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File 134176662019.jpg - (188.02KB, 433x421, SympathyForTheDevil.jpg) [iqdb]
Flipping through the list, your eyes catch a favorite of yours. Remilia might like this one.

“Alright, I’ve found one. ‘Sympathy for the Devil’”

The music begins. You listen to it for a moment, and then begin to sing when your cue arrives.

“Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste,”

“I’ve been around for a long, long year, stole many a man’s soul and faith.”

As you sing, a small part of your mind begins to wander.

“And I was round when Jesus Christ had his moment of doubt and pain…”

“Made damn sure that Pilate washed his hands, and sealed his fate.”

You’ve never been much of a social person. You’ve dealt with people when you needed to, but you’ve never really sought them out.

“Pleased to meet you… hope you guess my name…”

“But what’s troubling you is the nature of my game.”

But tonight was fun. Really fun. You spent today in a huge crowd, and it wasn’t irritating. Though to be honest, it’s not like you’ve ever tried to be around large amounts of people.

“I stuck around St. Petersburg when I saw it was a time for a change…”

“Killed the Czar and his ministers… Anastasia screamed in vain…”

Sure, there were down moments. Shikieiki’s disregard for privacy, or anything involving Yuuka.

“I rode a tank, held a generals rank,”

“While the blitzkrieg raged, and the fighters stank…”

But there was more good than bad. You met interesting people, learned interesting things.

“Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name, oh yeah.”

“Ah, what’s puzzling you is the nature of my game, oh yeah.”

Shikieiki, for all her lack of tact, seems like a good person.

“I watched with glee while your kings and queens,”

“Fought for ten decades, for the gods they made.”

Suwako is the first divine entity you’ve ever met, and you’ve learned that they’re… rather human.

“I shouted out, ‘Who killed the Kennedy’s,’”

“When after all, it was you and me.”

You don’t want to know anything else about the Yukkuri’s, though.

“Let me please introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste,”

“And I lay traps for troubadours, who get killed before they reach Bombay.”

You got insight into both Alice and Marisa, and learned more about the kleptomaniacal witch’s character.

“Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name, oh yeah,”

“But what’s puzzling you is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby.”

Eirin is rather… aloof, but that lead to an interesting conversation about lunar travel. You’ll have to ask Patchouli more about that topic.

“Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name, oh yeah,”

“But what’s confusing you is the nature of my game.”

The whole Yuuka situation was harrowing, and that’s all the thought you’ll give that for now.

“Just as every cop is a criminal, and all the sinners saints,”

“As heads is tails, just call me Lucifer, ‘cause I’m in need of some restraint.”

And finally, you’ll have to thank Marisa later, both for the exhilarating spellcard duel and for her good sportsmanship in the face of your cheating.

“So if you meet me, have some courtesy, have some sympathy, and some taste,”

“Use all your well-earned politesse, or I’ll lay your soul to waste, oh yeah,”

“Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name,”

“But what’s puzzling you is the nature of my game, um mean it, get down!”

A few moments later, you finish singing, and are broken out of your pseudo-trance by the sound of applause.

“Bravo, Wallace!” says Yukari, popping up through another of her gaps. “Well done!”

You don’t really know what to say. You’ve never considered yourself a singer.

“Now, how about an—“

Reacting in time to cut off any chance of an encore performance (that’s obviously what she was going for), you quickly wrap the gap youkai’s hands around the microphone.

“Why, of course I’ll let you sing! You went to all the trouble of setting this machine up, so you deserve a turn!” Smiling, you hop off the platform as the audience demands that Yukari sings. Ignoring the semi-serious glare boring into your back, you make your way to the back of the crowd.

As it so happens, you emerge a few feet away from Patchouli. You look at each other for a moment, and you muster all your willpower to keep from blushing in embarrassment.

“So… yeah. I sung.” You say, and groan internally. Real smooth there, Wallace.

“…It was nice.” Says the librarian, a slight blush on her face. “You’re a good singer.”

You’re taken aback for a few seconds, and then you start chuckling. “…Thanks, Patchy. That means a lot, coming from you.”

Now it’s her turn to look speechless, and then she starts laughing as well.

About two hours later, the party is over. The guests have left.

Now comes the most difficult part of the night. Catching Flandre’s attention, you gesture towards your other sister.

As the two of you approach, Remilia turns to you both. “…What is it?”

[x] Lead the discussion.
[x] “Flandre, is there something you want to say to Remilia?”
[x] “Flandre, is there something you want to say to Remilia?”

I'm not sure, but I think the discussion is about vampires and mental age, amirite? If it's the case, let Flan proves that she's a grown-up and ask that by herself.
[X] “Flandre, is there something you want to say to Remilia?”
[x] “Flandre, is there something you want to say to Remilia?”
[x] “Flandre, is there something you want to say to Remilia?”
[x] “Flandre, is there something you want to say to Remilia?”

I don't know why. While I am voting for this, it feels like we're still leading the conversation, which is the other vote.
[X] “Flandre, is there something you want to say to Remilia?”

Baby steps.
Well, I was hoping for a few more votes, but I guess I'll have to make do. Writing starts on Monday.
Don't worry about that. I refrained from voting because the outcome is pretty clear. If it makes you feel better, i'll throw in mine next time.

Shameless bump for status updates.

Can we consider this story as 'in hiatus' or dropped?
On hiatus, which is almost over. Literally, as in "give me another week."
File 134679551531.jpg - (882.31KB, 2000x1404, 84420f827b4f0da7b11100d596752dd7.jpg) [iqdb]

Well, I think I've gotten my life back mostly in order. Writing resumes on Friday.
File 134704415220.jpg - (205.44KB, 1280x902, Flandre-Scarlet-Remilia-Scarlet-Illustration.jpg) [iqdb]
“Flan, do you want to begin?”

“What’s this ab—“ Remilia asks, but you cut her off with a gesture.

“… Remilia,” begins Flandre. “Are you afraid of Yuuka?”

The middle child barely reacts. “Of course not, dear.”

“…That’s not true, is it?”

“Of course it’s true. Flan, dearie, have you ever known me to be afraid of anything? I am a vampire, the mightiest of creatures. And on top of that, I am the head of the noble Scarlet family. There is nothing in this world that can frighten me—“


An uneasy silence falls over the room. After a moment, Flandre takes a few deep breaths and lifts her foot out of the crater she just made.

“Remi, I’m not a baby anymore,” she says, in a remarkably calm tone, although you can detect a bit of turbulence in her words. “I’m more grown-up. I can tell you’re scared of her. I also don’t like the fact that you’re lying to me. But what’s worse is that you’re lying to yourself when being scared of Yuuka is a perfectly normal reaction!”

“… It’s not that simple.” Remilia says after a moment.

“Well, then, explain it to me.”

“… Do you remember her fight with Suika? And the events leading up to it?”

“Yes, I do. But…” Flandre trails off, and understanding crosses her face. “You’re not scared of her coming after you. You’re scared of her coming after me.”

“…Who’s Suika, and what does she have to do with Yuuka?” you ask.

“Suika Ibuki is a perpetually drunk oni who carries a gourd of sake that refills itself,” Remilia explains. “About two months ago, Yuuka stole the gourd and waited until Suika was completely sober before approaching her and confessing to the theft. The following fight very nearly destroyed the Hakurei Barrier.”

“There’s more to it than that, right?”

“…After Reimu and Yukari stopped the fight, Aya interviewed Yuuka. She asked her about her motivations, and…” Your sister gulps. “Yuuka had no issues or grudges against Suika. She just wanted to see how strong her opponent would be if she provoked them. And if she was willing to go that far…”

“…You’re afraid that she’ll come after you to get to Flandre someday.”

“Yes, and while I’m scared of the idea of fighting her, I’m terrified of the thought of her fighting Flan.”

This is a bit sobering for you. While in your heart you know that Remilia loves her family, her usual aloof behavior makes it hard to always remember that. And as much as you are disgusted by the thought of even doubting her feelings on this, it looks like she’s being genuine.

… Shit, you’re still on edge from your encounter with Yuuka. You’re not normally this cynical. Get a grip, Scarlet. This is family you’re analyzing.

“Well, what do we do, then?” you ask, focusing on something else. “How do we ensure that Miss Kazami doesn’t come after any member of our family?”

“…We could ask Reimu to talk to her.” Flandre suggests.

“Absolutely not!” Remilia says, shuddering. “No one– and I mean no one can know about my fears. If any resident of Gensokyo found out, I’d be a laughing-stock!”

“Wasn’t the original point of this discussion for you to be more honest with your feelings?” you ask.

Your sister fixes you with a flat look. “Just because I’m more open about such things doesn’t mean people can know about them. I have a reputation, after all.”

Classic Remilia. “Fine. I’ll approach Reimu, then, and bill the idea as my own. How does that sound?”

“… That’s acceptable. But if word gets out that it was actually my idea, I’ll tear off your arms.”

You have no doubt that she would do so. “I understand. Now then, we should get our dear youngest sister to bed, as she looks like she’s falling asleep.”

Remilia turns to look at Flandre, who is mid-yawn.

“Ah. Flan, I think he’s right. Bedtime.”

Your youngest sister nods, then starts to turn in the direction of her room. She stops, though, and then proceeds to grab you and Remilia and wrap her arms around you both. “I really had fun tonight, you two.” Disengaging, she heads off towards the basement.

