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6873
Once or twice before, you'd thought you'd seen some cracks in the shell of Youmu Konpaku, deadly Netherworld warrior. Some signs of weakness in her flares of temper, some progress (towards what goal, exactly?) every time you forced her to speak. You'd thought you'd seen past her surface. Watching her mechanically eat as Letty feeds her and swaddles her in fabric, watching the goosebumps on her wrist as she barely exposes it, watching her eyes as they still refuse to make contact, it comes to you that you may have been wrong.

There was, you realize, no way for her to have known that you would follow her backstage. She hadn't been running away from you, or trying to hide. Couldn't have been. Nor, for that matter, had she returned to Yuyuko's side, or simply run backstage somewhere to rest. Nor, you're very very sure, was she even acting under orders at all.

She'd gone out into the rain to sit in a cold, muddy alley because she'd wanted to.

You can't think of a single reason why, and this gulf between you and one of the people you ought to be closest to, one of your so-called sisters, drives you crazy. Sitting there in her mountain of fabric, Youmu looks eminently questionable, should you want to find out. And you do. If sitting in a storm was her reaction to you this time, if you let her go now, she may never give you another chance - family or not. You'll never see her relaxed, you'll never hear her laugh, you'll never know what the story between her and Youki is.

But then again, Youki didn't ask you to help her, and he understands her better than you do, right? Even though he said he didn't understand her at all...

"You're too soft, Youmu." Sighing in resignation, you reach around the table and give the outermost layer of her coverings a gentle nudge. It's the most physical contact you can manage through Letty's wall of warmth, which really IS too soft. "Look, I'm sorry, okay? I'm sure Yuyuko will be around soon enough, if you want her. Just rest for now, you'll feel better."

She finishes eating her donut, doesn't move, doesn't speak.

"You know," Iku drawls from her couch, "Usually, when people come in here with backstage passes, they try to obsess over me, rather than each other. Not that I am objecting, of course. Did you say this one was a good dancer?"

"Oh, yes, very!" Letty picks up the ball and runs. "It was really such a wonderful thing that she came out and enjoyed herself a bit - a treat for all of us! I've never even seen moves like those before. Tell me, Youmu, what's that dance called?"

"Ah-" One syllable is all she says. Can't exactly call it The Dance of Slashing Things In Pure Concentration And Killing Annoying Fairies, now can she. You quickly intervene.

"Some original style, that's right. I've seen her do a few of the routines when we go to the gym together after work, so I knew she'd be great out there. Just have to get up the courage to be a little social, right?"

Youmu lifts her head a little, staring at your neck. Of course that's not right.

"Well, ah..." Screw it. "You're still mad, huh? That really is how I meant it. Believe it or not. But, y'know, I really just want you to be happy, so... sorry. I won't push you any father."

Youmu covers her mouth, beginning to go into a short coughing fit, and Letty thumps her on the back. She hunches over as you rise to help, but Letty gives you a quick shake of her head. Iku, on the couch, stares at you with an eyebrow hiked up so high it nearly meets her hairline, and as you watch her face twitch your own blood buzzes in your ears.

"... farther. I meant farther!"

Stupidly, you repeat yourself to no one in particular. Youmu pushes herself up from the chair, shoving Letty back and shedding her covers, save for the curtain you first wrapped around her. No longer making any effort to conceal her pain, she stumbles out of the room nearly doubled over. You've no choice but to follow her out, calling her name; Letty lets you go and does not follow.

In the hall, Youmu rocks back and forth with high-pitched moans, and shudders violently when you grab and try to steady her. Her body language oscillates between trying to clamp down on her side and trying to not touch it at all. "Bathroom," is all she says. You find one nearby and help her inside it.

At the mirror she fumbles at her clothes, dropping the blanket, popping off a button from her shirt, and tearing it open. You steel yourself and don't avert your eyes as she peels back layer after layer of cotton from the large white dressing under her bra. You're responsible for this. The further in she gets, the more the bandages change color to dull rust-red. Finally, she rips off the last set.

The wound is a small, deep red slit in the soft snowy skin of her chest, spawning tiny pearls of blood as you look at it. That's it. From the outside, it looks like an everyday scrape. You've seen worse on human children at playgrounds.

"What do you want from me, fairy?" Youmu's voice, like the rest of her, is too soft, lacking the cruelty that came with these words before. "I surrender and congratulate you. You found a way to hurt my body when I was careless and now, despite my best efforts, you have found ways to hurt my mind. I retract my earlier statements. You may control my life as she controls my death now. You are truly the strongest. Are you satisfied?"

"B- Wh- No! NO! Youmu, what are you talking about, I..." Scandalized, you flail your hands, unsure of where to put them. "I'm telling the truth! I just want you to be happy and stop hurting yourself and-"

Youmu pulls herself away, half crawling into a stall, and shuts its door.

"I just want..."

[ ] _____________

[ ] Wait for her outside the bathroom.
[ ] Return to the lounge.
RAN: Misunderstandin' gaems.

Not voting yet because I can't think of anything to say. Gimme time to ponder over dinner and a beer.
I have no idea what to vote either. Truth be told, I'll be happy when we've given up on Youmu and can get some character interaction on with someone who doesn't need psychotherapy.
[X] Just break down and cry.
[X] Wait for Youmu outside the bathroom.

I'm not sure words will even work with her now.
[X]" Youmu. We are a family, we are sisters. But to me, you're more than that, you're special. It was because of you that I am who I am now, a member of the family. See, Youmu, the way I love you is just like a sister's love. I want you to be happy. I wish to see you smile, and enjoy life. Because that's what sisters do. Because we are sisters."
[X] "And if you don't open up, you will never understand how I feel."

Ok, I have nothing worth. I've never been good with write-ins and I can't force anything more.
>>6889
Ehh, remember what was missing. Add this to my post:
[X]"See Youmu, the way you acted...didn't you say it was weakness? That's because you don't express your feelings. Sometimes I even think if you have them! So, if you want to be strong, you need to change. And I will to help you, so please...count on me. I will support you with my strengh."

It's still nothing much.
>>6891
>rememberED

Forgeting many things today.
>>6889
>>6891

I don't know what to vote for, but I don't like these. They're too verbose when Youmu hasn't responded well to mere words at all. Whatever we say to her is going to have to be either really eloquent, or short and full of meaning.

I don't think a wordy speech is the way to go. We need to be direct and totally honest with her, without speaking any more than necessary.
Blank is intended to be "I just want _______" if that helps.
Of course, more is fine too.
So is saying nothing at all, for the people like >>6886 who would prefer not to deal with her.
RAN: Forced dramatic speech makan' gaems.

[X] "I just want you to stop treating me like an enemy. I know you're high-strung, because you have to be, but...No matter how cold you act, you're my sister. You've always been my sister, since you brought me into the family, and I'll never forget that. It's because I'm your sister that I can see you've been hurting, all this pressure you let build up from making sure not to let out even one little thing is just making it harder on you and I'm as tired of having to see someone I care about carry that weight as you are of carrying it.

Now I know I'm not the most reliable, and I know I don't always have the answers. I know I'm not the strongest, and I know I'm not the most useful, but damn it, we're family! I'm not trying to hurt you, and I never will. I didn't know that injury would be such a hindrance, it was just a sign, something to strive for, the strength I wished I had. I didn't know that mentioning your past would hurt so much, it was just something I thought we could talk about. Some way to get closer to you.

If you still can't understand my feelings, then I'm sorry, Youmu. Not just for hurting you, but for failing you."

Eh.
Alternative votan' gaems?

[X] "I just want you to be my sister, god damn it." Break down and cry.

For the less verbose crowd. Disregard both mine, if you feel like it.
[X] "I just want you to be my sister."

I like this, it's short and simple.
>You are truly the strongest.

FFFFFFFFFFFF

>"I just want..."

[x] "...to be your friend." Hope your voice doesn't break.
[x] Sit on the floor with you back against the stall door; you're physically and emotionally exhaus--oh look, you're crying now. Hooray.
>>6886
>I'll be happy when we've given up on Youmu and can get some character interaction on with someone who doesn't need psychotherapy.

THIS SHIT WILL NEVER WORK
[x] "I just want us to be friends!"
>>6910 THIS VOTE IS A GOOD VOTE

[x] "...to be your friend." Hope your voice doesn't break.
[x] Sit on the floor with you back against the stall door; you're physically and emotionally exhaus--oh look, you're crying now. Hooray.
>Hooray.

I see what you did there.

And yeah, less is probably more here.

[x] "...to be your friend." Hope your voice doesn't break.
[x] Sit on the floor with your back against the stall door; you're physically and emotionally exhaus--oh look, you're crying now. Hooray.

Crying will make Youmu cry, and after the crying is done, both your brains will be flooded with oxytocin and ready for imprinting.
[X] "...to be your friend." Hope your voice doesn't break.
[X] Sit on the floor with your back against the stall door; you're physically and emotionally exhaus--oh look, you're crying now. Hooray.

It's true, we've been nothing but friendly and have gotten the cold shoulder every time. Cry? sure, why not. Get out all of these negative emotions so you can enjoy the rest of the concert.
[x] "...to be your friend." Hope your voice doesn't break.
[x] Sit on the floor with your back against the stall door; you're physically and emotionally exhaus--oh look, you're crying now. Hooray.
>>6886
>>6911
But every character needs psychotherapy in RAN. And forced drama.
>>6939
>forced

DIAF
[x] "...to be your friend." Hope your voice doesn't break.
[x] Sit on the floor with your back against the stall door; you're physically and emotionally exhaus--oh look, you're crying now. Hooray.
[X] "...to be your friend." Hope your voice doesn't break.
[X] Sit on the floor with your back against the stall door; you're physically and emotionally exhaus--oh look, you're crying now. Hooray.

In the next scene, Mafianon and Youmu braid each others hair and joke about old boyfriends. And then they make out.
>>6969

>Mafianon and Youmu braid each others hair and joke about old girlfriends.

Fixed. EVERYONE IS GAY IN GENSOKYO!
>>6972
>EVERYONE IS GAY IN GENSOKYO!
Only because there are no men for the forced lezzies to rape.
>>6989

8/10

I almost raged
>>6972
Gah. Good call, Anon. Can't believe I let that one slip by.

>>6989
Oh, you.
ANONYMOUS NEEDS CLOSURE.
WHERE ARE THE TEARS BLANK
YOU SAID THERE WOULD BE TEARS
>>7028
I tend to leave threads open for a while on choices like this. Also I have no idea what to make of the comments this has produced and can't tell if people are seriously complaining or just messing around.
From my perspective, I'm spending a few hours with mood music on thinking about and composing this stuff, while the readers are just coming in and reading the posts in a minute or two. So it's hard for me to tell if something like this is actually going to come across as forced or abrupt.
Anyway, writing... at the usual pace.
>>7029

Hey, Ted. Can I call you Ted, Blankfag?

Ted, I know I don't say this enough, but, I love you. Not just when you're writing, because that's like only loving your mom when she's buying you a birthday present. I love you, Ted. Every time I see that trip, I get a little smile just knowing, you were there. And somewhere, someone just might be a loser. But that's all right, because no one's a loser when you're around.

Ted, the way you care about this, the effort you put in, the way it all comes together and the way it all comes crashing down on my feeble little mind, it's overwhelming.

But lemme tell you, I like being overwhelmed. So you just write, the way I know you write. It won't come off as abrupt, it won't come off as forced. Not to me, at least.

Because I love you, Ted. That's not gonna change, unless it's in the form of it changing something else, in which case it'll probably change a lot, like your opinion of me, because I get the feeling this sounds kind of creepy, but whatever, it's true.

