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File 151996121478.jpg - (413.91KB, 2000x1404, his warm mistress.jpg) [iqdb]
65922 No. 65922
A theme fitting for the tale ♫: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BooDupEyp84

Winter is here, but Spring will come soon, right?

THREAD 1 >>65260
THREAD 2 >>65548
Expand all images
>> No. 65926
yo i just caught up with this story and it was fucking invigorating, keep it up! You've got a follower in me
>> No. 65950
File 15205571123.jpg - (251.19KB, 700x700, cold weather rematch.jpg) [iqdb]
65950
[X] “Then, may I have this dance?”

And Alice put her hands to the table to push herself up, giving the answer: “Oh, absolutely.

I won’t go hard on you, but I won’t go easy either.”

~~

“Aagh, I shouldn’t have done this. Jeez, it’s cold. Damn it’s cold.”

Gen was in the skies above the home of Alice Margatroid, shivering and complaining. His posture was weak and spoke nothing of confidence.

“You’re all bundled up like that and have a woman’s length of hair and you’re still cold?” Alice asked, also flying, but seemingly hardly cold.

“I’m flying while it’s snowing, Alice. First time, too. I’m not used to this.”

“Get used to it, it’ll toughen you up.”

“Hold on—”

He spoke magic into his hands, and pulling them away from his face fire was born. It poured down and over his fingers, swirling around them, his thighs and his feet. Flame ran a course above his body, draping his shoulders too and altogether warming him, but not burning in the slightest. He closed his eyes, his eyebrows graciously bending. With a sigh, he gave an evaluation: “Nice...”

“What’s that?” his opponent asked, flexing the digits of one hand and using the other to trace over the body of one of her dolls in examination.

He answered: “A little experiment. Master Patchouli ordinarily refrains from using it but the elements of Western magic include ‘air’, unlike those of Eastern. Coating that over the element of flame, I can feel like I’m before a fireplace, even out here. I’m sure it only really works on these winter days, though. Changing temperature with raw magic is not too simple.”

Alice remarked on this with a sound of vague interest. Then, she commented on his choice: “That won’t help you get used to being out in the cold.”

“It’ll help me now. Hey, just for you, I’ll fly to the Hakurei Shrine after this.” Now warm, Gen brought himself to a better stance, pinching one of his thumbs and smiling behind his scarf.

“You can just call it ‘the Shrine’,” Alice informed him. She let go her doll and hid all her puppets behind her back. Folding her arms again, she said, “So, you’re going to the Shrine are you?”

“Master’s orders.”

Her smile became sympathetic. “It’s too bad I’ll be sending you to meet the Shrine Maiden in tatters.”

His became smug. “It’s convenient you’re right here to tailor your clothes after I’m done with you.”

Alice looked proud, readying her arms and fingers. “Gen...” she said, “I like that confidence.”

“Thank you,” he replied with a hand out to her. Next opening his coat to display his tomes he proclaimed: “Let me show you why it’s deserved.”

[ ♫: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaoHZIW3MfA ]

Thus the play began.

The true spirit of danmaku, and the full breadth of its qualities, could only be known on a battlefield utilizing all axes. Gen somewhat knew this before his flight training from just watching duels, and could always feel something missing from duels brought to ground. Ascending for him brought epiphany as well. Patterns came to him much more easily.

Tangential to that, he was a little disappointed that his natural airborne movement couldn’t be categorized as “fast”. Like his Master, he was a bit gentle to turn and bank, and his pursuit speed was just slightly more sluggish than the average. Patchouli told him: in regards to flight and the speed of it, innate ability often took the highest precedence. Speed and maneuverability could be improved, but beyond discovery and basic mastery, upgrading one’s capabilities of flight was a numbingly tall order. At the very least, someone in the air almost always beat out one on foot; even the Library and her Apprentice were so capable.

And so, he faced Alice’s first, familiar, undeclared spell. First she scattered what looked like ice, then she fired two kinds of red rings in fours, and with all these varieties Gen had no trouble. He saw where they would go and steadily moved out their way. And, with a grimoire he’d detached from his belt floating behind him, he fired a steady and rapid stream of black and white diamonds in couples, drawing from his own magic to empower them. Alice received his counterattack with satisfaction.

“I’m glad to see you’ve improved,” she mentioned when he pushed her into another round. Finding a card in her pockets, she announced: “Now, a better spell.”

She once again showed him “Benevolent French Dolls”, however the maneuver included two more dolls than he remembered. Bullets were again fired and again multiplied twice, ending in a colossal and crimson sphere around the other magician. Back during his first spell card duel, this one had surprised him, and he’d failed it in an embarrassing manner. Furthermore it had been essentially flat... This was different.

It was fun.

From underfoot, overhead, and his front Alice’s magic ascended, descended, and charged. While it was nothing to avoid, it still felt almost like dodging red rain flying every which way, and slipping past it all built a whimsical flurry in his chest. With an open grin, he pointed at Alice, his shadow and light assault following through while bullets past his ears, under his arms, and missed his calves. He laid into her. He captured the spell, and began to incant.

Gen crafted a pattern he had practiced, next. He couldn’t use it to its full extent just yet, as its full extent was a bit complex, but he could try something similar for a lower degree of skill.

Four great, shining, beams of sun and spirit, turning in a half circle around you, and then four more turning opposite. Force your enemy into a hallway of light, and then... Right! With your hand like a gun, send a circle from your fingertip! Another! And another! Keep moving... And fire! Fire!

He made to glide while filling the sky with scarlet fireworks, and he gave a “Yeah!” to cheer.

Alice slipped through the sorcery, keeping close to his lasers and waving between the bullets. Watching him, she mumbled, “Hmph... familiar, isn’t it?” She directed her dolls to stop the mirthful magician and wondered aloud “Will you show me a familiar card, too?”

And he did, not hearing her commentary. “Fire Sign!” he called, “‘Agni Shine’!”

It was the standard version of the advanced spell his Master had used to try to kill him when they’d met. Frankly, he could not get enough of its use.

Patchouli had told him that his affinity for magic was heroic, and on telling him that she’d made a very bitter face. Essentially, he would naturally excel with “triumphant” spells of light, love, and the vanquishing of evil (which meant Marisa might be jealous of him should she ever find this out). He did not feel heroic, but according to his Master his affinity likely had to do with whatever the reason was that his family name contained the kanji for “wisteria”, a flower symbolic of such virtues. She found it ironic that a soul inclined to nobility would be used for dark arts. She was right; he glowed in experiencing this powerful feeling, fire spreading from a book at his hip.

Like Marisa, who was inclined toward water and yet played with love and stars, he knew inclinations were not fates. While in theory he could become a shining champion of justice with some ease, doing so would mean treading the sea rather than diving deep into the ocean that was sorcery. So he moved slow through the sky, bringing flames out his noble soul and having them encircle him in conic shape before encroaching on his opponent, measured but overwhelming. To dodge this as well was an enjoyable thing thanks to his Master’s good sense, but he was eager for the day he could advance this spell to its limits.

Alice had a fair look on her face, thinking about the mimicking magician in front of her, as she made her way through the pattern’s gaps. She captured his spell, saw him mimic another pattern of his master’s (red lights, fast and blue bullets) and “captured” that too. The Library’s Apprentice wore a trembling closed smile, very apparently giddy. Alice smirked, and finally her enemy called for something original.

“Fire Sign: The Furnace in Logi’s Stomach!”

In the air between them bloomed a small bonfire. Alice looked at it, Gen smiled at it, and it gave birth to three more. Each of those bore six, and each of those bore six again, and with each proliferation the flames all grew. Alice frowned at the result: a broiling mass of fire in front of her. She was severely disappointed.

“What part of this is danmaku...?” she chastised, thinking it would explode into a pattern after her saying that. It didn’t.

She tested shooting through the fires, noting that her dolls’ bullets fizzled out on contact with the flames. She looked askance. Perhaps she could simply go around it and throw bullets in his face instead...? But looking, it seemed like his attack spread wide enough that it nearly touched the boundary of their decided field of play. Alice concluded: this was a gimmick card.

She thought to call out and confirm, but instead decided to both wait and see. She squinted at the fireball and tried to see if there was a path through it, and without warning the ball suddenly expanded.

With a sound of surprise Alice backed away, fire almost licking her nose tip. She stopped to see the thing held open, “bullets” crawling so slightly through the air, and she saw Gen crossing his arms out ahead of her. She next spotted a wisp of smoke arise quite randomly in a space between the excessive fires, and then they all closed again, rejoining once more into an impenetrable mass.

She figured it out.

“Despicable move, Gen,” she said with faint disgust.

“Pull those dolls close,” she heard him say from across the fire, “I wouldn’t want them burned.”

When the mass opened again she realized it was unpredictable where the bullets would go out, and so the safest bet was actually to charge forward rather than wait for openings to shoot through. She flew toward him slowly and carefully, concentrating her attacks and her movements while his magic surrounded her, and keeping an eye out for another wisp of smoke. When it came, she rushed to where it was fading, and as she expected the fire closed over her, but did not touch.

She was pleased to note the fire was, interestingly enough, not terribly hot on the inside like it felt on the outside. Perhaps this was Gen’s way of intimidation? He’d also made it so, somehow, breathing and oxygen came easily while you waited for the mass to part again. Fingers on her temple, she judged it thus: while definitely irritating, this was a kindly mindful spell.

And so she waited for fire orbs to hang about her again, made risky approaches to better her damage, retreated at the sight of smoke, and gradually brought Gen down for a capture.

Thus she began her next round, increasing bullet density.

“How was it?” Gen asked. Pride was clear in his cheeks, and his movements were thoughtless, as though the sky were clear.

“Yes, yes,” said Alice as she was pelted by his counterattack, “it was a very interesting spell. It’s unlike your Master.”

“Master specializes in variety, power, and thoughtfulness. She knows such a wide breath of magic that she—”

Alice tuned the young man out.

He continued to prattle with enthusiasm, explaining as if she cared Patchouli’s strengths and weaknesses, her mastery over all elements, how she took to the spell card system like a fish to water, how he liked trickiness because he could never compare to her otherwise...

He was a student who was smart due to his master, and so stupid for her.

[ ♫: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVZBHTN_ZuU ]

When Alice pulled her next card, she did so while thinking about her own, lonely process of learning the arts. Of course, not all Magicians were like her and Patchouli, learning much as they could on their own. Marisa was more insidious about her voracious appetite for learning, taking whatever she could quietly and then brazenly applying what she’d learned to her own or stolen spells. Gen had so much praise for his sources... In either case, Alice thought they were cute children.

“Did I ask for a Patchouli Knowledge lecture?” she mused. She held up her card, “‘The Phantom of the Grand Guignol’.”

Huh? thought Gen with an eyebrow lifted, I don’t recognize that one.

And so, Alice brought out a disgusting puppet from behind her back, sized like a diminutive person.

Gen’s skin crawled at its appearance: a sad and long-faced head rocked betwixt knobby shoulders, and it was clothed in a single, inelegant, pitch-black rag which began to end before its thighs. Its scalp was bare save a few odd red strands, and inexplicably its eyes were closed. It had fingernails... and they were digging into its chin and “lips”... and Gen swore for a moment that it seemed to be breathing. There was a small sigil representing flowers drawn onto its forehead in charcoal. Alice wiped the mark away with her thumb, and leisurely crossed her arms. Thus, the doll began to laugh without ever opening its mouth, and from Alice’s reticence he wagered she was not compelling it to do so.

Deep rubicund hair fell down over its body, bled from its skull torrential. Water ran down its face from under its lashes. It shook, those long and narrow limbs snapping with uncomfortable noise. It began to open its clouded eyes, and stare at him.

Vomit rolled up from his stomach.

The so-called phantom was the source of Alice’s next range of danmaku, but he was made so nauseous by its granted sensations that he hardly noticed the fading mauve circles it had made float in the air, and that Alice was no longer playing around.

Danmaku could often be described in terms of flowers’ waxing and waning. The pattern would bloom open, close up, twist, et cetera. Alice’s spell now was no exception, and by the time Gen realized it had completely opened up, he judged that it was without a doubt the most absurd collection of bullets he’d faced since Yuuka had stared him down. Weaving pink magic and flushed diamonds, a kaleidoscopic madness blossomed before him, fluctuating, wherever he could see. This psychedelic flower was not, however, hard to deal with. Gen realized this because he had been paralyzed with fear from both the doll and the spell, and so noticed bullets were easily grazing just under his shoulders repeatedly. He needed only move back and forth only a bit to avoid some strange, orbiting shots that came his way. He kept this up, thinking himself safe, and noticed too late a pair of bullets gunning for his gut.

