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File 143613797086.jpg - (492.45KB, 707x1000, casual peach.jpg) [iqdb]
The day to day of true youth.

Previous thread >>60834
Character blurbs: www.touhou-project.com/others/theater


After a brief phone call, I left home. She said she was already in town and, judging by the background noise, in a busy area. I was supposed to meet her at a plaza in the town center. She said she had a few things to take care of, but that she'd be delighted to spend time with me. Naturally, I made haste. I was looking forward to seeing her.

Since it was a normal business day, the center was crowded as usual. It was the tail end of the lunch hour. Salarymen of all stripes walked back and forth in groups, talking and joking about work and life. Once I got to the plaza, I started looking around.

Ah, there she was!

Standing under the shade of a tree, Tenshi was checking her wristwatch, looking bored. With her tall boots, skirt and thin top, and jumper tied around her waist, she looked older than she really was. If not for her long, carefully kept hair, I could have mistaken her for a different person. I supposed that I was used to running into her while she had her uniform on. Not that change was bad. Quite the opposite. It made me happy to see someone who knew how to dress well.

Beside her a large man in a black suit stood still, holding a number of bags. He eyed me as I approached, saying nothing. I greeted her.

“I thought I was being stood up,” she said, brushing a strand of hair away from her face with some flair.

“I came as fast as I could, sorry.”

“It's fine, I was just anxious,” she admitted with a smile and kissed me on the cheek, “I'm happy to see you.”

“Well, what do you want to do?” I asked.

“I was out here shopping,” she said, “Papa sent me to pick up new outfits for the coming year. I insisted that I could handle it on my own, but he sent the driver to escort me.” She rolled her eyes and indicated to the silent man next to her.

“Nice to meet you,” I greeted the driver.

I got no reply. He simply stared on ahead, eyeing the crowd with indifference.

“I'm afraid he isn't very good company, though he has been loyal to the family for many years,” Tenshi explained. “Pretend he isn't here and let's carry on.”

“Carry on where?”

“Shopping, silly!” she giggled, “I bet you're looking forward to see my try on all sort of cute outfits. I'll be wanting your opinion on all of them.”

I figured that maybe the driver didn't speak just so that he wouldn't be asked his opinion. Smart move.

For the next few hours I was subjected to a very special kind of hell. We went to almost every store and boutique in the area and invariably spent a long time in each one. Tenshi looked over outfits happily while I sat patiently, doing penance for all the sins I had committed during my life. Occasionally, she would ask for my opinion on something and I'd give it, only to be ignored or outright dismissed by her. She bought a lot of things, charging them all to a card her father had given to her. “It was the only way Papa will be satisfied,” was her the excuse, but I knew that she was enjoying herself a little too much.

At last, when the sun was coming down, she finally tired of shopping. “What do you want to do now,” she asked, getting into her father's car. The trunk was full of new clothes and accessories she had bought.

“Something where it's just the two of us would be nice,” I said after getting into the backseat with her, mindful of the silent guardian up front.

“I don't know if we can trust him to be too discreet,” Tenshi whispered, “Papa pays him so I think he'll tell on us if we go anywhere like you know where.”

“So, what can we do?” I asked.

“You can come home with me for supper. Papa will be there but I think he'll tolerate you so long as you don't say anything stupid. You know, about us. We can't expect any privacy there either. Which is a shame because I think you'd be interested in some of the special outfits I bought. But I'd have to show you those behind closed doors and that's unlikely to be possible.”

She frowned when she saw that the driver was checking us out through the reflection of the rear view mirror. She mouthed silently 'see what I mean?' and shook her head.

[] Join her for a tense dinner with her father.
[] Promise to go somewhere else alone some other day.
[x] Join her for a tense dinner with her father.
Hmm. Hmmm..promises of special outfits are tempting.
But...maybe spending some time before her father and improving his impression of Arc is possible and rewarding. We had left him with an impression I don't remember if was positive or not, to be honest, but I think he had expectations of Arc.

And Tenshi's status bothered him. Now she is more open and happier, I think Dad will be interested in meeting Arc again.
[X] Join her for a tense dinner with her father.

...though I don't really remember how that last meeting worked out, to be honest. Guess I should go re-read those parts.
Ok, so after thinking on this for a while, I decided to throw my two cents in.

>[] Join her for a tense dinner with her father.
This is riskier, however, and has a slower or less obvious immediate return now and unknown return later.
It could be that dinning with her father will bring positive results. With him, or with Tenshi? I don't know. But it will likely formalize Arc's interest in her, since this is the second time he visits and meets Dad. If all goes well, it might make future dates easier. No guarantees, though.

>[] Promise to go somewhere else alone some other day.
Spending time alone on another day doesn't have any instant gratification NOW, but has guaranteed Tenshi fun times, which will be massive when it happens. No return now, massive profits later.
On the other hand, it is something young people would do, it's a wilder idea, and that can reflect immaturity, excitement, and a lover's commitment? More likely to result in sexy times, of course.

I think Tenshi will get off more to this one.

tl;dr I have no idea lol, my rationale is all over the place and this post is likely incomplete
[X] Join her for a tense dinner with her father.

This might be more fun. Most guys would be intimidated at the prospect, but Arc has balls.

We'll make this work.
[] Promise to go somewhere else alone some other day.
Tenshi seems to prefer this. She does want to have fun with Arc alone, hence the special outfits she bought. Sure, going to dinner now will mean spending a little more time together now, but it won't be very enjoyable for the pair. They won't have the privacy and freedom to be themselves, they will have to behave differently because her father will be watching.

It won't be fun for both of them. It's better to have some good time together on another day than to not be allowed your desires today.
[x] Promise to go somewhere else alone some other day.

'True' youth? Sounds exciting
[x] Join her for a tense dinner with her father.

I don't really see how the second is mutually exclusive from the first though. So long as meeting the father doesn't go horrifically bad, that is.
[x] Promise to go somewhere else alone some other day.

She doesn't sound that amused about the dinner thing.
The second is probably a given, but it also is a polite way of saying "I don't want to have a tense dinner with your family "

Where did you take the 'get off' thing.

[x] Promise to go elsewhere.
. It doesn't seem like she wanted him to go and she has reacted badly to us meeting her parents in the past. Is her offer a throwaway thing or an improvement? Would saying no make her think that Arc wants a strictly physical thing? No, that'd be off character and kind of dumb, considering they just spent the whole day together.
Hard choice, but I think it is right. Besides, anon cannot pull off difficult discussions and the chat with her father would be no exception. I think.
[x] Join her for a tense dinner with her father.

Changing my vote because thinking about it, while it's gonna be awkward as fuck her father probably doesn't feel thaat negative about Arc.

If I remember right he praised his guts the last and first time they spoke and his daughter had a reconcillation with him and is in a considerably happier state after meeting uhim

She had no problem kissing him in front of the driver so she either trusts him at least that much or her father is okay with at least that much.

Actually, I don't have any fucking clue how he feels about Arc so I'm interested in what he has to say.

Or he might not talk about it. In fact, maybe he's a massive dick and forbids any contact with his daughter after we accidentally anger him. Possibilities, possibilities
>Where did you take the 'get off' thing.
From when they meet again and try the special outfits in privacy and will likely get lewd. Also, the anticipation is just as hot.
[x] Promise to go somewhere else alone some other day.

going to see dad is just an awkward ego thing for us. Tenshi just wants to have fun so we should stick to the basics. not like going to her home last time helped at all. it was only when we were alone with her that things progressed.
Wow, I must look like a goddamn pussy, changing votes twice and I'm not even excactly sure why.

[x] Promise to go somewhere else alone some other day.

So many questions could come up during the dinner that have the potential of completely fucking us over it's not even funny.

Let's avoid a direct confrontation and enjoy the fun times with Tenshi for now. That's how she wanted it to be after all
I think I can go ahead and call it. I think there's a majority. At any rate I'm able to write now and if I wait that window will close for a few hours.
File 143620238736.jpg - (182.47KB, 1175x964, meanwhile in an alternate timeline.jpg) [iqdb]
Tenshi smiled, letting me know without speaking that she was fine with the idea. She directed the driver to drop me off near home. For the duration of the ride, we barely spoke, all too aware that we were being listened to by the silent man in the front. Somehow, I got the feeling that even the little we had done during the day would be reported back to her father. Not that Tenshi seemed to be too worried about the prospect, I caught her looking at me more than once with an undisguised smirk.

“See you soon,” she said as I got out of the car. They left quickly but soon after I got a message on my phone, 'was tempted to make out in backseat whole ride'.

Well, that was something.

When I got home, something else interesting happened. I thought I was all alone but, when I went upstairs to my room, I discovered Marisa at my computer. She was so engrossed in the game she was playing that she only noticed me when I put my hand on her shoulder. She jumped, flailing around until she realized it was just me.

“I thought it was...” she shook her head and collected her thoughts, calming down.

“Yeah, would have been awkward if it had been Auntie,” I said, “especially seeing how you're screwing the big-breasted swim team captain right now.”

“Ehehe,” she gave an awkward laugh, and tried to find the humor in the situation, “you can't really fault me for liking Chiemi, right?”

“No comment,” I chuckled, “I don't judge other people's preferences. What is surprising, however, is that you managed to access the game even though I put on a password on my computer.”

“It took all of five seconds to get around,” she admitted, “maybe you shouldn't leave such obvious hints lying around.” She pointed to the box of the game she was playing. It was next to my screen. My password was its title. Yeah, that was on me.

“You know what?” I said with a sigh, “I'm not going to bother anymore. Feel free to use my computer when I'm not around. Just… I guess… keep your activities limited to games.”

“I'm not good with computers,” Marisa joked, “so I wouldn't know anything about stuff like hidden directories. Err...”

“At the very least, don't judge me because of the contents there,” I shrugged, trying to hide just how much panic was going on internally. My brain was threatening to kill itself out of embarrassment.

“You're a healthy young man, so I guess I can't complain,” Marisa tried to console me, going about it in the most painful way imaginable. “Even if you do have a weird thing going on with girls with moles on their thighs or that thing with the vibrating...”

“Enough, I get the point, you're understanding,” I cut her off before all of my pride as a man was compromised.

“Well, okay,” she said with a smile, “I'm more interested in the plots of your games and comics anyhow. Some of this stuff is really good.” Marisa clicked through the erotic scene as if it was nothing. I wondered if maybe all the sand didn't make that sort of thing awkward in real life…

I shook my head, trying not to get too sucked in by what was going on in the screen. “I guess you can buy a few otome games if you like and install them. I don't mind.”

“Not really interested,” she said, “those things are full of stupid drama. I like the directness of your games. If there's drama, it gets resolved quickly. Besides, it'd be weird trying to pick from all those different guys.”

“You're a girl, you know,” I observed, “isn't it weird for you to pick between all those different girls?”

“Mmm, not really,” she said, “I just imagine that I'm you when I'm playing these and it feels natural. I guess it also comes from watching you do this kind of stuff with real people too.” Once past the erotic scene, Marisa made choices that led her to cross paths with other characters. She ignored the childhood friend and went straight for the idol. She was insatiable. More than that, she had a good instincts. She got scenes that I hadn't easily.

In the end, not having anything better to do, I took to watching her play through the game. We exchanged a few words here and there, mostly about the characters themselves. Every time there was adult content, it got a little awkward, with neither of us proffering a comment. But we made it to the end of the game without any major hassle. She asked me who I wanted to choose at the end.

“Maybe we shouldn't have ignored her all game,” Marisa said with a laugh as we got a bad end where the childhood friend had enough of the protagonists womanizing and rejected him. Luckily, that kind of thing was what saves were for. Marisa loaded up the file and picked someone else and we got the standard scenario ending.

“It's late,” I realized, looking at a clock. We'd been at it for hours.

“Not like we have anything else to do tomorrow,” she said, “still a few days of vacation left. By the way,” Marisa shifted the topic, “what's with that weird book you have on your desk there? Looks valuable.”

She meant the magic book. I had left it out in the open. “Just something I happened to find. I have to return it tomorrow.”

“Looks like a bunch of garbage,” she said, “I looked through it and I don't think it's legitimate.”

“Right, because you're an expert on magic,” I said sarcastically.

“Clearly I'm an expert on the magic of love,” she laughed, “I'm way better than you at these games.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” I brushed her dig at me off, I'd heard worse.

“Let me go with you tomorrow when you return the book, I'm kind of interested in the kind of bookshop that has this kind of stuff.”

“It's mostly just old books, I only got this because the girl at the counter pushed it on me,” I said.

“Oh?” she smiled knowingly, “I bet she was pretty cute for you to fall into a classic trap like that.”

“She was younger than us. I'm sure you know from snooping around my computer that I'm not really into younger girls,” I explained, trying to save face in the most roundabout way possible. Marisa was pushing my buttons with an intimacy that I thought was only possible with Alice and Suika.

“What, what are you smiling at?” she asked. “You look goofy when you space out like that.”

“Eh, nothing, just thinking how I've gotten used to living with you already,” I said.”

“You dummy,” she slunk down in the chair, smiling sheepishly, “no fair bringing something like that up just because I've got you on the ropes.”

“Sorry, couldn't help myself,” I said.

[] Let Marisa come to the bookshop.
[] Go alone.
>“If you like, I can rent the book out for a week so you can see for yourself,” she said. It looked like she was a bit curious herself as to the efficacy of the so-called magic featured in the book. “I'll include all my notes and you can report back if any of it worked for you. I'll even give you a discount off our normal fee since you'd also be doing me a favor.”

Jeez, we never had the chance to try another spell in the end... So much for doing a favor, unless it was all a big sucker deal to get money by renting.
[x] Let Marisa come to the bookshop.

I get it! We give the book back tomorrow and then Marisa can rent it for us again!

Yeah, probably not happening, still want her to come along.
[X] Go alone.
Bah, I wanted to go meet Dad again.
We had a chance to try another spell, but anons went after marisa with a weak excuse.
[X] Go alone

How can we discuss the effects of the book with her around? Not that there's much to discuss, considering he uses it once-"and it could be a coincidence.

By the way, why the hell did we use it just once?
[X] Go alone.
Can't really explain how the single test went like with the test subject around.

Someone was worried about lingering/continuing effects of the spell instead of trying to discover if the spells are actually real or not. Then oter anons followed suit.
[] Let Marisa come to the bookshop.
I want her to call out kozusu on ripping us off.
[x] Let Marisa come to the bookshop.

Seems fun, and I'm sure Arc can think of a good lie or Get Marisa out o the way (she might be too busy looking around)

I was personally dissappointed that anon went for the low brow choice.
Well, ignoring it once did give us a nice moment with Reimu, so it isn't that regrettable I guess
>we got a bad end where the childhood friend had enough of the protagonists womanizing and rejected him.
Gee, I wonder what that could mean.

[x] Let Marisa come to the bookshop.
I think it's more fun to include her in this. Maybe she'll rent it out after we're done and cast a spell on Arc! Sounds like fun.
Way to go and cut short Tenshi's moment. Now it will be years until her next appearance. Did they at least settle on a date to meet or will it be a random event?

[x] Go alone.
Reasons stated by others, having privacy about this subject is ideal. Maybe We can discover some new stuff when discussing it alone.

It means nothing.
I should have called it earlier but I was busy. But, you know, doesn't really matter. Writing now while I have time.
File 143621828310.png - (1.99MB, 1000x1412, magical magic.png) [iqdb]
The bookshop was as deserted as the last time. Nothing about it had changed in a week either, with the same books sitting comfortably in the display window. I wondered how they afforded to stay in business. Maybe the hole in my wallet was the answer.

“Welcome!” the same girl as before was behind the counter and she acted like she was thrilled to see me. “Come to return the book?”

“Hmm, she is pretty cute,” Marisa remarked, nudging me slightly. “I'm going to take a look around while you wrap up things with this girl.”

“So, how did the things work out for you?” she asked as I approached. She had a technical manual of some sort open in front of her. “Find all about the power of magic?”

“Inconclusive,” I said with a shrug, returning the book and the few notes I'd taken. I hadn't been very explicit in my summary but it was more than enough to imply that the effects had been of a coincidental nature at best. “Most of the stuff in there is impractical to try out and the lower level spells are just too ambiguous to verify.”

“Hm, that's what I figured,” she said, looking over what I'd written. “Still, it looks like you got to see something fun, though I'm not quite sure what it was… you're a bit vague.”

“Well, it's not a big deal,” I said, trying to move past the subject. “Nothing that confirms or denies that magic exists.” And nothing that a young girl needed to hear from me, at any rate.

“As useless as the book might be, I still had fun translating it. I think I can continue to make my translation better but it'll be a while before I have the free time I need,” she said. “Maybe we can discover the book's secrets together then.”

“We'll see,” I said, acting non-committal.