Awaiting the next installment with bated breath, as always.
>>7029

Yay
>>7031

This is now copypasta.
>>7029
>Anyway, writing

Hooray!
>>6969
>No. 6969
>And then they make out.
Perfect post number for that last detail.
Exhausted. Can't write any more. Going to bed. Update tomorrow.
>>7031 is probably pasta from somewhere but I'm going to believe it's real and not intended as creepy as it appears because I am getting hella depressed.
>>7031
Yeah, what he said, only less disturbing and stalker-ish.

This story is awesome.
>>7031
Dude, that is creepy.

Way creepy.
>>7042

As the writer of that post, I can assure you it is indeed real, and that bit at the end about being creepy really was just an afterthought.

Cheer up, Ted.
>>7046

I don't think you're the writer of that post. I demand proof.
>>7047
If you can give me a method of proving myself, I would gladly bring it forth. To reassure Ted even one iota would be worth whatever effort I should put forth.

Frankly, I can see where your disbelief stems; surely other fans like myself might fall so low as to impersonate me in an attempt to make Ted feel better, but you can rest assured that I speak the truth. I dare not lie to one I love so.
COME BACK TED
If blankfag is our Theodore Logan, then who is our Bill S. Preston?
Youmoe!
[x] "...to be your friend." Hope your voice doesn't break.
[x] Sit on the floor with your back against the stall door; you're physically and emotionally exhaus--oh look, you're crying now. Hooray.
>>7029
>Also I have no idea what to make of the comments this has produced and can't tell if people are seriously complaining or just messing around.

YOU'RE TOO SOFT, BLANKFAG

Seriously, all everyone wants out of you is to just write more.
[x] "I just want to know more about you" Let out a sigh, "I am just curious of you and your past that's all"
[x] sit down and wait for her
File 122077078548.png - (152.74KB, 514x799 , Youmu.png) [iqdb]
7178
"I just want to be your friend."

Hoping your voice doesn't break, you sit down and press your wings against the stall door. The day's accumulated stress bursts its dam and floods your soul. Now you're crying. Hooray.

Youmu, inside the stall, says nothing.

Youmu, outside the stall, says "Then you should meet me," and stabs two fingers deep into your chest.

A sickly black emptiness, ice cold, intrudes upon your body as your eyes snap back into focus. You're dead sure Youmu hasn't left the stall behind you, and yet here she is in front of you, eyes shining red. Just like the last time you stabbed her, and her double appeared to extract vengeance. You trace down her accusing arm with your gaze, expecting to find your chest punctured and wondering how many seconds you have left before you wake in some flooded gutter outside - but there's no blood. Your clothing's not torn. Her fingers simply go straight into you.

She twists them, and you feel death wriggling by your heart nonetheless.

"I can't have friends. YOUr words, YOUr actions, YOUr presence mock me. YOU are crueller than she has ever been to me."

On each 'you,' she presses her arm further into you, embedding it up to her wrist. It doesn't actually hurt, not quite, simply sucks the warmth and life from you and replaces it with nothing. Her voice is subtly different from Youmu's, too, carrying the same note of insanity you remember from the choruses of Hakugyokuro, and you feel no actual breeze from her lips. You've been around Yuyuko long enough to recognize a ghost when you meet one close up, but neither her nor her spirits have ever seemed quite so lively as... Youmu?

She withdraws her hand all at once, and stares at it without emotion as you begin breathing again. Neither it nor your chest show any sign of anything having happened, except for the numbing chill lingering within you.

"I-I don't understand. Please. Explain. Tell me why." You cough and gape, partially lying, partially begging. You understand - some. More, as your mind races. But you want to hear it from her.

"Because I am dead. Half dead and all dead. This is who I am. Do not mistake me. Cut my body as you please. It is weak and useless, like yours." Her tone goes flat as she speaks of herself. On cue, a pained moan comes from behind you; you restrain yourself from crawling under the door's bottom gap to verify the fleshly Youmu's existence, and instead struggle to form a meaningful reply.

"... so what?" You mostly fail.

"The living have friends. The dead are slaves, and may have none," Youmu recites, and you have the horrible feeling someone taught her this.

"No, no. Youmu, no. Listen to yourself. This's fucked up." Weak, true but weak. You have to do better. "You're still alive, you still have a body, and even if you didn't that doesn't mean-"

"There is," she continues by rote, "one living ghost, and that is Sister Yuyuko. She commands the deaths of the living, and their spirits are hers. The living ghost chooses, the dead obey."

"That's..." Not how it is? Well, no, she's right. That IS how it is. But only in theory. "That's not how she is! Youki said she promised, you're free to go whenever you want!"

"He told YOU that?" The ghost interrupts its twisted recitation to stare bitterly at you. "Think. I may leave because she allows me to leave. That does not stop her from bringing me back whenever she wishes. It does not stop her doing whatever she wants, to me or through me. Nothing can. Do YOU understand that THE DEAD OBEY? Her freedom is a joke for my father to sooth his conscience."

"No, she wouldn't." Doggedly, you persist. "She wouldn't do anything to you. She promised, and you're... we're family. Even if you don't care, she takes that seriously!"

"You do not know her well enough." Youmu pronounces sentence flatly.

"Your father's known her longest, he said so. Has she - ever done anything to you?" She shakes her head. Good. She's wrong. She has to be wrong. (But why did Yuyuko pop up here and interrupt you with Letty, anyway?) No, she has to be wrong.

"I have never refused her requests. It is the only way to be sure she will not."

The bathroom falls still for a time.

"Even if..." you sigh. "Even if that's all true, you're putting yourself in a cage. It doesn't mean we can't be friends, for a start..."

"The dead..."

Marisa Kirisame's face comes to mind, oddly, the last time you saw her laughing at the Starbear, weeks before the day you killed her. You still need to tell Alice what she said.

"Shut the fuck up about the dead! I'm asking you, do you want friends? Tell me you don't! Look me in the eye and tell me!" You stare into the phantom, exhausted and furious, trying to meet its eyes. The lights flicker, and then Youmu is gone.

You turn around and start to crawl under the stall door, but it swings open on contact, having never been locked in the first place. Youmu is hunched over the toilet, eyes closed, unconscious or nearly so, with her shirt balled up and ragged swathes of gauze and tape hanging from her hand. You rip off the poorly made bandages in silence, and begin replacing them properly.

As you work in silence, you hear voices.

"... thought we were friends."

"We are. You know that. I just can't help you here."

"Bullshit! I'm not asking you just for me, I'm asking you for you. And Gensokyo. You know how important this is."

"So, Letty. That fairy, is she your..."

"I know, believe me, I know! I don't have a choice."

"... love her. She actually forced me to say that, I couldn't work up the nerve..."

"So that's it? You're just going to hand over the city to that monster? I don't believe it."

"They could have another accident. It's not too late for them to fall behind..."

"... exciting for you. And romantic..."

"Double bullshit and fuck you for thinking I had anything to do with that. Six rabbits died. I don't hate them, I hate her for what she does to them."

"I can. Not. Change. It."

"... thought she was going to mug us, but she was just crazy. Poor thing. I don't know if I wanted to see her again or not."

"Move it two days back. That's all I'm..."

"... telling you I can't! They have Chen."

"What?"

"... sure is fawning over that girl. Youmu, was it?"

"I'm sorry, really I am, but you can't be seriously willing to fuck over the entire city just for one..."

"I'm worried about what she's involved with, but I'm not one to talk. Youmu is important to her, and I want to help her, too."

"I'm surprised you aren't jealous."

"Don't ask me again. Please. And I was told to warn you that someone's going to assassinate you tonight."

"Fuck you in hell, Yakumo. I hope Chen's all right, but I wouldn't count on it with her."

"Jealous? She's too honest for me to even consider it. I know she loves me."

You notice a dead butterfly, its wings flaking away, in the air vent above your head. You knock it down and flush it down the toilet.

Youmu is still barely conscious as you leave, her strength having deserted her. She leans on you, clings to you, as though you are the only thing she can sense, as you walk the halls behind the concert.

[ ] Return to Letty and Iku.
[ ] Find Yuyuko.
[ ] ___________________
[x] WAT
[x] Return to Letty and Iku.

confronting yuyuko with Youmu with us would probably only strengthen youmu's resolve to be with yuyuko over us but taking youmu to letty and iku (and then probably leaving shortly after) would give us a short window of opportunity to confront yuyuko the next day, the only downside to that plan is that i assume it would put letty in danger
[X] Return to Letty and Iku.

Not too sure what's going on.

>"... love her. She actually forced me to say that, I couldn't work up the nerve..."

This is either Letty saying she couldn't work up the nerve herself to admit her love or that she couldn't work up the nerve to say she didn't love the fairy. It's most likely the former.

It sounds like the Yakumo family have their own set of problems. Chen has been captured and someone is supposed to assassinate someone? I think this may be Ran and one of the Eientei crew arguing.
[+] Ask Youmu if she heard that stuff too.
>>You notice a dead butterfly, its wings flaking away, in the air vent above your head. You knock it down and flush it down the toilet.
So Yuyuko may well have heard everything. Oh joy.

[x] Attempt to trace the voices (Yakumo conversation) and eavesdrop further.
Otherwise:
[x] Return to Letty and Iku.

>>7185
Hm, the only people worth assassinating from Eientei are Eirin and Kaguya, both of whom are immortal (at least, it's assumed with Eirin).
Fuck fuck fuck... Myon was not expected. Nor was another one of Yuyuko's mixed blessings.

Trying to separate the two conversations. Iku said Mokou was talking politics earlier, and considering the negative references to Eientei, I'll assume it's her talking Ran.

Mokou: "[I] thought we were friends."
Ran: "We are. You know that. I just can't help you here."
Mokou: "Bullshit! I'm not asking you just for me, I'm asking you for you. And Gensokyo. You know how important this is."
Ran: "I know, believe me, I know! I don't have a choice."
Mokou: "So that's it? You're just going to hand over the city to that monster [Kaguya]? I don't believe it."
Ran: "They could have another accident. It's not too late for them to fall behind..."
Mokou: "Double bullshit and fuck you for thinking I had anything to do with that. Six rabbits died. I don't hate them, I hate her for what she does to them."
Ran: "I can. Not. Change. It."
Mokou: "Move it two days back. That's all I'm..."
Ran: "... telling you I can't! They have Chen."
Mokou: "I'm sorry, really I am, but you can't be seriously willing to fuck over the entire city just for one..."
Ran: "Don't ask me again. Please. And I was told to warn you that someone's going to assassinate you tonight."
Mokou: "Fuck you in hell, Yakumo. I hope Chen's all right, but I wouldn't count on it with her."

Kaguya is in the runnings for mayor, so the date is likely a reference to the day of the polls. Apparently Kaguya is extorting Ran over Chen. Some "accident" happened that was deleterious to Eientei, which Ran assumed was on Mokou. Mokou has something dynamite if she only needs two days to stop Kaguya's plans. Finally, Kaguya apparently had sent out another assassin to kill Mokou.

This leads to the horrific possibility the assassin is Letty, explaining why she was going to the concert in the first place, why she has backstage passes, and why she was at Eientei the day we made that delivery.

