I'm thinking of writing something else and am looking for feedback. Even if you don't read this story, if you're interested in seeing more writing by me, feel free to share your thoughts. Right now I have a shortlist of the following things I could write:
 A /th/ story involving an incident in Gensokyo featuring spell casters fighting it out.  Reviving my /sdm/ story, A Ruby Red Cotillion >>/sdm/59874  Reviving Violet Sky, a noir story: >>/others/37032  Reviving DiM, an /eientei/ story featuring scientific study of youkai, >>/eientei/22420  None of the above (insert idea here)
Additionally, I'd like to know if you would be willing to read anything other than the choice you've selected. Alternatively, you could rank the above choices in order of preference.  I'd read the others.  I'd only go for the one I voted for.
This is not a numbers vote, meaning that I won't go with what has the most votes. Since it's a commitment to write and do a halfway decent job I have to feel comfortable doing another story. I've been at this long enough to know that things won't work out otherwise. I want to have as much feedback as possible before making a decision and gauging where interests lie will be really useful. I'll see about writing more as interest and my schedule permits, so I'm not saying that I'm never going to do the others either.
Chime in wherever, no matter what other vote there might be in the story. Or talk to me on IRC. Just let me know what you think within the next few days.
And now, back to the regularly scheduled story.
A double rainbow of youth. Previous thread >>62099
New Character blurbs: www.touhou-project.com/others/moretheater.txt --
The rest of the lunch hour went by in relative quiet. Patchy went back to her book as soon as she was done eating. She more or less ignored me, despite my occasional attempts to make conversation. Well, maybe 'ignored' would be putting it too strongly – I got the feeling that she was staring at me from time to time out of the corner of her eye. Maybe it was just my imagination but I felt a vague sense of self-satisfaction coming from her. Just like earlier when Remilia was about.
“Thanks for the company.” The first bell rang, warning students to get to class. I took the empty food wrappers and put back my chair. “I'll be seeing you soon I guess,” I said.
“If your passions overcome you, I suspect,” she said, “otherwise I'm afraid it'll be a long while again.”
“A quiet girl with a sharp tongue,” I answered her sarcasm with some of my own, “I'm afraid that I'm falling in love.”
“That makes two of us, apparently,” she mocked my earlier accusation. “But we won't ever know the truth.”
“I'm afraid there's no more time for this,” she said, setting her book down. Patchy cracked a self-indulgent smile. “You better return to your class before you're marked as tardy. Feel free to press your perceived advantage some other time.”
I looked around. Most of the class was returning. The teacher would be along any moment. I spotted Remilia returning to the classroom: she avoided looking in our direction, going straight to her seat near the windows. Knowing when I was licked, I gave a half-hearted goodbye and returned to my homeroom.
And, man, afternoon classes were boring. I barely managed to keep it together until the final bell of the day rang. I bolted out of my seat on towards the door as quickly as possible.
“Where do you think you're going?” Reimu intercepted me as I moved to leave the classroom, “we've got our first full meeting today.”
“Reimu, I'm not going to lie,” I told her, “I have a pressing commitment I need to take care of first. Sorry, but I'm going to be a little late in getting there.”
“Fine, I'm not going to make a big deal of it but I hope it doesn't become a habit,” she didn't put up much of a fight. Whether it was trust or simple surrender, I wasn't too sure.
I thanked her and went on my way. Aya said she'd meet me behind the gym. Which was a pretty big area, all things considered, with one part sloping downwards towards a rear entrance on part of the hill. But I knew that she had meant a very specific part, where the fence was close by and a few old trees cast perpetual shadow. There used to be an equipment room or small janitor's closet there but it had long since been abandoned as newer buildings were built on campus. It was an out-of-the-way spot and the only signs that people occasionally passed by were the discarded cigarette butts from students who needed a smoke break during the day.
She was already there, waiting for me. “I thought I'd be waiting longer,” she said, smiling at me. Aya was leaning against the gym wall, holding a small thermos in her hands.
“Came as soon as the bell rang,” I told her. I had no idea how she beat me to the punch.
“Here, I made this for you,” she stretched her hand towards me, presenting the thermos, “drink it before it gets cold.”
“Thanks,” I said, taking the warm container. I took a sniff but couldn't smell anything over the smell the new plastic.
“Don't hesitate, it's a peace offering. All treaties have some sort of ritual to them. Signing papers, mixing blood, stuff like that.”
“I don't have anything to give in return,” I said, sloshing around the liquid a little. It was too dark to see inside of the bottle.
“I've got a humble request after this, don't worry,” she said with a wink.
Ah, screw it. I stopped hesitating and took a gulp from the thermos.
After a gulp, I handed it back to her. “I wasn't expecting that.”
“Kettle's broke, so it's not really hot,” she said, immediately taking a swig. “It's my favorite green tea blend. I only share it with people I like. So it's symbolic of you having my trust, or something. I'm more of a fact-based writer, never was too good at fiction, so you'll forgive me if I can't think of anything more clever than that.”
I could have disputed the charge but in the spirit of renewing ties, I kept my trap shut. We could talk about liberal interpretation of facts some other time.
“So, what do you want me to give you in return?”
“Your virginity?” Aya shook her head, “no, I'm too late for that, I think. Besides a bit too cliché, don't you think? I mean we are meeting in a secluded spot and I do fancy you somewhat, so maybe there's a part of you that expected something like that to happen, right?”
“Give the attitude between us… yeah, I guess the thought might have crossed my mind at some point.”
“Well, it's not that,” she giggled, “it's something simpler. Imagine we were playing truth or dare. We've had a few, we're trusting one another. A real intimate setting. Now, you know what's at stake. There's no lying between two people who trust each other, right? Not if I expect you to collaborate in the future. And not if you expect to make use of my skills now and in the future...”
“Since I feel like I've done a dare already, I guess it's the truth, isn't it?”
“You catch on quickly,” she said, just a tad bit condescendingly.
It was pretty clear what she wanted to hear. Something juicy and genuine. Something that, if the wrong people knew, they could use it to make my life miserable.
 I'd tell her which girl I liked the most.  My most secret sexual fantasy was what she was looking for.
Somehow sexual fantasies doesn't strike me as that much of a valuable information.
As for your question, I guess a new /th/ story would be nice... but those other choices are good, too. I'd read them all, really. Come to think of it, maybe I should make some time and browse the archive again, there are probably some stories I missed in there.
Frankly I don't think she'd care about our fantasies. I bet she could guess them on her own!
Regarding your other story, is the new /th/ story going to be about spell card duels? Because personally I find those dreadfully boring to read. In order, I'd be interested in: [x]An action-y /th/ story [x]Violet Sky [x]Ruby Red Coalition [x]DiM
Curiosity is getting the best of me. besides, Romantic kissing and petting leading to missionary sex for the sole purpose of procreation with the lights off followed cuddling, handholding and discussing building our future together would be too lurid for her to print.
--- survey time [X] A /th/ story involving an incident in Gensokyo featuring spell casters fighting it out. But this really depends on WHY they are fighting more than anything.
[x] A /th/ story involving an incident in Gensokyo featuring spell casters fighting it out. [x] I'd read the others.
A fresh start would probably do some good so that you won't have to be limited by previous votes and posts. The the sky's the limit. Although I'd probably read most of the other stories as well. As long as there are interesting ideas, I'd read it.
[x] Reviving DiM, an /eientei/ story featuring scientific study of youkai, >>/eientei/22420 [x] I'd read the others.
While seeing any story revived and hopefully finished would be nice in general, /eientei/ needs its founder back badly. But my preference is finishing something already started than something new (thus the /th/ idea goes last; last thing we need is encouraging its cycle)
[x] My most secret sexual fantasy was what she was looking for.
The other choice is just impossible as that changes on countless variables. That and I'm curious about this.
>>62647 >>62648 It'll be a semi-sequel to Glass Half Empty. It won't really require knowledge of its events but the mechanics of magic and a few things that I fleshed out there will be the same. And will naturally be mentioned again and clarified as is relevant in the new story. It won't really have spell card mechanics because, primarily, there won't be spell card duels. If it does it'll be secondary or be when you get non-magicians into the mix. It'd be more like FSN or something out of the nasuverse in that sense, but without servants. A competition between magicians for an ultimate goal that has alliances of convenience, uncertain motivations and, of course, spell casting.
I wouldn't emphasize the action too much because part of it is also exploration, preparation and diplomacy. But it'll definitely have a rather faster pace than Glass Half Empty which was something of a world-building character-driven story.
>>62654 I hear you about having stories finished but really what I want is activity. I want people to get off their asses, read more and be inspired to write as well. So that's the main goal besides having fun. I'll probably some day get back to any story that's stalled but I need to have an audience for that in order to be able to keep at it.
>The other choice is just impossible as that changes on countless variables. Well, neither choice here is going to have additional reader input, so whatever Arc tells Aya will depend on how he feels and his experience.
>>62656 Pretty much every story there only really made it to around the single thread mark. So it wouldn't take much rereading to get up to speed. And I'd, of course, help people get back into things (after all I'd have to reread them too!)
Anyhow about this vote, I'm going to be busy for the next few hours so it'll be open until when I'm not busy.
Not really though. The stories featuring Arc have been all been in the same setting save for ToY. If I ever start writing about new characters in the same continuity then I guess that applies. I'll take the indirect comparison to Nasu though, I try to honor him whenever possible in smut.
>>62661 Take your time, not really a binding poll with a time limit like I said. Not sure what other details I can share besides that it's more or less a general incident in Gensokyo. Expect Reimu and Sanae to also be there but they won't be the protagonists. It'll be more about magic and magicians. If you've played FSN think of it as something analogous to the competition in that. Dealing with the other magicians (or was the case in fsn: masters) and their plans is the main thing. Not to mention the stuff that's happening in Gensokyo as a result of the incident. It's something that I've thought about doing for a few years now and I think it'd be an overall fun thing. Not really extremely serious business/grimdark but not slice of life like this is either.
I'll be writing nowish since I have time and there's a single-vote majority. I guess who Arc likes best will continue to be a mystery.
“I'll have something on your little problem by the end of the week,” Aya said, still smiling stupidly. “I think I have a good idea how to get to the bottom of it.”
“Alright, thanks, I appreciate it.”
“No problem,” she moved closer, leaning in close. She whispered into my ear, teasing, “I”ll keep your horrible secret safe too, don't you worry.”
“You shouldn't tease,” I said, “or I'll find out what gets you going and tease you right back.”
“Is that a promise?” she pulled back from my ear and licked her lips suggestively.
“Sure,” I smirked, pulling off a daring move. I leaned down slightly and ran a hand up her leg, flipping up partially her skirt. “I'll figure it out. Don't worry.”
“Don't bother looking,” she said, giggling, “I'm wearing a boring little white pair today.” Gently, she grabbed my hand and brought it up to her face. “Such deliciously naughty fingers you have. I just want to eat them all up.” Aya kissed the tip of my index finger and then placed it between her lips sucking slightly. It was an incredibly suggestive response which I had to admit had an almost immediate effect on my physiology.
“Well, you should run along to your council meeting,” she said with a sigh, “maybe we can play some more when I have good news to share.”
“Fine,” I shrugged, playing it cool. It didn't surprise me that she knew about my meeting, so I didn't think it worth bringing up.
Aya smiled again and walked away, wiggling her bottom affectedly for my benefit. White, huh? A little boring but I wasn't about to complain. I rubbed away her kiss onto my shirt, thinking it was too much to do anything else.
I took a deep breath before going about on my way.
“Nice of you to show up,” Reimu greeted me with a look that said everything that needed to be said. A half dozen empty chairs said everything else. Only she and Alice remained in their seats.
“Sorry, I got caught up dealing with a problem I had. It won't happen again,” I gave a pathetic explanation and promise.
“You didn't really miss anything this time, it was mostly introductions and handing out assignments for our next meeting,” Reimu explained, not sounding too upset. “Alice has the minutes here but I doubt you'll bother to read them.”
“It's probably best you just give him his assignment,” Alice said, looking up at me with a skeptical raise of her eyebrow, “and be firm about it. Otherwise he's liable to think it's a request rather than an order.”
“I'll trust that the suggestion by the student council secretary comes from years of experience with the subject in question,” Reimu commented with a sly smile. That was something to watch out for, those two being in cahoots. I was liable to be bullied if I let them outmaneuver me.
“I'm more than glad to share my advice with the president,” Alice smiled back leaning back in her chair with clear self-satisfaction.
“Where's Marisa anyways? Isn't she on the council too?” I asked, trying to change the subject.
“She left, said she had something to do at home,” Reimu said, wagging her finger, “don't change the subject. Sit down and listen.”
“Yes'm,” I sighed, wondering if I hadn't seen Big Sis lately because she had her proxies do her dirty work for her instead. I sat at the opposite of the table and folded my arms across my chest, trying not to look like I was sulking too much. At least it made both girls feel good about themselves. Their smiles broadened and they seemed to relax.
“As vice president, let's be honest, you're not really making any important decisions that I don't have to approve of first,” Reimu began reasonably enough, totally emasculating me. But I knew all that. “Really, the way it's going to play out is that you're my eyes and ears, and occasionally hands, in places I can't be. Because of lack of time, needing to keep a low profile and the like.”
“Oh I'll happily be your hands if you need me to-” I began to make an inappropriately suggestive comment, naturally enough.
But I was cut off. “Oh do behave,” Alice groaned, “at least try to make it through this meeting without making childish comments. It'll be over faster that way.”
I held back the obvious rejoinder to her line and instead nodded in agreement. And then rolled my eyes. Didn't want her to think I was going along with it too meekly either.
“Anyways,” Reimu continued, smiling silently at our exchange, “I was just about to say that I need you to be my proxy tomorrow. The official period for club recruitment starts tomorrow and ends on Saturday. I want you to go around and inspect the various clubs and report on their state. We'll be needing to make a few important decisions about which ones to close down as there's more tiny clubs than we have a budget for.”
“Oh, so I'm not just a pretty face. My input will actually matter,” I said, with a forced doe-eyed look. Reimu stifled a giggle but Alice shook her head silently.
“Well if you want to get your opinions taken seriously, do the job seriously,” Reimu said, moving past my theatrics, “I can only speak for myself but I'll always listen to you if you're being earnest. Good luck with rest of the council, though.”
“I can handle Alice,” I said, winking at my neighbor. Her head shaking intensified. “I'm sure that the others will come to accept my lovable ways in due time.”
“Glad that's settled. I'll give you a list of the clubs I want you to check out. Try to cover at least one, maybe two per day. Tell them you're there to observe and see if they have any prospects of attracting new members.”
Reimu nodded to Alice who passed me a sheet of paper. I examined it and could see why she wanted me to check them out – I wasn't even aware that half of them existed.
“Alright then,” Reimu stood up, “the first full meeting is now at an end. Thank you Ms. Secretary for taking down the minutes. You can go now.”
“Let's walk home together,” Alice suggested, “It's been a while.”
“Sure, no prob,” I said. I didn't really have any plans. “Sorry again Reimu, I'll try not to miss any more meetings.”
“Sure, sure,” she waved at me lazily, grabbing a stack of papers and putting it into her bag.
The three of us walked to the school gates before parting ways. Alice and I talked on the way home, mostly about the council meeting. She filled me in on a few things but I hadn't missed anything too exciting. I brought up the subject of food at one point and we also talked about the best kind of tea cakes. All in all, pretty normal stuff.
The sun had yet to set by the time we got home. We went our own separate ways, with me going up to my room to think about recent events. I was curious to see how the thing with Aya would pan out.
I looked over my list too. I guess I wouldn't mind doing a halfway decent job. I picked out the first club I'd visit.
 The kendo club. Nearly all of its members graduated and left.  The drama club. They struggled to find enough talent and direction.
Very unlikely seeing as Meira has zero fanon characterization. I highly doubt Teruyo can, in the space of a few updates, make her popular enough that people will attempt to switch targets and pursue her.