You glance at Remilia, and are slightly surprised to see a slight blush on her face.

You open your mouth.

“Not a word, Wallachia.”

You close your mouth.

Remilia gets her color back to normal. “Well, I think I’ll head after her. I think I’ll read her a bedtime story, actually. I haven’t done that in a week or so.”

“We were near the start of Murder on the Orient Express.”

“Ah. Good night, then.”

You watch her go. You’re not totally tired yet. Maybe you’ll stop in the library and talk to Patchouli.

Nodding to yourself, you turn towards the library and take a step forwards.

You nearly fall down.

“What the hell?”

It’s… oh. You stepped in the crater Flandre made. Huh.

It’d be a pain to fix. Doable, but irritating at this hour. Sakuya would appreciate it, though.

[x] Leave it, and head to the library.
[x] Roll up your sleeves and fix it.

Sorry about my month-and-a-half long absence. Heavy depression is a terrible thing. Thankfully, college has started again, so I now have the structure in my life that I need to function properly, and actually write. To all who stuck in, hoping that I’d come back… Thank you.
[x] Roll up your sleeves and fix it.

Welcome back.
[x] Leave it, and head to the library.

We can take care of it in the morning.
New to this story, but I need something to read on /sdm/ so:
[x] Roll up your sleeves and fix it.
Now to power-read.
[x] Leave it, and head to the library.

Welcome back!
[x] Leave it, and head to the library.
[x] Roll up your sleeves and fix it.
[x] Leave it, and head to the library.

Welcome back. Do want more Patchy route.
[x] Roll up your sleeves and fix it.
[X] Roll up your sleeves and fix it.

Unsightly craters in our house? Not likely.
[x] Roll up your sleeves and fix it.

as much as I'd like to get back to Patchouli, a responsible big brother cleans up after his cute little sister.
[X] Roll up your sleeves and fix it.

Welcome back. I'm glad that you decided to write again.
I feel like I'm in an echo chamber, but still: Welcome back.

[X] Roll up your sleeves and fix it.

Always clean up after yourself. It's just polite.
[x] roll up your sleeves and fix it.
Alright, that's enough votes. Writing begins tomorrow.
File 134825240391.jpg - (440.54KB, 876x973, 1291711714738.jpg) [iqdb]
Oh well. Gotta do what you gotta do. Kneeling down, you place your hands on the sides of the crater. You close your eyes, imagine the necessary circle, and then push your power into it.

You open your eyes, and see unblemished floor.


You flinch slightly and turn. Sakuya is standing there, a bemused smile on her face.

“…How long have you been standing there?” you ask, standing up.

“Ever since Remilia went to put Flandre to bed. I’d like to thank you by the way— I don’t think that I’d have been able to fix that.”

“You’re welcome then.” You reply, and then think of something. “I’m curious, though. If I had just left it as it was, what would you have done?”

“Hmm, that’s an odd question. Well, I’d probably have waged a passive-aggressive campaign against you for a day or two.”

“Well, it’s a good thing that I decided to fix it, then.” You’re proud of the fact that you didn’t show any guilt.

Sakuya tilts her head. “You look a bit troubled. Is it a family issue?”

That wasn’t why you were troubled a moment ago, but her query reminds you of something. “… I’m a lousy brother.”

“Oh? How so.”

It occurs to you that talking about this with one of your middles sisters’ biggest supporters might not end well for you, but you’ll finish what you’ve started. “For a moment, I seriously questioned Remilia’s love for her family. I should know better,” you say, sighing and scrubbing a hand through your hair. “But that horrible analytical part of me made me think otherwise. It’s so stupid— she’s always been concerned about the family and how we interact, but her usual personality makes difficult at times to discern whether it’s genuine concern or just wanting to look good.”

The maid says nothing for a moment, and then she smiles. It’s not one of her sardonic ones or her faintly amused ones, but an actual smile. “You’re a good person, Wallachia Scarlet.”

You blink. “I just confessed to not believing that my sister loves her family. How does that make me a ‘good person?’”

“You couldn’t see it, but there was a genuine expression of self loathing on your face. While hating yourself isn’t a good personality trait, it means that you recognize that something is wrong, and that means you can change it. There are thousands of people out there who don’t acknowledge that what they feel may be wrong. But really, I just think you’re out of practice with dealing with human relationships.” You’re a vampire, but you see her point. “Let me guess— you didn’t interact with many people during your journey, did you?”

“…No, I didn’t. There was a shopkeeper in Paris that I consider a mentor of sorts, but for the most part I kept myself distant from others. Even before my prolonged vacation, I didn’t have much experience with other people. I rarely talked to the staff my parents hired, and the only people outside of my immediate family that I interacted with were relatives who came to visit. I guess I’m just not a social person.”

Sakuya shrugs. “Maybe so. But that changed when you came to Gensokyo, didn’t it?”

… She’s right. “I guess it did. I’ve opened up more to others in the last few days than I have in my entire lifetime. Heh,” you chuckle. “How’s that for perspective? I’m their older brother, but I’m probably just as immature in places as my sisters are.”

“Hey, at least you can see it. That’s better than what Remilia’s done.”

The two of you laugh for a moment.

“Well, I’ve got to go wash the dishes. Maybe I should start requiring guests to wash their own dirty plates and cups. It would save me quite a bit of trouble.”

“Oh yeah, and you’ve got the rest of the foyer to re… arrange…” Now that you look around, the room is devoid of the furniture and decorations that were there earlier. “…When did you do this?”

“When you started your family meeting. I can manipulate time and space, remember?”

“You have a power most beings would kill for, and you use it to do housework?”

“We make do with what we have, you see. Now then, you should get some rest. It’s been a long night.” With that, she pats you on the head like you’re a small child, and vanishes.

“…She must think she’s hilarious.”

But she’s right. It’s been a stressful night, no matter how fun it was. Maybe you’ll…

[x] Head to the library.
[x] Head outside, maybe chat with Meiling.
[x] Go to bed.
[x] Head to the library.

[x] Head outside, maybe chat with Meiling.

She probably wasn't at the party (that or Wallace didn't notice her), so finding out how she is after not conversating with her for a while before bed wouldn't hurt.

It seems like something Wallace would do especially after his little chat with Sakuya about socializing with other probably still fresh in his mind.
[x] Head outside, maybe chat with Meiling.
[x] Head outside, maybe chat with Meiling.

Gate guardan gaems.
[x] Head outside, maybe chat with Meiling.

Then to the library if possible.
[x] Head to the library.
[x] Head outside, maybe chat with Meiling.
[x] Head outside, maybe chat with Meiling.

As above, hoping we can still visit the library afterward.
[x] Head outside, maybe chat with Meiling.
[x] Head outside, maybe chat with Meiling.
[x] Head to the library.

Whats up with avoiding the library like the plague?
[x] Head to the library.
I just wanted to throw out some options. I'm sorry if it came across as trying to avoid Patchy.
Oh you understood that wrong. Different options keep a story fresh!
Ok, then.

Writing starts tomorrow.
Sorry for the delay-- school stuff got in the way. However, the update will be ready within the next three days. Hang in there!
Alright, waiting warmly~
…Get some fresh air. Hopefully that will clear this self-loathing from your mind.

A few minutes later, you’re sitting on bench in the garden. The moon (though it isn’t full anymore) is bright, and with your excellent vision, you can appreciate the beauty of the flowers.

… Wait. This is a very well tended garden. Vampires tend not to place much value on their outdoor plants— being unable to go outside during the day makes it rather difficult to fully immerse one’s self in things that require sunlight to grow.

Well, the obvious answer is that Remilia has this set up to make the place (and herself) look better. Besides, she can just use a parasol, now that you think about it.

But who tends it? You snicker as you briefly imagine Remilia in overalls and thick gloves. Sakuya? Somehow, you don’t picture the elegant maid doing this kind of work. No way that it’s Patchy— you have the slight suspicion that she spends most of her time in the library.

A series of periodic yelps brings you back to reality. Well, you think you’ve found your answer. You get up, and head over to where the noise is coming from.

Once you reach the clearing near the gate, you take a moment to just watch. Meiling is going through a series of katas, with a practiced ease that makes you slightly envious. You might be a scholar by nature and trade, but you do have some combat experience, and even your untrained eye can tell that she isn’t making very many wasted movements.

The gatekeeper finishes her final motion with a clipped kiai, and you start clapping. She turns to you, slightly startled.

“Sorry, Meiling. I was just admiring your skill.”

She smiles cheerfully. “Thank you, sir! This is just a light workout, though.”

“Well, simple though it may be, it was certainly impressive. I’m a bit jealous, actually.”

“Well, all you need to do is practice. I’m sure your swordsmanship will improve if you keep working at it!”

“Well, I’m not…” you trail off. “How did you know that I’m a swordsman?”

“You move like you have some formal training, as well as battle experience. Something specializing in thrusting.”

You blink. “You could tell that just by how I moved?”

She nods, smiling. “That, and I saw the sword you were wearing when you first arrived.”

That… seems rather sarcastic for the straightforward youkai. However, there’s no indication that she was making a joke.

“You’re an odd one, Meiling.”

“I get that a lot, sir!”

You chuckle for a moment, and then some questions rises to your mind. “If you don’t mind me asking, how did you come to work here? Also, what kind of youkai are you?”

“To answer the second question… Dragon, mostly.”

You blink. “Wait, really? I don’t feel that much power coming from you, though…” It occurs to you that that might have been a bit insensitive.

