable for me but a lot had happened since I last saw her.

She had already disappeared into a door when I reached the alley. I looked at the name of the club, “Cloud 9”. I'd been there before. Did she work there? She had been dressed like an office lady, with a conservative skirt and a modest vest and blouse. Didn't strike me as logical as she'd probably get fired for moonlighting. Not to mention, it was more of a gentleman's club than anything. Not exactly a reputable place for a single lady to be at. It was the kind of place where bored men looked for drinks and different kinds of companionship. Last time I'd been there I ended up spending most of my money just for the most basic of service. In other words, just a drink and a smile.

Oh, that's right. Komachi and Shiki. I managed to remember after all.

[] Find out my desires at the new nightclub.
[] Go in and look for Komachi.
[X] Find out my desires at the new nightclub.

This sounds like fun. I can only imagine what Arc's desires are like.
[x] Go in and look for Komachi.

>hammer is a treasure
[X] Find out my desires at the new nightclub.

As much as I dislike TD and want to see Eiki not being the law, the way it has been described makes this new place too attractive to me. If Arc gets in the VIP room for free...imagine all the possibilities!
[X] Find out my desires at the new nightclub.

Tough choice, this may be the last we see of Komachi, but I think I'm even more interested in this club.

What is thy desire, anon?
[x] Go in and look for Komachi.

>hammer is a treasure
[x] Go in and look for Komachi.

Komachi hasn't been in much and what better than a shapely redhead to spend time with than an unknown. Mystery doors are usually smuck bait.
Komachi, duh. Last thing we need is more characters clogging things up.
[x] Go in and look for Komachi.

I am curious about her or rather I would like to see more of her here.

We could just drop Komachi and Eiki from the story then.

We could just drop Komachi and Eiki from the story then.
[X] Find out my desires at the new nightclub.

I already know my desire! It's Tenshi x Big Sis x Alice x Orin x Tewi x Yukari x Okuu x Patchouli X Koakuma x Arc tensome
You won't find it there.
[x] Go in and look for Komachi.

I don't really care for this vote, so I'm supporting a friend instead.
[] Find out my desires at the new nightclub.

Do want Miko
Why don't I remember Komachi in this story? Did she ever tell us her name?
Arc ran into her under the alias of Angel, while the first impression was rather neutral, with this latest revelation Arc might be able to make progress.
But she never told him her name. She isn't under the character blurbs either.
File 140857141110.png - (126.70KB, 555x695, cd9d58dccfc331a757b4b50f4d527d75.png) [iqdb]
I just want to say that if we miss out on Futo or Miko for Komachi and Shikieki, I will never forgive you anon.
Meh, why not.

[] Find out my desires at the new nightclub.
I'm somewhat tempted to return the sentiment if we end up not getting any more chances with Komachi, especially since writing about TD is the in thing these days.
[x] Go in and look for Komachi.

I want to see what Komachi is doing
File 140863526590.jpg - (199.29KB, 500x665, dat feel.jpg) [iqdb]

Sorry but only characters with actual names get to have fun.

I didn't really want this choice to come to a coinflip, but I guess it will if there's nothing else in the next hour or two.
[X] Find out my desires at the new nightclub.

Alright. Sure. Why not. Hope I'm not too late.
[X] Find out my desires at the new nightclub.

I've been debating which I want to see more, Komachi/Eiki or the TD crew. I want both, but I want to see what Miko is like in this story more, were I to be honest with myself.
Then let's make a pact to pursue Komachi next time. She never gets any meaningful attention ever.
too bad something else shiny will come up and people go for that. Just look what happened here. Or Some other character that tends to have tons of screen time as it is. Between anon's ADHD, overfocus and the capricious of the writer, nothing is certain.

In contrast it's semi-trendy to do newer charactes (particualrly the super popular ones.

In contrast? Koamchi doesnt' get much chances and /border/ is more like /PC-98 BS and hipsterass decon stories/



I'm guessing "deconstruction". Probably referring to Another Incursion.
There was 1-2 other such stories but point is it's been a while since it had a true /border/ story (even the Yakumos who get most of the attention in the past)
Sounds like I ought to drop this story and do something about intrigue, passion and betrayal on /border/. Without any recollection of his past, a man wakes up stuck in the netherworld with only a small charm on his wrist as a clue to his identity. Confused by the undecaying nature of his surroundings and, accosted by strange spirits, he stumbles upon a young woman stealing away from her chores to practice her swordsmanship. An almost irresistable attraction wells up in his heart nearly as soon as he lays eyes upon her. He tries to talk to her but soon finds himself interrupted by the arrival of the girl's mistress. The Yakumos have come to visit and Youmu is needed to help entertain them. With a whimsical little laugh, the mistress invites the man to come along as well. It is there that he once again is taken in instantaneously by the appearance of a many-tailed girl and attendant of the equally mercurial Yukari. His heart torn between the cute and hard-working Youmu and the approachable and fluffy Ran, he is unwittingly a pawn in a cynical high-stakes game between Yukari and Yuyuko. And what of those recurring dreams he has of a gilded hall? The two figures who watch him in his dreams are always so eerily silent.

No one would read this and it'd probably be tedious to write. I'd rather do something like Youmu going around Gensokyo, trying to solve problems with her sword first to the annoyance to the other touhous involved.

I'll try to be a bit better about updating but no promises. Will depend on a bunch of factors like votes, motivation and time.
I say fund it. Who else would read the shit out of a proper Youmu story in /border/?
People would read it, sounds like a decent concept and it'll seem much better to the people starving for classic /border/ stories.

Many other people.
As with all new and trendy places, there was a long line of exited would-be patrons waiting by the entrance. A bouncer kept them waiting, occasionally letting in a group of girls or a good-looking guy wearing expensive clothes. Some were turned away outright and their place in line forfeited. It wasn't a very fair system but it was one that was pretty much universal and as old as time. Truthfully, I probably didn't have that great of a chance to get in. I wasn't really dressed for the occasion.

“Been waiting long?” A girl appeared and asked just a few moments after I queued up. She looked at me with intensely-green eyes that made it hard away to look away or ignore her. Not waiting for me to answer, she spoke again, “I hate how this line of business works. It's so friggin' stupid. The club probably isn't even full.”

“Just the way it is, can't be helped,” I said with a shrug. Unlike most of the other girls in line, she seemed to be absolutely conservative in appearance. At least by comparison. If she was wearing makeup, it was subtle and understated. Her lips were a pale, natural color, her cheekbones high but not overly pointy and her ears small and almost entirely hidden away by slightly messy strands of hair that dangled down to her neck and whose ends were biased slightly towards her gently-shaped chin. The deep green of her eyes kept my attention for the most part. They were a few shades lighter than the dark and long dress she wore, plain and mostly unadorned when compared to the miniskirts and lively colors worn by the other girls in line.

“Are you a regular?” she asked, ignoring my previous reply with seeming indifference.

“First time,” I said. “How about you?” I didn't take her the type to go out clubbing, based on her attire and attitude.

“Then you haven't been analyzed yet,” she said, ignoring my question. And, as if talking to herself, she added, “...not quite rakish but not destitute either. Might do.”

“Uh, pardon?”

“Come with me,” she said with a slight smile. She cut the line entirely, walking up to the bouncer as if it was no big deal. Turned out it wasn't. “He's with me,” she told him while pointing at me. The bouncer shrugged and let her pass. I could feel the eyes of everyone else who was waiting on me; They were wondering who she was and why we were skipping ahead. Well, I wasn't about to dally. I followed the girl in, trying to figure out what was going on.

The muffled sound of electronic music came from the other side of a wide, heavily looking set of double doors. A large screen hung off one of the walls with a large button next to it and a thin slot under it. “Press me and all will be revealed,” a small sign said just next to the button. Right next to the entrance there was a plain-looking door, as if hidden away. The girl in green stood in front of it.

“You work here?” I asked.

“Come on,” she opened the door. It was labeled “Private”. It led to a drab grey hallway. And that led to a few doors. She opened one that was a small office. There was a messy desk full of folders and papers, a chair, a couch and not much else. “Sit, I'll be right back.”

“Wait up,” I said, “what's going on? I haven't even gotten your name yet.”

“Doesn't really matter,” she said with an impatient twitch of her nose. “I want to introduce you to someone, that's all.”

“...I think I'm just going to leave if I can't get into the club proper. I came here because of all of the hype.”

“Ugh, it's always an idiot,” she clearly didn't sugar-coat her thoughts. “Play your cards right and you'll see all that the club has to offer soon enough.” She turned to leave.


“Damn!” the girl exclaimed, retreating back into the room from the corridor. “Listen,” she looked at me with a serious look, “I'm going to need you to play along for a little while.”


“So that's where you are!” A girl with a smug little smile appeared at the door. “This is no time to be slacking off, we're really busy tonight.”

“No more than usual,” the girl in green said curtly, “go bother someone else.”

The newcomer noticed my presence. With clear surprise in her voice, she stated, “Is this then the fabled lover that prompted the earlier gasconade? He's cuter than I thought you would be able to manage. Of course, I do not know if he would be worthy of my affection. But I have high standards.”

The girl in green twitched noticeably. “Shut the hell up, Futo. You may talk like a cute little princess but any man that approaches you is put off by your empty head and cruel intentions. You'd never be as hot and heavy with someone like I am with him!”

“Hot and heavy?” Futo laughed, “I'd have to see it to believe it! If I didn't know any better I'd say this is simply some poor fool whom you've purloined.”

The girl in green turned to me, “I'll prove it right now!” As her eyes met mine, I saw a mixture of determination and supplication. She grabbed me violently and placed one of my hands on her chest. I'd normally be grinning like a fool with a development like that and enjoying the squishy, fleshy feeling but I had no time to react as she played around with me harder. She knocked me down into the couch and loomed over me, hovering with her face drawing ever closer to mine.

“Hmm... it seems like you're a bit hesitant to kiss,” Futo said wit ha laugh. With clear sarcasm she added, “sure seems like you two are close.”

Was she trying to get a final confirmation that I was ok with playing along? Her eyes stared intently into mine and I could almost taste the anxiety radiating from her.

[] Tell Futo that she's right.
[] Help her prove Futo wrong.
[x] Tell Futo that she's right.

We pass up a chance for Komachi development for this? Told ya mystery door options are smuck baits
[X] Help her prove Futo wrong.

Time to listen to my dick for a change. Might be amusing.
I realize Futo was my target here, but I can't help but be put off by her attitude.

We've stumbled into the crossfire between these two. I usually like to avoid these situations, but we're here for a reason. I'm pretty sure choosing to play along with Soga will guarantee that Arc will have his desires read. Going for Futo might bypass that entirely, but we will at least get to choose her directly since previous votes did mention her.

Given all this, I think I might wait to vote until I see other comments. My personal goal is Futo or Miko. We've only scratched the surface of Futo's characterization, I don't want to lay down judgement just yet.
[X] Help her prove Futo wrong.

I don't think I've seen Tojiko in any meaningful role on this site yet.
[] Tell Futo that she's right.

I have no idea what to vote for. Hopefully this will grant access to the cool areas of the club.
[X] Help her prove Futo wrong.

Different from what I expected, but interesting nonetheless.
[x] Help her prove Futo wrong.

After reading this 4 separate times, I have to with the green haired girl. Basic instinct.

Sorry Futo, maybe next time.
[X] Help her prove Futo wrong.

I'm not 100% certain what exactly this will lead to, not gonna lie.
[x] Tell Futo that she's right.

Pretty unsure about this vote. I just hope I do the right thing.
[X] Help her prove Futo wrong.

Tojiko's pretty rare to see.
[x] Help her prove Futo wrong.

Just because I want to see where this option goes.
I was sure that there was something to be said about me and a possibly lack of dignity.

However awkward it may have been at the beginning, neither of us were about to complain about how things turned out. We were as thick as thieves, in a manner of speaking. It wasn't really fair to consider a girl whom I had an arm wrapped around and whose tongue was jammed down my throat a stranger. It got hard to breath after a while but I felt at that moment that oxygen was highly overrated. I was sure that she felt the same. And I wasn't encountering resistance as I moved my hand around, groping. If anything, I felt encouraged.

We sure proved her wrong. She would most likely be eating her heart out, I was sure. Even if I opened my eyes, I wouldn't be able to see what Futo was up to over the face in front of me and its peppermint-scented strands hair.

“Well, this is interesting,” a new arrival interrupted. Whatever else may have been going through my partner's mind was shunt away; She got off of me with almost mechanical efficiency, springing to her feet and turning towards the door, leaving a cool aftertaste in my mouth.

“I-I didn't see you there,” she mumbled at her. Futo was nowhere to be seen. Instead, standing where she had been, a slender-looking girl looked on with a smug smile. The large, expensive-looking, headphones resting around her neck made me think DJ at first. The lightness of her almost-blonde hair might have been a good permanent. A bit weird for one to wear bangles and bracelets on her upper arms and around her wrists though. Not to mention an almost retro low-hanging second belt that matched the gold and purple trimmings on her skirt and blouse. Then again, I supposed that looking like a mix of elegant snob and avant garde trendsetter was exactly the kind of look that she was going for.

“He's pretty cute, Tojiko,” the girl nodded at me with an approving look. “My, I'm even kind of jealous. I can see why Futo wanted me to see this. She won't admit it, of course, but I'm sure she wishes she saw him first.”

“Oh... really?” Tojiko asked, incredulously.

“At any rate, I think I shall borrow him for a while,” the girl announced, talking about me like I was a pen she needed for a crossword puzzle.

“Of course.”

“Don't I get a say in this?” I stood up and asked. “Not that I mind going to new places and meeting new people but an explanation, if not at least introductions seem to be in order.”

“Very well,” the girl nodded, “if you insist on formalities, then you shall have them. You may refer to me as Miko. I am the proprietor of this club. My stage name is Myko. Yes, there is a difference. Prick up your ears and you shall hear it.”

A look of self-satisfaction was written on her face. She recited her spiel as if from memory. What an odd person, I thought. “I'm Arc,” I said. “It's my first time at this club. Congrats on it being so popular.”

“Naturally if you offer a superior service, you shall attract discerning clientele,” Miko said with a laugh. “I see that you're not bound by custom to give out your real name. That suits me just fine.”

It was just a nickname, I wanted to tell her. But she didn't seem to care at all. I tried to see what my kissing partner had to think about all of that. Tojiko looked at me with a little unease, as if telling me not to delay and go with Miko right away. I couldn't even ask her for her number. Miko signaled me to follow with a wave of her hand and we were off. Through a few more grey corridors and up a flight of stairs.

She brought me to a room with a large tinted window that ran across its length. It had a view of the club floor below, masses of people moved and danced between strobing lights, lasers and what I assumed was loud music. None of that could be heard, eerily enough. “Have a seat,” Miko told me, pointing to a pair of modern-looking chairs. The décor was rather minimalist. Bare walls, a small wooden desk and a leather chair behind it were the only pieces of furniture other than a set of large cabinets tucked in a corner.

“I take it this isn't the VIP lounge,” I cracked wise while I looked down at the party below. It was a larger space than I had imagined it to be. There was a large depression in the center which circled a booth where a DJ tended to equipment on a raised platform. Drinks came from the multiple bars on the periphery of the space.

“This is my center of operations,” Miko said quietly, walking over to the cabinets. She produced a pair of glasses and a bottle of sparkling wine. Looked like she had a fridge in there. “Join me for a drink, won't you?” she told rather than asked, popping the cork with dramatic flair. She would have poured me a glass whether I had wanted it or not. I took it and swirled the bubbly liquid around all the same, watching it fizz and rise just below the rim of the long glass. “I can tell you're not really with Tojiko,” she announced.

“Oh? And what makes you say that?” I asked and took a sip. It was dry and the bubbles lightly tickled my throat as I gulped it down. Refreshingly cool. I wasn't sure if we kept this kind of drink in stock at the store.

“I can see right through her,” Miko stated with a smile. She sat next to me, placing the bottle on the floor in front of us. “And, well, I can see right through you too,” she laughed, “mostly, anyhow.”

“Is that a fact?” I humored her,” then what am I thinking right now?”

“I didn't say I was a mind reader,” she said, “but I can more than guess your your intentions. And more importantly, your desires.”

She leaned in close, her breath on my neck feeling as light and ephemeral as the bubbles in my drink.

“Well then, what are my intentions right now?” I asked, finishing off my glass of champagne. I looked into her clear eyes trying to impress on her that I was trying to read her as well. That didn't go so well. Beyond finding that she was obviously trying to manipulate me, all I got was that she good at hiding her own desires.

“Close your eyes and think about what you truly want right now,” she said and, with a quiet giggle added, “I'll be able to tell just by looking at you.”