[x] The kendo club. Nearly all of its members graduated and left.
All about discipline and the burning passion of competition. Both choices are interesting but living and dying by the sword wins out. If I were to guess, the drama club would possibly be related to Kokoro. Just an educated guess though.
It had been a more or less uneventful evening. Followed by a boring day. I had lunch with Suika and talked about games but that was about all the excitement I had. I hadn't gone out of my way to seek out fun things to do. Maybe it was the reality of being VP that was finally sinking in? Probably not. I smiled to myself as I got up from my desk after the final bell rang. I still very much felt like myself. I had just been waiting until the end of the day to spring into action.
The kendo club met in a small semi-detached building by the old school building. It was on the far end of the field, far away from the gym and where most other sports clubs met. It had a lonely vibe about it, too, if I was honest. Almost no one would walk by the building under normal circumstances, since it wasn't on the way to or from anything important. There was even clearer neglect than that, however, with traditional-style finish of the building fading away and the wood looking old and somewhat frail.
I wouldn't be surprised if the building was condemned in a few more years.
Inside wasn't much better either. It was mostly one large space inside, with what once must have been fine wooden floorboards. Now they were darkened by age and creaked slightly under the weight of a person. A few faded scrolls with displays of what was fine calligraphy extolling the virtues of martial discipline adorned the walls. Other than that, only a few pads and training dummies were the only other things strewn about. I noted a pair of small side rooms too – probably changing rooms or storage closet.
A sole figure stood near the end of the room, by one of the sliding doors that overlooked the track and the hill. She was dressed in the traditional practice garments, covered from head to toe in a padded suit which offered protection from blows. A well-maintained lacquered breastplate protected her upper body but she wasn't wearing a helmet. Her short light hair bounced slightly as she swung her bamboo sword, doing exercises.
I watched silently for a while. She certainly appeared to have talent, even judging with my untrained eye. Her swings were swift and without wasted movements. And, despite her small frame, she seemed to deliver each blow with a reasonable amount of power. She danced back and forth, retreating and stepping forward as she swung, parrying blows from an invisible opponent.
She finally noticed my presence. She swung around and faced me, her eyes sharp and distrustful. It seemed that I wasn't who shse expected and her expression softened to benign tolerance.
“Hi, I'm from the student council,” I told her, realizing that she wasn't about to speak anytime soon. “Name's Arc, I'm the vice president. I came to check up on the club, see how it was doing. Are you the club president?”
“I suppose,” she answered coolly. “He wanted to take that role when the seniors graduated but he hasn't shown up since the start of the new year. So I've voted myself in.”
“Oh dear, so you're the only member of the club?” I asked, at once feeling sorry for her. No doubt that we would shut her down if she didn't get recruits.”
“I suppose,” she said again.
“What's your name?”
“Konpaku. Class F. We were in the same class together in first year.”
“Oh, were we?” I asked. I couldn't remember her. A short girl with serious eyes? Didn't ring a bell.
“Have you come to shut us down?” she asked bluntly. Her sword slackened in her hand, the tip coming close to the floor.
“It's not my decision to make,” I told her, “but I might be passing along a recommendation.”
“I see,” she nodded, closing her eyes. “No one wants to join the club because we're too old fashioned. The four seniors that left really were the soul of the place. Without them, it feels like I'm a lonely ghost haunting this old building.”
“I'm really sorry. Have you tried advertising to the freshmen? Clubs started passing out fliers and aggressively courting new students today. You might get a few new members.”
“I'm not good at things like that,” Konpaku said, looking sullen. “I'm good at slashing what's before me and not worrying about the consequences. It clears my mind and makes me feel good.”
“You should still try,” I told her, “you can't give up hope just yet. Even if you only get a few provisional members that might be enough to save the club.”
She smiled all of a sudden, like she had just gotten a flash of divine inspiration. It was stupidly out of place with those serious eyes of hers and her intimidating getup. “I know,” she said, “you can help me with that.”
“I can't, I'm the student council vice president. I can't give any clubs special treatment.” I actually wasn't sure if that was true. But it seemed like it could be true. All I knew that I was dangerously close to getting sucked into something I wasn't enthusiastic about.
“Fight me. We'll spar and if you manage to get but a single blow on me, I'll accept my fate. But if I can get twenty blows on you before that, you'll have to do your best to save my club. I have the feeling that you're a man of honor, so let's settle this in an honorable way.”
“That's ridiculous!” I exclaimed, regretting picking the kendo club. It was clearly a desperate gamble on her part. There was no guarantee I could help her either. I complained,“I don't even know how to use a sword!”
“I'll give you a few basic pointers, word of honor.” She looked at me with those serious eyes of her, her soul bare. How annoyingly earnest of her, it made me consider her ludicrous request. Maybe it would do her good to come to grips with her club's closing sooner rather than later. I'd be doing her a favor.
That was crazy talk and I knew it.
“If I win, I want something more, since I'm taking all the risk,” I told her, trying to raise the stakes to get her to abandon her crazy idea, “I want you to go out on a date with me.”
“Very well,” she smiled, “but I'm not going to lose.”
...what the hell had I gotten myself into?
 Accept her challenge.  On second thought, Reimu would get pissed off if she found out.
This duel is about as dishonorable as it gets. Arc may as well have challenged her to see if she can get a single kiss from a member of the opposite sex before he gets 20.
[X] Accept her challenge.
Though, I really wish Arc would do something equally unfair like immediately run to the dressing room and lock the door. Offering candid commentary on her choice of undergarments would be strictly optional.
In a serious traditional duel with swords Arc has no chance against Youmu even with 20 attempts. Youmu knew this and I feel like she is just looking for an excuse to hit things with a sword, an added benefit to Arc's assistance bringing the club back. The only way to even the fight is to leverage what few advantages are given, raw strength and brawling experience with Suika. All Arc needs to do to win is catch her off guard once and land a hit. Complaining about dirty fighting can be done on the date.
[x] On second thought, Reimu would get pissed off if she found out.
What is honorable about making a beginner fight an experienced warrior in order to strong arm him to do a job you don't feel like doing?
Honorable is doing your job and doing it well and that needs Arc to remain neutral. Not to say he can't meet with her in a cafe and give her pointers: his free time is his. And if they hit off, it is not that far to turn the end of one of those meetings into a date.
“You can find protective gear in there, “ Konpaku pointed at one of the doors at the back of the hall, “there ought to be something that fits you. Grab a practice sword while you're at it.”
Before I knew it, I found myself geared up for a sparring match. I felt hot in the padded gear and I felt that my movements were a bit stiff and unnatural. That wasn't the worst part – I was thrown off by just how light the bamboo sword felt in my hand - I'd expected more feedback to my arm movement.
“Positioning is key,” Konpaku lectured, “slashing an opponent is easy if you have a superior position. Never lose your balance, never get outmaneuvered. Think about where you're stepping and where you'll go from there. If you lose your footing you're wide open.”
I struggled to follow her instructions. I could handle myself in a fight, so I thought, but it didn't seem like my skills translated particularly well. I swung down a few times, feeling that the speed of my movements were nothing like the movements that were in my head. It didn't help that Konpaku wasn't a particularly patient teacher either. She spoke specifically about her own experiences, so it didn't feel applicable to my own struggle.
“That should be enough,” she said after a while. My face was drenched in sweat. I'd ended up pacing around back and forth, trying to correct my grip and swing at the same time over and over. “If we spend more time at this, it'll be dark before we know it.”
“I don't feel that I'm ready,” I said, weakly.
“You'll become ready through combat,” she replied, putting on her helmet. Her face looked darkened through the metal grille as she took up position a few steps away.
Suppressing a sigh, I did the same. My peripheral vision ceased to exist. My heart began to pump faster. It felt like things weren't going to end well.
Konpaku placed her sword back on a rack behind her and instead took two wooden swords out. “Catch,” she said, hurling one at me with no warning. I fumbled and the sword hit my arm but I managed to catch it before it hit the floor. “We're going to use these so it feels more like real combat.”
I discarded the bamboo sword, laying it down on the ground next to me. The weight of the wooden sword was entirely different but it felt more satisfying to hold. Maybe the last-minute switch wouldn't be so bad.
“I'm ready,” I said, gripping the hilt firmly. Konpaku nodded and beckoned me to come closer.
“We'll tap swords thrice and after that it'll begin. We'll pause whenever one of us scores a hit,” she explained. By 'one of us,' she clearly meant herself. 20 to 1 would have been good margins for anyone else.
I nodded and got into position, bringing my sword up in front of my body. Konpaku tapped the edge of my sword with hers and a loud 'clack' echoed through the room. Twice more. Clack. Clack. And then a dull thud.
It was a thrust like lightning.
I was hit before I even processed what happened. I saw her eyes glimmer with satisfaction as she pulled back and returned to the starting position.
“One,” she said quietly.
Clack-clack-clack. I told my body to get a move on.
“Two,” she said. Then, “three” and “four.”
I managed to parry somewhere around “five” and by “seven” I was at least moving a few steps before getting struck. It was all too awkward to call a proper match and I was nowhere close to even bringing up my sword for an offensive swing.
Clack. Clack-clack. A pause. And then another clack.
“Ten,” she said. Her fast movements didn't seem to tire her at all. I felt like I was going to melt in all that protective clothing. But I was still thankful I was wearing it. I'd been in enough fights to know that the adrenaline was masking the pain but that without the padding I would have already been keeled over in agony. She wasn't holding back in the least.
I was definitely going to lose. I grunted as I got hit again. I tried being more aggressive. She was nowhere near where I swung my sword. I could just barely make out her eyes between each round, focusing mostly on where my sword was at all times. She barely registered the rest of me, save for almost imperceptible glances at my legs.
“Thirteen,” she said calmly, returning to the starting position.
I had to figure something out quickly. She was fast and she packed a punch. Plus she probably could read my movements quickly. Clack-clack-clack, I thought about it as I got hit again. And again. Most of her hits had been to my arms but a few to my sides. My muscles were already pulsing with fatigue. With the sweat stinging my eyes, I had to act sooner rather than later.
Maybe… just maybe…
 Our size difference meant that my unique advantage was superior reach.  What I needed was a perfect distraction in order to create an opening.
[x] What I needed was a perfect distraction in order to create an opening.
We foresaw this, no biggie. There's no way he's going to win fair and square. He could try to use his size and reach, but that would only be a thing when he's in top form. He's barely keeping it together.
A distraction is just what he needs. Arc isn't bound to the code of bushido or whatever. He's a street fighter. Any notions of honor disappear when you get punched in the face. She could have set the score to 100 instead of 20, and she'd still come out on top.
[x] What I needed was a perfect distraction in order to create an opening.
I don't think that superior reach will do anything, considering she is part of the club it's probably a common occurrence. Personally, I would suggest that Arc's armor and sword are disposable, they seem to only be throwing of his ability to fight. Youmu never said that she had to be hit with a sword in order to lose. That being said, just have to chuck the sword she is so focused on and go all in.
I took a deep breath. I knew that I'd only get one chance to get it just right. Our swords hit one… twice and finally...
…clack! I pulled back quickly, giving myself the much needed second to pull off my plan.
“I can tell why no one else has bothered to stick around!” I yelled out, my voice coming out completely hoarse. My throat was drier than expected. “You're cold and domineering and completely not honorable. Would a real sportsman bully a first timer like me?”
I parried a blow somehow. She came at me silently, still seemingly focused. I stepped to the left, dodging a certain hit just barely.
“Come on, admit it,” I said, “even if I do help you, no one will show up because of your attitude. Taking out your frustrations on-”
“Eighteen,” she said, striking me harder than before on the shoulder. A smirk showed through her helmet.
“Beat me,” I said, clacking my sword to start again, “but you'll not find any satisfaction. You could have done a good job of teaching me but-” A high swing of hers missed my head by just a few hairs. I managed to step back just in time to watch her sword fly down right in front of my eyes. I was too far gone to stop. “But,” I continued, you chose to push yet another person away.”
“Nineteen,” she said, thwacking me with a painful smack to my hand.
Clack clack clack. She dodged a thrust and I managed to sidestep her counter. “What I'm saying is!” I started yelling, desperate for a break, “is that you're a totally-not-cute girl who will destroy this club and your favorite activity because you're incapable of softening up!”
There! She hesitated. Just for a tiny moment. The blow that should have come to my ribs failed to connect. And I swung wildly, knowing that it'd be just a half second at best before my window closed.
I crumpled down onto the floor, letting go of my sword.
“Twenty,” she said triumphantly, discarding her helmet with fluidity that was about as elegant as a sword being drawn from its scabbard.
It was a feint. A stupid trick that I fell for. She pretended to be distracted to get me to stop moving around. A flick of her wrist and she ran her sword across my belly. If it had been a real sword I would have been disemboweled. Her concentration was unshakable from start to finish. What's more, she had not broken a sweat either literally or figuratively.
I, on the other hand, was a mess. I hadn't expected swinging a wooden sword around would be quite so strenuous. The tension and the adrenaline had kicked my body into overdrive.
She smirked and pointed her sword at me, saying, “cheap tricks don't work on someone disciplined. I tuned out what you were saying as soon as you uttered it. You should have played to your strengths like the knack you have for knowing where blows are coming from. Though without discipline… I think the result would have still been the same.”
“So… you beat me,” I sighed, sprawling on the floor on my back. “I guess I'll help you even though there's a million things wrong with that idea.“ There was a good chance Alice would kill me if Reimu didn't first. I had one job, just one job. And somehow I had gotten sidetracked.
Konpaku circled around me with a smile, like a buzzard looking down at a dying animal with confident satisfaction of what would happen next. “I expect you to do an outstanding job,” she said, “otherwise I'll find you and next time I won't hold back. In fact-”
“Hm?” I blinked and missed it. There was the sound of something rolling, a gasp and then a dull thud. A groan was then followed by a second gasp, one that mixed both surprise and outrage in equal measure. I rolled to my side; Konpaku had slipped on my discarded sword and fallen face first onto the floor. She hadn't even braced herself properly since she chose to push her arm to the side to prevent her wooden sword from getting damaged. “Are you alright?”
“I'm fine!” she howled, and it immediately became clear to me that something more than just her pride was wounded. Though her face was red from where she smacked the floor, both her hands were elsewhere. She tucked her knee in and was rubbing her left foot, wincing as she tried to move it around.
“Let me take a look,” I sat up, a second rush of adrenaline washing over me. Though the sudden shift of blood from my head to the rest of my body would have normally made me feel dizzy, I was wired enough to act quickly. I reached out towards her but was smacked away.
“I'm fine I said!” she exclaimed again, sounding angry. “Someone disciplined can ignore physical pain and pick themselves up!”
Was she telling me that or herself? I could see the beginnings of tears welling up in her eyes but she was refusing to let them fall, grimacing and distorting her face in a war with her own emotions.
“Listen, I'll take you to the nurse's office. Don't be stupid. If you've hurt yourself you need to get that looked that as soon as possible. If it's serious any delay can complicate recovery,” I told her. Though I thought I was being cool and rational, I realized that I was actually yelling. It was the adrenaline, it completely screwed with my sense of what was normal.
“I'll… manage by myself!” she glared at me, her face puffy. It might have been a comical sight if not for the uncertainty in her eyes as I brought up the possibility of it being serious. Her green eyes had lost the focused edge from earlier to them. And, for the first time, I saw just a girl with a somewhat dorky haircut with a ribbon on one side. An angry and confused girl, but a girl nonetheless.
 Respect her warrior's spirit and give her some space.  Carry her to the nurse's office no matter how much she fights it.
I agree with you and really want to vote for that, but I just know it's going to turn into the "oh no, the grizzled veteran can't fight anymore and instead trains up a plucky young teenager to fight in the championships" thing.
[x] Carry her to the nurse's office no matter how much she fights it.