If it was, Meiling doesn’t seem to show offense. “Well, the founders of my clan weren’t very high on the dragon hierarchy in terms of power. Also, we’ve done quite a bit of interbreeding with humans over the years. When I said I’m mostly dragon, I meant it— I’m also about one-third human.”

“But a weak dragon is still a dragon, right?”

“True, but there’s more to it. My clan is originally from the outside world— I was born in a rural village in China. We used to be nearly worshipped in the past by the locals, but it’s a different time than it was then. The belief in the supernatural is dying out. And as a result, by the time I was born, our power had faded.”

‘By the time she was born?’ “Meiling, how old are you?”

“…? I’ll be twenty five in a few months.”

That’s surprisingly young for a youkai. It probably also explains why she doesn't radiate power like a beacon. “… Oh, you never answered my first question.”

“About how I came to work here? Well, when I was about nineteen, I left my village, and made my way to the coast. I got a job guarding cargo on a ship after I beat up a gang of troublemakers. We stopped in Japan, and I got lost on shore leave. When I made my way back to the harbor, they had left without me.”

…Wow. “And after that?”

“Well, then I wandered Japan without food or money. I wound up in Gensokyo while I was trying to escape from some monks who wanted to exorcise me. Then I was in the Human Village when I found a poster from the mansion that said they wanted a gatekeeper and a gardener. I got the job, and now here I am!”

You feel cheated, somehow. Your instinctual snarky response is put on hold, however, as an idea starts clamoring for attention. “You’re also the gardener here?”

“I am!”

“…Do you grow herbs?”

“Of course! Sakuya uses them in her cooking.”

“In that case, could you help me with something?” You tell her your idea.

“Yeah, I can do that! Let me just get my scissors…”

You enter the library, and head to the chairs near the center. Patchouli is in her usual chair, reading. As you approach, she looks up. She opens her mouth to say something, but then sniffs the air. “…What’s that scent?”

“I’m glad you asked,” you say, putting down the container you were holding. “I had Meiling gather some fragrant herbs. Now, I appreciate the scent of old books as much as the next scholar, but everyone could use some change every now and then.”

The librarian smiles. “… I guess you’re right. At least it wasn’t something cliché, like flowers.”

The two of you chuckle, and then she stops and purses her lips. “Wallace, may I ask you a question?”

You blink. “Sure.”

“What do you think about Sakuya?”

[x] (write-in)

And remember, try to keep the response in-character.
Sorry that there's no image. Something's wonky with my ability to post images.
[x] While she may do things like make up names for Meiling, she is ulimately a loyal hard working maid. I am glad my sister has someone like that working for her.

I wonder what brought this on.
Who knows?
[x] Disregarding her disconcerting habit of appearing from nowhere, she seems like a nice person. Why do you ask?

maid flatteran gaems
[x] Disregarding her disconcerting habit of appearing from nowhere, she seems like a nice person. Why do you ask?

Seems like a good choice, I'd say.
Part of me suspects Patchy sees Sakuya as a threat (I can't blame her reallY)
Something just registered in my mind.

Did we just bring Patchouli patchouli?
That's a rather amusing thought.

[x] Disregarding her disconcerting habit of appearing from nowhere, she seems like a nice person. Why do you ask?

This seems to me like a nice enough median for someone he's had somewhat limited exposure to.
x] Disregarding her disconcerting habit of appearing from nowhere, she seems like a nice person. Why do you ask?

awwwwwww... patchy is jealous... maybe, could be wrong though.

who has Wallace interacted with the most in the mansion so far?
[x] Disregarding her disconcerting habit of appearing from nowhere, she seems like a nice person. Why do you ask?

[x] Disregarding her disconcerting habit of appearing from nowhere, she seems like a nice person. Why do you ask?

Wandbagoning gaems.
Okay, writing starts tomorrow.
File 135093126955.jpg - (1.37MB, 1231x1590, 1286302535662.jpg) [iqdb]
That’s sort of out of the blue. “Well, her habit of instantly disappearing and reappearing aside, I think that she’s a good person— I’m glad that Remilia has a friend like her. Why do you ask?”

“…No reason,” The librarian answers. She smiles a slight, contented smile, and then reaches for a book next to her. “By the way, I came across this book— from the title, I think that it’s about alchemy. Is it a legitimate source?”

“Here let me see,” you say, forgetting the first strange question and taking a look at the title and author. “… Patchy. Where did you get this book?”

“It was either a gift, or it just appeared here one day. …Is something wrong?”

“…This is written by Trinicus Herdwald,” you say, surprised at how calm you are. “There are alchemists who would willingly cut off their own limbs for a chance to merely scan that man’s notes.”

“…I take it that he’s a reliable authority, then?”

“He’s not a reliable authority, he’s the reliable authority. This book is practically priceless. Even if it has nothing to do with the Eastern elements, there’s an incredibly high chance that it will allow us to make a huge breakthrough. I’ve only read a single chapter from one of his books before, and that provided me with the knowledge to transmute Tyrfing. Let’s see…” you open the book and flip to the table of contents. “No, no, no, possibly, no no… ‘On The Use Of Conceptual Elements.’ This may be it.”

You get up and scan the room. Finding a suitable spot on the floor, you walk over and sit down, beckoning Patchouli over. “Come over here and sit down.”

“…N-next to you? Why couldn’t we just enlarge the book with magic?”

Oh, right, she doesn’t know. “I’m not surprised you can’t feel them, even with your talent and power, but there are some heavy enchantments woven into Herdwald’s books specifically in order to prevent such things.”


“Well, he’s sort of a jerk, to put it bluntly.” At Patchy’s quizzical tilt of the head, you continue. “I told you that I only read a chapter of one of his books before, right? It was the first chapter, and the only reason I wasn’t able to read more is because I was one of a large group of alchemists— this was at the library in Rome, by the way— who had agreed to take turns. I read the amount I was allotted, and passed it on to the next person, who proceeded to try and cast a copying spell the moment he got it. The book crumbled into dust. He was kicked out by the staff as soon as they found out.”

“That still doesn’t explain why Herdwald set that up.” The librarian says.

“There’s more to the story. I told you that I worked in a magic shop in Paris, right?” Your student nods. “Well, Marcel— the owner— knew Herdwald personally. In fact he visited the store once, although I didn’t know it was him until he had been gone for more than an hour. Anyway, the reason he enchants his books is so that anyone reading it has to read it like a book. No magic aids— the only way to gain the knowledge is to turn the pages with your hands and then take handwritten notes, or memorize it naturally.”

“…Why wouldn’t someone read a book like a book?”

“…You haven’t met that many magic users, have you? There’s a huge majority who wouldn’t think twice about taking the easy route— they have magic, after all. Why not use it? And Herdwald doesn’t like that, hence the enchantments.”

Patchouli frowns. “I don’t see how wanting to enjoy a book makes someone a jerk.”

“Well, there’s also the personality of the man himself. I met him at the magic store, remember? At the time, I thought he was just a really crotchety man who was a friend of the owner.” You frown at the memory. “When I referred to Marcel by his first name, Herdwald started lecturing me about proper manners until Marcel took to my defense. He was a jerk, plain and simple.” You shake your head, and pat the floor. “That’s besides the point, though— we have access to an amazing resource. So get over here! Oh, and do you have some paper and a pencil or pen?”


A moment later, the succubus in question floats over, holding a box and a large stack of paper. “Here you go, mistress.”

“Thank you.” Patchy gets up and moves over to you, arranging her robes as she sits down. Opening the box, she takes out a pair of pens. Handing one to you, as well as half of the paper stack, she then opens the book.

And the two of you start to read.

You come back to consciousness slowly. As you do, the events of the time before you were asleep filter back to you.

The party, the discovery of Herdwald’s book, the study session…

Oh, right. The two of you were at a good place. You should really get up and get back to it, but it’s so warm. Besides, there’s someone holding you… down…?

You open your eyes. Most of your body, as well as Patchouli’s, is obscured by a blanket. You are aware of her arm on your chest though.

Now completely awake, you feel around gently beneath the blanket.

Praise whatever gods exist, the two of you are still completely clothed.

So how did this happen? Think, Wallachia. The two of you were studying, and then you both fell asleep…

Someone must have checked in on the two of you (Sakuya most likely), covered you both with a blanket, and put some rather comfy pillows under your heads.

That’s reassuring. Now, what to do…

[x] Extract yourself. You wouldn’t want Patchy to wake up and pass out from embarrassment, would you?
[x] …Stay like this. She looks like she’s going to sleep for a while longer.
[x] Go back to sleep, or atleast pretend to sleep. She'll be a lot less embarrassed if she extracts herself before you 'wake up'.

Since she'll quite likely wake up while wally is extracting himself.
[x] …Stay like this. She looks like she’s going to sleep for a while longer.

Oh Koa, you naughty devil~
[x] …Stay like this. She looks like she’s going to sleep for a while longer.

I think the embarrassment would be incredibly cute, but this is fine too
[x] …Stay like this. She looks like she’s going to sleep for a while longer.
[x] …Stay like this. She looks like she’s going to sleep for a while longer.
[x] …Stay like this. She looks like she’s going to sleep for a while longer.
Must embarrass patchy.
[X] …Stay like this. She looks like she’s going to sleep for a while longer.
[x] …Stay like this. She looks like she’s going to sleep for a while longer.
[x] …Stay like this. She looks like she’s going to sleep for a while longer.