“If there's anything else that you'd like to rent...” she started.

“No, I think I'm fine, thanks,” I said, “I just picked up the book on a whim anyhow. I'm not a big reader.”

“Mmm, that's a shame,” she looked a little disappointed, like a puppy who was denied a treat.

“I'd like to know how much you'd charge of all of these,” Marisa came up to the counter with a stack of books. “I just want to borrow them,” she said, “but it might be a while.”

“'The Purple Rose and the Alchemist'? Seriously?” I asked, seeing one of the titles. “That stuff will make your brain rot.”

“Like you're one to talk, mister galge,” she rolled her eyes. “The other books I'm taking are more interesting though. I want to learn all about magic.”

The girl behind the counter smiled and wrote down the list of books. If she was passing judgment, she was doing a good job at hiding it. “How long would you like these for?” she asked.

“A month?” Marisa was unsure about the time. “I can get through the fiction quickly, but the 'Fundamentals for Magicians in the New Century' might take a while, since it's about a thousand pages. So is 'Caster's delight: Potions and You'. A lot of detailed stuff.”

“Tell you what,” the girl said with an understanding nod, “since these aren't very popular, I'll let you have them for six weeks at only half price. Though you have to do me a little favor too. I want you to report if any of the magic worked out for you.”

“You've got a deal!” Marisa declared happily, grinning from ear to ear. “I've always wanted to be a magician. Flying around and smiting evil with the power of my love sounds totally sweet.”

“...with your love?' I asked.

“With my love!” she confirmed enthusiastically. “Power is power, no matter what its source. Gotta believe and good things will happen. Isn't that right Ms. Shopkeep?”

“It's Kosuzu, Ms. Pretty Girlfriend Of A Good Customer.”

“Girlfriend?” Marisa laughed modestly, grinning as she looked at me, “no, we're just good friends. Though… no, nevermind, I'm Marisa, this is Arc.”

Marisa was buying into Kosuzu's salesmanship perfectly. I could see through it since I wasn't the target. It was pretty impressive, someone so young being so able at targeting a stranger's sensibilities. “Oh, you'd make a cute couple, so forgive me if I spoke out of turn.”

“Not at all!” Marisa laughed again, “easy mistake to make.”

“So, will you take the books?” she asked.

“Yep! I'm super excited about becoming a magician.”

Kosuzu filled out the invoice and read out the price. Becoming a magician wasn't cheap. That would explain all the buttering up she did beforehand. 'If you like, I can keep an eye out for any books you might like in the future. And keep them reserved.”

“Yeah, that'd be great,” Marisa said with a nod. She then turned to whisper to me, “umm, I'm a little short on cash. Do you mind helping me out here? I'll pay you back eventually, promise. Doubly so when I learn magic and can teach you too.”

It wasn't that much money. Since I was flush from helping Auntie out it wouldn't hurt at all. But, I wasn't too sold on the concept. Kosuzu's slick sales pitch didn't help things either.

[] Help Marisa start down the path of magic.
[] Magic definitely isn't real.
[x] Help Marisa start down the path of magic.

I really can't say no.

That said, Arc absolutely needs to set some boundaries with her. Scouring his PC like that crosses a line. I can't really be mad at her for it, but it definitely isn't healthy.
[X] Magic definitely isn't real.
What, no tiebreaker vote?
[x] Magic definitely isn't real.
No, Marisa, no! Stay away from this, you will only cause trouble.
[X] Help Marisa start down the path of magic.

Might as well since we decided to take her with us.
>I really can't say no.
>That said, Arc absolutely needs to set some boundaries with her.
[] Help Marisa start down the path of magic.

Don't think. Imagine.
[x] Help out this ordinary would-be magician

I guess Marisa is Marisa, no matter what universe we're in. If she ends up charming Arc, no harm done. And if magic ends up being fake... We can help her tantric rituals anyway. Suggestion is a powerful force.

That said, I have an irrational bad feeling about this. Since it is irrational, I won't vote on it though.
Okay, writing now.

Only if it's an important vote. Waiting around for possibly hours for a tiebreaker is boring. Coinflips are useful to keep things going.
“You're the best!” Marisa exclaimed as she hugged me, grabbing a hold of me from the side. I agreed to help pay for the rental and forked over my hard-earned cash to cover for her. I could see that Kosuzu was getting a kick out of the situation, smirking at our antics. Well played.

Along with the receipt with the due date, Kosuzu threw in a set of pencils for her 'good customers'. Marisa was impressed by the gift but I saw right through her marketing techniques. Well, I wasn't about to be petty over standard business practices, so I simply smiled and thanked her for her special service. Just out of earshot, or what she thought was out of earshot, I head her whisper to Marisa that she wished her good luck. That I was a keeper.

Marisa was cheery all the way home, acting like she was walking on clouds. It made me glad that I helped but at the same time I wondered if it had really been such a big deal. Well, it seemed to matter to her. As soon as she got home, she bounded up the stairs like a little kid. She couldn't wait to start reading and learning.

I chose to do something different with my time. I tried to figure out why it was that Marisa managed to clear scenarios faster than I did. Was it woman's intuition? I picked all the choices that I thought would lead to the best outcomes but I failed at it time and again. Maybe I just didn't get the inherent logic in those games.

When I was done frustrating myself, I went to bed, having wasted a whole day on trying to get better at visual novels.

I dreamed of getting the true endings for all the heroines in my games. It was a good feeling. Like, I could do whatever I wanted and still be rewarded for my actions. I didn't have to worry about missing out. When I woke up I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed. Real life wasn't quite as forgiving as that.

Marisa was enthusiastic about learning about magic. She chewed my ear off during the few times I ran to her through the day, talking about such things as ley lines, spiritual focuses and the importance of willpower. It was sort of cute to see her so earnestly invested into the subject matter and her enthusiasm ended up being contagious. Even with my mixed experience with spell casting, I found myself wishing that magic was real. If only to justify the ever-increasing sprawl of discarded patterns and symbols that Marisa drew and then threw away because they weren't good enough.

She spent most of the day up in her room, reading diligently through the books she rented. I knew that she was no slouch, but I was still impressed with her staying power. Once Marisa set her mind to something, she was c omitted to seeing it through. Those dry, interminable texts would be read from cover to cover before too long.

At any rate, the pursuit of esoteric knowledge was a good way to spend the rest of my vacation. I was tired of playing games and going out and meeting people seemed less tempting when I could potentially unlock the secrets of the cosmos. All it needed was a little dedication and the power of wishful thinking and imagination.

Still, maybe it wasn't the right way to go.

[] Follow in Marisa's footsteps.
[] Hold on to skepticism and talk to Alice about Marisa's obsession.
[] Hold on to skepticism and talk to Alice about Marisa's obsession.
Reality to marisa, you are going crazy, girl.
[x] Follow in Marisa's footsteps.

[x] Follow in Marisa's footsteps.

Down the rabbit hole we go.

Though I think our lack of unified direction is being reflected in Arc's inability to do well in VNs.
[x] Follow in Marisa's footsteps.

Maybe we can somehow make up for the wasted book?
[X] Follow in Marisa's footsteps.

It'll be fun! ...hopefully.
[x] Follow in Marisa's footsteps.

Magic is interesting.
“Just what's going on in here?” Alice asked, swinging the door open and turning on the lights. It was abrupt and oh-so-very-disruptive. I winced at the sudden brightness, feeling annoyed at the interruption.

“Nothing you'd understand!” Marisa barked, scrambling to cover the dirt patch from the light. “Turn that thing off!”

“Turn it off!” I agreed, howling at Alice to stop being such a disruptive force.

“No,” she stated firmly, clear disdain in her eyes. She towered above our hunched and otherwise busy bodies, like some sort of judgmental giant. “What's that smell?”

“It's our brew!” Marisa exclaimed, shielding the large smoky pot from Alice's gaze. We had brought in a hot plate and started cooking out own potion, just as the books instructed. We weren't about to give up on acquiring ultimate knowledge that easily.

“Smells awful, I'm going to throw it out,” Alice stated, none too sympathetic to the mysticism behind our actions.

“You can't!” I protested, standing up to block her from getting any closer to the pot. “We have to finish this brew in order to be enlightened enough to move on to the next circle!”

“Enlightened?” Alice frowned, “why aren't you wearing a shirt?”

“The sacred text told us that I needed to be shirtless in order for my spiritual energies to enter into communion with the cosmos,” I explained.

“Sacred text?” she frowned even harder, picking up a copy of the holy 'The Purple Rose and the Alchemist', “this looks like erotica for women.”

“He who embraces the cosmos as he does his love shall become the keeper of all creation, “ Marisa quoted solemnly.

“Oh bother,” Alice remarked, “I don't see you for a couple of days and before I know it you've become cultists to soft core fiction.”

“Blaspheme not, woman!” I cried out, “the other sacred texts support my shirtlessness!”

“Get a grip,” she said with a sigh, ignoring my perfect blocking and approaching the sacred brew. She state simply, “classes start tomorrow so you two better snap out of it and get ready for our final year.”

“All things, when compare to magic, are insignificant,” I said.

“What's with all the dirt everywhere?” she asked.

“It's for the growing of the holy mushrooms,” I said, “Marisa said that they were the most precious of nature's bounty so we've designated all these patches of dirt as holders of our mystical revelations.”

“Mushrooms are indeed the best,” Marisa agreed, looking upon with wonder at the small patch we had successfully nursed from nothing. “Once they're fully grown we can eat and couple and gain the knowledge of the universe.”

“...” Alice said nothing, instead opting to open up the curtains. We had shut them at the beginning of our transcendental journey and so natural sunlight now seemed like an foreign concept. I clenched my teeth as my eyes were assaulted by even more light.

“You're ruining everything!” I complained, “we're on the verge of understanding the inner workings of the universe!”

“The only thing you're on the verge of understanding is garbage,” she said calmly, turning off the hotplate and killing our chances to achieve true enlightenment. “I don't know what started this, but it needs to stop. There's no such thing as secret knowledge. You've bought into a hoax.”

“B-but the books say,” Marisa started to protest.

“What they say is that you need to get some fresh air,” Alice remarked, “wait, better make it a bath too. Have you slept at all these past few days?”

“Sleep is for the weak,” I answered, “all that matters is the pursuit of knowledge.”

“Okay, time for you two to leave the magic aside and to clean yourselves up,” Alice said firmly, pinching me to get me to snap out of my magic-induced trance. Sure, she didn't understand how the secrets of the universe were revealed to the chose few, but she had a point. I smelled pretty bad, if I was honest. Spending the last few days in a delirium reading magical texts and brewing potions left little time for personal hygiene.

“I- maybe she's right,” Marisa sighed, “I don't really know what came over me. I mean, mushrooms are pretty awesome, but maybe we shouldn't let ourselves get too caught up growing them.”

“Mmm, maybe,” I said, feeling a little bit stupid. In the end, it didn't seem like we had discovered anything that was actually magical. No spells or anything.

“Alright, I'll help you clean up, “ Alice said, picking up a pile of mound of dirt. “Tomorrow is the first day of the year, so let's act like we're seniors. Instead of whatever this is.”

I locked eyes with Marisa and we made a decision then, unbeknownst to Alice.

[] Studying magic would be our little secret.
[] Move on, the books are undoubtedly rubbish.
[X] Move on, the books are undoubtedly rubbish.
No surprises here at all. Time to return to society, what a waste of time this was.
[X] Studying magic would be our little secret.

...all things in moderation, you two.
Somehow I thought it would go that way, time skip, zeal and everything.
[x] Move on, the books are undoubtedly rubbish.

Well, it was fun, but if magic is going to suck up our time like that, then I think it's best to return to the real world, so to speak.
[x] Move on, the books are undoubtedly rubbish.
I don't know what you guys expected from that.
[] Studying magic would be our little secret.
Even if it doesn't work out, it's a way to get closer to her.
[x] Studying magic would be our little secret.

That was hilarious and I want to see it again.
[x] Move on, the books are undoubtedly rubbish.

Damn. I liked the idea but I didn't thought they'd go from 'enthusiasts' to 'zealots' in two days. And no guarantees it won't happen again if they keep at it. Too bad, it feels like a wasted opportunity.
[x] Studying magic would be our little secret.

Something to bond over.... PROVIDED that such a lapse doesn't occur again. Then again I don't think anyone was expecting that.
[x] Studying magic would be our little secret.

I just want to bond more with Marisa. If the only thing that studying magic is going to give us is more fruitless time skips though, I'll gladly switch to the other option. (If that's the case, Teruyo, then you can change my vote if there ends up being a tie or something.)
That's not how voting works. You can't set up a condition that might or might not happen in the future to change your vote before it happens.
Also, there is lots of other ways to bond with marisa. We don't need "magic" for it. Heck, we've been bonding with her for quite some time without it anyway.
[X] Move on, the books are undoubtedly rubbish.

We must never speak of this again.
[] Studying magic would be our little secret.

Spend time with Marisa.
Yes, there might be more ways to bond with Marisa, but why not take the opportunity that's already in front of us? It was just the two of them alone for a few days. I feel like Marisa's often in the presence of other people whenever she's mentioned, so this could be a consistent way to look for any developments between them. Not to mention, that spell from the first book apparently worked, so I want to see if there's anything else we can do. Hopefully they've learned a little more restraint, so future experiments might even produce results.

As for the wording of my vote, that was just in case there needed to be a tiebreak and I wasn't around in time to manually change my vote (this story updates quicker than I can check sometimes). I guess that was presumptuous of me though. Unless I see that trying to study magic really doesn't lead to anything, I stand by what I picked.
It took us the better part of the afternoon to clean up. Alice supervised, keeping us from saving much of any of the experiments that were in progress. In short, we were treated like children. But that was fine. It was just a temporary setback. Marisa and I didn't exchange any words but we each knew that some things were worth saving. Her confidence in a breakthrough inspired me to want to keep at it, even if it meant that we had to ramp down the scale of our research for a while.

After we were done, I took a long bath. My thoughts turned to the experience of the past few days.

Maybe believing the romance novel was a bit much. With all the talk of magical focus, discipline and augmentation, my defenses for the absurd had been worn down. Then again, truth was that I wanted to believe magic was real ever since I had rented out the first book. That was on me. Still, I felt like there was something to all of it. Working closely with Marisa, there were a few moments where it felt like I could peek just beyond the mundane and catch glimpses of something that couldn't be explained by logic.

“Are you nearly done in there?” Alice asked, knocking on the bathroom door.

“Way to ruin my relaxation,” I complained.

“Just making sure you haven't drowned,” she said. I could tell by the sound of her voice that she was still none too amused by what happened. “You've barely slept the past few days, so make sure you don't get lightheaded in there.”

“Yeah, whatever,” I answered. I didn't really need her to play mother to me. I thought she'd be more understanding too. All those cute dolls of hers – it'd be interesting to see them be controlled by magic. It'd be one hell of a party trick.

“Remember that Marisa needs to clean up too, so don't take forever,” she nagged and then left.

With the mood ruined, there wasn't much point in dwelling over the finer points of magic. The only thing that was clear that it'd be a slow process even if the books weren't all full of crap.

I ran into Marisa in the hallway. She smiled silently at me, her eyes full of confidence. It was a secret worth keeping, we both felt. “Alice, are you going to help me wash my hair?” she asked, passing me by and entering the bathroom.

It was the first day of the new academic year. I'd gone to bed early, having nothing better to do and so, for once, was up at a respectable time.

Marisa was the one who was slow to get ready that morning. Apparently she couldn't find a pair of clean socks. Alice and I waited downstairs.

“You sure look happy to get back to school,” I said, noting the bright smile on her lips. It was unusual for her to wear her heart on her sleeve like that.

“New uniform,” she said, “it's pretty, isn't it?”

I looked her over. It wasn't really that new design-wise. The major differences were that seniors had a different-colored ribbon and a darker pleated skirt. My uniform was about the same as always. I had a different-colored tie as well but that was about it. Naturally, half of the time I wasn't wearing the tie anyhow. No one really called me out on it either.

“The new color suits your eyes,” I observed, feeling pressured by her smile to say something nice.

“You should take better care of your clothes,” Alice leaned in to dust off something from my shoulder, “it's the first day and already your shirt is really creased.”

“Laundry was never my strong suit,” I said, “besides, I don't really care about uniforms. Most of the time I'm wearing my shirt outside my pants and looking scruffy anyhow.”

“Maybe I should be stricter with you,” she said, “we can't really have a vice president that looks like he slept in his clothes. It'll reflect poorly on the student council. You don't want to let down Reimu now, do you?”

“Reimu, huh?”

“What's with that stupid grin of yours?” Alice asked.