Letty's conversation in context is actually pretty benign, though there are more blanks to fill in:

Iku: "So, Letty. That fairy, is she your [girlfriend?]"
Letty: "[I] love her. She actually forced me to say that, I couldn't work up the nerve [on my own]..."
Iku: "[How] exciting for you. And romantic..."
[likely a discussion of tonight's events]
Letty: "[I] thought she [Kisume] was going to mug us, but she was just crazy. Poor thing. I don't know if I wanted to see her again or not."
Iku: "[She] sure is fawning over that girl. Youmu, was it?"
Letty: "I'm worried about what [the fairy is] involved with, but I'm not one to talk. Youmu is important to her, and I want to help her, too."
Iku: "I'm surprised you aren't jealous."
Letty: "Jealous? She's too honest for me to even consider it. I know she loves me."

Apparently while Letty partially aware of our occupation, she herself is involved with some dangerous stuff. Iku seems to know Letty personally and about her lifestyle. Also, Letty's affections appear to be genuine.

Now, why would Yuyu show this to us? I think we should stick to Letty like white on rice tonight and try to meet Mokou. This also indicates Yuyu has been watching (she's been able to hide her presence before), and ostensibly approves of our attempts at friendship with Youmu. Maybe she considers this a sort of "reward" but I'm sure she's having fun.

[x] Return to Letty and Iku.
[x] Ask Youmu if she heard that stuff too.
[x] Try to seek out Mokou.

Enough fun, time for business.
>>7191
>>This leads to the horrific possibility the assassin is Letty, explaining why she was going to the concert in the first place, why she has backstage passes, and why she was at Eientei the day we made that delivery.
FFFFFFF-- Jesus, I hope not. But even so, assassinating Mokou seems fairly pointless given that she'll just respawn anyway. Unless it takes time for her to do so; long enough for Kaguya to get elected without any 'unexpected interruptions'.

[X] Return to Letty and Iku / Try to seek out Mokou.
Don't mind which. I agree it's worth keeping an eye on Letty, but if we end up following her around all evening and she's not up to anything then we've wasted a great chance for investigative work.
>>7196
>But even so, assassinating Mokou seems fairly pointless given that she'll just respawn anyway. Unless it takes time for her to do so; long enough for Kaguya to get elected without any 'unexpected interruptions'.

Doesn't stop Kaguya from sending assassins to her in canon; though yeah, Mokou seemed relatively unsurprised by this information, so it might be a regular thing.
The Youmu problem sort of got swept under the rug with the political plotting, but I think we should keep it in mind for later that Youmu believes she has no free will because at any time she could be coerced by Yuyuko into following her orders, yet admits this is an untested hypothesis, as she always follows orders regardless (ostensibly in fear she'll be "forced" if she refuses).

What has to happen to break this cycle is for Youmu to refuse or fail to carry out one of Yuyuko's orders, and Yuyu then doing nothing in response.

We'd have to work with Yuyu on this, of course; though given what she's subjected herself to thus far, it might be hard coming up with something.
[x] Return to Letty and Iku.
[x] Ask Youmu if she heard that stuff too.
This stew is getting deliciously thick.
>>7202
Swept under the rug? Nah. World just doesn't stop and wait for us to dance with flower girls.
[X] Return to Letty and Iku.
[X] After that, find Yuyuko and talk about politics.

Reponsible fairy is responsible, saving a girl's half life and discussing the future of the city.
>Youmu, inside the stall, says nothing.
>
>Youmu, outside the stall, says "Then you should meet me," and stabs two fingers deep into your chest.
...At first, I thought this was some trippy Buddhism parable or metaphor, or acid trip sequence or whatever.

>she presses her arm further into you, embedding it up to her wrist.
KALI-MA! KALI-MAAAAAA!

>"There is," she continues by rote, "one living ghost, and that is Sister Yuyuko.
Anyone else get hints of Muslim off that? You know, that "There no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet" phrase?

>>7214
>World just doesn't stop and wait for us to dance with flower girls.
>Flower girls
But Yuuka isn't at the dance.

And of course we can get the world to stop; we just need to make Dio run into lots of red lights.
>>7258
>But Yuuka isn't at the dance.

Of course she isn't because she was Summer and now she's dead.
>She withdraws her hand all at once, and stares at it without emotion as you begin breathing again. Neither it nor your chest show any sign of anything having happened, except for the numbing chill lingering within you.

This is curious. She just realizing that fairies are immune to level drain?

>"There is," she continues by rote, "one living ghost, and that is Sister Yuyuko. She commands the deaths of the living, and their spirits are hers. The living ghost chooses, the dead obey."

Arguing with Youmu over what she considers dogma, hoping she'll listen to reason is a fool's errand. We must demonstrate irrefutably that her catechism is false.

We have to find an exception. A ghost that does not fit these rules and who won't be commanded. I can think of only one.

Maybe we take another visit to the Hakurei Shrine--offer some prayers to its true patron goddess.

>Marisa Kirisame's face comes to mind, oddly, the last time you saw her laughing at the Starbear, weeks before the day you killed her. You still need to tell Alice what she said.

Looks like we may be going back there soon, anyway.
You folks have no idea how happy seeing discussion like this makes me. Posting to give you an idea. Thanks!
As always, feel free to mention what you like and don't like in the writing as well. Kinda taking some odd turns here, I know it's been slow (not in the lack of updates sense) but should pick up some.
As always, apologies for being slow (in the lack of updates sense). Commensurate with the story picking up comes the thought that has to go into it. (Not that that's an excuse. But you're tired of hearing excuses from me.)
>Kinda taking some odd turns here, I know it's been slow (not in the lack of updates sense) but should pick up some.

The pacing is and has always been speedy--sometimes it borders on intense. But it makes sense that things are taken more slowly and in detail now since the fairy's gained a number of important social contacts in a small amount of time, and she's gone much deeper in the relationships already established. It's not character bloat because no one is being ignored, rather there's simply a great wealth of characterization here. Which isn't a problem, since you seem to be able to pull off plot exposition at the same time, often when Anonymous least expects it.

tl;dr: take it easy~
>>7259
I refuse to believe Yuka is truly dead.
>>7258
KAALIMAA!
>>7264

I have one question: When are you going to start your own EoSD LA?

Having two of the best writers on the same board would be simply awesome.
>>7264
And I'm sure you're tired of me creeping you out, Ted.

Luckily for you, anon has swiftly and surely summed up my feelings on this one.
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7512
The flickering flourescent lights of the hallway offer you a brief respite from... things. This was supposed to be a date, a fun night out for you and Letty. Getting jumped in an alley wasn't on the agenda, and provided more than your evening dose of adrenaline, damn it. Having to take care of Youmu to this extent wasn't expected either. You could rail against fate, but it seems rather pointless in light of your traitorous mind mocking you with the fact that you brought all this on yourself. And what does Letty think of it? One of those voices was certainly hers, saying all the best things you could think of about you, talking about how she loves you... to someone that isn't you.

If only, you think, if only there were a way to make it up to her, to salvage this evening. To stop everyone outside from interfering, to take a perfect freeze frame of the world as it turned, the same way she'd presented you with a valley from before the city was laid out. If you could stop it all, you'd have time, time enough to clear your head and think for a while without being intruded upon by conversations you'd rather not overhear, or insects you'd rather not see, or crowds you'd rather not be surrounded by, or profoundly disturbed girls with violent tendencies.

Well, at least you have a minute alone-ish in the hall, and said profoundly disturbed girl is merely slumping on you in a daze right now. Much preferable to her usual state. Youmu is moving, and under her own power, but only for a loose definition of each; she rests her chest on your wings, and her head lolls above your own, as though you were carrying her as a sunshade. She is certainly not in any condition that could be deemed awake or coherent, and while you do not begrudge the girl some rest, you do begin to envy her for being able to take it here.

"Ah, you're back." Letty looks up as you push the lounge door open again, then jumps to her feet on seeing Youmu's condition. "Goodness! Is she ill? Whatever's the matter?"

"Too much stress. She needs some friends. Pulled open a work injury, too." You quirk, biting back snarky replies of 'Daddy issues, possibly Mommy issues, and definitely Master issues' and 'Being impossibly half dead and trapped in an environment that wants to make her moreso.' Iku, having taken a seat at the table next to Letty, rises as well, and the three of you wrap Youmu soundly in blankets again. She responds to this by slipping into actual sleep, or so it appears, and you likewise have to restrain an overly concerned thought to check her pulse.

"Sorry," you sigh to Letty, once Youmu is drowsily secured. "Really sorry, I know this was supposed to be our night out together."

"Oh, for the better! We can be alone anytime we want, but I can't think of a better way to spend an evening than with your friends. And some new ones!" Letty adds cheerily, to Iku. "Come, now, you can't get off this easily! What's it like doing wonderful dances like that for a living?"

"Eh. It is all right. A job, like any other. I don't like the trend of fans elevating me to celebrity status, but they're easily avoided. Other than that, I just do what I love. Life is easy." Iku shrugs, even this movement graceful, and swallows a doughnut in one bite. Seeing you gape at how wide her mouth can suddenly, well, gape, she adds "This is only my night job. In the day I am a secretary of the Dragon Palace. My talents are nothing special there, but most of those folk are sadly antisocial. They don't understand the appeal of Wednesday Night Fever, nor could they stand working with a character like Mokou Fujiwara... Speaking of which, did you happen to see her in the hall? She has been gone a very long time."

"No. Why, is she hard to get along with?" Maybe. Didn't see her, no. You've a pretty good idea you heard her, unless there's another person back here talking politics with whom you deduced to be Ran Yakumo, but that was certainly none of your business and not good to mention.

"You might say that, yes. She has a habit of multiple forms of spontaneous combustion." Iku smiles to herself.

-----
More soon, posting this before sleep, you've certainly waited long enough.
>to take a perfect freeze frame of the world as it turned
>perfect freeze

Oh you.
>>7512

Waiting with bated breath.
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7557
"Gotcha. Know a few people like that myself, it's all about learning to chill." You cluck, thumbing at Youmu, and the other two women share a polite chuckle. If Youmu is still awake enough to actually hear you... well, so much the better. You rather hope she can, as it'd really do her a lot of good to just calm down.

"Agreed, agreed. Lean back and go with the flow. That's the key to a good dance and a peaceful life." Iku speaks, and Letty again agrees. The three of you drift into talk of trivialities for a while, passing time laughing and chatting about how nice the cocoa is and what type of snacks you prefer. Well, it's more like Letty starts talking about snacks while you and Iku listen. Or more like Letty talks, Iku listens, and your thoughts wander to...

"Ice cream!" Yes, ice cream. "Banana splits, in particular, are both tasty and fun to eat with company." That they are, that they are. You really must go out to that shop again sometime, and with less awkwardness now. Or maybe even take Youmu there. No, have Letty take Youmu there. Yes, imagine that, her spoon-feeding Youmu in a not-so-traumatic moment...

"Ah, watching you two is so fun!" Idly swirling a finger in her cup, Iku gazes between you and Letty, who's broken into laughter looking at your face. You attempt to stop from turning the color of your dress, with moderate success, and clear your throat. Youmu, now seated at your side, turns her head and softly moans something, and you scoot her cup a little closer to her hand should she want it.

"So, do you work with the Prismrivers often?"

"Yes, are they coming back here, too?" Letty chimes in with you innocently, and Iku giggles.

"I knew the ambition would arise in time! I do not think they would be able to play if they did not truly enjoy their own parties. Never you fear, they will be back in due time."

"Actually, I'm afraid they won't." The door slams open, revealing the singer you saw on stage earlier - Mokou Fujiwara, you suppose. She unconvincingly fakes smiling and tries to act like she swung it that hard accidentally, but her eyes smoulder. "Pleasure to see you, sorry I couldn't come back here earlier, and I'm afraid that there's some private business about to go down so I'm sorry but if you would please clear out that'd be better for all of you, you too Iku, thanks you were great out there now please leave you might want to hurry BYE!"

