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File 154761937043.png - (2.37MB, 1754x1240, the witch in the devil's mansion.png) [iqdb]
67429 No. 67429
♫: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG4a4ittWVg
[紅の魂 ~ 赤より紅い夢 - 幻想少女大戦紅 オリジナルサウンドトラック (さんぼん堂)]

・-・・ --- ・・・- ・

Music Collection: https://mega.nz/#F!1BdBzIKZ!bhLzijfM3iyphpueDOKf0g

Histories of Yatsugatake, a Suika backstory short: >>>/shorts/2180
THREAD 1 >>65260
THREAD 2 >>65548
THREAD 3 >>65922
THREAD 4 >>66462
THREAD 5 >>66845
59posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>> No. 67498
File 15542100026.gif - (779.18KB, 600x600, o hai.gif) [iqdb]
67498
[X] that might not be a bad thing.

~~

It took them some time to exit the forest. After they did, they returned to Kourindou to purchase the iPod (with an explanation that the magician had found a benefactor), which Rinnosuke was not pleased with. Gen said he would still ask his Master about assisting the store... but in all likelihood he wouldn’t. With the moon rising, he and his partner left the secondhand store to start heading back to the Mansion.

“Are you gonna sleep in your room tonight?” Suika asked him as they walked the open road.

“I’ll probably report back and give the girls their gifts, but um...” he faltered, slightly screwing up his face, “... I’d like to sleep with you tonight... I implied as much before we went into Kourindou.”

“Ah... ahaha...” Suika laughed with embarrassment, and quietly grasped the side of his robes.

“Oh, it’s you again.”

Gen stopped. The odd, bouncing cadence of the voice which had just spoken was distinctly recognizable. Beside him, Suika was quiet. It seemed she didn’t care.

Floating in the air a few meters before them, difficult to see as it had almost blended in with the night sky (really, it was only visible due to the lack of stars, as if they were being blocked) was a somewhat large hole in space, flying slowly over the road from the trees nearby. Gen thought it looked familiar, but wasn’t certain. He was only certain of that voice. He’d found the one who had spoken it only yesterday.

“Do you want me to set you on fire again?” He threatened, casually.

A blond head of hair emerged from the void in space, revealing that the void was some sort of sphere before the girl within spun and showed herself to be the small youkai that had tried to attack him on the Road of Reconsideration.

“That doesn’t sound great...” the youkai opined, smiling apologetically with her red eyes closed.

“That’s a shame, then,” he replied, and he released the clasp on one of his belted grimoires. Suika decided to speak up then, rather suddenly.

“Oi, oi, oi, you kidding me right now?” the oni grumbled. Letting go Gen’s coat, she stepped forward to confront the lesser monster. Glaring, one finger raised and pointed, she growled out, “I’m in too good of a mood for this stuff. If you want a fight, you’re getting a massacre. I’m an oni.”

“What’s that?” the childish youkai asked. This did not please Ibuki Suika.

With a dark smile cut along her face, eyes wide and pupils sharp, Suika brought up the claws of her right hand. Gen shivered. His new lady friend was choking the air around her, with choking too similar to the sensation of a rope around his neck. It was something humans ordinarily weren’t keen to. The youkai tree in the Netherworld, the flower youkai, and the being in the lake; forces like these were the only ones with power and emotion so strong that they had been palpable too. Suika had had a moment as well in the library, but it had felt deliberate then. It was like the gathering of strength in a fighting manga, really. On the other hand this was natural, tangible rage and – being frank – evil. It was fearful; youkai.

“Here,” Suika bid, the muscles in her arm coming to resemble a statue’s in definition, “I’ll make your body remember.”

“I—... I can handle this, Miss Suika,” he made an attempt.

“You’re with me tonight,” she answered, her tone heavy as iron and obstinate as a boar, “I’m not wasting even two minutes of my night on a nuisance.”

[ ♫: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-YFDV-5x8A ]
[Atomic Bonsai - Strife! (Homestuck) (Joren “Tensei” de Bruin)]

The hair waving behind Suika began to wave like water. In fact, he was fairly certain while watching that the girl was genuinely becoming liquid. The ends of the strands began to mist, and the air surrounding her shimmered. He swallowed, and took a step back. “This’ll take me just two seconds,” she said, and she promptly closed her fist.

There was a crack of sound before a veritable explosion of it, wind whipping around the elder youkai enough that he was sure he’d be knocked back in moments. The air that was shimmering around her seemed to break, brightly, and Gen realized he was blinded temporarily from the spectacle. He braced near the ground while shutting his eyes and waiting to regain his sight, and in a split second found that that was very difficult, on account of the earth being mercilessly, violently rocked every which way. Several more explosive sounds went off in the remainder of the second, a veritable cluster bombing all around, and he felt dirt being splashed and peppered all over him. He opened his eyes, and saw nothing. Not due to being blinded; with light fading from his eyes, he saw that he’d become surrounded by shadow.

He had a bad feeling, and so began to incant. It was then he heard a voice at his ear, happily breathing out:

“Aa~n.”

His sweat ran cold. He continued his call to the elements, but turned as well in an effort to escape. It was then he felt the pair of hands on his shoulders, holding him from behind.

“Fire Si—!” he announced, but was stopped when a third hand grabbed the front of his clothing, the powerful grasp taking hold of his coat, vest, and even his undershirt with ease. He was yanked forward, hearing a krsh just behind him, something like steam, spraying out after a distinct, hollow, snap: a pair of things fast closing shut.

Suika was pulling him out of the shade. As her image blurred past and he was dragged like a towel rather than a person, he could make her face out for only a moment, and saw that she really was rather pissed. She delivered a weighty body blow into the black mass from where she’d extracted him, and as he slipped and planted his feet beside her (still being held) he saw that the shape was bending oddly to the punch. He took a second to look over their environs, too, and was instantly reminded, with chilling effect, of footage from American riots about ten years before. Suika had set the place on fire somehow, but it lacked any of the prettiness he tended to strive for in his danmaku. This was a chaotic hellfire, completely unlike the noble flares his Master liked to produce. With black billowing sickly to the sky from burning and almost molten pits; with crippled, crackling and spitting trees falling nearby, the young human grew concerned for the first time about what it meant to have an oni return to Gensokyo.

“Wow, wow, wow!” the other youkai exclaimed, recalling her darkness like a cloak to reveal that she was entirely unharmed. She grinned with a row of wicked shark’s teeth, excited plain as day (contrary to her abilities). “What did you say you were? Ongi?”

“We’re fighting! Shut your trap!” snapped his girl, and the temperature surrounding her began to rise. It was sweltering as soon as he noticed the change.

Don’t know what that means, but I’m not liking it, thought Gen. He put his hand on Suika’s at his front. She didn’t notice.

I’d better do something before this becomes an event. We’re a little too close to the village...

Holding his partner’s hand tighter, he made a decision:


[] He’d sneak attack the other youkai to finish this quickly.

[] He’d attack Suika to distract her, and then finish off the second youkai.

[] He’d attempt to placate the oni by hugging her from behind and pleading, in as cliché a manner as possible.
>> No. 67499
[x] He’d attempt to placate the oni by hugging her from behind and pleading, in as cliché a manner as possible.
>> No. 67500
[x] He’d sneak attack the other youkai to finish this quickly.

Dishonorable? Please. They're a pair. A duo. Just like she reacted because they were threatening him, is he not entitled to do the same?
>> No. 67501
[x] He’d attempt to placate the oni by hugging her from behind and pleading, in as cliché a manner as possible.

Holy fuck yes please
>> No. 67502
[x] He’d sneak attack the other youkai to finish this quickly.
>> No. 67503
[X] He’d sneak attack the other youkai to finish this quickly.

Suika's not in the mood and we aren't either, so let's end this.
>> No. 67504
[x] He’d attack Suika to distract her, and then finish off the second youkai.

Gen first impressed her with irreverence, recklessness, and bravado that bordered on insanity- time to remind her who she fell in love with.
>> No. 67507
File 155495099219.jpg - (203.30KB, 700x560, shadow.jpg) [iqdb]
67507
[X] He’d sneak attack the other youkai to finish this quickly.


[♫ still on]

It wasn’t the easiest thing to hide an attack under the school of magic Patchouli had taught him, ruled by incantations, but it wasn’t the time to be put off by difficulty either. If this was a youkai of darkness, then he would pierce them with light—perhaps something that would burn, for good measure.

For now, he’d distract Suika to slow her down. He pulled his clothing from her grasp (tearing all three layers out from his side because she would not let go, thus leaving an awful hole), got behind her, and while speaking his next spell put his hands into the front of her shirt, through her torn sleeves.

Feeling his hands on her chest, the oni instantly diminished the heat that had been surrounding her and she screamed at him, “GEN!? WH-WH-WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?”

He didn’t answer, of course: he was still incanting.

The youkai who sought to attack him was also stunned by his boldness. “Wahh! Human! Isn’t that too much!?” she cried, floating before them with her arms out to her sides.

“Nun lasu la teron malfortiĝi. Fosu profunde.”

“G-Gen, let go! A-A-And stop whispering in my ear...!” Though her body had gone cold, Suika’s breathing had plainly heated up.

Looking stern, the human grabbing her continued to quickly bid the elements without any pause. The youkai before them stopped looking flustered; realizing that now was a perfect opportunity to bite into the young man.

She went ahead. He let go. Suika put her hands over her chest. One of his books opened, glowing orange. She surrounded herself in darkness. He calculated his aim before the shadows swallowed her completely.

And a hole opened up beneath him, dropping him at once. Suika, noticing his fall, hid the back and underside of her skirt with both her hands. The belligerent youkai snapped her jaws at open air, and realizing the human had disappeared she let light illuminate her again, checking for him. The falling Gen rapidly spoke a second spell, knowing his aim was true.

“Sunder! Tooth of Heaven!” he yelled, and between the palms before his stomach a hot light manifested. However, an unfortunate thing happened before the tree of evil’s bane could sprout from it.