[] “I was just thinking of how cute she looked dressed as a shrine maiden.”
[] “New uniforms mean a chance to compare and see who wears it best.”
[X] “New uniforms mean a chance to compare and see who wears it best.”
This is like starting a wildfire and watching the entire forest burn down. let's do it.
[X] “I was just thinking of how cute she looked dressed as a shrine maiden.”

What, it's true.
[X] “New uniforms mean a chance to compare and see who wears it best.”

It's also dangerous. We already pissed Alice off immensely with that KO'ed dream sequence.
Besides, Reimu isn't even that cute.
[X] “New uniforms mean a chance to compare and see who wears it best.”

I see this as the truth; though I wonder if Alice's dislike of magic is a sign of her actually being a sort of GM of this (considering this story stems from her in another story writing something) sort of 'game'
[X] “New uniforms mean a chance to compare and see who wears it best.”

Seeing how disapproving Alice was of our experiments, we probably shouldn't annoy her more. Well, more than usual anyway.
[x] "New uniforms mean a chance to compare and see who wears it best.”

Girls please prepare and do your best. Arc will be judging.
Nothing like a pseudo competition to motivate Alice (and others) to fight for the title of cutest schoolgirl.
Alright, writing now.

Great logic. Telling her that you're thinking about ranking dozens of other girls based on looks is clearly sensitive and thoughtful.
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“Since you brought the subject up,” I said, “new uniforms mean a chance to compare and see who wears it best. It's important to have a good classification system in place, don't you know.”

“You idiot,” Alice responded with clear disgust in her voice, “we're not wearing these for your pleasure. Objectifying people is never alright. I shouldn't have asked.”

“But-” I was going to follow with a more nuanced explanation but got cut off.

“Sorry to keep you waiting,” Marisa bounded down the stairs in a hurry. She interrupted our little conversation innocently enough. “What, did I say something wrong?” she read the mood quickly enough.

“No, not really,” I said, looking her over. “You're currently number one of two,” I gave her my evaluation, “congrats.”

“Ah, thanks!” she smiled, “number one at what?”

“Wearing the new uniform,” I explained, “I like how you haven't bothered to button your top button, gives you a less formal appearance. Suits your bright and slightly chaotic energy. Plus, nice job matching the ribbon on your braid with the uniform.”

“Oh, thanks for noticing!” she nodded happily, “I was also thinking of wearing a pin or a brooch of some sort but I didn't want it to be too flashy. Maybe tomorrow.”

“Might be nice,” I said, “at any rate, good job at looking cute today. It's a good start to the school year.”

“Let's just get going,” Alice interjected coolly, none too amused at our exchange. Marisa flashed me a look that asked if there would be further trouble. I shrugged in response. Maybe it had been a bit much to call her ensemble 'vanilla'.

It was a fine morning, some of the cherry blossoms were still blooming and provided us with a nice backdrop for our new year. As we got closer to school, groups of familiar faces became more common. Some new faces were mixed in too, mostly freshmen. They looked nervous and apprehensive about the new year, not year walking in groups of friends.

Marisa asked me to rank a few of them along the way, much to Alice's annoyance. I was quick and objective, using my manly instinct to categorizes each person I encountered. Much to her delight, Marisa remained on top. Maybe it was because I always thought of her as being messy but I handn't realized before just how much pride she took on her appearance. Well, it made sense. Her hair wasn't something that just magically braided itself. I warned her that her ranking might change once we got to school, but she didn't seem to mind at all, basking in the transient glory of being first.

Alice, already none-to-please with my ongoing ranking, urged us to hurry up. We were dawdling, caught up with discussing the rankings. It wouldn't be right for us to be late on the first day, she reminded us, and started to walk faster.

Trying to keep up with her, I picked up the pace. The problem was that, as we started up the hill, some of the side streets had blind angles due to the tall walls of the buildings nearby. It was hazardous to just charge along and, as I lay on my butt, reeling from the sudden impact that came from my side, I cursed my haste.

“Just what's the big idea!?” she complained, probably feeling about as miserable as I did. “Oh you idiot, you made me drop my toast!”

“Ah, sorry,” I apologized. Marisa and Alice had stopped and were looking on with interest. Seemed that my encounter trumped getting to class on time. “I didn't see you there. I didn't expect anyone to be running out onto the main road.”

“What a way to start the year,” she said, “running into some guy on the way to school when I'm late...”

She wore the uniform of our academy. The color of the ribbon indicated that she was in the same year as I was. But I hadn't seen her before. I would have remembered her face. Or, at the very least her long, and somewhat wild and dark auburn hair. She needed a better stylist, it looked on the verge of being uncombable. I asked, “You're a transfer student?”

“Yes,” she forgot about complaining for a moment and calmed down, “and I take it you're one of my classsmates?”

“Yep, Arc, soon-to-be student council vice president,” I smiled, trying to make a good first impression. “I'll buy you something from the machines to make up for your bread, I get the feeling that was your breakfast and I feel like we should get off on the right foot.” My offer wasn't just a burst of sudden conscientiousness on my part. Not entirely. I wouldn't have made the offer if she hadn't been cute. Something about the red amulet affixed to her uniform made her jump a few spots up in my ranking. Also, truth was that I was distracted by something else that I saw. After falling down, she hadn't bothered to cross her legs, not realizing that I had the perfect angle for a rare view.

“Nice to meet you, I'm Kagerou” she said with a smile, “that's too generous, I couldn't impose. Accidents happen.”

“Let me help you up,” I said, standing up and brushing off the dirt from my hands. “We can walk to school together and I can show you to your class.”

“Oh, that's really too kind of you,” she said, “sorry for calling you an idiot just now, I was just worked up that… wait a minute.” Kagerou looked down at her legs as she swept off some dirt. “Oh my, you saw them, didn't you?”

“Saw what?” I played dumb. I was certain that Marisa was smiling at my act, though neither her nor Alice dared interrupt the exchange.

“When I fell, I forgot I was wearing such a short skirt… I knew I shouldn't have chosen them even if they're lucky… You're not lying to me, are you?”

[] Pretend to not have seen anything.
[] Tell the truth… puppies were a cute choice.
[] Tell the truth… puppies were a cute choice.
Meh, teddy bears are superior.
First impressions are key, especially for our new vice-president. One option makes Arc seem a bit more mature, maybe polite, and definitely less of a pervert.
The other option makes him seem more honest and truthful, pretty self-confident, and an unashamed pervert.

In the end, Arc is a wiseass and general funny-guy, so I'm going to vote for the option that's truer to character.
Plus, it's the funnier one.

[x] Tell the truth… puppies were a cute choice.
[] Tell the truth… puppies were a cute choice.

There is no other choice.
Truth be told, I just didn't want to compliment Reimu.
[x] Pretend to not have seen anything.

I want Arc to show off his senpai aura.
He does a pretty good job with it with Kaguya
[X] Tell the truth… puppies were a cute choice.

This'll probably hurt our rep, but hey, since when do we care?
[x] Pretend to not have seen anything.

Pissing against the tide here.

Looking at the context clues, she may appreciate the honesty from him.

Or she will immediately suspect his motives and be completely turned off to letting him help her with anything.

It could go both ways though, which is why the intent behind these votes is so important. Having a strong dissent improves the winning vote.

Trying to make a good first impression is important. This is an obvious lie designed to help her save face and be polite. She knows it and so will Arc.
Or she might distrust Arc and tag him as a perverted liar.
Exactly. But it could go either way depending on her personality. Hence my comment about rationale, etc.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't. I don't see a winning option here. I can understand why people are choosing to default to the truth.
Because of real life and other things, I probably won't be able to write today. Maybe much later.

It's just as well, I could use a break because the 'cut off the nose to spite the face' attitude of some has been bothering me. A general waifu thing which misses the point hasn't helped. Nor have the inconsistent voting frequencies. This gives me time to think and adjust things. I'm going to crack down on this shit one way or another because it's anathema to the ideals of kind of story.
It was either compliment a clear rival or compliment dozens of unknowns. I don't share their belief but I understand their reasoning

[x] Pretend to not have seen anything.

Wasn't he trying to give a good impression first? He can start being honest right after she realizes how much of a liar Arc is.

He hasn't called the votes yes, so you can still change the votes! Er, if you want to.
[x] Pretend to not have seen anything.

Let's try to do a first impression and deal with it when the time comes. Hopefully it won't blow up in Arc's face; this is something of a roulette choice.

Inconsistent update rates don't exactly help, especially with the fact that most aren't at the computer 24/7. Missing votes tends to be discouraging; though I can easily say the same for the inconsistent direction caused by the other inconsistencies.

The waifuspiting is a product of classic THP which in turn was inspired by VNs. And whatever ideas this story has, most read it in hopes of either making progress with their favorites or actually meeting them (hence all the votes taken in hope of that)
[X] Tell the truth… puppies were a cute choice.

I get the feeling she knows he saw, and she wants to see how he responds. The "You're not lying to me, are you?" is making me lean towards honesty being the better approach. I'm kind of hoping that his offer to buy something for her and show her around school (reasons notwithstanding) will help his case. And yeah, truer to character.

I understand the argument that we'd be lying to save face, but I still think the fact that he's lying to her at all won't leave a good impression.
I don't mind inconsistent update rates because, in this case, they mean 'faster updates'
The alternative is THP common glacial pace and nobody wants that
[x] Tell the truth… puppies were a cute choice.

I don't really have a reason, except that I prefer to be honest when possible.
Right? Multiple updates in one day is the whole reason I follow this story.

It sucks that some people miss out, but this story has the same spirit present in the original THP stories. It probably could go even faster if people checked back enough.

THP needs more stories like this.
Alright, I'm around and free for the moment, so starting to write.

It's shit reasoning, sorry. Jealousy has never been a main cause of problems, otherwise every single interaction with Marisa and Kaguya who are classmates would have resulted in her disapproving. Not to mention Alice not only played a joke on him with Reimu and the supposed confession, but wasn't affected by seeing him and Reimu cuddle together at the shrine. Arc's general attitude towards girls and lack of of restrain, on the other hand, is something that has consistently had her react directly. Alice sure as hell isn't amused right now.

From the first thread I have been clear that this is not a zero-sum deal where one waifu has to be dominant for the story to reach a meaningful conclusion. No such thing as routes. As early on as >>44554 I've been saying this. And please don't use words like 'most' when expressing your personal opinion - you don't speak for the majority any more than I can.

'Whatever ideas this story has' have driven this story for hundreds of updates now and will continue to do so in the future. If you don't get it, then you won't feel satisfied with the results. In case it went over your head: I've made fun of other stories and its voters for fighting over one character over another many times since the very beginning. If you're doing something out of spite, then you're screwed because the results in the story will ultimately hurt you. That's the way the story is designed. So you always vote for what might be the nicest thing, not the nicest thing thinking only about a single character.

And well, as for inconsistent update rates? It's a minor problem at best. I'm much more worried about inconsistent voting rates since that affects momentum. There's been a clear pattern with me usually updating the first time in a day at around this hour followed by more updates as votes allow. If you check every couple of hours then it's unlikely you'll miss anything. 2-3 updates a day isn't excessive and it certainly doesn't call for anyone to be at their computer 24 hours a day. Especially as I'm announcing when I'm around and when I'm writing.

I'm going to continue to hope to change the way some people think by trying my best while writing. I wish some of you would reflect more on your votes at times since you sometimes do a really good job at it. And, well, I will be continue to make adjustments on how I present some things.
“You win some, you lose some,” Marisa said with a laugh as she placed her hand on my shoulder. “Come on, we should get going too.”

Kagerou had run on ahead of us. My reward for telling her the truth was an open-handed blow to the face and an angry look. I guess I could rule out making small talk on our way up to class. At least the memory of seeing her underpants wasn't going to fade away anytime soon. I thought I saw Alice smirking, but she displayed no emotion when our eyes met.

We had to hurry to school, we were cutting it close to the start of homeroom. The classroom assignments were posted on a large board by the shoe lockers. I found my name quickly and Marisa and Alice seemed to be in my homeroom too. It looked like Mima had no choice but to put up with me for another year.

“Climbing these stairs every day will be such a drag,” Marisa huffed as we rushed up to the last floor. We were above the other years' classrooms now that we were seniors. I hadn't spent much time up there before but now it was our domain. “G'morning,” Marisa greeted after we found and entered our classroom.

There was excitement in the air. Every face I saw seemed to forget all the tedious bits about school life and were instead intoxicated with the pretense that it was finally our turn at the top of the pecking order. It looked like Mima had opted to keep things as stable as possible too, as most of the faces I saw were familiar. Only a few people were missing and the new faces were few and far in between. Not only that, but our seating assignments were the same.

“Ready to start our own legend?” Suika asked as a greeting, grinning from ear to ear. Foolishly caught up in the romanticism of being seniors, it looked like.

“I thought we already were legends,” I replied, flicking her forehead with my finger, “stay sharp and we'll do just fine.”

“That's what I like to hear,” she laughed, patting me on the back. Easy to please as usual. Her being in a good mood made my life easier.

“Alright guys, settle down,” Mima came in shortly after the bell rang. She looked anything but excited to be there, in sharp contrast to the mood of the students. She went through the motions, doing the customary introduction. She wrote her name on the board and assigned Reimu as class representative, not even bothering to put it up to a vote. “There'll be an assembly after third period during which the headmistress will give a speech to our new senior class. Attendance is mandatory,” she added, looking directly at me.

I smiled, drawing a heart in the air with a finger. It may have been a new year and more was expected of us, but I was already thinking of how to make the day more fun.

[] Drop by the nurse's office.
[] Find Kagerou after the assembly and buy her lunch.

Expanding on a point briefly: dealing with one character in a certain way won't ever preclude with dealing with another or advancing their plotline.
Well, that went as good as we expected.

[x] Find Kagerou

Maybe he can spin it as him having a honest heart or something. It won't be a lie either.
[x] Drop by the nurse's office.
Let's see what Eirin has to say about the new school year.
[X] Drop by the nurse's office.

Agreed. Besides, Kagerou probably could use more time to cool down.
[X] Drop by the nurse's office.

Let's go say hi to Eirin.
[x] Find Kagerou after the assembly and buy her lunch.

Eh, it's a setback but it's not too late to save face! Not that saving face has ever been important but let's have a go at it
[X] Drop by the nurse's office.
I feel going out and buying Kagerou lunch when her first impression is still of us embarrassing her by commentating on her panty choice is a little too soon. Let her cool down some before running into her again.

And I want more sexy nurse time.
[x] Find Kagerou after the assembly and buy her lunch.

Welp. Gotta make it right.
[x] Find Kagerou after the assembly and buy her lunch.
Something something, Kagerou, something something kindness.
[X] Drop by the nurse's office.

I wanna checkup from Eirin.
Ok, that took a while, but writing now.
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The assembly was everything I had expected it to be. In other words, completely boring. The whole senior class sat down while Yukari got up on the stage to talk to us. She covered all the basics: how we were bright and young, how we had a long and interesting ahead of us and how she expected each and one of us to rise up and meet the challenges thrown at us. There were a few choice words thrown in about youth, camaraderie and dreams. That and a special welcome to the new transfer students.

We were all very enthralled by her words. Suika kept checking her phone, trying to pass unnoticed by the teachers. I felt tempted to take a nap but somehow managed to resist the urge. A true miracle.

The assembly went on so long that by the time Yukari finished saying her last inspirational words, it was time for lunch. Students poured out of the room in a flash, all scrambling to make it to the cafeteria before all the choice items were sold out.

I had other plans.

“Hey there Eirin,” I greeted casually, letting myself into the nurses office because the door was open. I found her sitting by her desk, a plastic container full of salad in front of her. Looked like she was having lunch too.

“What can I do for you?” She asked, eyeing me suspiciously. Couldn't blame her, I usually came by when I wasn't really sick. “Don't tell me you've fallen on your head again.”

“Does falling head over heels in love count?” I asked, with a charming smile.

“Let me guess, you've suddenly realized that life makes no sense without me, is that right?”

“That's about the gist of it,” I said with a chuckle. She knew me well enough. I changed the subject, “I actually came by because it's a new school year. I'm a senior and all now.”

“Yet you continue to act like a freshman,” she gave a throaty chuckle, her voice deep, “a clueless one at that.”

“There goes my plan to impress you with my maturity. Well, at least I've got the rest of the year.”

“We'll see about that,” she said wit ha knowing smile.

“At least throw me a bone, guy a guy a little hope. I'm a romantic at heart, you know, let me down easy.“

She bid me closer, inviting me to sit down and join her for a cup of tea. I wasn't about to turn her down and so sat down for a chat. We talked about school life, of all things. She was interested to know how I felt about studying and being a student, especially in light of my latest exam results. I wouldn't say she was impressed but it did seem like she saw me in a different light. Like I was maybe on the path to becoming a responsible adult. While I spoke, she slowly ate her salad. Before too long we had exhausted half of the lunch hour.