This way, she does not suffer any lasting injury, and we can still kinda ignore her.
“I'm already being forced to help you with your club, so you may as well let me help you with this too,” I said sternly. I took off my helmet to have a closer look. She'd only make things worse if she tried to make it on her own. From the way she pursed her lips, I could tell that she was struggling to keep herself centered and in control.
“I'm fine,” she strained, looking anything but that. Konpaku took a deep breath and calmed down. Some of the redness in her face went away but she couldn't do away with all the stress and trauma that easily. “I'll go in a minute after I collect myself.”
I frowned, and moved closer to her. “Grab on to me,” I said, keeping the same firmness in my voice as before, “I'll help you up and then we'll go together.”
Though she seemed to waver at my assertive tone, she held fast to her stubbornness, dismissing me outright, “be here in the morning before class, we'll speak then about what you'll do to help.”
“For-” I fought back the words. The only solution was direct action. Still feeling supercharged from the earlier rush, I just went for it. Konpaku struggled almost immediately, wriggling about and trying to push me away as I grabbed her. “Stay still,” I ordered, knowing that the command would fall on deaf ears, “I'm just going to pick you up so I can take you to the nurse's office.”
Telling her what I had in mind didn't help in the least. She hit me rather hard in the chest with her fists but luckily the padding absorbed most of the force. It was only when she inadvertently moved her foot that she winced and lost her strength momentarily. I used the interlude between blows to scoop her right up in my arms. She was lighter than she looked.
“This is completely unacceptable!” she yelled, her voice adopting a squeaky edgy. “You can't expect to carry me like this all the way to the nurse's office!”
“No, actually, I don't,” I told her, smiling. “I'm going to put you on my back. Wrap your arms around me and I'll hold up your legs with my arms. The more you struggle against me, the longer it'll take me to get you there.”
“Very well...” she sighed, looking up at me. “At least that way is more dignified.”
“Glad we're on the same page,” I told her, and helped her to stand for a moment. She shifted all her weight to her other foot and placed a hand on my shoulder. I turned around slowly, allowing her to keep her balance. “Ready?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said quietly. I counted down from three and then she hopped with her good foot as I hoisted her onto my back. Her arms wrapped around by neck, crossing over below my face. I looped my arms around her legs, keeping her nice and supported.
Konpaku felt cold. Her skin, fair to an inordinate degree, seemed to be devoid of blood altogether. It was a sharp contrast to my own sweaty skin. Maybe she realized that her problem was serious and was feeling too ill to put up a more spirited fight.
“Hang in there,” I reassured her, “I'll try to be quick.”
Easier said than done.
I was lucky she wasn't very heavy but it was still tough to carry another person halfway across campus. Especially after exerting myself sparring with her. It was getting near the end of the club hours and most of the clubs would be packing it up for the day. The shortest way to the nurse was by the paved path that skirted the old building and went parallel to the main section of track. A few runners were finishing up their final stretches of daily practice as we passed by.
I couldn't see Konpaku's face but I felt her tilt her head downwards, like she was trying to hide it by burying it into the back of my own head. I didn't say anything, letting her keep her illusion of dignity. The reality was that it was almost certain that they could see her and knew who she was. We were still in our practice clothes so there was no hiding that. A few of the runners stopped, ostensibly for a water break but in reality they were just gawking at us.
Thankfully, it was a short-lived event. The club captain found the slackers and shared a few choice sardonic words with them. A final threat of having the last person clean up by themselves was enough to get them back into gear. She looked over at us and smiled but said nothing. With a nod she turned back rejoined the rest of the track and field club in their final lap.
The stairs were the last great barrier after we made it past the field. I struggled to get all the way up the flight but after that it was just a few more steps until we reached the nurse's office. Fortunately Eirin was still in. She looked like she was getting ready to leave but didn't complain when she saw that Konpaku was hurt.
“I'm going to take a closer look, alright?” Eirin asked with her best bedside manners on display. Konpaku sat on an examination table, wearing nothing but socks on her feet. She turned to me and shooed me out, “why don't you go get her bag with her change of clothes and bring it over?”
I took the hint and left. Whatever personal question she was going to ask Konpaku was just that, personal.
I put away the equipment in the club room before getting changed. I found a small bag in a corner which I assumed belonged to Konpaku. I grabbed it and left the club room. The track team and the other remaining sports clubs had disappeared from the field and their members were going home.
When I returned to the nurse's office, I found Konpaku much calmer. Her face was back to normal and no traces of the emotional turmoil remained.
“It's just a sprain,” Eirin informed me, “it should clear up quickly enough if she keeps from doing anything too strenuous.”
“Oh, that's good to hear,” I said, handing over the bag to Konpaku. She took it reluctantly, placing it next to her on the table.
“She'll be getting a ride home too, so you don't need to worry about carrying her all the way there,” Eirin chuckled. Seemed like she had more thoughts on the situation but she kept them to herself. Thankfully. She said something about going to leave a file somewhere and left Konpaku and I alone in the room.
“I'll see you tomorrow then?” I asked, figuring that I should give her some room so she could get changed.
“...no, you've done enough for me,” she said, smiling weakly, “it was unjust of me to force my wishes onto you. I've been told that I'm a bit thick when it comes to solving problems before and that I make things worse by not considering the perspectives of others… and I guess this is exactly the kind of thing she meant.”
“I'm already a part of this whether I like it or not,” I said, sighing. If I wanted to come out clean, I had a chance to back away that I chose not to go for. “I'm going to help you a little, so long as it doesn't cut into my free time too much.”
“Is it because you lost our match?” she asked, her eyebrow raised. It seemed like she had a hard time understanding what others really meant. “Or is there another reason?”
 Her being cute and dedicated was reason enough.  I just wasn't comfortable with closing down clubs.  Yeah, it was because I lost against her.
[x] Her being cute and dedicated was reason enough
She may object to the cute part, but she seems dedicated... No wait, have we seen her being dedicated? She wasn't doing anything, as far as Arc knows. Goddammit, the flirty option seems hypocritical now. Fuck.
 I wasn't comfortable with closing down clubs
No wait, this one is wrong as well. He himself said that he was getting sacked into something he wasn't enthusiastic about. Maybe he finds it sad, despite not wanting to bother?
And no way in hell I'm voting for a option that implies he cares about promises, when he has broken so many of them.
I guess I was being too hard with Arc's former classmate though. She said that she feels like a ghost because the ones whom she admired are gone and she doesn't feel like she's on the level to lead a club (true) or that she can ever be (wrong) I guess I maintain my vote for that first option. We should focus on making her a good leader before getting new members or they will leave as soon as they arrive.
I take a few moments to think about her question and look at her unyielding eyes.
"Do you really want to know why I'm helping you?" I prefaced my answer with a question and she gives a slight nod in anticipation. "When I was fighting you I could feel your desire to win, a determination that can stand up to any obstacle. But that's not all..." Her desire to know my purpose is piercing at this point." I saw a clumsy but cute girl that would try to strive on her own without any help."
The blush on her face begins to spread rapidly across its entirety. Her mouth attempts to form words but no real sound escapes, they weakly mutter short utterances.
"Wha- Y-" The clipped syllables are all that she can muster and it isn't long until she stops trying all together. All that is left afterwards is an awkward silence and the inaudible sound of Youmu's rushing blood. Her eyes no longer squarely looking at mine but at her own feet as she swings them to and fro barely touching each other before repelling themselves back outwards.
The atmosphere of solitude is interrupted by the sound of the sliding office door and Eirin reenters the room. Youmu snaps back to reality quickly and gathers herself. I notice Eirin's small glance towards Youmu before rendering an unreadable expression when looking at me before beginning to speak with the both of us.
"It seems that you two are free to go, there is a vehicle waiting in front of the school for you both to take home." Eirin speaks in a clinical manner.
"Wait, the both of us? I'm perfectly fine with just walking back." Not that I'm not grateful but I'd rather not get in the way.
"It was specifically requested that you both go. I suggest you comply." Eirin gives a short but stern answer. It seems that's all the answers I'll be getting out of her. Youmu and I take our leave. As we head outside, I assist Youmu as much as she will allow.
There is an oddity sitting in front of the school as we exit the building. In the road there is a black limousine waiting patiently as if expecting someone. Well maintained, it has mirror sheen on the majority of the vehicle's body. The black tinted rear windows make it impossible to see who the passengers are.
"Is this what you normally get picked up in?" I ask as we slowly approach.
"Normally, it's just a regular car?" Youmu looks just a baffled as I am.
One of the windows slide down out of view with a faint mechanical whir. A highly contrasting pink hue is the first thing I notice before recognizing who it is.
"Don't worry, I'm not a stranger." Yuyuko's voice sweetly calls out to both Youmu and me. Her expression is that of her normal smile. "Hop on in, unless you would rather ignore such a luxury and walk all the way home."
"No, I'm fine with a ride, we'll get in." I answer for the both of us not wanting to risk being left behind. I open the door and allow Youmu to enter. It takes a few extra seconds for her to readjust her feet so that most of the weight stays off her sprain but we both manage to get a seat without incident. Soon after, the vehicle begins progressing towards its preordained destination.
"It seems like quite the occasion. Why the limo and everything else?" I look at Yuyuko's most noticeable differences, her hair is done up in a hair style that a stereotypical librarian would wear but more haphazardly put together. There are a few wavy pink strands that escape from the structured sprial that gives it an air of chaos. The sleek cut business suit have similar a similar style of liberties given to it, the slit up the side goes farther than one would think and the ruffled blouse continues the half collected and half mussy trend that pervades her entirety.
"It isn't anything outlandish, just an attire for a business gathering." Despite her words I get the feeling that her methods aren't exactly standard. "However that's not important right now. Youmu's health is more important than any meeting. The proper growth of all students is my concern."
"Ms. Yuyuko, you don't have to worry about me. I'm fine." Youmu speaks politely but with a distanced tone.
"How many times must I ask you to just call me Yuyuko?" She responds with a playful scold. "Now come, show me your foot. It is always best to assess the damage yourself."
"Maybe we should do this later, without the vice president here." Youmu looks hesitant for a second but eventually complies, the whole situation is foreign to me.
"Eirin told me all about what happened." She takes a good look at the slender foot presented to her. Youmu has to position herself with a slightly awkward leaning position to allow her leg to rest in Yuyuko's hands. "My Youmu is growing up so fast, to think that a few years ago she was content to just cook, maintain the garden, and swing around a wooden sword around all day."
"M- Yuyuko, please." It is plain to see that Youmu is struggling to keep it together.
"See was that so hard?" Yuyuko replies gleefully. Just being a bystander makes me wonder what kind of relationship these two have. "I can't really tell if it's a sprain, I suppose thats why we have trained medical personnel." She nonchalantly comments on herself and then proceeds to let Youmu return to a normal sitting position.
"I'm sure that it will heal in no time." I comment to improve the mood as much as I can.
"Traveling is so much faster when when using a car, technology is amazing." Yuyuko abruptly changes the topic as she looks out the window. The vehicle soon comes to a complete stop. With a look I can tell that we have arrived at my house. "There is so much more I wanted to speak to you about but you're already home. Unless... Arc, you are welcome to have tea at my house and we can continue our talk there. However, I understand if you are busy."
Take up her offer and talk over some tea. Politely decline and go home.
I will preempt the inevitable tide of people voting for the Youmu/Yuyuko combo by being a filthy contrarian. I can be persuaded otherwise but for now I'll go with leave them wanting for more. Really writefag, you should have thought up better choices! Like whether or not to hold Youmu's hand because she feels tense around Yuyuko or something.
>>62752 Maximize every opportunity. Yuyuko is that larger that life overbearing personality. We're bound to learn a lot about Youmu here. It's a two edged sword though, because Youmu is gonna learn a lot about Arc.
[x]Take up her offer and talk over some tea.
Who knows, maybe they'll end up commiserating from the embarrassment. It's interestinghow she just shows up out of the blue like this too.
I can't write right now because life stuff. But I'll probably get to it in about two hours' time if nothing else goes wrong.
I feel like I should clarify why I even allow guest updates: because I think it's fun. It gets someone else writing and it shakes up things as well. I don't coordinate at all with them either, so this is why you see weird and outlandish things come about. As you might guess, I can't really make this canon because it screws with pacing and the character scenarios/arcs I had in mind. However, like the thing with Mokou/Kaguya or the thing with Reimu, it will have some impact with both the characters and how some things play out. I think you'll be pleased to see how I'll integrate this later on in the story if you keep at it with Youmu but for the time being, expect a still fun not-exactly-canon payoff.
>>62762 It's hard enough for me to keep my tenses straight, I can understand how another writer might struggle. Especially if they are guest writers.
“These are some really nice digs,” I whistled, taking in the the sight before me. I hadn't expected Big Sis to live in such a fancy house. No, scratch that, it wasn't a house, it was an estate. It was about as large as Tenshi's, maybe even larger. It was hard to tell with the tall stone wall that surrounded the property. We'd gone through a wood and iron gate and up a driveway. The main building seemed to be a mostly single-story traditional building.
“They're not bad,” Big Sis replied, smiling.
“It's a wonder you're not married,” I said, imprudently, “I'd have thought that every schmo would want to marry into your obvious wealth.”
“Is that a proposal?” Big Sis asked with a chuckled, opening the door and inviting me in. She had helped Konpaku out of the car and to the entrance. It seemed that Konpaku was about as reluctant to accept her help as she was mine.
“I think it just might be,” I said, taking a look around. Expensive lacquered furniture lined the entrance. I left my shoes in an ornate mother-of-pearl-studded shelf as Big Sis handed me a pair of guest slippers. “I never would have guessed you lived in a place like this.”
“I just happen to come from a well-established family,” she said, “and I'm afraid that we're the only ones that live here nowadays.”
“Just what is you relationship, anyhow?” I asked as she ushered me in deeper inside. Everything about the place looked expensive, from the polished wooden floorboards to the occasional vase and wall scroll decorating the corridor. Konpaku hobbled alone by herself, using the wall as support. It didn't seem that she minded it.
“Youmu here is the granddaughter of someone who used to serve my family, the poor girl has no relations left, so I took her in years ago,” Big Sis explained as we made our way to a sitting room some ways inside the structure. “She shares the same roof with me and I think of her as a little sister. It's sort of like you and your aunt.”
“I never would have guessed,” I said, taking a seat by the table.
“Youmu,” Big Sis directed herself to the quiet girl, “keep our guest company while I put on the kettle.”
“Of course M-” she checked herself, “-Yuyuko, I mean.”
She sat down to my right, crossing her legs. She winced, having snagged her foot slightly when folding her legs.
“I never thought you and Big Sis lived together. She always seemed like the hip urban type. You know, the kind to live in a studio apartment,” I said, trying to make conversation.
“Yuyuko is a very traditional person in many ways,” Konpaku said quietly, “despite her preference for modern clothes, I think she would be just as happy living a hundred years ago.”
“I guess she would look nice in a kimono...” I mused out loud, trying to picture her all dolled up in a fancy one. Naturally I was also assuming she'd stick to the traditional ways and no wear anything underneath…
“You behave about as she said you would,” Konpaku said, her eyes narrowing. It didn't seem like she wanted to let her guard down again. At least not so soon.
“Oh, you've talked about me?”
“She's mentioned a student she's taken an interest in many times. I thought all those outlandish claims and remakrs about hormones gone wild were just part of her unusual sense of humor...”
“I'm glad I don't disappoint,” I said, smiling. I'd take it on the chin even if it wasn't exactly supposed to be a compliment.
“Are you kids getting along?” Big Sis returned with a tray in her hands. A few cups, a tea pot and snacks on it. It was almost unnaturally fast how little she took to get the tea ready.
“We're fine, Big Sis,” I said, ignore the clearly soured expression that Konpaku was putting on. It didn't seem like she was as comfortable with banter as Big Sis and I were.