Bwff—!” He spat with the impact of a punch-like hit, and instantly he became confused under the light of this slow and fast danmaku, repeatedly sounding “Ah? Huh? Eh! Uhh...” and so on. Then came the roar of bitter, florid violet, its shots moving faster than any he’d seen before and making straight for him. With instinctual but jerky movements he went right in the sky to keep just barely away, feeling too similar to diving out the way of an avalanche, and came to a depressing understanding as he narrowly lurched beyond another red bullet:

Presently, he had no idea what to do.

Furthermore, when Alice was readying the rush of purple, she’d move from her centered position, shifting the patterns of the phantom completely. This was no help.

To survive this blasted card without losing the battle entirely, Gen resorted to clear-spells three—three desperate times, emptying his soul excessively with “Five Seasons”, a spell his Master had taught him that utilized the elements of quarterly nature, and the elements of Eastern magic in imagining a fifth, to summon wide and Venn-intersecting circle-barriers for protection. They dealt no damage unless he was close, but Gen was too put off by Alice’s shots and doll to approach her. He got through the round without losing, as he wanted, but left with his turn to cast he only remained stunned, not pulling any cards.

“How was it?” Alice echoed him, hiding away her revolting doll.

For a moment, he simply watched his summoned fires swirling around him in a daze, looking up after to ask, “Did you just use on me an ultimate attack?”

“Ah, yes,” Alice replied glibly, a cattish smile forming on her lips while she looked away.

Fiddling with one of the bows on his cuffs, glaring, he reminded her “What happened to not going hard!?”

“I thought twice.”

“Then I will as well,” he removed his fingers from his bow and now dipped his hand into his sleeve, pulling out a slip of paper. Holding it up, he told her: “I’ll win with this. Water Sign ‘Midgard Serpent, Release Your Tail’.”

Alice sighed and shook her head. “Again with something Norse?” she asked, “And the water sign... Can you really spare any more energy for creating water?”

Gen did not answer beyond a smile as his card became vapor, the air shook, and water erupted from the earth and trees.

Alice shot away at once, shock evident in her eyes and brow. She quickly took stock of the situation by reassessing their environment. Certainly snow was water, but to convert it so fast to another state should’ve been beyond Gen’s—

“Ah...” Alice bemoaned her lack of thinking: of course he had water to use, had this boy not cast fire before?

Alice could now see her bare roof and freed lawn, and the branches of the surrounding woods openly showing their bark. Melted snow was being gathered from columns into the sky, and though Gen still summoned water on his own, it was much less than this spell would ordinarily ask for. Upon amassing all he needed into a helical shape between them, Gen directed the water to wholly wrap their playing field in a coiled and closed, light-shimmering rondure. Staring close Alice could see he’d made the water into a snake’s shape—undoubtedly to resemble Jörmungandr who the spell was named after. When she saw the point where this ouroboros had its end within its “bite”, the maw was opened, and a storm broke loose.

At his current level, Gen’s spell was one he could ordinarily only use above Misty Lake and furthermore with as much concentration as his mind would allow. It forged a bullet curtain within the snake-sphere that replicated rains so harsh as to flood a dry land. Water fast swept throughout the air, cresting and crashing and scattering without pity. It turned in a set way, and left little room for freedom, but AS it was set it was not an impossible spell card. Rather, like Alice’s Grand Guignol, it needed the opponent to not be overwhelmed and instead understand the pattern calmly to see where movement was safe.

Alice was not fully able to do this.

She got as much that following the curves and sweeps of water worked best, but the “rains” that didn’t join within the greater waves proved massively irritating to keep in mind. Again like her own powerful spell, these seemingly unpredictable bullets were quick on their paths, and so demanded almost immediately reactive avoidance. While she did not fall apart like a clumsy fool as Gen had to this demand, she nonetheless suffered a miss, and another, and another, and even when she drew upon a spell to clear some of the water unrelenting, she had soon suffered too much, was driven to the wall of water, and then thoroughly soaked. As Gen had declared, it was his win, and her loss.

The Magician’s Apprentice descended toward the Seven-Colored Puppeteer; she dressed for winter yet sodden with water, he with both hands over his mouth to cover his smile. Alice offered him misery in her face, and Gen offered her the repeated question:

“So? How was it?”
>> No. 65951
This update brought a smile to my face.

I guess he has unlocked Lunatic difficulty now. Oh, how much he'll regret, I just know it
>> No. 65952
It's Lunatic Tiiime~
>> No. 65953
File 152057054450.jpg - (174.13KB, 478x540, ragnarok'd.jpg) [iqdb]
65953
[ ♫: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8dsSe21npk ]

Alice Margatroid sat in front of her fireplace, drying herself, while her guest allowed himself to read one of her books. She was of two minds on Itou Gen’s forthrightness: not liking his brazen attitude like the thing in his hands was the spoils of victory, but quietly happy he’d taken some interest in her magic regardless of the context. Although she was still shivering wet, she allowed herself a small smile.

“Really, why cast magic from a puppet when a circle would do just the same?” Gen blankly pondered. “And these adroit demands for even basic actions... What’s the point?”

Alice’s eyebrows lowered and she thought: Never mind, he’s a troglodyte.

“When are you going to leave?” she asked him in a terse fashion from over her shoulder.

Gen continued to leaf through her copy of Fingers and Strings languidly, telling her without a glance, “I need to stay to make sure you’re alright.”

Her eyebrow’s lifted for a moment and she began to chew a little on the lower left side of her inner lip, not looking at him. Much a fool as he was, Gen’s sudden earnestness was disarming. To turn back the mood, Alice spoke again.

“R-Right,” she stammered, “again you leave me like the unfortunate victim of a carnival game. Is this going to be a trend?”

Gen looked up from his reading to look instead at her and say, “Only in the summer from now on, Alice. That’s a promise.”

“Please don’t promise that...” she whimpered.

“Autumn it is!” he declared with a point.

“Were you always like this!?”

Gen gave the loser a bright smile. They’d both overdone it with their last words, but he was glad he’d overdone it and won. He’d be sure to brag to Patchouli about it later. And thinking on his Master, he had accomplished one of his tasks, and now it was time for him to go to Reimu’s place and properly meet her. Although, beyond that he, wasn’t completely certain what his Master wanted of their meeting. He had some ideas, but...

Well, what he was thinking was: regardless, he wouldn’t spend much time at the Shrine now would he? Sure, Master had said to head immediately to the shrine once he was done but... she knew him, he wasn’t always obedient Why not put off seeing the Hakurei girl for a little while?


[] I’ll meet Youmu first and touch base with her about her progress.

[] I’ll go find Aomu... I should probably tell her I’m human.

[] ... On second thought, defying Master might be a bad idea today. She doesn’t usually steer me from distractions.

++++++++

>>65926
Thank you~
>> No. 65954
[x] ... On second thought, defying Master might be a bad idea today. She doesn’t usually steer me from distractions.

I mean, I'd be happy for either of the other option's as well, but Patchy was pretty serious that we head there as soon as possible, so it's probably important we do so.
>> No. 65956
[x] ... On second thought, defying Master might be a bad idea today. She doesn’t usually steer me from distractions.
>> No. 65957
[X] ... On second thought, defying Master might be a bad idea today. She doesn’t usually steer me from distractions.

Why drag our feet on following orders? Besides, we haven't met Reimu yet. I'm sure she'll be just delighted if she finds out some of what Gen's been up to~
>> No. 65958
[x] ... On second thought, defying Master might be a bad idea today. She doesn’t usually steer me from distractions.

I'd love to meet Kappa, but I guess Patchy wants Gen to meet Reimu ASAP for good reason.
>> No. 65959
[x] ... On second thought, defying Master might be a bad idea today. She doesn’t usually steer me from distractions.

Patchy doesn't strike me as the type to demand haste without reason.

Also, you're damaging my facial muscles, you know that? I'm grinning like an idiot again, and I can't stop.
>> No. 65960
[X] I’ll meet Youmu first and touch base with her about her progress.
>> No. 65961
[X] I’ll meet Youmu first and touch base with her about her progress.

Want to see Youmu being a total doofus some more.
>> No. 65962
[x] ... On second thought, defying Master might be a bad idea today. She doesn’t usually steer me from distractions.

If this doesn't take time he can go visit others after. Something time sensitive seems afoot and Patchouli just didn't tell him why.
>> No. 65963
[x] ... On second thought, defying Master might be a bad idea today. She doesn’t usually steer me from distractions.
>> No. 65964
>>65962
We can meet the thief now that we learned of his love affinity... If she hasn't been "pacified" by Marisa Already
>> No. 65965
[x] ... On second thought, defying Master might be a bad idea today. She doesn’t usually steer me from distractions.
>> No. 65966
[X] ... On second thought, defying Master might be a bad idea today. She doesn’t usually steer me from distractions.

We can find Aomu after that to tell her the truth, and it's not like we can't otherwise see Youmu.
Also, I like the norse theme of our last cards. Reminds me of a book we found.
>> No. 65967
[X] ... On second thought, defying Master might be a bad idea today. She doesn’t usually steer me from distractions.
>> No. 65968
[X] ... On second thought, defying Master might be a bad idea today. She doesn’t usually steer me from distractions.
>> No. 65970
[x] ... On second thought, defying Master might be a bad idea today. She doesn’t usually steer me from distractions.
>> No. 65972
[x] ... On second thought, defying Master might be a bad idea today. She doesn’t usually steer me from distractions.
>> No. 65976
File 152094686698.jpg - (634.67KB, 1000x1000, red and white-black and white.jpg) [iqdb]
65976
Look at all these good kids.

Also >>65953
forgot, image source is: https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/316457

++++++++

[ ♫: http://listenonrepeat.com/watch/?v=4AogtBw7Bvo
oh wait, that’s broken so—
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AogtBw7Bvo ↻]

[X] ... On second thought, defying Master might be a bad idea today. She doesn’t usually steer me from distractions.

The last thing I want is for her to actually be watching through Miss Sakuya or some such. I can’t be getting too courageous while I’m still here. Mistress Flandre did remind me: every day I live in Gensokyo is a risk... even in that house.


He looked at Alice’s back, her shirt slowly becoming opaque as water was warmed out of it.

Alright, he decided, I’ll do as I was told and go straight to the Shrine. To think of playing it safe, seeing Aomu would mean seeing other kappa on their turf, and I’d be a human walking right up to that. As for Youmu... if Master’s really keeping an eye on me, she’ll figure out why I was so pleased to learn “Five Seasons”. Not ideal.

He waited patiently for the doll-using magician to heat up to normalcy. Though age and hunger couldn’t kill her, illness still could. He wouldn’t want that from a prank, or anything else. With some well wishes and japes, he left when it was still morning, and he knew her to be safe.

~~

It really was cold flying through Gensokyo’s winter skies, even with a cloak of flames to warm you. On one hand, he regretted making that promise to Alice before their fight, but on the other he would at least get to the Shrine much faster this way, perhaps even with some time for his side endeavors after whatever business awaited him concluded.

At least the sun came out, he thought, that’s certainly nice.

He went beyond the forest, and then over the village which he still had yet to step foot in, and finally woods appeared again, hiding a trail that led to what seemed to be a long flight of steps. As far as he recalled, this tucked-away thing led to the Hakurei Shrine. He looked at it, and then decided to land to climb it, dispelling his fire enchantment as he began. He thought, that might be better than an unceremonious landing in front of her house. The child was a firecracker, or so she seemed from all he knew about her. The last thing he wanted was her throwing needles quite suddenly in his face.

He climbed while surrounded by the soft sounds of winter, and rare animal steps and leaps as small things foraged under the trees. It seemed like the Shrine sat on a very tall hill, height perhaps just before a mountain. The staircase leading to it was not as well-traveled as he’d have wagered given how old he knew it to be, but it hadn’t entirely been cleared of snow and ice so it was not as if visitors were expected. Rather, most of the snow seemed to have simply been caught by the high branches of the forest. Master Patchouli, Miss Sakuya, Mistress Remilia, Mistress Flandre, and even Wakasagihime had all said the same thing: the Shrine Maiden was the only human that youkai paradoxically feared, and toward youkai was paradoxically fearless, and so they all loved her so greatly that they left her shrine barren. While she refused non-human guests, she never did so so strongly that any were honestly discouraged or rebuffed. She would even still have their company, and spend her free (or even busy) time with them. Although she protected Gensokyo’s humans from monsters, she’d gained a reputation for being surrounded by them, and thus humans rarely ventured up this hill.

He thought it was a little sad, but the few times he’d seen her at the Mansion, she’d only ever given off a quality of nirvana, almost. Like that was that, and she was free. He wondered again why his Master was having him meet her.

It took quite a while to summit the hill; when he saw the familiar red of a torii gate he knew he was finally close. After taking the last steps, he gazed upon the Hakurei Shrine with a growing frown.

“Hmm...?”

The grounds were completely covered in snow.