His side suffered a twinge from where he’d been struck in the morning. He winced, and his magic missed.

Mostly.

Aboveground Suika leapt away from the hole Gen had made, surprised at the potent, silvery spell that was now erupting from it. It probably wouldn’t hurt her, but from only looking she could tell it was a kind of magic designed very specifically to harm most any youkai.

“Guess that pervert’s okay, then...” she spoke under her breath, taking her hands from her butt and slouching back into a fighting stance. “... Hn?” she grunted.

Something was different.

The youkai before them had definitely been struck, and obviously badly. On the mirrored branches of Gen’s spell were red and viscid streaks, with just a bit of glistening, gooey white. Suika noted no brain matter, so the youkai shouldn’t have gone temporarily insane or anything. She’d stopped, however: fully stopped, without even the slightest twitch. She was like a colorful figure, stuck to a bizarre tree in a bizarre way: by her head—her face, with her arms wide and her backside jutted behind like she was sitting in the air.

“Huh...” said the youkai, but she continued to not move.

Suika looked at her back, feeling a glance of something both familiar and peculiar. She lifted her gaze slowly to where the damage had been done. Where the magic had speared and torn the small youkai’s cranium asunder were some floating, crimson, bits of religious paper.

How hadn’t she noticed before?

[ ♫: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPBt-sMkYU8 ]
[妖魔夜行 - Scarlet Inferno (PHOENIX Project)]

“Ohh... ” the girl moaned as she gently parted from the lance. Strands from the inside of her skull clung to the bright and jagged pillar, glinting scarlet. Smoke and shadow seeped out of the cavernous wound.

The ribbon in her hair was never cloth: it was in actuality a Shinto seal.

The trace Suika had felt was familiar was the unrefined and primordial power of the night.

The youkai gave a shout: “Ah...! Isn’t this nice!?” And darkness rushed out around her, quickly consuming all light that could be, from the earth to the sky.

“Tch!” Suika spat, and she leapt away from a rapidly expanding swirl of the oldest element. She stopped her retreat, however, when a pang of concern shot through her heart. “Ahh, crap,” she muttered, and she jumped into the blind, intending to slip under the youkai before her.

“Hey, Ongi,” said the youkai from somewhere in the dark, “and human; I wanna thank you. That’s really been such a pain~.”

Come on!

To thank you, I should tell you my name.”

Suika felt around for the edge of the hole Gen had made, and saw that the shining spire was fading and splintering in front of her. She spun over the pit spread-eagle and called on her inborn ability.

A pair of eyes glowed above her.

Scatter!

The shadows parted, but not as much as the oni had wished for. Between what manifested as ink-stratus clouds, she saw the blond child’s three-fourths face grinning at her. She felt in her stomach the curdled and instantly recognizable feeling of black magic, running her through. From the girl’s arm was a jet-colored spike, stabbed directly into and out the oni’s core.

The youkai narrowed her eyes blissfully and hissed: “It’s Rumia...”

Ancient blood crawled down the spike, down to the tip where it fell in a heavy drop. In a moment, it struck the human below on his cheek, and he assumed it was some of the unburned stuff from inside the youkai he’d attacked. With his hand on his side and his gaze aimed up, he saw at once that that wasn’t the case.

He steeled his mind, and began to ready another spell.

Above, Rumia looked to her left as her eye and skull slowly regenerated, looking at her shadows stuck in the air. She noted to the oni she was spearing: “Eeeehhh? When that seal was off before, there wasn’t aaaanyone who could hold back my darkness. Ongi are...” she trailed off, meeting Suika’s eyes and showing her fangs in an open smile, “... kinda strong, huh?”

Suika gripped the youkai’s upper arm, made a fist, said, “Oi,” and smashed her knuckles against the right side of Rumia’s smug face.

With the wallop, Rumia was blasted into the woods, sand and dust rippling from the force and speed before she exploded somewhere within, presumably having hit a thicker tree or a boulder after smashing through smaller sorts. But, she did not go with her arm, which Suika had held by her nails. The arm was torn off and left as a bloody weapon stuck in the oni’s belly.

The elder youkai went to the side of the artificial hole in the earth and loosened the arm by moving some of the mass of her body that was around it away. She pulled it out, held it in her hand, and looked at the hole going through her with a frown.

It was then that Gen scrambled out of his pit, falling toward Suika the instant he saw her. His eyes were wide and pupils narrowed. He held his hands out near the new opening on Suika, gaping and obvious there.

“Su-Sui... Sui, ah—!”

Suika saw that he wasn’t able to talk. She looked at him sideways while taking a knee and still frowning.

She pointed to where she’d been impaled, and Gen watched as her body and clothing smoothly reformed. Suika gripped her stomach, and then her gourd.

“Listen here, boy:” Suika began, taking a second to bite the stopper off her gourd’s mouth (she then spit it out), “an oni’s not gonna get taken down by something that pathetic.” She then drank with her head back, holding the arm over where she’d been hurt and swallowing everything presently inside the infinite container. When she was done, she made to look at his worried face more directly, addressing him again, “More importantly, you. Did you get hurt at all there?”

Gen had to gather his thoughts before shaking his head. Suika threw the arm on the ground, the spike shape of it returning to a white-sleeved, bloodstained, child’s limb. She then pushed her hand down over Gen’s hat and head, bowing him. “Then quit freaking out now,” she said, pointing at him with her sake-holding left. “Get it together. That fight isn’t done.”

The arm in front of them turned into shadows and lost its form. The forest out ahead of them burst suddenly with a blaring, discordant sound and waves of black energy, like half a hundred malignant geysers had gone off all at once within the wood. Suika stood to her max height, and Gen followed suit beside her.

“Sorry,” she said, keeping her eye on the bleak miasma now oozing out of nature. “I got really carried away.”

Gen looked at her and held his gaze, then straightened up to stare into the building shadow. “Am I going to have to expect that a lot from you?” he asked.

“Yeah, you went and courted an oni,” she said.

“Hmph,” he huffed. He then smirked, saying, “Let’s see some of that passion in bed tonight.”

Suika’s grimace deepened, and she answered, “... I’m going to beat you the hell up in bed tonight.”

The shadows swirled in a conic shape, pointed towards Heaven. At the tip was a cross, shining red at its center.

“Well then, I ought to tell you that I hit that seal in her hair because you hit me this morning,” Gen mentioned, opening a few of his grimoires. “Hm... it was a seal, right?”

“You know why I hit you!” Suika snapped.

The sky filled with orbs of white, some half-hidden by lingering darkness.

Gen donned a soft smile and told her, “... I just can’t help myself,” before flying off to the right, his whipping coat catching her eye before slipping out her view.

“...” Suika quietly grit her teeth, not wanting to admit to herself that she felt the same. Not here. Wasn’t this serious?

She stayed put, and waited for the unsealed youkai to come to her.

Rumia drew up her darkness out of the Forest of Magic, and with it came a low hum of power, vibrating the teeth and skin. She threw her arms out ahead of her and cast it as a pall over her opponent. Suika drew a fist back, and uppercut the sky. The air thumped, and shook. With this, in the next second, the darkness split in half, then all fell away in wisps.

“Dealing with this is nothing,” Suika declared matter-of-factly, still holding her fist in place.

“Is that so~?” asked Rumia, who Suika realized was now beside her and lurching out of a stream of shadow that was falling down to the ground. Suika looked rather annoyed, and quickly grabbed the girl’s face.

“You’ve gotta...!” Suika began, lifting her arm up and tugging Rumia out of the shadow. “Respect your elders!” she shouted, and slammed the uppity youkai down with a fair fraction of her strength. The earth shook like the plates below had shifted and the girl made a crater. She bounced, and crashed back down into dirt like a ragdoll. Rumia immediately began to disperse into shade, and Suika hopped over her body, aiming a clawed hand at the child. Her shape was thus retained, and she in place along with it. She forced her head to the side to see what Suika was doing, in time to see the oni dropping her elbow against her spine.

“Gh—! Ah—Oooowww!!” the youkai yelled, for with that impact her back had broken and the ground beneath her too, fracturing like a fault. She dragged her fingers forward, not caring about the soil accumulating in her nails, and realized she didn’t feel her legs. She looked behind herself to see that her back being “broken” meant that it had broken the upper half from the bottom. Suika knelt beside her and lifted her hands to continue. Rumia looked where the oni’s shadow was being cast, and melted into it.

From the cracks in the earth, darkness flowed like a flood of water—like a wild and wrathful black fountain. Suika began to push it aside with her own power, but this Rumia had gotten either smart, or desperate. Darkness was coming almost randomly in waves, obscuring her vision as the youkai took potshots. It wasn’t a simple matter to gather or dismiss it, because it wasn’t centralized at all. If she gathered it all at once into a sphere to be disposed of, Rumia made sure to hold some shadow away for another round. She pounded the oni with the bullets she’d gathered earlier in the sky, cut at her with her power, and generally acted a nuisance: one Suika had to (angrily) admit, was formidable.

The field brightened.

In the sky, before the moon, her lover was weaving light thoroughly and beautifully. From his hands, white color was drawn out almost like the waves of old block paintings. She didn’t stop to appreciate; she pushed her hand into a nearby puddle of shadow, willing Rumia to her grasp, then yanking her out again. At this point, Suika acknowledged that the child was indeed, at the least, battle smart.

Rumia became the absence of light for a split second, enough that Suika couldn’t grab her. She hid in Suika’s shadow again, and when the oni tried to draw the youkai from the black behind her it slipped to the shadows under her feet, then to the pit nearby, out and into the woods. Suika concentrated and jerked the “shadow” out of the forest in a show of fantastic and dark wonder that gave Gen above pause, only for the youkai to dive out of the resulting void-avalanche into a crack underfoot. Gen concentrated again and maintained his light, which now danced slowly like strings in water. He was no longer able to see what was happening clearly, and so didn’t notice that Rumia had impaled Suika again: through her spine now.