“That's good,” Big Sis said, sitting down opposite and placing the tray on the table. She expertly poured out the tea, and offered me a cracker. “Youmu dear, don't look so glum, it's rare that we have anyone over. You should smile for our guest. You've such a lovely smile too, it's a shame you look so serious all the time.”
“Please don't make fun of me!” Youmu said with a huff.
“Deep down she's a very sensitive girl,” Big Sis whispered loudly to me, placing a hand at the side of her face. Clearly she meant to be overheard. “If you're not forceful with her, she'll just pull away. It takes her a while to understand things, especially when it comes to emotions.”
“Anyhow,” I said after taking a sip of tea, trying to change the subject, “what was it that you wanted to discuss with me?”
“My plans for you,” Big Sis said. A throaty chuckle follow. Clearly she amused herself.
“Oh? Am I supposed to now subvert the student council from within and let you pull all the strings?”
“Only if you want to do that, I don't really care,” she said. “No,” she corrected me, “my plans are more important than school and politics. They're more about what you'll be doing for the rest of your life.”
“Oh, so this is a guidance session, I get it,” I said, sarcastically, “you're worried what will happen once I graduate.”
“I am, though you might not believe me. I'm also worried about Youmu. She's young and impressionable. And I can't start my own family until I've seen that she's been taken care of. That's where you come in.”
“If I didn't know any better, I'd say that you were trying to get me to marry her,” I joked.
“Would that be such a bad thing?” she asked, chuckling. “She's a pretty little thing and ever so earnest. She would make a good and dedicated wife. All you have to do earn all that is to win her trust. Which is easy enough.”
“I don't want to marry anyone,” Youmu butted in, mirroring my own feelings, “Yuyuko, I'll be fine on my own. If I find someone it'll be on my own terms, in due time.”
“That, I doubt, my child,” Big Sis said with a sigh, “I had hoped that you would see the advantages immediately but that was too optimistic. In time, I think that the both of you will see the advantages in this arrangement.”
I stared at Big Sis. I opened and closed my mouth but no words came out. It was getting hard to keep my thoughts… focused. I wanted to furrow my brows but somehow I couldn't. In fact, I couldn't do much of anything anymore. I sat straight as a statue, my mind slowing down with every passing second.
“Assuming that you can still understand me,” Big Sis said with a grin, “I'm afraid you've been poisoned. It was in the tea, you see, old Sagyouji clan formula. In high doses lethal. But don't worry,” she laughed, covering her mouth with her hand in a feigned show of modesty, “I've only put a little in. At that dose it'll just incapacitate the victim and make him suffer short-term memory loss. With a few other Saigyouji clan tricks I'll start reshaping you into the better man I know you can be. You too,” she turned her head to Youmu, “your shyness masquerading as indifference simply will not do if you're to become a proper wife. You must dote on your husband and I'll teach you all about the pleasures of being a woman too...”
She said something more, but I couldn't really hear it anymore…
In fact, I couldn't hear much of anything. Or see for that matter. Or feel…
“No, no no, you can't look at away, you have to be more assertive, like this,” Yuyuko instructed, grabbing onto my swollen member with a firm grip. I was restrained, my arms and legs tied up to the bed. At least I think they were. My head was fuzzy and I could barely lift up my head. All I could really feel for sure was the intense pleasure. Once again Yuyuko was showing Youmu how it was done, forcing her to watch as she warmed me up.
It was something that was going on for as long as I could remember. I would wake and feel her playing with my genitals, occasionally riding on me until we both climaxed. Most of the time Youmu would stare from the side of the bed, her eyes vacant but transfixed. Gradually, her participation became more and more active as my restraints were loosened The memories made my head swim and my body feel like it was on fire. Seared in my memory was an occasion where I was a full participant and we spent a whole day writhing together in unending ecstasy. It was hard to remember where their bodies began and mine ended.
Yuyu-nee told me to get a job. I had been sitting around the house doing nothing for too long. We'd moved over to the country at some point because the air in the city was getting worse and worse. Luckily, she used our family name to get me work as an assistant teacher at the local rural school. She had been working as the main teacher for a while now. It was an easy job since there was barely a dozen students to keep track of. In truth, I was mostly there to keep busy than do any actual work.
Still, I enjoyed it. Especially since a few radical changes in my home life soon followed.
We got married in the spring. Youmu was an old family friend that had come to stay with us when we moved out into the country. At first she was shy and didn't speak much but over the weeks and months a bond began to form between us. A bond that felt like it had always been there. It only seemed right that we would date and, quickly enough, get married. My darling big sister let us live in the house too, setting us up in a large bedroom that had belonged to our parents. I was the man of the house, she had said at our wedding, and I was expected to have lots of children to continue the proud Sagyouji name.
Life was real good.
I had an adorable young wife and a doting older sister that would do anything that I wanted.
“Youmu, your cooking is simply the best!” I exclaimed, putting a few pickled plums on my rice. We were sitting at the table as usual, talking about our days. Youmu blushed slightly, as ever taking my every compliment to heart. I just wanted ot eat her up. Well, maybe for desert. It'd be a shame to waste her excellent meal.
“Darling, I have a bit of exciting news,” Youmu said, smiling sheepishly. There was a purity in her eyes that set my heart fluttering every time I saw them. “It would seem that I'm with child.”
I embraced her, the happiness overwhelming me. Yuyu-nee's face had tears streaming down it. She had the kindest, gentlest smile I had ever seen her show. Maybe it was because she wouldn't have to go motherhood by herself. A few weeks earlier she had learned she was pregnant, too, but she wouldn't tell me who the father was. I respected her privacy but sometimes her stubbornness was just a little too much for me to bear. Oh well, I was certain she would tell me the truth when the time was right.
After all, that was the sort of relationship we had. It was built on love, openness and trust.
Soon there would be two more Saigyouji coming into the world. And I couldn't be any happier.
Maybe I was finally losing it. I completely spaced out.
I looked into Konpaku's eyes, she was still waiting for my reply, sitting on the examination table. I knew what I was going to say, but, there was a nagging feeling that I was forgetting something.
Why was I thinking about Yuyuko all of a sudden? It felt like she had just teased me, somehow.
 I missed our little talks. And her carefree ways.  I was just feeling annoyed and her smiling face, naturally, came to mind.  There was something about Konpaku that I was missing.
“Do you always stare for so long before giving an answer? I do not believe that my face has changed much in the last minute,” Youmu said, her green eyes studying me carefully. She was cautious and likely skittish. Not that I could blame her.
“Sorry, I got lost in thought...” I told her, though what those thoughts were, I wasn't too sure. Something that vaguely had to do with her and… Big Sis of all people. Try as I might, I couldn't recall anything other than a slight unease at feeling like I was missing a piece to a greater puzzle. One that wouldn't make much sense until I got it just right.
“Your mind wanders,” she noted, “that is the main reason why I beat you so easily. Your actual skill was secondary to the outcome.”
“I've an active imagination, can't do anything about that, I'm afraid,” I shrugged, not really caring to get into it with her. “What's important here is that I want to help you. And the reason is simple – you're cute. I like helping out cute girls.”
“Cute?” she frowned, obviously not expecting the answer. No doubt she thought I was making fun of her.
“Sure, I watched you practice, you're really into kendo. That sort of passion and dedication makes you cute in my eyes. Though, if I'm honest, the ribbon also really helps.”
“Ah,” she tapped around her head, like she forgot she was wearing the black bow on one side. It didn't seem like she quite understood what she should say in response. Konpaku fumbled around with her words, “I find that it's cute too but… that's not really a reason to help. Certainly not for someone you just met.”
“It's good enough for me and that's all that matters,” I told her.”I've always had a thing for cute girls that know how to use swords, if you must know.” Usually the top contenders in most games. Not that I'd tell her that. She wouldn't understand.
“Very well, I'll accept your help,” she nodded, “though I still do not understand why you offer it to me. I have little choice, I suppose.”
“If I get to see you smile, I think it'll be worth it.”
“You're strange,” she sighed. Not quite the reaction I had in mind. But I'd have plenty of time to try for better results.
Eirin returned. She glanced over at me showing mild surprise. “You're still here?” she asked, “give the poor girl a chance to get changed. You can try to hit on her some other time.”
She sure was cranky at the end of the day. But I took the unsubtle hint and said my goodbyes. The little wave goodbye from Eirin showed that it was all in good humor. I had to settle for a nod from Youmu but that just seemed in keeping with her style so I didn't mind it.
Nearly everyone was gone. Only a few stragglers from clubs still remained, filing out of the main gates while the sun hung low on the horizon. The only person I recognized was the track team captain who was in a group of her teammates, chatting and laughing as they walked home together. So I didn't really have a reason to stick around.
Still broke, I didn't have much of a reason to go out either. So I went back home.
I found Marisa downstairs, slumped over the couch, eyes vacant as she stared at whatever was on TV.
“Add the beer and it's like I'm staring at a younger version of Auntie,” I remarked.
“She's pretty and nice, so I'll take it as a compliment,” Marisa snapped out of her daze, smiling at me. She rocked her prone body back and forth and snapped to her feet. For a second it looked like she might fall back down because of the obvious head rush but she managed to stabilize herself. “There's absolutely nothing going on. I'm bored out of my mind. Let's go out and play.”
“I can't,” I told her, “I'm broke.”
“Aww, you need to work on your money management skills,” she pouted coming closer to me. I'd remember that line the next time she asked me to buy her anything. But her disappointment barely lasted a few seconds. A bright smile erupted on her face, “we can go bother Alice for a bit instead, I guess.”
“I ought to take a bath first,” I told her, “I worked up a sweat earlier. I don't think Alice would appreciate a stinky guest.” I could already picture the glower.
“Hm, let's see,” Marisa closed in and, taking a few whiffs, she added, “hmm, you do smell. But I think it's the smell of another woman!”
“No doubt about it. You're trying to wash away your guilt,” she shook her head disapprovingly.
 It was just a friendly sparring match. Nothing happened.  Why I was taking a bath was none of her concern to begin with!
I was going to write but then somehow the time just flew by without me noticing it. I'm too tired to write now, so leaving it open until some undefined time in the future after I rest up properly.
>>62796 Unless I actually ever draw something, the images are there for the mood and nothing else. What the text says is the only thing that matters. Otherwise there'd be 20 types of uniforms that the girls wear instead of the single one that's been described.
>>62661 Forgot to say something about this: the stories are in the archive, just not under my name. Search by title.
I tried to explain it to her, “we were just sparring, so naturally I got sweaty.”
Marisa's face broke into a near-grimace with a majestic grin stretching almost from ear to ear. Immediately I realized that I said something that I shouldn't have. “So you were with another woman,” she said, barely containing her effervescent energy, “I was just joking around, because it was a line I've always wanted to say. Pretty dramatic, dontcha think? I mean, I don't think another woman would smell like your sweat. Perfume, maybe.”
“Ah!” I felt deflated, having walked right into that one. There was absolutely nothing I could think of that could take my foot out of my mouth fast enough.
Marisa was merciless about it too, pouncing on me like a lion on a wounded gazelle. “So tell me all about your sordid 'sparring',” she urged, the selfsame grin holding steady, “if you got all sweaty you must have gotten into it pretty hard. Bodies in close proximity, I'm sure it's the type of situation where sparks must just be flying anywhere.”
“W-why do you care anyways?” I tried to step back and make it about her, “like I said, nothing happened.”
“I care because Alice cares,” she explained, “she told me to keep an eye on you in case you were slacking off in your student council duties. I'm thinking that maybe we'll have a lot to talk about when we go over to see her. Close intimate contact with a girl doesn't really sound like the duties of a vice president.”
“I was just evaluating club activities!” I said an obvious lie, trying to regain my footing. Being on the defensive wasn't my strongest skill. “Doing a thorough job, you know,” I tried to explain, “besides she challenged me. It would have been rude to decline.”
“So who was this buxom warrior who lured the vice president down the road to perdition?” she asked, enjoying the moment a little too much.
“If you must know,” I sighed, trying to bring down the energy, “she wasn't 'buxom' at all – modestly proportioned at best – and she was the sole member of the kendo club. She wanted help to keep her club open. It was her way of convincing me that it was worthwhile.”
“So, out of the goodness of your heart you decided to spar with her because battle is the fastest way that two people can understand one another? Makes sense,” she said, nodding thoughtfully.
“That's a thing from a game, not real life,” I reminded her. “At any rate, she beat me and I agreed to help her out. That's it. Nothing else happened.”
“Nothing else?” she asked, raising an eyebrow.
“...maybe I'll remember a few more details if you promise to keep Alice out of this,” I tried to negotiate with her.
“Mm, that sounds suspiciously like a bribe,” Marisa said, “as a member of the student council my integrity should be beyond reproach. But then again, so should yours...”
 Come clean in hopes that she'll keep quiet.  That's all she'll get. Konpaku and I had a right to privacy.
“Mmmm…” Marisa crossed her arms and closed her eyes. Her words were soft, like she was trying to make sense of something unreal, “so you're saying that after you carried her to the nurse's office you made sweet love? Two bodies entwining in a forbidden act that was so wrong considering you had just met but it felt so right? Battle really is the quickest way for two souls to understand one another,” she concluded, nodding sagaciously.
“That's just something from a stupid game,” I reminded her, injecting the conversation with a dose of reality, “none of that happened.”
“Maybe. But it feels like it happened. Clearly a powerful bond has developed between you. I'm really jealous.”
“You shouldn't be,” I shook my head. What the hell was wrong with her imagination?
“Fight me!” she blurted out, grabbing me by collar. “I want our souls to be shared completely bare so we can truly understand one another. How can you say that you love me if you won't fight me!?”
“Uh… you're really getting ahead of yourself there.”
“I see,” Marisa's expression darkened. Melancholy tinged her words. “I'm not good enough, is that it? I suppose I should accept my fate gracefully. But I know now that I'll die bitter and alone, never knowing the pure love that comes from complete understanding.”
“At any rate, no need to tell any of this to Alice,” I tried to move past the absurdity. I was too tired to handle whatever the hell was going on.
“Yes, no need...” she mumbled. Suddenly finding her voice again, she accused, “you and her already understand one another like that too! That's why you're always fighting. To strengthen your bond!”
“Umm… that's a different kind of fighting altogether, you're mixing up things. Besides, I don't think that strengthens anything...”
“You're too cruel,” Marisa collapsed onto me, burying her face into my shoulder. “All I wanted was a fair chance and I never got it.
“Cruel or not, I should really take that bath,” I tried to brush her away. No idea how she could stand more than a second of breathing in my musk. Dedication to the part? She definitely had that in spades. I tried to pry her away, grabbing her from the shoulders.
“I know that I'm just a wretched soul but you truly have no pity, do you?” she looked up at me with reddened eyes. It almost convinced me that she was on the verge of tears. Either she was a better actress than I gave her credit for or I stunk more than I thought. But all that meant was that I was wasting my time and should get to washing up as soon as humanely possible. “I think I'll just wither way, loveless, never to be held again.”
 Ignore her ham-fisted acting. Bath time.  Kiss her to make her shut the hell up.
- Pls check in to vote more often. Weekend if prime writing time that's just going to waste at this rate. I wanna do at least one more today, hence why this is a bit on the short side.
>>62808 So, are they red? blue? grey? green? Which is it? Funnily enough it seems that they change considerably between appearances. So much for canon.
I feel I need to be the dissenting voice here, but its far too late and I doubt I'd change any minds.
It's a bit painful watching "kiss her" pop up as an option and suddenly everyone's voting for it, regardless of situation, regardless of tone or mood. Not one of us questioned whether this could be bait, or a test, or something else.
I bet Teruyo could get you to kiss a scorpion by labeling an option. " Kiss it"
“You really talk too much,” I sighed and held her in place, “maybe this'll shut you up.”
Marisa accepted my advance quietly. Not that it was much of an advance. Our lips pressed together – I felt hers quiver – and I held it in place, enjoying the brief but charged act. It shut her up good.