He wasn’t sure exactly, but it felt like it had been an hour since snow had stopped falling. This snow looked like it had been piled to its utmost, however, and there was no one here taking care of it.

“Is there an Incident?” he wondered aloud, recalling Reimu’s position. Nothing seemed unusual about today, however.

Looking around more he could see that the shrine itself, the surrounding trees, and some sort of shed near the back were all piled high with white. Nothing at all seemed to have been touched by human hands, and he couldn’t even tell if the shrine lived up to its poor and old reputation with how obfuscating the results of weather were. He began to wonder if Reimu had just slept in, and then, he saw it:

A snowman.

“Hah?” Gen’s face twisted in incredulity at the thought that someone hadn’t even bothered to shovel the stairs, but had made time to slack off and build a snowman. When he was about to head toward the shrine’s porch to chastise its maiden, he involuntarily squinted to a frigid sensation above his eyes. It seemed snow dust had blown into his face.

... Although that didn’t make much sense: surely it would have touched his cheeks first. Looking into the sky, he saw two figures playing.

“Fairies...?”

A small girl wearing black and white was hurling snowball danmaku at another girl in red and white, who was not using danmaku but instead had a large amount of ammunition for their fight in her arms. Gen squinted... and realized the former was Marisa without her hat. He looked back at the snowman and saw that it was wearing something on its head. That hadn’t registered to him at first.

“Dream Sign!” came a call from above, causing him to return his gaze to the sky, “‘Snow-Sealing Circle!’”

“You wouldn’t...!” shouted the girl in black.

The girl in red threw a snowball in her face.

“Aaagh!!” cried Marisa through frozen water, “Ya got meeee!”

“Ha ha ha!” laughed Reimu in a mock boasting tone, “Behold the power of a yuki-onna!”

“Don’t think I’ll lose here, ya dirty youkai!”

“It doesn’t matter how dumb, smelly, and stupid us youkai are, we’re still stronger than humans!” Reimu threw another snowball.

“Nngh!” with a grunt, Marisa steered herself out the way, a wave of snow following behind her. Gen was impressed by her again (he often was, whenever she came to steal from the Library). Manipulating elements outside of their base states was rather difficult.

Marisa slipped her hand under her collar and pulled a spell card out of it. She showed it to Reimu, who gasped with an exaggerated pose of recoil. “How can it be!?” said the Shrine Maiden yuki-onna. “You still have MORE!?”

“You got it. Magic Sign! ‘Snow Dust Reverie’!”

“That’s so stupid,” Gen remarked with a smile. This was the card Marisa had used to defeat the younger Mistress. Or, it was a silly variation on it. When she declared it, the snow behind her spread into a familiar pattern, and Reimu was swept up into it.

Aaaaaghh! I’ve been defeateeed!! Aaaahh!” Reimu threw her stock of snow into the air and was now spinning in the sky with hands over her face. Soon she dropped out of it onto the grounds below in a burst of cold, laughing. With her came tiny diamonds of snow all over, settling in Gen’s hair and on his shoulders, and Marisa was close to follow. They landed near to one another and were loud with cheer. Leaning against the gate with his hands in his pockets, Gen watched as they made snow angels.

The girls broke into a traditional snowball fight next, tussling lightly as well, and full of joy. His irritation over the Shrine Maiden’s laziness vanished without his notice while he observed. Seeing them like this, he had some old memories in mind...

“Whoa, it’s Gen!”

Hearing Marisa’s voice, he was withdrawn from recollections of snow-filled neighborhoods. He looked at her, and a chestnut head of hair popped up from behind her with eyes to match.

“It really is!” said the second child. Then, she squinted and looked at the other little girl, asking “Eh, is it?”

“Ain’t you seen him before?”

“I see a lot of things but that doesn’t mean I remember them.”

“Like Rumia?”

Reimu’s squint deepened. “Who the heck?”

“Hello,” Gen interjected. “Yes, I’m Itou Gen, the Library’s Apprentice.”

Reimu pushed Marisa’s head down to lift herself up, shoving the tiny magician into a pile of ice. She was beaming as she said, “Great! The shovel’s in the storehouse!”

A small pile of snow fell from the torii and dropped onto his coat with a thump.

“Come again?” he asked.

Marisa, who had been struggling against Reimu’s strength since she’d been pushed down, managed to free her hands and get her face out of that mess. With an eye closed and a toothy grin she addressed the young man happily with a “‘Sup, Gen!”

“Uh...” was all he managed.

“Didn’t Patchouli tell you?” she continued, “You’re helping out Reimu today.”

“Why am I helping out Reimu?” he asked, looking at the girl in question, who was praying to a small jizou of snow she’d crafted.

“That magician-playing-hermit wants a favor out of me,” explained the Hakurei without looking at him, chopping the jizou on the head, “so she offered me a favor: she’d lend me you for the approaching snowstorm, and I’d do... something. She hasn’t said, but if it’s anything bad I’ll just punish her again.” Reimu tightened the bow on her head and now met his eyes, still clearly in great spirits. While Marisa created another jizou behind her with whispers of magic, Reimu thanked him, “Seriously,” she said, “you’re a real lifesaver. The snow was really bad this year so I wasn’t looking forward to it. Thanks for your help! Go get the shovel while we’ve still got the sun out, okay?”

“...”

Gen thought back to his Master.

He delivered a short sigh, levitated above the snow, and went for the storehouse while Reimu descended on Marisa’s jizou, prayed to it, and chopped it, too, on the head.
>> No. 65977
Oh hey, I like this Reimu. It's a bit rare to see Reimu that's just enjoying life like any other kid.
>> No. 65978
You got PLAYED son.

Well, snow is still water, right? A good student sees lessons everywhere.
>> No. 65979
Hahahahaha. This story is awesome.
>> No. 65991
File 152152255146.jpg - (197.63KB, 917x625, keep it up Gen.jpg) [iqdb]
65991
Full image: https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/1058885

++++++++

[ ♫: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw0ouubfEWU ↻]

He didn’t have much experience shoveling snow.

Back home, he was sometimes chosen instead of his father to clear the walkway to their front door, but it was never anything serious.

The Hakurei Shrine grounds were a significant leap in difficulty. While the grounds themselves weren’t ENORMOUS, they weren’t small or average in size either. Due to his inexperience he wasn’t able to manipulate the snow with magic, even with The Simplest Manual of Materials for Starting Magicians that he still never left without (it was explicitly stated in the text that unusual states were outlined in The Advanced Manual of Materials for Adept Magicians, a book he’d used before that was so large carrying it outdoors even by magic was simply unfeasible). Several times during his hours-long task of manual labor with a push shovel he considered melting away the snow with fire... but there were problems preventing him from going down that route. What if the shrine was engulfed in flames and burned down? What would he do about the water on the floor? If he missed any—any at all that would just be ice for another day, and plucking water from earth or stone wasn’t very... possible. Even if he melted the snow only a bit, he had recollections of trouble dealing with slush rather than its more frozen counterpart. While he was fairly certain it wasn’t any heavier, it was messy, awful stuff, and gods forbid any get in his shoes and absorbed by his socks. With that in mind, although his shoes had a ward against water enchanted on them, he still had regrets over not taking out a pair of boots for the damnable cold. He trudged through the snow, pushing it off into the forests and grasses around the shrine, and kept in mind the miserable reality that after all this he had the stairs to get through.

Reimu and Marisa, on the other hand, were simply having fun today and relaxing. Although they’d reminded him of the fair folk when he’d first seen them today, they had little of that distinct mischievousness, which he appreciated. They left him alone to his snow and his thoughts while they frolicked in their snow and lazed about interchangeably.

At one moment earlier in the day while they’d been beside each other in work and play respectively, Gen had asked Marisa how it had worked out with Miss Sakuya in the morning.

“She fought me!” Marisa had answered while sitting on Reimu’s shoulders.

“Did she lose?” he’d asked.

“I left her in the dust,” the little magician had bragged. However, Reimu next chimed in with a key piece of information:

“As in, you left her because Sakuya was trouncing you.”

Marisa nearly fell from her position then, a blush entering her cheeks. She gave an “Ahm...” and an “eh,” and after coughing explained, “I mean, Sakuya’s pretty scary when she’s serious.”

“She did look pretty driven this morning,” he’d replied, thinking Probably because Master asked her directly.

“Yeah, it was like she was possessed or somethin’. I was like, ‘come on, you never got a problem with me other days’, but she just wasn’t havin’ it, I tell ya. I got outta there, like my hair was on fire.”

Miss Sakuya didn’t give chase, Gen noted, She’s being like that again.

What Marisa had referred to by the Head Maid not having a problem with her was part of what Gen meant when he thought of Sakuya being “like that”. When she was “like that” she played dumb with the Mistress. When she was “like that” she put strange flowers in tea. When she was “like that” she would keep quiet when a certain rat invaded the Library, and would even feed it like she was keeping a hidden pet.

Here’s a theory, he’d thought at the time, smirking, I’ll get home, and Master will tell me that Miss Sakuya let Marisa get away, but didn’t break into her house to retrieve the stolen property because “that’s what criminals do, not maids”. And Master Patchouli will glower, furrow her brow, and say “Seriously, Sakuya is a lousy cat”.

And presently, as he pushed the last of the snow from the stone walkways, he thought this as well: I should remind her that cats aren’t known for their obedience... Though I have heard Miss Sakuya being called a dog before, come to think of it.

He was fairly exhausted now, and guessed it was perhaps three in the afternoon. He decided to request a break before he went down the hill, otherwise he was sure he’d collapse. He strode over to the girls sitting on Reimu’s porch, drinking tea and eating dango, and hailed them.

“Gum wohrk,” said Reimu, with dumpling in her mouth.

“Good work,” said Marisa, without.

“Yeah, but now I feel like I’m gonna fall apart,” he admitted. “I’m going to rest before I do the stairs, alright?” He took a seat before them with his knees up and his forearms on those.

“Yeah, you look pretty weak, and magicians already usually are ‘cause of what we do, ya know,” said Marisa, chomping down on her skewer.

“Yeah” agreed Reimu, “at least that first one.” While he sat offended, thinking about his daily training with Meiling, she stood and walked into her house.

He looked to Marisa. “So, how’ve you been?” he asked.

“Oh yeah, seeing ya reminded me!” she began with excitement. “I’m cookin’ up some magic usin’ that master of yours for reference. We ain’t never fought, have we? You wanna see the work in progress? I’m nearly done with it!”

“No,” he answered, eyes closed, “I already told you I’m pretty low on energy right now. That besides, I already had a spell card duel today.”

“What? You can only do one a day or something?” questioned Marisa in disappointment.

“Rather, I’d still like to restrict casual play a bit. I think I can do it – perhaps I even have seven or eight fights in me – but if I can avoid it, well... I need that spare strength, you see. We’re both humans, Marisa, but not of the same category.”

“Oh yeah, you’re not from here,” Reimu recalled, returning to the pair with a cup of tea and another skewer of dango. She offered both to Gen as if this was a matter of course, and the gesture struck him as rather disarmingly kind. He took the offerings, she sat back down on her knees, and he watched her thinking Goodness, it’s like hosting is just a part of her.

“Yes, I’m an outsider,” he eventually confirmed.

“Want me to send you home?”

“Huh?” sounded Gen in slight surprise, “Oh... no. No thank you.”

“Gen’s gonna become a Magician,” chimed in Marisa.

“Hmmm? Really?” Reimu asked, absently rotating the cup in her hands. “Well do what you want, but if you ever move to the Human Village don’t even think about it.”

“Hey, I’ve never said I’ll become a blood-Magician,” shot Gen at the tiny blond before biting into one of his dumplings. In response both children looked at him with mouths diagonal and eyebrows cocked. In response to that he complained, “What?”

“He says that even though he spends most of his days down in the basement of Scarlet Devil Mansion with Patchouli,” noted Marisa.

“He smells like Patchouli, too,” noted Reimu.

“He’s learning magic and he’s even used a forbidden grimoire for dark powers already.”

“That flower youkai said she let him live ‘cause she figured he wanted to live forever.”

“Remilia gave him some of her blood.”

“Oh yeah, yeah; she told me he started an incident in her house once. In the first month, too.”

“Listen up, Reimu, Marisa.” Gen halted their comments. “My humanity is very important to me. I’ve indeed brushed with death and feared it, but I still have too much appreciation for the wheel of life to just up and leave it.”

“Getting really scared of death,” said Reimu, “is the first bad sign. It’s one almost everyone has, but when you’re a student of magic too...”

“Come now, I don’t even have a reason to live forever!”

“Ah, so, when you find one...” Marisa began, sneering at Reimu.

“Like, a nice girl?” the Shrine Maiden continued, smirking in return.

The two of them bent back and clashed the single dango each had left together between them, calling in unison: “Marriage!”