“Tell me, I get the feeling that there's something else that's bothering you,” she turned the conversation towards to something else, “you know that students confide in me, so if you need to get anything off your chest, now is the time.”

[] I wondered what she thought of me being on the student council. It must impress her a little.
[] I needed advice getting on the good side of a girl I may have pissed off.
[x] I needed advice getting on the good side of a girl I may have pissed off.

Maybe we'll learn something.
[x] I needed advice getting on the good side of a girl I may have pissed off.

It'd be very useful advice considernig Arc's/Our stupidity in these things.

I thought there'd be more one update up while I was at work.
[x] I needed advice getting on the good side of a girl I may have pissed off.

I was sleeping. Don't judge.

Anyway, if Eiren is not impressed about our exam results I somewhat doubt a council position is going to change that.

Maybe it does though, not sure. In which case asking her directly could make it look like we're bragging. Not that there's anything wrong with bragging, but he wanted to show her his maturity.

Not that pissing off a girl on our first day seems mature. But we're trying to remedy that immediately, so it's still a sign of maturity!

Whatever though, she already likes us anyway so getting along with new girls should have higher priority.

And Eirin's the best adviser we have, so let's ask for her wisdom.
Even if our boss is currently taking things lightly, I don't think he'd like it too much if we just go and skip work out of the blue.

[X] You have a responsibility to work and so does Aya.
[X] I needed advice getting on the good side of a girl I may have pissed off.

Looks to be the better option... to me, at least.
[x] I needed advice getting on the good side of a girl I may have pissed off.
Don't think Arc needs to impress Eirin. Maybe getting some advice from her would yield some results.

Uh. I don't think you're in the right thread, anon. Besides, why would you even vote for that choice it's clearly the worst one.

>inconsistent voting rates

Unfortunately, you start updating a few hours after I go to bed, and stop an hour before I get up. This makes it a bit difficult to consistently vote. Still, I'll try to vote when I can!

[x] I needed advice getting on the good side of a girl I may have pissed off.

I'm not sure how much Eirin can really help with the situation, but talking about it might start things in the right direction.
Dang. Knew I should have double-checked which tab I had open.

And it's far from the worst vote! I'd insist that it's the better vote. Why?

More Work = Less Personal Time Together With Aya = Delay The Skinship

And delaying the skinship would make Anon go mad with fury, which would be more than enough to justify that vote as the best vote.

Of course, there's

More Work = More Money

But alas! That's just an unfortunate side effect of working.

Good thing

More Working = More Stress

Because Gallbladder going bonkers would be the best thing ever.

So! For this fic:
[x] I needed advice getting on the good side of a girl I may have pissed off.
[X] I wondered what she thought of me being on the student council. It must impress her a little.

I want to see her impression on the corruption that managed to bother even Arc.

Well that, and see if it is worth some brownie points. But that's only if she didn't realize the scheme... not likely.
She would likely grasp that there's something else going on with Arc's appointment. Eirin's noted for her intellegence, and I doubt this version is any different.
Writing now.

That was the previous choice. You can't expect to solve anything if you don't talk to the people involved.

Needs? Maybe not. Wants to? It's fair to say that the whole basis of their character interaction is Arc trying to impress her. It's been that way since her first appearance and the subsequent votes.
“You're coming to me for advice on girls?” she asked with a raised eyebrow, skeptical of my intent. “Am I to believe you are an insecure wallflower whose main failing is to be too shy and afraid of rejection to take that first step?”

“That's not really what I was asking,” I defended myself.

“But it is the same tenor of the conversations I have with timid schoolgirls who come looking for advice, as if there's a secret key that will without fail unlock anyone's heart.” Eirin shook her head as if to dismiss the value of the scenario and helped herself to another cup of tea. With clear disapproval that threatened to transform into a frown on her face, she added, “and here I thought that you understood that part of becoming older was learning the wisdom of how to best use your innate talents.”

“I'm not very sure how to deal with specific scenarios, it's not that I doubt my talents,” I tried to argue back, feeling outclassed. She listened patiently, sipping occasionally from her cup but wasn't moved at all by my plight.

“If you were a freshman or even one of your classmates who romanticized the idea of love being a pure and noble struggle, I might offer some sort of pithy phrase or reassurance,” Eirin said. She sighed, putting down her cup and looking me straight in the eye. “You are not like that and you have never behaved like that, so we'd be both wasting each others' time if we reduced this conversation to that.”

“So what? You're telling me to figure things out myself?”

“I'm telling you not to waste my time,” she said harshly, “someone who proclaims to be confident, gallant and tries to impress upon me his maturity and desirability as a partner ought not to feign vulnerability. It is unbecoming and, frankly, insulting given our relative intimacy. Calling me by my given name given the difference in our positions is not something I would tolerate lightly from just any student. As I said, if things were different, this conversation would have ended with a simple pat on the back and you going on your way, feeling reassured. Act like the capable individual you claim to be and reason things out for yourself.”

“I suppose I should apologize then.”

“I don't want your apology,” Eirin said, shaking her head. “Simply learning from experience and moving on is good enough. Leave the contrition for continued offenses.”

“Hm, I suppose I'm lucky,” I said, with a sigh, “it's not every student that would get chewed out by the nurse. You're kindness incarnate as far as they're concerned.”

“Then perhaps you do understand what intimacy is all about,” she said with a sly smile. Whether the realization impressed her or she was simply humoring me was up for debate.

“Perhaps now you'll take my romantic feelings more seriously,” I said with a wink, pushing my luck. What else was I supposed to do? She had me outclassed in every meaningful way and I couldn't think of anything else to say that wouldn't just annoy her.

“I'll think about them when and if they are both earnest and from a well-centered adult,” she teased, once again smiling and showing off her superiority. I'd have to play catch up for a thousand years to get on her level.

A knock on the door ended all possibilities of further conversation. A younger girl, looking fidgety and uncomfortable, was looking for Eirin. By the tone of her voice and softened eyes, I could tell that this was precisely the kind of person I had been compared to earlier. So, naturally, I left to give them their space. She needed the reassurance more than I did.

[] Go to the roof to skip classes
[] Stay in class to catch up with classmates.
[X] Stay in class to catch up with classmates.

Skipping on the first day? Nah.
[x] Go to the roof to skip classes

Stay busy and be a man of the people. This is key.

Who voted to go see Eirin again? Good job.
Well, I voted for looking for Kagerou, so I don't see a problem with going for the next best thing after that failed.

But yeah, that backfired. Didn't consider what could be wrong with second choice after dismissing the first. Will keep this incident in mind for future interaction.

[x] Go to the roof to skip classes.

Will we meet the lesbians again? Or is it Suika time?
[X] Go to the roof to skip classes

I bet we will see something cool there, and/or maybe Suika too.
Voting to see Eirin was perfectly valid. The follow up is what was lacking.
I'm not sure. Her reaction seemed good in paper but truthfully, it wasn't that in character. His surprise was spot-on.

[] Stay in class to catch up with classmates.
[x] Go to the roof to skip classes
Arc is still a delinquent at heart.
Not writing now because I waited and waited for most of the day and now I'm tired. Seriously guys, you need to be faster about voting. I can't keep doing fast updates if the votes aren't there. And if there are no fast updates, then there won't be a story eventually. It's not impossible either. You've proven that it's possible get more than enough votes in shorter time spans at more or less the same hours of day. Some of you are trying and that's great but we need the majority to put in the same effort.

Feel free to vote more or whatever in my absence. Maybe you should reflect on the last couple of votes and figure out what did and did not work and why. Nothing here has been a curveball and characters have behaved as they've always behaved.
Mins if I post a theory? The story looks 'aimless'. No goal, nothing to strive for much. Not something that usually draw voters.

As it is, only interest for voters seems to be 'who do you want to spend time with'.
weekends doesn't help where people have a habit of having things to do besides THP, partially reinforced by writers taking the weekend off, partially reinforced by readers not being there... cycles man.

Maybe we should have bragged about our position to maintain consistency, but well... I suspect with Arc's past actions it might have been a no win scenario.

Looks? It is aimless as it's dictated whoever's lucky enough to catch an update and with all the varied interests (including trying to meet new touhous), there's no chanec of this story having a real direction barring something writer induced.

[X] Go to the roof to skip classes

I'm sort of hoping to run into Suika but considering Arc's luck, he might run into something worse than an angry school girl or a nurse calling him out on his apparent hypocrisy.
File 143669341231.jpg - (150.00KB, 850x850, bush.jpg) [iqdb]
Wailing banshees woke me up and now I can't go back to sleep, recording related: https://fuwa.se/a0ofg.mp3/wind.mp3

So, I guess, fuck it. Will make tea and try to revive myself and write something eventually.

This is a slice of life story, of course it's 'aimless'. That's the whole point. The things that do happen are directly related to characters, in other words, getting to know and helping Rin, Tenshi, Kaguya, Marisa or any other of the characters and advancing their stories is the plot. If Yuyuko's quests and the student council isn't enough of a framework to drive these subplots for you, I'm not sure what to say other than maybe slice of life isn't a genre for you. Besides which, at this point I'm not attracting anyone new, I'm simply asking people who have voted and have shown that it is possible to have faster votes to simply keep it up. That includes you. If you don't feel interested in the story, then that's a shame and I'm afraid I can't do anything about it. But if you are interested, then please vote as it the single most important thing you can do to help me as a writer.

Wiseman, you truly have a talent for talking out of your ass casually.

>weekends doesn't help where people have a habit of having things to do besides THP
You mean like last weekend where we had multiple updates and faster votes? And even discussion about Reimu! Or maybe the weekend before that where the same thing happened. Don't believe me? Check for yourself.
>partially reinforced by writers taking the weekend off, partially reinforced by readers not being there... cycles man.
I've been relatively good at telling people when I'm around and when I'm not. And I plan to do so as well in the future. I do agree it's a cyclical thing, which is why I'm trying to be as open about what I'm up to and what I plan in order to engage directly with the readers. Knowing when you should expect updates and when I'm not around is important.
> lucky enough to catch an update
Man, I really don't know why you keep pretending like it's somehow impossible to check in on this story more than once a day. Between the last update and my post there were 8 hours. The one choosing between Kagerou and Eirin and the update itself - 9 hours. There are others with 12-15 hour gaps and the like. In the rare cases where I do get faster votes it's still a good 4-5 hour gap at its shortest. I'm not making this up. Check for yourself. If and when I'm writing updates every 3 hours every day with no breaks like some sort of robot, then you'll have a point about it being impossible to keep up.

But we've been over this multiple times. Only the readers have the power to make this story a fast-paced success. I refuse to compromise on the principle of doing daily updates at a minimum. The site might not be as active as it used to be but that doesn't mean that you should let it remain that way. If I thought it was pointless to urge people to be more active, I wouldn't be bothering and instead I wouldn't have continued this story. But we do have the numbers and we do occasionally demonstrate those bursts of activity and speed that benefits all. So let's regularize that and all will be well.
[x] Stay in class to catch up with classmates.

First day of school and we're already considering skipping? Let's at least pretend to be a little responsible. Also, I'd like to talk with Reimu, Kaguya or someone new if any of them are named characters.
First day, last day – it made little difference to me. Going to classes was for chumps. I needed to spend quality time up on the roof before the year was over, instead. I used my key to unlock the door and picked a spot by the fence to lie down at and forget all about the world.

With the warm sun shining down on me, I was able to get a really good nap in. Felt good, like I had no worries at all. The bell rang a few times as I whiled the afternoon away. But I didn't care, life was good.

“Great, no privacy up here either!” my peace and quiet was interrupted by a frustrated howl.

“I should really remember to lock the door behind me,” I said loudly, “maybe then I could enjoy a little privacy too.”

“A selfish stooge, how surprising,” she said with a huff, looking down at me with clear disdain in her eyes. A little too judgmental for a first encounter, I felt.

“Nice to meet you too,” I said sarcastically, getting up to face the girl before me. I hadn't seen her before. That much was certain. She would have looked normal enough if not for the streaks of dyed hair and ear studs. I knew the school was lenient in letting students express themselves but she was cutting it close. Something even more obvious like a lip ring would have no doubt landed her in hot water. “I don't mind sharing this space, so long as you're quiet about it. I was taking a nap.”

“Like I care about your nap!” she barked, furrowing her brows in contempt. Normally I didn't get a reaction like that until after I started flirting.

“I'm just trying to be nice,” I said, “you don't have to be so mean.”

“Well, excuse me if I hurt your little bourgeoisie feelings, I have more important things to contemplate than your middle-class sensibilities.”

“Oh, cool, is this the part where you show off your tattoo of the anarchist symbol and start ranting about the system?” I prodded, not really in the mood to take abuse lying down. Much to my amusement, it did seem to get a rise out of her.

She contorted her face as if shocked and disgusted but eventually rallied. “I wouldn't expect a cog in the system like you to understand someone like me. You're all for the status quo, probably happy at being exploited if it means you can sometimes get away and take a nap. You think you've beat the system but let me tell you outright: you haven't.”

“You're by far the most interesting new student I've met,” I offered a non-sequitor. “What kind of music are you into?”

“I'm not into the conformist tripe you're likely familiar with,” she said, glaring daggers. How intense. But it didn't intimidate me. All I saw was an outspoken girl trying just a little too hard at seeming like she was on the fringe. I actually knew fringe types, thanks to hanging out with Suika, and so I wasn't intimidated by her bluster.

“So, tell me, you came up here to plot how to overthrow the system, right?” I made fun of her.

“As a matter of fact, I was going to make plans on how to get the little guy heard by the school administration and the student body.”

“There's elections for that,” I said, “next week actually. You could run.”

“Those are farcical elections,” she indicted their integrity, “pre-screened candidates with cookie-cutter personalities, made to appeal to the brainless masses as if it was a beauty pageant. Absolutely disgusting.”

Well, she was half-right about that. Not that I let on to what I really thought.

“How do you even know things are corrupt if this is your first day? Wouldn't it be wise not to prejudge and avoid hastiness,” I said, amused that I was playing the voice of reason. IT wasn't every day that I got to make logical counterpoints to the logic of the marginalized. Usually I was on the other side of the argument.

“It's like this everywhere,” she stressed, frowning due to eons of oppression of the working class that no doubt defined her every thought.”If no one plans for radical change and revolution, nothing will ever change.”

“So what's your idea of revolution?” I asked, trying not to smirk.

“Organize. Get like-minded comrades. Disband the whole system eventually. Just have students represent themselves, with no Ms. Beauty Queen or Mr. Perfect Grades telling us what to do. Same with feckless administrators that only care about contributions than student welfare.”

“Mmm, how bold,” I said, trying not to be too negative about it. It sounded all very pie in the sky and unworkable.

“Of course, someone like you wouldn't understand the first thing about solidarity with your fellow students,” she scoffed.

I didn't know just how serious she was. Did she really believe all that or was she just putting on an act? Labeling me seemed to be the main thrust of her argument. That and rallying against the so-called establishment, however ill-defined that might have been.

[] Revolutions were too much work. I was more about free love, anyhow.
[] I had sold out and become part of the system. But I could give voice to her ideas in the student council if she had anything good.
[x] Revolutions were too much work. I was more about free love, anyhow.

Eh, is it smart to tell her we are a government dog? She's probably gonna think we're a spy.

Not that she won't find out later anyway but let's wait with telling her.
[x] I had sold out and become part of the system. But I could give voice to her ideas in the student council if she had anything good.

It's kinda the point of being on the student council. Let's see if she actually has anything of substance, or if it's all just bluster.
Though thinking about it, if we don't tell her and she finds out herself she'll definitely think we're a spy.

Ah, I don't know, might change vote later.
[x] I had sold out and become part of the system. But I could give voice to her ideas in the student council if she had anything good.

Hey, isn't this the whole point of being in the student council? Forced or not, we're a part of that administration, so if she has any worthwhile changes, then let's give one of the students a voice. Let's prove her wrong about the student council.
Of course, she might use this as a chance to pull some stupid shit, but as Arc said, being the voice of reason once in a while is a novel experience, so we can shut her down if it gets out of hand.
[X] I had sold out and become part of the system. But I could give voice to her ideas in the student council if she had anything good.

Not sure how well Arc can work as a voice of reason, but I suppose we can try that.
[X] Revolutions were too much work. I was more about free love, anyhow.
Her kind of people are the absolute worst. I don't even care who it is, but I am already in disgust.
I think it's Seija, dyed hair and the contrarian attitude. Unless I'm missing something from the blurbs.
[X] I had sold out and become part of the system. But I could give voice to her ideas in the student council if she had anything good.

Alright, I'll bite. Let's see how this rolls. If she's serious, it might be interesting.
I guess those people never read an slice of life before. Anyway, have you thought about going back to write a classic larger-than-life epic?