“Mmm...” she gasped as I pulled away. A sly smile materialized. “I don't mind you shutting me up like that,” she said, “but maybe you should brush your teeth first. I'm not sure what that tasted like exactly, but it wasn't every girl's fantasy.”
“Oh shut up before I kiss you again,” I fired back. She giggled in response. I was tempted to do it, too, thinking that maybe I should be even bolder than before.
“Hmm...” she paused, “before that though, you might want to turn around.”
“Planning on groping my butt?” I joked, “I'll have you know that I have buns of steel from running around all day, every day.” That'd be a nice thing, if it were true. It wasn't that I was in bad shape – far from it – but I wasn't a star athlete either.
“I think I can resist the temptation,” she smiled again. Then let out a small surprised gasp. “But Alice might be. Though judging from her face, doesn't seem too likely. From the look of it, she's been staring at us this whole time.”
“I'm not falling for that one,” I told her.
“Y'ok, suit yourself,” she turned around, “catcha later, Alice. Go take a bath and I'll see you later, Arc.”
I turned around on the off chance that she wasn't lying through her teeth. That was a mistake. She ran off laughing up the stairs, calling me an idiot. How utterly childish. I shook my head but smiled to myself.
My bath was absolute bliss. The hot water relaxed my muscles and washed away my fatigue. Smelling nice again was a nice bonus. After I got out I toweled myself off, got changed and went to fetch Marisa. She didn't have any more choice words for me and went happily along with me to Alice's place. She kept mum on the subject of my sparring session. At least while I was in the room. We ended up talking and joking around like usual.
I ended up calling it a night early. The fatigue returned eventually and I slept like a baby. Maybe it was a sign that I should work out more. Yeah, a few extra muscles wouldn't be too bad.
Marisa came in the morning, still looking half-asleep. She barely had her uniform on, the top button of both her skirt and blouse undone. “Someone at the door,” she stated flatly, “go see who it is.”
“Fine, fine,” I didn't feel much like complaining. A good night's sleep had meant that I had woken up early and was already fully dressed. I could ask her if I was buff enough later.
A light knocking came from the front door as I went down the stairs. It was weird to have anyone come around early in the morning.
“Oh,” I couldn't hide my surprise when I opened the door. I might have even been a little slack-jawed for a few brief seconds. I recovered quickly, putting on my suave manly facade. “Great to see ya,” I smiled, “didn't expect to see you here.”
“So cool even this early in the morning, huh?” Tenshi giggled, seeing past my bullshit. “It's a bit disappointing to see that you're already in your uniform. I kinda wanted to come up and wake you up. But maybe that's just too selfish a fantasy.”
“You could come wake me up any day of the week,” I played it even cooler, not that it made any difference. More force of habit than a real desire to come off as slick.
“I'll keep that in mind,” she said with a smile, casually tousling a few strands of her hair. Absolutely, maddening provocative.
“Well, would you like to come on in? Join me for breakfast maybe?” I stepped aside and encouraged her.
“Mmm, not really,” she shook her head, explaining, “the driver is probably still spying on me. If I go out of sight and tarry, I'm sure that that'll be all reported back. I'm just here to walk to school with you, nothing more.”
“Nothing more? No hidden agenda?” I asked, feeling almost disappointed.
“None whatsoever,” she smiled provocatively, pushing my buttons in just the right way. “It's just a selfish whim. From time to time I like to indulge myself. But then again, you know that quite well, don't you?”
Her smile was the same playful and welcoming little thing that I had seen a few times before. Namely in a hotel room late at night and the nurse's office when we were all alone. Saliva gathered in my mouth quickly but I held back from gulping too hard. Couldn't be that obvious about it. I was cool and suave, after all. Or so I told myself with increasing desperation.
“I guess I do. But,” I interjected, “you do know that I walk with Marisa and Alice in the mornings, right?”
“I don't mind walking together with them,” she said, “it might be nice to be in a group. You'd be surrounded on three sides, like a hot dog in a bun.”
“That's a pretty crude analogy,” I scratched my head, smiling. She definitely was doing a good job at being suggestive. But I doubted the other girls would see it the same way. Or maybe they would. Bah, I was getting caught up in my own wild imagination. I needed to focus otherwise I'd end up being always two steps behind everyone in my life.
 Leave together without telling the other two and enjoy some privacy.  Nothing could go wrong with walking together as a group.
Oh, I almost forgot to make fun of you for being so utterly predictable and getting played by Marisa for three consecutive votes. This is that cheeky post. Truly the winds are blowing in a consistent direction.
[Ƶ] Leave together without telling the other two and enjoy some privacy.
Voting for the other option seems like a good opportunity for Tenshi to make friends but it also seems like a wonderfully terrible option to get herself some enemies and/or rivals and generally make our life a living hell trapped between 3 angry women "like a hot dog"
Even though Tenshi suggested it I bet she's looking forward to some "us" time.
Disclaimer: I don't follow this story, or anything in /others/, nor have I read anything of yours aside from the first run of DoLF. I just figured I'd chime in since you asked nicely elsewhere.
Out of all the things discussed in the OP, these are the ones that speak to me most (in order of preference):
[x] Reviving DiM, an /eientei/ story featuring scientific study of youkai, >>/eientei/22420 [x] Reviving my /sdm/ story, A Ruby Red Cotillion >>/sdm/59874 [x] None of the above: Maybe an /at/ story?
I'd love to see more activity in /eientei/, especially if the LoLK characters could finally get some involvement. That aside, I won't turn my nose up at an /sdm/ story. Anything to get boards besides /th/ and /others/ moving.
>>62843 Thanks for the input but I suppose the real pressing question is: would you actually bother to read and vote in any of those? If that's not the case then I'm afraid that I won't take your opinion into consideration. The SDM story, in particular, was stopped because there was a lack of interest to begin with and it's not an experience I would like to repeat. The main thing that I've tried to do with this story is to make a fast-paced story with broad appeal to get activity and even then it's been a struggle to get people active. So these questions serve the dual purpose of setting a direction as well as getting a somewhat accurate estimate of readership.
My apologies if what I'm inferring is wrong. That you haven't read anything else that I've done (including the stories that you prefer I do) and don't explicitly state that you'd jump in makes me wary. I like to be as truthful and transparent as possible when it comes to writing and communicating with readers so forgive my bluntness.
Hopefully you'll see this message and follow up either here or you can always find me on IRC too.
All other readers: I don't really have time to wait for a tiebreaker anymore since I'll likely be away later. And I want to keep up a minimum of an update per day. So, exceptionally, I'm calling it now with a coin flip and will pump out something soon.
“Let me go get the others,” I told Tenshi, feeling like I was a man with one foot in the grave already. That ripped physique I was dreaming about wouldn't do me much good if I was ripped to shreds during my morning walk. “Hold on just a minute, won't you?”
Tenshi nodded quietly and blew me a quiet kiss. For good luck, no doubt. My nervousness was really showing, apparently. I went back upstairs and found Marisa in a more presentable state: her hair was still a little frazzled but at least her clothes were on properly.
“I'm going to get Alice. We're walking together with a friend today,” I told her not offering much in the way of details, “hurry up and go upstairs.”
“Oh, you have friends?” Marisa asked, chuckling to herself, “you mean besides me, Alice and Suika?”
“Can it, I'm not in the mood,” I poked her in the arm firmly, hoping to get her into gear.
“Ooo, maybe this time it really is the scent of another woman I smell~” she teased as I left and rushed down the stairs. It wasn't worth dignifying that one with an answer. Really now, figures that she manages to be energetic in the morning because she sees an opportunity to play with me.
I walked past Tenshi again, smiling slightly as I went over to my neighbor's. She looked on with scientific curiosity, crossing her arms and standing back. I knocked. As expected, Alice was long since awake. She answered the door, looking puzzled.
“Heya, good morning,” I greeted, preempting her, “I just came over to say that a friend is going to join us on our morning walk and I was checking that it'd be no problem or anything.”
“Uh, why would it be?” she asked. Confusion worked its way into her brow as she looked around. “Oh, it's because it's a girl? How do you do?” she called out to Tenshi.
“Hello,” Tenshi came up to the entrance, “I'm Hinanawi from III-B. I don't believe we've met.”
“Margatroid, III-C,” Alice replied extending a hand, “I think we have actually. But just in passing.”
“My mistake then,” Tenshi said, taking Alice's outstretched hand and shaking it.
“Do you live around here? I didn't think anyone else from our year was from around here,” Alice asked, making conversation.
“No, not exactly. I just felt like seeing Arc. So I came by on a whim. I'll admit that it's a bit thoughtless to impose like that.”
“Arc's lucky to have friends that like him that much.” Alice looked at me for a moment, saying with her eyes all that I needed to know about what she was thinking. Non-verbal snideness was just as good. I suppressed a chuckle, finding her cynicism to be very comforting.
Marisa emerged from our home, looking like she was in a rush. She frowned when she saw that Tenshi was there. Her eyes seemed to ask, “I made an effort to be quick for this?”
I called out to her and made the introductions. “Oh, so you're Tenshi, huh?” Marisa asked. “You're cuter than I thought you'd be. In fact, you're really cute.”
“Wait, why do you know her name?” I asked.
“You sleep talk a lot,” she answered.
“Wait, have you been watching me sleep?” I asked, with increasing alarm.
“In the mornings when I've come to wake you up, dummy,” she shook her head and rolled her eyes, silently asking both Tenshi and Alice if they could believe this guy?
“Thank you,” Tenshi accepted the compliment, scanning Marisa from head to toe in a way only females were capable of doing to their own kind. “That's a very cute ribbon in your braid,” she chose to compliment her back.
“Hehe, you think so?” Marisa was chuffed, a smile showing itself, “I went with white today, just to change things up.”
Alice excused herself, opting to go back inside to grab her bag.
“Be sure to have fun at school with your friends today, dear!” A voice called out after her when she returned. She waved back inside and closed the door.
“Wait, your mom's in?” I asked, almost breaking my neck trying to catch a glimpse inside.
“Since last night,” Alice answered, shaking her head. She switched away from the subject, “come on, let's go or we'll be late.”
I pushed aside thoughts about Alice's mom being half-dressed around the kitchen, fixing up breakfast. A more delicate situation demanded my attention. Alice, whatever she might be thinking on the inside, could be trusted to be discreet. It was Marisa's cheeky energy that I had to be mindful about.
Sure enough, Marisa was chatting up a storm. She was asking Tenshi about everything and anything from what her favorite color was to how she felt about her homeroom teacher. Clearly Marisa was a big Mima fan for some reason and was trashtalking all the other homeroom teachers for lacking the “quiet and noble spirit of a true educator”. They were on a first name basis already, with Marisa insisting that Tenshi “knock off that Kirisame crap”
Alice for her part seemed to be quietly amused, it didn't seem like she was hostile to Tenshi's presence at all. Any ill-will was directed towards me. Well, there wasn't much of that going on either, if I was fair. All in all, it was a surprisingly agreeable morning walk.
Life was good.
Until, that is, I made the mistake of catching up to the line of girls. While talking to Marisa, Tenshi got closer to me and grabbed my arm. She held on, like it was no big deal, with a placid smile on her face. To her credit, Marisa didn't stop talking but did shoot me a knowing look. It was more amusement than disappointment, but I did feel that she was somewhat uncomfortable at the sight. Maybe that was just me projecting a little.
 Grab Alice with the other arm. It's the friendly thing to do.  Play it like it's a joke and separate from Tenshi.  Do absolutely nothing.
>Do absolutely nothing. A good choice. Pass it as normal (because it is, with Tenshi at least) But Arc's poker face is worth jack shit and he seems anxious for Marisa's perceived response. Possibly won't work.
>Play it like it's a joke and separate from Tenshi. Somewhat rude and prone to, not only not appeasing Marisa nor Alice, but to backfire spectacularly. Discarded.
>Grab Alice with the other arm. It's the friendly thing to do.
A weak response, prone to receive counter-teasing from all three. Is what I would pick if it didn't focus on the fact that Alice is actually Marisa's rival: something I suspect the former doesn't really like to remember. Am I worrying too much, anon? I still remember and worry about Marisa's crisis a few threads back.
>Grab Marisa with the other arm. It's the right thing to do.
The best option. Clearly, what should be picked and... wait, it doesn't exist? Teruyo didn't consider it? Or... it isn't an option because it'll be Marisa's reaction if we choose to do nothing? Oh man, I want to pick that now just to see Marisa doing it. But there's the chance that I'm just projecting my wishes and she won't...
Oh man this is gonna be good. Brushing off her arm would be an awfully mean spirited thing to do, I think. Grabbing Alice is weird and awkward. Plus, if we do not deign it with a response then it'll be the least conspicuous thing to do here.
While it ended with the MC stuck due to a bad choice (if it ended immediately after the shooting and I didn't miss any chapters) the writing was excellent, the tone was interesting and, frankly, noir stories never get old. How many did we get anyway? Violet sky, compensation: adequate and the cirnoir shorts?
[x] Eientei's The professor was a good character, the rest of the cast were interesting and PTSD is rarely used as a plot device here. And let's not forget his suspiciously schizophrenic recovery rates.
[x] Teruyo: Stay/Night
I've wanted to see a story like this for some time. Just, please, include bad ends and make them brutal. You know you want to.
Sorry about not updating, I've been having a bit of trouble writing something decent. That and a bit of lack of time and other life stuff happening. I have at least some stuff done which means that if I rest up and get a few things out of the way first, there'll likely be something sooner rather than later.
Tenshi clung on as Marisa continued to speak, the latter raising an eyebrow at us. It seemed like she didn't know how to best react to the sitaution. I had to admit, it was a little surreal. Maybe I was dreaming? My mind had been prone to particularly convincing daydreams lately. Spacing out without warning wasn't very good for impressions.
I stubbed my toe on a rock. Nope, it wasn't a dream.
More evidence that I was firmly in reality occurred when we began to run into other groups of students. Alice crossed over to my other side and walked next to Tenshi. She signaled to Marisa, telling her to be quiet for a moment. Then she whispered something to Tenshi. Even though I was practically next to her, I couldn't hear a word of what she said.
But whatever it was, it had immediate consequences.
Tenshi let go of my arm and motioned like she was stretching, without so much as bothering to look at me. Marisa looked about as confused as I was but didn't say anything, instead resuming her more or less normal conversation. And Alice joined in, like it was the most natural thing in the world to do. Technically, for a group of schoolmates walking together in the morning, it was natural. It seemed that no one was going to acknowledge what just happened except for me. I knew that keeping my mouth shut was the smart play.
I didn't really have anything to say about their conversation either and so I spent most of the way quietly thinking. Not that it did me any good. The myriad of paranoid theories going through my mind were anything but healthy. I even pinched myself as a way of checking again if I was actually awake or not. It all checked out. Reality was unrelenting.
When we reached the front gates I got my second surprise of the morning.
Standing to one side, with a pair of crutches keeping her propped up, Konpaku stood, scanning the crowd of incoming students. When she spotted me she made a quick wave, gesturing so that I would come closer. Naturally, since I was in a group, it was something that was noticed by the others.
“An inamorata?” Tenshi muttered. She probably meant to keep the comment to herself but because of our proximity, I overheard it anyhow. To her credit, she didn't outright ask me about Konpaku.
None of them did, in fact. They stood back as I approached her, giving me some space. Nothing quite like civility and good manners. And yet I felt like I had a thousand knives pointed at my back.
“You didn't have to wait for me at the gates,” I told her, greeting her with a smile.
“I wanted to make sure that you showed,” she said quietly. More surprisingly she readily admitted how she was feeling, adding, “I'm nervous and not sure that we'll get anywhere. I can barely move with these crutches.”