“Death won’t let ‘em part, though!” Marisa remarked, grinning with her eyes closed.

“That’s romantic!” Reimu declared, doing the same.

The two of them then finished off their last sweet, and squealed together at the thought of Gen finding a special someone.

Gen finished his own dango and placed his skewer among theirs on the plate between them. Drinking more tea, he commented sourly, “For two strange people, you say some surprisingly typically girlish things, don’t you?”

“I’m a girl, you know,” said Reimu.

“Yeah, same,” said Marisa.

“Hmph,” he grumbled. He didn’t want to think about such things, mainly because, naturally, due to the day’s events, Mistress Flandre readily came to mind where these matters were concerned. This was all too large a can of worms.

... But, he knew he was being miserable for the sake of it. Reimu and Marisa were in good spirits and seemed to want him in good spirits as well. Feeling rested now, he decided to accept that sentiment (assuming that was their intent, and they weren’t simply being, well, children) and stand to get back to his task. He downed the rest of the tea in his cup and returned it to Reimu. “You know what? Perhaps you’re right,” he said, slightly turning from them and slipping his hands into his pockets. “It’s true this young man has yet to fall in love.”

“Old man,” they said, almost at once, following with “old man? Old man? Mm, old, yeah.”

“... Early twenties.” He shook his head. “I’m getting back to shoveling.”

“Best of luck!” said Reimu cheerfully, and he made his way to the stairs. The two of them steadily became quiet, Marisa on her back and almost sleeping as Reimu counted the clouds in the sky.
>> No. 65992
File 152152455192.jpg - (357.95KB, 1050x900, shuran yurari.jpg) [iqdb]
65992
The stairs, while awkward to contend with, were not as bad as Reimu’s tiled grounds. Those were uneven and so he regularly had to reposition the pusher, miss a large amount, and go find a better variety of shovel for the problem. Back and forth, crouching to look for ice, picking away at more packed up snow, all of that tiresome work and more was involved in making the shrine grounds fit for walking. He expected the strange angles of the stairs to be plain agony, but really all he needed to do was shove relatively thin layers off of each step into the wild grasses and over roots of trees. He had them clear in what felt like an hour.

When he took care of the last step and looked back up at his handiwork with a blend of misery and pride, he took flight and decided to deal with the snow on the overhanging branches as well. A few times some melting snow from above him would slip off and force him to return to a previous step to get rid of it. Here, he would use magic.

Being very careful, the Magician’s Apprentice set up a system like he’d done during his Skyfall Incident at the Mansion, though now his circles and spellweaving were significantly improved of course. He directed fire wrapped in air above the trees for melting, and any falling water was caught in a floating stream over the staircase. This made short work of the piles above, and when he landed a strange kind of shoreless river awaited him below, leading up to the shrine and undulating eerily gorgeous. He walked up the stairs again after collecting the trio of elemental scrolls he’d placed, gathering the water into a ball above his fingers using soft and dark whispers.

[ ♫: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIJrZVbuIAc ↻]

When he reached the Shrine itself again, the ball had become immense—larger than himself, held over his head, and somewhat unstable without the firm support of a rune or glyph. It was unabashedly one of the more bizarre pictures he’d come across: that of a man carrying a veritable pool of water like this. He wandered over to Reimu (still on her porch) with the shimmering, shifting thing and informed her: “This is the snow from the trees. What do you think I should do with it?”

Reimu, who was having tea again and about to take another sip, nearly spat at the oddity he was carrying. Eyes wide, she opened her mouth about to ask “what is that thing?” and realized that question had been answered before she needed to speak it. She relaxed considerably after that, accepting the reality of this strange object, and told Gen simply “Put it over there.”

She pointed to her snow-covered lawn that he had, of course, not shoveled at all and followed with “I want to see if it can freeze overnight.”

He nodded with a “Roger,” and, with his left hand, prepared a seal so that the globe would remain congealed while floating in front of the Shrine Maiden’s home. He set it and the water there, looking like a very strange art piece from fantasy. Perhaps it was, really. It remained aloft a warped mirror and lens that he thought wasn’t likely to freeze over, but might contain some ice later, and he imagined Reimu could at least have some fun throwing things into it at any rate. “Careful when you remove this seal,” he told her from over his shoulder while crouching before the thing, “the water will just collapse immediately. I’d suggest getting a fairy to do it.”

“That’s a good idea,” Reimu agreed plainly, and Gen walked up to her again.

He glanced down at her and saw that Marisa was fast asleep, draped in a blanket now and drooling. “How’d she sleep in this cold?” he asked, incredulous.

Reimu shrugged and said matter-of-factly “She’s asking for a cold.” Next the child smiled at him. “Thanks again,” she offered, “I know how annoying it is to have to do something because you have to do it, even if you really don’t want to. Whether or not I think it’s a good or bad thing, that magician youkai is your Master. You have to listen to her. Here, don’t sit there, get up on the porch, I’ll bring out some sake.” Reimu stopped him from sitting back down on stone, patted the place beside her, and re-entered her home for the aforementioned alcohol.

Gen accepted the invitation graciously, but as he waited for her to get back while listening to Marisa’s snoring, he thought Wait, sake?

Reimu did indeed return with booze, a set of cups and flask, and a smile. He looked at her and asked outright, “Aren’t you a child? Are you even past ten?”

She looked confused and asked “Are you an adult? I don’t get the question.”

“Alcohol is for men and women,” he told her, “not boys and girls.”

“Alcohol is for people. And drinking.” The child was emphatic. “You get a cup, and you drink it. It’s not poison.”

“It is a poison, absolutely.”

“It’s a cure, Gen,” Reimu said with a sigh, shaking her head and setting her things down, “poisons cure poisons, and this cures the poison of a tired soul.”

“You just said it wasn’t a poison.”

Reimu sat down and, looked into his eyes, and with conviction told him, “I never said that.”

I can’t even tell if she’s lying, he commented in his head, eyebrows twisting as he considered the audacity of her denial. Without missing a beat she prepared two cups and soon they had performed a toast and were drinking together. He thought it was strange to be a man carrying a globe of snow water, but this—being a man drinking liquor with a child while seated at a shrine—was far more difficult to grasp. At least the sake was delicious: tasting of plums and not being strong in its body. He wanted to relax now as evening twilight hours approached, so he decided he would.

“By the way, we’ve never actually introduced ourselves properly have we?” Reimu mentioned, her cheeks already becoming rosily tinged.

“No, I suppose we haven’t,” he said in accord. “We don’t meet often either, nor during any particular times.”

Reimu pulled her knees to her chest and, comfortable, hugged her legs, pointing at the man beside her with the same hand that held her sakazuki (what skill!). “I think you were there when I went to stop that other devil. I remember thinking, ‘I don’t remember this one. Should I hit him too?’”

“Not one to recognize faces though, eh?”

“After that I definitely remembered that there was another human in the Mansion other than Sakuya, and though it never really stuck what you looked like I definitely noticed that there was always a butler among the maids whenever I happened to visit.”

“Butler...”

“Hard to believe two humans would willingly live there, though.”

She was right about that.

For a while after they sat drinking without speaking, Reimu quickly becoming inebriated. While the plum sake wasn’t a hard drink, that made it rather devious, as imbibing copious amounts of it was easy, and encouraged by the taste. When the shrine maiden was tipsy, Gen brought up something he’d been reminded of tens of minutes earlier.

“Hey, Reimu, Miss Sakuya is an outsider as well, isn’t she?” he asked. “How come she doesn’t have to worry about being eaten?”

She raised two fingers to this, mouth turning pleasantly and nose flushed. “There are two reasons for that,” she said airily, “the first one is, she moved here officially rather than falling or being pulled in. The youkai are more lenient to those sorts of humans. It’s not easy getting through the Barrier, after all. Even if they got help doing it, the youkai think it’s impressive and lay off.” She went to drink from her cup now, frowned horribly upon seeing that it was empty, lifted the tokkuri and felt that it was the same with a light shake, and then leaned far back while putting both down. The girl reached for a purple bottle (that, really, seemed to be a third of her height), and brought it into her lap. “The second reason,” she continued as she unscrewed the top, “is the more important one. Her powers make her a being of fantasy even though she’s a human.” The bottle was opened, she licked her lips, and she drank from the thing, holding it with both her hands. Gen was rapt in his attention toward her act, and took another sip from his cup while watching in awe.

“Pah!” Reimu made a noise after pulling the drink from her lips. “Basically...” she slowly began, looking at him while she gripped the bottle’s neck, “she can stop time, right? That’s not normal, right? Here in Gensokyo we accept the abnormal. We protect it. It also depends a little on the Outside World, I guess. Like, ESP or something, or psychics or something... I think youkai might eat those guys anyway.” Seeing that his cup was empty, she lifted the bottle again and tipped it toward him, offering. He accepted, taking it into his hand.

While he drank from the bottle, she went on, “But yeah, say you had what you could only call a... what you,” she clarified this was not a general “you”, nodding at him, “would call fiction. No science behind it. No theory. Nobody believes in it, or if there are any believers, it’s not widely accepted as truth. It’s not wholly accepted. It’s fantasy. It’s here... Sakuya.” Having proved her drunken coherence was at a master’s level of competency, Reimu’s explanation was concluded and she proudly huffed warm air out her reddened nose.

Gen stared at Reimu severe, brought the bottle down into his own lap, and told her “That made perfect sense,” with all honesty.

“Right?” Reimu asked, grinning and pleased.

He looked out over the shrine grounds. Like he was now, he was an ordinary man with interesting tools. He, personally, could improve his efficacy with those tools (through study, training, and honing of his spirit) but none of this made him truly “special”. Any other human in his position could do the same. So, that was why if he no longer wanted his life at risk (and didn’t want to settle for the life of a villager), he had to transform... become something Gensokyo felt was worth keeping.

... I don’t have to extend my life, I suppose. When Master Patchouli was born as a Magician, alongside natural magical prowess she only had the abandonment of food, not the abandonment of temper. She and all Magicians have to choose to become immortal thems—

Wait, what am I
thinking?

Maybe it was because he’d become a bit warm-headed himself; he found himself rationalizing becoming a youkai. First his Lolita complex, now this perhaps-subconscious ambition; this place was a hell, and corrupting him.

While thinking this over, Gen sank into himself, choking the bottle.

Reimu, who was leaning back on her hands, glanced over at him and made the observation: “Whoa, you look depressed all of a sudden.”

He looked up at her and pouted, saying, “Outsiders have a raw deal, here.”

Reimu, with a careless expression, told him “That’s how it is,” followed by, “if you want to live, you have to fight for it.

Long ago, almost every human here could fight for themselves, but over time we realized that the Hakurei Shrine Maiden was the only human needed to protect everyone in Gensokyo. Before I put the spell card rules in play it wasn’t ideal, and even now there are still a few exterminators to help in the village, but we maidens can trounce even youkai and gods if they’re causing any trouble. And if they’re causing trouble, we’re quick!”

She hardened her eyes to deliver a look that spoke “I am absolute”, and he was compelled to believe it despite coming from a child. This gaze of determination sobered after a moment, though. With solemn eyes and solemn voice, she informed the young man, Itou Gen: “But if you’re in trouble, and I’m not already there, I will have neither obligation nor motivation to save you.”

He grimaced under her stare. He had already heard this before, but hearing it from the shrine maiden herself sent throughout him a very cold and soaking feeling, even given the weather now. Without waiting for him to say anything in response, Reimu continued.

“Youkai terrorize and eat humans, and humans do what any other animal would do when faced with something dangerous: they fight, or they run away.” And, to his surprise given the seriousness of this line of conversation, Reimu gave him a smile. Very nicely she told him, “I think it’s better and safer to fight, so I hope that book-witch has been teaching you.”

“Oh she has,” he replied. “And since I’m not bound by the spell card rules, she’s taught me quite a lot for my survival. I’ve been pretty stubborn about neglecting materials in my magic, though.”

“Ah, like mushrooms or something? Like Marisa.”

“Yes, like the book-thief,” he confirmed, glancing at the snoozing girl in question. With a smile of embarrassment he explained, “They’d increase the power and variety of my spells, but Master rarely uses materials, and I like to imitate her the most.”

“Gross.” Reimu’s reply was immediate. He frowned. “Anyway that sounds pretty dumb..,” the shrine maiden continued, repositioning herself into a very mannish posture (chin on her fist, left hand on her knee, cross-legged, and slouching), “... you should probably use whatever you can. You’re just a human after all.”

“And what are you?”

“I’m a human Shrine Maiden.”

He laughed involuntarily, recalling his meeting with Marisa. Reimu asked “What?” before speaking further.

“Honestly...” she said, “you should be more worried. How about it? Want me to take you on for a bit? I’ll judge you.” In her smirk, smugness, boast, and pride were there. “I’m in a real good mood,” she admitted. “I don’t normally do that, you know? I’ll fight anyone, but I don’t bother evaluating, ‘cause when everyone else is so poor at it there’s no point right? Anyway, whaddya say?”