[] Close my eyes.
[] Don't play along.
[x] Close my eyes.

Like it's really even an option.

Give us your best shot Miko.
[X] Close my eyes.

I'd say we're getting exactly what we were aiming for, no?
[x] Close my eyes.

Might be fun, might as well make the most of this.
[x] Close my eyes.

While I want this, this could also be some kind of con when we aren't looking.
[x] Close my eyes.
[x] Don't play along.

Arc is not that easily tamed. He got a bit caught up in the moment last time. After the initial rush wears off, I highly doubt he'd be so cooperative.

Think about it. He gets pulled in suddenly, rushed along without explanation, and then coerced into intimacy. It wasn't completely unpleasant, but it was a tad bit rude.

Playing her game is safe. Hell, it's almost boring. If she's actually as talented at reading desires as she says she is, then let's make her work for it.

I guess what it comes to is this: Do want to be ordinary or extraordinary?
[x] Don't play along.

You might have a good point here. Arc is not someone who just plays along so nice, he plays by his own rules and always has a comeback.
[x] Don't play along.
[x] Don't play along.

Don't want to listen to Miko. Now where's Byakuren.
Come on guys. It is not so hard to just write a line to put your thoughts about the last update into words.
So he closes his eyes, she teases him a bit and says that he is a womanizer and he's out the door? I don't think so.

Then again, we are in her domain and we should play by her rules. If we don't, we might see the door sooner and without a kiss.
Mmhh, though choice.

[x] Don't close his eyes.
Because I think his desire right now is to stop being lead by carrots dangling in front of him. It is mine at least.
It was like 2-3 am when I posted my vote. I also only voted because a friend wanted me to. I originally didn't want to vote this time as this choice didn't compel much in any way. I frankly don't see how this choice would influence much of anything.
So you'll have to excuse me for not feeling like writing a comment, because in my book, no comment is better than "meh" or "Works for me~"
Votes without a comment are not counted.
I don't think it's a matter of being tamed as enjoying the experience, but hey being "rebellious" isn't always the answer. It's such simple shallow thinking that makes me worry for where this story is going.
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“Hm,” she giggled, “I see that I'm encountering stiff resistance with you. I suppose that Tojiko is to blame for that. Just try to relax.”

Suggestive insinuation aside, I had mixed feelings at best on how to deal with the situation. The implications of surrender were pleasurable and liberating. On the other hand, a lot was happening too quickly. It wasn't that I was resisting out of spite or for the sake of taking a contrary stance.. That I wasn't even sure I was resisting would have been closer to the truth. It was hard to relax when so many variables were unknown.

“Just say what you're going to say,” I said quietly. “You can tell just by looking either way. So whatever I do doesn't matter.”

Miko laughed. “I did say that. I don't need you to do anything, I was more interested in finding out whether or not you would humor me.”

“I think I am just by being here. I'll close my eyes if you're not going to continue otherwise,” I said, making a show of leaning back and closing them.

“The moment's passed,” she said softly but firmly. I could feel her moving on the couch, sitting upright and presumably staring right at me. “Eyes open or not, I can tell you precisely what your desires are.”

“Do tell then,” I sat back up and casually glanced in her direction. She was smiling knowingly, as if she had expected me to do everything I did.

“Let us not enumerate them, we would both be bored by that,” Miko said as she adjusted the headphones around her neck. She pulled back from me a little and started to explain in a dispassionate fashion, “desiring to be led around by the collar while only occasionally surrendering complete control seems just a little bit contradictory. I suppose that's more tied to the pursuit of pleasure in general than a single conscious impulse.” With a smile that could only be described as utterly wicked, she added, “Any one of us three tonight could have easily and thoroughly seduced you. That isn't to say that you wouldn't wish to do the same. Very much enamored with chasing around prey as well.”

“Isn't that a little too cynical?” I interjected. “I have standards you know.”

“Indeed,” she giggled, “and I am not questioning them. If you believe in fate, then perhaps it's best to ascribe it to that. It's rare to have both desire and reality align while keeping other possibilities open.”

“The whole religious thing isn't really my strong point,” I said with a weak smile. “It tends to go over my head.”

“Don't worry about it,” she laughed again, melting away fears that I had maybe bitten off more than I could chew, “just believe in yourself and decisions you make.”

“That's a bit vague, isn't it?”

“You can't expect me to know everything ever,” she countered with a sly chuckle that time around, “I'm not a mind reader, remember? I'm just telling you what I feel is the truth about you.”

“So any other unusual desires?” I moved it along.

“It's best I don't say right now,” she stated.

“I feel ripped off,” I sighed.

“Yes, libations and behind-the-scenes access to a popular club with no charge is often a bad deal,” she said sarcastically. I chuckled. We both knew I didn't mean it that way. “It's really up to yourself to see things through one way or another.”

“How convenient,” it was my turn to reply sarcastically. “So, what do you want from me, anyhow? I'm assuming that all of this had its price.”

“Nothing yet,” she said, crossing her arms as if proud of the fact. “One day I may call upon you for a favor. I would want you to consider it when the time comes.”

“I'm assuming that you'll track me down when necessary?”

“How perceptive,” she said. “You may get more than enough chances to fulfill your desires in this year. Do be nice to my two lieutenants when you see them on your way out. It would be nice if they learned that men aren't just there to be used or, at worst, endured.”

“I wonder if that's advice you can stand to take yourself,” I turned it back on her. She had maintained control of the conversation from beginning to end. It felt like I was being used even though she hadn't really done anything to me.

“Feel free to show yourself out,” she didn't rise to the bait, simply smiling enigmatically and drinking from her glass.

“Somehow I'm curious about your own desires,” I said, getting up albeit slowly.

“Not a mind-reader either?” she joked, not pressing that I needed to leave again. Putting a pair of fingers on her temple and closing her eyes, she added facetiously, “I see. So you plan to take a guess whether I want to hear it or not.”

“Now you're basically me forcing to say something,” I rolled my eyes. Not that she could see me doing that.

“Am I?” she opened her eyes again and looked up at me. “Being forced to do something is no good. I suppose the least I can do for putting you through all this trouble is offer you another glass,” Miko poured out some more of the champagne into my empty glass. She handed it over to me, a playful look on her face. Somehow I felt like I had walked right into a trap. Silently, she seemed to ask me to take a guess at what was her deepest, innermost desire.

I took my best guess.

[] Being exalted and famous by the looks of it.
[] She had been flirting with me for a reason...
[] There wasn't much she actually desired. It was a trick question.
>> [] Being exalted and famous by the looks of it.

Looks are deceiving. She definitely doesn't come off as someone with that ambition.

>>[] She had been flirting with me for a reason...

This could be the case, she certainly hinted at it. She doesn't find him insufferable, but she doesn't want to jump his bones either. I think he's more of a curiosity at this point. Someone worth indulging, if only to see how he stacks up.

>>[] There wasn't much she actually desired. It was a trick question.

This is good. Almost too good. Notice how it doesn't exactly go as far as denying that she has any desire at all. She has cares, and with cares come desires. So what does she care about? Her two lieutenants and her business at the very least. She doesn't seem too worried about money overall, favors hold more power for her. She is not concerned about proving her ability either, she seems pretty relaxed and laid back about the whole affair.

For me, it's a tie between the latter two options.

[x] There wasn't much she actually desired. It was a trick question.

It feels like this option hits home. I'm tempted to flirt with her a bit more, but this makes for more interesting conversation. This will help draw her character out a bit more.
[x] She had been flirting with me for a reason...

Not sure why but I feel that he is here for a reason and not just because he has a pretty face. Maybe she wants something from him or hopes to get something? I don't know but I think there might be more than just flirting.

Neither do I see her doing it just to be famous and hey, everyone has a Desire.
[] There wasn't much she actually desired. It was a trick question.

She flirted with him? It went way over my head.

ANyway, fame and stuff doesn't seem to match her, from the little I saw. But then again, I didn't see much, it seems.
[x] She had been flirting with me for a reason...

I'm curious where this answer leads, might as well go and see since we've choosen to go here.
[x] She had been flirting with me for a reason...

Don't miss the obvious signs, yo.
File 141071550366.png - (962.91KB, 714x760, baggy.png) [iqdb]
“I suppose ceaseless optimism is one of your more endearing qualities,” Miko giggled and finished off her glass. “Us women are terribly judgmental, if you didn't know and we tend to make up our minds on these things almost on the spot,” she teased, “unfortunately for you, I'm not going to bother to dignify your ploy with an answer.”

“I'll take the lack of denial as a cause for hope,” I said with a shrug. Not getting slapped for being too flirty was always a win in my book. It didn't seem like romantic entanglements could seriously be her heartfelt desire. I could try to prove her wrong, of course.

“Absolutely charming,” she said wryly, “you've shown perhaps more of yourself than you may have bargained.”

I couldn't resist. “What, is my fly open?” I joked.

“It'll be interesting to see how things progress the next time we meet,” she stated rather enigmatically, staring at the opaque bottle and the moist droplets of condensation that trickled down slowly along the sides. “I do hope that you will be able to achieve some of your desires. They promise to be interesting to watch.”

“I'm not getting a clearer answer than that, am I?” I sighed and finished off my glass. There was a comfortable warmth spreading from my stomach and up to my brain. It wasn't that I was drunk – two glasses were nothing compared to how much I could do with Suika – but it felt like my body wanted to just give in to the relaxing feeling. “Well, I'll leave you be,” I said quietly. I wasn't liable to get anywhere else for the moment, I felt. “See you.”

Miko nodded quietly as I got up and left her office. As the curious sort, I was half-tempted to open random doors and see where they led to. Somehow I resisted the urge and managed to show myself out.

“Hey, wait,” Futo intercepted me just beyond the office where Tojiko had led me. The latter was nowhere to be seen. She cut off my way forward, basically driving me against the wall with her presence. For someone short she sure made herself appear important.

“Heya, Ms. Futo, was it?” I asked with attempted neutrality, trying not to stare down at her too much. She was pretty cute. The bright eyes were one thing working in her favor but the way both her short skirt and long-sleeved shirt were slightly loose and baggy on her made her magically more endearing for some reason. The ponytail added to her disarmingly charming aura. The rational part of me didn't want to let my guard down around her so easily.

“Futo is fine if you're on a first-name basis with Tojiko,” she said with a smile, her eyes trying to scan my face as if trying to get a measure of what was going on in my mind. “It's weird how I've never seen you with Tojiko before, isn't it? I mean I see her all the time.”

“Must be a coincidence,” I played coy, trying to figure out if there was an easy way to get out of the situation without compromising our lie. “You leave the room, I come in, I leave, you come back. That sort of thing.”

“Hm... must be,” she nodded, as if she actually believed that to be the case. “At any rate, you do seem to be a good catch. Not as trendy as some of our customers but overall there's a good look in your eyes. And good facial proportions.”

“Thank you,” I said with a chuckle. It was a weird compliment but I'd take it all the same.

“Say, wouldn't you like to ditch Tojiko and instead get to know me better? She is busy with work right now and isn't around to play,” she said with almost child-like enthusiasm, her eyes beaming with effervescent energy. There was something pure and undiluted about her. She was a good person, spat with Tojiko notwithstanding. Crap, I had been staring at her without realizing it. And smiling. I probably looked like an idiot.

“It, uh, wouldn't be fair to her,” I said, trying to come up with a better excuse and failing.

“I'm not saying you should dump her or anything,” she explained, “I'm just saying give me a chance to show you what you're missing out. I didn't make much of a first impression I realize. And I would like to correct that. A proper lady must always carry herself in a dignified manner.”

“That's altogether good and all, but why are you holding on to my hand?”

“To impress upon you my sincerity,” she said quietly. “Give me a chance,” Futo stood up on her tiptoes, closer to my face. She closed her eyes and her tone became more intimate and yet somehow more reluctant. “Must I really come out and beg you for a kiss? If you do not enjoy yourself then I'll happily bow out of this match.”

I wasn't really listening to her anymore. She was close to me and her paradoxically bold and timid presence made a mess of my mind.

[] Give her a chance.
[] Things are too complicated as they are.
[x] Things are too complicated as they are.

As much as I would like to do this but it would not be fair. We can always meet her later on or something but we yeah, no dumping
[x] Give her a chance.

I don't want to snub Tojiko but does what we did really count as anything? Might as well go for it and hope this is what Miko was hoping for.
[x] Give her a chance.

What exactly do we have to lose? There is literally nothing going on with Tojiko, and Futo is super cute. So what if she finds out that we don't actually go out with Tojiko? It's the truth, after all.
[x] Give her a chance.

As my favourite Touhou, this choice is pretty much predestined.
[x] Give her a chance.

Might as well see where this goes and she is being cute right now.
As far as rejoinders went, mine was pretty uninspired. “I hope this matches your expectations,” I said a just a bit wryly. I wasn't sure why I did it but I kissed her on the forehead. Futo opened her eyes at once and looked at me with confusion. 'Because I've had quite enough of being led around by the nose by women for one evening,' I wanted to say but instead smiled and offered her a simpler explanation, “You're too short for me to lean in when I'm pressed up against the wall like this.”

“I believe you're having fun at my expense,” she scowled. It was humorously dignified, like what I imagined an aristocrat of the days of old would express when their honor was brought into question. “My stature aside, I can assure you that I am a lady through and through,” Futo continued, “I will not stand to be treated as a child.”

“Perish the thought,” I said dryly, “a gentleman such as myself should act with restraint with someone he has just met.” It was hard to keep a straight face. After all, it had taken all of five minutes between meeting Tojiko and having her tongue shoved down my throat.

“...alright, I'll accept that,” she said quietly, easily yielding. “I'll just have you know that despite my appearance I know all about the adult world. I am not as inexperienced as you might believe. Though I shall say no more out of modesty.”

Usually modesty kept people from making that kind of statement in the first place, I thought. But I said nothing. Instead I smiled again and gently slid down the wall, giving myself more space. “I really should get going,” I told her, “we can continue at some other time.”

“Very well,” she nodded, falling back flat on the soles of her feet. “I shall not tell Tojiko of this encounter, naturally, lest the green-eyed monster rear its ugly head,” she said with an impish smile and escorted me to the front door. “Until we meet again, I shall be looking forward to it.”

“Yeah, catch you later,” I waved goodbye and left the club. I was a bit disappointed that I didn't get to go to the actual dance floor and bar but I'd be pressing my luck if I lingered any longer. The bouncer was dealing with a pushy couple who wanted in and barely acknowledged my presence as I passed. Suited me just fine. I ended up going straight home, figuring that I didn't really have the money to go anywhere else and it was too late to just be wandering the streets aimlessly. Auntie would be quick to remind me that there might be unnatural things lurking in dark alleys, looking for fresh prey. I didn't believe it, of course, but colorful stories of creatures and killers were part of our cultural tradition. We were a pretty morbid society, it seemed.

After taking a relaxing soak in the bath, I went to bed. There was no one still up to talk to even if I had wanted a little company. Between messing with Suika the next day and nursing a hangover the morning after that, most of my vacation had gone. I felt anxious on Sunday morning, dreading that it was the last day I'd have to enjoy myself without worrying about school, exam results and the student council nonsense.

[] Call up Yoshika to see if she's free.
[] Meet with Reimu to talk about the upcoming elections.
[x] Meet with Reimu to talk about the upcoming elections.

Let's get our student council on. I, for one, am super excited to now have responsibility at school!
[x] Call up Yoshika to see if she's free.

Want to see how she's doing but well I doubt it'll win with the Reimu fans in force.
[X] Call up Yoshika to see if she's free.

Aside from trying to gain favor from Reimu, I see no reason to pick that option. Arc isn't the type to care about school after all.
[x] Meet with Reimu to talk about the upcoming elections.

Talking with Reimu is always interesting, it is some light teasing and a bit of sexual tension and that would be great right now.
[X] Call up Yoshika to see if she's free.

Might as well have some fun before people start dragging us everywhere.
[x] Meet with Reimu to talk about the upcoming elections.

Too little Reimu lately. This needs to be fixed.
[x] Call up Yoshika to see if she's free.

[x] Meet with Reimu

Honestly, I don't mind either one winning but >>60078 sounded like a bit of a dick there so now I'm voting this out of spite.
I'll get to writing soon, so votes are closed.
“Oh, so you're alive after all,” Auntie said with faint surprise as I arrived downstairs for breakfast. She was sitting at the the table, reading the Sunday paper with the TV on in the background with low volume. “You're kind of late for breakfast, I made something for Marisa and me but I reckoned you'd be sleeping in again.”

It wasn't so much as an apology as it was a casual statement. I didn't mind so much. I would have a slice of leftover bread and be good until much later. “Anything interesting in the paper?” I asked, making small talk.