It's like I have no other choice, this vote calls for me!
[x] …Stay like this. She looks like she’s going to sleep for a while longer.

Why not?
[x] Go back to sleep, or atleast pretend to sleep. She'll be a lot less embarrassed if she extracts herself before you 'wake up'.

True true...
[x] Go back to sleep, or atleast pretend to sleep. She'll be a lot less embarrassed if she extracts herself before you 'wake up'.
[x] …Stay like this. She looks like she’s going to sleep for a while longer.

Waking up and staying that way when you're warm and comfy is hard, and going back to sleep is easy (and warm, and comfy). I swear it's nothing to do with how adorable this Pache is.
Writing... begins... tomorrow.
You have a very odd definition of tomorrow.
"begins tomorrow"
I did begin writing when I said I would. And the update, in fact, is most of the way done. But I've hit a minor bout of writer's block that might get in the way for a slight bit longer.

Thanks for the push, though.
He said he'd start writing tomorrow (Sun), but he never said when he'd FINISH writing.
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…It’s so comfy. Maybe you’ll stay like this for a few more minutes.

And besides, your student looks so… peaceful.

“Are they really asleep?” says a familiar voice from behind you.

…Oh no.

“Right over there, see?” says another, more familiar voice.

…Oh no!

“Wow, that’s adorable,” says Aya. You can almost hear the tengu reaching for her camera.

No time to come up with a better plan. You focus for an instant, and an opaque dome of crimson power springs up around you.

It’s too late, though, as the camera clicks just an instant before.

Fuck. Oh well, best do what you can. You get up, dispel the dome, and face Sakuya and Aya. “Just what the hell do the two of you think you’re doing?”

“…Uhhh… What?” Wonderful, now Patchouli’s woken up. Now you have to do damage control on both ends.

“Aya took a picture of the two of us sleeping together.”


“We both drifted off while studying,” you say, glancing at the stark-white librarian. “I’m assuming that Sakuya covered us with a blanket, and then thought it would be a good idea to get Aya to take a scandalous picture.” You turn to the two offenders. “I can accept an embarrassing picture of me— and me alone. If I’ve been caught doing something stupid and get exposed, then I have only myself to blame. What I cannot tolerate is bringing someone else into it!”

Both of the women in front of you have the decency to look ashamed.

You shake your head and sigh. “Aya, give me the camera.”

The tengu seems to regain her composure. “You’re just going to destroy it. Do you know how hard these things are to replace?”

“Do you really think that I care right now? Give it to me.”

“No way!”

“If I have to use force, that’s what I’ll do. Someone’s reputation is at stake.”

Aya opens her mouth, closes it, and looks at her camera. Then, with an expression that looks as though she’s just betrayed an important ideal, she opens a panel on the device and plucks out the film. “…Here.” She tosses the stuff at you, grimacing.

You cast a thorough disintegration spell. “I’m glad we didn’t have to resort to anything physical.”

As the remnants of the film drift to the ground, the tengu sighs. “That stuff is expensive, you know. I hope you’re willing to reimburse me.”

“…How much is it worth?”

“I’d estimate about 2000 yen per roll.”

You think for a moment. “After I’m done dealing with your… cohort… I’ll have her give you 500.”

Aya opens her mouth.

“You’re treading on pretty thin ice as it is, Miss Shameimaru.”

Aya closes her mouth.

With the reporter subdued, you turn to the maid.

[x] Punishment time. (write in a course of action or lecture).
Someone will probably come up with a really good lecture, but just to give my input I think we should go with the guilt trip route or something roughly equivalent.

[x] I'm not angry, just disappointed.
[x] A speech detailing how disappointed and betrayed you are. Mention the fact you spoke highly of her to Patchouli before this little stunt.

I'm tempted to add a bit referring to Remilia but that might be going over the line. I think it'd be a starting point for a better write in. I also think a speech would suffice.
[X] "For a 'perfect and elegant maid' or whatever it is, you're sorely lacking in discretion. I'm not even mad that you tried to pull something like this over on me; I'm mad that you tried to pull something like this over on her." (point at Patchouli) "In this case, I guess I'll defer largely to her on what to do with you, and, for myself, just owe you a punch to the face when you least expect it or something. So, Patchouli, what do you think we should do with them?"

tl;dr we mad 'coz Patchy, so Patchy decides the punishment. But we hang something an indeterminate amount of time from now over her (and Aya's?) head to keep them on their toes.
I'd accept everything about that except the face-punching part. Wallace isn't that sort of person.
[X] "For a 'perfect and elegant maid' or whatever it is, you're sorely lacking in discretion. I'm not even mad that you tried to pull something like this over on me; I'm mad that you tried to pull something like this over on her." (point at Patchouli) "In this case, I guess I'll defer largely to her on what to do with you so Patchouli, what do you think we should do with them?"

Skipping the punching part, since it doesn't seem to be Wallace's style. Although he could allude to having some kind of alchemy spell that he could get her back with though.
Alright then, take the vote minus that particular part. I'll admit I put it in there largely because Wally would seem rather gutless if he's basically going, "So! Now I'll deal with you. Patchouli, how should I deal with her?" and, of course, it'd be a hilarious running gag.

Out of curiosity, is it, in particular, the petty revenge, the presumable ensuing mind games or the physical violence that you find out of character?


[х]Make her wear Necomimi.
I voted the way I did (the disappointment speech) because Sakuya's guilt would be worse than anything Wallace would do.
The violence, mostly. Also, I don't really see him as a petty person.

The mind games has a cerebral element to it that I can pretty easily see him appreciating, though.
[X] "For a 'perfect and elegant maid' or whatever it is, you're sorely lacking in discretion. I'm not even mad that you tried to pull something like this over on me; I'm mad that you tried to pull something like this over on her." (point at Patchouli) "In this case, I guess I'll defer largely to her on what to do with you so Patchouli, what do you think we should do with them?"

Of course, I'm also not opposed to bringing this up with the head of the house and the sheer lack of courtesy that the supposed head maid is granting us. Remi would not be pleased, not at all
You're assuming she'd feel guilty over something like this rather than just brush us off as overreacting/melodramatic/cliche.

And you're assuming Remi wouldn't just laugh and demand to have the photo for herself (as any self-respecting sibling would).
She is a woman with a pride in her job, attacking that would affect her. People who have pride their job are affected by words saying they're not doing a good job.

>>54718 's so Beta it hurts. Wallace may have as much pride as Remilia but he'd have enough to not defer to Patchouli for every little fucking thing.
So can we agree that, as we're mostly indignant on Patchy's behalf, we defer to her on what to do presently with Sakuya, but as we're not complete doormats and still have our own pride to uphold, we assure Sakuya that we'll get her back ourselves at a later date (just not with face-punching)?
Then we proceed to act suspicious till Sakuya's driven insane with paranoia about what we're preparing.
I'd rather attack her pride as the SDM's maid as that's the biggest target.
I'm starting to get a bit worried, so I'll throw my opinion out here. I'm not trying to tell you how to vote, but I just want you guys to keep a few things in mind.

I can see Wallace deferring to Patchy or Remilia on this issue-- Patchy is the affected party, and Sakuya serves Remilia first and foremost (that is to say, she's the higher authority here).

If we defer to Patchy, that would probably be a relatively clean and quick option.

If we go to Remilia, then it would probably be much the same, although you never know with Remi.

If we take justice into our own hands, though, there is a very high chance that Remilia will see it as undermining her authority. Remember, she's got a huge ego. Although, I feel that the mind games would probably be passive enough to get past her.

Please consider all of this, and make your decisions with this info in mind.

Again, I'm not trying to make your decisions for you.
Votes are reset, I assume? I'll stand by >>54721, though I'm interested to see what >>54722 would suggest. I can't help but feel that this Sakuya is somewhat less formal than some other depictions of her, though it is undeniable that her pride as a maid is still a large target.

Of course, we must remember not to be overzealous in punishing her. No harm no foul, as they say.
Ironically, you will need to vote on votes being reset.
Urk. Never mind on the reset then. I was >>54711, later updated in >>54714, and then committed the terrible faux pas of forgetting to reference my previous posts while presuming to try to create a compromise in >>54721. Not sure about the other anons. Here's hoping we don't hit a speedbump just because of thus one choice.
Well, I guess that if you vote to reset votes, you can say you're doing so while including your new vote.

Or something. I didn't totally think this through.
At this point, I think it'd be best to just have the various voters come back out of the woodwork to reconfirm or change their votes in light of the recent discussion. Looking back, the votes seem to have been:
>2 votes for scolding Sakuya slightly, then deferring to Patchy completely
>1 vote for guilt tripping and attacking Sakuya's pride (I assume >>54709, >>54720 and >>54722 were the same person)
>1 vote for a speech detailing our feelings of disappointment and betrayal, noting how highly we were speaking of her earlier
>1 vote for eternal nekomimi
>1 vote (my own, from the posts mentioned in >>54728) for a modified deferral, while assuring Sakuya that we'll enact our own vengeance soon enough (possibly followed by paranoia-inducing mind games)

It's worth noting that at least 2 anons (myself and >>54720) object to complete deferral for showing a lack of self-determination or being, in >>54720's words, "so beta it hurts".