None of you say anything. Letty blinks, her lashes swaying in the breeze from the door.

"Naw, really. Cmon, kids, I'm warning you here. Ugly stage business. You don't wanna see it. Talk to Merlin if you want your passes refunded, thanks for coming, please attend our next concert, cmon Iku gimme a hand here. What's your names, nice to meet you, Bloody Fairy, Goth Girl and Blanket Lump - oh." Fujiwara pulls back the top of Youmu's blankets to see her face, and stops her hasty handshake cold.

"There you are, Mokou. Sit down, relax. This is Letty Whiterock, and her friends - " Iku attempts to calm her partner down, but in accordance with her warning, Mokou will have none of it.

"Fucking shit. Pardon my language. Yeah, I know HER already. We've met. Too late, huh? Least it'll be quick this time. Kid, you wanna go out back? Hey! Let's go!" She prods at Youmu, who simply burbles in response, still mostly asleep but waking up slowly. You intervene when she starts shaking.

"Hey, cut it out! Mokou, right? She's had a rough time and she's not here for any trouble." The singer's eye falls on you.

"What, you know her? You the one that's got business with me, kid?"

"No, but neither is Youmu, so - "

"Youmu! That her name? Saigyouji's gettin loose on the ends, huh, well you tell me here, she got a pass to be back here?" Iku's head jerks up at the mention of your family's name, and you quite suddenly have to carefully avoid looking in Letty's direction.

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"Does she have a pass, yes or no?"

"Um. No, I think not." Come to think of it, she has a point. Your passes weren't checked when you followed her, either, and in fact you can't recall seeing any sort of bouncer or anyone else at all backstage - despite Lilith and her boss's heavy security out front...

"Well, then, maybe I oughtaaaaaAY!" Before Mokou can grow any more belligerant, you get up, grab one of her suspender straps and pull her outside the room. Yet another misadventure you'll have to apologize to Letty for. Damn it. Once the door shuts, you growl in her ear, trying to sound like you know what you're talking about.

"Gods, girl, keep it down! Now, look, I think I know what you're meaning, but it's not me and it's definitely not Youmu. She's... off duty. If we had any business with you tonight you'd know. Concern's duly noted, but you might want to get yourself out of here before the real assa- person who has business with you comes knocking, okay?" You don't offer to pull any heroics for her, even if you're right about her not having long to live. The setup's too obvious now. But... not your place. She stares down at you.

"Kid, you think you know what's going on? And it's not your buncha ghosty fuckers?"

"No. Count your blessings."

"How bout counting my money. Listen, I gotta stay alive for the next couple days. You folks can stop death well as you can bring it, right? I've gotten whacked by that Youmu or whoever it is a few too many times to count now, but..."

"I don't have the authority to cut deals like that. Run back to the dance, look for a girl wearing a red and green ribbon and nothing else." Too many times? You revise your mental assessment slightly; she must be a natural spirit like yourself, then.

"Uh, yeah, I know your boss. Everyone who's anyone knows your boss, kid. Crazy for her to show her face in the open like that, wondered why no one said anything, now I know why. She's gone, I checked." Mokou rolls her eyes, and you try to keep up with which of your illusions are being shattered this time. "Does she want Houraisan winning and dominating everyone in the city?"

"She's never 'gone,' and what's that got to do with anything?" Irritated, you glance back at the door. If Letty decides to check on you, now... no, she wouldn't. She, unlike apparently everyone else in the city, respects your privacy.

"Gone, whatever, she's not there anymore. I'm serious here. If Kaguya wins, we are all fucked. You comprehend fucked? Not in the happy fairy in the forest way, in the eternal torment way. She's cheating, she's pulling shit..." Mokou's abrupt begging comes with an extra helping of desperation and anger alongside the lacing of profanity. "Hakurei's not likely to live to Saturday and Moriya's a joke. The Kant shit, I don't know what's with that but it won't stop her either. I know I can do something, if I don't get ganked. PLEASE."

[ ] __________________
[]Don't promise, but see what you can do.

You could talk to Yuyuko, just placate Mokou enough to where she's not an enemy, or see if you can resolve Chen's issue so Ran's free to take care of it/backstab Eientei.
[+] "Calm down and let's talk this out. Slowly. As in, in layman's terms. At the moment, I hardly have any idea what you're saying."
[X] "Calm down and let's talk this out. Slowly. As in, in layman's terms. At the moment, I hardly have any idea what you're saying."

Fuckin' Kaguya.
[X] "I'll see what I can do, but I can't make any promises. As I have said, neither Youmu or I are here for you, but I did see the Scarlet girl and her maid here. You should get out of here and lay low for a bit. If I am able to help, where could I find you?"

This fairy just can't catch a break. Mokou needs help but we can't really do a whole lot without permission from Yuyuko or Youki. Mokou should also avoid Remilia and Sakuya, they could have went to the concert for fun, but I really doubt that.

Youmu should also stay wrapped up in that blanket to conceal her identity. Don't want anyone getting the wrong idea when they see a Saigyouji family member leaving the backstage during an assassination attempt.
[x] "Look, I don't have the authority! Or the capability. I'm on a date with my girlfriend--I don't have a sidearm. Youmu is seriously injured."
[x] "What about Chin--er Meiling, the girl that was with Yuyuko on the dance floor? Chinese girl, used to work for the Scarlets? Did you see her?"
[x] "We can try to get you to Hakugyokurou to plead your case before the Princess or the Old Man, but I don't know what I'm going to do about Letty...."
[x] "Look, I don't have the authority! Or the capability. I'm on a date with my girlfriend--I don't have a sidearm. Youmu is seriously injured."
[x] "What about Chin--er Meiling, the girl that was with Yuyuko on the dance floor? Chinese girl, used to work for the Scarlets? Did you see her?"
[x] "We can try to get you to Hakugyokurou to plead your case before the Princess or the Old Man, but I don't know what I'm going to do about Letty...."
>>7565
>>7568

Remember that thing with Yuyuko about lives on a platter? Do you really think that's something to try again?
>>7574
Eh. Mokou's kind of a bitch, and she's even more immune to death than Cir the fairy is. Why exactly are we considering helping her at all?
>>7574

That was more personal. This is all business, here. If she can't give ample reason to Yuyu, then too bad.
>>7575

Only because this could affect the whole city. Mokou believes she has a chance at stopping whatever Kaguya is planning, as long as she doesn't get killed. Other than that, we have no reason to care about what happens to Mokou.
Immortals are supposed to be Yuyuko's natural enemy, so I don't think she's going to be too keen on having anything to do with Mokou (unless she pays well). I doubt offering our services alone is going to be much comfort to her either, given our relative lack of combat prowess.

Still, I think we've gotta do something for her. Obviously keeping Mokou alive is going to be ridiculously important in the greater scheme of things. I wonder if it's worth trying to hook her up with Remilia/Sakuya, since there's no way in hell they're the assassins (they're fiercely supportive of Reimu, and Kaguya is therefore an enemy to them).
>>7574

Someone is requesting the family services, so we're taking them to our boss. What would you have us do, just ignore family business?

If Yuyuko decides she'd rather Kaguya win, then all the better and she can waste Mokou right there.

>>7587
>Immortals are supposed to be Yuyuko's natural enemy

And what about fairies? I don't think Yuyuko's so irresponsible that she'd turn down a job for such a reason, and even if that were true, I think it would be even more an impetus for her to act in order to stop the other immortal from gaining control of the city.

>they're fiercely supportive of Reimu, and Kaguya is therefore an enemy to them

Publicly, maybe. I wouldn't be surprised if they're being blackmailed as well.
>>7610
Good points, definitely. But we still need information about what Kaguya's plotting - it might be something Letty needs to know just as much as Yuyuko would want to.

I'm still suspicious of Yuyuko in all this; there's no certainty that Yuyu isn't trying to kill Mokou, Mafia Fairy's assurance or no. She's clearly been plotting against several major players - jacking the SDM, followed by poisonings and other mischief elsewhere, etc. And we haven't been in contact with Yuyu for a bit, so she might be forwarding her own players. Hell, Meiling might be here on Yuyuko's orders to kill Mokou, and we could end up delivering her to her death.

Too many variables unaccounted-for at the present time. We need more information.

[!] "Calm down and let's talk this out. Slowly. As in, in layman's terms. At the moment, I hardly have any idea what you're saying."
>Hell, Meiling might be here on Yuyuko's orders to kill Mokou, and we could end up delivering her to her death.

So? Why is that a problem? The only motivation we have for helping her is because she's requesting the family's services. Look, Yuyu knows what's going on here, and that she sent the visions immediately after apparently "disappearing" means this is likely yet another one of her tests.

We can't protect Mokou if the assassin does come after her, which could happen at any moment, so we need to get her somewhere safe now, then she can explain herself. Standing here in her dressing room, which is the first place an assassin would look for her, and telling her to calm down after already telling her you couldn't help her is not the most prudent course of action.
[X] "And what were you talking about the Yakumos? You know, if you have any chance of stopping Kaguya, then believe me when I say that Ran is you only hope of help from us."

Yuyu loev Yakumo.
>>7615

But, Yuyu loves Yukari. And Yukari probably loved Ran, who loves Chen, who has been kidnapped by someone to prevent Ran from helping Mokou.

The kidnapper can only be Kaguya, as I think Yuyuko would never hurt those loved by Yukari.
Having a little trouble figuring out what to do with these votes. Not sure if I should write ahead anyway or wait to see if anything else interesting pops up.
>>7587
>our relative lack of combat prowess.
So... popping a cap in Youmu's ass doesn't count?
>>7643

Just go ahead, I don't see a bandwagon forming any time soon.

I think the general tone is that we're sympathetic but can't make any promises, at least until she sees Yuyuko.
>>7645

Consider that she's going to be murdered tonight, and that we don't have a gun.
>>7643

My only addition would be that going along with Mokou to Hakugyokurou or her own house or whatever can be disguised to Letty as an "after-party".
>>7649
Oh, yes. Take Letty to Hakugyokuro for an afterparty. That is the best idea ever.
>>7650

She already heard that we work for Saigyouji, and if that wasn't entirely clear I'm sure it is now, given Iku's reaction. Unless you just want to dump Youmu by the curbside, we're going to end up there anyway.
Letty is not going to Hakugyokuro, that is a horrible idea.
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7657
"Mokou. Mokou! Calm down for a second. Let's talk about this rationally. And a little quieter. Lay things out for me a little simpler, here." Still whispering in her ear, you tug her farther from the door, but Fujiwara hisses and shakes you off.

"I don't have time! Someone is coming to kill me, and they could be here RIGHT FUCKING NOW! What part of that do you need made more fucking clear?" Jittering more by the second, she glances up and down the hallway and keeps her back pressed against the wall. You get the unwelcome feeling she'd use you as a shield if her alleged assassin were to show up now.

"And what part of this do YOU need made more clear? I don't have the authority to help you. Or the capability. I'm on a date, I don't have a gun, and do I look like I can tangle with anyone in this dress?" Mokou's eyes flicker to the lounge, and you cut her off before she starts. "No, absolutely not. Youmu's not in shape for any action right now. You could go talk to Yuyuko..."

"Like fuck I can! What the fuck good is that going to do if I get shot walking out the door? They're coming for me here and fucking now!" Mokou wheels around and nearly punches the wall, stopping her fist before it and dropping her voice further. "Every fucking person I fucking talk to just won't fucking help! Do you even fucking care? Is your boss with fucking Houraisan? Do you not fucking believe me? Maybe if I told you she's fucking blackmailed Yakumo into the fast election?"