The youkai spiraled out of the wound looking only two-dimensional, and she split the spike of darkness running Suika through in twain to lock her in place. From there she entered the black of the sky, and unbeknownst to Gen came for him directly.

Suika was meanwhile regularly whipped against the eyes with blindness, not even knowing what the youkai’s new target was.

Rumia swam carefully to her prey, not wanting to alert him. His light was decent, but the kind of shadow she controlled wasn’t something light could easily dash away—not if she wished that it didn’t.

It had been long since she’d had a taste of power.

It’d been fairly long since she’d had a taste of human.

She neared the side of her target, his exposed, waiting belly. She opened her mouth, and kept it open frozen as a gohei struck fast against her face.
>> No. 67508
File 155495105328.png - (878.22KB, 1536x819, not today.png) [iqdb]
67508
[ ♫: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPBt-sMkYU8 ]
[少女綺想曲でメタルっぽい何か - Tokushu Gensokyo (O-LIFE.JP)]

“Hey.” Reimu said, keeping the Shinto staff firm to the youkai’s visage as she glared with utter contempt. “What the hell do you think you’re doing just outside the village?”

Gen looked down at his side to the two little girls that were there. Realizing how close that had been to a dead end, he swore under his breath.

Reimu meanwhile looked at the youkai trapped against her weapon closely. Specifically, she looked at the youkai’s hair. When she heard Gen’s curse, her eyes darted to the older boy. “Don’t get upset over this,” she said. “Turns out this girl’s not someone you should be fighting.”

She pulled her gohei back, and before the angular paper tassels from its top could fall, her left arm flickered. Rumia bared her teeth in a grimace, then felt something stabbing through her chest. And her arm. And her forehead. Her chest again. Her legs... She looked down and saw needles inside of her, then became aware that she was being rocketed back.

“Don’t waste your life tonight, Gen,” Reimu ordered, and she dropped into a gap opened under her, reappearing quite a distance away and giving chase to the strange youkai.

Gen stared after her, then squinted. He blinked twice, and shook his head violently.


Down to ground, Ibuki Suika was freed from her second round of impalement, and rather irritated at the fact that she’d been so thoroughly damaged twice by a being that wasn’t an oni. Old-fear youkai like this “Rumia” tended to be like that... Simple, timeless fears gave forth to simply absurdly powerful youkai. This one had been sealed, also simply, but very effectively. When she thought about it, she wondered if even she could have undone the binding spell that was in that youkai’s hair. Only a human could’ve dealt with it, probably.

On that note, she looked into the night sky. She’d felt Reimu coming, and now there was a dazzling battle in the night sky of auras, lavender rays, glowing orbs and patterned ofuda. Darkness was there too, but Reimu seemed to be cutting barriers through the heavens, opening gaps to confuse the battlefield and generally manipulate a win here. Shadow was awkwardly severed at angles and swallowed by the tears in space. Cheating, really. Well, the human had to. Loathe as she might have been to be honest about it: Suika felt her hands couldn’t actually stop that youkai, not without killing her. That would’ve pissed Yukari off, for certain. She’d definitely forgotten for a moment but, the age of death was over.

“Hn...! Gen...” she noted the magician’s apprentice descending slowly a bit away from her and started stepping toward him, gathering the plug of her gourd with her power along the way.

Gen stopped on the ground with a start, holding his hands aloft. His back was turned to her, and she reached up, intending to tug at his coat. He spoke before she could do so.

“Hmph, that smells nice... It must be Suika. Is that you, Suika?”

“Huh?” She was puzzled, letting her hand stop aloft, fingers held awkwardly.

“Yeah, it’s Suika. Hey, look,” he said, turning and pointing at his face.

Suika felt her face going pale, and her heart sink.

Behind him, in the skies above, light burst all around to signify the close of a spell card duel. She saw the dark figure of Rumia fall into the trees, and Reimu draw a gap beneath herself again to follow. Gen, unchanged, told her plainly:

“Looks like that cheeky brat of a youkai made me blind.”

Gen’s eyes had become entirely black, glassy. Suika looked into them, and felt ice flowing through her veins.

Her mind went into a rush.

What do I do?

Wh... Why’d I let happen...!? I knew that unsealed youkai was too much for him!

Oh no no no. No, man...! His Master! His Master’s gonna be pissed!

Isn’t that perm—? No! No, sh-fu-cra—crap! Crap!!


She stood on her tiptoes and balanced by keeping her left hand on his stomach while she waved in front of his face. Gen didn’t react to her hand’s closeness to his face, but did flinch at her touch and general proximity.

Gen...” spoke Suika in a cold voice, “that was a youkai of darkness... Wh-What the heck do I d-do?”

“Whoa, you’re panicking, Miss Suika?” asked Gen with a smile, now closing his eyes.

“D-Don’t take this so lightly, boy! This isn’t like your tricky magic stuff! That’s... That’s a curse!

“Ahh...” he muttered. “Then can’t Reimu take care of it?” he asked.

Suika shook her head.

“I-I-I’ve seen that before and it wasn’t a shrine maiden’s problem to fix, I... I’ve never seen it get fixed.”

“Uh...” was Gen’s response. His humor had rapidly, entirely faded.

Suika took a step away from Gen, but now held his clothing with both hands. She looked at him while hearing her heart in her ears: incessant, loud, sickening, too troubled.

She didn’t know what to do, but in the face of that...

... she had still not completely acclimated to trying to make the impossible possible. Even after everything she’d gone through, and her life had been so long that what she’d gone through could healthily fill several historical texts.

Ibuki Suika was at a loss.

And in that loss—


[] she did the first thing that came to mind.

[] she succumbed to panic.

[] [Write in.]

++++++++

image sources:
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/1199367
https://gelbooru.com/index.php?page=post&s=view&id=3690155
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/1813587
>> No. 67509
[x] she did the first thing that came to mind.

Oh fug
>> No. 67510
File 155502436640.jpg - (189.87KB, 634x697, image.jpg) [iqdb]
67510
[x] she succumbed to panic.

is that so~?
>> No. 67511
[X] she did the first thing that came to mind.

EX Rumia?
>> No. 67512
[X] she did the first thing that came to mind.

EX Rumia?
>> No. 67513
[x] she did the first thing that came to mind.
>> No. 67514
[X] she did the first thing that came to mind.
Another defeat! Don't worry, you'll eventually do something Gen... After you become a youkai.
>> No. 67515
File 155542147789.png - (92.47KB, 488x486, upset oni.png) [iqdb]
67515
[X] she did the first thing that came to mind.


“Open your eyes!” yelled the oni. Her human did just that, with a stern and ready glare.

She held her hand in a claw before his eyes. When I last tried fixin’ this, she thought, a bead of sweat running down her forehead, I tried pulling out darkness, night, shadow, even “blindness”...

I could never pull it out. Whatever the stain was, it wasn’t called by any a’ those names... But what if... What if I tried to gather light back to the eyes instead? Adding instead a’ subtracting...


She frowned, and focused.

The marks on her fingers ran with something vibrant and white, swirling the unique patterns there. Out of the trees walked Reimu dragging Rumia behind her by the collar. An ofuda was tied in the unconscious and beaten blonde’s hair.

Come back!!

She extended her digits toward his blackened eyes, and the light lifted sharp and thin off of them. They swirled into his sockets and he made a face of confusion, one eyebrow lowering. She looked at him carefully, concentrating through waves of sway-inducing intoxication. She waited as the spheres in his skull crawled with bright lines, waiting to see the color in them again. When she began to—when the shade covering them began to lift off so thin she suspected it lacked any depth at all—she quickly withdrew the light into her right hand. Something like black paper began to flit out from under his lashes. Before the cursed shadow that was on his eyes could escape, she pulled it to her left hand.

Gen, who could now see perfectly, blinked and winced as he watched Suika smash her palms toward each other, the dichotomous elements between them fighting one another in a microcosmic war. She forced them into armistice, and the result was a strange object: a small, evil-feeling orb attempting to lash out from a cage of morphing light, floating in the cage that was her hands. It reminded him of a cabochon obsidian gem, but with an unstable form that the light was reining in. All he could do was wonder, Could I hold that?

“It’s done...” said the oni, not raising her head.

“Thanks!” he offered with cheer. He quickly wiped the smile off his face, however, when he realized cheer was not what his girl needed right now.

“... Hic.”

She made a noise, and her shoulders bounced. Reimu, who was fairly close now, frowned more than she was already frowning. “Gen, take care of your girlfriend,” said the little girl with a hand on her hip. She lifted the little youkai in her grasp to her side, saying “I’ll take care of this one: punish her a little more, and I’ll punish Suika later for acting out of order.” She floated away from the earth and gave him a tired look. “Haahh...” she sighed, looking to the east. “Seriously, youkai are such a pain.”

Reimu flew off, and Suika burst into tears.

“Uuuu... Whyy...? Wwwhyyyy’d I dooo thaat...? I-I-I—...” she hardly managed these words while Gen fretted before her, his hands held up and serving no purpose. Suika wailed and cried, her tears pouring down her face like twin waterfalls. Her eyes were shut, her mouth was wide, and her head was bent back. Gen felt his heart racing in the worst, most desperate way.

“Miss Suika... Miss Suika! Don’t worry about it! Like you said, you’re an oni! That’s only natural!” he insisted.

Yet she protested, “No id’s nodd! Hig... Id—Id’s not for mee...” Gen wasn’t quite sure what she meant. “You coulda been blind! You coulda been blind ‘cause of me!”

“If you hadn’t fixed it, my Master would’ve,” he assured her, slouching over the broken youkai. “And if she couldn’t fix it, even if she could, no matter what the case the fault was my own for not recognizing when things had gotten out of my league.”