“Nothing much,” she said and changed the subject abruptly, “ready for school tomorrow?”

“As ready as I'll ever be.”

“Got any plans for the day?”

“I was thinking of calling someone up and getting together for a while.”

“Mmm, that's just like you,” she said with a sly smile, “good luck on your date.”

“...it's nothing like that,” I said evasively. I didn't really want her too involved in my private life.

“Sure,” she said with a shrug and turned the page. “You missed Alice and Marisa,” she informed me, “they seem to be having a lot of fun together these days. I'd have thought you'd be living it up with those two at every opportunity. You're taking your beloved childhood friends for granted.”

“Hardly,” I said with a roll of my eyes, taking a few bites out of a rather stale piece of bread. I decided to toast it before eating more. “I see them all the time.”

“Whatever you say,” Auntie said with a shrug. Turning her attention fully to the paper, she didn't say anything else. The toast was an improvement and I ate quickly before leaving. I didn't feel like I had to justify myself to her. I was managing my relationships just fine. Plus, if I started hanging out all the time with those two blondes she'd likely be teasing me about this or another thing. I'd see plenty of them at school so I thought that our casual encounters over the break were more than appropriate.

I got a reply to the messages I had sent before leaving. It had taken a bit of persuasion, but I was able to convince her to come out and meet me. I had to give my assurances that it wasn't a big deal but just a chance to sort things out.

“This better not be one of your sad attempts to try to impress me with your poor sense of romance,” she said as soon as she saw me. We'd met up at a small park near the school a half hour later. I had arrived first and was waiting by an empty bench.

“You wound me, my dear class rep,” I frowned, “like I told you, this is mostly about business.”

“It better be all about business,” Reimu sighed. Clearly she doubted my intentions. Couldn't blame her, naturally. I was pretty much the most flippant person I knew. It'd be just like me to call her out on false pretenses to score a date. In a fit of frustration, she had once called me a “hopeless prevaricator,” which just about summed it up.

“Okay, I won't yank your chain needlessly,” I told her. “Do you want to talk here or go somewhere else?”

“Here's fine,” she said, clearly still suspicious about my intent. She sat down next to me but kept a health arms-length distance from me. The message clearly was: don't you dare try anything funny. Not that I planned to. Even if I was getting a rare look at how she dressed on her days off. Surprisingly not too conservative, fashion-wise, with a thin pullover atop a common-looking blouse and a dark skirt that was halfway between boring and revealing miniskirt.

“I'll get right to it: seems like we'll be working together this whole next year.”

“If we win,” Reimu sighed again.

“You're definitely getting elected,” I said and then added with a chuckle, “and it looks like I'll be getting elected too.”

“So much for democracy,” she smiled bitterly. Clearly she didn't approve of me being hand-picked by those two troublesome women. “It's amazing how suddenly you will be running unopposed, down from three candidates last month.”

“The lack of a sense of civic duty in our generation is disgraceful,” I said in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, “personally, I blame video games and TV as corrupting influences.”

“I don't know whether the headmistress thinks that you'll be a pliable tool or just ineffective at representing the students – either way you're probably not going to be of any use in the student council. So don't even bother showing up.”

“Oh, come on,” I was slightly hurt by the suggestion that I'd be that useless. “I'll try to help you as much as I can,” I assured her.

“Sure you will,” she humored me. “Your track record of responsibility is, after all, stellar.”

“What if I told you I have a thing for cute hard-working student council presidents?”

“I'd tell you that I'm going home since this is a stupid waste of time,” she said without mincing words. I was about to lose her.

“Come on, let me prove myself to you,” I said, “I'm not going to lie – I'm not really good at being a responsible person 100% the time. But I do come through when it counts. It's probably why our guidance councilor has been giving me all those stupid tasks.”

“What are you-?”

“It's a lot to get into right now,” I said, “but I've been kept really busy helping people out these last few months. I dunno if they want me on the student council because I'm actually somewhat good at helping people out with problems when I really try or if it's because they believe I'll be useless like you said. Either way, I promise I'm going to at least try from time to time.”

“...have you thought at all about your campaign?” she asked.

“Not really, I'll wing it, I figured.”

Reimu held back a sigh. “I really don't know if you're just an idiot or very confident in your abilities.”

“Can't it be both?” I said with a stupid smile.

I got a slight smile out of her in return. A partial victory. “I'm not sure if you're going to be at all dependable but at the very least having you on the council will make things less dull. Though perhaps more stressful and headache-inducing.”

“Just give me a chance,” I started but was interrupted by her phone. Reimu signaled that I should excuse her for a moment and took the call. She kept her voice down, turning away slightly as she gave a few short replies to the person on the other end. It didn't seem like she wanted me to know what that was all about.

She hung up and stared off into space momentarily, as if lost in thought. Remembering that I was there before long, however, she turned back to me, “sorry,” she apologized, “I have to go now. I'm needed back home.”

“Is anything the matter?” I asked, feeling that the shift of tone was strange.

“It's nothing,” she said evasively,” just have to... sweep the shrine and clean things up because the others are busy.”

“Oh,” I said, “I can go with you and help.” Seemed like a good opportunity that prove to her that I was dependable enough. “We can continue our conversation afterwards. Two pairs of hands are better than one. There's stuff I wanted to ask you about your expectations.”

“It's alright,” she stood up and thanked me with a polite smile, “we can just pick up another day. After school. I'll treat you to tea to make up for wasting your time.”

I was thrown off by how considerate she was being. Like I was anyone else but me. I somehow doubted that she was actually feeling guilty. Was she trying to get me to stop nosing around? Even if she was being truthful, it didn't seem right that she work too hard on her last day off.

[] Tea another day sounds nice.
[] Help her out at the shrine.
[x] Help her out at the shrine.

I find myself incredibly curious as to what the Hakurei Shrine is like. More specifically, who, if anyone else, lives there.
[x] Help her out at the shrine.

His last words settled this. If she's hiding something and want us to not snoop, let's.
If she isn't, she is working way way too hard. What better distraction than Arc?

On an, uh, unrelated note: what do you think about readers who only join the story when characters they like appear?
[x] Help her out at the shrine.

this is going to win anyways.
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Worse than Hitler.

Facetious hyperbole aside, the best I could feel about it is mild disapproval. Somewhere closer to an accepted sad truth and source of frustration. The story should be fun 95% of the time and what people are here for, not any one character/waifu. As the update speed generally depends on votes (more votes = faster updates), not voting hurts the story and therefore limits the chance of getting to whatever character a reader may prefer. The site is rather dead and, just as you might find a lack of updates depressing, I find a lack of votes and comments disheartening. But I'm just repeating myself. The likelihood of someone changing their behavior or even just getting back to me either way is pretty low.

A single vote among less than half a dozen regular(ish) votes has no power, I agree. I mean you'd only have to have a massive two other people agree with you to have a solid majority - unrealistic numbers. Clearly there should be no discussion and attempts at persuasion because it's all so pointless. In fact, I think I'll eliminate all future choices. Why not, right? It's not like other options are there for any valid reason other than wasting time between writing. This would only be a big deal if somehow an interactive story depended on reader input and the output was directly affected by how they chose to interact with the world and its characters. But that's too far-fetched. So don't worry about affecting character relationships and future possibilities of action at all.

Everyone, including the people replied to and lurkers, needs to stop being stupid and try to make the most out of what the site still has to offer. I'm not going to stop you if you only vote every other choice or refuse to internalize and assimilate the consequences of your choices (enjoy stuff like pissing off Yuuka more by asking for a reward when she's literally just hit you a paragraph earlier though) but don't expect me to keep quiet about things. As things are going I'll probably be the last writer standing on the site and you'll just have to deal with my faggotry and my brand of hate love and caring. unless you get other writers to stop being so lazy/start writing yourself, you chicken.
[x] Help her out at the shrine.

Simply because I think this has a higher chance of success than asking her to ditch her duties altogether.
Who said anything about making her ditch her duties? Neither choice implies that.
[x] Help her out at the shrine.

What else do I need to say here, guys? Reimu, help etc, it must be done.
[x] Tea another day sounds nice.

I honestly think prying would be rude. We don't have a lot of influence with her. Pressing like this is boorish and out of line.

Think about it.
[x] Tea another day sounds nice.
While pressing the issue has been important in the past when we know something's fishy, with someone like Reimu it seems like all it would do is annoy her. I do wish there was a sub-option to tell her that if she really does need help with something we'll be there, though.

Woops, I somehow missed "another day".
Then I guess I'll change my vote to

[x] Tea another day sounds nice.

She doesn't seem comfortable with the idea of having us there.
[x] Tea another day sounds nice.

While helping out seems like it would be good idea, it sounds to me like she doesn't need nor want the help. Better to back off and let her handle it.

I would like to help, but now just doesn't seem like the greatest time to offer.
[x] Help her out at the shrine.

I want to see Reimu in her natural habitat.

[x] Tea another day sounds nice.

Let's no bother her. Tea also means a date with her in the future.
[X] Tea another day sounds nice.

If it was anyone else, I'd say to persist. Maybe it's the standard "don't yank Reimu's chain" kicking in.
[x] Help her out at the shrine.

Might as well get a headstart on being helpful.
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I should mention that I started writing just earlier, albeit at a glacial pace. So, like a 1-2 hour ETA I think is reasonable to assume if I'm not distracted by something shiny. Sorry about not being good with updates lately, I don't really have a good excuse. Theoretically I can do more than one update today but we'll see how things go.
“What's with the smile?” I asked Reimu. We had been walking along for a little bit without saying much of anything when it mysteriously appeared. I wouldn't have noticed if not for a very unsubtle glance she stole in my direction. Maybe my ego was getting out of control but I couldn't help but feel that it was about me.

“Am I not entitled to displays of normal human emotion?” she replied evasively but somewhat playfully. “We're almost at the station.”

So we were. I had nothing better to do than walk her to the train. Any Sunday that involved spending time with a girl couldn't be that bad. Even if it was just for a brief while. Still, I felt like pushing her a little bit more before we reached the station entrance. I prodded, saying, “If I didn't know any better, I'd say that the class rep has a crush on me. The longing glances and sweet smiles are telltale signs.”

“Get over yourself,” Reimu chuckled, taking it in stride. A roll of the eyes naturally were directed at me. “It drives you crazy not to know everything all the time, doesn't it?”

“Only when it's regarding my poor hard-working class rep and soon to be president. You gotta let me in and help you with your burdens.”

“Maybe someday,” she said, stopping by the turnstile. “Learning what you can and can't do is important when dealing with responsibilities. Not just in the student council. Being forceful sometimes ends with you hitting a wall over and over again.”

“Sounds like it's advice you should heed yourself,” I fired back, “it can't be good for you to do everything by yourself.”

Reimu swiped her card in front of the sensor and passed to the other side. With a slight wave, she said a quick goodbye and then added with another smile, “I was thinking how there might be hope for you yet. You didn't push too hard and seemed patient, good qualities in a vice president.”

I wasn't able to say anything in return. She was busy hurrying up the platform steps as the train began to pull into the station.

The break was over faster than I would have liked. I ended up spending most of the remaining daylight with Suika, having buried the hatchet by agreeing that a third series was simply the worst. Didn't seem like she was too worried about coming back to classes or that results would be posted by noon for all to see. Seemed like no one was too bothered by it. Back home, Marisa was watching TV while snacking on chips, none too bothered that it was our final night before classes began. I joined her for a while but eventually decided to go to bed early.

“You're looking troubled,” Alice saw right through me yet again in the morning.

“I just figured he's bummed out from classes starting again,” Marisa piped in. We were about halfway to school. We'd left earlier than usual so we were taking it easy and going at a slow pace. “No such thing as too much vacation, right?” she placed her hand on my shoulder with a laugh.

“I'm not sure it's that,” tried to force a smile, moving Marisa away with a playful little push. She was usually lively when we were all together. Different than Suika, of course, but about as easy to accept as routine. I joked, “I don't mind school as much as people think. I get to see cute girls wearing cute uniforms, after all.”

“You dog,” Marisa shoved me back gently with a laugh. “Alice, he's probably too busy thinking about how to pick up girls. And his regrets about wasting time. That's why he looks troubled. He realizes that he can't do better than us.”

“Mmm,” Alice smiled at the comment but didn't say anything. She was humoring Marisa and giving me some space. She just wanted to tell me that she noticed my mood and I guess she knew better than to push me to open up.

[] Joke that I was troubled because I barely got to see them over the break.
[] Confess to being a bit nervous about exam results.
Now this I like, both options are equally good.

[] Joke that I was troubled because I barely got to see them over the break.

Flirty option, bonus points for both and that always helps. Lighthearted talk which may evolve into something else. Danger of being seeing as evasive and untrustful.

[] Confess to being a bit nervous about exam results.

Serious choice. Bonus points for both-indicates trust and a bit of maturity (he doesn't joke away problems all the time now) May evolve into extra activities -tutoring?- in the near future.

I will choose the second to pursue my own agenda (to have Arc turn into someone more reliable and responsable)

[x] Confess to being a bit nervous about exam results.
[X] Joke that I was troubled because I barely got to see them over the break.

Well we did study for the exams, and said we're more or less confident about them.
[x] Confess to being a bit nervous about exam results.

I'm not entirely sure what would be the right option here, but I don't think the first choice is valid here, since we live in the same house as Marisa and right next door to Alice. If Arc really wanted to see them over the break, he would've made an effort to.
Plus, what kind of student doesn't get nervous about exam results?
[x] Confess to being a bit nervous about exam results.

Some earnest would be refreshing.
[x] Confess to being a bit nervous about exam results.
We're on our way to becoming a new Arc.
Until we somehow manage to balls it up later on. Usually that ballsing up turns our pretty amusing.
[x] Confess to being a bit nervous about exam results.

I want to know how they did.
[] Joke that I was troubled because I barely got to see them over the break.

It's true! Kinda!

Who cares about grades anyway, Arc needs to show them some love.
[] Joke that I was troubled because I barely got to see them over the break.

I refuse to not flirt when Marisa is around
He's slowly becoming more responsible-although I'm not sure if it is due to our votes or not. Anyway, I see no reason not to change course now:

[x] Confess to being a bit nervous about exam results.

I could've swore I voted for this, like three months ago.

Anyway, sage for necro-voting (is that a thing?)
Is there going to be a Christmas holiday special?
Youuuuuuuuu. Fuck youuuuu. I thought it was an update I haven't checked this story in months sage you nigger.
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Sure. It'll be a musical. With cute girls dressed up as santa, elves and reindeer. Rename the story to 'Theater of Yuletide'.

In all seriousness, I hadn't thought of it but now I'm thinking of something petite, red, with shiny bits attached and maybe wrapped up with a bow. Or maybe a pair of sisters would be more interesting. Or a pet bunny. I'm half tempted to ask for a vote on it but I'm not sure it'd go well.

Sorry buddy but I can't help it when I see a comment like that I feel compelled to not sage as well. Don't hold it against me, it's my nature.
>Christmas special

Do iiiiiit
Sounds goooood.

By the by, have you thought about making a story about something RADICALLY different than DAFT (sp) and its spinoffs?
Pet bunnies are always great. So cuddly.
Santa gave me coal, so you get nothing. Or, more accurately put, I couldn't think of anything to write that was fun. You probably figured that out by now though.

You're daft, it's DEFT. Also at least half of the stories I've done are completely unrelated to Arc and the associated continuities.
Wwe did, but a christmas specialw asn't all that important. We are waiting for the story to resume. We'd prefer if the story resumed, once you feel like writing again.
It felt like a car ran me over. Scratch that, more like a train. It wasn't just my head that was screaming bloody murder but nearly every muscle and joint I could still feel was having a bad day. It was hard to think, harder still to move.

I opened my eyes and took a look around. It was disappointingly dark. With some effort I lifted up my hand and stretched it in front of my face – I could barely make out the contours of my fingers. I realized that I was probably lying face up on my back. That's why my hand felt so heavy. My muddled thoughts were becoming a little less muddled the more I focused on my hand. In fact, I began to wonder where I was and how I had gotten there.

...It was no good. Nothing came to mind. The last thing I remembered was someone smiling and then darkness. My lips had also been wet. Mm, it had tasted like cherry. I ran a finger across my lips – they were dry and the only thing I could taste was my own saliva.

At least whatever I was laying atop felt like a cushion. Its surface felt rough and artificial, some sort of plastic? I bit my lip and sat up, ignoring the unpleasant soreness permeating through most of my body. I let out a groan despite myself and I almost fell right back down. My head was swimming and intense disorientation played tricks on my motor control.