“Hm.”

He thought about it this way: Reimu was essentially, as far as he knew, the pinnacle of humanity here in Gensokyo when it came to fighting, and even ranked highly when measured against the greatest powers this land had to offer. But, she was the creator of the rules, and knew the “game” best as a result. A fight with her, at least under the rules, would probably be very helpful... ordinarily. She was drunk, and although that obviously that didn’t overall impair her much he had to imagine it must reduce her combat proficiency to a significant degree. Thus, fighting this muddled shrine maiden could end up being a silly waste of time. Plus, if he fought with her he might lose the opportunity to see the kappa or half-phantom before heading home for the day. He really wasn’t so free to wander Gensokyo yet, after all, and so meetings like that were difficult to have. He still wanted to do meet them, even if he was now tipsy.

Which was another thing, he was definitely a bit inebriated, and he didn’t have Youmu’s second sword to clear his head right now.

Agh, but, I don’t think I’ll get many chances to fight Reimu...

He...


[] decided to fight her.

[] decided to refuse.
>> No. 65993
[x] decided to fight her.


really like the Reimu, want to see more of her, and if fighting her is all it takes, go for it
>> No. 65994
[x] decided to fight her.

Lose gloriously and with pride!
>> No. 65995
[x] decided to fight her.

Maybe getting the shit kicked out of him will knock some sense into him. Better Reimu than, say, Rumia.
>> No. 65996
[x] decided to refuse

He shouldn't need Reimu to realize he still sucks. I mean, he collapsed the second Alice got serious and only won because he could afford to go 3x1 on spell cards at that point.

Being underestimated by the shrine maiden would be embarrassing to our master... Unless there are other advantages I failed to notice?
>> No. 65997
[x] decided to fight her.
>> No. 65998
[X] decided to refuse.

Youmuuuuuu!
>> No. 65999
[X] decided to refuse.

Okotowari Shimasu~
I want some kappa.
>> No. 66000
Man, your Reimu is really good too.
She hasn't shown an iotta of interest, but she'd make a good friend.
>> No. 66001
[X] decided to fight her

Nothing to lose, it's not like Gensokyo isn't choke full of small fry.
>> No. 66002
[X] decided to fight her

Absolutely. We're here to learn and this is possibly the best life lesson, something that might shake him a little into growing out of Patchy's shadow.
>> No. 66003
[X] decided to refuse.

We could get our drunken ass judged by Reimu's drunken ass, or we could realise we already know we need more non-drunk training (and then go meet a kappa).
>> No. 66004
[X] decided to fight her

Makes sense to get as much practice as possible when it comes to a skill vital to preserving his life.
>> No. 66005
[X] decided to fight her.

An opportunity to fight Reimu when she's not in maim-burn-kill mode? Sign me up!
>> No. 66007
File 152169519952.jpg - (190.36KB, 1000x1500, eternally cute maiden of paradise.jpg) [iqdb]
66007
Writing from "decided to fight her" now unless something changes.
>> No. 66008
File 152173572886.jpg - (88.38KB, 700x700, 1462894780877.jpg) [iqdb]
66008
>>66007
Aw dammit. I can already hear her say "Wait, is this it?"
>> No. 66021
Hasn't Anon learned by now?
Every route is Reimu route.
Yes, even if she is a loli.
>> No. 66023
>>66021
Considering Gen, it's more like *because* she's a loli.
>> No. 66034
File 152215653522.png - (2.37MB, 2000x1412, Hakurei.png) [iqdb]
66034
[X] decided to fight her.

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero. As they’d acknowledged earlier, the two had very little reason to meet.

“Alright Reimu,” he answered with a bit of a smile, “I’ll take you on.”

“Alriiight,” she drawled. She seemed pleased. “Let’s lay some ground rules then.”

Reimu put her hand behind herself and pushed up to stand, stretching once she had and then warming her fingers. “Two things first,” she began, patting through her clothes in search of something. “One: I don’t want you to use any spells you think are ‘special’ or ‘strong’. I want to see your average, not exceptional.”

Not finding what she was looking for, she retreated into her home. Gen craned his neck to see that she was heading into some other room, and after he heard her rummaging through something. “Two!” came a sudden shout from within that made him bring up his shoulder, “We’ll fight twice! We’ll use the spell card rules first, then we’ll fight without them! After all, you probably get less chances dueling than you do without rules. The first rule won’t apply to our second fight, of course. Don’t hold anything back, okay?” Reimu walked back out with a simple rod-and-paper gohei and nearly tripped, sending the lines of white diamond cutouts attached to the stick’s top wildly over her head. She was superbly demonstrating an air of dual preparedness and inebriation. With balance regained, she touched her fingers to her forehead and breathed out “Fuu...” before looking at him through bleary eyes and showing a cat-like smile. Well, this was what he’d signed up for.

At any rate, the lush was correct. While he tried to avoid places where he knew particularly dangerous and/or strong youkai liked to lurk, he still regularly had to fight youkai. At this point it wasn’t like every battle paralyzed him with fear, but they were indeed fights with no holds barred, so in the (generally unlikely) case he lost against a weak youkai, that person or monster would (most likely) eat him then and there. And, of course, in the case he had to fight something even approaching Yuuka or the ship-killer’s strength, even now... Ordinarily, wouldn’t he just die? More practice to avoid a grim fate was appreciated.

So he was fine with these ground rules. They’d be a good measure of his abilities. Or they’d be... a measure. Rough, but probably worthwhile measure? Reimu was absolutely not fine on her feet at the moment, and he could already picture her wavering in the sky. He’d still lose to her without a doubt, but these were surely not the ideal conditions for a fight.

“Oh, and uuhm, some advice, a suggestion,” Reimu raised a finger and eyebrow as she spoke, taking a quizzical posture, “a request, an order. This is an order.”

Reimu, who stepped off the ground, began floating.

She brought her gaze to his and commanded, “Don’t think you’ll lose to me.”

Gen started to lift himself, the hairs of his neck prickling to the sense of approaching battle, and voiced his confusion with a “Huh?”

[ ♫: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9XG8bWAo2A ]

“Don’t think about losing. Do you think about losing when your life is on the line? Do you fight against death thinking that death is going to take you? Even if you will lose to me, come at me like you’ll win.”

She continued, not allowing him a breath: “You have a face like you want to lose... Learning from your mistakes? Experience from failure...? Loser talk! You shouldn’t want to fail at all! If you want to win, think about winning! Look! Toward victory! Then it won’t be a dream!”

Shouting now she readied a sheaf of seals grasped from her sleeve, and he rushed to his feet. “That’s my advice and my order, Gen!” she declared. “Now, move!

He’d gone colder than the air, and when he leapt backward to crash into the snow of the yard the sensation was nearly warm. Out the shrine came a torrent of paper, and soon Reimu gently followed it. Though she swayed in the sky freely and wore a satisfied expression, the drunken shrine maiden looked to be taking on the library’s apprentice with all gravity.

Marisa woke up.

“Hunh? Whuh?” she mumbled, looking up to see a pair of bloomers and legs. “Hah? Uh, Reimu?” she asked, moving onto her elbows.

“If you’re gonna sleep, do it inside,” advised the shrine maiden to the magician under her.

“What’s goin’ on? You’re fighting?”

“I’m teaching Gen two lessons.”

Marisa’s expression was grave, and her answer of: “That’s somethin’, comin’ from a girl who’s never even had one,” was serious.

“Quiet,” answered the red and white girl, lifting more seals. Gen, watching, took to the skies. Reimu followed after him, and Marisa wrapped herself in her blanket, transfixed.

As Gen ascended, Reimu wasted no time tossing the charms that were her ammunition. He moved in reverse, teeth grit while he avoided the shockingly fast projectiles. They screamed past his chest, through his legs, and he spun to have them miss his coat, but there didn’t seem to be a pattern to this, which had him perplexed. Certainly in spell card duels there were periods of play without any cards at all, but even those in-between rounds were marked by true and pretty danmaku. Reimu seemed to be coming at him like this wasn’t a match, but a hunt.

Eventually he bent his neck out the way of one final seal, and saw that Reimu had stopped. She simply stared at him with her warm eyes and face, and though he didn’t get why he decided not to bother doing so and reached for one of his grimoires. At this moment, another slip of paper flashed forward by his right ear.

His entire body reacted in surprise, and he turned to see that behind him Reimu had walled the sky in seals. More red, more white, stretching out as his sight seemed to allow. Then, it all came after him, while Reimu shot more to replace it.

Thus he was forced to dodge both an avalanche of talismans and a constant volley of them from either front or back, depending on where he faced. He moved horizontally, forcing his body to turn and dive and rise and stop in avoidance, and he immediately realized he had never moved liked this before. He sobered up.

Gen didn’t bother shooting. He genuinely needed to aim all his effort at keeping “alive”. When Reimu noticed that, she grew irritated and yelled, “Shoot, you moron!”

“With you, everything’s ‘easier said than done’, huh?” he growled, releasing a tome from his belt. He bid it follow him, and breathed, ready to speak the words for his countering magic.

Whether it was affinity or that he’d simply gotten used to it by now, he truly felt comfortable casting from light. He could speak the praises of variety all he wanted, but if Itou Gen was ever pushed into a corner, sun or moonlight was soon to follow. He hoped to one day not slip into a habit so readily, but that day was not today. At any rate the Sun and the Moon were almost always available, so he almost couldn’t resist. Without a second thought, he called to the cosmos above and sent its rays at his opponent.

Reimu was, again, right. Danmaku play wasn’t only about dodging (outside of specific circumstance), so he couldn’t neglect firing back, even at the cost of his concentration of movement. At least he’d learned that, when focusing both, generally speaking one’s counterattack would be honed for further damage. Not that he’d drag himself carefully now. Not when he needed the speed.

He crossed left and right several times and very quickly, dowsing Reimu in sunlight whenever he passed her, but his delay and technique left him without enough time. He ran the round to its limit, and with a frown Reimu lifted her first spell card.

“Pretty pathetic,” she noted, and she said the card’s name, “Dream Sign 'Evil-Sealing Circle'!”

That’s the one she parodied with Marisa, right?

When she’d “done” it earlier, she’d thrown only a single “bullet”. He had to imagine the true spell wasn’t like that. And, it truly wasn’t.

After her card dispersed into light, talismans began to flood out of her clothing in eight directions, cardinal and ordinal with her body as the compass pivot. It quickly appeared that every envelope she sent out was in fact a packet of many: after a short distance they divided and fanned, and as always in these fights “bullets” fast replaced the air. The idea here reminded him of Alice’s “Benevolent French Dolls”, but the execution couldn’t have been more different.

Although Reimu directed nothing at Gen and indeed seemed to not be thinking about shooting at all, the “Evil-Sealing Circle” was undoubtedly an organized pain (unlike Alice’s spell, which consisted of unorganized splashes of colors). Paper lattices crossed into a locking cage, forbidding any large movements. As he flew in place between them, drifting laterally as the cage would allow, looking on he got an impression to which nothing could be compared. Seeing these shrine maiden-colored chains surrounding everything, binding him on all sides, running overhead and underfoot, and the shrine maiden herself in the center... he thought it was no wonder she was commonly called “red-white”. He’d only see these colors for a while.

Just when he was becoming used to grazing the envelopes marked as though they were full of money (with “ooiri bukuro”; what on earth was that about?), Reimu swung her gohei. When she brought it down before her, she cast rings of pearls from her spirit, six around her, in rapid succession. The speed of their approach made him nearly back into a paper wall, but they didn’t actually reach for him. Instead Reimu lifted her gohei once they had stopped an appreciable distance away from her, and the white orbs became red spades.

“Aaagh...” Gen moaned as his expression melted into one of agony and his eyes glazed over. “Miss Reimu... are these the only colors you know?”

“Quit whining!” she yelled, still swinging her gohei and casting pearls.

It’s definitely amazing, but my poor eyes... he thought.

He squinted his way through her spell card. While this was a claustrophobic, commanding spell from the child, it was also fair. It certainly stole all his attention, and it was giving him a headache, but he could capture it, and after a measured struggle, he did.

“My turn, right?” he asked.

“You don’t need to ask,” she answered.

“How obnoxious should I make my card?” he wondered aloud.

“Make it as obnoxious as you want, it won’t make any difference.” Her reply was blunt.

This brat... I mean, she’s probably right, but—ah, oh yeah!

Think to win.


He decided to mimic his master.

Patchouli had a magic inspired by the light filtered between branches that he liked for many reasons. It was a little difficult for him, but would still fall within Reimu’s limitations. First he would summon wood, then he would once more call on the Sun.