“You don’ ged id!” she pointedly refused his attempt at reassurance, balling her fists. He opened his mouth to ask her to clarify, then, but she seemed to shut down. She grabbed and tugged futilely at the hair atop her head, moaning long in despair. He looked down at her almost stunned. There was some sort of nerve this whole situation had touched. He would definitely have to find out what nerve that was.

But not now. For now, Gen walked behind Suika and grabbed her under her horns. He could lift her easily, and due to her overwhelmed emotional state she didn’t even notice what he was doing. With a frown on his face and a furrow on his brow, he stomped toward The Lake with Suika before him, who continued to express her anguish into her hands, into her forearms, or into the balmy, open air.

~~

The time he took until Scarlet Devil Mansion’s gates shone dull on the evening horizon changed absolutely nothing. Suika cried the entire way as he carried her, clutching the frozen curse in her fist all the while. He was thankful, at least, that her powerful voice was most definitely acting as a ward.

“Higg... hku.... Waaahh...”

She was truly miserable.

“I’m an iddiod...”

Gen felt absolutely terrible.

Of course she’d recover from this, no person ever didn’t from a good cry (youkai or not, surely), but that he couldn’t seem to help very much bothered him. What did he have to do? Give her a hug? Tease her? These sorts of gestures just seemed shallow. This person who he was coming to love had a wound in her heart. Of course he wanted to heal it.

“...” The young man silently marched, thinking about his options.

... He came to the conclusion—


[] that he’d take her into the Mansion
----[] and sneak her into his room.
----[] and bring her to Sakuya, who was much more used to handling miserable and all-powerful youkai than he was.

[] that after going to the gate and handing off his gift, he would spend the night doing his best to impress her.
>> No. 67516
[x] that he’d take her into the Mansion
----[x] and sneak her into his room.
>> No. 67517
[X] that after going to the gate and handing off his gift, he would spend the night doing his best to impress her.

This time we will ask permission of course.
>> No. 67518
[X] that after going to the gate and handing off his gift, he would spend the night doing his best to impress her.
>> No. 67519
[X] that after going to the gate and handing off his gift, he would spend the night doing his best to impress her.

I suppose.
>> No. 67524
File 155655505168.gif - (3.82MB, 533x750, bringing the sky down.gif) [iqdb]
67524
>.gif
image sources:
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/1979048
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/500821

++++++++

[X] that after going to the gate and handing off his gift, he would spend the night doing his best to impress her.


He approached the red-haired guard of Scarlet Devil Mansion with a strange shape in his robes. For that matter, his robes were closed up—something he never really did, even in the winter. Hong Meiling showed Gen a worried expression, asking, “Sir Gen, what are you hiding?”

“Nothing,” he lied, his face a half-obvious mask of seriousness. In his robes, Suika clung near to him, still sobbing but much less vocal about it now. The tips of her horns gave him very peculiar-looking shoulders, and as he noticed that, Gen’s mask gave away to a frustrated look, directed at a wall rather than his colleague.

“... Hiding something again,” said Meiling, leaning toward him with a hand at her chin and another on her hip. Her eyes were narrowed, but she straightened up and sighed before he could get the impression that she was angry with him. “Are you trying to bring that into the Mansion? I can’t let you do that if that’s the case, not without you showing me what it is.”

“I’ll be out again tonight,” he replied, reaching into one of his deeper pockets. “There’s something I have to do outside the mansion that I can’t do here. Tell Lady Patchouli that I’ll be alright.” With this said, he produced the iPod he had purchased and held it toward his friend. “Take this, keep it safe, and keep it secret. This is very important, Miss Meiling. Don’t let anyone find this, especially not any fairies. It’s a gift for the Mistress.”

On hearing his last note, Hong Meiling jolted into a serious posture and gave him her utmost attention. She carefully took the iPod and told him, “Understood! I’ll do exactly as instructed!”

“Thank y-hYOu!?” Gen flinched as the music-player left his grasp. He felt the claws and grip of Suika’s hand entering his clothing from the hole she’d torn before. He swore under his breath as his pulse kicked up—cursing himself for having forgotten to mend the tear.

Meiling, seeing how he wiggled to his passenger’s touch, saw that his clothes were damaged, and saw through them. A hand was moving to his back, and when it reached there it started to brush, very lightly, up and down, also thumbing his side. The human began to keel over and his face turned red. He couldn’t look her in her eye. Meiling pouted with suspicion, and he forced words out his mouth.

“I-I also have a present for Mistress F-Flandre. I’ll give her th-that my sSElf—”

He clapped his hand on his front—his passenger’s back—with some irritation. Meiling turned her judgmental eye from where his body was being exposed to his nervous and bothered face.

“S-Sorry, I’ll be going now. See y-you l... LATER, Miss M-Meiling,” he said. He slightly bowed (or, he bowed a bit more than he was bowing already), and turned to walk away in a hurry.

As he departed, Meiling looked at him confused. Whatever the second human was hiding wasn’t dangerous this time, it seemed. “Still...” she muttered, “... wasn’t that too perverted?”

She sighed again, and told herself to have a talk with him later.


[ ♫: https://picosong.com/wE8eB/ ]
[Friend - Riei Saito (Fragile ~Sayonara Tsuki no Haikyo~ Original Soundtrack PLUS)]

Gen found a quiet place a few meters into the base of the Mountain, where the Lake still fully showed itself, glittering under the moon. He sat with Suika wrapped around him, his chin on her head while he waited for her frustration to ebb away as much as it could on its own.

His hands were around her lower back, his expression was dull. After sitting in silence for quite some time, simply listening to the rustling mountain trees behind him and keeping his ear out for any incoming predators, the oni, too, became quiet, and furthermore soft and calm. Her grasp on him eased, and she moved her head.

“I’m sorry.” Her first words were a slightly warbling apology.

He muttered the spell to reset his clothing and placed a new spell onto the threads immediately thereafter. “Sui... Hm, Suika, would you allow me to speculate about your past?” he asked, somewhat blunt in his delivery. He had gathered the sensitivity of the situation, and though rationally he could see that a gentle air would give him the safest path through her tumultuous heart, his nerves were more than a bit frayed and so tact was something a bit beyond his grasp.

“Wellll, you can feel free but I’m a real old girl. There’s a lotta room there for you to speculate.” Although she chuckled with this allowance, her voice still sounded a little tearful. It was that in particular that now put him off-kilter.

“... I will then,” he said, after a little while.

“What? You won’t tell me?” She looked up at him. He was still staring at the lake.

After a few seconds he replied, “You’re here right now,” bringing his arms higher to hug the girl (and prompting her to press her face against his chest again) before saying, “and you’re with me. For tonight, that’s what I’d like to remember.” He held her with security, looking down into her hair and speaking toward her ear, “Let me remind you of that – and why you picked me – rather than whatever brought these tears.”

Suika held him more strongly again in return, though mostly she let him hold her. She relaxed into her man as if this respite, specifically here, was all that she wanted in this moment. And for this moment, he thought that Ibuki no Suika felt weak.

She lifted her head, and he leaned a bit back to look at her. Suika then asked him, very earnest and seriously: “Um, a-a-are we going to...?”

However it took him a moment to realize her implication. On the realization’s dawning, he narrowed his eyes, whispered, “Miss Suika!” and found his jaw left dropped after he’d opened it for her name.

“N-Not that I don’t want to have sex!” denied the oni in a flurry, eliciting from him a tired “don’t say the word”. “I mean, I was gonna say if you wanted that m-my heart wasn’t ready! Like, it’s my first time, and we don’t know each other that well, and—”

“Don’t worry, I wasn’t planning on doing that with you,” Gen reassured her plainly.

“D... Don’t say it like that! Don’t you want to!?” she gripped his shirt while asking this. He closed his eyes while she shook his upper body.

“Let’s table the subject of... that, alright? I can slake your insatiable lusts later.”

“Y-You...! You’re just as insatiable as I am, Gen!”

“Give it a rest,” he demanded, taking his hands from around her so he could pull out her cheeks.

“Oush... oush oush,” she complained. He bent an eyebrow while looking at her tongue and the distinct fangs within.

“Does this even hurt you?” he asked, squinting, He let her go and she rubbed her face, eyes shut.

“Small things always hurt more than big things,” she told him. He thought that... had some kind of logic.

“Anyway I wanted to see if I could impress you tonight,” said Gen, attempting to steer back to the original course.

“We really are gonna make love!” declared Suika in a hushed voice. He brought his knuckles down on her head in a brief strike. Thus: “Ow!”

He brought the hand to his chin. “‘But how do I impress a woman who must have seen it all?’ That’s what I was thinking,” he pondered aloud. “So I thought I’d do something like this.”

He held out his hands and one of the tomes on his belt flapped to life. Suika perked up and turned in his lap, seeing that he was looking out toward the Lake. Her human was speaking at length, indicating some sort of rather involved spell. The lights in the sky all glinted in too-rapid succession, and the lake’s surface shimmered with a fluttering motion. Water in the form of mist rose to form smoky, serpentine shapes above their source, and in a second the stars in the sky gave their light to reflections floating impossibly in midair. In short order, with little work, an apparent facsimile of the night’s heavenly tapestry was spread out before them in all its wide mystique and beauty.

“A simple magic trick,” said Gen with a smile. Suika did not turn to acknowledge him. “With the lake a mirror and the night’s elements so plentiful, this is a simple matter. The idea is a pretty recent one magically, though. Well... historically speaking.”

He stood, letting Suika sit down before he offered her his hand with a deep and practiced bow. Here, he made a proposal: “Miss Suika, would you be so kind as to join me in the stars?”

[ ♫: https://picosong.com/wE8ex/ ]
[I Can Understand - Riei Saito (Fragile ~Sayonara Tsuki no Haikyo~ Original Soundtrack PLUS)]

The oni from the top of the mountain, in her time, had wandered much of the world. Her wandering had even taken her, once, to the lunar sea, and the land beyond its shore. But that journey had been from surface to surface, and had taken an instant: the stars between and beyond were something she could only ever imagine seeing up close. According to Yukari, even humans in the outside world in this modern age had yet to themselves even begin to near the farther stars.