"Do you have to use that word so much?" You counter, gritting your teeth. Nothing better comes to mind.

"Fucking... Look. Blankets. You've got blankets in there, take one off the sword bitch ("Don't call her that..." you growl under her) and put it on me. I'll walk out with you fu- people, get to a cab, and go. Can you at least do that much?"

"Go back out to the floor, look for a girl with black hair in a purple dress. Ask her." You leave 'no way in hell I'm putting Letty and Youmu in danger for you' implied.

"In the open? You crazy? That's begging for it." Mokou paces. Some of her paranoia is beginning to rub off on you, and a little too late, you wonder if telling her even this much may have been a bad idea. She's certainly sincere, that's proven by her talk with Ran, but Ran may have been lying to get Mokou off her back - much the way you're tempted to do right now. There are too many questions that need to be answered...

"How about I get you to security? Commissioner Shiki was around here earlier."

"Seen any cops back here?" She waves her hands. "No fucking coincidence. Unless you can find the bitch herself, not a broad on the force you can trust... what's that?"

Light tapping footsteps, perhaps Mokou's impending doom, echo down the hall in a fast approach. As you look in their direction, the singer jerks the door behind you open and hides herself behind it, leaving you suddenly open on all sides. Letty, Iku, and even Youmu, now awake but looking no better, all peer curiously at you from within the room. You hesitate, caught, and in that second the footsteps round the corner to face you.

"... speak of the devil." You sigh in fractioned relief to Lilith Black, who stops and nods curtly back. "You come back to check our passes, finally? And, ah, is there a medic around?"

"Oh. You're Letty's new crush, right? Is she back here?" Lilith ignores your questions, and doesn't wait for your answers either. "You should think about getting home. We just arrested Remilia Scarlet and a bunch of her people. It's not safe."

As you gape in shock, she softly adds "Take care of her," then nearly runs back the way she came. You look back into the lounge at Letty, who must have heard the whole exchange; her eyes meet yours, but you cannot read them. They just arrested WHO? For WHAT?

"Ah, Hakurei's biggest ally suddenly goes down in flames? Who've have thought. Excuse me. Can I borrow one of these? I'm feeling a little sick myself." Mokou claps you on the back, a little too hard, as she walks around you and pulls a blanket from Youmu. The pale girl shivers and barely resists, clinging only to the purple curtain you first wrapped around her. You glumly realize what's going on, and that your reaction time needs some work. Things are just moving too damned fast!

"Well." Iku rises, gauging the situation and saving you from having to move. "In light of this, it seems wise to call it an early night. And perhaps not speak of it again. It has been a pleasure to meet you all, though, and if you would care to come by my place for a drink before bed, perhaps? Mokou?"

"Absolutely." You can hear the firey girl's relief.

Letty and Youmu stare at you.

[ ] Go with Mokou and Iku.
[ ] Go home, drop Youmu off somewhere.
[ ] Go home with Letty and Youmu.
>[ ] Go with Mokou and Iku.

If this choice is not taken, there's a better chance of Mokou getting hit. Probably Iku as well. This would mean leaving Letty (who will probably be fine) and Youmu (who will probably be unresponsive), yet I can't shake the feeling that Youmu's a higher priority.


[X] Go home with Letty and Youmu.
[x] Go with Mokou and Iku.

A little protection is better than none.
[x] Go with Mokou and Iku.
[x] Ask Letty to take care of Youmu.

Letty heard our conversation; she's not going to fault us for cutting our date short in order to save someone's life.
[x] Go with Mokou and Iku.
[x] Ask Letty to take care of Youmu while you deal with some business matters.
[x] Send Iku out to the dance floor to look for Meiling before you leave.

This way Youmu gets a lot of bonding time with Letty, who is exactly the kind of person will open her up, while keeping Letty out of harm's way and with a capable (though injured) bodyguard. Also shows Letty we trust her with our friend's care.
[X] Go home with Letty and Youmu.

I still can't see a good enough reason to go with Mokou. There would be absolutely nothing the fairy could do to prevent her from being shot. Yuyuko most likely knows what is going on, and if it concerns the family she will most definitely take action. I really don't think it is a good idea to have Letty and Youmu seen together, for obvious reasons, but Youmu can't be left alone. Now sounds like a good time to call it a night and go home.
[X] Go home with Letty and Youmu.

Y'know what? Fuck this shit. Let the city burn for a while. We're off the clock.
[x] Go with Mokou and Iku.

>>7659
Youmu is not a higher priority. Seriously.
[x] Go with Mokou and Iku.
[x] Ask Letty to take care of Youmu while you deal with some business matters.
[x] Send Iku out to the dance floor to look for Meiling before you leave.

Voting for this.
[x] Go home with Letty and Youmu.

>>7666
Agreed, we'd just get in Mokou's way if shit went down. The best we can do right now is carry Youmu the hell out of here ASAP.
>>7666
While that's true, with the way Yuyuko does things, it's very possible that the butterfly in the bathroom was her way of saying, "You could do something about this if you want."

Yet it's also true that we can't do much just by going with them. Meiling, on the other hand... exactly where is Meiling, anyway?
[X] Blank vote
[x] Go with Mokou and Iku.
[x] Ask Letty to take care of Youmu while you deal with some business matters.
[x] Send Iku out to the dance floor to look for Meiling before you leave.

Too much BS to run away from.
[+] Go with Mokou and Iku.
[+] Ask Letty to take care of Youmu while you deal with some business matters.
[+] Send Iku out to the dance floor to look for Meiling before you leave.

I'm hoping against hope that the reason the Scarlets were arrested wasn't "Sakuya stabbed Meiling when she refused to return to the SDM and submit to punishment".
>>7666

I think the idea is that we're not actually going to Iku's house, but Hakugyokurou. This is just a cover story for Letty.

And besides, you're forgetting about Meiling.

>>7667

Being in the Family is a 24-hour-a-day job.


[x] Go with Mokou and Iku.
[x] Ask Letty to take care of Youmu while you deal with some business matters.
[x] Send Iku out to the dance floor to look for Meiling before you leave.
I don't see why anyone would want to leave Youmu with Letty. If the wrong person sees them together they could assume Letty is with the family, therefore a target.
>>7709

Given that neither Iku nor Letty reacted to her, her identity as a member of the family is, as ours, not common knowledge.
>>7712

Apparently, Anonymous doesn't know what to vote for, but he does know he wants you to continue writing.
>>7712
That would be a vote of "Present", I believe.
>>7713>>7714

This. Blank votes are counted towards who/what has more votes at the final count.
>>7714
>That would be a vote of "I'm helping!" I believe.

fixed
>>7718
>That would be a vote of "Please update!" I believe.

double fixed
>>7704
Except this doesn't really have anything to do with the Family, and a large factor in our coming here with Letty tonight was to get away from this kind of bullshit for a while, but whatever. Comes with being a protagonist, I suppose.
>>7741
>Except this doesn't really have anything to do with the Family

Uh, did you miss the part about Mokou requesting Family services?

We brought Letty to the same concert we met Youmu and Yuyuko at; I don't think anyone ever had any doubt these two worlds would eventually have to collide, but by being proactive we can control the manner in which they do.
>>7743
>Uh, did you miss the part about Mokou requesting Family services?

Did you miss the part about us just being a glorified gofer within that Family, and therefore lacking anything like the authority to grant any endorsement? Or how about the part where we lack even as much as a pointed stick with which to effect said services on an individual basis? Or is there some brilliant MacGuyver-esque plan in the works here to which I have not been made privy? Because as it stands, the only hope we have of stopping this assassin that I can see is hoping they only brought one bullet and taking it ourselves. We told her who she can go talk to if she wants the Saigyouji's help that badly, it's up to her now.

And yes, it was inevitable that this night would lead to a collision of worlds; I am not such an idiot that I couldn't see something like this coming. But I see precious little proactive control being enacted here. Right now, it seems more like you're just letting yourself be carried along by the current.

God damn it, this is you, isn't it, Kapow?
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7746
Things are looking up, you think. Yes indeed. Whatever the police were doing, it seems to be over. Mokou can get home safely with Iku (if she was ever in any danger at all.) There is certainly no reason you should go with them, as you have no gun, no authority to speak for the Family, and no real interest in politics anyhow. All you have to do is say the word, and then take Letty back home, unwind with her for a few hours, and maybe - no, definitely fall asleep in her arms. Or you could even take Youmu home as well. Even odds on Letty actually preferring that, with her (s)mothering personality in full bore as it is. You must admit, a little selfishly, that Letty alone would be preferable, but continuing to thaw your sister is a goal you can still get behind.

So just say the word.
Say goodbye, let the paranoid entertainers be on their way, put the rest of the city out of your mind and relax.
Don't stand there like a paralyzed idiot until Letty murmurs "Perhaps you'd better see them off?" and tries to conceal her disappointment.
You certainly shouldn't nod bashfully to her and say something about taking Youmu back to your place and looking for Meiling if she needs help.
Under no circumstances ought you to follow the shrouded singer and her lackadaisical dance partner out through the hallways to the back entrance.
You absolutely, positively should not flit out through the storm to Iku's tiny red car, like a butterfly attracted to the flame of a candle in a dark room (surrounded by a thin puddle of wax, nearly burnt out, and wanly flickering.)

Things were looking up, you think, as Mokou dumps her soaked blanket over the back of her seat.

"So far, so good. Step on it, Ku. Fuck but I owe you one. Owe both of you one." The singer still hunches down as you peel out, despite it being far too dark and far too rainy for anyone to spot her through the windows. "Gonna have to crash at your place, too. You guessed it?"

"I presume there's a hit on you again, yes?" You glimpse Iku's lazy smile in the rearview mirror as you pull the blanket close to yourself, basking in its damp coldness maybe more than you would its dry warmth, only half listening. "And please stop calling me Ku. Really, Mokou, are you too lazy to add a single syllable?"

"No, but I like seeing you get all pissy about my language and go 'please, stop!' You know there's actually a guy workin at Moriya named Ku, or they call him Ku-chan anyway. Fuck, I keep callin you that and they might mistake you for him and give you a paycheck!" Mokou laughs and delivers a tender punch to your driver's arm. True to form, Iku shrugs it off, but you have to wonder if it's wise to distract a driver in this rain. Something bothers you, and after a second you pin it down.

"Uh, Iku? Shouldn't you turn on the wipers and headlights?" Both are off. The rain drives itself upon the car as Iku drives through it, coating the windshield in an amorphous glob of blackness save for the occasional wobbling streetlight.

"No need, water doesn't bother me. It is safer this way. No assailant could follow a servant of the Dragon Palace through this storm." You detect a bit of actual pride in Iku's voice, and Mokou laughs in reassurance.

"Assailant? Don't give me none of that fuckin pretentious dragon talk." Her voice softens. "But... thanks, Iku. I'm glad I can count on you. You, too, zombie fairy. Guess I'm crazy, but it's nice of you to come for moral support anyhow."

"Moral support and answers," you bite back, though you can't help but put a teasing spin on it. "Oh, and you mentioned cash, cash is good too. Don't think this is anything official, though." Mokou laughs.

"Right, right. Fuckin ghosts, always on their own side. All right. Well... fuck. Answers? What do you want to know?"

"Start at the beginning," Iku suggests. "I am sure this has something to do with your usual nemesis, and your conversation with Miss Ran?"