He removed another book from his belt (that flew above his right shoulder, opposing the one above his left) and began invoking the elements. From the right book, thin branches shot out toward Reimu and spread throughout the sky. From the branches, leaves sprouted and began to fall. The shrine maiden looked on curiously as the leaves slowly drifted toward her, expecting more. And, more soon came. Gen’s left book began to channel the sky, and fired light at the “wood” danmaku. When magic met magic, sunlight scattered in all directions. As his Master intended, it looked like the scene of a forest in summer. Once the wood and light had gone, he got into a pattern of doing this repeatedly, and earnestly tried to take Reimu down.

Reimu, with her hands at her hips as she nonchalantly moved through the bullet curtain, revealed a smirk when a ray passed by her eyes. “Hmph, I like it,” she affirmed. “Patchouli’s?” After asking, she started to aim offensive energy at him. As in, it found him, not that she directed it herself (she wasn’t even paying attention, in fact). He didn’t know counterattacks could do that...

With pale red square spirit slapping his cheek, as he was squinting, wincing, he answered, “Yes, it’s Master’s.”

“Can you do it easier or better with ingredients?”

“Come o—”

“You’re just casting from incantations!? Are ya STUPID!?”

Gen ignored Marisa and continued his spell unabated.

True enough, the biggest reason his Master could cast from her soul alone was that her soul was strong: a youkai’s soul tempered by a good amount of years and practice. This was why he, a human, often found himself on his last legs after a serious bout. But, while he did not have his Master’s power, he did have her stubbornness and her pride.

Reimu shot him in the face one too many times, thus he drew his first card: “Sun Sign ‘Noble Flare’.”

“Ah, ah, I remember this one,” Reimu commented with a small grin. Then she asked, “‘Noble’?”

It was another variation of his Master’s. Ideally, it was a “Royal” card with many double-layered waves of solar flares. He could only manage singles.

Marisa piped up again: “Maybe if you used magnesium or something, you could make it like Patchouli’s.”

“You’re not wrong,” he replied as his sorcery took effect. A triangle of solar fire formed between himself and Reimu, spinning outward. He had spoken and willed the magic to go a certain way, and he knew it would be simple for Reimu, but he had some hope the difference in density from what she already knew would throw her off. He’d summon, have the magic spin and wave, and do it again and again. At its best, this card looked like an orange and crimson screensaver. It wasn’t so pleasant to face, however.

But... as before, Reimu’s movement through his attack was effortless—truly effortless. When Youmu, Marisa, and even Miss Sakuya were avoiding danmaku, he could always tell in their flight and faces that they were trying, or concentrating, or had some awareness of the field. Everything Reimu did, from her thoughtless direction to her absentminded bullet-response, told him that this wasn’t just easy for her: it was as natural as breathing.

The shrine maiden proved to always, unfailingly, find a way through his spells. She would casually slip through gaps, stand still like nothing was coming and have it all miss her, and if she felt like it she’d fly before him to shoot energy from her talismans. Otherwise, energy would come regardless, and hardly miss him.

He went through three spell cards – of sun, of wood, and of both – as well as another undeclared pattern, and the unfair Reimu made it look like he was shooting nothing at all. He thought, It’s amazing Marisa can regularly beat her.

When her turn for assault came again, he refused to become disheartened. He faced two more Hakurei cards with “victory” in his head:

First, Kamikuji “Rule Violation Barrier”—

One that seemed to be based off of omikuji, and was an incredible and stunning response to his complaints over Reimu’s favorite colors. The young girl made the sky look like the inside of a forgotten and fantastical, crystal-wall grotto. She summoned innumerable ofuda of several colors, all soft and bright, but he did not realize that she was entirely trapping him for all the beauty she showed him. He was left like a man encased in gorgeous and magical stone, staring down at a glowing maiden surrounded by an unbound cave in the sky, whereupon Reimu poured out more of her spiritual energy and pummeled him. This nearly forced his loss (as he wasn’t allowed to clear anything with a spell card), until he realized he could slip out of the encasing seals before being trapped if he only moved carefully. While it was simple after that, his first failures were quite the embarrassments.

Second, Divine Spirit “Fantasy Seal -Blink-”—

He wanted it explained to him how it was supposed to be possible to capture this inhumane card. During it, Reimu began to slip through existence all around him and zoom about at absurd speeds, summon charms from nowhere, appear from nowhere, and suddenly fire large cascades of bullets that nearly caused him to yelp in surprise. His facing it had comprised of unabashed confusion. Furthermore when he noticed she was still perfectly susceptible to fire and thus this was not a survival card, he had cursed aloud.

It was madness to contend with, and eventually, while hanging about the center of the battlefield and worrying over where the shrine maiden would appear next, she appeared behind him, and immediately had him overwhelmed in a violet tide.

Gen was now on his back and on Reimu’s roof (which had not been cleared of snow). He heard Marisa call to him from below, “So you lost, huh?” He had.

What the hell was that...? How was she moving during it? It wasn’t stopped time, was it?

“Hmmm...” hummed Reimu as she descended close to him. She had a very puzzled look, twisting her lower lip and contracting her brow.

“What?” asked Gen.

“Well, considering you’ve only been doing this for about a year, and you’re being stupid about what spells you use, I think you’re doing pretty well.” Reimu pinched the same lip she kept squirming about. She revealed, “’Pretty well’ can definitely get you killed here, though...” and stopped her pinching to move her hand to her hip, lifting the other to point at him with her gohei. She gave her final judgment then, “Your ‘pretty good’ is still terrible. It’s below average, and maybe only a little like someone from the village playing at extermination. I guess if you do foolish and drastic things when you fight, you can survive, but all it takes is you screwing up stupidly once, getting exhausted from doing something like that, and then you’re basically a waiting plate of food for any youkai passing by.”

He nodded to this. There was excitement in putting it all out there for a fight, but...

“Your skill can still be terrible, sure—” she continued, “—most people are terrible—but it needs to be a better terrible than this, alright? Get that through your head.”

He certainly had to admit it: he’d probably grown too complacent.

“Fine,” he answered, “I’ll waste away in front of arsenic and mercury, then.”

“That’s the spirit!” cried Marisa. It was a lesson he’d learned early on in Gensokyo, but one he’d been choosing to ignore. Since Patchouli herself hardly used ritualistic or material-based offensive spells, she didn’t bother chastising him much over his choice. She’d already told him why he should use fueled magic. If he wanted to forego it and die, so be it; if he wanted to forego it and live, even better. She could brag about that. In all honesty, he wasn’t happy about having her lose some bragging rights.

“We’re to fight again, aren’t we?” he asked Reimu, lifting himself up onto his rear. She did not reply. “... Reimu?”

He only noticed now that the light of the Sun was being obstructed. He looked up to see a little girl flying in the air with an enormous sphere above her head, held only with one hand.

They exchanged words.

“Is that the ball of ice?”

“It’s the Yin-Yang Orb.”

With that, she threw it down. He scrambled out the way, knowing their next battle had already begun.

The black and white Taoist symbol was probably a head over his height in diameter, and when it crashed into the snow of the roof it sent out the cold white as waves, covering him. He ended up on his stomach and buried, and he could hear Reimu preparing a volley of paper “bullets” behind him. This was no longer “play”. This would hurt. He needed a plan of action.


[] Quickly find some magical ingredients for better magic.

[] Shenanigans.

[] Simply fight as ordinary: to win.
>> No. 66035
[X] Shenanigans.
>> No. 66036
Immediately after hearing that we should not pull off our usual shit and thst we should use material regents, we decide to do our usual shit?

[X] Look for material etc.

A gamble, but a worthwhile one.
>> No. 66037
Are options 1 and 2 incompatible ?
>> No. 66038
Re: Shenanigans as a trap choice

> I guess if you do foolish and drastic things when you fight, you can survive, but all it takes is you screwing up stupidly once, getting exhausted from doing something like that, and then you’re basically a waiting plate of food for any youkai passing by.

Reimu's spiel is I think underscoring that shenanigans against her is a trap, especially since his spirit is already partially or mostly used.

I might regret this but Gen has knowledge of what ingredients make the most sense even if he doesn't practice them, even if that means asking Marisa for what she has on her.

I want to see him adapt -- Shenanigans already failed him in a way with Yuuka, I want to see him take the step to remove his pride and take up using focuses/ingredients/reagents, what have you and grow.


I'm really hoping for a yelling match back and forth between Gen and Marisa as she shouts comments about things and he's hastily trying to improvise.

If Gen gets exhausted spiritually this is an instant-KO for him against Reimu, so he needs to play smart.

[X] Quickly find some magical ingredients for better magic.
>> No. 66039
[x] Quickly find some magical ingredients for better magic.

sure why not
>> No. 66040
[X] Shenanigans.
-[X] There's a lot of snow around, and what is snow but frozen water? Put it to good use.
>> No. 66041
[X] Quickly find some magical ingredients for better magic.

Better to be pragmatic than prideful when lives could be at stake.
>> No. 66042
>>66037
He'll be fairly serious about option 1.
>> No. 66043
>>66042
Alright thanks.

[X] Quickly find some magical ingredients for better magic.

The girl is doing him a favour of sorts through a practice death fight, it's not the time to pull pranks.
>> No. 66044
[X] Quickly find some magical ingredients for better magic.
>> No. 66047
[X] Simply fight as ordinary: to win.
Psst.
Reimu's orders.
>> No. 66048
[X] Shenanigans.
-[X] Quickly find some magical ingredients for better magic.

No reason we can't make a distraction while looking for shit to throw at her.
>> No. 66049
[X] Shenanigans.

I feel shenanigans will fail in a brilliant way while the others will fail in a boring way.
>> No. 66050
>>66049
Ignoring Reimu's advice, in her face, will fail spectacularly, if you're into failures with long lasting consequences.

I, for one, like this Reimu.
>> No. 66051
[X] Quickly find some magical ingredients for better magic.

It work out fairly well when Gen was fighting Youmnu.
>> No. 66053
[X] Quickly find some magical ingredients for better magic.
>> No. 66056
[X] Quickly find some magical ingredients for better magic.
Like the giant semi-frozen ball we put in the yard.
>> No. 66058
[x] Simply fight as ordinary: to win.

What >>66047 said. Materials may be better in the long run, but right now, he has exactly zero experience with them. Now is not the time for study.
>> No. 66059
>>66058
Study? Haven't you read the last three threads? This guy is good at improvising.

Not to mention that we learn a lot faster from live situations and under pressure. This is true for practically anything that you have a decent base on.
>> No. 66062
>>66059

What's funny is I can't tell if we were double-tricked, in that we should just "face her to win" to see what determination gets us, since Gen is a "hero" type, a determined hero can after all, accomplish a great deal.
>> No. 66063
>>66062
Quite a few heroes are tricky or improvise to use stuff they didn't have prior to a situation. Doesn't change that they're determined, but they also don't always charge head-on.
>> No. 66066
File 152232553488.jpg - (70.29KB, 500x700, she is trustworthy.jpg) [iqdb]
66066
[X] Quickly find some magical ingredients for better magic.

Alright then: for starters, I need to get to Marisa. He called on the air.

Reimu squinted as a wild vortex whipped up around her opponent, tossing away any seals she sent toward him and causing a few to slap into her face and over her eyes. She got caught in the strength of the wind as well, and could taste in the air that Gen’s own magical power was being used to bolster this. Reimu, light on her feet and even lighter off of them, was sent tumbling into the sky, finding everything very disorienting very quickly. Her cheeks turned green.

Gen, now uncovered, gazed upon the queasy, swirling maiden and bit down in concern. He really hoped she wouldn’t, but that girl was going to vomit.

He shoved himself from the roof and slid down on his back, eyes fixed on Reimu who has holding her mouth and stomach (and nearly dropping her gohei). She was spinning, and would continue to spin for at least thirty more seconds. He dropped down to the floor just as he saw her dry heaving.

“Oof!” he voiced on his landing, saying next “Oh, god,” as he heard the always recognizable sounds of someone throwing up, followed by splatter, plop, and splash.

He felt... really bad.

From above he heard an angry and despairing: “Oooeeeehhhgghh...! Blugh, guhh...”

He’d have to clean this mess later.

He turned around. Marisa was sitting, still in her blanket and looking up toward the horrible sounds with a face of terror. She saw that Gen had fallen, blinked at him, and asked (or rather demanded to know): “What the hell did you do?”

“I made a whirlwind. She’s drunk,” he explained, “I’m far less drunk. Rather sober actually. See? The sake bottle? That was mostly her.”

“Aah...” Marisa muttered with a miserable face, squinting at the empty vessel and sakazuki. She then huffed, and laughed, and said “Reimu’s such an idiot,” to herself.

“Well, the idiot will recover, and angry I’m sure,” he replied, still hearing terrible things overhead, “There’s something I must ask: could you give me some fuel to use in magic against her?”