That said, is that really Wiseman? I know you can see IPs but do you use that or do you identify him for that or for the stupid shit he says? Because I've said some stupid shit in my time, but...

Sage for off-topic.
Ok, that's six and I'll start writing soon.

>Anyway, have you thought about going back to write a classic larger-than-life epic?
I'm not sure I'd categorize my other stories as epics but, yeah, I've thought about it. But I think I'd run into the problem of not having any readers. I'm lucky with ToY in that there are people who want to read it but, for example, I did a full thread for a story in /sdm/ a while back. I had to stop writing due to lack of interest. That really broke my heart and helped contribute to me not writing. There's nothing worse than feeling like you've failed at something you really really wanted to do. I have no reason to believe that things would be any different now. They'd probably be worse since the site is deader.

I was flirting with the idea of asking readers here if they would read something else and if so what but not sure what the proper way and timing of that would be.

>That said, is that really Wiseman?
Yes. I can spot his style of typing and complaints from a mile away. Just comes from years of interacting with him. I don't think I've ever guessed wrong. I talked to him on irc after that post and confirmed anyhow

As you can see he can be a major drag and come off as abrasive. I actually do like him though, he's a good reader and he's been part of our community for the longest time. I'd prefer to have more people like him than the inactive and elitist bunch that hate him with a passion. Wiseman does care about the stories and the site and he does get invested with things. He just gets frustrated at times and has little tact when it comes to making criticisms and says unfair things as you've probably seen. Anyone who regularly reads and votes is a-ok in my book.

And on another note, I don't really associate identities/IPs with posts and votes. Being an admin is like being a nurse: on an intellectual level it might seem thrilling to deal with naughty bits and see your patients naked but after dealing with piss and shit all day you don't really care about any of that. I avoid being logged in except when I'm checking for vote spam or doing work on the site.
[X] Revolutions were too much work. I was more about free love, anyhow.

I get the feeling that the other choice would just backfire, that and I feel this is much more Arc. Though Seija is just trouble in general and not the sort that Arc generally gets into.
“Figures,” she said, scoffing, “had you pegged for a dickless puppet the moment I laid eyes on you.”

“I might occasionally be a puppet for 'the man',” I said, thinking of Big Sis, “but I sure as hell am fully equipped.” Chuckling, I added, “but before you accuse me of trying to keep you down I'll have you know that I once was kinda like you. At the very least it means I'm sympathetic and, more to the point, that I am not really looking forward to working in the student government. That said, if you have any good ideas, I can try and push for them.”

“I'm not going to sell out,” she sneered. “Why do you think most revolutions fail?”

“Lack of organization and popular support?” I offered a theory.

“No, because of sellouts like you,” she stated, “those that prefer to work within the system and ultimately become a part of it. Endless bureaucracy helps vested interests keep their influence.”

“I really don't see any other way to go about it, sorry,” I said with a shrug. I enjoyed my previous freedom and resented the system. But I wasn't going to overthrow it. I preferred to spend my energies on more productive things. Like chatting up cute girls. I guess I was guilty of the crime of political apathy.

“You better not nark on me, or you'll get yours,” she threatened, “I know that you always think that people like me work alone, but there's sympathetic ears everywhere.”

“Like mine,” I interrupted with my best impression of an understanding smile. “That's why I said that I can help out if you have anything concrete you want to do.”

“Shut up, never interrupt someone about to announce their manifesto!”

“I bet you look better wearing something other than a uniform,” I interrupted her again. “I imagine that you feel that it's too conformist to look all alike.

“It's adequate camouflage, when we strike it'll-”

“Yes, yes, but I think that you're better served wearing something that contrasts. Like black and red, maybe a bold blue too. Mmm, maybe I 'm thinking too much punk rock. Not quite the same thing. Though torn stockings and collars are nice in moderation...”

“Leave me out of your servile fantasies, you sheep,” she looked annoyed. More than before.

“Hey, can I at least get your name? Or alias? Whichever you use at school. I'm Arc by the way, feel free not to vote for me in the upcoming elections. I don't really want to be vice president. I'd rather spend time on the roof chatting with interesting people like you.”

It looked like I had hit a nerve. She scrunched up her nose in anger, and it looked like she might pop a vein at any second. “It's Kijin, you brainwashed oaf!” she blurted out, squeezing her fist tightly.

“Well Ms. Kijin, nice to meet you. Feel free to use the roof if it's unlocked, no teachers ever come here. I don't mind if you plot, I can take a nap on the opposite corner if you're afraid of me spying and thwarting your revolutionary plans. But, if you feel like sharing them with someone, you'll know where I am.”

I started to walk away, giving her some space. It wasn't long before she gave chase, blurting out obscenities, “don't think I buy your inoffensive stooge persona for even a second! The strong always mess with the weak and they use agents of all kind to do their dirty work.”

“You look plenty strong to me,” I said with a lovably charming smile. I couldn't resist but do my best to try to infuriate her. “If anything, I think I'm the one that's being messed with here.”

“Don't even think of using dirty tricks to confuse me!” she cried out, exasperated. “I see right through you.”

“Oh, do you now?” I swiveled towards her, leaning in close. She looked up at me defiantly but cautiously, as if trying to decide whether or not I really was the threat that she had proclaimed me to be. Aside from her serious attitude problem and rebellious dye job, it turned out that she was pretty cute. I liked the intensity of her eyes – even if I didn't agree with her convictions I had to admit that I was attracted to strong ideals.

“Yes, you're going to attempt to neutralize me here and now, compromising me so that I can't foment further dissent,” she stated firmly, as if trying to hide any doubts she might have had about reading me correctly. “Classic tactic of those in the employ of shadowy cabals. Give it your best shot,” her lips curled into a cocksure smirk, “I can resist anything you can throw at me. And if not, well, my comrades will avenge me.”

[] Don't do anything. Laugh at her delusions and walk away.
[] Call her cute and kiss her on the forehead. Encourage her to fight the good fight.
[x] Call her cute and kiss her on the forehead. Encourage her to fight the good fight.

Wow, what a personality. She's really over the top! But hey, she's asking for it. This should clinch it quite well.

Walking away is tempting too. We've wound her up quite well and it'd be funny to be so anti-climactic. I just can't resist flirting here.
[x] Call her cute and kiss her on the forehead. Encourage her to fight the good fight.

Well, besides obvious reasons, we just said we would support her so let's stick with it.
[x] Don't do anything. Laugh at her delusions and walk away.

I just don't think flirting with her is a good idea. Though that' some nice insight on revolutions and why they fail.
[X] Call her cute and kiss her on the forehead. Encourage her to fight the good fight.

Laughing and walking away after saying all that?
Think so? Hasn't he been flirting with her the entire time?
[x] Call her cute and kiss her on the forehead. Encourage her to fight the good fight.

It feels like walking away is conceding defeat, insofar as this is some kind of strange one-sided argument.
Besides, this way, we can get the last laugh and Seija's cute as fuck anyway.
[x] Don't do anything. Laugh at her delusions and walk away.

I feel like doing what she wants may not be best.
Okay, writing.
[x] Call her cute and kiss her on the forehead. Encourage her to fight the good fight.

This I have to see, after what she said.
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“How about this?” I asked, not bothering to wait for her to react before planting a firm kiss on her forehead. “You're pretty cute, you know. I'll be rooting for your revolution to work out. Though I guess I'll be among the first to be thrown in prison, huh?”

She touched the spot on her head where I put my lips as if checking to see if it was bleeding. Kijin took a step back and smiled. It was an ominous sign.

“You blackguard. You will not pervert the champion of the downtrodden with outmoded petite bourgeoisie displays of affection,” she announced, almost triumphantly. Somehow she thought that that was my best effort. “Your retribution will come in due time, puppet. And your puppeteer shall too feel the sting of justice.”

“Still cute,” I said with a shrug.

“Take this, you pigdog!” she lashed out all of a sudden at me, kicking me hard in the shins. A sharp prick of pain flashed through my body, causing me to slouch forward to instinctively grab the area. “Remember this feeling now, you enemy of the people, and realize that when the day comes you shall pay a thousandfold for your enmity.”

While I was reeling from the pain of being kicked quite hard, she simply walked away. Didn't even say goodbye. If the purges did come, I probably was going to be high on the list. I would have preferred to have been left alone napping. I really needed to remember to lock the door the next time. The worst part of getting kicked? My new uniform was scuffed up. I liked to break in my clothes myself with no shortcuts.

I returned to the classroom after the final bell to grab my book bag. Alice and Marisa had already gone and Reimu was on her way out. She smiled slightly when our eyes met and she said in passing that I was off to a good start to the new year. Suika had bailed too, evidently bored already of the classroom after a single day. It was just me and a few new students that were busy writing up their schedules for the semester. I took it as a sign that I needed to leave too.

There were still groups of students by the gates. Since club activities hadn't officially started for the year, a lot of the club members were instead socializing together, lingering at school out of habit.

Among the crowd I spotted a duo walking together towards the exit. Kaenbyou and her friend, Reiuji, They were casually talking to one another, as one would expect to see friends do. I wondered if they ended up in the same class in their last year too. Given the staff's laziness, I had little doubt that that was probably the case. I felt compelled to talk to Kaenbyou. After the last time she had brushed me off she had promised to at least give me the time of day. I wasn't too sure her friend would appreciate my intrustion, however.

As I approached them, I noticed something else. Our esteemed school nurse stood by one of the still-blooming cherry trees, speaking to a classmate Judging by her body language, Eirin was doing most of the talking while Kaguya just stood there listening attentively. Or, perhaps, not so attentively. Our eyes met across the distance for a moment. Though she quickly turned her gaze back to Eirin, I felt that she had something she wanted to talk to me about. We hadn't really spoken since the day exam results were published. A group of classmates had taken her out to join them for cake and tea and we never really got to talk.

[] Catch up to Kaenbyou
[] Wait for Kaguya
[x] Wait for Kaguya

Hard choice. I really want to talk to Rin about Satori, but as noted, she's with Okuu and probably doesn't want to be interrupted.
On the other hand, Kaguya's already seen us, so let's go see what's new with her. She'd probably appreciate being torn away from Eirin.
[X] Wait for Kaguya

Okuu hates his guts. No need to rile up that hornets nest. Let's go with the Princess.
[x] Wait for Kaguya

lets not piss off any more girls today, we've already met that quota
[x] Call her cute and kiss her on the forehead. Encourage her to fight the good fight.

She seems weak to being teased. That's new-and interesting.
Err, can I change my vote?

[x] Catch up to Kaenbyou
I want to talk about what she said to Satori.
[X] Wait for Kaguya

Let's see what she has to say then.
[X] Wait for Kaguya

I agree with this. As said, she saw us already anyway.
[X] Catch up to Kaenbyou
Been a while since we last talked to Orin.
Okay, that's enough I guess. Writing nowish.

No rapprochement with Okuu. It's back to MAD diplomacy with no detente in sight.
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Kaguya stole another glance at me, as furtive as the first. It didn't go unnoticed. Eirin turned her head and saw me, a smile on her face.

Figuring that there was no point in keeping my distance any longer, I approached.

“Hello again,” Eirin said cordially, “good to see you again.”

“I'm sorry,” Kaguya said to Eirin with a stiff display of respect, “I didn't mean to be rude and cut our conversation short, I just didn't want to miss the opportunity to speak to him.”

“It's quite alright,” the older woman stated, her true feelings unknowable behind her polished smile. “I suppose we can finish our conversation tomorrow, there's no rush.”

“Thank you for being understanding,” Kaguya bowed her head politely. It was strange to witness her polished mannerisms when I wasn't the intended recipient. The formality kept me guessing about the level of intimacy of their conversation.

“Be careful with this one,” Eirin said with a nod, “do not confuse his supposed earnestness with true conviction. And do feel free to tell if he wrongs you in any way. I would be more than happy to correct his misguided ways myself, if need be.”

“Thank you, but I think we'll be quite alright,” Kaguya deflected the comment firmly but politely. With what I thought was her own way of being cheeky, she added, “I do not think I'll require a chaperon with my courteous friend.”

“Very well,” Eirin didn't press the subject further, biding the both of us a polite goodbye.

Kaguya waited until Eirin had disappeared from view before sighing. “I apologize,” she said, “her fondness of me makes her overly protective. She had no right questioning your virtue.”

“It's alright, I didn't feel that my virtue was particularly slighted,” I said with a smile. “Besides, Eirin and I understand one another just fine. If I were here, I would have been even more aggressive in scaring you away.”

“Nonsense!” Kaguya exclaimed, frowning. It looked like even my self-depreciate humor was a bit much for her. “It's a pity already that others malign you, you needn't do it yourself.”

“Alright,” I said with a bright smile, “I won't make fun of myself.” I couldn't resist the way she stood up for me, it made me feel like I was a better person than I really was. Almost made me feel guilty for being such a good-for-nothing otherwise.

“Very well,” she said with a nod, “if you wouldn't mind, I'd prefer to take a stroll elsewhere. I feel uneasy broaching the subjects I must if others are around.”

That was an offer I couldn't refuse. What sort of idiot would I have to be to turn down an invitation to take a walk with her? Her reluctance to speak about it at school, even where there where the nearest students were out of hearing range, made my mind go wild with speculation. All baseless and rather base. But I couldn't help myself. I was hardwired to think like that.

“Say...” she spoke as we climbed down the hill, “do you think this uniform suits me?”

Almost everything I had seen her wear suited her. She had the same grace of movement and presence no matter what her clothes looked like. “Yes, it looks great on you,” I answered.

“Good,” she said happily, “I think it's come to suit me too. I didn't think I would feel like I belonged while wearing it but now, after the weeks have come to pass, it almost feels like a second skin to me. Others have also come to see me as just another student.”

In the end, no one made a fuss about who she used to be. Either because of intimidation or uncertainty. I hadn't even heard a rumor about her stage persona. From what I saw, she got on well with classmates, occasionally even being invited to gatherings. “I'm really happy you're satisfied with the school,” I told her. Things could have gotten ugly for her. Fame was worshiped by some and despised by others.

“That's not all I'm satisfied with...” she said softly. The fading sun caught her dark hair from behind, creating a large contrast between her figure and that of the horizon. “I wished to thank you for everything. Not only were you there to ease me into my new surroundings but you helped me prepare for exams. I” she paused, as if to consider her words carefully, “-I wish to make my gratitude understood as clearly as I can. But, unfortunately, I have little practice with these things.”

“What you've said is more than enough,” I said humbly, trying not to feel too embarrassed by her polished mannerisms. I didn't feel I deserved any special praise. I did a lot of what I did out of self-interest. Once more I saw her face turn to a distant marble, much like I had witnessed when she came to my home and she was reluctant to speak about herself. For all her candor until that moment, she was unmistakably nervous. “I get the feeling that you had something else in mind,” I said, trying to coax her to unfreeze.”

“You could say that, yes,” she seemed unable to get directly to the subject, “I have never been very good at things considered both practical and womanly. I can arrange flowers, recite poetry and sing but I cannot cook and I cannot sew as a housemaid would.”

“Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses,” I gave her the usual platitude. It was so trite that it ended up disappointing me. I had to say something else. “What I mean is, your skills don't define you as a person. And I won't like you any more or less because you're good at that kind of thing.”

“I expected that sort of answer,” she said with a soft giggle, “but it is still a reality I wish were different. I wished to express my gratitude with something more tangible than words.” With something of a downcast smile and unsure eyes, she explained, “ I wished to bake sweet treats because that is the typical thing that women to do to show their appreciation to men, but I'm afraid that all my attempts thus far have ended in failure. Then I thought to knit something, so that you could wear a reminder of my thanks, but I ended hurting my fingers and disfiguring yarn rather than producing anything of value.”


“Sorry,” she interrupted, looking uneasy at the uncharacteristic assertiveness. “But before you dismiss these things as mere unimportant fancy, I have to tell you that it's important to me that you have something else to show for all your kindness. I must insist and wish to impose my own selfishness upon you a little further.”

“It's not selfishness at all,” I said. She was just uncertain with how to deal with a new situation. I could relate, sort of. Maybe I wouldn't couch it it with the same polished verbiage but I understood the point. Rebuffing her would just be insulting. If it was me and Marisa and I wanted to express my gratitude, I'd give her a hug as I'd done before. Kaguya was just figuring out what the boundaries were.

[] I would eagerly await whatever it was she finally decided was good enough to give to me. There was no rush.
[] All that really mattered was the time we spent together. If it wasn't too bold a request, a kiss was a better way to show me how she felt.
[x] I would eagerly await whatever it was she finally decided was good enough to give to me. There was no rush.

I think this sounds better in general, and I hope it doesn't backfire. I mean knowing you're in no rush is something of a reassurance.
[x] All that really mattered was the time we spent together. If it wasn't too bold a request, a kiss was a better way to show me how she felt.