“Don't worry, we'll manage,” I reassured her. A part of me wanted to place my hand on her shoulder in hopes of getting her to perk up. Her eyes betrayed a low state of self-confidence. But then again, I just knew that something like that might get me into trouble. “Let's talk somewhere more quiet.”
“Alright,” Konpaku nodded, “let's go to the club room quickly before classes begin. It should be quiet there.”
“Sure, hold on a sec,” I excused myself and returned to the group. Marisa grinned, having connected the dots between what I told her and what she saw. The other two didn't quite seem to know what was going on.
“She's rather cute, don't you think, Alice?” Tenshi asked, showing a remarkably devious smile. It was hard to tell if she was upset or merely just toying with me.
“Sure, if you like the waifish type,” Alice stated, rather harshly. “She barely fills her uniform, the poor thing could use a sandwich.” With a forced sigh, she added, “I do suppose that some people just have a soft spot for the damsel-in-distress type.”
“They most certainly do...” Tenshi agreed, with a knowing look that was directed specifically at me. It would have been funny if it hadn't been worried what her end game was all about. “By the way,” she added, “I forgot to tell you how cute I think your head band is. I certainly wouldn't change it for a ribbon.”
“Thank you, I quite like your hair if I'm honest. You ought to tell me what sort of product you use on it.”
“...” I wasn't sure what to say. Marisa seemed to be enjoying seeing the other two make snide remarks about me and my choice of company between pleasantries and exchanging advice about skin care products.
 Tell them you have official student council business to attend to.  Tease that you have pressing secret business with the cute girl with the crutches.  Leave without saying anything.
“Sorry guys,” I finally found my voice, choosing to dish some attitude to them, “but I can't stick around. I've got a date I need to keep with the cute girl with the crutches over there. I'll catch you all later.”
They didn't really have a response to that. And I wasn't about to stick around and give them time to think of one. Konpaku and I went to the club room. She made every effort to be quick on her remaining foot, using the crutches in an aggressively hurried fashion. Slowing down as a non-verbal hint that she didn't have to make so much effort just resulted in her redoubling her efforts. What was it with me and my knack for finding stubborn girls?
“I do not have much of a strategy beyond showcasing the club's long and proud history,” Konpaku said when we were finally alone. I grabbed two foldable chairs and opened them at one side of the room for us to sit. “There are a few trophies we have earned over the years that show off our prestige.”
“Most clubs will be recruiting just outside the first year classrooms,” I told her, taking a seat, “we should set up there at one of the tables and see if anyone's interested.”
“Agreed,” she nodded and sat down, “I doubt that any of the second or third year students would care to join.”
“Well then, let's print up some fliers during our first break and we'll be ready for lunch break. You get a few of those trophies to wow them with and I think we have a good chance of attracting a few people.”
The plan was the best I could do on such short notice. And with my limited exposure to clubs. I'd never felt compelled to join any of them and, frankly, felt that they were more or less a waste of time. I supposed that there was something to the people who joined sports clubs and then went on to compete with other schools but that was a ridiculously low number of students. Most of them simply wasted an hour or so after school nearly every day on something they'd never really be good at.
“You look glum, are our chances really that pitiful?” Konpaku asked, sensing my thoughts.
I tried my best to hide how I really felt, smiling and joking, “I was just thinking of how people were stupid to join more mainstream clubs. Swords are cool, after all.”
“I see,” Konpaku nodded, not at all looking convinced that I was telling the truth. She said, apologetically, “I imagine that this is an unwelcome burden for you. Despite what you may have said yesterday… it can't be easy to waste your time on someone like me.”
“Perish the thought! Like I said, you're cute and I feel like helping you, so really there's no need to be second-guessing this,” I reassured her.
“Your friends didn't seem to approve of me,” she remarked, darkly, “the more popular girls are right to think that it's a waste of time to be with me. All I'm good for is following routine and doing menial tasks, like watering plants. With friends like those, I understand how much of a letdown this must be for you.”
“Don't worry about them,” I told her, holding back a sigh. What a day to arrive with a full complement of sharp tongues and willful personalities. From an outsider's perspective it must have seemed like they were cruel and judgmental, wrapped up in their own little bubble. They couldn't possibly know that it was the first time such a group had been assembled or that they were still getting to know one another. More importantly, she didn't know the truth. I tried to explain it, saying, “anything not nice that they had to say was directed at me, not you. Two of them are childhood friends and we sometimes fight. It gets lively but it's all in good fun.”
“...I won't press the issue further, it's not really my place to comment to begin with,” she said, fiddling with one of her crutches, sliding it along the floor towards her feet. Clearly she was uncomfortable with the situation. And not just with what happened just earlier, but maybe relying on my help at all.
“You have to trust that I'm doing this because I want to,” I told her, “it's okay to rely on other people sometimes. Even strangers.”
“I know that-” she sighed, “and I have so that's not the problem but-”
“You can be honest with me, I don't mind,” I tried to coax her into opening up. I was convinced that she was holding back needlessly.
“Fine,” she nodded to herself, looking like she just made an important decision. “I'll tell you even if I end up looking foolish. A warrior strikes at her problems head on, without hesitation.” She placed her crutches firmly down on the ground next to her. I watched as her fists balled up and she raised her head up and towards me, looking determined.
Looking at me straight in the eye without flinching she said, “I've never been called cute before. And I don't know if it's true or you're just humoring me. It's flattering if true and sad if it isn't and I've felt that it's confusing to tell which it is. I know people have ulterior motives but I've always been bad at reading them and I've been told that I'm too easy to take advantage of because I'm too simple a person. I'm inexperienced and don't have anything that I can look to as a measuring stick to decide about this sort of stuff.“
Her sudden dump of feelings and information made me smile. It was insecurity but not exactly of the kind I had figured.
“You must think me a fool now,” she said, looking resigned, “no one normal would say all that to someone who has simply paid a thoughtless compliment.”
“Nah, I'm thinking that I was right to call you cute,” I said.
“You're making fun of me!” she exclaimed, looking defensive. I couldn't blame her. I wouldn't trust me if I were her. “You're not being serious at all,” she added more dourly.
 Take her hand and list a few of the things that make her cute.  The more direct route of getting a 'hit' in with my lips would do. It was as unfair as yesterday's match.  She was obsessing too much with what I thought. She had to make up her mind on her own.
[Ƶ] Take her hand and list a few of the things that make her cute.
Honestly I think the best option would be a mix of this and option #3, where we list off a few qualities and then use that to build her confidence and get her to see it on her own, but since there's no vote combining I'll just vote like thus.
[x] Take her hand and list a few of the things that make her cute.
She's super inexperienced. While I like the gumption of the second option, it is clearly taking advantage of her. Just because she pushed him yesterday doesn't justify payback today. Besides, he kinda already got her back by taking her to the nurse's office. It'll risk overloading her too soon.
The last option is interesting though. Disengaging a bit could give her perspective on the whole thing, but I think it's too early for that to truly work.
So we're gonna hold her hand and whisper sweet nothings in her ear until she melts into our embrace like the softest pillow.
Konpaku flinched when I took her hand. Not only did she not expect it but it didn't seem like she understood why I did it. A temporarily vacant look gave way to confusion.
Things didn't seem to get much better when I started listing the things that I thought made her cute. I was honest enough about her traits, making sure to mention things like her ribbon and her determined eyes. It seemed like she registered what I was saying but didn't really internalize it. Maybe that stubborn determination had aligned against me.
“I'm not sure what else I can say,” I concluded, “you're cute and you'll have to trust me on that.”
She knitted her brow and then looked down at her hand. “Just because you say it, doesn't make it true,” she said quietly, “I recognize pity when I see it. There's no way that someone I've known for about a day can be sure about all that. Even I know that much. Holding my hand doesn't really feel special compared to sparring. I was sure of your honesty then. Now, I think that you're just putting me on.”
While I was wondering about how I could best prove my sincerity, the warning bell rang. Konpaku withdrew her hand and grabbed her crutches, hoisting herself up with a muffled groan. “You'll be late if you lag about,” she said, hobbling past me with moderate speed.
She was right. I put away the chairs and walked with her partway to the classroom. I settled down on at my seat just before the second bell rang and Mima came in. Things didn't really seem different with Alice and Marisa though it was hard to tell what they might have been thinking during classes.
It wasn't like I had the luxury of time to find out how things were during the morning breaks either. I went away to print out fliers for club recruitment. And when the lunch break came, I immediately left to help set up things downstairs.
Konpaku somehow beat me there, having already sat down at the table in front of the first year classrooms. She had a few small trophies and plaques laid out on the table. She had also written out the name of the club in big characters on a piece of paper she taped to the front. I placed the stack of fliers on an empty space and decided to stand instead of sitting.
First year students streamed out of their classrooms and filled the hall. A few other clubs had a similar setup to ours and called out to anyone who passed by. I did the same, offering fliers while making a few pithy remarks that I thought best encapsulated the club. Who didn't enjoy being told about discipline and strength?
A few people actually stopped by and asked Konpaku questions. She wasn't very good at speaking, offering basic gruff replies. They were direct and truthful, but people just didn't respond well to being told that they'd have to put in a lot of effort to be any good. After fifteen minutes, most of the crowd had thinned out and most students had already had their fills of the club recruitment tables. I tried not to frown. Things weren't looking very good.
Maybe there was another way.
 I'd have to use my charm to get impressionable first year girls to join up.  Expand flier distribution to the second year homerooms.  Get Konpaku to smile more and loosen up.
>>62957 Depends on what you wanted to accomplish but I'd say there very definitely were successful choices. Or at the very least interesting ones. It might help if you don't ignore context when making up your mind. Things characters say and how they behave in previous updates should be the biggest indicator of how any choice will play out. at least when the choice is about doing something to or with a character. More abstract attitude choices tend to be more about Arc and attitudes but I think that the difference is usually clear enough (do action v why something is being done).
The above applies to the other posts, which I haven't quoted, that thought there's a 'right choice' - that's something you have to decide for yourselves, hopefully through discussion.
All that said, I'm finding myself tired and busy as of late, hence the slower pace of writing. That coupled with the waiting for votes has meant less updates. Incidentally, I can't write now. But I'll try in a few hours when I'm less busy. Until then, as always, it's open even though it's rare to see changes of heart.
“What are you doing?” she asked, looking up at me like I was from another planet.
“I'm miming that you should smile,” I said, lifting the corners of my mouth with my fingers. I suppressed a sigh and tried to explain, “if you're sitting there looking dour and unapproachable we'll have a harder time getting people to join.”
Konpaku scowled. Clearly she didn't like the suggestion, “we're not a social club. Discipline and hard work are key in our routine. I have to be serous to show people that the club is not a joke.”
“You still want to be approachable,” I argued, “a little small talk and a positive attitude will go a long way in convincing the undependable first years that they should sign up.”
“I'll be courteous but I won't put on a show for them,” she said, her eyes a pair of focused green lasers. How stubborn! “They need to know how things really are and I'm not going to pretend to be something I'm not.”
“It's not pretend, it's just greasing the wheels, so to speak,” I countered, “you have to trust me.”. There was no way she could expect anyone to be interested if they saw her be aloof and standoffish. It was just basic human nature.
“Putting aside issues with your credibility,” she said, “It's not a big deal. Those who are interested will be interested because of how serious the club is. This conversation is more likely to scare off recruits than my disposition.”
Once again I suppressed a sigh. There was little point in pressing her any further. She was at least right that we'd cause a scene and scare off people.
Not that it ended up mattering. The rest of the lunch hour came and went without there being much in the way of activity. A few people approached the table towards the end of the hour but it didn't seem like they were very interested. They did the same with a few other clubs' tables. We packed up before the bell rang.
“We'll see what happens,” I told her before we went our separate ways. She nodded but didn't say anything. I wasn't very hopeful. And I got the feeling that she wasn't either. Well, she'd basically said as much in the infirmary.
Helping out was tough and I sat through most of afternoon classes thinking about what else could be done. I kept drawing a blank. Even a nap didn't help things. By the time that the final bell rang, I was no closer to finding a workable solution than I was in the morning.
“You're certainly in a rush,” I said as Suika hurried to pack her books into her bag. “Off to fight a pack of delinquents from a rival school?” I asked sarcastically, “don't tell me that I'm not invited?”
“Oh, it's nothing,” she replied in kind, “I was just inspired by you so I have to go juggle a dozen lovers for the rest of the day before I get stabbed by the one that gets too disgruntled.”
I smirked. That was a good one.
Maybe I ought to follow her example and get some fresh air. Or at least not go straight away home.
 Go to the arcade to blow off some steam.  Take a quick look at what the other clubs are up to.  Maybe someone would be up for dinner and a movie.  Alice's mom is in town! Drop by for a cup of hot 'tea'
[Ƶ] Maybe someone would be up for dinner and a movie.
Well if you guys want to go meet Reisen I have no complaints but I just want to point out we had the opportunity to date a 2hu here, increase our relationships with one of the girl in our life and no one considered it.
Writefag is tired and won't be writing today. It took a little over two days to get enough votes, which was a bummer, but let's try to resume our normal brisk pace tomorrow after I rest up. Voting open until further notice as always.
It's easy to forget about everything else in the world when you're at the arcade. The constant din from multiple machines constantly pumped into the air along with all the flashing signs and attention-grabbing cabinet art was enough to induce a permanent sensory overlord. Being a happy veteran, however, meant that I was able to tune most of it out. Most of what precious little money I had left was swallowed up by the machines fast.
In conclusion, I was out of practice.
Fortunately, I was able to get a little bit more of my money's worth by switching from shoot 'em ups and sidescrollers to fighting games. Since it was Friday, the arcade was packed. That meant that I had an endless supply of opponents and challengers to keep me busy. I lost only one out of every five matches more or less. By the time that I had gotten in the groove, I was losing far often less than that.
One challenger, however, succeeded in draining most of my remaining money quickly. My poor perfect elegant maid was brought low by my stitched-together catgirl opponent. I got her back, sure, but it ended up being a back and forth of wins and defeats that left me both exhausted and poor. I decided to call it quits before I was completely drained.
My opponent seemed to have the same idea. She was about to leave but when she saw me coming up she stopped and preempted me, saying, “good games.”
“Yeah, that was fun,” I said, noting that she was wearing our school's uniform. Hadn't seen her before; with her short bright red hair and Reimu-like ribbon, I couldn't conceive never noticing her. Especially since that tone of red might have not been a natural hue. It seemed that the feeling was mutual since she eyed me with curiosity, as if trying to figure what my deal was. “Hadn't seen you around before, I'm Arc,” I greeted.
“Sekibanki,” she returned the introduction tersely.
“Couldn't help but notice the uniform,” I said, trying a diplomatically neutral smile. “What class are you in?”
“Figure it out yourself, you're in the student council, aren't you?” she definitely knew who I was. So much for that theory. It didn't seem like she liked me much. Was it something that I said? “I'm just here to have a good time, I don't want any entanglements.”
“Huh? Did I do something wrong?” I asked outright, feeling that playing the guessing game wasn't going to lead anywhere.
She sighed, like it wasn't even worth explaining, “you've come over to meet your opponent and now that you find out that she's both a cute girl and in your school, you're going to flirt with her. Especially since I beat you 6-4 and you need to soothe your ego. Let's not act like there's anything else going on.”
“'Cute'?” I laughed, “I don't think I'm the one with the inflated ego here.”
“I could tell that you were thinking it,” she said, “it's like how you're also trying not to ask about my scarf.”
I smiled, feeling like I was lead on. “Fine, what's with the scarf?” I asked. I had thought it rude to ask about it first thing. The days were far too warm to call for one. The bright red scarf covered most of her neck and even her lower jaw, letting her eyes do most of the emoting on her face.
“None of your business, that's what,” she quipped, predictably. Though I was being antagonized I couldn't help but smile. “I better leave before you decide that my clear-headed comments are an indication that I'm actually interested in you.”