“Sorry Alice,” I muttered without really knowing why. I felt like maybe I had done something that I should have felt guilty about. The details eluded me. Well, whatever. If she were to see me, she would surely roll her eyes.

I felt around and found that I was surrounded by what felt like wooden boxes or maybe crates. They were smooth and occasionally when I touched something, it would rattle. After a few moments I found that my vision got a bit better. I could make out some more shapes in the dark. More helpfully, I realized that maybe there was a way out. A barely visible amount of light hid near the floor, behind a few dark and tall clumps of whatever.

My legs weren't too eager to cooperate. Thinking back to Yuugi's calisthenics reasons, I began to massage my leg muscles a bit before doing gentle motions that would help with the stiffness I was feeling. I couldn't tell what time it was or how long I was at it, since my pockets were completely empty, but I kept it up until I started to feel better.

“What I wouldn't give for Eirin's healing touch right now!” I exclaimed like a madman as I struggled to stand up. The school nurse would know just how to get me going in no time flat. Her grown up charms and expert techniques healed both mind and body. Yeah, I knew I was sort of rambling mentally but, hey, it felt like a better way to spend my energy than fixating on the pain. Less gritting of teeth too.

I had to hold myself up by keeping an arm on one of the nearby boxes.

Oh right. I realized what the box was. The padded top and height gave it away. It was one of those wooden boxes we jumped over in PE. Next to one was a pommel horse. That could only mean that I was in the storage room for equipment. The weird shapes in the distance were racks and boxes full of hoops, balls and other things that the various sports clubs needed. If they were all there then it probably meant that it was either too late in the day or too early for anyone to be around.

With my spirits lifted slightly, I hobbled as best I could towards the faint light. It was tricky moving through the dark space and more than once I had to pause after stubbing my foot or hitting my arm on something. As luck would have it, the light was coming from the underneath the door. Unfortunately it was locked. Couldn't bust it down either, as it was a real heavy metal door. Even if I wasn't sore all over, I'd still likely dislocate something trying to force it.

I felt around for the light switch. Found it and flicked it – nothing happened. I groaned again and pounded on the door. I knew it was futile since the storage room was a detached building behind the gym. The chances of anyone hearing me were virtually nil. I'd have to wait until morning or whenever someone came to fetch something. Best case scenario: that was soon. Worst case: it was Sunday and I'd have to wait a full day before someone noticed me.

“Mmm,” someone else moaned softly. My heart skipped a beat. I wasn't alone! I stopped pounding on the door.

I tried calling out to whoever was out there but got no reply. So I stumbled about, searching. And then nearly killed myself tripping over the person. As far as I could tell they were lying face up on a mat much like I had been when I woke up.

“Hey, are you alright?” I asked the collapsed person, kneeling down next to what I thought was their sides. I couldn't hear anything over my own anxious heartbeat. So I prodded the mass. My finger encountered something soft. Warm too. Getting no response other than a quiet moan, I decided to shake them a bit to rouse a more definite reply.

Fabric rustled as my hand slid across a smooth surface. I felt flesh jiggle a little as the person proved responsive to my shaking.

“Uh...” the person groaned. Looked like they were finally coming to. I continued to shake them gently.

There was something familiar about the oddly firm bounce I felt through my hand. I was touching something that I felt I was on the verge of identifying.

[] Without a doubt it's one of Aya's creamy thighs!
[] Clearly it's the class rep's bosom.
[] Wait is that... oh... it must be that petite senior.
[] All that junk food has finally started to take its toll on Suika's waistline.
[x] Clearly it's the class rep's bosom.

I have no idea what happened or how we got here. I'm just happy to see this story again.
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[x] Without a doubt it's one of Aya's creamy thighs!

Chance time! More Aya, more love~
[X] Wait is that... oh... it must be that petite senior.

We still gotta put a reason?
[x] All that junk food has finally started to take its toll on Suika's waistline.

We always need more Suika.
[x] Clearly it's the class rep's bosom.

Reimu time, yeees

And jesus, this story has already survived how many hiatuses now?
[x] Clearly it's the class rep's bosom.

gonna have to go with reimu
[] Clearly it's the class rep's bosom.

Reimu because why would she be in here?

Also you're alive? This story is alive? Well shit. I'm ages behind. Did Arc get laid yet?

Tell your friends~
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“Arc, is that you?” she asked, her voice weak and a little husky.

“Yeah, it's me Reimu,” I replied. It felt good to have company. Especially hers.

“Where are we?” she asked, coughing slightly, “and why are you groping me?”

“Oh, uh, sorry, I was just making sure that you were a person and not a bag of gym equipment. We're in the detached storage room behind the gym. Before you ask, no idea how we got here.”

“Come closer,” she whispered and shuffled slowly and sat up. She probably was in as bad a way as I was. “I can barely see anything,” she remarked with a little more firmness, “please stop touching my chest, by the way.”

“Sorry, didn't mean to upset you,” I smiled to myself, knowing full well that she would disapprove of my lecherous expression if she could see my face. I felt around the floor to find a spot where I could sit next to her.

“I'm not upset, dummy,” she explained, “it's actually kind of nice to wake up in a weird place and know that I'm with someone I love.”

“Sure, it's always nice to grope the one I love too." I inhaled some air, held it in my lungs and thought for a moment. "Wait, what?!” I couldn't help but cry out in confusion.

“My mind feels a little sluggish, so don't be so loud all of a sudden. I swear you're really a high maintenance boyfriend.”

“Boyfriend? Who, me?” All of a sudden, I felt a sharp sting on the arm that was next to her. Reimu had pinched me! “Ow!”

“You better not say something stupid like that I'm your mistress instead of girlfriend, I'm not in the mood for your stupidity. In case you haven't figured it out, this is one of those scenarios where you have to act reassuring towards your girlfriend.”

“I'm afraid you've completely lost me,” I said wondering if I had had a stroke and was hallucinating everything.

“Geez,” Reimu pinched me again, with more malicious intent the second time around. “We've been going out for several months now and you're still stupidly dense when it comes to my feelings. Do I really have to beg you to hold me or kiss me?”

“N-no, I guess not.” Months? That didn't sound right… but then again, it kinda did. Yeah, come to think about it, we started that kind of relationship after all those times we stayed together in the council room until late. I smiled, I had really gotten her with that game of truth or dare. And, well, after that everything had sort of fallen into place.

“So how did we get here anyways?” she asked quietly, resting her head on my shoulder. Her ribbon brushed up against my cheek, tickling me a bit.

I groped around for her hand and took it, providing her the reassurance she so often craved but was often afraid of showing that she needed. I took a deep breath and tried to organize my thoughts, feeling that my mind worked a little better now that I could feel her warm fingers against my own.

“I don't remember much,” I confessed, “I may have drank something sometime and somehow I ended up here. Don't you remember anything?”

“Nope. I remember I was in the council room looking over next week's schedule and then the next thing I remember is this. The doors are locked, right?”


“Well, at least I'm not alone,” Reimu said with a soft sigh. She rubbed her head against my shoulder like she was a tiny and affectionate kitten.



“How long do you think we'll be here?”

“Until morning at least. I think it's the middle of the night.”

“Oh, that's not too bad then”


“What did I do?” I asked.

“Seemed like you were having fun when you were groping my chest,” Reimu giggled impishly.

“I'm surprised you aren't wearing a bra.”

“After what happened in the council room earlier, I decided it needed washing first. You really need to be more mindful of my clothes, you know.”

“Sorry,” I chuckled, “I didn't mean it.”

Reimu fiddled with her pockets for a moment and turned on a small weak flashlight tied on to the edge of a key chain. There was an almost supernatural glow to Reimu's soft features in that half-light. She was smiling, her eyes twinkling with mischievousness.

“...hey Arc?” She leaned in close to my ear, barely murmuring the question.


“What do you want to do to pass the time?” she asked knowingly.

[] Pass the time with Reimu, consequences be damned.
[] None of this was real and I knew it. Alice was waiting for me.
[x] Pass the time with Reimu, consequences be damned.

My heart beat intensifies. Go for the gold or do a world tour?
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>“Sorry Alice,” I muttered without really knowing why. I felt like maybe I had done something that I should have felt guilty about.
How about that?

[x] None of this was real and I knew it. Alice was waiting for me.

I love Reimu, but this isn't real. Too easy and too fast (and too furious)
I'm overthinking it? You bet your ass I am. After all, this post is just a overly worded 'my waifu>your waifu'
[X] Pass the time with Reimu, consequences be damned.

If this isn't in fact real, then reality isn't somewhere I want to be right now. Not during Reimu Time.
[x] Pass the time with Reimu, consequences be damned.

This is soo gonna bite us back in the ass, but I'm ready for the consequences.

On another note, if Reimu route opens after we become part of the council, does this mean we failed?
[x] Pass the time with Reimu, consequences be damned.

I have to vote for Reimu, even if it's almost certainly a bad idea
It goes against every fiber of my being to not pick the Reimu option, but I don't want a fake dream Reimu. I want the real Reimu, damnit!

[x] None of this was real and I knew it. ReimuAlice was waiting for me.
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She moaned loudly and then gasped, finally biting her lip as she surrendered to the moment. Reimu's fingertips clung onto my back, digging into my skin with little in the way of restraint. I could see in her eyes a mix of satisfaction with yet more bottomless desire. She smiled and quietly mouth that there was no need to stop. Exhaustion had begun to creep up on the both of us and the beads of sweat that trailed so sweetly down her brow and all across her body were more than enough proof of how strenuous an effort we had put on.

My own body felt on the verge of being spent. But we weren't about to listen to reason. With our clothes sprawled across the dark room and the intimate light just barely showing the contours of our bodies, we were wholly engrossed in the moment. And that's the way it would be until the sun came up.

Without breaking eye contact I slackened my arms and lowered myself towards her, bringing my face to hers. She accepted my kiss gladly as she had countless times in the past few hours and it once again felt like our heartbeats were on the verge of synchronizing. Warm, messy and most of all wet, it was hard to tell where my body and fluids ended and where hers began. I wasn't even sure that I needed oxygen anymore as it felt like we had morphed into a single organism, a whole made up of interlocking parts.

I felt like I could even taste her essence, the metallic taste of her fluids saturating my taste buds. It was almost too overpowering. I broke away and she looked up in confusion, almost hurt that I had decided to destroy one of the seals between our bodies. The light from the key chain flickered and the world became fuzzy. I continued to move but felt increasingly separated from the moment.

Reimu spoke but her words never reached my ears. Blood dripped from my nose and onto her face. She smiled and stretched up a hand, caressing my bloody face while silently speaking to me some more. I watched as the blood went from a trickle to a torrent, completely staining her her cheeks, chin and then finally her slender neck and shoulders. She didn't mind and I felt that I shouldn't either. My crimson-stained girlfriend was happy and that was all that mattered.

“Oh, he's coming to,” Marisa said quietly, “hey Arc are you ok?”

“I'm fine, I'm fine,” I answered out of reflex, actually feeling like a steamroller had flattened me. I was lying on my back when I opened my eyes and Marisa was hovering over me, with a worried smile. “What happened?”

“You tripped and fell,” she said. “Hit your head like an idiot and passed out.”

“Oh, right, we were walking together,” it came back to me. I must have been taking too long to make up my mind and tripped on a rock or something. I couldn't even really remember what we were talking about. Something about exams?

I felt something wet on my face. I put my hand on my nose and found that it was blood. Mostly dried. Wow, I must have been out for at least a few minutes.

“Well you look alright enough, save for the nosebleed. You should see the nurse when we get to school,” Marisa said with a chipper smile. I got the feeling that she was trying to hide how she really felt to make me feel better. I sat up and looked around. A few passing students were looking at me but were avoiding getting involved. So much for good samaritans.

Marisa helped me up and pat down my uniform, getting dust off of me. She then handed me her handkerchief. “Thanks,” I told her, wiping dried blood from my nose. Then I noticed it. “Where's Alice?”

“Oh, um, well,” Marisa looked uneasy and fidgeted about.

“Did she go get help or something? She's always overreacting,” I chuckled, in part to reassure her that I was doing okay.

“Um, no it's not exactly that… I mean, she was worried sick and all. I think she was on the verge of tears, actually,” Marisa stated.

“Heh, I doubt it,” I couldn't picture her panicking over a simple fall.

“Well, okay, I guess you don't have to believe it.”

“So what happened?”

“Eh, she had your head in her lap as she was about to give you first aid,” Marisa explained a little reluctantly, “but, well, you started to talk.”

“I did?”

“Yeah, you started calling out our class rep's name over and over and saying that you loved her.” With a sheepish smile and a sigh, she concluded, “Alice froze, wiped her eyes, got up and then walked away. She huffed and said that if you were capable of being yourself while passed out, it couldn't be very serious.”

“Well, thanks for staying with me,” I said, feeling a slight bit embarrassed. At least there were no other witnesses, probably.

“Are you okay to walk? We're going to be late if we don't hurry up,” Marisa offered to help me walk. I thanked her and told her that I was fine.

We made it to school a few minutes before the bell rang. I was feeling very self-conscious about what happened. Marisa sensed as much and didn't say a word, instead just stealthily looking over in my direction every once in a while. She was probably just worried that I'd trip again.

“Where are you going?” Marisa stopped me from going towards our homeroom, “you should see the nurse. I'll walk you there. I know you probably think it's uncool to show up with a girl and say that you tripped and fell but it'll make me feel better if you get checked out.”


“You'd do the same for me,” she reminded me with a whisper tinged with melancholy.

[] If it'll put Marisa's mind at ease... go to the nurse's office.
[] It's not a big deal. Best go to class to clear up misunderstandings.
[x] It's not a big deal. Best go to class to clear up misunderstandings.

Damage control... but I wonder if we're already beyond that.
[x] If it'll put Marisa's mind at ease... go to the nurse's office.

I think trying to 'clear up' misunderstandings could actually make things worse.

Besides, Marisa is love.
I disagree. Doing nothing now would be even worse. He'll probably play dumb but being with Alice for a while and thanking her should be enough
How do you even clear something like this up?
[x] It's not a big deal. Best go to class to clear up misunderstandings.

Reading this through again, Alice started crying. I think it's best to try and clear this up. He might bumble through it and make a fool of himself, but since it is bothering him this much, I'd say it'd be worth it.
You stay with her. You try to make small talk. You let her vent. You thank her for worrying.
What you don't do is ignore her. You know, again.

Yeah, now that I think about it, we don't need dozens of threads to reconcile with Alice for the third/fourth fucking time. So let's just do anything possible.

Changing to
[x] It's not a big deal. Best go to class to clear up misunderstandings.
Because of reasons that'll become clear with the next post, I'm not going to go ahead and ignore these votes and do something else. Sorry and wait warmly.
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“Got into a fight?” the nurse asked with some disinterest, barely lifting up her gaze as she drank from her mug. “It's too early in the day to be dealing with your brand of troublemaking,” she teased.

Marisa stood wordlessly, taken aback at how cruel Eirin's sounded. Couldn't blame her. My relationship with authority figures was a mixed bag and she probably saw Eirin as someone sober and not at all charming and capable of playful ribbing. Girls went to her for advice, after all, while boys tended to idolize her because of her profession and appearance.

I broke the ice with a smile, “yeah, took on about a half dozen bikers on my way here. I defended Marisa here from being harassed and abducted.”

“Oh how noble,” Eirin said flatly, again showing no real interest in us. She sighed and pushed away a pile of papers on her desk. “Well, looks like you're not faking your injury for once, so go ahead and sit down.”

“Eirin's a big softie,” I whispered to Marisa, who still looked unsure of how to handle the situation, “don't worry, she'll patch me up just fine.”

“It's rude to whisper when someone else is in the room,” Eirin remarked with an ambiguous smile. “Very unmanly too.”

“I'm not really try to impress you today,” I chuckled, “I'm just trying to put Marisa's mind at ease. I tripped and fell and she was worried about me because I passed out for a few moments.”

“It's sweet of you to try to make your girlfriend feel better,” Eirin said with a chuckle of her own as she approached to take a look at me. With a practiced touch she examined my head, asked a few questions about how I was feeling and then made me do a few quick tests to see if my balance had been compromised.

“Is he alright?” Marisa asked.

“Didn't even really bruise,” Eirin concluded with a satisfied smile. “He's harder than he looks, or just luckier. He should wash up to get the flakes of blood off but other than that, your boyfriend is in good condition.”

“We're not really a couple,” Marisa explained shyly. I couldn't tell if it was her worry for me or just the subject matter in general that made her more reserved than usual. She was still forthright but her usual energy was subdued. “I care for him a lot but we're simply childhood friends right now.”

“Right now?” Eirin slapped me on the back, as if to say 'way to go'. “I certainly appreciate boldness in a woman. Don't get too hung up on this boy here, though, I'm sure you can do better.”