Maybe this is the time, maybe not. No way to really tell.
[x] All that really mattered was the time we spent together. If it wasn't too bold a request, a kiss was a better way to show me how she felt.

Didn't she said she didn't knew how to womanly things? What is more womanly than a chaste kiss in the cheek (I'm not ignoring that it could be another kind of kiss, but it's up to her)

Besides, I found the other option wanting. Arc has went to enough common places in the conversation already.
[X] I would eagerly await whatever it was she finally decided was good enough to give to me. There was no rush.

I'm not sure if asking for a kiss is the right way to go about this.
[x] All that really mattered was the time we spent together. If it wasn't too bold a request, a kiss was a better way to show me how she felt.

She's 'figuring out what the boundaries are'. I am fine with this boundary.
[x] All that really mattered was the time we spent together. If it wasn't too bold a request, a kiss was a better way to show me how she felt.
Yeah, the common attempts at comfort have been used already, and this will definitely help her set new boundaries. It also helps her in learning how to be a friend/girlfriend.
[x] I would eagerly await whatever it was she finally decided was good enough to give to me. There was no rush.

I'd like to see what she comes up with on her own. It'll be a surprise~
Guys we need a Devil's advocate, I don't want to fuck up based on another obvious-in-hindsight thing.
[x] All that really mattered was the time we spent together. If it wasn't too bold a request, a kiss was a better way to show me how she felt.

Guess I will tiebreak. Arc is not Arc without some flirting. Hopefully Kaguya will be less formal in the future with this.

And the fact she has not been able to do anything handmade, this is a good alternative for her and simpler.
The winning option feels right. This exchange is very similar to interactions between a princess and knight. A kiss on the cheek as a reward and memento wouldn't be terrible. As the other anon noted, this signals progress in their relationship and defines new boundaries for both of them.

There is merit to letting her take her time and the tangible reward may end up being better, but I believe the intangible rewards here outweigh the tangible of the other option.

That said, anon better take responsibility. Arc is on Eirin's radar.
Well, I can try:

She said she wanted to "impose her own selfishness" on us, meaning she wishes to repay us however she sees fit. So second choice would mean we are taking away her right for self-determination (okay, that sounds more dramatic than I meant it to be) and she'll feel hurt that we don't have trust in her ability do surprise us.

She also already bled for this so telling her she didn't need to do that could hurt double as much.

Besides, this is an opportunity for her to improve herself and show her determination to us, so she could be silently resentful if we don't take her offer.

Well, despite that, I doubt she actually thinks that negatively unless I missed something from previous interactions.

She'll probably understand as long as Arc manages to explain that her efforts alone made him happy and she can take it easy because they are already close enough. So unless there's a misunderstanding there shouldn't be a problem this time.

[x] All that really mattered was the time we spent together. If it wasn't too bold a request, a kiss was a better way to show me how she felt.

But this was never even close to a tie.
Interestingly enough, she's also the only girl Arc has met who actually inspires him to be a better person.

She's really someone special.
The lack of Teruyo calling the votes makes me really nervous.
I've been sitting atop my throne high up in the mountains, watching with disgust, preparing to hurl lightning at the foolish mortals who know not what they're doing. My wrath is legendary.

Or, you know, I've just been busy. I don't call the votes when I'm unable to write. Didn't a feel a need to say anything either, since you guys were saying all that needed to be said.

Poor Big Sis and Alice - they've tried their hardest too. Well, maybe. And forgetting Marisa? Unforgivable. Surely magic should inspire one to be a better person.

But I guess I should start writing sometime soon. I think I've got the time.
I agree, it is unforgivable!

Alice is pretry much our surrogate mother at this point. And Marisa is kind of a big sister but not really, because she fucks up as often as he does. She and Arc are just fools stumbling across life together, trying their best to act like they are the flame and don't fear the dark; but they know, deep inside, that, when things go south, the only thing they can count on is the other's hand, intertwined with their own. Oh, I love her so.
We stopped at the foot of the hill.

After I told her what I thought, Kaguya had clammed up. I didn't push her, figuring that she was thinking about what I had said. It was a different reaction than what I was used to, since in the past when she was worked up she would default to formal language rather than silence.

A few students passed us on their way home, chatting in groups before eventually splitting off in the distance to take other streets. I wondered where Kaguya lived. For all I knew she was walking for the sake of walking and had come down on the wrong side of the hill because of me. I thought that maybe I should offer to walk her home. It was better than standing still and it'd give her time to think.

“Why?” she asked quietly, looking at me with eyes as innocent as a newborn child's.

“Why what?” I asked in return, trying to get her to open up.

“A kiss,” she said. “Why a kiss? Would not something more permanent be better proof? Proof of my appreciation, I mean.”

“I'd treasure a scarf or something like that for a long time, sure,” I explained, “but it wouldn't be because of the workmanship. I'd treasure it because of the feelings behind it and my memories. Like I said, I care more about the time we spent together than anything else.”

“Even if it's just an instant?” she asked. “A kiss would be even briefer than that.”

“How I feel about it is definitely not going to be over in an instant.”

“But it's not going to be eternal either,” she added. “I suppose that that's no different than chocolate being eaten or clothes wearing away.”

“That's a smarter way of putting it, maybe,” I said wit ha smile, “truth is, I'm a simple guy to please.”

“Hmm...” Kaguya leaned up against the side of a wall, holding her book bag in front of her as she thought. I watched as she furrowed her brow, as if trying to make sense of something. She cleared a strand of her long hair from her face and looked up at me again. “No one has ever asked me to kiss them before,” she said, sounding troubled, “it doesn't seem like the kind of thing that's asked for. Doesn't it just happen?”

“I suppose that normally that's the case,” I conceded. My own experiences tended to be more spur of the moment type things than actual requests. “But you were more or less asking for ideas earlier.”

“That I was,” she said wit ha nod. “I'm not sure how to best do it, however.”

“A kiss? Just go for it,” I said. “If you want I can stand still and close my eyes if you're feeling self-conscious about it.”

“That won't be necessary,” she said seriously, her eyes focusing as we were talking about a matter of life and death. “It won't be much of a reward if you can't even see what I'm doing. Be prepared,” she warned.

I nodded, watching what she did carefully. Putting her book bag to the side, she stepped in closer, looking at me with the same intense stare as before. It was actually a bit intimidating. As her mannerisms were usually polished and agreeable, seeing her be assertive was a wholly different experience. I watched as her lips moved, like she was trying to figure the mechanics behind the act out before doing it. But, to her credit, she didn't really hesitate. She leaned in, standing on her toes and planted a firm kiss on my cheek. Her smooth hair brushed up against my face, filling my nose with the scent of subtle oils and herbs.

“That was rubbish,” she said with a shake of her head, pulling back. “I'm sorry but I felt too nervous to do a good job.”

“It's okay,” I said, smiling, “it's the gesture that matters. Knowing that you tried because you wanted to please me actually makes me feel good. So don't worry.”

“If you say so,” she said, looking unsure of herself. “Somehow I doubt that this compares with the fiction of courtly love and a lady favoring her champion.”

“I don't really care about those ideals,” I told her with a chuckle, “feel free to kiss me again any time you want. Practice makes perfect.”

“We'll see,” she said with a smile, “I'll try to get used to the idea. I must admit, my hands are completely cold and my limbs feel stiff, it's as if my body decided to stop cooperating with me. Did I say something wrong?” she asked, “you've a curious look on your face.”

“No, it's nothing,” I said, shaking my head, “I was just thinking that it was cute that you were nervous.”

“I suppose that's it,” she averted her eyes, looking like she didn't believe the explanation. “The tension I felt when singing was different, however. I wouldn't want to leave you with a wrongful impression.”

“I assure you, that it's endearing to see you like this. It's something most of our classmates wouldn't believe.”

“Ah!” she looked back up at me, suddenly remembering something, “I would appreciate it if you kept this between ourselves. I do not know what I would do if the other girls in the class learned of my actions. No doubt they would tease or, even worse, start some unseemly rumor. I do not wish to be the target of idle tongues again.”

“Don't worry, I won't tell a soul,” I assured her, “however, you do realize that we're on the street, right? Students have been passing us by all this while.”

“Perhaps I acted too rashly then,” she said with a laugh. “You must think me stupid for acting without thinking the course through.”

“Nah, like I said, it's cute,” I told her. “Don't worry. Even if they start talking about you, I'll sort them out for you.”

“In that case,” she said, looking a little more confident, “as the first attempt was unsatisfying, should we try again?”

[] Practice made perfect. Bystanders be damned.
[] It was something that shouldn't be forced. Walk her home.
[X] Practice made perfect. Bystanders be damned.

Well, that seems to have worked out. Let's go ahead and start some rumors.
[X] Practice made perfect. Bystanders be damned.
There is too much that could go wrong with this.
[x] Practice made perfect. Bystanders be damned.

I felt bad that we kinda ruined the fairytale idea she had but... I guess there's harm in her keeping those ideals for a 'real' kiss.

As for the option, it was her suggestion and I think it'd be nice.

She wanted privacy at first, but she suggested a re-do anyway so... I'll feel bad if we refused her right away away.

[X] Practice made perfect. Bystanders be damned.

Besides, I like her a lot.
[x] It was something that shouldn't be forced. Walk her home.

There's a few things stopping me from throwing caution to the wind and embracing the moment.

First, Arc doesn't really care about any untoward rumours himself, but I think he'd be mindful of helping Kaguya maintain hers. Especially given her history.

The second plays in to Eirin. She'll be even more mindful of any rumours flying concerning her precious Kaguya. Arc will likely catch hell because of it.

The third reason plays into the actual vote itself. We've established a new boundary in our relationship with her. This is great news. I'd rather not wear it out, instead keeping it as something special.

I could be talking out my ass here, but hopefully this helps.
[x] It was something that shouldn't be forced. Walk her home.

I'd hate to disappoint her, but we just set up new boundaries. This might be going to far.
>I do not wish to be the target of idle tongues again.

No further reason needed,

[x] It was something that shouldn't be forced. Walk her home.
[X] Practice made perfect. Bystanders be damned.

I think this should prove to be quite fun.
[x] It was something that shouldn't be forced. Walk her home.

It's not the bystanders but the possbiility of forcing it that makes me vote for this. That and it's only gentlemanly (or as much as Arc can muster) to walk her home.

I have to agree with >>61508 though Big Sis is trying but it's prone to being heavy handed and with ulterior motives. Alice would count provided Arc (and Anon) actually listened instead of playing a never ending game of "tease the tsundere"
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Ah, so, I was away and missed the opportunity to call it. Giving this another 45-50 mins and if there are no further votes, probably will flip a coin. I shouldn't be encouraged to slack off.

>game of "tease the tsundere"
That sounds like a fun euphemism.
Your reason is flawed, she wants to kiss again. She obviously doesn't worry about it.
Guess it's time to write.
Heh, not to say I'm against that, but there's limits to when it should be played one way or another.
“It is difficult to gain proper leverage when you're taller than I am,” Kaguya observed, somewhat bashfully. She pussyfooted around the act, despite the previous confidence. “If you don't mind, I'll use my arm for support.”

“Do whatever you're comfortable with,” I said.

“Very well,” she nodded and placed an arm on my shoulder. Kaguya seemed reluctant to put any real weight on me as she got closer. The end result was also awkward, with her arm sort of hanging limply from my shoulder like a loose string as the rest of her body pivoted towards my face. The kiss itself was improved, she wasn't so mechanical about it on the second try.

“A little short,” I observed, “but better.” She had gone for the other cheek that time for some reason.

“All I could think of was not to get spittle on your face,” she said. “I feel that I'm naturally inept at this. My body doesn't seem to want to cooperate with my mind. Whenever I approach you, what I'm seeing becomes somewhat difficult to understand – blurred, if you will. And what I intend becomes difficult to execute. The palpitations don't help either.”


“Ah, it's nothing,” she smiled ambiguously, like she was trying to hide what she was feeling. “One more time? I wish to get it right.”

It was her way of stopping me from inquiring further. She leaned in again and planted a kiss on the same cheek. It went a lot smoother despite the continuing stiffness of her movements. To anyone who might have been looking at us, we must have been an odd sight. Two students, clearly projecting an air of intimacy, but not really being too intimate. Maybe they thought us a cute new couple, falling in love in the springtime. Maybe that was just my wishful thinking.

“We can always try some more another time,” I said, “you'll get the hang of it eventually.”

“I believe I'm learning from my mistakes,” she said. “You must think me strange to not be able to do what so many others can easily.”

“You're trying and, believe me, this is some of the best appreciation I've gotten in my life.”

“You're too kind,” she took a step back, her smile looking genuine. “Please continue to indulge my stubbornness in the future.”

Kaguya seemed happy with the results, even if they weren't all that great yet. As the sun was coming down fast, she excused herself, telling me that she had an appointment to keep in the evening. We parted ways after walking a little bit more together and I went straight home.

It had been a long day and I was looking forward to relaxing.

“You look like you're a good mood,” Marisa said after running into me in the hallway. “Grinnin' like a fool.”

“Life is good, that's all,” I said evasively, trying to avoid giving anything away.

“Hmm, is that so?” she didn't seem to be entirely satisfied with my answer.

“Don't be nosey!” I said with a laugh, “it's bad enough that you use my PC all the time. Let me have a little privacy from time to time.”

“Ok, sure,” she said with a shrug, apparently relenting.

That was the end of it. To her credit, she didn't bug me about it again when I saw her later. Nor the next day. In fact, the walk to school and morning classes went about as smoothly as I could have wanted. For her part, Kaguya acted as normal as always. She greeted me but didn't even give a hint that anything out of the ordinary had happened.

“You're daydreaming way more than normal,” Suika poked me in the ribs during a break. Her aim was as good as always, reaching a soft spot.

“I was just thinking about a game I've been playing,” I said.

“Yeah, right,” she said, seeing right through me. “Well, I'm assuming that whatever it is has to do with this envelope that's sticking out of your bag. The one with the heart sticker on it.”

“What envelope?” I asked, looking around. Suika was right. Hanging out of the side from the outermost pocket a small envelope was sticking out. Like it was begging to be pulled out and opened.

“I bet it's a letter of challenge!” Suika nodded, approving. “It's about time someone tried to take you down a peg.”

“With a heart-shaped sticker?” I asked, “it's clearly a love letter from a maiden who is too shy to confess directly.” That was exciting! I'd never gotten a love letter before!

“Nah, it's a heart because they love combat. It's not romantic love, it's the love of a true rival.” With a wistful sigh, she added, “you've always been the lucky one.”

“Yeah, yeah,” I dismissed her stupid fantasy with a wave of my hand. My fantasy was better. Taking the letter into my hand, I told her to give me some space. If it was a love letter than I wanted a little bit of privacy. I opened the envelope gently, trying not to damage my first love letter.

It wasn't quite what I was expecting. Instead of flowing and loving-written cursive, ugly and machine-produced letters were pasted onto the page. Using different fonts and sizes, the misshapen letters spelled out something completely unexpected. “Q: A senior in the courtyard, a classmate in the library and an idol in the street. What do they all have in common?” It asked. The answer was at the bottom: typed directly instead of using cutout letters it simply said, “A: Our next vice president.”

“So? Challenge?” Suika asked, “judging by your face, I'd say you've been called out by some punk.”

“It's… not really that,” I forced a smile, “but I guess you were right that it wasn't a love letter.”

“Hm, what is it then?” she asked, her curiosity obviously piqued. Her eyes reminded me of Marisa's, too inquisitive for her own good.

I thought about the implications of the letter. Someone was watching me, that much was clear. Why? I wasn't sure. It wasn't blackmail or anything else like in the movies, since there were no demands or even a judgmental tone. Just someone trying to mess with me, maybe. If it was some sort of threat, they must have not really known me very well, otherwise they'd know that I didn't care about reputation

[] Rip up the letter. It's just a stupid prank.
[] Keep the letter and try to find out who sent it.
[x] Keep the letter and try to find out who sent it.

I'm honestly curious who's been spying on arc.
[X] Keep the letter and try to find out who sent it.

We don't care about our reputation, so it's unlikely to be bad for us. Thus, we can investigate further.
[X] Keep the letter and try to find out who sent it.

Might as well try... not a lot to go on though. Suppose Arc should try to be more aware of his surroundings from now on.
[X] Keep the letter and try to find out who sent it.
Arc does not give a flying fuck about his rep. But those close to him do, this is for their sake, not his.
[x] keep it

So I guess the redhead of the library made a move. Or it could be completely unrelated
[x] Keep the letter and try to find out who sent it.

I'm curious about the intent behind this letter.