In the event that the posters refuse to appear any time soon, perhaps you could prepare to write something that hits most of the points suggested?
>1 vote for eternal nekomimi
HA! thats a laugh. Here have a deciding vote.

[X] "For a 'perfect and elegant maid' or whatever it is, you're sorely lacking in discretion. I'm not even mad that you tried to pull something like this over on me; I'm mad that you tried to pull something like this over on her." (point at Patchouli) "In this case, I guess I'll defer largely to her on what to do with you so Patchouli, what do you think we should do with them?"
That sounds good. Thanks for the idea.
I'm >>54709 and I'm pretty sure I'm not >>54720 So it should be 2 votes for guilt trip in your tally.
I like the maid paranoian gaems, so:

[X] "For a 'perfect and elegant maid' or whatever it is, you're sorely lacking in discretion. I'm very mad that you tried to pull something like this over on me, and I'm even more angry that you tried to pull something like this over on her." (point at Patchouli) "For the time being, I'll defer largely to her on what to do with you, Patchouli. I'll have my own payback later. Eventually."

I'm fairly certain I haven't voted, so...
is my vote

>>54709 wasn't me though I did post the other two.
Is my vote, and what do you mean number >>54720?

So Beta? so you mean That I can't pick something that makes sense to me?

Very well then, if that's the way you see it, then I'll just leave my vote the way it is, because it is simply my opinion, and I like that Option. I personally would have said something that sounded a little more like this

[X] Shake your head at her and sigh in an exaggerated manner, "Well... I expected a Maid, The Head maid no less, to have a little more along the lines of courtesy when it came to the privacy and appreciation of said Privacy of one of the residents of the Household. However, seeing as this isn't the case, I'm afraid that this will need to be brought to the attention of the Head of house... my Goodness, the work ethic of people these days..."

But again, I liked the other one better.
it's hard to carry righteous indignation off when you follow it up with something a henpecked husband would do.
You know what? Fuck it. I'm going to head off any more arguments and call the votes as a combination of everything suggested. I realize that it was because I'm indecisive that these arguments are happening, and I'm sorry. But please, please, please don't fill up the thread with acidic bickering.
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Dang. I take a break from the site for a couple of weeks, and a total shitstorm breaks out in one of my favorite stories. I miss out on all the fun...

Meanwhile, have a Sleepy Patchy, everyone.
By the way, the update is in progress.
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“…I’m disappointed, mostly,” You say after a moment. “Even though a part of me shouldn’t be surprised after the Meiling prank. But Patchy is the one you wronged, so I’ll leave any punishments to her.”

“... It’s okay, Wallachia,” the librarian said. “I’m mostly over it. There’s nothing really to forgive, anyways.”

…You’re a bit confused. It must show on your face, because she continues. “This is just how we live in Gensokyo. We’re almost one big family that has fun at each other’s expense. This would have been rather embarrassing, but it’s par for the course, I believe the saying goes. I don’t mind it, now. That said,” she says, turning to the maid. “You’re going to have to wear ‘the dress’ for a day or two.”

Sakuya, who had a small smile on her face during Patchy’s speech, now looks completely flabbergasted. It’s an expression that looks very out of place on her. “’T-the dress?’ I don’t think this warrants—“

Patchouli’s smile widens slightly.

The maid’s mouth opens and closes a few times, and then she sighs. “…I understand.” She turns to Aya. “Out. Now.”


“Out, or the mansion is having roast crow for dinner tonight.”

“Fine, fine!” Aya says, and heads for the door. “Mark my words, I’ll find out what the ‘dress’ is one day!”

Sakuya watches her leave, and then she sighs again. “…I’ll go put ‘it’ on. Do you want me to do anything after that?”

“Bring us some tea, please.”

The maid nods and then, much to your surprise, walks out of the room.

“… So what is the significance of ‘the dress?’” you ask after she leaves.

“…About a year ago,” your companion begins. “We installed a washing machine and dryer at Remilia’s whim. Sakuya used it once, and from then on was adamant about never using it again.”

…Oh. Oh. “Then ‘the dress’ is—“

She nods. “A remnant of that one use. We had her keep it as a reminder that she’s not always perfect and elegant.” She smiles at you. “Trust me. This is perfect comeuppance for her.”

You smile to yourself. If it is what you think it is, you’ll take it.

About ten minutes later, Sakuya re-enters the library, holding a tray of tea and wearing what has to be ‘the dress.’

Design-wise, it’s identical to her usual uniform. However, the color of the whole thing is a light, faded pink— about the same shade as her cheeks.

“I hope this satisfies you, master.”

You take the tea with a grin. “Knock off the fetish talk, please. And it is deeply cathartic.”

“Sakuya!” As Remilia’s rings out from the doorway, the maid in question flinches and shoots you a half-hearted glare. “I’ve been calling for you for a few minutes now and… oh my, you’re wearing the dress. What did she do, you two?”

You give her a quick recap.

“Ah, that sounds adorable. Is there any chance I could see this picture?”

[x] “No way.”
[x] “I’d like to show you, but I destroyed it.”
[x] “There’s a spell that can recreate it, but you’ll need to find the relevant book.”
[x] “I’d like to show you, but I destroyed it.” .
Needs to be said in a sarcastic way though. Love the idea of a pink dress for Sakuya.
[c] “I’d like to show you, but I destroyed it.”
[X] "I'd love to show you. Truly, I would."
-[X] But noooooooope."
--[X] "Whatever your imagination comes up with is probably ten times better anyway."
---[X} "Oh god you're going to start writing horrible slash fiction about Patchy and I until we find a way to show it to you, aren't you?"
[x] “I’d like to show you, but I destroyed it.”

Inb4 Remilia starts trying to set the two of them up.
[x] “I’d like to show you, but I destroyed it.”
[x] "I'd like to show you, but I destroyed it."
[x] >>54764 all the way
I... I guess that that's enough votes. Okay.

Writing begins in the next few days.
I'm just over halfway done with the update.
You jerk! You got my hopes up!
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“I’d really like to show it to you— really, I would,” you say, your voice dripping with false sincerity. “But I’ve already destroyed it.”

“Why would you do that?”

“Well, at first, it was to defend Patchouli’s honor,” you reply. “But now I think that the reason that I did it was that I was subconsciously anticipating something like this.”

Remilia frowns. “Are you giving me sass, brother?”


“…How rude,” your sister says after a moment. “First you destroy my property, and now you talk back to me? I thought you were taught better manners than this…”

… Does this girl ever really listen to the things she says? “I was taught manners— by our mother, who taught them to you as well. Actually, I seem to remember another incident where you tried to declare everything in the house as ‘your property,’ and Mother was not pleased then.”

Remilia is silent for a few seconds, and then sighs. “That isn’t fair, Wallachia. You keep bringing up Mother as a weapon against me.”

“… You’re right. It isn’t fair. And I’m sorry. But Remi,” you say after a moment. “You have to remember that other people have feelings…”

The instant the final word leaves your mouth, you know you’ve said something wrong. Remilia’s eyes narrow, and her mouth becomes a flat line. “…Sakuya. Patchouli. Would you please leave the library for a few minutes?”

Sakuya nods, giving you a look of pity. “Of course, mistress.” She says, and turns leave the room. Patchy silently mouths the words ‘good luck’ at you, and follows the maid.

As soon as the door closes behind them, Remilia turns to you. “…’other people have feelings?’ Arrogant talk, coming from a man who abandoned his family.”

In your core, you want to apologize profusely, but you steel yourself and look her in the eye. “…I know that what I did can’t be forgiven. You don’t have to remind me.”

“Oh, shut up. Just shut up. ‘Feelings?’ ‘Feelings?’ You just leave us for two and a half centuries, write a handful of short letters, and now you waltz back into my life and talk about feelings?! I was worried sick about you, you god-forsaken oaf! Sometimes I wanted nothing more than to break down crying, I was worrying so much! But Flandre would have gotten upset, so I had to act as if nothing was wrong! ‘Other people have feelings?!’ Of course they do, you infinite hypocrite!” She’s nearly shouting now. “I have them, and you just don’t seem to even care!”

Silence reigns. And then before you know it, you’ve knelt down and embraced her. There’s probably a high chance of you losing a limb right now, but that’s probably going to have to be a price that you need to pay.

“…What do you think you’re doing?”

“Something dumb. Something necessary,” you respond. “I’m so sorry, Remilia.”

After a moment, you feel her bury her face in your torso. “…Idiot,” her muffled voice mutters. “Fool. Hypocrite. Oaf. Buffoon.” Every word is punctuated by a slight shake of her shoulders. Even when she’s crying, she’s delicate.

A short while later, she pulls away, wiping her eyes.

“…Feeling better?” You ask.

“…I am. Goodness, that was a long time coming.” She says, sighing.

“I bet. And, Remilia?” you say. Your sister looks at you. “I am sorry for what I’ve done. Know that I’ll do whatever I can to make up for it.”

Remilia ponders your words for a moment. “…Actually, there is something you can help me with. Sakuya!”

As the maid (and Patchy) enter the room, a sense of uneasiness settles over you. There’s no trace of mischief on your sister right now. This… may be bad for you.

“Yes, mistress?”

“How’s the weather right now?”

“It’s overcast again. I estimate that you would be able to spend about… two hours outside, if you go out now.”

“Excellent,” Remilia says, and turns to you. “Come with me, Brother. We’re going to spar for a bit.”

“...Spar?” you echo, hoping to hell and heaven that she means something else.