“Geez thanks Eirin,” I said with a roll of my eyes, “way to act like an adult.”

“See what I mean? No honorifics or titles, he just uses my given name casually,” she ignored me and winked at Marisa, “not exactly a catch.”

The school bell rang, indicating the start of homeroom.

“Oh, we better get going,” Marisa said.

“You go ahead, dear,” Eirin told her, “I still have a few more things I'd like to check on your would-be boyfriend. Wouldn't want something small to snowball into something bigger just because I didn't catch it the first time around.”

“Okay, thank you very much for your help,” Marisa nodded and stood up. Compared to earlier, she looked at lot more at ease. Maybe Eirin's casual disinterest was more calculated than I gave it credit for.

With a polite nod, Eirin said her goodbye.

She sighed again when we were alone, clearly meaning to express her exasperation with me. Her body language changed and she became a little more casual and less business-like, asking, “what am I going to do with you?”

“Heal my body and soul with love, surely,” I joked.

“Yes, yes,” she laughed, going over to her drawer and producing a paper pad and pen. “I do need you to a favor for me now. So no more joking since I need to assess your mental capacity.

“What do you want me to do?”

“Write about a few recent events. Be detailed if possible. I want to see if your memory has been affected at all. It's always a concern after passing out due to a blow on the head.”

I sat down at her desk and looked at the blank piece of paper.

[] Write in detail about what's been going on in my life.
[] A few bullet points about the most recent stuff is good enough.
[] Memory's fine, no need for this.
[]Secret Eirin romantic scene instead

The above is a choice regarding a recap of recent events that I'll do for the readers since it's been a very long time since we've dealt with this story and its characters. It has zero impact on events and characters (so don't worry about what Eirin thinks, for instance). The longer the recap, the more time it'll take me since I have to reread stuff in the story myself and I hate reading my own writing.

It was always the intention to have the first choice following 'waking up' be a recap thing. The nurse's office lets me focus more on the past in an update than having Alice, Reimu and other classmates be involved and I decided that I didn't want to overload the reader with too much new information while getting this sorted out. Coupled with the low turnout, this led to the decision to ignore the votes.

I'll be weighing how much I do in the above choice more on what you're saying rather than number of votes by themselves. So if I feel like people are okay with things, I'll just soldier on but if I feel like people are lost I'll give the option of the more detailed summaries more weight.

What follows are a few thoughts of my own on the story and writing that, while not essential, I think are central to future activity. I'm including this for the sake of transparency and it's definitely blog-y but hopefully still worth your while.

I stopped writing in the first place because I was busy with stuff and then a little turned off creatively. No one was asking me to get back to it either and inertia begat inertia as I stopped checking the site that often. Hence it was harder to care the longer I wasn't writing. It's definitely my fault overall but the way both the site and irc tend to stay silent about most authors and stories and don't ask what's up or really discuss things very often. This compounded my feelings of detachment.

I wrote the post a few days ago in order to motivate someone else. He was having a hard time getting motivated to actually write and so after talking to him I agreed to update if he just sat down and actually wrote something. This is with zero expectations of the reception on the site. In fact, I had envisioned maybe waiting until the next weekend before following up, since it seemed unlikely to me that there would be anyone besides maybe him and someone else that would bother to vote. I didn't really have a plan for continuing the story in earnest, since I didn't think there would be any demand.

There was a bigger response than what I expected to my post, so much so that I waited much less to do the follow up post. With this last one, however, I've gotten what I expected would be the norm. And so that leaves me wondering about what comes next. The story format would have to change drastically if I was doing only a few updates a week and with a smaller audience. I would, in fact, try to prematurely wrap things up in a short period of time since the story misses its point without short fast updates and a fair number of quickish voters. I always felt that part of the charm of ToY was how it juggled so many characters and events quickly and didn't put that much weight on any one choice because there was probably going to be another opportunity to trigger a flag. It's simply not possible to do that as effectively if the updates are fewer and farther in between and have a lot more 'plot' happening in each one. The pace of things and mood are central to the story's soul.

So really the only reasonable thing to maintain the tone and enjoyment of the story is to carry on in its preestablished format. Too much of the story has been written out and voted on for me to suddenly change things.

To top it all off the site is quite dead in general. Depressingly so. I think that even people who, in the past, claimed that things were fine and the site wasn't dying would be hard pressed to make that argument now. Though I'm sure they'd still continue to call me names if the subject came up again ;)

I still very much care about the site and stories but I'm also a little tired of tilting at windmills. I'm open to ideas and suggestions as always but I think we're really at a do or die moment in regards to activity. After a lot of thought I think I made up my mind on what I can do as both a writer and site owner. I can't force others to vote and write (tried individual appeals in the past but as the saying goes you can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink). So the only thing I can do is write for a while, as the votes come in. I'm going to try my best in the coming days, or maybe even weeks depending on my latent masochism, and hope things pick up. If they don't, however, I don't think there's anything else that I can do.

I'm therefore making the selfish request that you please check in on the site regularly, vote regularly and please tell your friends to do so as well. The last bit might be the most important one, since we need manpower above all. I can't force others to update but I can control what I write and I promise to not go without a fight. It's easy to be cynical about touhou fanfiction but this has been an overall joyful thing for me and I would really love to steal away time from real life and serious things once again in order to read and write things on the site every day.

I'm open to ideas and suggestions or just general thoughts about what I've said or the story. If you feel that you have something to add or say, go ahead, I'd be happy to see it. Just don't deny that the site is in bad shape, I don't really want to have that argument when even /th/ doesn't get posts every day anymore and hasn't for a long time. It's not a seasonal thing if it's been like that for at least half a year.

Thanks for taking the time to read the above. Will hopefully have faster and regular updates after the next one (giving this some time so that people see it/get the recap ball rolling) if you guys help me out. Le'ts keep the dream of youthful fun alive together.

Yours with love, the eternal idiot Teruyo
[X] A few bullet points about the most recent stuff is good enough.

Should be good enough.

I remember a vote about older ladies getting more screentime. I'm not sure we got a fair share of them yet.
[x] A few bullet points about the most recent stuff is good enough.

I think just mentioning what happened to Marisa, Arc's deals with Yuyuko and Aya and his relationship with Reimu and Tenshi should be enough.

Anyway, are you sure you absolutely cannot modify the story in order to allow a lower pace? Not wanting to is a perfectly reasonable response, however.
[x] A few bullet points about the most recent stuff is good enough.

Yeah, depends on what "recent" is in this context but I think I can trust you with this.

So, does that mean if you ever suffer from writer's block again readers should just post and say their pieces? Works for me

Sorry, I usually don't vote when I'm equally happy with any of the options. It doesn't help that life's been busy lately and I don't feel I have much of worth to say. I'll try to participate more in the future but I can't really promise much due to lack of time, and chronic illness.

[x] A few bullet points about the most recent stuff is good enough.

A shorter recap will probably be better for avoiding the return of your writer's block.
I seem to recall after that people not voting for the choices that led to said older ladies, but my memory might be playing tricks on me.

It's both that I feel that I can't do it without changing the nature of the story and that I don't really want to. There's a definite rhythm to the story and its updates. If updates are longer and slower in between it changes the dynamic significantly.

For example: There's less chances of me putting in more characters or different locations and situations. Think about it, if say there's a choice like staying in or going into town and then the subsequent update has two more choices (and then you get at least another pair for whomever you encounter) that means that I can completely change the mood or characters that you interact with more naturally. With longer updates more has to happen *per update* which means that I can't drastically change things in an update without robbing readers of the choice and freedom that has characterized the story until this point in time.

There's plenty of other reasons as well, including how I approach the story from a technical perspective (how I focus every scene and add background details). Not to mention how I handle stuff like flags and the kinda sorta unofficial affection system that's in place. Not to mention that with choices being less frequent they're also more important and so I'd have to start having choices that had more obvious/stronger consequences.

I could go on but I'm trying to keep this post concise. If you want to hear more about my methodology hit me up on IRC or something. Suffice to say that besides the challenges due to the format of the story it's also not that fun for me to change up the execution of the story. If I wanted to do a slower, more methodical story I would be writing something else. So again, it's both can't and don't want to.

I've never minded people asking me about what's up. There's nothing more depressing than seeing a thread be completely dead IMO. In the past it's sometimes made feel like not writing when I saw basically no activity after a while. It's easier to say 'fuck it' and go play a game or something. But to be honest, that's not really an issue when people were commenting and voting earnestly to begin with. I will admit that sometimes it's nice to see an inane comment about a touhou or a nice image or something after a bit of downtime. It can help when motivation isn't 100%

That said, I'd rather that if you want to ask me if I'm writing or planning to write anytime soon, you do it via IRC. It keeps the threads uncluttered and is generally faster. So long as you're not asking me every five seconds, I don't mind people asking about story stuff. Back in the day there were a few regulars that asked about stuff all the time and I'd tell them whether I was working on something or busy or whatever.

So yeah, feel free to kick my ass if I get blocked for too long or if I'm just outright lazy. I don't mind in the least.

Even if you're equally happy with the choices, think of your fellow voters and me. The former often need direction and the latter takes number of votes and the time it takes to get them as a metric of whether or not I should update. In short, it motivates me to write more/faster if I see people voting. It's always been more votes = faster updates one way or another.

I'm sure you have a lot that's worth saying too. Don't feel like you always have to say something profound. Sometimes a simple reason like "I want to see Orin get flustered" is worth more than a lengthy dissertation. There's no need to feel like you need to put that much time into it either. Gut feeling and quick first impressions are totally valid. Don't feel intimidated - all input is appreciated. I also can't realistically expect people to F5 constantly which is why I generally try to announce when I'm writing when I'm doing regular updates.

Oh and I hope whatever you have isn't too serious. I know all too well what it's like to deal with recurring pain and discomfort.
[x] A few bullet points about the most recent stuff is good enough.

I feel similarly to >>60674. Often I don't vote (and this goes for everything on this site, not just ToY) because I would be fine with either option, or I really can't make a decision between options, or the choice I like is already at a landslide majority so I just won't bother.
Often I'll open this site on my phone to check for updates and read them. I don't particularly like typing on it, so I make a mental note to vote when I get home - but then I usually just forget entirely.

For what it's worth, I still do check THP on (at least, if not more) a daily basis. My problem is just making a decision between choices or just deciding not to bother.

But regardless, I'm still super happy to see this story again. I'll try to be more active with this stuff in the future. Keep it up, Teruyo.
[x] A few bullet points about the most recent stuff is good enough.

wasn't expecting this to come back after how long it's been comatose.
[x] Write in detail about what's been going on in my life.

I want details. Name names.
I drew a tank and airplane at the top of the page. If this was a test of my memories and personality, I figured I should at least dignify the exercise like I would my homework. I chose to do things by topic rather than strict chronological order.

-It was the last week of classes and exam results were expected to be up soon.

-I had studied with Kaguya and had felt more or less confident going in.

-There was a moment that could have been interesting with her that was ruined by Auntie

-The Fujiwara girl had been an ass to me and warned me about unspecified trouble.

-Kaenbyou had promised to give me the time of day next time we ran into each other.

-Yukari and Yuyuko were up to no good. As usual. Currently pushing for me to join the student council next academic year.

-A strange triad at a nightclub had taken an interest in me.

-Tojiko and I had had a brief intimate encounter.

-The owner, Miko had 'read my desires' and no said I owed her an unspecified favor in the future.

-The small Futo had tried to ingratiate herself to me, didn't seem to get along that well with Tojiko.

-I met a strange but nice girl who had amnesia named Yoshika. We had tea and I invited her to the movies. She said yes but had to take a raincheck.

-A bratty freshman would-be idol found me interesting. Told me I had a chance with Remilia.

-Marisa had moved in with me after resolving the situation with her father.

-Reimu had more or less come to grips with me being her running mate for student council. She scurried off last time I saw her, troubled by something else she wouldn't tell me.

-Alice had gotten bored of me and started hanging out with a tough crowd. She was seeing an older guy too.

- Eirin was simply the most wonderful person in existence.

“Somehow I suspect those last two aren't entirely truthful,” Eirin noted with a sigh.

“I was spicing things up,” I told her. “Besides, I'm not entirely comfortable letting you know everything I think or feel.”

“Alright, alright,” she ripped the paper from the pad, crupled it up and threw it into a wastebasket. “You've made your point. I think you're just fine. No new psychological conditions either.”


“Maybe that's my way of having fun,” she smirked and shooed me away, “go back to class, the nurse's office is only for sick students. Not malingerers.”

“Fine, whatever,” I let myself be driven off, “I'll catch you later.”

“Uhuh,” Eirin said dismissively. Guess she had other pressing business.

I stopped by the bathroom before going to class in order to wash my face. It was amazing how I hadn't even swollen up even a little bit.

“-will be posted this afternoon before the end of the school day,” Mima was saying as I slid the door open. She barely even looked at me when I came in, so beyond caring about my infractions. “In the final bit of news, all candidates for the student council are to report at some point to the guidance counselor. Do so by tomorrow.”

I took my seat as the bell signifying the end of homeroom rang. At least most of the people in my immediate vicinity weren't upset with me. Both Marisa and Kaguya smiled at me when they saw me and Suika silently nodded her head in greeting. Alice was looking away with a hand on her chin, not at all acknowledging my presence.

I actually stayed up for most of my morning classes for a change. I didn't really get to get a chance to do anything during the first break as Suika kept badgering me about a new show she was watching but at lunch time she had rushed off to get food and left me alone.

[] See Big Sis sooner rather than later.
[] Take Alice aside and talk to her.
[] Forget them both, go visit other classes and catch up with people.
[X] See Big Sis sooner rather than later.

Well, since it was pointed out we need to go see them for more screentime...
[x] Take Alice aside and talk to her.
Focus, guys, focus.
It's the thing that was voted for before the recap so it should be dealt with first.

>think of your fellow voters

I do, and that's why I prefer to leave the vote in the hands of people more invested in a particular choice. It seems fairer that way. Still, I'll try to chime in more, even if only for your sake.

>Oh and I hope whatever you have isn't too serious.

Thank you. I have schizophrenia and related comorbidities; depression, anxiety, etc.

[x] Take Alice aside and talk to her.

I don't know what we can possibly say, but I suppose we should at least try!
[X] Take Alice aside and talk to her.

My gut tells me to go see Big Sis, but my brain says that Alice is a bit more urgent right now. Priorities...
[x] Take Alice aside and talk to her.

She's totally not even going to talk to Arc. We'll just get stonewalled as she shuts him out.
[x] Take Alice aside and talk to her
Holy molly i miss a lot of chance to vote. Glad this story is back!
“So, is this spot taken?” I asked facetiously as I pulled up my chair to Alice's desk.

She was rifling through her bag, getting her packed lunch out. My question didn't really trigger much of a reaction. It was only after unwrapping her food that she actually bothered to acknowledge my presence. “What do you want?” she asked.

“Just wanted to talk a little,” I said.

“I'm busy eating,” she replied curtly. “And no, I didn't make enough for two before you ask.”

“That's fine, I'm not really hungry. I'll just sit here for a bit if you don't mind. Go ahead and eat.”

While I felt that it was slightly creepy to silently watch someone eat, Alice didn't say anything either way about it. She ate her food quickly, while simply starting ahead and ignoring me. I honestly couldn't tell what was going on inside her head. The other girls in the class that might have joined her for lunch were off in other small groups and none of them had approached her because of my presence, I wagered.

Alice put away her lunchbox and leaned back in her chair slightly. She looked off into the distance, as if she could see beyond the classroom wall. Finally, she took a deep breath and then turned to me, “so what do you want?”

“I wanted to see how you were doing,” I said.

“I'm doing fine as you can see.”

“Well, about earlier...”

“What about earlier?” she interrupted. “It looks like you're doing just fine. I'm assuming the nurse gave you a clean bill of health.”

“I guess I'm just really lucky, it's not every day someone hits their head and doesn't suffer any ill consequences,” I said with a small shrug. With a dash of self-depreciate humor, I added, “I'm more skull than brains anyhow.”

“All's well that ends well,” Alice said flatly and then stood up. “I have a few things I need to do, if you'll excuse me.”

I stood up as well, “oh, well, I also wanted to apologize if I made you worry. Sorry. Marisa said you got worked up.”

“She was exaggerating. It's what she does. Marisa is plenty excitable,” Alice said dryly. “I checked to see if it was serious and when I saw it wasn't, I moved on. It looked like you were coming to when I left.”

“Well, thank you anyways,” I said. “It's always nice to have a friend look out for me.”

“You're welcome. Now is there anything else you wanted to say to me?” Alice asked, clearly looking for a way to walk away without being too rude about it.