>If it was some sort of threat, they must have not really known me very well, otherwise they'd know that I didn't care about reputation

While Arc may not care about his reputation, does he care about the reputation of the girls mentioned?
Hell, the sender didn't necessarily even need to watch him, he stirred enough attention they might have just heard about one of the incidents from someone else.

Anyway, even if the letter means nothing, just to be on the safe side

[x] Keep the letter and try to find out who sent it.
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Suika kept pestering me about the letter for the rest of the day. Seemed like a combination of boredom, curiosity and a genuine desire to antagonize were combined. She poked and prodded, asked and re asked and generally was as indiscreet as anyone one person could be. I deflect, of course, and disassembled whenever possible but she knew me too well to let it go. Her instincts were to bite down on something that seemed juicy. If only because it involved me.

“Come on, with that serious look you got, I just know you're going to bust some skulls,” she said pleadingly, bringing up the subject yet again after school. I couldn't do any real investigation during the school day, not with her hounding me. “I just want to help a buddy out if that's the case, I have a reputation to protect.”

“I've already told you, it's nothing like that,” I said for the umpteenth time. Her tenacity was admirable and, to her credit, she probably would have helped me out if I asked. Though she would give me hell first because of the subject matter. Her position on my indiscretions and priorities was well-known to me. In fact, she let me know at every opportunity that I was wasting my time chasing skirts. I had to have more fun and become a well-respected badass like her, she would say.

“I'm not going to let this go until you tell me~” she poked me again, sounding playful but meaning business.

“Alright, alright,” I had had just about enough. “Listen, I can't really tell you about this, that's the truth, at least until I check some things out first,” I explained. Well, I could, but I wanted to keep things contained. “But tell you what, if there's any dramatic confrontations where I need backup, I'll call you right away. There's no one else I'd rather have watching my back.”

That seemed to placate her. At least momentarily. Laughing and hitting me on the back like the good buddy she was, she let me know that she'd be there to keep my pathetic self from getting killed anytime. It wouldn't look good for her if she was associated with a weakling was her logic. It had a certain charm in its bluntness, I had to admit.

Back at home, I took a closer look at the letter. There wasn't anything that gave the source away. No uncommon phrases, no handwriting of any kind and definitely nothing like a hair. Using reason, I figured it was probably a student. The chances of the staff having it out for me were low. I was already in the school's pocket and so any stern reminders could be delivered in person by Big Sis. Still, it wasn't certain but I didn't think I had pissed off any teachers enough to warrant something like that. Had no clue if the sender was male or female either, which made the prospective list ambiguously big.

The only meaningful decision I made was that I needed to reach out to someone who could point me in the right direction. I didn't know the first thing about investigation. That would have to wait until the next day. What worried me was the price I'd have to pay to get help. I wasn't going to get off easy.

[] Get Big Sis to help.
[] Ask Aya for a favor.
[] Man up and get Suika involved.
[X] Ask Aya for a favor.

I'm not sure how helpful Suika would be in an investigation and I don't thing going to Yuyuko right away is worth it. Might as well see if Aya knows something.
[x] Ask Aya for a favor.

I'd usually ask. Yusuke, because this concerns her plot regarding the vice presidency and she kind of owes him a favor, but Eirin's weird reaction made me wary.

Throwing ourselves into a debt is hardly better but at least there's little risk of Aya kicking us out of her office while yelling 'I don't see how this is my problem, man up' . Mainly because she doesn't have one.
[x] Man up and get Suika involved.

While Aya may be the best for information gathering (Yuyu is a big nono), I'm interested in what our little buddy would even try to do.

Besides, regardless of how helpful she actually is, she is definitely the most trustworthy to consult (even if we're going to get shit from her).
[X] Rip up the letter. It's just a stupid prank.
Stupid letter, destroyed Arc's hopes like that.
Wonder who sent it, though.
[X] Ask Aya for a favor.
Got a bad feeling about asking her, but by far the best option.
[x] Get Big Sis to help.

I don't think talking to aya is smart. it's exactly the kind of thing she would use against us and make us pay for. she takes pics of people and sells them, for crying out loud. It's in Yuyuko's interest to help clean up.
[X] Ask Aya for a favor.

I desperately want to see more Aya. Suikabro is fine too though.
In my opinion, going to Yuyuko and Suika about the matter would just be silly at this point. All he got so far is a trying-too-hard-to-be-anonymous letter which may not even be a threat of any kind. Somehow I don't see either of them being very interested in helping him find the sender at this time. Asking Aya for information or even some extra eyes might be a better option to satisfy Arc's curiosity about the matter.

Just thought I'd explain my reasoning. (Since I don't do that often, sorry 'bout that.)
Agreed. Going to Yuyu for help is a no-go. I can see exactly how that conversation would go. "OH, you got a love letter? How cute. Let me go on and on and not actually say anything of importance or offer any substantial help without strings attached."

Suika would be an excellent option. Seeing her play detective would be absolutely adorable. Especially when she started busting heads to get to the bottom of it. I really hope more voters pull in and push that option through.

The Aya option is definitely not going to come free. It's going to require Arc to get down and dirty. If he even hints that this is really important to him, Aya will make him pay through the nose. She'll probably task him with obtaining compromising photos of the popular girls.

I hope everyone is ready for her to request naughty pics of Kaguya or someone else Arc is close to. It's not guaranteed, but it's definitely within the realm of possibility.

[x] Man up and get Suika involved.
[x] Get Big Sis to help.
Yuyuko probably has the means to investigate this. The school has cameras and similar, no?
[x] Man up and get Suika involved.

Yuyuko would probably be the most efficient choice, and the mentioning of Arc's VP position might motivate her to do something. However, dealing with her usually brings its own problems, and I would imagine this would have the highest price. Not to mention, I highly doubt Arc would actually want to do this, and I don't think he needs more reasons for her to call on him to do stuff.

This seems like something that Aya herself would do, so I don't know if going to her would be the best idea. If she is the one behind it, she'd just mislead Arc. If she isn't responsible for it, there's still the chance she'd look for photo opportunities or spread rumors or something.

I don't think Suika would be the subtlest investigator, but she's probably the safest choice (not to mention I'd really like to see how she goes about investigating this). I am slightly worried about Suika teasing us around Kaguya though, given her recent concern about rumors, but this is probably the smallest problem when compared to what could come up with Yuyuko and Aya.

The main thing I found strange about the letter was the mention of Arc's VP position. I'm unsure about whether or not it's common knowledge. I think it was mentioned earlier that there's no one else running against Arc, but the position's still not officially his. The older students have probably figured out that something's going on, so this might be a hint as to who's behind it.
My suspicion is on Eirin. She's in a position to know and I'll bet she has plenty of spies (young girls asking for advice).
Poor Suika, cast aside once again like unwanted filth. For like the fifth vote. I don't know how you monsters manage to get any sleep at night.

I'll drink to her memory and begin to write.
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I spent most of my day spacing out in class. More than usual. About the only time I was shocked out of my stupor was when Suika began to badger me about this or that. I joined her for lunch and we had bread on the roof, neither one really saying anything. That was fine too every once in a while.

There was no point looking for Aya during normal hours. She wasn't the type to hang out in her homeroom during breaks. The entrepreneurial soul would be busy elsewhere, doing business with whomever was desperate enough to settle for candid pictures. There was only one place she'd go after school, however, and I bet that I could find her there.

Even though clubs weren't officially in session yet, I was sure that Aya would be sequestered in her rundown clubroom, wrist deep in developer fluid or messing with inks and paper. The smell of industrial agents was noticeable even in the rundown hallway of the old annex. I knocked on the door. But that was a formality. I let myself in without waiting for an answer.

“Yo, Aya!” I called out, surveying the room. A few mimeographs were buried under stacks of old newspapers and the walls were covered with articles and pictures. It looked less like a club room and more like the den of a serial killer. The red marker liberally circling words in the scraps of paper sure didn't help.

“What!?” Aya called back, “I'm developing film in the dark room! Can't come out right now.”

“I'll wait,” I said, knocking over a pile of yellowed paper from a desk and sitting down in their place.

'I don't have time for a quickie!” she called out, “so unless it's important, I'd rather we talk some other time.”

“I'm not leaving,” I said,” talking at the partition erected to the side of the room. Thick black sheets and pieces of cardboard constituted the bulk of her 'dark room'. If she were to leave the window open, I had no doubt that even a slight breeze would knock the whole thing over.

I waited patiently. She really didn't care that I was out there waiting for her. She took her sweet time.

When she finally emerged, she was unapologetic, simply greeting me with a simple nod. “So whaddya want?” she asked, clutching her newest batch of developed film.

“Got a good batch?” I asked.

“Sure, I guess,” she said, dismissive of small talk. “Just get to it, I'm busy.”

“So harsh,” I feigned a pout, “I thuoght we were friends.”

“Friends don't ignore friends for weeks and ignore their partnership offers. It hurts to reach out and be so thoroughly rejected.”

“I thought you had thicker skin than that,” I said, rolling my eyes.

“I do, sure,” she smiled, stuffing a series of images in to a plain envelope. “Doesn't mean I can't put a premium on my time. Time is money, you know. Only have time for those who have proven to be reliable assets.”

“Don't be so cold,” I complained, “I've helped you out in the past.”

“It hurts to see you squander your potential, that's all,” she said, shaking her head.

“Well, will you at least listen to what I have to say?”

“Only two reasons you'd come to me out of the blue like this, “ she said with a smarmy smile. Aya crossed her arms and leaned back, clearly enjoying acting superior. She put forward her theory, “the first theory is that you need to get some dirt on a punk that's moving in on your latest squeeze. Second is that you're embroiled in a political scandal. And you're looking to buy my silence.”

“That's… not quite it,” I told her.

“Shhh, I know better than that,” she smiled, “corruption in the student council! Everyone wants to keep you out of office so you come to your trusted journalist friend to offer her a bribe. I print a few pics featuring Ms. Kamishirasawa's latest nip slip and all is forgotten until the next news cycle. Pretty crafty of you.”

“You're misunderstanding,” I told her. “It's not like that, I just came to you because you usually have your ear to the ground. I need information.”

“No doubt to further your political ambitions,” she winked. “Quite astute and unexpectedly cutthroat of you. To be honest, that's a bit of a turn on. I like a man who knows how to seize what he wants.” Fanning her face with the envelope she was holding, she added, “I do believe I'm getting the vapors Mr. Vice President.”

“Cut it out, that's not either,” I said, frowning, “but it is a sensitive topic.”

“Ohoho, well, I'd be glad to help out a friend and politician, in exchange for the occasional tip and exclusive access. I want the inside scoop on the upcoming Hakurei administration,” she stated her preconditions quite eagerly. It was likely that she saw the whole thing coming from the moment I stepped into the cramped club room.

“Do I have any choice?”

“No, not really if you want my help, “ Aya said with the broadest of smiles. She had my privates in a vice and she knew it. “There is one other thing that I need you to do before I can devote all my energies to helping you out of your jam.”

“Yeah, what?”

“I want you to lick my feet.”

“...eh, what?!”

“You heard me,” she said with a confident smile, “I want you to understand that you're my bitch now.” Aya violently cleared a section for the table with a swipe of her arm. She sat down and stretched her legs out, popping off her shoes. It didn't seem she was at all concerned that I could see her underpants. She left her socks on, apparently not caring about direct contact with the skin. “I've been wearing these shoes all day too, so I can't imagine it'll be too nice. But get to it if you really want my help.”

“You can't be serious,” I said.

“About as serious as a heart attack,” she insisted. “Go ahead, grovel. That's the price you pay for rebuking my offers and questioning my journalistic ethos. You can always walk away if you don't want my help.”

[] Do it.
[] Refuse and tell her off.

Guy who deleted the post comparing this to the Clinton sex scandal: why'd you do it? I loved your snarky post. You embarrassed me with the IRC crowd when I linked to the post and it was gone ;_;
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[x] Do it.

No wait, that's it? Seriously? Lick her feet and do some projects for her? If I were Arc, I'd be cracking up right now. He should get to 'nommin dem tengu feet in the most self-satisfied way possible.

Too easy.
[x] Do it.

If I knew to blame for sure, I'd be angry for denying the Aya subplot considering how many other girls anon seems to go after (depending on the time seemingly), but I'm hoping this will open the door (not likely) again.
[x] Refuse and tell her off.

Hell naw. Arc gets the bitches - he does not become the bitch. That's not how this works at all!
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Uh, is there any doubt that the readhead from the library is related to this?

Also, nice work voting for Aya you guys, I'm sure she'll not abuse her newfound knoweldge of this juiciy scandal related to the up and coming VC.

This will be like Clinton all over again except with three Lewinsky's.

Welp, I guess I exhausted my self-righteousness for today. And, without providing any opinion of my own or constructive criticism! All in a day's work.
[x] Refuse and tell her off.

Secret test of character or just Aya being Aya?

Either way, fuck off. She has way too many clothes on for Arc to even consider licking her feet.
you assume a bit much of Arc's charm as it's the girls that choose to go along or tolerate it.

That and with anon's inability for social tact, I'm surprised this didn't happen sooner with some other girl we/Arc neglected because anon was too busy going for the mystery options or teasing Alice past the point of being funny.
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>This will be like Clinton all over again except with three Lewinsky's.

Except Clinton got out of that just fine.
Let it happen Anon.
We're too hood to be stopped by the paparazzi.
[x] Refuse and tell her off.

I don't think anyone involved with the student council will be particularly happy about us handing out information about it so freely. Aya also doesn't seem to have an idea about what Arc's about to tell her, and I highly doubt she's going to just let the matter go once she learns about it. If we go through with this, we're giving her a lot of ammo against us.

Not much to say about the second condition, other than Arc sounds annoyed with this whole thing. He sure is getting into this whole "voice of reason" thing.

Maaan, why you gotta be like that.
You don't think some other girl won't act that way when we neglect and reject her. I said WHEN because such a vote will win for some reason, largely due to the fact the voters have an inability to stay on track for anything and constantly going for their favorites, such as always going for the mystery option.

That's why we have so many girls to juggle and naturally considering how unfocused anon is, we'll be dropping half the balls.
[x] Do it.

Eh, this is nothing.
[x] Refuse and tell her off.

This is not nothing
...why is this directed to my post again? I'm not seeing what it has to do with me disliking Aya's demands. If anything, I'd be agreeing with you on a more general note, since there's no reason for her to be receptive towards us asking a favor after Arc's blown off her propositions in the past.

And yeah, that's kind of how things go with these stories. Mystery options are attractive since they usually lead to new characters. I can see why it'd be annoying, but since Teruyo's said several times that this is supposed to be a less restrictive story, I don't really have anything against voters wanting to meet new characters.
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I got your back. We got this.

And if we don't, Reimu's gonna go balistic on his ass. So we better put our votes where our mouth is.
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[x] Do it.
Mystery choices lead to even more girls (sometimes) and already introduced ones being neglected (ALWAYS). It might be one thing if it was a sure fire thing, but it's a complete crapshoot.

And with more girls comes even less ability to be on a remotely coherant track as people will try to get their favorites at the cost of anything else.

Just because it's less restrictive doesn't mean there's no punishment for neglecting or being mean to a girl. We're lucky as it is that Alice and Suika haven't pulled out similar "requests"
[x] Refuse and tell her off.

We're not even sure what the hell we need act against and are supposed to lick her feet? Hell no.

And if it's just compensation for ignoring her, I'd rather pass up on meeting her ever again.

I mean, it's not even the bare feet!
[X] Refuse and tell her off.
Hell no, this is humiliating (which is kinda the idea I guess?), but there is no way Arc should do this. At least not without receiving the service first, if it was payment for a good job done, maybe.
the way she sees it it's an apology for having the partnership turned down and other rejections.

I'm sure it'd be a different story if it was your favorite touhou.
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I'm going to bed, so no writing until tomorrow. Should give you time to figure things out. Or was all that bravado and unanimity in votes about wanting to find the truth just for show? Maybe a pause and a little reflection was in order then. As it is now. As amused as I may be, I hope you connect the dots between what you vote for and what happens. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Or, in the case of feet, only delicate nibbles are permissible. Feel free to stand up for yourselves in a future of your own choosing. Or not. Just remember why you've gotten here in the first place. WebM highly related.

Will check in the morning and probably write then if nothing else comes up.
[X] Do it.

Reputation, who needs it.
Anon will still chicken out, I'm sure.
We've burned this bridge several times. This is one last chance to begin repairs. It sucks, but I really think Arc should swallow his pride and bite the bullet. Reopening relations with Aya could also lead to Hatate and Momij.

Yes we'll be promising her VIP access to the new administration, but it's all about how you frame it. Aya is an asset worth having, we'll see first hand just how effective she'll be. There may also be quite a bit of blowback on Arc for taking the VP position so easily. She'll cover his blind spots.