Yet there they were, just out ahead: the stars from that very same night sky; the sky which had hardly changed from the one which had once lulled her to sleep on countless evenings. Before sleep, Admiring, wondering, and drawing shapes between its points.

She took his hand without thinking, and let him lead her to a scape she’d only ever explored in her dreams: to the scape he had manifested in a way he claimed was, plainly, “simple”.

They stepped onto the lake; the magician taking the barest minimum of flight and the youkai girl walking across the surface with ease. Weaves of white and magenta began to bend and slip out the way in their presence, and speckled space—dotted white—hung all around them in clusters. Some specks were particularly bright, and she recognized them as the guides for those pictures she had drawn over and over throughout her first centuries.

“Whaa...” she breathed out, clenching his hand and looking wide-eyed at everything around them.

“I say it’s simple, but I could work a little harder to make it feel a bit more ethereal...” Gen muttered. Suika closed her mouth and was almost in disbelief. More ethereal than this?

They were stood in the River of Heaven. Amidst colored clouds from leagues away and belts of stars from further, she felt like she was falling in love.

“Now... go! Explore the night sky as you see fit!” announced her partner, pulling her forward and casting out his free hand with flair. Suika stumbled out ahead of him, eventually rising into slow steps over the glowing lake, looking out around her at everything, and being plainly taken by it all.

Gen crossed his arms and looked at his handiwork.

In actuality, he’d never cast this spell before on Misty Lake. Since his Master had generally forbid him from going out at night, even in her company, he didn’t often have the opportunity. It was theoretically simple, but he allowed himself a sigh of relief for the magic’s complete success. It was one thing to reproduce the night sky in a half-meter basin, it was entirely another to do the same on a sizable body of water. A single imperfection and he’d simply have a messy lighted fountain on his hands. He was, therefore, glad.

That Suika seemed to like it made him especially pleased with himself. I thought she might, he gave himself some praise. The way she spoke about wandering the world, I figured this world could catch her heart.

He smiled, and turned his gaze from his work to his lover.

I hope she really does feel better, he thought.

Suika was walking through the copied stars not dazzled, per se, but absolutely fascinated. She walked through them, touched them, and studied them in rapt attention. Looking, he saw that she was now examining Orion, putting her finger from shoulder to shoulder and down. He was surprised when she spoke up, talking to him unprompted.

“Yukari said,” she began, “‘this one is you’.”

“Eh?”
>> No. 67525
File 155655516755.jpg - (181.90KB, 1000x1491, Ibuki-douji; who once ruled.jpg) [iqdb]
67525
[ ♫: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZUjjGAwZY0 ]
[自由な精神 ~ To Drink From Life Itself - Maiden's Capriccio/ArmpitMaiden (自由な精神 ~ To Drink From Life Itself (Single))]

Suika didn’t explain. Her hand was held aloft and her back was turned, the only motion in her vicinity being strands of her hair shifted with breeze and the ripples in the water emanating from under her feet. He thought he shouldn’t seek clarification, and when he started to think that he should she decided to give it.

“When I was watching the new and old faces in Gensokyo, among the youkai I’d sometimes hear about the constellations. They gave ‘em names of youkai, and I was wonderin’ ‘Now when did that come about’? I asked Yukari. She said it was her.”

Suika turned halfway to look at him, pointing at the pattern now half-behind her. With a lax and easy expression she told him, “And she named this one after me, all special: ‘The Ibuki-douji Constellation’. She wanted at least my name to definitely be remembered. ‘In case you never came back’, she said.”

The oni let her arms fall and continued to reveal things about herself, keeping Gen’s close attention as she spoke of the Milky Way. “Instead of The River of Heaven, they call it the River of Kishin. She said that the oni had to have at least that much reverence. When she told me that, I couldn’t help but laugh. I didn’t really think about it much either.”

Her gaze turned up to the true night sky. “It’s still laughable, but not how I laughed at it before. It’s somethin’ like, do I even deserve a friend who would put me in Heaven while I’d flee away to Hell? ... I mean even now, maybe ‘cause of that, while humans may have forgot us, youkai can’t.”

She sat down on the lake, crossing her legs and slouching. “I wanna think everything’s been worth it: every step.”

She took her gourd from her side, opened it, and after drinking a few gulps herself held it upside down before her. She let the sake pour out into the lake until half a minute had passed, at which point its flow escaped gravity and began to run through the air and the stars. Gen was captivated again by the sight of Ibuki-douji surrounding herself in rivers of sake, solemnly still with a hand grasping her knee, elbow out. “‘Kishin no Kawa, from which the sake of the oni flows down to the Earth’;” she declared, her voice heavy with a sort of magnanimity. She did not budge even slightly from where she sat, and her pronouncement continued, “An oni has returned once again to let life flow from their cup. Not for a throne, but for the joy that life brings.” One final drop left the artifact’s lip, and entered the water’s surface. “Now that made-up legend is the truth: honest and fair as everything in this world ought to be.”

Her gourd empty, its contents blending into the sky, the lake, and the somewhat distant land, Suika looked over her shoulder at her human. “Thank you, Gen,” she said. “Oni have really fragile hearts... You’re a miracle for knowing how to mend one.”

Gen blushed and found himself smiling involuntarily, turning his eyes from her and knitting his brow. His bashfulness was rather momentary, however. Suika’s air had become, to his surprise, entirely different from usual with this act and vow. Though he knew it already, he stood before a King. She had abdicated, and she hardly carried herself with anything like regality, but Ibuki Suika had once swayed that distant mountain and all the youkai living on it, enough so that Kamishirasawa Keine believed her return to it would have definite repercussions, even after all this time. Furthermore perhaps in the world she’d gone to after the onis’ disappearance, she continued to rule there as well. This was the first time he had ever met someone he felt was a natural leader. As he’d thought before, this must indeed have been the air similar to Remilia’s that Flandre had felt when Suika had been observing the land. How it was different was that Remilia gathered those around her through her charisma. While Suika had a sort of charisma as well, he could tell this was not what had once made her the one all others followed.

Remilia gathered people through charisma, Suika gathered people through a commanding presence.

It was the difference between wanting to please a person, and not even having a concept of refusal. Gen, who had already sworn to this woman, felt compelled to swear again.

“Su... Suika! Um...! I know you said... you wanted me to help you... That I, at least, could do something for you most definitely,” he reminded her, feeling on edge with his every words (much to his confusion). “I... I don’t know what that something is, and you call me naive if you like, but I... I want to be sure that I can as well.” Gen met his eyes with those of the old ruler’s. “Whenever you want to tell me what that is, I swear that I’ll do it.”

To this vow, Suika smirked. She leaned a bit to her side, and gave him an evaluating stare. With the youkai surrounded by the cosmos he’d sewn around, casting shadow over her at acute angles and shone off the canine sharp in her jaw, he felt his heart swooning, “You really are naive, huh...” she said, cocking an eyebrow. “... Don’t vow to me just yet, Gen. I’ll... ask you some day, definitely. If you’re gonna promise anything, I want you to promise me this: if you don’t want to help me when I finally ask, honestly reject me, right out. Fight me if you have to. Got it?”

Gen frowned, his brow now knitting from a feeling of pain rather than elation. He looked toward his feet, hovering above the water. He didn’t like that response, realistic and reasonable though it was. It was too staid, and not something he wanted. He wanted to move her with the strength of his conviction.

“Listen, Gen... alright?” Suika started, standing on the water again and plugging her gourd back up. She turned to him fully, eyes steady despite the starlight shining brilliant beside her face. Like that, Suika told him this: “You can’t treat me like you do your Master. It’s good that you have your loyalty, and great that it’s given you strength, but I ain’t her. That spark of yours that drew me in as if it was a fire... it was the light of a man with freedom at his back and out in front of him. Okay? You got it!? A free man shouldn’t swear at another’s feet when they wanna be eye-to-eye! They should straighten up, and make their vow while they’re on the same footing, with both feet firmly planted!”

He straightened up, swallowing. Suika’s stare had turned glaring, and remained unbroken.

“So?” she asked.

And inwardly, he evaluated himself.

Itou Gen was not only a follower, he was someone who enjoyed the feeling that following and admiration gave: to Patchouli Knowledge, to Remilia Scarlet, and to any who were powerful and respectable. Relinquishing himself to such figures... he felt—no, in fact, he was certain his life was being enriched. Helping someone far greater than himself led to a fulfilling, grandiose life. It instilled him with purpose he hadn’t even dreamed of in the much comparatively dull Outside World. He didn’t question it. Following Patchouli felt like something he had to do, without regret, without reconsideration. He let himself wear her collar, and was gladly tied.

This was not how he’d formed a bond with Ibuki Suika. Though he admired her strength, he faced it as equally as he could. In the library, when a single bout mattered more than anything, with Patchouli he had been risk-averse, careful, and had gone against her while feeling loss was a hair’s breadth away, afterward wanting her strength to become his. With Suika, he never felt close to that way. With her, he had given it his all and more importantly, he had enjoyed their battle in kind. This could have been for many reasons over the year he’d been in this foreign land, changing his ways, methods, and style, but the truth was: although he admired both youkai for their power, with Suika that power hadn’t captured him and made him supplicant. Now, on this night, he’d forgotten that, if only for a little bit of time.

She was right. She wasn’t his Master. Suika was somebody he wanted most of all at his side.

With this in mind, and the light of his magic still vibrant between and around them,


[] he acted.

[] he spoke.

++++++++

The choice between just doing something to convey your answer, and answering as requested.