“Sure, what sort of guy wouldn't fall head over heels for you after this conversation?” I sprinkled my own comment with a light touch of sarcasm. I couldn't really tell how much of her was genuine.
“I'm glad you understand the danger. A good-looking vice president probably has multiple floozies to contend with per day. I'd rather not be part of that world. Bye bye,” she waved lethargically and began to walk away.
 Let her go. It's best not to encourage someone so biased.  Wait, 'good-looking'? Despite the attitude she was interested.
-- It's been hard to feel motivated lately but here we are. Given past results I think it's probably the same on the voters' side of things.
“Now, now” I intercepted her, moving up quickly before she could get away, “you can't saying something like that that and expect me not to react.”
“You mean, something that strokes your ego?” she asks, looking like she expected the reaction.
“That's incidental. What's more relevant is that you think that I'm good-looking. If you really didn't like me, you wouldn't have brought it up.” Check and mate. Logic is so satisfying sometimes.
She rolls her eyes and explains, “I can find someone pretty or ugly without liking them just fine. It's like how you've been staring at my chest despite not really knowing me. That's that, this is this.”
“What, I haven't-” I said, trying not to look at her chest. No fair of her to mention it, it was all I could think about. It took most of my willpower to keep my eyes trained squarely on her face. “You're just toying with me,” I told her, “truth is that there's no real win scenario here for me, is there?”
“Oh, so you're not just a pretty face,” she laughed, “good on you for figuring that out.”
It still wasn't much of a show of respect. I tried to steer the conversation towards more pleasant subjects. Like food. “I know a good ramen place nearby we could go to and discuss the finer points of your clear attraction to me My treat.” I conveniently left out the fact that I couldn't really treat her to anything fancy. I was tapped out. Cheap ramen or a beef bowl was the best I could do.
“I'm afraid that it'd just be no good for my girlish heart to spent so much time to you. I might do something foolish, like declare my undying love for you. We wouldn't want that, now would we?”
“Do whatever feels right,” I told her, grinning. I was showing her that I could play her cynically twisted game. That had to count for something, right? I hoped that she'd appreciate it.
“What feels right is going home, drawing a bath and trying to still my suffering heart,” she patted me on the shoulder, her eyes holding a mischievous twinkle. “Try not to picture me in the bath, lest you risk a sudden aneurysm.”
“I'll try,” I was the one to roll my eyes that time. “Try not to obsess about my pretty face when you're trying to sleep. Rest is important. Just remember that you'll be able to find me anytime at school. I'm almost always in my homeroom, III-C”
“Thank you for the very useful information,” she said, letting go of my shoulder. Once again she began to walk away. But she paused, looking over her shoulder before disappearing around a corner. In a playful tone, she said her final goodbye, “see you around, try not to think about my butt too much. You might have a hard time falling asleep.”
I waved goodbye, trying not to look at her butt as she walked away. I was sure that it was nice and all, but I really didn't want to give her any more power over me. It would be my winning personality and tenderness that would win her over, not anything physical. So it'd be the same when it came to her. Probably. Well, it was at least food for thought.
Without much money in my wallet, staying in the arcade was pointless. I'd gotten my mind off of stuff and things. My mood was better as a result.
It still wasn't too late. At least not for my standards. Ninety percent of the student body would be at home, relaxing before having to turn in. Even if I didn't have much in the way of money, I could still have a lot of fun being out and about.
 As vice president it was my duty to try to see if I could find any students staying up later than was proper.  Miko's club would let me have a little fun there for free.  Early to bed, early to rise means more peace of mind at school.
Having had enough excitement for one evening, I went back home. Dinner in the form of instant noodles awaited. After eating and taking a bath, there wasn't really much else to do. So I turned in early. Thoughts about butts didn't keep me up and I got a good night's rest.
A lack of Tenshi in the morning meant that it was a rather uneventful walk to school. Whatever else was going on in my life, I could rely on the predictability of the walks to school. The day was overcast and it looked like it might rain later. But that was fine. If it did, I could always share an umbrella with Alice, who was sure to have brought one.
“You're here early,” I greeted Suika in the classroom. She was at her seat, arms folded across her chest with a vacant expression.”How did your street fight go? Or was it a fateful romantic encounter, I forget.”
“It went fine,” she replied, absentmindedly.
“Don't tell me you're actually lovelorn,” I prodded her forehead with my index finder. “I swear I'll jump out the window if you've actually gone soft.”
“I'm just thinking, don't be an ass,” she scowled, brushing away my finger.
“Suika and some random thug, sitting in a tree-”
Her response was as swift as it was brutal. “Quit trying to pick a fight with me,” she said, letting go of my poor hand. I wasn't going to be able to get much in the way of writing done anytime soon.
“Okay, okay, sorry,” I laughed, trying not to wince from the pain. “You know where to find me if you feel like talking, girlfriend.”
“I really, really, hate you,” she shook her head. But a smile appeared on her lips. That was hatred I could live with.
The beauty of a half day of classes is that even the teachers don't really feel like teaching properly. As a result, each lecture goes by quickly and it's not too long before I was finally free to mess about again. Or not.
Reimu signaled for me to follow her as soon as the bell rang. We went to the student council room. As far as I knew we didn't have a meeting or anything. Alice and the others weren't there.
“My dear president, I'm not sure my heart is ready,” I said.
“Let me shut down whatever puerile fantasy is going on through your brain right now,” she said, shaking her head, “I assure you it's not why I called you here.”
“Aww… you're no fun,” I pouted, trying to look as disappointed as humanely possible. It was bad enough getting put in my place whenever Alice was around. “Maybe one day my dream of the cute president giving me cookies she baked herself will come true.”
“You're really transparent sometimes, you know,” she chuckled, taking a seat at the head of the table. I followed her lead and sat next to her. “I called you here to actually deal with council business. Give me an oral report on the clubs.”
I bit my tongue, trying not to blurt out the obvious innuendo. I'd had enough fun. It wouldn't kill me to be a little bit serious. “Truth is, there's not much to report. I only really took a close look at one club. The rest I sort of skimmed over.”
Reimu sighed. “I expected as much. A little bird told me you were spending a lot of time with the sole member of a particular club.”
“Technically, not the sole member,” I told her. There was the other ghost member who wasn't showing up anymore. “But yeah, I was trying to help her out in attracting new members.”
“That wasn't your job. And it's not what I wanted you to do,” Reimu rebuked, her brow furrowing. “How am I supposed to trust you as my vice president if you can't do even the most basic of things?”
“I was just trying to help. Getting the student body to be satisfied is what we should be doing.”
“What a convenient excuse,” Reimu shook her head again, “even if your heart was in the right place, there's work that needs to be done. If you don't do it, I have to delegate it to someone else or do it myself. It's really selfish of you to decide such things on your own. We're supposed to be a team.”
“Sorry,” all I could do was offer an excuse. She was right. Even if I dressed it up by saying I did something else good, the bottom line was that I didn't do as I was asked.
“Well,” she sighed, “did you at least manage help that person out?”
“Not really, if I'm honest.”
“You really are hopeless,” she chuckled in a fatalistic manner.
“You're really beginning to sound like Alice,” I said, with a chuckle of my own.
“Let's just say that I'm beginning to see the world her way. But, well, the bottom line is that that club will have to be closed, correct?”
“Looks like it.” That was the harsh truth of it all. Konpaku very likely failed to recruit anyone and thus couldn't continue to be eligible to be recognized as an official club.
“Is there nothing that can be done at all?” she asked.
“Not that I can think of. It's the last day of recruitment today and I doubt anyone signed up.”
“That sucks. But that's the way these things go. It's the same reason the tea ceremony club went under last year.”
“Wait, we had a tea ceremony club?” I asked. First I heard of it.
“Exactly,” she said, proving her point. “What did you make of her?”
“The girl you were flirting with in the club, of course,” she asked.
 Konpaku was serious and dedicated but was also cute.  Play dumb. Who said anything about flirting? It was completely platonic.  Tell her that the only girl worth flirting with at school was in the room with me.
-- Poor Miko completely lost out and the most boring option won.
[x] Konpaku was serious and dedicated but was also cute.
While I am always happy for a 'flirt with Reimu' option, I think choosing it now would be overdoing it just a bit. Let's be serious for a moment. If we choose wrong here, we may screw up Youmu's future chances with her club.
This choice is about Reimu; Youmu being the subject of conversation is incidental. I'm really loathe to be so explicit, but it's frustrating to keep watching you make choices into something they're not. Going out to town to relax is about doing stuff other than school, trying to recruit people for a club should be about the most efficient way to do it and following up a line like >“The girl you were flirting with in the club, of course,” she asked. which is clearly entrapment ought to have the premise Reimu created dealt with.
That can mean: A)Acknowledging it B)Denying it C)Ignoring it altogether Incidentally the above corresponds to the three options.
We've been at this story long enough that you should know how the choices work. Generally, things which are direct interaction with touhous are about that touhou. You can't reasonably expect that by saying something to someone you directly affect someone else unless they're also present in the conversation. At most, the secondary effect is in Arc's attitude for someone not present (which is still a biggish deal). The primary concern when you're with someone should always be that person and their plotline. It's why all the characters' plots are independent when it comes to progression. Talking more and seeing more of a certain touhou will advance it regardless of what happens with others! That's why the other main types of choices are between locations/characters.
Before I get accused by some idiot that I'm trying to influence votes - I totally am. Towards informed voting. If you want to tell Reimu the truth because you think it might have the effect of teasing her, or because it might make Arc keep gunning for Youmu, go for it. If you think that flirting directly with her is a better use of the opportunity, go for it as well. Or if you think that she shouldn't get the satisfaction of trying to game you and instead go with a more neutral response, that's fine too.
This has no impact on Youmu's club's future as >>63034 might think >But, well, the bottom line is that that club will have to be closed, correct?” >“Looks like it.” I would say that that ship has sailed. The preceding choices were more important in deciding that.
Lastly, >>63038 obligatory wiseman logic bashing: ya just got chewed out by Reimu for not doing as you were asked. You made that decision when you chose to spar with Youmu. So that was the consequence of that. She's pretty clear on what she thinks Arc's motivations are here, hence what she's been saying. Well, at least the biggest motivation.
I'll be leaving it open for a few hours despite me being able to write because I want to make sure people see this, even if they don't change their vote. I might call it like 6ish hours from now? Dependant on your activity.
I haven't felt very motivated to write in the past few weeks. That was a long time coming and it's been a struggle to keep things going. It didn't really help that I was basically ignored after making important observations and trying to inject some sense into the readerbase. The lack of response to that crushed the remainder of my spirit. So, really, I don't think I have it in me to even pretend I'm going to update anytime soon. The only reason I'm even posting this instead of staying silent is because part of me still thinks it's unfair to be uncommunicative and that honesty is always the best way to go.
>>63044 I picked to flirt with Reimu because... well, that's the update I want to see. So, I kept my choice. The only issue with that, I thought, is that Reimu might take that as Arc continuing to play around and lag on his job even though he's supposed to be committed. But that already happened the moment Arc decided to fuck around with Youmu for no good reason and we can't change the past, so flirting it is.
“Merry Christmas, Auntie,” I replied not bothering to turn around in my chair. It’s late and she was at a party with friends. Chances were she was probably still drunk. It was the same every year.
“Mmm, a cute young girl comes into your room and you don’t even bother to turn and smile at her?”
“You’re not really that cute,” I said, more interested with the web browser I had open than her. “Plus,” I added, “you’re not really that young either. You’re at that age where everyone at family reunions will keep asking if you’re close to finding a husband or not.”
“Wow, harsh,” she chuckled. “I wonder if you’re this smooth with all the other girls.”
“You’re not really a girl,” I said, already seeing where things were going. She was drunk enough to get clingy and complain about everything in the world. Every time she got drunk it was the same thing. “You’re family, you know,” I told her, choosing not to mention how being a clingy and pissy drunk was probably the reason she was still single, “and at any rate you’re more of an older sister. That’s more ‘beautiful woman’ than the younger sister ‘cute girl’ type.
“I think at least a part of that was a compliment. You said I’m beautiful.”
“Just a generalization about the type.”
“I see…such a moody young man~” she laughed. And I knew what would come next. A hug maybe ruffling of hair. Something that made me feel like I was a kid.
Instead, however, I got a poke in the ribs. I turned to face her and poke her back.
I couldn’t help but laugh, “what’s with the outfit? You’re going to costume parties now?”
“They’re wings,” she frowned, looking disappointed that I didn’t like the puffy white things attached to her back. They matched the white flowy dress with gold trimmings she had on. “I’m an angel.”
“Do angels really wear miniskirts?” I asked. Rather short and daring, if you asked me.
“It’s trendy!” she pouted, but moved on, “I’m here to grant you a single wish. I’ve assumed the form of your guardian because most people don’t react well to strangers appearing in their homes, no matter if they are divine messengers or not.”
“Uhuh, sure,” I said, “well, at least you’re not slurring your words.”
“I wonder why they never believe us right away?” she mumbled. With a sigh, she added, “fine, I’ll prove I’m really not your auntie.” She smiled and took a step back. Her skirt flared as she twirled around. Maybe she was an angel. “Well?”
“You look just like Marisa now,” I said, beginning to believe that maybe I was having a dream. Not only her face, but her body had changed when she twirled. Her voice too, actually. She was still wearing the same clothes and had the same wings, however.
“Fine, once more, so you’re really convinced,” she said. Looked just like Marisa’s cocksure grin as she twirled around again.
“Wow, fluffy wings really don’t work on Yukari,” I told her.
“Some people are more like devils,” she laughed in the same alluring way Yukari did. Soft music, a dark bar and a couple of drinks and I'd believe it was her - wings or no. With one final spin, she changed into a brown-haired girl who I had never seen before. “Now that you understand, let’s cut to the chase. One wish. I already know what sort of thing you want, so let’s make it even easier for you.”
 Satori in short shorts redux  Ai Ai Rumia  The Scarlet Saga: Full Kagerou Moon  Nerd Wars: The Nitori Awakens  Full Sanae Panic
It felt like I had been hit by a train. My legs felt real sore. And just opening my eyes took way too much effort.
“Alice...” a soft sigh escaped my lips. I blinked twice, taking stock of where I was. A bed. Not my bed. Too white, too uncomfortable. The ceiling was tile. Definitely not my room.
“...I’m sure she’d be flattered that the first word out of your mouth is her name,” Marisa said, sounding a bit annoyed. The subtle kind of annoyance too, the type she’d deny if I asked her outright about it.
All I could do was smile.
“Heya,” I said weakly, turning to her.
She sat at the desk, the cloth divider drawn back. Oh, I was in the nurse’s office. She was sitting with her arms crossed, nurse’s smock draped over her shoulders. Marisa shook her head, adding with a sigh of her own, “some thanks that I get for watching over you all afternoon.”
“Thanks, darlin’,” I said without thinking.
She raised an eyebrow, but chose to ignore the comment, instead stating, “you’re really too much trouble, you know.”
“I aim to please,” I said, “you’d all love me even if I donned a leather jacket and joined an actual motorcycle club.”
“Bad boys ought to be punished,” she replied, a smirk hardening on her lips, “Ironic then that I’m rewarding you.”
“Kissing an invalid is no fair,” I said, groaning a little for added theatrics. “I’m at my most vulnerable right now you know.”
Marisa chuckled and uncrossed her arms. There was something very adult-y about her. Maybe it was the way she carried on, looking like she was above it all. It was very assertive but not really in the usual sesne. Normally she’d be blunt about what she wanted or thought but this was a whole different can o’ worms. She was clearly in charge of the situation. I knew at once that I was supposed to be following her lead without question.
She shook her head and reached into a nearby drawer and produced a small vial. With a swift motion she uncorked it and the bright contents began to bubble. “Now now, in my hand I have something really interesting, don’t ya know? Real magic! The kind that’s more potent than all the armies in the world combined. A tiny little sip of this and you’ll find paradise. It’s just what I need to win this blasted war of attrition once and for all.”