“Yes. Spar. No magic other than natural vampiric abilities allowed— you need to build up some muscle on that scrawny frame of yours.” She’s smiling, and now you see the mischief on her face— in her smile that promises some non-fatal misery. “Don’t worry. I’ll hold back.”

[x] “…Alright. Lead the way.”
[x] “…Let me say my final farewells, first.”
[x] “…Excuse me for five or ten minutes.”
[x] “…Let me say my final farewells, first.”
[x] “…Let me say my final farewells, first.”
[x] “…Excuse me for five or ten minutes.”
-[x] Prepare yourself. No trick is too dirty, no technique too forbidden.

You have one mission: to endure as long as you can.
>not making Wally wear the dress
Well, I was surprised.

[X] “…Let me say my final farewells, first.”
Only option.
[x] “…Excuse me for five or ten minutes.”
-[x] Prepare yourself. No trick is too dirty, no technique too forbidden.
[x] “…Excuse me for five or ten minutes.”

This only works if we win. We can win, right?...
likely through fighting smartly/taking advantage of Remi's tendency to have an inflated ego.
>sister wants to take out her anger at us on us
>thinking that winning by underhanded means is an at all smart thing to do
Come on guys.
Here's a hint: that last option will lead to something that (I think) is humorous. There was never any intent for said option to involve cheating.

Now, if everyone votes for cheating, I'll go with it, but be warned-- do you really want to do something that will likely infuriate your sister?
[x] “…Excuse me for five or ten minutes.”

Lets do this
[x] “…Let me say my final farewells, first.”
When in doubt, snark heavily.
Whether or not its cheating depends on how you interpret 'No magic other than natural vampiric abilities'. Obviously most alchemy is out, but what about some blood magic or summoning our alchemically altered sword, are those out as well?

We also have to remember this is a somewhat 'friendly' sparring match. Don't do something stupid like manipulating her probability to win to 0%.

[x] “…Excuse me for five or ten minutes.”
-[x] Prepare yourself, prepare tricks and techniques that wont be construed as cheating.
>Here's a hint: that last option will lead to something that (I think) is humorous.

Well in that case...

[x] “…Excuse me for five or ten minutes.”
I think that your problem is that you're using the definition of "tricks and techniques" that a rational human being would use instead of the one an immature 500-year-old girl who wants to beat up her brother for a bit would.

My point is that Remilia will see anything other than flight, weapons, brute force, and natural cunning as cheating.
Well I guess ill trust your judgement on this one, I'll go with the standard option then.
[x] “…Excuse me for five or ten minutes.”
[X] “…Let me say my final farewells, first.”
[x] “…Excuse me for seven minutes, please.”
[x] “…Excuse me for five or ten minutes.”
-[x] Humor her, but don't make it easy. She'll probably hurt you less after she's spent most of her energy.
Writing starts Monday.
Writing was delayed a bit due to some personal issues, but I'm back at it now.
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“…Will you excuse me for about… ten or so minutes?” You ask after a moment.

Remilia makes a noise that’s something between a sigh and a snort. “Fine, fine.”

“Thank you.” With that said, you turn around, and head to a certain hallway.

Once you’re where you need to be, you face one of the walls. “You know, I blame you for this.”

Predictably, the portrait of your father does not respond.

“I can appreciate a ‘warrior’s spirit’— we need those people in our lives— but why’d you have to egg her on?”

It’s probably all in your head, but you’d swear that his casual grin widened.

“’Vampiric confidence’ this, ‘physical domination’ that— you’d talk about it all the time, but you at least had the decency to not pressure me when it became clear that I wasn’t a fighter. But I would not be surprised if you told Remi—“

“Oh, be quiet,” your sister’s voice says. “He told me to do nothing of the sort.”

You whirl around. Remila, Sakuya, and Patchouli are standing there; the first looks irritated, the second looks like she’s trying very hard not to laugh, and the last looks somewhat confused.

“Uh,” you say eloquently. “This, uh, this is—“

“This is you complaining to Father, as you did and do every single time you wind up in some sort of physical contest with me.”

“…But why talk to the portrait?” Patchouli asks. You open your mouth to stammer an excuse.

“Because he’s a melodramatic buffoon, why else?” Remilia grumbles. “Honestly, he does this every time.” She pauses for a moment. “Now that I think of it, Wallachia, for all that you insist that you’re not like him, this is very much like something Father would do.”

…Actually, it’s exactly like something he did on at least one occasion. While you loved your father, and respected… certain aspects of his character, the man was a mixture of machismo, dramatics, and somewhat subpar intelligence (though he was by no means an idiot.) You remember the aftermath of one of your ‘warrior training sessions,’ before it became apparent that you were more inclined towards magic. After a full half-hour of futilely trying to coax you into a fighting mood, he gave up and started addressing the portrait of his father that hung in the training room, diving into a monologue involving flowery poetic language, fake tears, and overblown gestures.

You’d never seen your mother so furiously irritated when she stopped by the room and realized what he was going on about. Hell, you were irritated by that point.


You snap back to attention.

“Wallachia!” Your sister looks unamused.


“We’ve wasted enough time time here! Let’s go!”

…Oh right. The sparring. As Remilia grabs your arm and drags you off, you shoot one last futile glare at your father. You can almost hear him laughing.

[x] Attack
[x] Defense

Well, that was a horrid two weeks.

Also, don't worry about the abrupt switch from story to voting— no matter what vote wins, it’ll cut to the pre-spar. The votes determine how the spar and subsequent scene play out.
[x] Attack

You're not going to last against Remilia anyway, so might as well expend your efforts in trying to give a good showing rather than in drawing it out. She's (probably) not going to kill you.
She won't kill you unless you do something phenomenally stupid.
[x] Attack
With all the advantages in this spar Remi has, defending would be rather dumb. Maybe we can get a lucky hit in or something...
[X] Defense
-[X] Slowly maneuver her into a hidden magical trap of yours that you use at the last moment when it seems she has you beaten.

If we're going melodramatic route, this has to be it.
[X] Defense
[x] Attack
It's what a true man does.
That, on the other hand, could likely result in a few limbs being torn off. Remember Remilia's terms!
Oh goddammit I forgot it was no magic allowed. Alright then, [X] Attack.
[X] Attack

--- grab her by her little ankles and hold her up to unbalance her and then realize the futility of it because everybody can fly

just a what if situation that I feel needed to be mentioned

Can Remilia fly without using magic? Big as they are, her wings don't exactly look like they could support her.
I believe that she meant combat magic like danmaku and such. flight and other inate magics are most likely allowed.
[X] Defense
She like to go all in like a raging bull, with the grace of a drunken elephant. Let's wait for actions to reach their inevitable end.
Hey, it's that time again where I change my trip because my hard drive died and I'm a huge moron who never backs up his data!

Give me a little while longer to get the bare basics back onto my laptop, and then I'll start writing.
Called it! I was almost a year in advance though.

Anyways, I got Word back on my laptop. Writing starts very soon!
V5 already...I wonder when we'll be introduced to SystemFailureV⑨.

Oh, right. Hooray!

This has been happening too much lately. Ever consider storing the notes and such online?
The problem is that I do the bulk of my writing during class, when I don't have access to wifi.

Speaking of which, I had a burst of inspiration, and am a good part of the way through the next update.
try using a USB flash drive then or some sort of portable media. That and try to buy computers that don't break down like Cadillacs.

or use google drive. 5GB of free space is pretty sweet.
He said he doesn't have Wifi during class.
File 136225839694.jpg - (738.28KB, 714x1000, 1361447383995.jpg) [iqdb]
You look up at the grey, cloudy sky. Nearly five hundred years of experience tells you that it isn't going to rain anytime soon, but…

“Is it just me, or has it been consistently overcast lately?” you ask, somewhat absent-mindedly.

“Now that you mention it,” Patchouli says. “It has been. I haven’t given it much thought, though.”

Remilia pauses in the midst of her (exaggerated, overly dramatic, and completely unnecessary) stretches, and beats you to the question you have the subtlety to not ask. “How would you know? You spend all of your time in the library.”

The violet-haired sorceress puffs out her cheeks. “…I scry outside of the mansion at least once every day.”

“That isn’t the same thing as actually going outside, though.” Sakuya says, idly. “That said, the weather has been strange. I’m worried about the garden and the crops from the human village.”

“…Pah,” Remila snorts. “Who cares? I can go outside more often like this. Which reminds me… Wallachia! Let’s start~”

Shit, you had hoped that the conversation would distract her. Sighing, you whisper a prayer to any deity who might care to listen, and take a loose stance. “Well, let’s get this over with.”

“…Come on, Brother. Show some enthusiasm!” With that, she charges, and does a reckless punch that you dodge effortlessly on instinct.

…That was too easy to avoid. That means it’s going to be one of those matches where she intentionally telegraphs her actions just enough to let you dodge them, and then goes on an unstoppable offensive when your guard is down.

…Well, fuck that. If she’s going to beat you up no matter what, you might as well go down looking like a man. As Remilia turns to face you, you kick her in the chest.

To your surprise, she staggers back a few steps, a confused look on her face. Before she straightens, you charge forwards with a punch.

She catches it easily, and you swing your other fist at her. She catches that one as well, and, grinning a maniacal grin, tosses you about twenty feet into the air.