The stuff about Orion = Suika is not something I made up, nor are the youkai constellations or Yukari's making of them. I feel like this is a lesser known thing about Touhou considering there are only two canon references to point to and like... no(?) fan stuff that references it. Details on the youkai constellations can be found in Curiosities of Lotus Asia chapter 22 (in which Rinnosuke finds Yukari's edit of a armillary sphere with youkai names for constellations) and Wild and Horned Hermit chapter 25 (where you can actually see Suika in the Orion position, in a planetarium).
>> No. 67527
File 155655545565.jpg - (625.58KB, 995x1440, x21.jpg) [iqdb]
67527
page related, what a cutie
>Orion is too hard to see outside of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere
Magic. The stars are always there, as Star Sapphire will gladly remind. I'll just make a note here not to mention it being actually up over their heads...
>> No. 67528
Ibuki 2cute4me

[x] he acted.

I mean, it worked before.
>> No. 67529
[x] he acted.

Be as an oni
>> No. 67530
[x] he acted.
>> No. 67531
[x] he acted.
>> No. 67534
File 155678823016.jpg - (467.48KB, 1748x2480, one to one.jpg) [iqdb]
67534
[X] he acted.

“Well?” she asked, her eyes closed and palm lifted in impatience. “What’s your an... swer...”

She trailed off. By the breeze brought around him, she saw that Gen had quickly flown to her. The brim of his cap shadowed his eyes, but she could see his lips: still and solemn. She felt her heart beat, and she swallowed. He was a mere few inches away, hands in his pockets as he hovered in place. She brought her right hand a little higher, and shrank, but did not retreat.

“Uhw... wa...” she muttered.

His hand, ungloved, grabbed her right wrist.

“Hahn!”

Pulling her upward, the human snaked his right arm to her lower back, bringing her body close. He held her securely, and she heard her heart go to full pounding in her ears while she started to pant, and watched the lower half of his face.

Slowly, he brought his left hand down along her arm. Suika was certain that the heart in her chest was about to break out as his fingertips went down her skin, to her forearm, under her pit, and onto her side. Her right arm was thus rendered sensitive and held aloft while she thoughtlessly raised her left as well. Gen lowered his head so that his eyes could be shown in nearby light. He met them with hers, and she saw in them determination.

He began to float almost reclined, and Suika sat somewhat seiza on his thighs when he did. Gen held her with a bit more strength, a bit closer, and, she thought, clear and honestly possessive. With no real effort, she futilely pushed against him in embarrassment with her unmolested arm. Gen, still holding her right side, moved his hand from her back to her left, brushing underneath the arm briefly and making her flinch before he settled on her shoulder. Suika waited there, until he lifted the protesting limb from below and guided it along until it was down and aside, carefully tracing her body the whole way until he could entwine his fingers with hers. His elbow bent, he held her hand tightly and made one simple statement.

“This...”

He began to caress her side, pulling his hand lower while she squirmed.

“... is what I can do...”

He brought his palm down and over her rear, then kept his hand steady.

“... to an oni.”

While squeezing her hand tightly, he squeezed just as tightly down on her lower body.

Gen looked into Suika’s face as she bent into him overwhelmed at the force gripping her. Her right hand was pressed into his chest, scratching deeply into his clothes. She moaned and grit her teeth, shivering with feeling, and not rejecting him at all.

This was not a gesture of dominance, but a declaration of intent.

While Suika twitched in his hand, he thought about what he sincerely wanted from her. He wanted to understand her and know her, yes, but as she had suggested what he truly wanted was for them to stand on the same ground. Indeed, before she’d demanded her first kiss, he had compared Suika to any of the unreachable betters he had come across in Gensokyo, and could easily agonize over that impossible goal. That wasn’t ever the truth of his heart, however. He wanted to believe he could stand beside her. He wanted to be skilled and powerful enough that he could match her. He wanted her to watch him. He’d touched on that acknowledgement during their game of hide and seek, and he came to realize how much it meant to him—how much elation and fulfillment it brought him to resonate with another person, rather a woman.

Not only fearlessly facing powers beyond him, but being confident and sure that those powers could be made to yield, and to give recognition. To accept the other.

This ageless body that could shake mountains and shatter the sky... could be made to yield, accept, and be shared.

Releasing her gently, her body now warm and noticeably limp, he dragged his nails past her thigh and pushed his fingers into her belt from above. From there, he started to gather the hem of her shirt.

In this case, he had her not by combat, but by will, and her acceptance was shown in her inaction. With her shirt untucked, he slipped his hand into her clothing and felt her firm stomach, her smooth ribs, and the stiff bumps on her chest. As she lightly spasmed, exhaling heavily from her nose with her mouth now shut and lip bitten, he drew his thumb down from her abdomen’s center. As he neared her hips, she opened her legs.

Gen spoke a spell of water, Misty Lake below them rising to wrap them in a sphere. As he undid her belt, and the two were hidden away by the water’s turning, he never let go of her hand, keeping it beside them both. Before the water obscured them completely, the starlight shone on their joining lips, an elated smile evident on those of the small oni.

--End of Chapter 14: Gensokyo Past and Present—

========

Their longer night, can be read here (NSFW): >>/at/39675


Choice: In the morning, head—


[] up the mountain, to the Kappa Den.

[] back home.

[] to Hakurei Shrine.

++++++++

Long chapter. Longest? I don't know... Not much to comment on from me. Just keep movin' on.
>> No. 67535
[x] back home.

... Well now.
>> No. 67536
[x] back home.
>> No. 67537
[x] back home.

The cutest oni
>> No. 67538
[x] back home.

2cute4me
>> No. 67539
[X] to Hakurei Shrine.
Oni's cute and all, but i just realized we still need to check up on the shawl.

Can i ask how many days left until Patchy's deadline request?
>> No. 67541
>>67508
>[ ♫: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPBt-sMkYU8 ]
>[少女綺想曲でメタルっぽい何か - Tokushu Gensokyo (O-LIFE.JP)]
oh hey, this has been wrong the whole time. Good thing I put the actual credit there
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRPmqVspfDs

>>67539
I was gonna put a reminder next update (still will) but I'll tell you 11 days remain.
>> No. 67546
[x] to Hakurei Shrine.
>> No. 67548
File 155714176696.png - (325.96KB, 700x700, Master.png) [iqdb]
67548
Wednesday morning.
Eleven days remain.


[X] back home.


[ ♫: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLESWPUnVss ]
[Like a dream come true - Persona 4 (Meguro Shoji)]

“Gen, studying at the Mansion. Snow is going to fall.”

“Master, please; I haven’t been away that long.”

In the ancient-feeling air of the Scarlet Devil Library, a young human searched through ancient books while his Master strolled by. He was sat on a sofa, looking at the passing magician miserably. Her slippers slid to a stop, and she gazed upon his plaintive face without much expression herself.

“Is that so?” she asked. She called a book from a faraway shelf, the tome flying toward her spine-first. “Were you here last night? I don’t remember that being the case.”

Itou Gen, having no answer for himself, simply wriggled his frowning lips. Opening her book, Patchouli Knowledge strode to the other side of the couch and sat down beside him. His look turned into one of surprise, and his cheeks dyed just slightly. She didn’t often do this.

Gen had returned to the mansion in the early morning. He and Suika hadn’t spent the entire evening together as they had during their first nightly rendezvous, so with a good rest he bid her farewell before sunrise and was able to have an actual and proper bath this time, at his home, with all his things and privacy. He was looking into the subject of divinity when his Master arrived, and presently he was feeling embarrassed that his Master seemed to miss him this much.

If she wanted me around so much... she shouldn’t have given me such a long assignment, he thought with a smirk, although in full honesty he didn’t blame her. Perhaps she didn’t consider that her apprentice would do this much field work for the job.

He marked his place and closed his book to give his Master his full attention, relaxing gently in the presence of her light and flowery aroma. Her full attention seemed to be on her book, but this was not the case. As he expected, she soon addressed him (with an insult).

“Hm. Well, truant, I guess you’ve a handle on your task, huh?”

“To be honest, I’m not sure,” he replied in a bit of an apologetic tone. “‘A cloth that warms itself’... right? I was able to find something, but it’s gotten a bit complicated, and it may be totally off the mark even if I follow this quest to its conclusion. The reward might be trash... or something like that.”

The magician in lavender turned her eyes onto him.

“Ehh...? So, I should be expecting you to fail? That’s rare. A definitive first, isn’t it? I haven’t had enough opportunities to punish you, Gen, so go ahead and mess up.”

He slouched. “Don’t kid around, Master. I don’t want to know what you’d do to me.”

Patchouli chuckled. “Hmhm... But I do,” she said (in his opinion) somewhat ominously.

“Well... putting aside whether I get your assignment done or not...” Gen changed the subject, “could you help me get an Outside World tool working, Master?”

“I should be able to so long as I’m able to understand it,” she answered, putting her book page-down over her lap. “Show me.”

He gave her a “Thank you,” and reached into his coat pocket, producing the iPod he’d purchased the day before. He handed it to the Magician, who let him place it atop both of her hands. She looked down at the thing in complete silence.

“... Well, what is it?” she eventually asked.

“It’s a music player,” answered the boy.

“Music...!? But it doesn’t have a speaker or any openings for tapes... Too small for any media like that anyway, isn’t it?” Patchouli murmured. She tapped the screen a few times, testing it. “... It isn’t hollow either... hm. Hm?”

“It’s a sort of computer, just one that only works for music files,” he explained.

“I see. The magic of the Outside World has progressed again. When I was last there, the latest progression was the compact discus player.”

“Just disc, Master.”

“And what is that short for? Don’t correct me with what’s incorrect,” she snapped lightly, looking over the device more closely. “... Ah, here’s the headphone jack.”

His Master wasn’t an expert on the Outside World, but she wasn’t ignorant of it either. Patchouli Knowledge was not a native Gensokyoan, and had experience with quite a lot of surprisingly modern technology. She’d even played video games, and had enjoyed them enough to reference them in regular parlance (for instance, with how she would describe her books’ “resistances”). She did insist on referring to all that technology as “magic”... but he never corrected her on that. In fact, as far as Gensokyo was concerned, perhaps such technology was magic. He, a human, denying that would probably not bode well.