“Lemme guess, Eirin’s shady drugs? I always knew that that she had a side gig,” I said with a laugh. No way that someone as smart as her was happy being a simple school nurse. I wouldn’t put it past her if she was the main supplier of narcotics for the local eight-nine-three.
“Close enough, but this is the result of a lot of research and belief. I made it myself” she nodded her eyes showing unshakable confidence. She brought the vial close to her lips. “There’s a very real kind of ecstasy in this glass tube. The kind you won’t like to miss out on. So I went ahead and got you a dose. Well, more like us. Let’s have some fun.”
Without a second’s hesitation she put the vial to her lips and took a rather large swig. I watched, feeling absolutely paralyzed, as she got up and grabbed my face with a surprisingly strong hand. I got the kiss that I joked about and much more for good measure. Marisa pressed her lips to mine with uncaring force and, without any ceremony, emptied a good deal of her mouth’s contents into my own. I nearly gagged, the liquid burning both my mouth and tongue. It felt like acid. Everything was bubbly, threatening to dissolve away.
It was the only thing I could do if I ever wanted to breathe again.
I felt the liquid race to my stomach like a bomb in free fall. Its impact was no less descrutive, with my body shuddering as it continued to boil away in my insides. Marisa took advantage of the situation, continuing to kiss me even though she’d shared more than enough with me. She groped, feeling up my chest and face even as her tongue continued to probe the fizzy chaos of my mouth.
All at once my body felt incredibly hot. It felt like I had become some sort of energy reactor – I was basically burning up with energy. So hot. I grabbed Marisa, bringing her down to the bed with me. Her small frame felt altogether light in my arms and as I squeezed her plump little rear, a cute little yelp escaped her end of our seemingly-infinite kiss.
And things got blurry. Real night-out-with-Suika-foggy-like. At some point I knew that I had lost all of my clothes. And that were were on the roof, doing things that were best left unmentioned in polite company. A whole new meaning to roofies, I thought with a stupid grin on my face.
“What are you looking at?” she asked, her hands moving away from the fence as she regained her balance. Her uniform looked like it had been attacked by a vicious bear, the buttons dangled half-torn off her blouse and revealed the fair flesh beneath.
“How long…?” I asked.
“Forever,” she answered, a light show of excitement twinkling in her eyes. She’d gotten me with her love-colored sparks and I felt that I had no way out.
I knew that if I concentrated, I could recall all the salacious details. It was simple despite the fact that my head was swimming.. After all, I could see forever.
 Embrace the magic (and the indecent details)  Go West.  I thought this was supposed to be an Alice route?  You wouldn’t half-tease a half-ghost.
Bonus choice (pick one in addition to previous):  Teru is such a fag.  Shut up. Believe and smut may be incoming.  I know how his alcoholic mind works, vote for Kaguya because waifu/hatesex lewds.
I closed my eyes and leaned back. Marisa did the same, draping herself on me without a care in the world. Though I was still sore and sweaty, it felt nice. Like we were melting together and becoming one in yet another way. She giggled and nuzzled her head on my neck and chin. I sighed and tried to sort my memories out. Past, future and present were all mixed up. Things I’d do and people Id meet seemed as real as memories from ten minutes prior. Marisa continued to rub herself on me.
I opened my eyes again.
“You’re really insatiable, you know that, right?” I said with a laugh, gently rolling her off of my chest with a lazy swat of my arm, “she’s been gone for five minutes and already you’re acting like… well, a bitch in heat.”
Marisa frowned, crawling back onto my chest, completely ignoring my complaints. For goodness’ sake, we hadn’t even gotten out of bed and already she was asking me for another go. The third that morning! As much as I complained, though, there was a lot to be said about her unyielding drive. She had me as wrapped around her finger as tightly as she usually did up her braid of hers. And, boy, did she ever push my buttons in just the right way.
Her face changing into a pout quickly, she drew an errant finger softly across my chest, like a shy little girl asking for a favor, “but darling, you know that I just can’t get enough of your mana. I’m hopelessly addicted to it. It makes me feel powerful.” With a devilishly fleeting smile, she added, “and it’s ever so fun getting it out of you.”
“All you magicians are just too lewd,” I said, shaking my head after letting out a sigh.
“But darling~” her voice fluttered playfully, “you’re a magician too. Doesn’t that mean you’re pretty lewd too?”
I laughed, springing up on my cue. In an instant, I flipped her over, placing her underneath me as I hovered above. She let out a cute like “kya~” as she looked up to me expectantly.
I loved that skimpy little nightgown of hers. Black but somewhat translucent, it showed off the rather womanly body underneath. Best part was that, at a moment’s notice, it could be rolled up. “I’m the lewdest,” I replied with the most foolish of grins.
“Oh darling~” she sighed wrapping her arms around my neck, “whatever shall we do then? The neighbors already complain that we’re too loud.”
“You’re the one that wanted to move into the village,” I said, “as I recall you said that the forest was no place to raise a child.”
“Truth be told, I just wanted to get you away from Alice and have you all to myself,” she laughed, pulling me down and giving me a kiss. Her knee jutted up, caressing my crotch gently. “I think we’re almost ready to go, right?”
“I seriously hope she doesn’t turn out like you when she grows up, I’ll be worrying forever about boys.”
“It’ll be a few years yet,” Marisa said, “for now let’s forget about her and just enjoy the fact that’s gone off to school already.” After a moment, with another impish smile, she added, “or, if you’re telling me that you want more kids, we can try for a boy this time around. Let’s get to it.”
She didn’t have to tell me twice.
But apparently the neighbors did. A knock interrupted us right as Marisa’s legs found their new home almost clear behind her head. Letting out a curse, I got up even as Marisa tried to keep me pinned in place. I grabbed a nearby sheet and tossed it haphazardly over my lower body, barely covering up my fun bits.
“The village better be on fire!” I flung open the door, not bothering to hide my anger.
“I don’t suppose there’s room for one more?” she asked, her voice entirely flat.
“Oh for crap’s sake, Alice~!” Marisa yelled out in frustration, “I was getting there real fast! Assault him when he’s on the road or something. When he’s at home, he’s all mine.”
“It was just a joke. I’m more than over my former pupil,” Alice barged in, ignoring me altogether. “You realize that I could hear your prurient moans all the way down the street, right?”
“Ouch, I thought we were more than teacher and student,” I sighed, closing the door behind her. “If only you had seen her the first time we had made love, Marisa, she was so nervous that she insisted on having the lights off and hid behind the sheets.”
“Yeah, it was the same with me,” Marisa said, sitting up. She didn’t bother to roll down her gown, leaving her legs and fine golden hairs exposed to the elements. “At least she was more assertive that one time we all got together...”
“Ahem,” Alice cleared her throat, having none of it. “As cute as your nipples may be, Marisa, or as chiseled as your ass currently is, Arc, I didn’t come here to dredge up the past. I’m here about smut.”
“Oh no, don’t tell me you’ve joined that fake nun’s temple now,” Marisa frowned, “that hag is always going on about carnal temptation and the evils of alcohol. My darling here couldn’t afford to raise our family without his store, you know.”
“Nothing of that sort,” Alice sighed and walked over to the bed and turned a small bag out.
“These are clean sheets!” Marisa complained as black filth soiled the bed.
“All those bodily fluids indicate otherwise,” Alice said without missing a beat, “and this here is smut.”
“Smut?” I asked as I grabbed her arm gently, stopping her from dumping any more.
“Yes, you’re a villager, you should know. Poisons crops, ruins harvest. Bad fungus, essentially. This year it’s especially bad. The mansion by the lake is about to lose all of this year’s supply. And the little vampire is already panicking about not having enough spirits and wines in her cellar as a result.”
“What does that have to do with us?” I asked, loosening my grip as she sighed.
“It’s magical,”she explained, “more than that, it stinks of you. Your essence, that is. The vampire wanted to have you killed. Patchouli still carries a torch for you, so she told me to give you a heads up. Solve the incident or you’re dead. That simple.”
“Come on, give me some credit, I’m way more competent a spellcaster than before,” I said.
“Doubt you could escape the fate she decides for you,” Alice said, “I don’t want my friend here to become a widow at such a young age.”
“I don’t really believe in marriage, so we just kinda live together,” Marisa said, really bringing up something that wasn’t appropriate to the time or the place. “We’re together because we like each other, not because society says we should be.”
“Lovely,” Alice rolled her eyes.
“Okay, thanks, Alice,” I smiled at her, seeing the girl that had opened up her heart to me all those years ago again. She was still so kind. So much so that it hurt.
“What are you doing?” she lifted an eyebrow. But I shut her up, kissing her even as I groped her butt. Marisa laughed, at once coming aboard to my plan. She began groping Alice too, loosening up her clothes even as she struggled weakly against my kiss. “Even… after all… this time, you’re so unfair,” Alice mumbled between gasps for air.
“I’m sorry, but you knew that we never stopped loving you,” I told her, letting the sheet drop from around my waist. “you knew the risks coming here...”
That was the power of magic. The possibilities were truly endless.
 Think back to that first innocent confession under the great tree that changed everything.  Future and present were hard to tell apart as I continued to give into the magic.
[x] Think back to that first innocent confession under the great tree that changed everything.
Do not get confused here, right here and now its important to remember. Remember it, I say! Somehow I think that this would be the best choice here, and hey, I want only lovingly smut with magicians in the missionary position with lights off.
>>Another spin-off/semi-sequel >Teru you are the Type-Moon of THP
Oh god please never say this not even jokingly. FSN so whored itself out I don't even know what to do with all those not not Sabers anymore. I am so late to this voting but I would want to see Teruyo write something that he has never done before. Something like ancient Gensokyo with a serious mood and less smut. Or no smut.
I saw a lot that I didn’t think I’d ever see. It all came to me at once.
Magic sure was something, I told myself, as I tried to make sense of what was going on. Cats, birds and other weird animals toiled deep underground while a loner penned her latest novel. Maybe I could join her for a cup of tea. She’d like that, though it wouldn’t be easy to admit. It’d take a row with the oni to even get an invitation, sadly. Or, well, I could try my luck with family. But that was a bit elusive as well.
I spun around and then found myself spinning off towards another vision. It was more vivid than the last. Candles, heavy velvet curtains and fine things galore. A party left half-started. It needed more guests and more people to help me carry the barrels of wine up from the cellar. It was a job half-done and because of it I had become undone. Patience was the key. Temper passions, direct energies constructively. But I felt myself smile, since I already knew how it’d all turn out. Hadn’t I just experienced some of the epilogue already? A bewitching experience, certainly.
I missed Mima. I felt, in part, that she was the key to all of this. Or that. And that. A single tear rolled down my cheek as I recalled her mellifluous voice instructing me to become something greater than I was before. No time for self-pity; in some alternate scenarios I could still hug her whenever I wanted. She wasn’t the type to go quietly. After all, she still had plenty to teach me.
My body shook and rolled around despite my best efforts to remain in place. I needed more mana to keep going. Luckily, there were plenty of pretty faces that were more than willing to help me out. A sultry look, a passionate kiss and contact so intimate that it burned away at my very soul. It refilled and refreshed me. That was another future that felt close yet so far. Too many possibilities and wild probabilities. Maybe I was getting ahead of myself. Yeah, maybe I was being teased. Though I tried to give as much as I got, that was only a single reality. Truth was that those deep eyes of her could see through me. Being able to run roughshod was just another illusion.
An interlude followed. The lull was soft but cold. Just beyond were the fires of hell. I sat in judgment for a while but then escaped across the water and to a ghastly reality. Yuyuko was a mean big sister when she wanted to be. Sure, she would welcome my presence with pleasantries but she sure didn’t cut Youmu any slack. It bothered me a little. Maybe I could sort that out? Throw in a little adventure and suspense and it was a clear winner.
On another note...
Why the hell hadn’t I trekked up that mountain yet? Nice people, enterprising people and proud people awaited. Was on my to-do list, but things came up. There was a lot to say but not enough time to say it in. Maybe I’d have to settle for a quick peek elsewhere. A full taste and another mixed metaphor would have to wait until I was sure I was standing on firm ground.
Reimu was disappointed in me. Not everywhere, not all the time. But enough that it hurt when I saw it. She’d been the original inspiration, or so it felt like. At least when I wasn’t being jerked around by certain festive drunks.
The best part of embracing the madness that came with magic was that I could indulge myself as much as I wanted. So a quick trip to the moon was no biggie. Perfection and tension. The echoes of the past were still loud. A few ways to visit normally. Technology, faith and even arrogance could get me around the necessary hardships. Down below, Eirin was taking a bath. They sure broke the mold when they made her. Though I wasn’t sure I even had a body anymore, I still wanted to go down there and help her wash up. Something about soapy geniuses appealed to me.
Maybe I’d get to it after bridging the gap between human and youkai. Mm, but Reimu would be extra mad if I started hanging out at that temple. Or down with the not-undead. It wasn’t like with celestials at all. Still, cute things. Even if they were deadly. Or wicked. Cute. Very cute.
Even with the rest of the stuff that didn’t fit into clear categories I felt like it was nice to just think about and wonder. It didn’t have to me to do it all either. Just watching was also fine. Others could do just as good of a job.
After all, I had seen things people wouldn’t believe. Palanquin ships rising up from underground. I watched bullet hell glitter in the dark near Reishouden. All those moments lost in the aether… like sake in an oni’s cup. It was time to return.
I felt the magic weaken and bring me hurtling down towards my actual reality. Still, wasn’t really cause to be upset. There was a lot that I would do and would be done with me there and elsewhere. More importantly, time would wait for no one.
Things were in motion when I was finally able to open my real eyes again.
A final thought from the great beyond brought a self-deprecating smile to my lips:
School settings were serious business.
Hello, dear reader. I’ll be resuming the actual story soon. With a few adjustments, partly because I can’t remember what the hell I was supposed to be doing writing-wise. That is why you have gotten the above and preceding posts full of purple prose and silliness.
I won’t be following up on the Christmas post I put up. I don't feel it's worth it anymore. Usually when I do these asides after not writing for a while, they’re mainly there to gauge interest or as a signal that I’d like to get things moving again. Since I didn’t really enough get votes/people chiming in for that until months later, it was kinda pointless to continue with it. Especially seeing that the response to the current piece is much stronger. Sorry if you actually cared about those random shenanigans. Hopefully those 2hus in the main story will make up for the lack of side materials.
Sometimes there’ll be lull in my motivation and writing output which won’t be the reader’s fault. Sometimes it’s compounded by some things going on in the story. I try my best to work through them, but at times it forces me to take a break. Still though, there’s nothing worse than apathy from readers. It’s something that I think is bad about our site culture in general. If you care about something, be more proactive. After a while, ask authors about updates. Not just me. Things go easily to the backs of our minds otherwise. Being motivated and not lazy is much easier when you remember that there’s people that enjoy what you’re doing.
I’ll give you a particular example about myself: without any votes or comments/discussion for months in the thread, I let myself gravitate towards other things other than the site and writing. It was literal months even before someone mentioned it casually on IRC, too. Even if more votes weren’t forthcoming, a small “still waiting”, or “is this dead?” or even just a cute image of a 2hu would have been a good reminder. I’m not sure if any of you reading this are writers yourselves but I imagine that most people will feel similarly. I mean conversely, as a reader, status updates are good to hear too, right?
Anyhow, new thread soon. I won’t go full steam just yet, but it’d be nice to get some momentum started.
>>63457 Amicus meus, I’ve written several stories, some more serious than others, without any smut or where romance wasn’t the main part of it. In fact, the main story/setting referenced in previous 'update' is something like that. It's also something that probably only one or two readers who actually bothered to read all the previous stuff would get. There's two other such stories with limited to no erotic content and seriousness mentioned at the top of the thread too. Others elsewhere were written under alternative pseudonyms, however.