As soon as you gain control over yourself, you summon a mass of raw energy, shape it into a rough orb, and fling it at your sister. She leaps at you, and chucks a smaller blast at yours. The bolts slam into each other and explode in a burst of scarlet light.

You alter your flight spell to use the shockwave to push you back, close your blinded eyes…


You throw a second sphere at a rustling sound.

Then your vision returns just in time to see your sister speeding straight at you.

Well, it looks like you’ve lost.


As sensation starts to filter back into you, you idly think that this is the second time in nearly two days that you’ve been knocked unconscious by a speeding person.

“Oh, he’s waking up.”

At Sakuya’s observation, you open your eyes. You’re on a sofa in the library. Propping yourself up, you wince. “Ouch.”

“Ah, don’t push yourself too hard.” Patchy steadies you.

“I have to say, though,” Reimu’s voice says, and you turn to see the shrine maiden sitting in a nearby chair. “That was quite a hit you took, Wallace.”

You’re a bit embarrassed that she saw that, but… “…Reimu? Why are you here?”

“I was actually coming over here to ask you for a favor. I can ask when you’re in better shape, though.”

You shake your head. “I’m fine, honestly. What is it?”

Reimu clears her throat. “…I’ve already told these three,” she says, gesturing to your sister, Sakuya, and Patchouli, “So I’ll tell you the same. You know how it’s been overcast the last week or so?”

You nod. “I thought it was strange.”

“Well, there’s a rumor in the Human Village that says the weather is magically caused— by what, no one knows for sure. But that same rumor says that there’s a source, deep in the forest. However, those who go to investigate don’t come back.” At this, she gets a steely glint in her eyes. “Someone or something is causing trouble in my realm, and I will not tolerate that. The thing is,” she sighs. “All my usual backup is unavailable. Marisa is ‘near a huge breakthrough,’ Aya is doing who knows what, and Yukari is, well, Yukari. I came here to ask you guys, but your sister and her maid bluntly shot me down. So,” and at this she gets up, and bows formally. “I would very much appreciate your assistance in helping me solve this incident.”

[x] Accept
[x] Decline

Please keep in mind Wally's character and nature when responding.
Also, in case it wasn't clear-- Remilia and Sakuya have refused to get themselves involved, but Patchy and Wallace are free to do as they please.
[x] Accept

I hope he won't start right away seeing how he got hit with a truck that was his sister.

Wallace doesn't strike me as someone to refuse a request for help and he did sound concerned about it, more so than Remilia or Sakuya.
[x] Accept
- And try to get Patchouli in on it, as well.

Weather magic? Not your specialty, but whoever or whatever is behind this might have some interesting insights on the subject. Besides, it'll be a good chance to 1) get away from Remilia for a while as long as she's in one of those moods, 2) get Patchouli out of the library, and 3) have a good time with her while solving the incident. Nothing bad can possibly come of this plan, right?
[X] Accept.

Hah. As if Wallace would be able to sit by idly, smothering his curiosity, while others are out in force.
I'd give a no on actively trying to persuade Patchy, though.
There's always support options, a la Subterranean Animism
[x] Accept

Might be a good opportunity for Wallace to train himself to be a better fighter against Remi.
Well I'd figure to ask at least for support if not direct assistance. If the former, I hope she has her info before Wallce runs into them.

But it's mainly a matter of how she feels. It wouldn't be the first time she left the library (IaMP, SWR)
[x] Accept
While I realize that it's probably going to be unanimous anyways, I'd still feel a bit more comfortable with a few more votes.
[x] Accept

Lets see who's causing problems today shall we?
Okay, don't think I've voted yet, so
[x] Accept
Reimu is just asking for backup, so Wally doesn't have to do it all himself, and this seems like the sort of thing he'd do.
[x] Accept

Who's going to vote no "Do you want to go on an adventure?"
There are some people on this site, trust me.
[X] I mean, yes, certainly.
[X] Patchouli? Would you be interested?
There's even a writefag who gets all bitchy and depressed over having a vote that was unanimous.
People are weird.
...You aren't talking about me, are you?
I doubt it, I have a good idea WHO he was talking about.
Writing starts today.
File 136381791995.jpg - (1.23MB, 1500x1500, 1360819515142.jpg) [iqdb]
Reimu’s been nothing but helpful, and while you’ve only known her for a short time, you do consider her a friend. “I’d be happy to— ouch— help,” you say, wincing a bit.

“…Thank you very much,” the miko says, smiling. “But why don’t we go at it tomorrow night? You look like you could use the time to heal up from sister related injuries.”

As Remilia voices her displeasure to the brunette, you turn to Patchouli. “Is there any way I can convince you to join us?”

The sorceress pauses. “…That may be… difficult. While I can’t deny that I could assist in some form if this incident is magical in nature,” she says, running a hand through her hair. “Weather manipulation is a traditionally difficult to understand topic. Besides, I’ve sadly lost my physical state for… field… research…”

As she says this, her hand reaches her hat. She takes it off of her head after a moment, and peers at the ribbons on it. “…Actually, there is a way I could help.” She smiles. “I should have it ready by tomorrow night.”

At about 5:00 the next day, you’re feeling fine. As you wait in the library for both Reimu and Patchouli, you decide to do a bit of research on weather control.

…You’ve been reading scholarly documents of all sorts for nearly your whole life, and absolutely none of things in these books make sense. Patchy was right— this is a horrendously complicated field of magic.

“…Reading right before a mission? I guess you really are a scholar.”

At Reimu’s voice, you look up. “While I won’t deny that, all of these books are on the topic of weather manipulation.”

The shrine maiden perks up. “Anything useful in there?”

“…No. I can barely understand any of this.” At Reimu’s half amused, half disappointed look, you continue. “Seriously, though, Patchy was right— this is ridiculous.”

The miko purses her lips, and then shakes her head. “Well, I don't think it matters, in the end— I have a strong feeling that this is divine in nature, rather than magical.”

“…Did you have this feeling yesterday?”

She sighs. “No, but that’s how Hakurei luck works— I get flashes of insight the closer I get to the incident.”

“That implies that it’s genetic.”

Reimu frowns at the word. “I don’t know what ‘genetic’ means, but my mother had something similar, I’m told.”

“…’You’re told?’”

“Ah, she died when I was young. I was raised by my grandfather.” There’s no hint of sorrow or emotional baggage in her voice or countenance. She says it as if it were simply a matter of fact.

“…I’m sorry.”

“No need— it happened long ago. I’ve got the best family I could ask for, anyways. Marisa, Yukari, Remi, Yuyuko… everyone I’ve become friends with is my clan. You as well.”

You’re struck speechless with the certainty she says this with. “…Amazing….”


The moment is broken up by Patchouli. “Are you two ready?”

You and Reimu turn to her. “Yeah, we are.” the shrine maiden responds

“Good. Take these, and wrap them around your left arms.” She hands each of you a long ribbon.

“…What are...?”

“As long as you maintain physical contact with those, I’ll be able to see and hear what you can, as well as communicate with you both. Once you reach the source of the weather, I’ll be in a position to assist as much I can.”

“Well, that’s handy.” Reimu says after a moment, and shucks off her left sleeve. “Help me out with this, will you?”

As the two women work together, you take off your jacket. “…Hey, Patchy? Will this work if it isn’t in contact with my skin?”

“Hmm? Oh, uh, yes, it will. All it really needs is to be relatively near the heart.”

“…You seem a bit disappointed, Patchy,” Reimu says, in a sly tone of voice that you have a feeling you’re going to be hearing a lot of from many people in the future. “Sad he isn’t OW OW that’s too tight!!”

…You’ll figure this out some day. Eventually, Patchouli finishes adjusting the ribbon on the shrine maiden, and turns to you. “Here.”

About two minutes of minor fumbling later (the librarian, as it turns out, isn’t particularly graceful), you and Reimu are set.

“Good luck, you two. I’ll turn on communications in about 45 minutes.”

Five minutes after that, you and the miko are standing outside of the mansion.

“As I see it, we have two options. We can either cut across the lake and enter the forest from the left side; or we can go through the human village and enter from the right.”

“…Are you leaving this up to me?” you ask.

“It couldn’t hurt.”

[x] Left
[x] Right

I have no idea where the mansion, lake, village and forest are in relation to each other. So I just made it up.
File 136382145070.jpg - (770.83KB, 1612x1212, gensokyonewmap_.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Left
There's a map somewhere. I found this one but it's way too simplified.
[c] Left
[x] Left
[x] Left
[X] Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A B A
File 136383433532.jpg - (165.77KB, 1229x1031, 1360555813708.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Left!
[x] Right.
[X] Up.

The third dimension is under-represented.
Passover is finished. I'll start writing tomorrow.
File 136441311028.jpg - (87.06KB, 398x600, tumblr_lrlfkyA5X51r0v8we.jpg) [iqdb]
“My impeccable vampiric instincts,” you say in your best deadpan. “Say ‘left.’”

Reimu snorts. “Nice Remi impression,” she says. “And you’re doing well so far— my gut is also telling me to go left.”

As the two of you take to the skies and head towards the lake, something occurs to you. “So, how do you usually solve incidents?”

“Hmm? Oh, I usually fly around until I find someone and beat them in a spellcard duel. Then I do that five more times until the incident is solved.”

…You think you’ve missed something. “So, you just beat six people up and it’s magically done?”

She gives you a look. “No, of course not. The first two people are either indirectly related or unrelated to the incident, the third always knows where the incident is originating from, the fourth knows more, the fifth is the servant or best friend of the instigator, and the sixth is the culprit.”