Patchouli met his eyes again. “You said you wanted my help to get it working. With something this small... I suppose it’s not a device that runs on batteries? Do you plug it in? That would defeat the purpose of such a miniscule design, however...”

“You charge it,” he explained.

“Hmph! Even that magic has become so commonplace... The Magicians of the Outside World can’t stop, can they?”

He shrugged. He wasn’t much of one for technology.

“How many volts does it take?” she asked.

“Ehh? I don’t know,” he whined a bit. Patchouli didn’t want to hear that.

“You. You gave me something like this and you don’t even know that much? Tch,” she almost spat, leaving the young man disappointed in himself. “... Look, here, it’s five to thirty volts. To be safe, we’ll power it with five...” She touched her lip for a moment, then looked at Gen. “... This is a gift for Remi, isn’t it?”

He nodded. She lifted her left hand with her fingers hanging, beckoning him with them twice. He bent toward her, and she put her hand over his hat, rubbing softly. “It’s too bad I’ll have to punish you in eleven days,” she said, “you’re such a good boy.”

“Sh-Shut up,” he complained.

“Oh?” she voiced a bit of surprise, and she stopped. “You don’t want me to pet you?”

“... No, please continue,” he requested, eyes closed and face slightly contorted with shame.

She did so, speaking again, “Don’t be ashamed, Gen, I know what it is you like and don’t mind petting you. Be more honest with me. It’s not only a trait exclusive to oni.”

He chose not to respond to that, simply allowing his ancient Master to praise and pamper him a little more.

She lifted her hand a little ways into a minute, letting him sit up once more. She then asked him, “Would you like a hug as well?”

Gen squinted at his Master, his lips slightly parted as he grimaced. Yes, he thought. He answered, “No...”

His Master looked at him smugly, lifting her chin. “Hmph, you do,” she observed. “And you know that I don’t want to give one.” The young old girl closed the book on her lap, held the iPod aloft and told him, “That’s all I wanted to see: your pathetic and honest face. Sorry, no soft Master for you.”

He almost grumbled, but settled with gritting his teeth. The elder Magician was definitely teasing him more than usual today. She addressed him one last time, to dismiss him with a small task: “Alright, go see Sakuya, Gen. She should know where we have some headphones around here... I’ll prepare a spell to give this a continuous charge. It shouldn’t be destroyed if it reaches capacity and I’m still providing a current to the device, right?”

“That sounds correct,” he told her.

“‘Sounds’... Between the two of us, this is supposed to be your field, Gen. What are you even good for?” She turned the device around in her hand, then showed him the charging slot on its bottom side. “Is this where you would plug it in?”

“Yeah, and transfer music.”

And transfer...? I don’t understand. You’ll have to explain that to me later.” With this, she stood up. He did as well.

“Okay, I’ll go find Miss Sakuya,” he declared.

“Go,” she commanded, and they parted ways; he with some regret weighing on his heart from having not boldly taken her offer.
>> No. 67549
That was so worth it.
>> No. 67553
File 155780909726.jpg - (838.31KB, 800x1242, peaceful.jpg) [iqdb]
67553
[ ♫: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFtWziksPa8 ]
[New Days - Persona 4 (Meguro Shoji)]

He traveled through the halls with Sakuya’s daily schedule in mind. Although he didn’t often directly interact with his peer beyond the delivery and receipt of tasks and duties, he’d regardless spent over a year living with her in the same home. He knew where she tended to be, and she knew his locations in kind (though admittedly, it was easier to determine where the Librarian’s Apprentice might typically find himself). At this hour of the day, she would be getting breakfast prepared for the residents and staff. After that, she would attend to the Mistress, after which she would clean, organize the other maids, prepare lunch, attend to the Mistress again, accomplish any out-of-Mansion tasks she hadn’t been able to see to in the morning...

Miss Sakuya’s work was a lot more demanding than his. In comparison, between the two youkai-bound humans Gen was practically without a leash. He never considered that work too demanding for his fellow human, however. In fact, he never even found himself wondering about how much Sakuya did at all. It could have been that he subconsciously recognized Sakuya as someone perfectly capable of handling so many jobs, given her ability to manipulate time and space and her overall unshakable confidence; in reality he simply knew that Sakuya would not do anything she didn’t really want to, and what she generally wanted to do was whatever Mistress Remilia requested. He understood that very well; he’d even confronted that compulsion within himself just the night before. Besides, both of them weren’t unwilling to sass the boss now and then, and that was perhaps one of the largest contributions to their usual compliance.

In a little while, Gen stepped onto the carpet before the kitchen door. The door was actually starkly un-fanciful, as if it did not even belong in the mansion... He’d described the door to Mistress Flandre’s room as relatively plain, but at the very least it was engraved. This door was made of thick boards and bands of binding iron. Perhaps its blunt design was meant to serve as a kind of ward... After all, this was where the bloodletting for the vampires took place. He never took part in it, but other outsiders were often taken into here and prepared in tea and cakes.

... Thankfully, as far as he knew, this never meant butchering; not that the humans turned away after being bled tended to survive past the lake. Furthermore, there was Meiling at the gate... and she had no qualms consuming humans’ flesh.

... Thinking now, he really hadn’t given all of that much thought lately. In regards to Meiling, he’d also never seen or heard of her having a person as a meal since he’d arrived. Patchouli had told him that she did indeed eat humans, and the youkai herself had expressed regret that he was not to be a feast, but mostly he knew her as someone who treated humans nicely, or as challengers every so often to entertain the Mistress.

Perhaps Scarlet Devil Mansion had overstated its danger. That said, he was still rather wary of Flandre at least.

Waving these darker thoughts off, he knocked on the door, then pushed it open.

“Miss Sakuya! Sorry to interrupt! Lady Patchouli asked me to bother you!” He began by throwing aside responsibility.

In the rather narrow, but almost impossibly long seventeenth century-looking kitchen, Sakuya was drying her hands with a cloth by the sink. “Oh, Gen,” she said lightly, “I’ve just finished breakfast. Would you help me with serving it?”

Fairies flitted and floated around a line of large tables, making sure everything was in place, and many sneaking away bits of food whether their checks discovered errors or not. Breakfast was, as always, what seemed to be a yard-long spread of plated nuts and berries and other simple, foraged foods for the majority staff. In front of all this, for the Mistresses in particular, the maid had prepared for each a brisket, red wine, and a sizable muffin with a somewhat foreboding, rich and burgundy color. Close by he saw that his Master would be given deserts, that his breakfast was standardly Western, and that Sakuya’s was as well. With all this before him, he stopped at the entrance with his hand still on the door, looked hard upon the Head Maid, and asked her, “... Are you serious?”

She chuckled, closing her eyes a moment for the laugh. “Of course, I have no other answer than ‘no’,” she assuaged his concerns. “You’d maybe be less useful than fairies,” she told him, meeting his eyes smoothly.

“Silly as they are, they’re more practiced than I am, I’ll admit,” he replied, sighing in relief. “Anyway, do you know where I can find headphones in the Mansion?”

“Headphones?” she asked. “Would these suffice?” She revealed from behind her back a pair that, he thought, looked to be from the 1970s. The cans were a deep and almost blood-red, with semi-mirrored metal plates on the outside, pads that were a dark brown, and an equally dark leather strap connecting them. Holding it all together was what looked to be a sturdy and solid wire sort of frame, showing absolutely no wear on its shining surface. The cord for the jack surprised him. It was a thick and telephone-esque sort of thing, in both spiral and length. The jack itself, on that note, was absolutely massive. He’d never seen a plug so large: with its plastic casing included it was almost the size of a small finger. Three point five millimeters, it was not.

“Did you just get those?” he asked the maid. To this, she simply and pleasantly beamed, handing them over. Taking them, he saw that they were Panasonic brand, dubbed EAH-22. He addressed Sakuya again, who was now crossing her arms somewhat proudly. “Well, I don’t know much about brands,” he said, “but we’ll need something else to get these working... An adapter...” Trailing off, he squinted at nothing, then looked again to Sakuya. “Would Mister Rinnosuke even have those?”

The other human opened her eyes and tilted her head.

“Outside world things,” he clarified. He then glanced at the fairies and stealthily beckoned Sakuya toward him to whisper in her ear, “... I have something for the Mistress, but I need to do a few things to get it working first.

He met her eyes, very close to his now, with a concerned glare. Sakuya placed a finger over her lips and held for him a wink. She understood.

“I’d love to use these,” he continued after leaning back from her, gazing now at the vintage headphones’ strap in his hand. He looked into her face again and said, “Only the best quality for the Mistress.”

“I would like for her to hear some discord and noise music as well,” said Sakuya, still smiling. She closed her eyes, pointed at sides of her head from below, and explained, “To train her ears,”

Knowing her, Gen knew she meant “to see Remilia’s face, pained and aggravated from having experienced something very unpleasant.”

To this prospect he frowned and lowered his brow, but he understood the sentiment completely. “Anyway, best of luck, Gen,” his fellow said next, turning toward the kitchen tables. “I’ll bring your breakfast down to the library in just a moment. You look as though you haven’t eaten in a while.”

He hadn’t. “Thank you. Then, Sakuya—”

He nodded, she nodded over her shoulder in return, and he left to go find his Master.

~~

“Master, I found a pair, but I’m not sure we’ll be able to get these to work,” he announced upon approaching the elder Magician in her library.

Patchouli was positioned before a four-pillar stand of some sort, the surface of which was glass. Upon the stand was the music playing device. Beneath it, between its legs, were a series of four magical glyphs floating like plates in the air. On each of the legs was a page with a spell inscribed upon it—from what he could tell, each a different sort of magic controlling lightning: generation, regulation, storing, and control, he gathered. Upon closer inspection, the pillars seemed to be made of copper, and a small copper wire was coming off of one, positioned just within the iPod’s USB slot.