“Huh? Wait... you’re... not doing a spell card duel anymore?” she questioned, raising an eyebrow.

“No, this is her second lesson.”

“Huh, I see...” said the small girl, lifting a hand to her lips in thought. She was mulling something over. In a brief moment, he thought she in her gold colors looked rather charmingly cute... Perhaps that was why Miss Sakuya acquiesced to her invasions and theft? ... No, that would be because she was Miss Izayoi Sakuya. The thief’s cuteness had nothing to do with it.

He shook his head. “Well?” he asked.

“Well,” she answered, showing a very thin, very worrying grin, “well, there’ll be a price for my stuff, y’see.”

“A price...?” A book. “Name it.”

“Nuh uh, I won’t name it.” Her grin opened for more of her teeth, “No, it’ll be a surprise. A surprise. That would be more interesting.”

“A surprise”...? his eyebrows twisted with this thought. Right now, Marisa looked wicked.

His magic would end soon, and after Reimu got her bearings again she’d come at him with all fury. He wasn’t liking the idea of possibly bargaining with Marisa here for his Master’s books. Or, if he didn’t want to betray Patchouli’s trust, he wasn’t liking the idea of possibly giving away the Rauðskinna (which was, technically, his). She’d love that book. She’d already tried to steal it before.

This was, of course, assuming that she wanted an item. A bit of him... thought she didn’t.


[] “Fine.”

[] “... I think I’ll just make due on my own.”
>> No. 66067
[X] “... I think I’ll just make due on my own.”
Nope.
>> No. 66068
Also, when I voted for reagents, I meant grab something ASAP not "Use our best distraction move to start a bargain, with nothing to offer, with the most untrustworthy person on earth"


I suppose those are things we can't predict, but damn, do I really regret my vote now.
>> No. 66069
[X] “Fine.”
He took that route, let's commit.
She's probably not going to ask for completely unacceptable. You don't pull the "I'll tell you the price later" card for that kind of thing because it does't work.
>> No. 66071
[X] “Fine.”

This is also a part of this place.

Patchouli a favor from Alice (book for magnifying glass of sorts), Youmu a favor from Gen (won, instead of one-sided), Gen a favor to Marisa (to succeed in the short term).

Marisa knows this isn't a thing that she'll go do something crazy with, but she sees something she can get from it and that too causes this place to turn.
>> No. 66072
[X] “Fine.”
>> No. 66073
[X] “... I think I’ll just make due on my own.”

Because agreeing to an unknown price for an unknown item of unknown applicable use with a known lying thief is a good way of getting fucked over twice.

>>66068
Yeah, I thought we'd try to get some distance and search for something to use, not ask Marisa for her stuff.
>> No. 66074
[X] “... I think I’ll just make due on my own.”
>> No. 66075
[X] “... I think I’ll just make due on my own.”
[X] "Maybe later."
>> No. 66076
[X] “Fine.”

Her asking for a book wouldn't be a surprise, so I'm curious what she'll want.
>> No. 66077
[X] “... I think I’ll just make due on my own.”

probably not the best idea to get in debt for the sake of a lesson.
>> No. 66078
[x] “... I think I’ll just make do on my own.”

I told you morons this was a dumb idea.
>> No. 66079
Why not just use the snow as our ingredient?
>> No. 66080
>>66079
>>65991
>Due to his inexperience he wasn’t able to manipulate the snow with magic, even with The Simplest Manual of Materials for Starting Magicians that he still never left without (it was explicitly stated in the text that unusual states were outlined in The Advanced Manual of Materials for Adept Magicians, a book he’d used before that was so large carrying it outdoors even by magic was simply unfeasible).
>> No. 66081
Also! Snow isn't magical (it's an element, technically: "water", though if you were to use a water (liquid) spell on water (semi-frozen), it wouldn't work). Long ago in thread 1 our Master touched on this: how some things can be used, and some things can't be used in magic. Finding ingredients is thus not very simple; not everything works. Furthermore preparation is a factor for most of what you could find, though not all. While I wouldn't say that denying Marisa is a bad idea, I would say that denying her does carry some risk, and that perhaps you gentlemen are too worried over the thief. She's not a youkai! Anyway it may be more than some risk, since the shrine may not be ideal for items useful in magic.

If you want the basic positives and negatives to each choice, weighing what Gen should know:
Accepting:
Carries a ??? risk from a mischievous child. May or may not involve giving something away. Marisa's sense of value is strange. Getting materials from Marisa is guaranteed, and everything would be prepared.

Refusing:
No deals with a witch, and possibly finding something good and useful in a pinch that could create some very powerful magic. Carries a risk having to seek something out while Reimu gives chase. This may not actually work, and if it does there will still be a matter of preparation while fleeing. I should also remind you that Reimu is both angrier than usual now, and has no need to hold back.

I'd ordinarily not chime in since that's being a spoilsport, but I felt perhaps things were getting misunderstood. I may be a bit wounded over the distrust of Marisa, though! I do like that blond brat, and most of the insults and bother directed at her in this tale is purely since she's a nuisance to the protagonist's Master.
>> No. 66082
(X) “Fine.”

Rebel one. Action.
>> No. 66083
[X] “... I think I’ll just make due on my own.”
>> No. 66084
Honestly, we have a bit too much on our plate right now to stack another favor on top of it, thus my "Maybe later." write-in.
>> No. 66086
>>66081
Now I feel dumb for forgetting that...
>> No. 66087
[x] Fine.

We handled with pranks before, what could go wrong?
>> No. 66101
[x] Fine
>> No. 66102
As we've tied with my estimate for the number of regulars who vote, and I wanna write, I'm GONNA write with "Fine" in mind. This may take me a bit though. We'll see, depends on some things in my reality.
>> No. 66117
File 152290185820.gif - (1.47MB, 700x990, bright and happy battle.gif) [iqdb]
66117
>.gif that looked better in PS

++++++++

[X] “Fine.”

Marisa began to glitter.

Gen was briefly repelled.

After her grin had grown wide enough that he’d begun to mirror it, the girl shouted “Great! Let’s get going, then!”

She leapt forward feet-first, casting off her blanket and grabbing on to Gen’s sleeve, tugging him backward. As he nearly fell, he took the opportunity to glance above the shrine and observe Reimu, no longer spinning bodily but her eyes certainly were: resetting right to left rapidly, constantly, as she held her head and barely held on to her rod.

Marisa brought Gen to the snowman he’d left unremoved that she and Reimu had made in the morning. She tore off its witch’s hat (hers) and turned said hat upside down, at which point she dove a hand into it and rummaged through.

Gen’s patience was somewhat thin, and that was manifest in how tensely he held his brow. He wouldn’t rush her, but watching the child go through a series of expressions (eyebrow up, glancing aside, grimace, tongue poked out...) he did want to yell “Look with your eyes!” in admonishment of her attempting to do so with her fingers.

Her expression became pleased, happy, and she announced “This!”, withdrawing three somewhat large, rather rotund flasks.

“Ah...” voiced Gen, noting their dull colors. “Basic concoctions I wager?”

“Just the stuff for any old magic!” declared the other magician. “You wanted fuel, I got that for ya! You can tell it’s pretty normal, huh? Not for specialization or nothin’, but you can work with it.”

“A mix of mushrooms and mustard seed?”

“This and that. Take it, quick!”

Marisa thrust the three round-bottom flasks toward him, and he grabbed them one by one, fitting each on his belt of tools. The way this sort of thing worked was simple as could be: uncork your magical fuel, cast your spell with an invocation, glyph, or formula to indicate this magic won’t be using your own power to be cast, and the potion, mixture, stone or what ever would be “burned” away as needed. If he hadn’t taken the low road for Marisa’s aid, he’d have had to find some bits of things in this shrine (and, of course, the forests around it) to mash together and draw off of. While this would work, it wouldn’t have been very easy (particularly given the season). He could already picture himself beneath the shrine’s porch, or foraging squirrels’ nests, or whatever he could to find anything of magical worth. And of course, while such ingredients were simple to use once they were prepared, the preparation was never short and sweet.

Judging by how long Marisa had searched her hat, the little girl must have had much prepared. He’d also heard that the strange octagonal device she often flaunted about was a magical furnace that doubled as some sort of weapon. While he liked the idea of working off of one’s own strength entirely, he had some envy of her for that so-called “mini-Hakkero”. In the realm of the dark arts, such a multi-tool was beyond rarity: it was perfectly unique. Thinking on it, he thought he’d not enjoy being on its receiving end (having seen what a “Master Spark” was since the day he’d first declined a demonstration) or to fight this prepared girl at all, even with three useful flasks of his own.

[ ♫: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGI1p6_1EEQ ]

“Thank you, Marisa,” said Gen, not looking at her, but instead moving his eyes back to the growing-more-and-more-composed flying shrine maiden. “I’ll pay whatever your price is later.”

“Nuh uh, you’ll pay it now.” Marisa chirped up at his side. Now he looked at her, inquiringly, and saw that she was shaking her head.

The elder and less powerful magician, presently bent to a knee in front of her, let out a sigh and spoke in exasperation: “Alice is right, Gensokyo’s too unreasonable...” Gaze returned to Reimu, he then offered these words to the child, “Listen, Marisa: Reimu’s furious and unbridled. I can’t risk your games.”

“Yeah, this ain’t the time for playin’ around.”

“Hn?” He looked at her again.

With genial mood, Marisa carefully replaced her hat onto the snowman’s head. She held a hand out to her left and from a distance a broom flew fast toward her. Gen, unexpecting, was forced to lift his arm and grit his teeth as winds were brought with it, winds which whipped forth when she snapped the handle from the air. The younger magician smirked at her lesser reflection. “Hey Gen,” was the address she delivered without weight, “you don’t remember when we first met do ya?”

“I do remember.”

“Then you forgot.” Marisa pulled the broom behind her and sat back on it with a small bounce, impossibly floating before him. With palm facing up, she pointed at him with her right hand. Her eye shone beneath her hair, and gold was bright beneath gold. “Guess you thought I was kiddin’ when I said I really wanted to fight an outsider like you.”

“Marisa—” he began to protest.

“Fair’s fair, Gen.” She shrugged, and rose up as she spoke, “And a promise is a promise! At three flasks’ cost, I’m gonna kick your butt!”

Geeeeen...

Gen stood up quick, and every hair on his body rose shivering with him. A deep growl had fallen from a red, white, and green little girl above him. The girl cast her gaze down next, and lifted her rod up while speaking again, “I said you shouldn’t hold back, but I didn’t mean you should be cowardly and cheap instead.”

“Reimu!” shouted Marisa, “Lemme help out!”

“I don’t need your help,” Reimu answered with stony finality.

“You’ll get it anyway,” Marisa rejected, pulling something out of her dress.

“Fine,” the maiden dismissed. She was too focused now, and explained her ethos plainly: “At any rate it’s not my fault if someone like this ends up dust on my shoes today.”

“You said it!”

His mind returned to his first fully-cognizant night in Gensokyo, and he thought:

This has gone very badly for me.

Reimu had become much more sobered, and Marisa beside and before her wore unabashed thrill in her grin. The girl with power unbidden wanted to overwhelm him now with it, and the girl with power she had built wanted just to unleash it however she was allowed. He was below them, and reminded of Patchouli’s fire.

But, contrary to his first night, where fire was held in his hands in defense of his life...

Today, he was roused to feel fire purely burning within him.

Once the cold terror of facing true power had washed away, it was replaced in his chest with this blazing exhilaration. Itou Gen, knowing that in this duel there was no safety—only the perhaps-mercy to cling to of two children with dubious morals—was unmistakably excited. Reimu and Marisa were strong, but neither was “Yuuka”. He felt in facing them another oncoming reprise of his first night: near-to-grasp triumph.

This showed, trembling, on his face.

“That smile...” Reimu spoke with disgust, “you haven’t learned anything, huh? Not one thing.”

Gen brought out two of his books and denied her with a simple “Nah,” following with an avowal:

“I’ve learned very much, Miss Reimu.”

“Well then enough of that. Learn that you’re weak!”

The sky was alight with auras, and a spark went off from the thing in Marisa’s hand, briefly showing the girl who’d become a shadow in Reimu’s light.

Itou Gen gave a “tut”, and began to talk in a dead tongue.

And fantasy came forth.

Kirisame Marisa aimed at Gen with her signature “Master Spark”, while Hakurei Reimu sent the colors of her soul out to seek him on their own. The grounds burst with light, the strength of an incredible ray flanked by religious might, and when the crash came the girls winced to the touch of vapor.

“Wet!” Marisa called, “Wet!? Did we accidentally do him in?”

“Doubt it...” Reimu mumbled, deciding “That’d be too anticlimactic.”

Their first volleys and the aftermath of them dissipated, and both girls squinted through the settling dust.