All for sucking her cloth covered toes to make up for blowing her off like a jerk.

Not the best deal, but the ends will justify the means here.
How about you stay neutral and stop trying to influence votes for the story you want? Maybe we really don't care for Aya wanting to make us her bitch?
Trying to find the truth regarding this issue before it blows was the reason for our decision. And, while Aya'd a valuable asset, the situation is not so dire yet.

I thought about why refusal was such a knee jerk reaction, and I think it is because how unnecessary it looks. Aya won because how business-like she seemed. And, while she might have a reason for holding a grudge, that doesn't mean she should risk wasting this opportunity for exclusivity.

You see, the sword cuts both ways. I'm sure a 'suggestion' for the suspension of a club or a student is a prerogative of the student council. Even more so if it is actually justifiable and with evidence. Negotiation doesn't mean accepting everything the other side asks for and liking her feet is exactly that.
I'd vote for something less than 'telling her off' but this is, as Max Payne would put it, a binary choice.

Have you noticed how he always seem to take the losing side? He isn't trying to influence votes, Teruyo just wants to foment discussion.

In fact, if I'm reading him right, he likes the winning vote but no the reasoning behind it. Or lack thereof.
I might be projecting.

Moving on, besides mysterious redhead and Aya here, do you guys have any suspects?
>Liking feet

And this is why I deleted that post before: because autocorrect is a fucking bitch. There are a dozen of errors in that post.

I think the author should be given the liberty of voicing his opinion on things like this. Discussing things we are passionate about with like-mined individuals is something all human beings enjoy, I say let Teruyo have his share of the fun.
I'm not going to let a psycho (exaggeration, I know, but I can't think of a lighter expression) take advantage of me just because he might be helpful. Arc still has other options and if you say they are all going to ask us to go down on all fours then I really wonder what kind of personality changing booze Suika's been consuming these last days.

And if you claim I'm a hypocrite for not choosing Aya in the first place, I did not, but Suika still lost, so whatever.

And if something of this level happens with Suika because we've been ignoring her too much too, then I'll take it because I legitimately feel sorry for that. But not for Aya.

There's also the possibility that Aya is just testing us but I don't really see any indication of this so I'm not going to poker on the possibility.
Except it influence opinions, which is a failure as a GM. Now what, are we supposed to read that he'll screw us over by voting no because we happen to not like the deal and we lacked bravado?

Well, screw that. Sticking to no regardless.
Damn, I'd have voted for Suika had I been awake. Oh well.

[x] Refuse and tell her off.

I'd prefer not to sell out on our administration before we're even truly on it. Also, while not opposed to any foot-licking on principle, I refuse to let Arc be Aya's bitch.
Agreed. A man never compromises his pride on this level. No matter how delicious that foot looks, it's just not worth it.
Ah, there's the problem. He isn't a GM nor he must be like one. Hell, did you know that he can vote as well?

And you're not supposed to read any underlying message in his posts, just focus on the story. I'm glad you're invested enough to get do mad about it though.

If I was an author, I would definitely vote in my own story. Just as a reminder that I like my story just as much as my readers do, And I'm not just some shadowy puppet-master.
Can you tell me a story where the writefag actually voted himself? Genuinely curious
Uh, they don't use their trip to vote.
Yeah, but I mean can you name a story someone admitted or was found out voting in his own thread
Indeed, but it seems a tad futile as A) anon's trying to aim for other girls and B) Teruyo just had to invoke their balloon pride (big but empty). Never mind the fact that this sort of thing will start popping up if we don't get some sense of focus.

We should remember freedom and chaos are related.

Suika given her personality would likely rib Arc for it for a while and at worse just belt him one than anything like this. Keep in mind that Arc turned down her first offer without out input.

I'm surprised this hasn't happened sooner.

What pride? Arc's more or less a lost dog that tends to burn bridges and this could have been avoided if anon wasn't so shizo with its decisions.

I'm certain if it was your favorite, it'd be a different story with some rationalization.

Yeah Hartmann in his stories before getting Banned. It's a pretty taboo thing to do here.
The only one I remember at the moment is that guy who was banned because he was, literally, his only voter. My memory isn't the best, so you might want to ask blue or, le gasp, IRC.
>Have you noticed how he always seem to take the losing side? He isn't trying to influence votes, Teruyo just wants to foment discussion.
That's most of it, yeah. I am a contrarian by nature as well and love arguing for the sake of arguing. Also I genuinely believe people should stop and think about what they're voting for and weigh the pros and cons. Especially if their behavior is inconsistent or contradictory between updates. What I actually want as a writer is vastly different than what I would want as a reader. For example, I would have walked Kaguya home but I wrote the other choice because that's what the results were of the tiebreak.
>I might be projecting.
A little bit this time. I don't really mind most of the reasoning this time around. In the immediate context, visceral decisions are warranted. But I think that that's not the complete picture and other factors should be taken into consideration as well.

>And if you claim I'm a hypocrite for not choosing Aya in the first place, I did not, but Suika still lost, so whatever.
Actually, what I'm most amused at is how quickly people forget things. It was a unanimous vote to go investigate the letter. No dissent at all or discussion as to why it might sense to let it go. It was easy to vote for and any associated challenges dismissed. See the comments then. At the first sign of hardship, however, that same determination is nowhere to be found. I have no doubt that it would be the same if it were an equally disruptive choice with either Yuyuko or Suika (maybe wouldn't be licking feet, but something that would add difficulty to getting a resolution). This apparent fickleness can easily be avoided by thinking why the choices are there in the first place. Which is why I post sometimes and say stuff outside of updates: to try to get you to think about things, question things you take for granted and appreciate other perspectives. The story is enriched by discussion and a plurality of opinions.

As others have pointed out: I am not a GM. I do not pretend to act like one nor would I want to emulate one, my fondness of tabletop RPGs aside. If I really wanted to influence the story to a certain direction there's a much simpler way for me to go about it than bothering with voters: I could simply write what I want to happen. That is the essential difference between me and a GM. This is mainly my imagination, not yours. Voters, of course, determine the flow of the story but they do not write it nor do they make up the characters, their scenarios and the general setting. Voters are valuable in helping resolve scenarios and explore the world I've built and they contribute flavor and sometimes even ideas that I work in. But at the end of the day, you do not have the absolute freedom to do whatever you want within the rules of the game like you would in an RPG. Even with write-ins. No writer worth his salt would give his readers that much freedom because the medium of writing is different than tabletop gaming. So it's not worth pretending that these stories are analogous with those games.

It's a matter of trust that I don't railroad you anyways. What's stopping me from having Arc interact with someone in a certain way outside of an explicit choice? It happens all the time with background characters and as Arc goes about his day to day. He obviously talks to his classmates and friends even when I don't mention it when I describe time/days going by. It happens when you choose to go to a location and you run into someone. That autopilot is me writing how I think the characters would act under whatever circumstances. As a recentish example: why Marisa after the 'Dance' choice? Couldn't it have been someone else? Was it coincidence? Would such a thing happened anyhow? Did the magic work at all? I could have easily railroaded any and all elements of this. Even if you voted for something else, I could have had the same scene happen regardless.

Are the choices worthless then? No, but you have only my word. That's the limitation of this medium. So therefore, assuming I'm telling the truth, any perceived bias for a choice on my behalf is just your imagination. My goal is to foster discussion and to have people contemplate their options carefully. I have posted before trying to stir up conversation even when I personally agreed with the majority (as a would-be reader if I weren't the writer). I'm unlikely to change my behavior, especially when I see deficiencies in consistency and logic. If there's one thing that truly does bother me is people complaining about results they themselves have brought about and could have avoided if they stopped to think a little. Which is why, again, I hate unanimity; there are never strictly good or bad choices so the alternatives are always there for a reason.

I do have fun writing and thinking up situations and scenes but, yes, what I enjoy the most is talking to people and seeing people talk about things. Writers and voters are on an adventure together and it's fun to see what people think and why.

Personally, I'm not comfortable with doing that. I already have so much power so I think that most of the fun for a writer doing a CYOA is seeing how other people see your creation and scenarios. How I impact people is infinitely more interesting than which way I prefer to the plot or a scene to play out because of votes.

I wouldn't crucify other writers for voting in their own stories, but if I read that story I'd like to know if he was doing it (assuming he's anonymous while voting). Full disclosure prevents misunderstandings. Which is why I take the time to reply to criticisms and opinions like with this post. It's healthy to know where you stand as a reader and a writer and have a clear understanding of what's expected of you and what the boundaries are.

Hartmann. He was also vote spamming a few of his own threads as well. A few of the writers I've talked to over the years have also admitted doing so or at least, not being opposed to the practice. But it was never commonplace nor do I think anyone does it now.
My response to anyone who declares that I'm their bitch and demands that I "lick their feet" in the same conversation is simple. Fuck off.

This applies to everyone, including my waifu.
i'm probably too late but fuck it. I want to ride on the wild side

[X]Do it
I have no problem with hardship in general, whether it's extremely painful or horribly exhausting, that's the basis for negotiation.

But I'm definitely not going through the sort of hardship Aya tries to impose on Arc. You say any character could give us an equally disruptive choice, but I doubt that their demands would be the same kind of disrupting considering their different personalities. So I think I would be willing to fulfill a demand of the same caliber from someone with a different need for fulfillment. You can call me a liar but that's my reasoning so I see no problem with rejecting the offer this time even if we want to find the sender.

Even if you are determined to kill someone, would you do it while he's surrounded by mafia guards who are going to kill you too? No, you wait till they're fucking gone and then shoot the bastard. Then you get arrested by the police, but that's still a hundred times better than the mob. People avoiding a certain kind of pain isn't pussying out, it's not being a goddamn impulsive moron who can't wait to eat his cake.

And I'm pretty sure everyone was aware of the pros and cons of both choices but wanting someone to state these pros and cons when there's no one to convince in the first place is sort of ridiculous. You might be able to argue about cause and effect but I think you just had bad luck with a readerbase that coincidentally happened to have an unified opinion on the same subject and didn't see any need to argue about it.

Also: If you vote for something, you want others to vote the same thing because you want your choice to win. That's how votes work. So why would you bring up the issues of your own vote except when you're not sure about what you're doing?
You might now think that not being willing to lick Aya's socks shows we didn't know what we were doing but I already stated what I think about that above.

It's kind of a mess, but I hope you see what I'm getting at.
I'd agrue the opposite as the other two choices would have had similar things, especially Big Sis, who seems to enjoy having Arc as her little errand dog. Suika would have likely just give Arc shit for a while and maybe make him buy her some drinnks.

And something that everyone reading this should learn is the ability to own up to their fuck ups as they're often made. Same goes for when to swallow your pride, but I'd consider that a life skill.
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>THP has webm support
>Still have a 2mb file size limit

Turns out I've been pretty busy today. And will likely be for a few hours yet. When I can write, I'll let you know. But worst case scenario might be tomorrow. Shoulda written in the morning, I guess.

Use your imagination. Yuyuko could easily be far nastier than Aya could ever be. And Suika has caused scenes and gotten into fistfights with Arc. And those decisions don't have to be limited to recruiting them necessarily either. There's plenty of scenarios where both those characters could cause serious trouble depending on your priorities. I don't discuss the choices not taken out of principle, but you're naive if you think that somehow this is one of the worst things that could happen in the context of investigating.

I'm not sure what to make of your comparison but I can state confidently that the argument that this is somehow an impulsive act falls on deaf ears considering the average vote. Kissing, groping, magic studies, admitting to a girl you saw her knickers not impulsive? Rubbish. If there's anything history of this story has shown us is that people do not weigh the pros and cons of their choices all the time. Otherwise, you might have stuck with magic instead of voting for other things or gone to see Kagerou to fix things instead of going to deal with a completely different character. When there are comments like "Man, I hate to pass up on Yoshika, why you do this" and the vote is for another character, I think I'm more than justified of calling the readers out from time to time.

So no, unless you can prove what everyone is thinking, it's not safe to assume everyone knows what they're doing. There's a world of difference between voting just because and a well-informed vote. Hence, the necessity of debate and keeping an open mind. Hell, the discussions that occur sometimes and the people who change their votes should be proof that it's wise to do so. Trying to 'win' is childish, trying for the best result is healthier in the long term for everyone's enjoyment.

I get it, you have your opinion, that's fine. All I'm saying is that you shouldn't act like it's gospel and that maybe a little self-criticism and open-mindedness can net much better results. After all, the current situation is entirely the results of your choices.

>Maximum file size allowed is 4096 KB.
Try not to embarrass yourself next time.
there's non-implusive voting in this story? I thought the vast majority of voters did so largely on impulse.

Though on the Kagerou vote, to be fair most were worried about lying and having it blow up in our faces (overthinking in highsight) just because you're not prone to having simple "Good" and "Bad choices"
You should probably put a comment in to have your vote counted. Otherwise Teruyo will ignore it. Just a sentence will do.
Yeah, turns out that I need to go out so definitely nothing from me for today. I promise to get to it in the morning come hell or high water.

I meant with Eirin. There was no followup. Hence no more Kagerou. Just like there wasn't with Yoshika or with the magic book or whatever else. If you don't vote for the things that you want, you won't get them. It's that simple. I totally would have voted to mention her panties and not lie by the way.
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When it's aimless, it is impulsive. When it can have big repercussions, it is anything but.

That said, sometimes it is impossible to know what's going to happen so impulsive voting isn't THAT bad... as long as you have some justification for it.
an occasional impulse vote? sure but not when it's all the time. I remember a famous case of impulse voting running wild: It ended with SNOW.
>Maximum file size is 4mb

Regarding the Yoshika comment: I did that too. I kept rewriting my comment and deleting it because I wasn't sure what to choose. And when I actually decided on it, I just made a joke because there isn't much justification to make anyway besides "I want to see this touhou." Of course I didn't actually think it was your fault and of course there's no problem with you calling me out on it. I don't think it was a bad choice either. But if jokes like annoy you too much, I'm really sorry.

And the example was for the argument that we should just lick Aya's feet if we want to find the sender. Just because we want to 'kill' him, do we have to do so in a way that'll get us involved with the mob because they're around him when we decide to look for him? Even though there's a good chance the mob might go away, i.e. it's not necessary for them to get involved? I think it's impulsive to think that Aya's our best choice. I think we have better ones, like getting caught by the police. So you can mock me I guess because I don't think that the police is secretly part of the mob as well, i.e. just as bad.

But yeah, it's futile to argue whether Suika's demands would have received a more positive reaction since we'll probably never know what they would have been in the first place.

So the impulsive thing wasn't concerning the votes. We all do that. It was concerning your apparent belief that if I'm determined to do something, I should stop thinking about my options. It's not wrong to think about self-preservation even if throwing it away would make things easier. If Suika, or Alice, or any other character makes an 'unacceptable' demand, I guess it would be fine to lose hope and just accept the fact we're fucking screwed and get it over with.

But I guess your argument about not trying to 'win' is the 'correct' thing to do. I guess I'm too much of an egoist. Me assuming that everyone knew what they were doing in that particular choice was definitely narrow-minded.

And eh, trust me, I'm open to criticism and being wrong, changed my vote dozens of times. I simply didn't think that was the case this time, which is weird because I normally see where you're coming from. So I feel it's much more important I defend my vote here, because my confidence tends to waver too much already.
>THP is an image board
>Not using images to communicate on an image board
>The image I used is relevant, on topic, and conveys my thoughts and opinion on this vote

Anon, the image is my sentence and thoughts on the matter.
Everything still bueno?
Regardless of whatever Teruyo's doing at the moment, someone needs to break this goddamn tie.


[X] Refuse and tell her off.

Any other time, sure. At this moment, with this person, not a good idea.
May I ask why? I hope it's not because your overinflated sense of pride got bruised by this.

This seems very much a chance to savalage a bridge practically ready to fall apart in no small part due to our actions.

Do you have me confused with someone else? I haven't posted since the update; my only stake here is the tiebreaker.
File 143744745246.jpg - (33.78KB, 400x284, 1411884415539.jpg) [iqdb]
Is Teruyo kill?

Anyway, while we wait let me try and see if we have embedded youtube links with this song that kinda reminds me of this ToY best grill. You already know who she is, don't you?

Do you suffer from a block or are you occupied?
File 143776067784.png - (20.45KB, 450x450, kaguya_000.png) [iqdb]
Yes. But my resurrection is almost complete. Soon world domination

Also, that doesn't remind me of Koishi at all.
File 143869766499.jpg - (38.56KB, 600x565, 2 + 40.jpg) [iqdb]
O believe,
You were not born for nothing!
Have not for nothing, lived, suffered!

What was created
Must perish,
What perished,
rise again!
Cease from trembling!
Prepare yourself
to live!


I'm not sure I'm doing this the right way
New thread >>61752
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