"Yeah. Kaguya Houraisan. Uh... no, fuck the beginning. We've got history, that's all you need to know. But you don't need to know her past to know she's the worst maggot-ridden ancient cunt to ever lay hands on power in this city. Yakumo? You could trust Yakumo, mostly. Crazy as fuck, but shit, she built the fucking city, stands to reason she'd at least take care of her toys. Hakurei? Same deal. She's not complicated, she just wants the fuckin money, and the donation box gets filled by the people so she has to treat the people right. Yasaka and her posse, and her fuckin Ku-chan? Bout as batshit as Yakumo, and I think they got some shady shit goin on behind the doors, but you can't fuck up a love and peace platform too bad. Right, peace-lover Ku-chan?"

"The Dragon Palace has decided not to support Moriya. So stop calling me that." You can't see if Iku is smiling or not, but you imagine she is... for now. Mokou, though? Not anymore.

"But Kaguya." Mokou stops as the car whooshes through a particularly large puddle. "Looks like a princess, and all the men line up to fuck her, but she winds up being the one fucking them. Fucking everyone. She likes herself, and her own fucked up obsessions, and does not give a FUCK about anyone or anything else. I'd tell ya some of the shit she's done, but you wouldn't be able to fuckin sleep at night. Ask your boss, I bet she knows. You know the rabbits, yeah?" You nod, fuelling Mokou's tirade. "You know the rabbits' fucking mortality rate? Through the fucking roof of her shiteating space station. No one gives a fuck about their safety. You read about that poison shit in the news, yeah? Every day. Every fucking day that kind of shit happens. Doesn't get reported. Scarlets ruin some guy's life, maybe a paragraph in the paper, your spooks whack someone and the tabloids squeal for weeks, but no one talks about Kaguya, cause she owns all the papers."

"All of them?" You and Iku echo each other.

"Fuck yes all of them, where the fuck do you think all that technology comes from? All the electricity, all the robotics, this fucking car, almost all the stuff past brick and mortar and basic cable? Scarlet might own it but Eientei built it, somewhere on the line. Jacked all the moon's technology shit and used it to bribe everyfuckingbody in the city who could be bought, soon as the elder youkai and shit got put down. Little by little, she moves in, and then bam! Hammer drops."

"Hold on." You interrupt Mokou before she starts shouting. "Calm down, stick to the story. What's that got to do with anything? And, ah, who do you mean by the elder youkai?"

"You know, all the fucking heavy duty nature forces. Yatagarasu, before he took a hike, and what the fuck was her name. The Flower Master of the Four Seasons. Shit like that."

"The election," Iku reminds. "What did Miss Ran say?" In the space of her interjection, your curiosity and your prudence wage war over asking her to stop talking about Kaguya and tell you more about the Four Seasons. Prudence, for once, wins - you want to hear about that from Letty, not from two strangers you barely know in the back seat of a car. And... something else bothers you.
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7747
"Right. Yukari poofs. Vanish! Gone. Suddenly the city's fucking nuts. Why? She goes away all the time, it's not new. They say she's not coming back. Fine. How the fuck does anyone know that, unless they know what happened to her?" Mokou continues logically, and Iku nods. "Ran's keeping a fucking lid on whatever that is, and I can't blame her. Place'd go even more nuts if they knew. But who stands to gain, with her gone? Kaguya. The others can't do shit if they're elected, they'd just keep on business as usual. Oh, but you think Kaguya's slogan's business as usual? Fuck no. Her slogan is more. More tech, bit by bit, till all the magic goes away and we're all enslaved by it. More stagnation. An eternity of her ruling, because she'll never die and never quit. Until she gets bored, and chucks the whole thing cause she doesn't give a flying fuck about it. You think it's coincidence she's leading? It's not."

"Little paranoid there, don't you think?" you comment, and Mokou's shoulders shrug in front of you. You're beginning to regret taking her so seriously. (Beginning? You could be home with Letty, right now...)

"You tell me. You're the one who hangs out with the fucking spooks. I just know what I know, and I know what Kaguya will do to people. Fucking did it to me."

"The election," Iku reminds, again. "What DID Miss Ran say?"

"Yeah, she said the date was a hustle. She knows it, everyone knows it. This shit should take months, not half a fucking week before the vote. Guess who pushed to make it fast, and guess who won't let the furry change the date. One guess." Mokou reaches a crescendo, prompted by having actual facts to back up her story. "RAN will not change the fucking date because the cunt's kidnapped CHEN. And THAT is what we need to get out."

"Can you prove this? Wait, get it out? Aren't they going to kill Chen if you do that?" Mokou shrugs again in response to your questions.

"Basically, yeah, on Ran's word. She won't have a choice. The cat's already fucking dead if Kaguya's got her, s'how I fucking see it. I had some other stuff in mind, but with this, all we gotta do is spread the story. No one will print it, because it's too anti-Eientei, and a rumor won't cut it, but some celebrity announcing it? That's me, by the way. That'll work."

"I see. Well, we are here." Iku jerks the car around a corner, then slows and stops it.

You slump back in thought. Mokou's obviously even more off-base than you thought... but she's so crazy she might be right. Like she said, you're not in any position to talk. On your part, the question is not one of if she's telling the truth, but of what, if anything, you should do about it. And the answer is obvious - wait and ask Yuyuko. Like you should have done in the first place, instead of riding all the way out here.

Conversation becomes impossible once Iku opens her door again, and you're forced to relinquish the cool blanket and the car's bubble of safety. She points towards a short building nearby, squat among the rows of taller structures, and Mokou trudges through the rushing river of gutters towards it. Black water splashes nearly up to her knees, signaling that you've no choice but to fly over it yourself.

[ ] But there's still something that bothers you... _________________
[X] Suggest rescuing Chen.

If Chen is rescued, then Ran can act freely to remove Eientei as a threat.
[X] Suggest rescuing Chen.

Not a bad idea.

>You know there's actually a guy workin at Moriya named Ku, or they call him Ku-chan anyway.

Heh.
>>7748
>>7749

Breaking into the most technologically advanced place in the whole city with nothing more than a couple people to serve as backup?
>Hakurei? Same deal. She's not complicated, she just wants the fuckin money, and the donation box gets filled by the people so she has to treat the people right.

The more things change...

[X] Suggest rescuing Chen.

We are Cirno McGunkata, a fairy powerful enough to go toe-to-toe with youkai, and our mob boss would appreciate it if Kaguya didn't win the election. Let's have a crazy action sequence and end up with a debt of gratitude from the Yakumos, and maybe Nee-san being less bitchy.
[X] Suggest rescueing Chen
[X] Ask about Yukari. Maybe they have some clues?

Chen for Ran, Yukari for Yuyuko.
I love this Mokou. It fits her like a glove.

AND I STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT TO VOTE.
Except that maybe we should fly a little high and scout ahead so Mokou doesn't hit an ambush.


>>7746
>Yasaka and her posse, and her fuckin Ku-chan? Bout as batshit as Yakumo, and I think they got some shady shit goin on behind the doors
Referring either to Suwako or nuclear fusion, I'm sure.

>all the fucking heavy duty nature forces. Yatagarasu, before he took a hike, and what the fuck was her name. The Flower Master of the Four Seasons.
Let's see... Yatagarasu was Mr. Fusion... and the Flower MaFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
>>7745
No, you lovestruck faggot. I posted >>7674
>"I presume there's a hit on you again, yes?" You glimpse Iku's lazy smile in the rearview mirror as you pull the blanket close to yourself

Awfully nonchalant about this.

>"The Dragon Palace has decided not to support Moriya. So stop calling me that."

Who are they supporting, then?

>Prudence, for once, wins - you want to hear about that from Letty, not from two strangers you barely know in the back seat of a car. And... something else bothers you.

Bullshit senses tingling.

>She points towards a short building nearby, squat among the rows of taller structures, and Mokou trudges through the rushing river of gutters towards it.

Not the kind of place you'd expect someone famous to live; wouldn't a messenger of the Dragon Palace live there?

>She points towards a short building nearby, squat among the rows of taller structures, and Mokou trudges through the rushing river of gutters towards it. Black water splashes nearly up to her knees, signaling that you've no choice but to fly over it yourself.

Soaked and not able to use her fire ability effectively.

>[] But there's still something that bothers you... _________________

[x] This whole thing stinks like a set-up. Tell Mokou you want to take her to Hakugyokurou. Now.

Given that the backstage passes weren't checked, the assassin had all the time he or she needed to do in Mokou. If the fairy hadn't come, Mokou would probably be going to Iku's anyway.
Inb4 Iku is the assassin and fries Mokou's ass in the knee deep water.
Attempting to rescue Chen without Yuyu's blessing is a terrible idea.

>>7764

As much as I doubt Iku is an assassin, given that the only legitimacy we have in "protecting" Mokou is her tentative request for family services, we should take her to someone with authority. Even if Yuyu or Youki isn't there, we can drop Mokou off safely and go back our apartment, where Letty and Youmu are waiting for us.

[x] This whole thing stinks like a set-up. Tell Mokou you want to take her to Hakugyokurou. Now.
>"Uh, Iku? Shouldn't you turn on the wipers and headlights?" Both are off. The rain drives itself upon the car as Iku drives through it, coating the windshield in an amorphous glob of blackness save for the occasional wobbling streetlight.

This is good if you don't want anyone following. This is also good if you don't want anyone to know where you are going.

>"Start at the beginning," Iku suggests. "I am sure this has something to do with your usual nemesis, and your conversation with Miss Ran?"

Iku buts in before the fairy can answer and suggest to start from the beginning. Sounds like she is just as interested in what Mokou knows as the fairy is.

>"The Dragon Palace has decided not to support Moriya. So stop calling me that." You can't see if Iku is smiling or not, but you imagine she is... for now. Mokou, though? Not anymore.

As >>7764 mentioned, who are they supporting?

>"The election," Iku reminds. "What did Miss Ran say?"

She sure is interested in what Ran had to say.

>"The election," Iku reminds, again. "What DID Miss Ran say?"

Is it really that important to her?

>"No one will print it, because it's too anti-Eientei, and a rumor won't cut it, but some celebrity announcing it? That's me, by the way. That'll work."

This is being said by Mokou, followed by Iku saying

>"I see."

>Conversation becomes impossible once Iku opens her door again

A loud stormy night, the streets will be clear and people will be locked away in their houses. No one will interested in what's going on outside, nor will they be able to see and hear what's going on.

>Mokou trudges through the rushing river of gutters towards it. Black water splashes nearly up to her knees

Wouldn't that be a shame if some source of electricity was 'accidentally' introduced to that water?

tl;dr

NO IKU, YOU ARE THE ASSASSINS

and then Mokou was crispy.
The 'Iku is the assassin' theory now has my utmost attention, but just before I cast my vote:

>>"Start at the beginning," Iku suggests. "I am sure this has something to do with your usual nemesis, and your conversation with Miss Ran?"
When did we / Mokou mention the conversation with Ran to Iku?
That was really nice of Iku to invite a stranger over to her house (knowing this stranger has ties to a major crime family) for a drink. If I was an entertainer, that is definitely what I would do. I would also do this if I happened to be an assassin who had practically been handed the perfect opportunity to eliminate two x factors in my employers plans. Especially since this dangerous member of the crime family happens to be unarmed and incredibly vulnerable right now.
Well, shit.
[x] Grab Mokou and fly/haul her ass out of that water immediately.
Okay, now I see how our decision to go with Iku and Mokou can actually make a difference. Working on the assumption that Iku IS the assassin (and really, the above arguments plus the fact that no-one so much as tried to raise a finger against her at the concert are convincing enough), we probably have less than 10 seconds before lightning rains down and fries Mokou to a crisp. Suddenly announcing our suspicions is likely to make Iku act before Mokou can get clear, so we need to take action ourselves before she figures out that we're onto her.