[] Just let her walk away.
[] She shouldn't take seriously whatever I may have said while I was passed out.
[x] Just let her walk away.

I don't see the other choice as working out too well. Alice is already used to our faffing about, and I think that bringing it up like so just makes it seem like we're making excuses.
I hate how it feels like we wasted that last vote if we go with this, but perhaps it's better to let her cool off a bit this time.
[x] Just let her walk away.

Yeah, I think we don't need to actually explain that we didn't mean it. Alice should know that anyway. She just needs to cool off for a while.

Also, I'm not victim-blaming (is that even the right word here) but Alice seems to be the person we piss off more than anyone else
[X] Just let her walk away.

And so poor Alice keeps taking hits.
Not entirely sure about this vote, but we've made excuses in the past (iirc) and seem to keep disappointing.

Also, welcome back Teruyo.
I wonder if something else besides the obvious is bothering her? I don't think so but we'll see.

[x] She shouldn't take seriously whatever I may have said while I was passed out.

Yeah not giving up that easily.
[x] She shouldn't take seriously whatever I may have said while I was passed out.

Stay on target folks. We've come this far. The choice is to walk away or keep going. We've spent one choice thus far with no results, I say we double down and go for broke.
[x] She shouldn't take seriously whatever I may have said while I was passed out.

Going with this because I think we'd be wasting the previous vote otherwise.
Giving this another half hour before I call it either way, since I want to keep some sort of momentum for writing while I have the time.
Expect something soon.
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“Hold up,” I stopped her from leaving by walking in front of her. “There is one more thing.”

Alice stared at me with cool, unflinching eyes. It was one of the best poker faces I had ever seen in my life. Her thoughts were a complete mystery to me. “Well, what is it?” she asked evenly.

“It's about what I said when I passed out,” I said with a clumsy smile. It was sort of embarrassing to bring up and I wasn't even sure if it was such a good idea. It didn't help that we were standing out in public. Well, no one was staring at us or anything, I mean it was normal enough for the two of us to talk and be seen together. But still, it would only take a lull in one of the conversations at a nearby desk for people to be able to eavesdrop on us. “Please don't take it so seriously,” I finally finished the thought after a few moments of hesitation.

“And why would I take it seriously?” she asked quietly, keeping a perfectly straight face.

“Well, you know, I… well, I blurted out things that I didn't really mean and if it offended you, well I'm sorry.”

“Why would it offend me?” she asked once again, a hint of a smile forming on her lips. Was I in the clear?

“Well, I guess I'm apologizing for being an idiot. Even my mind betrays me sometimes, y'know. You know me better than most people.”

“Indeed I do,” she nodded her head as that incipient smile hinted at absolution. “I do expect you to be less than perfect, don't worry. As I said, I know you better than most people.”

“Heh, well, I guess I should have expected you to be more understanding. Sorry, I assumed you were mad at me. And I didn't want you to be mad at me.”

“Oh, I'm not mad at you at all,” Alice's smile blossomed more fully. “In fact, I think I'm going to help you out with something now.”

“Help me with what?”

There was a fey light in her eyes that unnerved me slightly due to its intensity. Before I could question her further, she had already taken action.

“Hey Reimu, do you have a second?” Alice called out to the class rep casually, diving into the group of girls having lunch together effortlessly. My heart began to beat faster as she leaned in to whisper something into her ears. Then they both looked at me, and Alice wore a broad smile. Reimu had a look of confusion and got up from her chair and started to make her way towards me. “You're welcome,” Alice said with a happy little nod before leaving the classroom for good.

“Oh, um, hey,” I greeted the class rep with my thoughts in a jumble. I didn't know what had just happened. Did Alice? No, she couldn't possibly have-

“Arc,” Reimu said, “I think we should go somewhere a little more private for this.”

“Ah, okay,” I was flabbergasted and was incapable of doing anything but follow her lead.

Reimu led me away from the classroom and the busy hallways and took me to the student council room. The door was unlocked and no one else was inside. It was my first time in there, and despite my nerves, I couldn't help but notice that it was a rather luxurious place. Besides a pair of computers for student council use there was also a couch and a large conference-style table with plenty of chairs set around it. Not to mention all the plants, posters and filing cabinets that lined the sides of the place.

“Well, we're alone now,” Reimu said quietly, closing the door behind us. She seemed quiet and strangely submissive, almost like – my body remembered the warm feeling of her body as well as her tender lips. I knew it hadn't been real but logic alone wasn't enough to dispel the swelling feeling in my chest. “Alice told me what you said earlier today and I think that we should talk about it. I didn't know you were capable of being serious like that. And well, I just wanted to hear for myself how you felt before we go any further...”

“I, um,” I wasn't sure what to do.

[] Tell her it's all a big misunderstanding.
[] The hell with it, I do like Reimu.
I'm not buying it, so I think there are two possibilities:

- Alice asked Reimu to help play a prank on Arc

- This is out of context and Reimu thinks of something entirely different, for example us saying that we were nervous about the results, showing her we're quite serious about it.

I'm not totally dismissing the possibility that we can take this at face value as well, but in any case I think we should

[x] The hell with it, I do like Reimu.

In the worst case we get laughed at by her, in the best we get some points. I think prematurely cutting her off by saying it's a misunderstanding could hurt her regardless of what she actually thinks except if it's a prank
>In the worst case we get laughed at by her, in the best we get some points.

Not sure. It's not like she approves of Arc's ways to begin with and if she thinks it's about something else and he confesses it could turn her off.

Overall I agree with you but Im going to think it over first before voting. I don't think Reimu would conspire with Alice at any rate about this sort of thing.
>"Alice told me what you said earlier today and I think that we should talk about it. I didn't know you were capable of being serious like that."

>“Yeah, you started calling out our class rep's name over and over and saying that you loved her.”

How is mumbled declarations of love, while asleep, something 'serious'?

[x] "What did she tell you, exactly? Wanna avoid any misunderstandings before they appear"

If write ins aren't allowed... then my vote goes to:

[x] Tell her it's all a big misunderstanding.

I'm not sure if Alice is doing a prank, but I don't think so. The phrase "I just wanted to hear for myself how you felt before we go any further” could easily mean a beating, yes... but I like to err in the side of caution for these situations.

I'd prefer to fall into a prank than to take a very serious situation with less than it deserves.
[x] Tell her it's all a big misunderstanding.

I have one comment. Did we really push this far for Reimu? No? Then stay on target.
I don't really want to call it with just three votes but I should keep things moving. So you have an hour to vote before I do a final tally.
>>60700 here
going with [x] The hell with it, I do like Reimu.
after all
Guess there'll be no more votes. So calling and writing nowissh.
I took a deep breath. I was losing my cool. That wasn't like me. Or the version of me I tried to project unto the world. Being alone with a cute girl somewhere private wasn't a big deal. Even if my brain was blurring the line between fantasy and reality. So what if it felt more real than reality? Day dreams weren't my style.

“What's the problem?” Reimu asked softly, her look quizzical.

“Nothing,” I replied coolly. “ I was just thinking something over.”

“Well then, were you being serious? I want to hear your answer sooner rather than later.”

“I like you, class rep,” I told her flat out. “I mean Ms. Hakurei? No, scratch that, Reimu.” The cat was out of the bag, clumsily enough.

“That's great to hear,” she said with a smile, “that's a solid foundation.”

“...that's it?” I asked. “How do you feel about me?”

“You're a mess,” she said without holding back, “irresponsible, unpredictable and clearly a lech. And those are your good qualities,” she added with a giggle. I interpreted that as a good sign. She should have added 'optimist' to that list.

“Is that how you really feel?”

“Well, I don't hate you, if that's what you're asking,” she explained, “I just wish that you'd take things more seriously. Which is why I'm pleased to hear how you feel.”

“If you want me to take things seriously, I can do that,” I said with a nod. “I mean, all that matters is ho w we feel, right? We can work around the rest.”

“It's not all that matters, preparation is a large part of it. You have to be on your best behavior constantly if we want this to work out. That means no stupid stunts in public.”

I nodded again, stating my earnestness, “I'll only do whatever stunts you want me to, private or public.”

“I'm glad we understand each other, we should get started right away then,” she said.

“Wait, get started?” I asked. Wasn't it going a little too smoothly? Or too fast, for that matter.

“Yeah, I'll get some cardboard and scissors and we'll get right to work.”

Alice's smile flashed through my mind and the coin dropped. We weren't talking about the same thing at all. How very disappointing. At least I didn't say anything too foolish. Though I felt oddly frustrated with the situation. I don't know if I had convinced myself of it or it was true all along but I did have a thing for Reimu.

After all, she was pretty cute. Most of the time I got to see her serious side, the side of hers that was the no-nonsense class rep but I knew there was more to her than that. I knew that she could smile and cut loose with friends. It might have been that everyone just expected her to be a responsible and hard-working girl so that's how she had to behave. I mean, the big ribbon in her hair that was barely within the dress code – in her own way, she resisted authority.

“So what's the plan for right now? I'm all for preparation but I'd like to know our overall goal,” I lied.

“Graduation is at the end of the week and after that we'll be on break before the start of the new term. We should have a lot of material ready because we won't have a lot of time to do it once classes start again. So we should think of how to appeal to others beforehand.”

“...is it that big of a deal?” I tired to ask a vague question that didn't let on the fact that I wasn't sure what she was talking about.

“Of course,” she finally clued me in, “a campaign is always a big deal. Even if there's no one else running against us at the moment, we should still put on a good show.”

“Right,” I nodded, “since I've agreed to help you with campaigning, we should sort as much as possible beforehand.”

“Enough talking,” Reimu chided, “get a piece of paper and start writing down ideas that we can use in a debate or in posters.”

That was all there was to our intimate encounter. We sat together for most of the lunch break bouncing ideas back and forth and making prototype fliers and posters for our candidacy. Even though I felt she was running for president because no one else wanted to, I felt that Reimu still was into the idea. Her energy was contagious and her sobriety began to rub off on me a little. I was actually sorta caring about the future of our institution for a change. That is, until the bell rang.

“I had fun,” she said as we walked together back to class, “I'm liking this side of you. It's kind of nice to watch you be serious for a change. Keep it up and I might start thinking of you as dependable instead of all that nasty stuff I said earlier.” After pausing for a moment, she added coyly, “save maybe being a lech.”

I took it as a compliment and chuckled. Truth was, I was still a little uneasy when around her. Part of me had wanted to go further than I did and make it clear that I meant that I liked her in a different sort of way. There would be more opportunities in the future, I hoped.

If Alice cared that we returned to the classroom, looking like all smiles, she didn't show it. She was busy reading something and barely looked up as I took my seat.

“Psst,” Suika poked me in the back. “Quick, before the teacher gets here.”

“Yeah?” I turned around. Suika looked at me with a stupid grin. It looked like during the break she had gotten up to something, as her clothes were scuffed up.

“Next break, go to the roof. There's someone there that has a little business proposition for you. Asked me to tell you.”


“It's a surprise,” she said sticking out her tongue, “well, not really, but I don't really feel like telling you.”


I was curious but part of me thought it better not to. According to the teacher, exam results would be up in the next break and I also had to go check in with the guidance counselor for some reason.

[] Go up to the roof.
[] There's more pressing business to get to.
[X] Go up to the roof.

Alice got some payback after all.
Might as well visit the roof, see what this is all about.
[x] Go up to the roof.

Whew, man. I'm glad that things worked out. I was pretty nervous about the outcome of that last vote.
Anyway, we did our due diligence for the day. Time to get up to some shenanigans.
[X] There's more pressing business to get to.

Meh, business proposal is probably more shenanigans that I would not care for.
[x] There's more pressing business to get to.

feels just a tad too suspicious for me to bite
I was just about to say, giving it time, etc. But I think there's been a fair amounts of votes in the two hours, so screw it I'm going to write now. Expect something soon.
[x] Go up to the roof.

Meh, fuck it. Roll the dice. It's on break. We can at least hear the proposal and turn it down if anyone is too leery.
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“You're not going?” Suika prodded me when the bell rang. She had a nasty habit of hitting me directly in tender spots, like the ones between bones.

I wasn't really in the mood to retaliate and risk escalation, so I ignored the transgression for the moment. “Yeah, I've got better stuff to do,” I told her. “If you see this person, tell them to try again some other day.”

“Suit yourself,” she said with a roll of her eyes.

“I'm going to check out exam results, you coming?” I asked.

“Naw. Pass or fail, it's all the same,” she replied with disinterest. Well, if she did poorly, a teacher would talk to her. So I guess she'd find out one way or another.

I, on the other hand, was curious. I followed the line of nervous-looking students out of the classroom and into the hallway. By the far end, near the stairwell, a throng was anxiously chattering away, checking their results. Public posting of results were a little humiliating, I had to admit. A few girls were already in tears, probably thinking of what their parents would say. Auntie wouldn't care much, so long as I wasn't flunking. Low standards were great.

“Howdja do?” I asked a classmate who was walking back. He glared at me, telling me everything I needed to know. He was one of the more popular guys, played baseball. Well, if he kept at it, he wouldn't have to worry about grades.

Mmm, well, that was interesting.

I looked for my name all over the board and couldn't find it. It was sorted by overall rank so I made sure to look around the middle first.

Oh, well, that would be why. I found my name by looking at the side of the board.

That would explain all the looks I was getting too. I placed my hands in my pocket and walked away. I guess I should have cared more but I just didn't. Just thinking of the class rep again made got me more worked up than any amount of results could ever do.

“Hey there,” I knocked on the guidance counselor's door. As it was ajar, I just let myself in.

“The man of the hour,” Big Sis remarked with a welcoming smile. She was leaning over to pick up a pen that fell off her desk.

“Well, now, this is awkward. It's definitely plumper than I thought it would be.”

“Oh, you cad,” Big Sis shook her head after righting herself. Her words dripping with her usual deadpan sarcasm and framed by her unflinching smile, she added, “You sure know how to sweet talk the ladies.”

“I'm not sure I see Big Sis as a lady, more like a force of nature,” I fired back. “A well-endowed force of nature.”

“Absolutely charming,” she said indicating that I should take a seat. “Took you a while to show up. I thought you'd come up in the morning like your soon-to-be president did.”

“What's crackin'?” I asked.

“Did you see your academic results yet?” Big Sis smiled dumbly.

“Yeah, did better than expected.”

“Quite an understatement. You were at the top of your class,” she chuckled. Folding her arms, she sat on her desk, looking down at me with mischief-filled eyes.

“I don't care about grades.”

“But you did study.”

“I did,” I said.

“Well, the gods seem to have rewarded your effort,” she said ambiguously.

“...” Something dawned upon me. Could she have? “This is about being vice president right? And a vice president can't have bad grades. It'd be embarrassing for him to be in the bottom percentile.”

“Well, I wouldn't say that you're in the bottom percentile as such. You give yourself too little credit,” she said smugly.

“Did you… fix the results?”

“That would be irresponsible of me,” she said. “Besides, I don't have that kind of power nor access. The most I can do is make notes about your psychological state in your permanent record.”

“But there's someone else who can,” I said, thinking of the headmistress.

“Would she do something so obvious? I mean, you were first. Hardly subtle,” she laughed like it was just a game. Well, maybe it all was. Damn her, she was good at messing with me.

[] Insist on knowing the truth.
[] Move on – the truth isn't important.

Guy who deleted his vote after I called - you dun goofed. It was a 3-2 split. Be quicker about your changes of heart.
Hmmm... Do we want to insist or not, I wonder...
[x] Insist on knowing the truth.

It leaves a bad taste in the mouth otherwise. I definitely care if the result is a sham or the product of our own efforts.
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Me on the right. Missed the last update by minutes.

[x] Insist on knowing the truth.

As I said a hundred times, I want to change Arc into a more responsible person (regarding some things at least) This is just another step in that path.

Besides, if he doesn't really care, if it is the same, what harm could the truth do?
Is the 'watch thread' function not working or something? I kind of want to avoid missing a vote again.
[x] Insist on knowing the truth.

It's good to know. It'll influence whether we need to study harder in the future.
[x] Insist on knowing the truth.

Well, I can get behind this being important for Arc.
[x] Insist on knowing the truth.

yeah this is important if arc is going to be a better person
[x] Move on – the truth isn't important.

It's not that important. Besides, she'll use it to tease Arc even harder.
“This isn't funny,” I said, scowling. Being made fun of was something I was used to from her but, for some reason, it was actually getting to me for a change. I felt like I should care even though I never usually did.

“Well, funny or not, it is what it is,” Big Sis said flatly, the plastic smile never fading from her lips. “Nothing you nor I can do about it.”