“That’s unacceptable. Remi will want the best quality,” she said, meeting his eyes. She looked at the headphones he’d found. “Mm, those: Remi got them about thirty years ago when she was interested in some band. She only used them once.” He stepped toward her and handed over the pair, and after examining it, Patchouli’s eyes narrowed. She scrutinized the iPod. “... I see. That’s what you meant. This won’t fit,” she concluded, pinching the jack just before her eye and frowning. She somewhat lazily gestured toward the modern device and declared, “In fact, now that I think about it I’ve never seen this size before. It would be a waste if you got another pair to fit this miniature, though...”

“I’m going to see if the store owner of Kourindou has a tool that would make it work: an ‘adapter’,” he said, standing close to her now. She looked up his way, and he thought, Cute.

“Good,” judged his Master. “This,” she looked down, pointing at the iPod while still holding the jack to her palm, “it seems to be holding a charge. Measuring its power, it’s most definitely increasing. How long until it reaches capacity, Gen?”

“Maybe, four hours?”

“Okay. Let’s have breakfast th—”

[♫]

There was an explosion in the distance.

“Again...” Patchouli growled, looking over to the source of the sound angrily. Gen looked as well, frowning and twisting his eyebrows. “The morning isn’t even done...”

Patchouli started to float to where the damage must have been caused, summoning grimoires to her side. “Go eat, Gen,” she ordered, a light rattle and roughness in her voice. “You look hungry, and I’ve already abandoned that need.”

Gen stared after her,


[] and complied.

[] and said, “No, Master; I’ll take care of it.”
>> No. 67554
[x] and complied.

I think we've been far too cheeky lately. He trusts his master and so should we.

Besides, Gen has been getting his ass kicked lately. She blinded Suika not 24 hours ago.
>> No. 67555
[x] and complied.
That's probably just Marisa.
Hopefully.
>> No. 67556
[x] and complied.

If we leave, Marisa will come in a swipe the iPod, I guarantee it.
>> No. 67560
[x] and complied.

Going to agree with the others. Gen has no real reason to fight right now, especially when Patchouli is telling him not to bother.
>> No. 67562
File 155980406266.jpg - (766.98KB, 1473x1677, high energy thief.jpg) [iqdb]
67562
[X] and complied.


~~

In a little time, he found himself seated deep into the library with his ankle at rest on his knee, meanwhile having breakfast and reading to the sounds of battle and the occasional cannon of light firing over distant furniture. While finishing his tea, Marisa fell to the floor next to him, tumbling past the table he was sitting at until her bottom stopped her at a row of books. Upside-down, she looked at the tea-sipping human.

[ ♫: http://listenonrepeat.com/watch/?v=f8rQzDmCO80 ]
[夢じゃない何か - 縁 (Buta-Otome)]

“Gen, help me out here,” she bid.

He brought his gaze from the tome on the table up to her and, taking the cup from his lips, lifted his left hand palm-up, beginning to mumble foreign words.

Recognizing them, Marisa scrambled onto her knees. “Come on!” she snapped, barely keeping her hat on in her attempt to escape. “Help your fellow man!”

He stopped his spell to ask, “Woman?”

“Girl!” she yelled, breathing out afterward in exhaustion. At the end of her breath, her eyes went wide and she looked up over his head.

“Isn’t that enough?” Hearing his Master’s voice, Gen looked up to see the greater Magician floating high above the floor, positioned over one of the library’s taller shelves. She continued, asking, “Or, should I keep going until I’ve rendered you unconscious?”

Marisa ground her teeth together. Gen lifted his cup again and turned back to the book he was reading. “Why can’t you ever be friendly, huh!?” the girl shouted. Patchouli Knowledge spoke a long string of archaic words and threw at the girl a hail of fire. Below it, Itou Gen ducked a bit.

“Now get out!” bellowed Patchouli, pointing at the fleeing, younger magician. “If you want to come in here, use the front gate!”

“I do!” Marisa yelled in return, picking up her broom which had gotten out of her grasp in her earlier crash. Patchouli didn’t like this answer.

“Out! Get out!” Patchouli insisted, landing next to her apprentice while firing at a now-flying Marisa. When the thief turned toward her original point of entry (where, sadly, the two of them would have to fix again), the librarian stopped pursuing in order to breathe heavily. Gen looked up from his book.

“Are you alright, Master? Take your asthma medication.”

“I’ll be fine,” Patchouli answered, taking out a vial, shaking it, and heeding him.

His breakfast all done, Gen bookmarked the tome before him and stood from his seat, hands planted on the table as he looked toward his Master. “I’m feeling good, now. I’ll go check that she’s definitely gone, and without any contraband in tow.”

Swallowing the solution inside the vial, Patchouli looked narrow-eyed at her student. She steadied her breathing, and then with the vial removed told him, “Alright. I’ll eat and then get back to research. We’ll check on the music device in a few hours.”

“Got it,” he said with a nod, and he took off to where he’d first heard that explosion.

He followed the scent of burning cloth and mushrooms to more strictly adhere to the invader’s path of escape. Marisa wasn’t a constant threat, per se, but regularly irregular? One could be sure she’d show up to “borrow” books from the Scarlet Devil Library eventually. Meiling couldn’t be relied on to stop her (the guard either wouldn’t notice (due to a lack of attention or, at times, consciousness) or would be defeated at the gate), and Sakuya tended to let her in and secret her away at that. This only left the Magician and her apprentice to reliably defend the library. Unfortunately, both tended to be preoccupied, and the trespasser tended to sneak in and out rather than making an entrance with a bang. He thought, she must be rather zealous today.

After a minute or two of searching, his ear caught a peculiar and repetitive sound that brought to mind flapping clothing. Searching the vicinity, he found Marisa seated against a shelf, legs out, and hat off to be used as an improvised fan. Her cheeks were red, her eyes were shut, and she was obviously sweating. Approaching, he chose to ask, “Are you hot? That’s a shame. You should be on fire.”

“Shut uuup...” she groaned, pulling on the color of her shirt and not looking his way.

He turned his eyes to the hole that had been blasted through a wall and earth, the light of the sun bleeding into the room just a little. He stepped over to Marisa and grabbed her at the back of her shirt. “Alright, up you go,” he said, and he lifted the tiny magician from the ground, sort of dangling her out in front of himself. She was too tired and beaten to protest, let alone to resist. He began to fly toward the almost eight meter wide tunnel she’d made—the one presumably blown out by a master spark, and spoke to her. “Too bad, huh?” he began, eyes forward and on the destination before them. “You’re coming up empty-handed today.”

“I’ll just show up later,” she grumbled.

“No, don’t,” he said seriously, glancing her way. “What were you so excited about, anyway? You usually don’t blast your way into here. At most, you’ll kick open a door.”

“Actually, I just wanted to see if I could beat up Patchouli today. I was feelin’ confident, y’know?”

“What are you, a hippo?” he asked.

“It’s not like I wanted the whole library for myself, or somethin’.”

“An idiot, then,” he judged.

“That pun...” she wheezed, referring to the closeness of the two words in Japanese. “Gen, don’t make me take more damage.”

“Bah, I don’t want to hear that from you.”

“I don’t make puns,” she lied.

“Don’t lie.”

“I don’t do that, either,” she fibbed again. Gen rolled his eyes, This child...

He soon enough found open air, exiting the uncommissioned tunnel and tossing the human who had dug it out onto part of the stone path winding through the Mansion’s gardens.

He then crossed his arms.

“I guess I’ll stand here until you leave.”

Marisa pushed herself up to sit in a cross-legged position, then took off her headwear and started smacking dirt from her clothing with it, pouting all the while. Beside her, her bamboo broom rolled a bit away.

After dusting herself off, the little witch started fanning herself with the hat again, staring off to the side.

“... Well? Are you going to go or what?” he asked.

“Hey, Gen are ya busy?” she asked, still not looking his way.

“Of course I’m busy,” he said, flatly.

“Y’see,” she continued, ignoring him, “I’ve been thinking about going up Youkai Mountain.”

He noticed now that she was looking toward that distinct landmark.

She turned her golden eyes on him. “You’ve been up there, right? Take me up there,”

“I haven’t. I’m not exactly allowed to go there,” he said.

“Eh? Aren’t you a kappa’s friend?” asked Marisa, cocking her head to the side.

He explained, “The kappa don’t live ‘on the mountain’, exactly, and I’m only friends with one kappa. The rest don’t know about me, Marisa.”

“Gen! Just go with me!” she whined. He frowned.

Annoying... he thought, narrowing his eyes. Then, he glanced in another direction, and closed them. But...

I
have been thinking about going up there to see if I could find a piece of Hinokagutsuchi for the shawl. If I went with Miss Suika, Miss Keine made it sound like that would be an awful idea...

He looked toward the sky.

I know a pair of tengu now, so I don’t need someone with me necessarily... Eh, well... but...

He looked at the child, who was looking at him intensely, and his frown began to ebb away.

Would Marisa be a decent tagalong? Or rather, if I tagged along with her, would that be good...? She can’t be harmed mortally by Gensokyo’s youkai, and she’s definitely powerful anyway...

His grimace returned.

But it’s Marisa.

After a minute of hemming and hawing, he told her,


[] “Fine, but we have to be careful.”

[] “No, girl. Now scram.”
>> No. 67563
[x] “No, girl. Now scram.”
>> No. 67564
[x] “No, girl. Now scram.”
>> No. 67565
[X] “Fine, but we have to be careful.”

Let's find that shawl piece. What could go wrong?

The thought of facing dangers and survival tone is exciting.
>> No. 67566
[x] “Fine, but we have to be careful.”

It's a golden opportunity that has fallen in our lap just like that. We know we can't take Suika there, and Shishou doesn't move so...
>> No. 67567
[X] “Fine, but we have to be careful.”

Might as well give her a chance.
>> No. 67568
[x] “No, girl. Now scram.”

This isn't even largely because I'm opposed to it, but I don't want to reward her for breaking into the Library by then immediately doing something she suggests.
>> No. 67569
[x] “Fine, but we have to be careful.”
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