The reason for doing this rather than, say, attacking Iku is because if it turns out we're wrong, there's absolutely no harm done. We can just say we didn't want Mokou to get soaking wet, while attacking Iku on an incorrect assumption would be virtually impossible to explain away.

As an aside, this's a rather good set-up by Iku. If Mokou dies to a thunder bolt while wading through knee-deep water it'll just look like an unlucky, natural accident.
I don't think the fairy would be able to lift Mokou; it'd be faster to just whisper her to get out of the water, since she can fly.

[x] This whole thing stinks like a set-up. Whisper to Mokou to get her ass out of that water immediately.
[x] Tell Mokou your address, and to meet you there; you'll deal with Iku.

We won't be able to lose Iku--not in this weather. Better to tell Mokou to run, while you stall Iku.

If it comes down to a fight, even though we're unarmed, we're surrounded by our own element, and would likely resurrect immediately. We might be able to take Iku down by simply outlasting her.
Good god we fucked up.

[x] This whole thing stinks like a set-up. Tell Mokou you want to take her to Hakugyokurou. Now.

If it's possible, I'd go a step back but we're in too deep shit now. Get Mokou out. Iku's going in for the rape :/
>>7776

>Whisper to Mokou

Forget about the deafening rain?
>>7776
I admit, I'm never entirely sure what the characters are capable of in this 'universe'. If Mokou can fly, then fine, it'd theoretically be better to just tell her our concerns rather than grabbing her ourselves.

But there're two fairly sizable problems here. The first, as >>7779 says, is the conversation-drowning rain. The second is that, even if we could convey our suspicions to Mokou, who's to say she's going to believe us? 'Ku' is clearly a good friend of Mokou, where as we've known her for all of a few hours. If we end up in a position where Mokou has to decide between believing us or believing Iku, I don't think we have much of a chance.

Of course, going on what >>7770 said, we could always bring up the fact that Iku knew about the conversation with Ran despite no-one mentioning it to her as evidence in our favour.

At any rate, I still think that grabbing her ourselves is the best course of action. At least that way we can guarantee she'll survive for more than 10 seconds.
[x] Grab Mokou and fly/haul her ass out of that water immediately.
[x] This whole thing stinks like a set-up. Take Mokou to Hakugyokurou. Now.

Don't even bother to explain yourself. Just grab her and jet.
[x] Grab Mokou and fly/haul her ass out of that water immediately.
[x] This whole thing stinks like a set-up. Take Mokou to Hakugyokurou. Now.
The above posts have convinced me. This Mokou, I'll be taking it.
[x] Grab Mokou and fly/haul her ass out of that water immediately.
[x] This whole thing stinks like a set-up. Take Mokou to Hakugyokurou. Now.

In before Iku shocks both Fairy and Mokou with the fury of a thousand uh...lightning bolts.
I think this is as close to a quorum as we're going to get, blankfag, so take the various arguments into consideration and go ahead with the update.
>>"Agreed, agreed. Lean back and go with the flow. That's the key to a good dance and a peaceful life."
No real reason for posting this, just thought it might offer some insight into Iku's life philosophy. If the tide is turning towards Kaguya, I guess she's the kind of person who'd just go with the flow. That or the Dragon Palace aren't giving her much choice in the matter.
Writing. Just a heads up, there may not be a choice for a while.
>>7795

Inb4 being railroaded into a snow end.
>>7795
Walls are among what make this the best CYOA on this site

IN MY OPINION DON'T START A SHITSTORM PLEASE OH GOD

so write away, yo.
>>7799

His shitsotmrs are awesome.
>>7800

Despite all the bickering, that Meiling thing turned out pretty well for us didn't it.

>>7795

Write on, nigger. Write on.
>>7796
>Inb4 being railroaded into a snow end.

3/10

slide whistle
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7804
Needs moar RaAN Touhou!
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7805
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7806
>>7806
>>7804

these are awesome, also Moemizi
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7812
Something that eats at your mind, something not quite right. You feel like you're being played somehow. This is, in light of your occupation and the last few days' events, not a particularly new feeling, but there is a little more to it this time. Some sort of question you should be asking, someone completely wrong. A puzzle piece you're missing.

You fly out over the flooded street, tailing Mokou as she looks around, and attempt to jar your brain out of passivity at last. Errand girl or no, gun or no, you're a member of the Saigyoujis, and that... well, does it give you the right to make decisions for the family? Certainly not for Yuyuko, but you must admit you've a great deal more power than you've been allowing yourself. Perhaps you should use it? Mokou, for all that she may be crazy (or manipulating you) at least took action for what she stood for, and talked to Ran.

... stood for, and talked to Ran?

Didn't Iku say at first that she didn't know who Mokou talked to? No, she was just covering for her friend, right? She knew, she just didn't want to tell you, since she supported Mokou. Right?

"The Dragon Palace has decided not to support Moriya," she'd said. Which means they're supporting...

You turn your head, looking for Iku, intending to fly to her and shout her your question through the storm, but she's not there. Your brain continues to work in hyperdrive - and stalls out completely as another thunderbolt flashes in the sky.

Just like the one in the concert hall.

"MOKOU!" Purely on instinct and paranoia, you dart forward and grab the singer's arms, lifting her out of the dark water with strength you didn't know you possessed. She jerks and squirms at your grasp, trying to throw you off, but lifting off in flight herself. Dizzily, you hold on to her for a second longer than you should, and she throws you off and away with a glare. Your paranoia ebbs, and subverts itself into making some excuse as to why you did that. But you notice a funny thing, just then.

The seamless sea of darkness covering the street is shining, glowing in a lattice of stained-glass outlines with bright white refractions and lines snapping through it, as though it was being lit from beneath. No, not as though; it IS being lit from beneath, by the patterns of white flashing through it. Through the sound of water on water, you hear a thousand snapping noises mixing together, and the smell of fresh ozone assaults your nose. In seconds, the creeping lines of energy are gone, and the stormwater returns to unsteady pitch black. Mokou gapes with you, mouthing "The fuck's that?" with her attention directed at the spectable below. You quickly turn your eyes outward instead, looking for your driver, but you can't see her anywhere.

And just a while before, you'd been complaining to yourself things weren't looking up anymore.

"IKU!" Buzzing to Mokou, you do your best to scream in her startled face. If you're wrong... no, you're not wrong. "IT'S IKU! SHE'S THE KILLER! RUN RUN GO!"

"WHAT? FUCK!" comes the reply, "NO WAY, SHE'S-"

Electricity, you remember from some science show, is a form of light, and travels at the same speed. What was in the water looked too cartoonish to be real electricity, but the point stands. A year of training with Youmu has taught you how to deal with speed, at least. Mokou's screams go unanswered as you crash into her, trying to shove her out of the way of an imaginary sword charge and succeeding at knocking her out of the path of a different kind of charge altogether. A blinding flash and stroke of heat mark the exact spot you push her from, its shockwave throwing the two of you further back still and abruptly replacing the roar of wind in your ears with nothing but a single high pitched whine.

" " Mokou screams. Her lips are a moving green blur on top of purple and red swirls, and provide a focal point for you to try to readjust your vision and shed afterimages. You have little luck, and instead shoot your hand out, grab a random body part and pull. Tactical sense dictates that you have to get out of the open as soon as possible. Anywhere in the water, anywhere in the open, hell, anywhere under the sky - not safe.

" !" Attempting to communicate to Mokou is no better; you can't hear yourself, and odds are she's in the same position. All you can do is pull her and fly, till she sprouts a set of bright neon green wings (meaning they'll be red when the sparks and colors in your eyes wear off, you correct yourself) and takes off at a speedy clip of her own, veering into the nearest building. You follow her, and hope the flames beginning to outline her body aren't an afterimage as well.

Run. Run. Run.

Bursting the door without a second thought, Mokou zooms deep into the shelter. You take a look backwards as you enter, and at last spy Iku Nagae in the flash from another bolt - this one a solid line of branching white lightning, coming from her outstretched hand and grazing your head. Your neck involuntarily spasms, but before the ceiling fills your tumbling view, you get a clean vision of her.

She is dancing, a brilliant spot of crimson and cream in the black storm sea.
Sorry for being distracted and slow all the time. More tomorrow. Nice work, though - didn't expect this to come about.
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7816
Jesus, that was a close one. I was >>7775 / >>7782 , but I never would've suggested that without reading some of the previous posts.

As much as I want to hate you for this, Iku, you're just too damn stylish.
>>7813

Good job, I'm shitting a brick or two.
>>7813
Now the question is, was this here from the beginning? Or is this breaking the fourth wall with Gensokyo's law of faith?

Did we just doom ourselves by not trusting Iku?
>>7803
>slide whistle
Goddamn, this failed meme is stupid, and you should feel stupid for using it.
>>7827
slide whistle is supposed to be a meme?
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7835
>>7827
>slide whistle
>meme
>>7812
>>7813
I have just shat the equivalent of a brick outhouse.
Iku knows who the fairy is and she knows about Letty. Make your own assumptions, I'm just pointing out that Iku is playing a game of moral limbo. How low can she go?
>>7850

We can't know that she isn't only justifying this to herself with the fact that Mokou will eventually resurrect. I expect her to follow her orders, and when the fight is over--assuming she survives--she'll use your interference (rather, that of the Saigyouji crime family) as the excuse for her failure.
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You watch the circle swinging above you, a ceiling lamp spitting sparks. Maybe two of them, it's hard to tell. The sound of its bulb shattering seems to come through a wall of humming cotton, but it is better than no sound at all, you suppose. More worrying is that you can't feel the shards of glass you see raining onto you, or the hand that appears and pulls you to your feet. You shudder and try to push Mokou away, to get her to run, before realizing the hand does not belong to her.

"Very good. If you will please excuse me, however, I must deal with Miss Fujiwara. My partnership with her must unfortunately end." Iku presses her lips to your cheek as she speaks, and her breezy voice blows back and forth in your skull, crystal clear. "The Palace reads Eientei's rise in the tides, and we will join them. Please consider this our announcement, and a warning to your family not to interfere. You may leave." She gives you a pat on the back, which you do not feel, accompanied by a small tingling jolt which you do.

Turning in response to some unheard noise, Iku snaps her fingers. Lightning arcs from them and illuminates your surroundings for an instant, showing a decaying desk, a metal chair, a row of cubbies on the walls hanging open - mailboxes, you realize, for an abandoned tenement house. A sudden movement catches the corner of your eye, Mokou's leg vanishing up some nearby stairs, and Iku twirls her arm towards it to strike.

You still aren't quite sure what Yuyuko has in mind for the election. Nor are you sure if she'd care about Mokou being killed. Nor, to be quite honest, are you sure that what you are about to do is wise.
But you're sure of what has to be done.
No one 'warns' the family away from anything.

Grasping on the floor, you pick up one of the fragments of the broken light bulb, miraculously manage not to slice your fingers open, and throw it at Iku in one smooth motion. It bounces off her head, doing no real damage, but achieving your goal nonetheless. The dancer's hand jerks, sending the bolt intended for Mokou wild, into the rusted mailboxes instead. A few of the cubby doors slam open and shut, the wooden frame around them catches fire, and Iku waves her hand momentarily. Then she cranes her neck around 180 degrees, without moving the rest of her body, and stares mutely at you in the most unnerving pose you've seen outside of Hakugyokuro. The ceiling lamp begins to spark again, though she's not even looking at it.