“I want to know the truth,” I said, “I want to know just how much you're manipulating me.”

“Wouldn't that defeat the point of manipulating you?” she tilted her head, as if it was a legitimate question. “I mean, unless it had more layers to it than that. I suppose that knowing that you're being used isn't the same as understanding the extent of it. I'm afraid that's far above my paygrade as your trusted counselor to figure out.”

“Be it as it may, I feel that I'm entitled to know at least this much. I mean, if my efforts don't alter the results, then why make the effort at all?”

“Now this is cute,” Big Sis' smile took a more natural, warmer appearance, “if I didn't know any better I'd say that you actually care. The truant, malingerer and general problem student actually cares about his grades. Or is it just a matter of appearances? I suppose that excelling at academics does contradict the image you've built up for yourself.”

“It's not about that,” I started.

Big Sis interrupted, “Well, I if I truly believed you were all that bad, I would have sought to expel you instead of fostering our current relationship.” With a wistful sigh, she added, “but this isn't the time to be overly sensitive. Let's move on, shall we?”

“I still want an answer.”

“You've already gotten your answer,” she said, sounding more serious than before, “decide for yourself what's true or not. Use some of that lateral thinking that has served you well to figure out what you need to know. It is one of your more useful talents. I'm certain both Ms. Hinanawi and Kirisame would agree.”

“You're terrible,” I protested.

Big Sis shook her head. “How hurtful. I think I'm rather good, objectively speaking. You can fault me for a lot of things but I assure you that caring too little is not one of my shortcomings. And that's the truth. Huff and puff all you want, it's the only answer I can give you. Pressing it further is both pointless and rude.”

I wondered if other students were even capable of imaging the struggles I went through with the staff. Everyone else likely saw her as a helpful counselor who was always all smiles. I felt like sighing.

“Well,” Big Sis continued, her tone shifting from sober to whimsical, “I do know that I'll be reminding you of this little talk the next time you act so difficult. I have confirmation now that at least part of you really does care about doing the right thing.”

“Truly, you're terrible,” I said. And went ahead and sighed.

“Can we change the subject now?” she asked. And, without waiting for my reply, she handed me a stack of papers. “Here's the forms you have to fill out in order to run for vice president. Have them completed by tomorrow, please.”

I didn't say anything else. There was no point. Anything else I said would continue to be used against me. I shouldn't have brought the subject up, it ended up just giving her more power over me. I could already imagine her badgering me the next time I wanted to seem aloof.

The last few afternoon classes concluded without incident. A few weird looks from my classmates wasn't enough to make me feel too self-conscious. Luckily if Suika had heard about the results, she wasn't really in the mood to pester me. The only one who actually talked to me about it was my study partner. Kaguya congratulated me on the results, sounding impressed at my performance. It seemed that she hadn't done too bad herself and thanked me for it.

I got the feeling that there was something else that she wanted to say but she instead said her goodbyes and left when a group of girls came by to invite her to join them for tea and cake. I got the feeling that most of the girls at school would be rewarding themselves with sweets because of exam results. Or at the very least commiserating as a group.

[] Spend a quiet evening at home.
[] Head into town.
[x] Head into town.

Let's celebrate our good exam results with a night on the town!
Who knows? Maybe we'll stumble into a certain club again. Or run into a certain headmaster. Or anything, really!
The possibilities!
[x] Spend a quiet evening at home.

Quiet reflection and simple pleasures. Say no more.
[x] Spend a quiet evening at home.

go consider life
[x] Head into town.
Got nothing to add.
> I shouldn't have brought the subject up, it ended up just giving her more power over me. I could already imagine her badgering me the next time I wanted to seem aloof.

On that we disagree. She has earned quite a bit of disrespect due to changing from covert omissions to outright confrontations.

We didn't get good grades...

[x] House option

Marisa/Alice chance!
[x] Spend a quiet evening at home.

We have forms to fill out.
[x] Spend a quiet evening at home.

Just some time to relax and deal with whatever will come knocking (odds are something WILL come knocking)

I guess I'll try to enjoy this before the next hiatus.
I usually went out to clear my head. Staying home and not doing anything important made me dwell and ruminate on my thoughts, which wasn't always a good thing.

The school year was virtually over. This last week was more of a formality than anything else. We weren't going to learn anything important in class, just the scraps of the curriculum that we had skipped over in a rush to get ready for exams. Seniors would be graduating halfway through the week too and that trimmed the actual learning time even further. So really there were only just a few more days until our brief spring break and then we would become the new senior year.

There wasn't much that was good about being a senior. Different-colored ribbon on the girl's uniform was hardly a reward for having to deal with the constant pressure of study. It was the last year to excel academically and in club activities. It was also the last year that we'd take a class trip. So yeah, a lot of pressure to do your best at everything. Not that I normally worried much about that sort of thing. Except that lately…

Big Sis was annoying. I sighed and rolled over in my bed, staring up at the ceiling. I eventually got up and tried to keep busy by playing games and reading comics. At the back of my mind, however, I couldn't shake the unpleasant thoughts that had been haunting me all afternoon.

It turned out that I was all alone for dinner. Auntie called and said she'd be late since she was waiting on a supplier and Marisa was presumably still out with her friends. Cup noodles were good enough for me. I watched TV while eating, still trying to ignore the stupid thoughts at the back of my mind.

Marisa returned with Auntie. They had met up along the way and walked home together. After taking a bath I'd gone back and forth between my computer and comics and eventually opted to read a magazine on my bed.

“Hey, what's up?” I asked.

“Mmm, not much,” she said, smiling softly. It looked like she had just jumped out of the bath; her hair looked slightly damp and her pajamas clung a little onto her moist skin. “Tell you the truth, I was just checking in on you.”

“Eh, why?”

“Well, it's stupid,” she said, laughing a little, “but I was still kind of worried about that fall you took earlier. I know the nurse said you were fine but I guess I couldn't just forget it that easily.”

“Thanks but I'm fine as you can see. A little bored, but fine.”

“Would you mind if I kept you a little company then?” she asked. “I'm a little bored myself.”

“Yeah, sure, no problem.” It was the first time Marisa had asked to come into my room. She respected my boundaries much more than certain other people I knew. Even though neither of us made a big deal out of living under the same roof, there was still distance between the two of us. Neither side wanted to impose on the other, if I had to sum it up.

“Hey Arc,” she spoke up after a few minutes of leafing through a comic I had left on the floor.


“Are you and Alice fighting?”

“No, I don't think so,” I said. “It might seem that way, but we have a relationship that goes way back. I don't think it's serious.” Especially not if she was still capable of teasing me like she did earlier. Normally she'd only do it in private and her mom would have to intervene, telling her to be more polite. I wondered about what was different when compared to all those other times.

“Mmm, it kind of makes me feel jealous that you two get along so well,” she said.

I laughed. “I'm not sure most people would consider our interactions today as 'getting along well'.”

“It's more than what you say to each other you know,” Marisa observed, “you're familiar enough with each other to know how serious things are without thinking about it. It takes a special kind of connection, I think.”

“Would it help if I was a jerk to you and we got into a fight? In order to simulate the experience.”

“No, I don't think it's the kind of thing that can be forced,” she said. Even though I was sure she knew I was joking, I couldn't help but think that maybe there was a part of her that would be happy about something stupid like that. She changed topics, “I saw that you did well in your exams. I had no idea you were so good at studying.”

“Neither did I,” I said bitterly, trying to hold back a sigh.

“Maybe I'll ask you to help me out next time. I tried my best, stayed up reading my notes but I still only managed to score somewhere in the middle.”

“...it's not entirely your fault,' I told her. We both understood what I meant. She'd missed too many classes on top of being a transfer student. “Being in the middle isn't too bad and you should be proud.”

“All the same, I'll work really hard so we can be at the top together. After all, I don't think you'd want to be with someone dumber than you.”

“I don't really care about that sort of thing. It's just a stupid, arbitrary way of ranking people. Don't worry, I won't like you more or less if your grades are higher. People are stupid for caring about that,” I said with a nod, not sure just how comforting my words would be.

Marisa's hair drooped onto her shoulders as she shrugged, seeming not that convinced by my words. Funny how the lack of braid made her look older. She hadn't done it up after getting out of the bath. Yeah, she'd be a senior soon too. It wasn't weird that she'd look the part too.

She looked up into my face, scanning. Did I really look that bad? I got the distinct feeling that she was worried about something she kept seeing in my expression. Maybe my innermost thoughts were leaking through somehow.

[] Joke that all that staring was making me feel embarrassed.
[] Thank her properly for caring and give her a hug.
[] Deflect and change the topic to how she feels about becoming a third year student.

Your sunny disposition and endless optimism never fail to invigorate, wiseman.
[x] Thank her properly for caring and give her a hug.

It might be unexpected but showing we're thankful wouldn't be a bad thing.
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[x] Thank her properly for caring and give her a hug.

I don't really see any other choices here. Did Teruyo forget to include them?
Now I'm getting worried as he HATES that sort of thing and tends to do things to counteract it.
[X] Thank her properly for caring and give her a hug.

Why not thank our good friend/possible love interest?
My comment was mostly tongue-in-cheek. You're right, I should take all three into consideration.

Look at the options.

[] Joke that all that staring was making me feel embarrassed.
[] Thank her properly for caring and give her a hug.
[] Deflect and change the topic to how she feels about becoming a third year student.

And now look at Marisa.

>>She looked up into my face, scanning. Did I really look that bad? I got the distinct feeling that she was worried about something she kept seeing in my expression. Maybe my innermost thoughts were leaking through somehow.

Of all three options, #2 is my favorite.
That said, #1 feels like it is the most in-character for Arc. He constantly defuses tense situations and such with playful flirting.

I like Marisa and I want to see more of her. The only question at this point for me is whether #1 or #2 will score more points with her, so to speak. What's holding me back from #1 is that it's identical to #3 mechanically. They're both deflections, one is favorable and the other is keeping her at arm's length.

The second option leaves room for Arc to possibly confide in Marisa about his current problems. Once that's out in the open, she'll help him out. I guarantee it. Maybe that's what Arc needs at this point, this game of politics and manipulation is already taking a toll on him. Having someone in the loop who actually cares about you is extremely helpful in dealing with stress. It also pulls the two of them together.

That's my mindset, even after careful consideration the second option wins out. Instead of flirting like we do with every other girl, why not pull her closer? Arc should lower his guard and let someone in.
Deflecting will make her worry I think. She can read him like an open book.

And the first, while it may gather more points (and a chance for a moment if she decides to push about why does he feel embarrassed) only really works if she realizes that he isn't joking. And the tone of the vote makes it sound like he really will believe it.

Oh fuck it, I'll take the chance anyway:

[x] Joke that all that staring was making me feel embarrassed.
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Y'know, I do usually pick up on humor so that's not a problem as such. Though I partly dislike bandwagonning because it feels I feel like I've failed to write a compelling case, what I'm usually more concerned about is how people internalize consequences. Recent example: vote about telling the truth. Nobody seemed to flinch when Yuyuko predictably acted like she has for most of the story when it comes to the truth and admissions of manipulation. It's not that therefore the choice was useless but it certainly was never reasonably going to have the consequence that most people seemed to want (getting the actual truth). I'd be more fine with people going for a single thing consistently if consequently they realized why some things worked at times and others didn't. My desire for comments and (hopefully) conversation is meant to help with that since that once you guys start talking among yourselves and expressing opinions, I think it's likelier that you'll have a better idea of what you're doing and where you're going.

Putting aside the choices that actually have you affect relationships with characters, I hope is that people think about location choices more carefully when I'm transitioning scenes. If you never pick to go to the other classrooms, head into town or go to the roof don't expect to meet characters who have gotten less screentime more often. Or new characters. I can only railroad so much so if you miss sexy older women, Tenshi, big bad wolves and the softest kendo club member that's on you. The fact that no one seems to be interested in a full magician harem wounds me like you could never even imagine. I often cry into my pillow at night, wondering what about could have been.

Onto more practical matters: I don't really want to update with just the few votes if I can help it. So I'll be waiting to see the slackers chime in and vote. That it happens to be a good chance to play games and not be productive is just coincidence. So get to it and move the story along.
[x] Joke that all that staring was making me feel embarrassed.

Because the other option gives off more of a "we are family" feeling while this one implies that we are conscious of her as a woman
that's my sentiments exactly, and I'm glad I picked the choice I did. I'm greatly relieved now.
Keep it open till like afternoon EST tomorrow when my code is compiling and I can slack off and I'll finally have time to catch up and vote.
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The old VN fear of getting fucked for not focusing on one girl plus the even older adagio 'The devil you know' (although in this case it'd be the 'angel you know') can easily explain our current situation.
I'm happy with things as they are (although I'd like more Tenshi) but if you aren't, you can always railroad even harder.

YAF turned every route into Reimu's route back in TS and no one minded much.
Some people would beg to differ outside of (classic) YAF's then cult. These days it's an example of shit you don't do.

I think it's also people having missed large chunk of votes due to the irregular pacing, resulting in people enduring the mistakes of the few that were able to be there.
Well, Teruyo is giving a very clear heads up that won't happen, so let's agree to generally go for the exploration choice
[X] Thank her properly for caring and give her a hug.

I like this option the most.
[] Thank her properly for caring and give her a hug.

Marisa train or bust.
[x] Joke that all that staring was making me feel embarrassed.

I'm hoping that this option leads to her telling us what she's thinking.
[X] Thank her properly for caring and give her a hug.

It's great to see you back, Teruyo. This story's pretty much the only reason that I check up on this site now.

Also, if you're concerned about more voting and such, you could always move to a new site to attract a larger audience. Though that might bring issues of its own, I suppose.
I'm not dead, just a combination of mood, stuff happening and other stuff. I'll get into the relevant bits when I have time. Expect a more coherent follow up tomorrow.
Thanks for letting us now.
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>He doesn't know
[x] Joke that all that staring was making me feel embarrassed.
I don't want to give Marisa a hug, they are a rare resource that should be given only to the good girls.
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I should and could have written today but I got distracted and now am really tired. You don't really want me writing when I'm tired because, besides an increased number of typos, I'm more likely to add in something like Alice NTR. I kid, I kid.Kinda. Put down the pitchforks already.

At any rate, I should be less tired soon enough and I'll be able to get back to the quicker updates if all goes as planned. As soon as a few hours from now if all goes to plan. Hopefully y'all will check in more often as well, so to get things rolling along. I hate leaving things open for a long time, especially since it can take forever to get a decent number. That's time better spent writing and voting on new updates.

There's really no other site out there that combines a more or less mature userbase with an immature sense of humor and good sense of fun. Despite THP not always being like that and there being a lot of annyoing things and people about, it's a pretty okay place to be. Besides which, I own this dump and at the rate things are going, I'll be the last writer standing here thus winning the everlasting love and respect of touhous everywhere. I believe in the dream, as hard to achieve as it might seem at times. Site has been pretty dead for a while but it can be revived if people just try a little. This is why I'm always telling people to tell their friends, poke writers and people they might chat with into being more active on the site. We're only as good as our community and our community has been getting progressively more disengaged hence our sorry state of affairs.
As always, a good and worthy post but...
>Alice NTR

Literary Hitler.
“What are you doing?” she asked with an airy giggle. Marisa looked up at me, her eyes full of wonderment, like a playful puppy watching a tennis ball roll on by.

“I think it's pretty obvious,” I replied with a smirk. Not that she could see it, her face resting squarely upon my chest. Marisa didn't resist the hug. On the contrary, she seemed to be more than happy to have my arms wrapped around her. “You shouldn't worry about me, you know,. But thanks all the same.”

“I feel safe being held by you,” Marisa admitted quietly, her face buried in my chest. I could feel her breathing on my chest. It tickled. “Mmm, I could stay like this forever.”

“Your hair smells like strawberries,” I noted. I couldn't help but notice the fresh aroma from her still-moist hair.

“I borrowed a shampoo from your aunt,” she said, “she gave me a bunch of creams and products I could use, actually.”

I let go of her before things got too complicated. The near-overwhelming urge I had to keep on holding her had to be tempered by more practical concerns. Even if Marisa looked extra vulnerable in her sleepwear and more approachable because of her girlish disarmed looks, it was no excuse to get too carried away.

“I think I ought to go to bed soon, otherwise it'll be impossible for me to get up in the morning,” I said with a forced yawn, all too conscious of what prolonging things meant. I wasn't exactly sleepy but I didn't feel like I was sufficiently prepared to deal with how things were going.” The smell of strawberries and flowers never left my nose.