“That’s... eh? A water screen?”

Marisa had observed what looked to be a sheet of water, but she knew this to be an impossibility. The amateur they were facing could not have shielded himself, not with a water layer. She saw soon that what seemed to be a sheet was more similar to a grid: many diamond shapes of liquid glinting before them and, as was apparent from any attempt at scrutinizing, toying with light. This was an illusion-maker.

“Heard about this...” Marisa started, looking up and around the grounds, “he’s squirrely,” she explained, “he’ll try hiding when he’s outgunned.”

“I’m not allowing a ‘flight’ option... Geh, I still feel sick,” Reimu grumbled her thoughts while she continued to look through Gen’s misdirecting field. Marisa cast her a confused glance, but didn’t question this act that she’d determined was futile. Still, Reimu explained herself:

“That weasel couldn’t have gotten out of the way on just his feet or by flying. He’s...” she stopped her talk and lifted her eyebrows. In the little snow left on the grounds she saw a telltale spiral that traced fast and just-gone movements. Traced them— “... there!”

Unfolding a hand of seals, Reimu, quickly turned left and spotted her target with his back against a tree (and evidently rather in pain). He pulled himself from the trunk and almost collapsed, wincing up at her. The little runt had hurled himself with air to attempt an escape.

“Just running and running and running...” Reimu commented although thus far he had ran very little, “you’re gonna make me feel like the bad guy!”

She threw her charms.

“Wai—! Reimu!” Marisa raised a complaint too late, and Reimu saw what it was intended for as her papers severely missed their mark. The shrine maiden scowled, knowing immediately what had gone wrong and squinting just to be sure. As she’d gathered, Gen’s little water diamonds had scattered very far, in part (it seemed) because of her and her friend’s assault scattering them. She quickly readjusted given the error, but when she tossed a second and true-aimed volley, the novice magician swung himself into the forest and her ofuda met only tree bark instead.

“Tch! No!”

“Don’t let him run off!”

The two pursued immediately, Reimu’s zeroed patience going negative at the thought of this audacious battle.

Rushing on foot through the forest, Gen skidded to a halt when he heard Marisa’s call for chase. He was setting something up for himself, and he didn’t intend to hide forever as he’d done with Patchouli. Any possible win from that wouldn’t grant him much satisfaction now. He would, however, be very pleased with a win from a handicap.

Gen pointed toward his two opponents and spoke ancient words. One bottle of his uncorked, he called to storm and stem. The books beside him began paging rapidly and smoke poured out the bottle’s mouth. If he could call this spell a name, it would be “The Play of Nymphs”. The snowy tree tops erupted from the force of broken and flying branches, and winds too came to push forward a refreshingly scented and irritating to face wall of nature, stopping the girls and getting them to cover their eyes as well. In this respite, he kicked air from his heels and shot toward the shrine. Glancing back after passing under them, he saw that they hadn’t noticed him, and breathed out with relief. This would grant him opportunity to get to work. He opened his coat, and removed a scroll.

After a minute at the forest edge, his spell had begun to stop. The result: a Marisa with a leaf between her lips, and a Reimu with her hands up, eyes shut, and hair a mess.

“This is a youkai’s work,” said the maiden, “I’m gonna exterminate him.”

“Whoa, that was more like fairy work dontcha think?” Marisa asked.

“Fairies, youkai, maids, and butlers all get me angry and ALL GET PUNISHED!” the child thundered, gripping her gohei as if she intended to bleed it.

“Heh? Maids, huh? Ha ha ha!” Marisa only laughed.

Then, the two of them lurched forward at once, both having been struck on the backs of their heads by bolts of light. They turned to see that Gen was now behind them, and flying in the space where they’d began. They also saw many more bolts of light, radiating out from him like a planetarium’s, and rushing toward them, a certified curtain of bullets.

“G-Guh, I can’t deal with this!”

“It’s not that bad, but...”

The two handled his attack very differently—Marisa’s gripping and turning her broom with all her might, Reimu dodging with mild concern (a sight rarer than certain legendary flowers)—but both seemed to agree that something was definitely wrong with it. They were quick to pick up that the innumerable water crystals that Gen now guarded himself with of course not only affected their perception of where he was, but where his bullets came from.

“You’re just a completely dirty fighter, aren’t you!?” snapped Reimu.

“No, no!” he insisted, “This is just what happens when I don’t like my odds.”

“I don’t wanna hear about your odds!” Reimu nonsensically whined. Still having little problem dodging, she pointed at him emphatically and continued, “This is pathetic! You’re completely like a youkai, acting like this!”

“No, no,” he reaffirmed, “This is just a desperate human’s way of fighting.”

“Ghh, you piss me off!” Reimu was now flooding seals out her sleeves like she’d done before in their previous fight, but instead of sending them, she was amassing the slips behind herself. Gen did not neglect goading her.

“This is supposed to be a fight as I’d fight if I wanted to win, right!? If that’s the goal, then a coward’s win you’ll get!”

“Moron!” she shouted, “Don’t talk about winning! Get that thought out of your head!” And with no hesitation, she sent forth her ofuda.

As she’d found aiming to be useless, they came as they came. Completely without pattern, Reimu had Gen awash in papers. However, this randomness alone was not very concerning—he had fair enough skill keeping away of it (it wasn’t as bad as Alice’s awful spell). What was concerning was that he’d realized Marisa hadn’t said a word in about two minutes.

“Hey Gen!” Marisa’s voice. His right ear twitched. “Taste this!”

Looking over his shoulder, he saw Marisa with her tool aimed, firing at him wave after wave of pretty-colored cosmos all turning like the most beautiful pictures of galaxies. Matching her smile, he faced it all gladly. Soon, the scene over the Hakurei shrine was a display of madness. Charms intersected with stars while their intended target flit about a small space and cast light in all directions. Missing was plentiful.

“Can’t aim well yourself, huh?” asked Marisa. “Kind of a pain of a fight like that, though.”

He did not answer her, caught up in his dodging. Reimu, however, followed up.

“So you’re not so cheap that you’d avoid crippling yourself? That’s a surprise, Gen.”

He did not answer her either, because he had avoided crippling himself.

On the inner shrine’s floor, weighed by a trio of tea cups, was a scroll refining a certain student’s magic. In the glyph was outlined the call to cast vision (itself the reflection of light) astray, sight always confused by many “mirrors” (in the form of water droplets). They were, however, one-way mirrors.

Light from within at his place above the shrine would not be tampered with, but all light without was fair game. Part of his gambit was to hustle the girls, and it seemed to have worked. He ceased his bolts and began to gather light into his hand. While keeping aware of his opponents’ attacks, he opened another of his borrowed bottles. The first was already almost completely done from the hybrid magic he was using to protect himself.

Gen clenched his fist, invoking the sun once more, and with a shout he summoned spokes of solar energy, spinning around his sky-directed finger tip. They then began to pull up into columns, and slowly wrap one over the other into a brilliant spiral of orange-white. It resembled now a sword beyond imagination, and he brought this sword down on Reimu’s head.

“Ha!” The shrine maiden didn’t hesitate to laugh at this ploy, She confidently stood still, knowing Gen had no better aim than her, and while she thought to perhaps graze it, she was engulfed in refined sunlight. This was, again, before she’d heard Marisa’s demand to not do what she was doing.

Reimu wasn’t tumbled to earth, but the blast of the ray did send her reeling and force a tree to act as her catcher’s mitt. She now looked like a poor thing caught in a spider’s web, and she began pressing her nails into the soft flesh of her palms. Reimu now delivered hate to Gen through her eyes. But, quickly, she stopped. Now she breathed out with those eyes closed, and Gen knew what she was going to do as soon as she settled them once more upon him, all calm. If she couldn’t aim at him, she wouldn’t. Her might would speak and aim for her.

Marisa had stopped her own attacks when Reimu took the hit, but now she was continuing a steady stream of misguided lasers and bullets in his direction while barely containing her laughter at Reimu’s sorry state. At this juncture, sidestepping starlight and keeping an eye on Reimu, Gen knew he had to make a choice.

Reimu would sweep away his illusionist screen and leave him exposed to herself and Marisa’s unfiltered powers. After that, he had to determine who to go after and how.

Reimu was dangerous, but had finally calmed down. On the other hand that meant she would probably be serious from now on. He thought at this point, she might actually leave him with some kind of scar.

However, she was still drunk. She still hitched here and there, and wobbled or nodded poorly at times she clearly didn’t want to. Thrice he’d seen her hit by one of his bullets of light because of these involuntary mishaps.

Marisa was only maybe dangerous. She was not seriously coming at him, but... Why did he get the feeling that if he took Reimu out, she would stop being a supplement and instead come at him as a true threat? Reimu’s specialty was youkai extermination, and as he was not a youkai, although she could threaten him he couldn’t imagine a great loss from being trounced by her.

Marisa, on the other hand, he was quite sure could accidentally take off his head with an errant (or indeed true) magical cannon.

They were both... such awful children.

Also his strategy with either... To go defensive where defense was now a viable option? Attempt an offense? What to do to win this? And, should he risk moving out of where he found himself now?

First, who would he try to take out?


[] Reimu.

[] Marisa.


And then, how?


[] Go on the defensive.

[] More bullets.

[] Try to get in strong, concentrated attacks. Or, at least one.

[] Some other trick?

[] Fight on fair ground.


And finally, his positioning...


[] Remain stationary.

[] Fly around.

++++++++

And your image sources:
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/1997200
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/2065326
>> No. 66118
[x] Reimu.
-[x] Fight on fair ground.
--[x] Remain stationary.

Man up and have a punchfight with Reimu. Now, is this the best idea for winning? probably not, but it's absolutely the most fun answer
>> No. 66119
[x] Reimu.

She's the main target

[x] More bullets.

She's getting hit by stray shots, eh?

[x] Some other trick?
These have been working great so far.
>> No. 66120
>>66119
Re them latter two: are ya voting to go with either more dakka or more trickery/saying "whatever works" for the last choice (position/movement)? Or, perhaps, you got a bit confuzzled?
>> No. 66122
[X] Reimu
[X] Try to get in strong, concentrated attacks. Or, at least one.
[X] Fly around.

Got to finish her and fast.
>> No. 66123
The two of them are relying on each other right now. Reimu runs interference, Marisa waits for a chance to use her giant laser and win. With that in mind.

[x] Reimu.

If she's alone, Reimu can just keep dodging and eventually win with her trump card or two. As is now, Gen can't hold up a candle to her - only reasons she can lose now is because those two are working together and because she's drunk. Marisa's trump card is a literal "Giant Love Beam~" and we've just deployed something that really fucks with light. We can do something like that with some other twist on it later to not die.

[x] Terrain Tactics

Objective One - distract raymoo and smack some bullets into her. Objective Two - prevent Marisa from setting up the megabeam. For that end, we can pull something from Wood or Wind, maybe even Fire, but that's pushing it. Mana consumption will hurt, but it's okay if it K.O.'s the gohei enthusiast while throwing the other magician off.


[x] Remain stationary.

If all goes well, we can nullify/redirect the laser beam with a refraction that the scroll provides after Marisa is left alone, and if she wants to use Blazing Star, we can do something ridiculous with the Sun element to pull a double K.O. in the worst case scenario. We can't dodge their shots very well right now, they're too good at this and we're terrible.
>> No. 66125
I told you that we had too much on our plate already.
[x] Marisa
Magicians know Magicians best, if she decides to get serious after we're winded defeating Reimu, she'll start giving us a run for her money.
Best strategy is to deal with the currently weakest link.
[x] Some Other Trick?
Multiple opponents, best method is always to get them to friendly fire each other.
If we're gonna win, we're gonna have to fight dirty. Time for a trick based kit.
[x] Remain Stationary
Reserve as much stamina as possible, not out of cautiousness but out of necessity.
>> No. 66126
[X] Reimu.

She's stuck on the tree and is the easiest to attack

[X] More bullets.

I would be best if we attack her now before she finish calming down.

[X] Remain stationary.

Save up our stamina and helps focusing on our aiming.
>> No. 66128
We got three general magic boosts ... and a new opponent. Great.

[X] Reimu.

Gotta take her out as fast as possible while Marisa is still just playing.

[X] Some other trick?

We can't win in a straight fight, but luckily we don't have too. We can make some "smoke and mirrors" magic with actual magic.

[X] Remain stationary.

If we can defend our position, we shouldn't compromise it.
>> No. 66129
[X] Marisa
[X] Strong concentrated attack
[X] Remain Stationary

Might as well gamble on getting a big hit in before we see some super moves.
Targeting Marisa since Reimu can just -blink- outta the way, and a drunk Reimu might be less of a threat than Marisa if it comes to a one-on-one.
>> No. 66135
[x] Reimu.
[x] Some other trick?
[x] Remain stationary.

I'm helping!
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