Definitely unwise, you think, diving away from Iku as the room fills with spiderwebs of energy. Definitely unwise. Your hearing is only just beginning to recover, and sound returns to you in the form of a false angelic chorus. No angels to carry you off if you die here, you sourly reflect. Just a rebirth in the sodden gutters outside. None of the bolts reach you, though, and Iku loses interest disappointingly fast. Shouldn't have told her you had no gun, either. Oh well. She directs her gaze upwards, looking between the stairs and the ceiling, then swivels her head completely around again.

"aaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" The voices of the angels form into a scream of pure rage from above, and the ceiling lamp sparks once more before melting along with the ceiling itself. A torrent of flame, nearly as bright and several times hotter than the lightning bolts, blasts down through the ceiling and straight down upon the stunned dancer. The column of fire a breathtakingly long time, long enough for your combat sense to fade - just a bit. Then at once it ends, and in the center of the blackened circle you see what it has done to Iku.

Nothing at all. She stands completely unharmed, ringed by charcoal, a circle of small flames where the floor is catching alight, and falling embers. Her left arm and long scarf are thrown over her face, perhaps as protection, though they are not so much as singed. She, like you, takes a few breaths in the space of a second, gazing up into the hole burnt above. A smile crosses Iku's face, in profile, and she whips the scarf upward in an eyeblink. It reminds you of Youmu, and as she swings the cloth around, slicing the rooms above with it like a blade and trigging more showers of debris, you recall her actually wrapping it around Youmu... and talking with Letty. Yuyuko's voice haunts your memory.

"What if someone plies Miss Whiterock's brain, or holds her hostage against you?"

Iku's scarf flutters, cutting a support beam somewhere, and another section of the ceiling gives way. Furniture, old beds and rags tumble down, all deflected by effortless flicks and waves from the dancing girl, but Mokou is not among them. A bowl flies down and lands next to where you crouch, pelting you absurdly with dried carrot nubs; you bat them off and reflect with grim irony that Mokou is probably fighting in the very homes of the abused rabbits she spoke of. The situation demands that she should have taken advantage of your distraction to flee, but you can't really see her as the running type. Unless the run is a charge.

"BACKSTABBING PUS-INFECTED COCKFUCKSUCKING MAGGOTEELCUNTWHORE!" Ah, yes, your hearing's back. Mokou explodes from the other direction, almost right above you, and ignites the air around her into the shape of a pair of blazing wings. She flings objects from her hands, forks, butter knives and spoons enveloped in fire, and Iku calmly flicks them away with her scarf before curling its tip around the metal table in the corner.

"Get down!" you attempt to yell, and immediately wish you hadn't as the superheated air sears your lungs.
I'm tempted to vote for Mafia Fairy screaming "Fuck you, you goddamn pond-sucking catfish bitch!" except A. That would give away Mokou and MF's position, and B. don't want to waste my vote like that.

Goddamn it Iku.
Part of me wants this to end with Mokou delivering the equivalent of a Falcon Punch to Iku, and the other part of me wishes I could warp time forward in order to read the next part of this and skip the waiting.

Keep up the great work.
Needs more Mokou Punch.

But fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck Blankfag, I'm on th edge of my seat.
Awesome. Iku's fighting style is way more interesting than I thought it'd be.

Also, in b4 storm drain resurrection.
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On her burnt and deserted stage, Iku pirouettes, dancing the same dance as before, and demonstrates the true meaning of Wednesday Night Fever by slinging an electrified table at her audience. This must be how Youmu felt, attacked by a crazy old stiff-limbed piece of furniture at high velocity, reaching out for her with stiff limbs and too much voltage for its target's well-being. You choose to dive away from it; Moukou opts for taking the blow head-on in a chaotic explosion, pressing a curtain of fire forward and spewing a hell of molten slag back at her former partner. Iku blocks it with her scarf, as before, but some of the superheated metal sticks to it, sizzling and frying the material.

She stumbles slightly in her dance, just a bit, but enough for Mokou to follow up by intensifying the fires of her wings, expanding them to encompass most of the room, and projecting an impressively intense beam of white flame from her hands. The beam swings towards Iku, who skips out of its path, following the steps of the dance, and then gives a short scream as the flamethrower does not stop moving, bending out of the straight path of Mokou's palms and catching her in the side. The scarf, more like a living creature of its own than a garment now, wraps itself over the area quickly. When the hose of fire ends, so too is the scarf pulled away. Again there is no visible damage - but you're beginning to have doubts about the authenticity of the image Iku puts forth.

Triumphant, Mokou presses her advantage, sending another heatstorm racing through the lobby and forcing you to cling to the ground and hope your dress doesn't catch fire. Iku weathers this as she has everything else, but holes are beginning to appear in her defense at last - literally, holes are burnt in her scarf, and the black streaks lengthen as you watch them. She twists around and prances towards the door, grace masking her weakness, but Mokou isn't fooled and flies meteor-straight for her target.

Well, either she's not fooled, or she's foolhardy. It could well be the latter, and on the floor you have little better to do but contemplate such things and hope you don't die too painfully. Burning, shocking, soaking, freezing, death by flaming spoon or even carrot nubs - it's a circus of ways to get killed, and you without your gun and clown suit! All you've got is a flower, and it doesn't even squirt water in people's faces. You lie, and as before, watch Mokou and Iku perform for you. They're doing tricks now, in the space of less than a second.

Iku's trick appears to be coiling her scarf around her arm, spinning it faster and faster till it becomes a lethal drill of cloth and blurs the red and white of the fabric into a semblance of the gore you imagine hitting someone with it might produce. Pivoting around in a final twirl (one that would easily snap her spine, were she human - just what kind of youkai is she?), she draws her arm back and thrusts it straight at Mokou's rapidly approaching face. Your hazy imagination adds an elegant declaration to her attack, like "Single Blow of the Dragon Palace" or "See here, chappies, I am a high class pond sucking catfish bitch and am going to stick this right up your-"

Mokou's trick appears to be clenching her fingers and thumb into a ball and moving her arm forward with great force. And fire, oh yeah, there's also fire. You imagine she'd call this something along the lines of "RRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

"RRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" Mokou declares as the two punches collide - and somehow, she wins. The scorches on Iku's weapon finally prove fatal, and as the dancer stabs the drill into Mokou's burning aura it breaks down completely, collapsing into a mass of rubbery ash draped over her impotent fist. Clearly having expected Mokou to impale herself and die before reaching her, Iku winds up taking a fist straight to the jaw, and is flung backwards through the tenement's splintered front door. Mokou's flaming wings vanish as the punch connects, and the heat in the building itself dies down, allowing you to stand and cautiously join her in peering outside.

Nagae lies face down in the gutter outside, twisted in a position like you'd imagined yourself in, had anything during the fight hit you. She seems dead, but only for a moment - thunder crashes in the sky, and she picks herself up again, surrounding her body with a pyramid of electricity based in the water below her. Bereft of her scarf she may be, but she seems no less dangerous for it as she smoothly turns her head and hips back into proper alignment. The inner light you thought you'd seen at the concert reappears, too, spiking, crackling and turning Iku's body into a phenomenon by itself, a giant floating ball lightning edged by majestic (but oddly familiar) crimson and black wings. She at you and Mokou, shrugs as if to say "Oh well, that was fun" and starts to snap her fingers.

Mokou grins wickedly and snaps hers faster.

The wings transplanted by her punch burst into spreading flame, and Iku's mournful, inhuman wail of pain echoes up and down the street as her entire body spontaneously combusts. She falls back into the water and writhes, but the fire comes from within her and refuses to be quenched. A loud hiss replaces her electric snaps and buzzes, coming from the cloud of steam that billows from the gutter. Ten, fifteen seconds, and the thrashing stops. Mokou turns away and retires to further within the building, trailed by you again.

"Fuck." She coughs, still smiling, albeit more painfully. "Fuck fuck fuck. Fuck fuck fucking fuck. Every fucking friend I have... Thanks, kid. Owe you... a lot more now."

"Are you okay?" You in fact feel moderately useless for having spent the whole fight on the floor, but... all's well that ends well? Things are looking up.

"Better'n that snakey... god... I'll be fine. Just, just gimme a minute." Nodding, you leave Mokou to herself and look around the building instead, suddenly worried if it's safe to stay inside. The answer seems to be yes, for now, but there's a large hole burnt in the ground floor ceiling, half the second floor has collapsed through said hole, and several small fires still burn here and there and, well, everywhere. It looks like a bomb went off, which seems... about right.

"Haven't had to do that in a long fucking time. Cops'll probably be here soon. We should go." Your companion grunts over the rain, but makes no effort to move.

"Her car's still out there. We can take that." You thumb outside, toying with Letty's flower with your other hand. "I can get you to Hakugyokuro if you want, but I really need to go home afterwards. Um, don't take this as official or anything. I can't tell you what Yuyuko will say, but..."

Mokou nods, pushes herself off the wall with both hands, and walks to the door.

Then she stops, very oddly, turns around, turns back around, turns around again and stares at you with a helpless expression, breaking into cynical laughter.

"Oh fuck oh fu-u-u-uck, that's just not fucking FAIR..." She lunges forth, grabbing your hand and pulling you back into the building and up the stairs in the same way you plucked her from the water. A haunting, moaning cry comes from the street, in the same tones as Iku's scream, but lower and much louder. As you're pulled up, you look back through the ruined doorway and catch a glimpse of something long, very long, shining and sinuous moving outside. A pure black eye as large as the hole in the door passes by it as you top the stairs.

Did it see you?
More tomorrow, and no, I swear I am not making this up on the spot, it was planned.

Okay, I yoinked "pond sucking catfish bitch" because it was funny. But the rest was planned.
Hoooooly shiiiiiiiit.
POSSESSED BY A FUCKING PHOENIX. FUCK YES YOU ARE THE BEST WRITEFAG EVER
>Mokou's trick appears to be clenching her fingers and thumb into a ball and moving her arm forward with great force. And fire, oh yeah, there's also fire. You imagine she'd call this something along the lines of "TYRANT RAVE!"

Fixed.

>Mokou grins wickedly and snaps hers faster.

"You are already dead."

>Then she stops, very oddly, turns around, turns back around, turns around again and stares at you with a helpless expression, breaking into cynical laughter.

At first I was like "what". But then I was like:

>"Oh fuck oh fu-u-u-uck, that's just not fucking FAIR..." She lunges forth, grabbing your hand and pulling you back into the building and up the stairs in the same way you plucked her from the water. A haunting, moaning cry comes from the street, in the same tones as Iku's scream, but lower and much louder. As you're pulled up, you look back through the ruined doorway and catch a glimpse of something long, very long, shining and sinuous moving outside. A pure black eye as large as the hole in the door passes by it as you top the stairs.

Either Iku is showing us her final form or that is a fucking dragon.
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>>7947
>>Either Iku is showing us her final form or that is a fucking dragon.

Also, you're awesome blankfag.
>>7947
>You imagine she'd call this something along the lines of "TYRANT RAVE!"

Woah, I just realized it. Iku vs. Mokou is sort of like Ky vs. Sol isn't it?
Holy christfucking shitcocks, that was fucking SWEET, Blankfag.
This is why I love Blankfag.
Yeah, I do not think the Dragon Palace is going to be overly happy about having their Emissary killed.

Then again, they shouldn't have sided with Eientei, so fuck 'em.

>>7947
>"TYRANT RAVE!"
Yeah no. We've had enough of that shit.
Jesus fucking christ, that fight was amazing and did one of my favorite touhous justice. Blankfag, you're awesome.
MOAR
>>8039
FINE

New thread though, this one is about to autosage.


Thread Watcher x