For her part, Marisa didn't seem to object. She agreed that it was getting late, adding that she was glad that I was doing well. She smiled happily at me, taking her leave with what could only be described as general euphoria. I had to admit that it had a positive impact on me. Something about seeing her happy made me happy too. Maybe it was just a knee-jerk reaction to her previous suffering but it was enough to leave me in an excellent mood.

“Maybe I shouldn't have hugged her,” I mused quietly, staring up at my dark ceiling. I wasn't quite ready to go to bed yet but there I was, with the lights off and left with nothing but my nagging thoughts.

I felt that maybe I was more anxious than I first let on about the immediate future. Being Vice President still didn't seem real, or like a big deal. I wasn't really worried about that. No, I was clearly preoccupied with something else.

[] I kept thinking about [touhou name]
A wild write-in appears! Let's see what your priorities are. Any 2hu met thus far is a valid vote here.

I accept the title of literary Hitler. I'll annex all your neighbouring stories for the sake of the thousand-update tale.
Heil Teruyo! Greatest Waifu Writer of All Time

[x] I kept thinking about Tenshi
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Oh, wow, the story's back! Been a while since I checked /others/. I'll need to catch up a bit so I probably won't be voting for a little while. But I'm very glad to see activity here.

Gives me a bit of hope for the site as a whole...
[X] Orin

Did you say ANYONE? Well then, here's for the eternally route-less characters.
[x] I kept thinking about Tenshi

Is this the first write-in option in this whole story? Are we leveling up?

Anyway, this decision is supported by nothing more than my own personal bias, so there's nothing to say about it.
What the hell? Site doesn't refresh anymore after I post so I replied like 5 times
[x] I kept thinking about Tenshi
Ah, how I missed my Angel
[x] I kept thinking about Tenshi
So hard to choose between her and Alice. That dream sequence was a shiiiiit. But I still need to catch up, so brb.
[X] I kept thinking about Yuyuko.

Because I can.

And seriously, I sometimes wonder about the mixed messages.
[x] I kept thinking about [Reisen]

I alone care for the moon bunny.
Predictable as always, guys. 2015 won't be the year of the sexy older woman either at this rate. Writing nowish.
Priorities, man. Tenshi first, sexy older ladies second.
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Change of plans. Because I'm tired and have been drinking and am on the verge of nodding off, postponing until tomorrow. Sorry 'bout that. On the other hand, I've nothing better to do this weekend than write. I can get back to it early enough.

Good joke. Shiny things are just too distracting.
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To be fair, I did said I could use more Tenshi so...
Probably too late to vote now, huh? Oh well, have one anyway!

[x] I kept thinking about Alice

It wouldn't have made a difference in the end.
“Mmm, you're looking well,” she laughed and smacked in the back a little too hard, like she usually did. “Bags under your eyes mean that you were out all night having fun without me, isn't that right?”

“I couldn't sleep, that's all,” I grumbled, not really in the mood for the usual morning banter. It was hard enough getting out of bed in the morning. I didn't need sass. Not when I was trying my best to hold back a yawn.

“With all those wicked thoughts in your mind, I'm surprised you manage to sleep at all,” she said with a dirty little laugh and smacked me in the back even harder.

“Quit it already,” I swatted the air in her general direction. “I don't bother you when you're hung over.”

“Fine, fine, I can take a hint,” Suika rolled her eyes. “I'll be here when you decide to be sociable again.”

I slept through most of morning classes. By the time lunch came around, I'd spent most of the day napping. Even dreaming. Dreaming about nothing in particular. More shapes and sensations than people and places.

“Are you alright?” Marisa asked during the lunch break. She raised an eyebrow in concern, cocking her head slightly as she looked at my face. I was sure that I probably looked about as bad as I felt.

Her concern did nothing practical for me. I tried my best not to snap at her, simply stating, “I just had a hard getting any sleep.”

“Oh, well, if there's anything I can do to help...”

“There's nothing,” I interrupted. “Thanks but I just need a little time to myself.”

The beginnings of a frown showed on her lips but she suppressed it, instead simply nodding silently. I was left alone. Both Alice and Suika were off somewhere else. And Kaguya was busy being the center of attention.

I closed my eyes and tried to relax.

No good.

“I'm surprised you can sleep this much in a single day.”

“I'm not sleeping, just resting my eyes,” I replied, more or less telling the truth. Classes were over and I had managed to neither rest nor pay much attention to what was going on.

“As expected of my future Vice President,” Reimu added with just the right amount of bitterness. Couldn't blame her. I wasn't about to become a model student overnight.

“Give the prince a kiss to wake him up,” I mumbled without bothering to open my eyes. It was lazy but the best I could do on short notice.

“In your case, I think I'd be the one turning into a frog,” she said, “are you going to get up or are you just going to stay here overnight?”

“No, I guess I'll go home,” I said, finally relenting and abandoning the idea of napping any more.

“Not so fast,” she said. I took a good look around. Apparently I had missed the initial afterschool exodus. The classroom was mostly empty. I guess I had managed to sleep a bit if I hadn't noticed all the after class commotion. “I need you to do something for me. I have to take a large amount of printouts home.”

“So you need my help carrying them? Gotcha.”

“That's- That's not what I was going to say,” she frowned. “They are heavy and all, but I should be able to carry them if I pace myself. No, what I need you to do is go to the library and talk to volunteer librarian's assistant. We need to know how many fliers we'll manage to get printed up before next week.”

“I guess this is one of the perks of being Vice President: I get to run the President's errands,” I said with a smile. I didn't really mind but I had to wonder whether or not this was the best use of my time.

[] Go to the library as asked.
[] Helping Reimu carry things home was a better choice.

Instant gratification is for losers.
[x] Go to the library as asked.
Let's get down to business.
[x] Go to the library as asked.

Well, we just started, might as well follow orders for now.
[x] Helping Reimu carry things home was a better choice.
Walking home with her seems like a better chance to get to know her better. I'm going to stay on target like in the dream.
>Instant gratification is for losers.

[x] Go to the library as asked.
[X] Go to the library as asked.

Building up a reputation is hard, but necessary work.
...and I'm sure this wasn't updated the last time I checked. Wow, that Soku tourney sure took a while.
Took forever to get these many votes so I think I'll only be able to do one more update today. Not that it really matters given the activity today, but I'm not going to make an effort to be quick so writing somewhat soonish.

You guys are still pretty predictable. And you've been consistent at avoiding a particularly big flag which means I can now retire it in my scenario planner and move on.
Reimu is only good in dreams.
Any chance of telling us about this big flag sometime int he future?
[x] Go to the library as asked.

well I didn't know you resumed updating until today and wound up missing an update. It might explain the lack of direction as well.
[x] Helping Reimu carry things home was a better choice.

Wouldn't want Reimu to risk hurting herself carrying those printouts alone.
[x]Storm Yukari's office and proposition her with sex

Lets do something ballsy that'll get her respect.
[x] Helping Reimu carry things home was the better choice

Reimufags! Contrarias of the world! Focus our efforts and turn down the tide!
[x] Helping Reimu carry things home was the better choice

A wild slowpoke appears. Hope I'm not too late.
[x] Go to the library as asked.

We should do as she asks, that will speed the overall project up. Multitasking, people!
By the way, can you recall any decisions that really surprised you?
Is this enough for you to write now?
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Hey guys, sorry about not updating but there's a few issues I have to sort out. After thinking about it and talking to someone I thought it best to state what I'm thinking.

I'm not happy with my writing. I feel that I'm missing the energy and mood that I originally set out to do. In short, it's shit. It's been bugging me for a while and, coupled with a few more reasons, has dampened my enthusiasm for updating. There's a part that I want to get to in the story that may help me regain that spark but in order to get there we need to sort a few things first.

I need more regular votes. Spending most of a day wondering if and when there'll be a greater number than three-four votes is not ideal. I understand that there's an issue of people having lives and different timezones but your enthusiasm is ultimately my fuel. I can't write all day either but I'm trying my best to make time for things stealing ten minutes here and there when I see there's activity. To this end I'm enacting the following policy: I will immediately call a vote if I'm able to write and there's at least six votes (seven if it's a tie). Exceptions include if it's for some reason a contentious/well-discussed vote or any other situation where calling it would damage the story experience. That's about half or little over half of you, so the pace of the story will more or less be dictated by you. Faster votes = faster updates. Ideally this will translate into 2 or even 3 updates per day on average. I'm willing to deal with less votes at more regular intervals if I feel the best interests of the story are served by me keeping a faster pace. On my end, I'll strive to keep regular updates on my status so you won't wonder if I'm writing or not.

My next issue is dealing with frustrating outcomes. First mine. The fact that this story is years old and has had many breaks has made following it a challenge. I'm trying my best to have reminders in updates and in the summaries I've done of characters, events and locations. If you have any suggestions on what could be done to help people keep these things in mind, I'm all ears. This is a big issues because I feel that you often forget about certain characterizations and it frustrates me that maybe I haven't done enough to help clear up confusion.

Which brings me to you. I've noticed that your stated reasons for voting a certain way is at times best wishful thinking with no real basis on reality. I brought this up a while ago the Yuyuko thing and hoped you got the hint. You haven't. As much as you might want to get her to tell the truth and stop being a manipulative and secretive bitch, it's unlikely to happen as this has been her characterization consistently throughout the story. That choice was therefore less about the actual truth than your relationship with her and the ongoing power balance. Likewise the recent Marisa choice was about in what sort of way you saw her more than in what way you hoped she treated you. That brings me to the final and most pertinent example: Arc will never impress Reimu by becoming a diligent member of the student council. He'll always be wild and dismissive of authority even if he can get shit done if need be. And, more importantly, Reimu doesn't care at all about the job and position as such. In fact, short of directly antagonizing her it's unlikely anything Arc does will ever really bother her. Why? It's been alluded to nearly every time she and Arc have a 'serious' conversation about school.

I don't really care which way you vote most of the time, I'm pretty good at putting aside my personal biases (otherwise Arc would have declared his undying love for a certain 2hu early on and never ever even looked at any of the other, inferior, girls). But what bothers me is that you make these choices without really thinking about it and then later on some of you may feel frustrated or unrewarded by how things turn out. Some of you truly may not care but I think most of you care whether or not you get to spend quality time with interesting characters. I'll try my best to word choices properly and to imply implications clearly and, while I believe you should first discuss it among yourselves, I don't mind popping in either if something is overly ambiguous or misunderstood.

There's a few other issues I feel we have with regards to (story) mood but I think that's mostly my fault. I want to emphasize that this story is supposed to be a mishmash of different subplots coalescing into a larger plot so meeting different characters and going different places should be encouraged rather than avoided. I'll try to make a more compelling case in the future for this since I think that there's time for both fan favorites and soon-to-be fan favorites. Then again, you losers have to vote in order for this loser to get revved up and actually write this at a non-glacial pace.

Finally, because of all of the stuff I've said above I'm tossing this to a revote. The choice is essentially the same but I'm rewording it and I hope you take into account what I've said. I've pared it down to the mechanical outcomes so you can see what is meant 'between the lines' in choices usually. This will hopefully grant you a bit of perspective. If we have enough votes quick enough, as per the policy I'm enacting, there'll be a new thread before long.

[] Walk Reimu home and use it as a pretext to talk.
[] Keep things impersonal and go meet another character at the library.

Sorry for being such a massive tosser but I wouldn't bother if I didn't really care about my magical girl fanfiction.

Oh and also: we webm now.
[x] Walk Reimu home and use it as a pretext to talk.

The stakes are clear then.

I'll keep this post handy to refer back to. Should help out with other characterizations and votes. I had my rationale backwards it seems.
[x] Keep things impersonal and go meet another character at the library.

I figured we were going to meet someone else that way but I felt that reason was a bit too meta.

Regarding the Yuyuko choice, I didn't think for the second that she was going to tell us but it
would have felt just plain weird if Arc didn't at least try to ask about the issue. He called Patchy and Mokou out on their shit so just ignoring it here clashed with my image of him.

And regarding the Marisa choice, yeah everyone kinda missed the point I guess.
>I need more regular votes. Spending most of a day wondering if and when there'll be a greater number than three-four votes is not ideal. I understand that there's an issue of people having lives and different timezones but your enthusiasm is ultimately my fuel.

Perhaps the frustrating outcomes also apply for readers, who don't feel like voting?

And from what I see, majority that still votes seems interested in Alice, Marisa and Reimu. I myself don't care for the three of them. What's the point of trying to vote against them then? Sure, the vote is not always about them. But when it does, it go that way.
If you don't vote it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. I design the choices to maximize the variety of characters encountered. It's just that once you encounter someone there's at least one choice with them before moving on. Case in point, the vast majority of choices in the last 2 threads have been about other touhous. You've interactly mostly with Kaguya, Mokou, Yuyuko, the Ten Desires crew, Orin and even Flandre. Take a casual glance at the threads and you'll see that I'm right. I've done my best to avoid making the story about any one touhou and all the subplots stand testament to that.

So if there's been Alice, Marisa and Reimu lately it's because we haven't really gotten chances to move on because I haven't written enough because lack of votes fueling me to write. Even if you don't care about the one vote the one time, vote anyways. Not only does it motivate me to write more but you might even convince other people to vote your way. If everyone were to always conclude that it's a bandwagon no matter what, I'd drop this story in a heartbeat. It would be too boring.

tl;dr take it like a man and vote for both our sakes

You see, that's cool if you expected a glib response. That just doesn't seem what most people were saying at the time. They seemed to be expecting that the truth would not only come out but that it would somehow make Arc care. He hasn't at any point really. It's mostly people messing with him that he cares about and getting into Mokou/Patchy's face was more about that (as the votes at the time show).

That said, he has let some stuff go here and there in the story as well... so it's not so black and white.
>tl;dr take it like a man and vote for both our sakes


Well, I'll throw a vote then. But I'll just note here that the lack of voters is in part mostly the fault of your own irregular breaks. People are not going to instantly flock back as you decide to write once more.

[X] Keep things impersonal and go meet another character at the library.
[] Keep things impersonal and go meet another character at the library.
I voted for this, and will vote for this again. I'd rather meet someone new than go down Reimu's path, I am sorry.

Maybe a part of your frustration also comes with the fact that THP is no longer what it once was while you remained the same? As you said it yourself before, we lost size and slowed down a lot. Questing here is different than questing on other places. Maybe that's the problem? Maybe we need to move to somewhere with a bigger userbase? Or maybe inspire new touhou fans who also like fanfiction AND also like the quest/cyoa format we use?
>To this end I'm enacting the following policy: I will immediately call a vote if I'm able to write and there's at least six votes (seven if it's a tie).
I will hold you to this.

[x] Keep things impersonal and go meet another character at the library.
Yeah, my going away is definitely a big factor. But, since coming back, if you look at the total number of votes I get on occasion or how many people have remarked at how its nice that the story is back it's still a group of 10+ (I could check IPs but honestly? Tedious and I don't need an exact number). I'm appealing to those people to check more often. Once a day is a start. With internet access being nearly ubiquitous it's easier than ever to check in even more often than that.

You shouldn't apologize for your vote, I'm not asking you to change your preferences. That said, it's not a zero-sum thing exactly either. Going down any touhou's 'path' doesn't mean you can't do the same for another. Otherwise the story would have ended with Tenshi was back in the early threads. So you shouldn't be afraid of exploring characters you already know either. The story ends not when you 'get' a girl but when you've done all the main events and scenarios I have planned. So theoretically you could end up not having any sort of relationship with anyone at the end of the story.

As for the userbase thing? In theory, I think we have enough people in raw numbers. Just need to get them voting more. Though new blood wouldn't be bad either but that's where you as a reader need to come in. Talk to your friends or people you think might be interested. I've already badgered everyone I know on IRC or elsewhere who might be interested. At some point someone was going to post a story recommendation list on reddit and include this but that never went through apparently. I don't do social media so I don't know how effective that would have been anyhow.

Like I said, if I'm able to write. Sometimes Teru has to do real life stuff too. Like I've been free for the last few hours but it looks like I might not be so free for the next few. I'm only going to call things if I can truly sit down and get stuff written in a reasonable timeframe. My idea is to give you a reasonable heads up so you can know when to expect things. As I've said a million times, you can always ask me on IRC too what my current status is. I don't mind so long as you aren't asking every 5 mins or something.
[x] Keep things impersonal and go meet another character at the library.

Time to see what tangent we stumble upon today.

Gotta say 10+ readers or so isn't a bad amount for something not a big /th/ story (though last I checked, there weren't any really active)
Okay, there's the sixth and I'm free to write. So doing just that. New thread and all.

This, without a doubt, is the largest story on the site ATM. Which is sad. There should be more activity everywhere. I'm not sure how many people have posted here exactly, the number was just an estimate. But yeah, though new blood is always nice, I would be more than happy if those people voted more often.
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