“It’s that precise?” you ask, a bit incredulously.


“Usually. Sometimes there’s a person more or a person less involved.”


“Is this more of that ‘Hakurei Luck’ you were talking about earlier?”



A large orb of ice bursts up through the space between you and Reimu. You both watch it sail past, and then look in the direction it came from.

A small blue-haired girl in a blue and white dress is standing on a small island in the lake, waving like an idiot. “Hey, numbnutses, over here!”

Reimu groans. “I was hoping to avoid this…”

You give her a glance. “Is she trouble?”

“…No, just exasperating.” She sighs. “Let’s see what she wants. Just smile and nod, and be ready for a duel.”

The two of you touch down. “’Bout time you two got here!” the ice fairy (as the size, bravado, and little ice wings indicate) crows. “I was getting decrept!”

“That isn’t how you say that word, Cirno.” Reimu sighs.

“Sure it is!” ‘Cirno’ says. “That isn’t the point, though, Hakkie. The point is that I don’t know this guy.” She turns to you. “What’s your name, pal?”

“I’m Wallachia Scarlet. Call me Wallace.”

“Walla… Wallalalala… Wall! Nice to meetcha, Wall!” Fairies. What are you going to do about them? “’Scarlet’, though… you’re Batsy’s big bro?”

You can’t help yourself. “’Batsy?’” you snort, trying very hard not to laugh. “Does Remilia know about that name?”

“Nope!” the fairy says. “And she never will, will she? Big bros' gotta keep a leg up on the sister pile, right?”

You don’t think that that’s how that phrase is used, but you get the point. “Very true.”

Cirno guffaws. “Hahaha! I like you, Wall! You’re so much more fun than your lil’ sis!”

“Well, this has been very interesting,” Reimu interjects. “But we’re actually rather busy right now, so we’ve got to get going.”

“Ah, got an incident to solve? About the weather?”

“Yes, actually. So, we’ll come by—”

“~I might know somethiiiing~”

“…It’d be so much easier if we just kept going…” Reimu mutters under her breath.

While you sort of agree, the potential lead is important. On the other hand, you are dealing with a fairy.

[x] Play along.
[x] Keep going.
[x] Play along.
[x] Play along.

The longer we stick around her the more nicknames we'll learn.
[x] Play along.

Maybe we'll learn something if we listen.
[X] Play along.
[x] Play along.

All in all she's just, a-nother clue for Wall.
[x] Play along.

I think whatever clue she might have would lead us along even if it's not straight to the final boss.
File 136446750781.jpg - (9.46KB, 200x200, HEY HEY.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Play along.

Pic somewhat related.
File 136454031357.jpg - (481.97KB, 800x676, Cirno_full_1436357.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Play along.

Could you say No to that face?
[x] Play along.
[X] Bring her along

If nothing else, we can use her as a shield.
Votes counted, writing begins tomorrow.
Suggestion: Get a Dropbox account, save all your writing to the Dropbox folder, and allow it to sync up anytime there is network access. That way you have a backup.
That and don't buy computers from shady guys in alleys. Seriously if you have a computer in good shape and take care of it, you shouldn't be having so many problems.
Didn't we have this discussion a number of posts ago? This delay has been because my spring break was unexpectedly busy, not because of computer issues. I have gotten the update maybe... oh, halfway done.
File 136536391868.png - (189.55KB, 500x455, DaiyouseiNB.png) [iqdb]
“…All right, then,” you say. “What do you want us to do?”

“Hey, thanks!” Cirno replies, and as Reimu shoots you a half-heartedly betrayed glare, the ice fairy turns to face the lake. “See that huuuge block of ice way, way down at the bottom there?”

“No.” Reimu responds, bluntly. “It’s too dark out to see into the water.”

“…Says the human who doesn’t have vision which works just as well in the dark as it does in normal light,” you continue. “I can see it.”

“Awesome! I need you to get it up here and help me break Daiyousei out.”


“You froze your best friend solid and let her sink to the lake floor?” Reimu interjects, slight disbelief on her face.

“I sorta mistook her for a frog in mid-hop by accident. I’m sure she’s fine. Maybe.”

The shrine maiden starts to admonish the fairy. As that goes on, you send a few invisible tendrils of magic down to the bottom of the lake. The block of ice is fairly big, but it also appears to be unusually light. This should be no problem. Tuning out the two behind you, you lift.

In short order, the ice block has broken the surface. As you maneuver it over to the island you’re on, you notice that in the center of the construct there’s a fairy wearing an expression of resigned dismay.

…This probably happens more often than it should.

“Here it is,” you say. The two girls stop their conversation as you settle the block on land. “You wanted us to also get her out, right?”

“Yeah! See, I butchered the procheddar the last few times this happened, and Daiyou was realllly upset after she resurrected, so…”

…You knew it. As Reimu starts another lecture about safety/proper word usage, you examine the unintentional prison.

Let’s see… two slices should reduce the block to the point where you won’t need to expend much energy to thaw Daiyousei out.

You form two blades of magic, set them about a foot on each side away from the frozen fairy, and force them downwards. The block is now a good deal smaller, and you conjure a pair of flames and set them on either side.

Within about nine minutes, Daiyousei is defrosted, and announces this with a deep gasp.

“Oh, hey, you’re back to normal!” Cirno says, turning away from Reimu.

“I’m not finished, missy!”

They go back to it, and you turn your attention to the other fairy, who has moved a bit closer to a flame.

“…Are you alright?” you ask her.

She nods.

“Cirno seems like quite a handful.”

She snorts, a sound of long-running exasperation.

“You have my sympathies. Are you warmed up enough?”

She nods again, and stands up. “Thanks, Mister.” With that, she slowly takes to the air.

“Huh? Hey, Daiyou, where’re you goin’?”

“Home. Wanna rest.”

“But you were just resting for three days!”

“Inna bed.”

Cirno watches her friend fly off. “Ah, well. She’ll be feelin’ better tomorrow. Thanks, you two!” She starts to take off as well.

“…Wait. Didn’t you say you were going to give us some information?” Reimu says, her voice frosty.

“Huh? Oh, yeah, right! Big Sis Cirno’s tip of the day is that… ‘weasels are jerks!’ See ya!” And with that, she bolts off.

“…’Weasels are jerks?’ What is that supposed to mean?!”

“…Are there any weasel youkai in the forest?” you ask.

“N—…. Wait, could she be talking about the kamaitachi?”

Your knowledge of Japanese folklore isn’t that up to par, apparently. “The what?

“The kamaitachi. The name literally means ‘Sickle Weasel.’ They’re a race known for their speed, wind manipulation, and reclusive habits. Yes, this is making more and more sense,” Reimu mutters, and then she looks at you, her face resolute. “The kamaitachi live in the forest, and have been living there since about three generations back. Apparently, they tried to take over the humans of Gensokyo, but were thwarted by my great-grandmother, at which point they then self-exiled themselves to the forest. They’re amongst the most prideful of the youkai, and they hold intense grudges.”

You nod. “So they may be trying again?”

She nods as well. “Maybe. Here’s what I think we should do— go into the forest, find a kamaitachi, and force them to lead us to their village.”

…You’d actually prefer to simply find one and trail them back. But it could work either way.

[x] Go with Reimu’s plan.
[x] Suggest yours.

You all probably knew this, but kamaitachi are actual youkai (that, as far as I know, have never made an appearance in Touhou).
[x] Suggest yours.

It would help save energy and you never know what someone being forced to lead you might do (warn people by shouting)
[x] Suggest yours.

We are sneaky incident-resolvers.
[x] Suggest yours.

No unwanted attention, if possible.
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[x] Suggest yours.
[x] Suggest yours.
Beating them up would be much faster, but stealth is a much preferable option to me.
[x] Go with Reimu’s plan.

Eh, I'm feeling lazy. Let's give them a reason to have a grudge.
[x] Suggest yours.
We have to at least pretend to try a peaceful solution. When the prideful (When compared to what? humans, random Youkai, Tengu?) Kamaiwatashitachiwhatever reject our offer then we can kick their ass to next weekend without remorse.
[x] Suggest yours.

But where are we going to find a cardboard box in her size?
File 136564610346.jpg - (100.41KB, 790x447, PW_boxes.jpg) [iqdb]
Who said it had to be in her size?
Writing starts today.
File 136667105529.jpg - (92.41KB, 580x872, Good+cop.jpg) [iqdb]
“…Couldn’t we just track one down and silently follow them to their base?” you ask, wanting to avoid a ruckus.

Reimu thinks this over. “...Well, it’s theoretically possible. But it would be very unlikely to succeed. Youkai have senses that are a great deal sharper than a human’s— and we’re dealing with an animal-based species, so their senses are even better. I don’t have enough confidence in my ability to be stealthy…” and she pauses and looks at you. “… and don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t really see you as suited for it, either.”

“Well, I can’t fault you there,” you say. “I don’t know if I could fool such sharp senses.” You ponder the situation. “Couldn’t we just float above the ground, then?”

The shrine maiden shakes her head. “Kamaitachi are wind manipulators, remember? They could probably sense disturbances in the air.”

…You feel as though there should be something subtler than beating up someone. However, before you can explore that line of thought further, you hear Patchouli’s voice in your head.

“Hello? Wallace? Reimu? Can you hear me?”

A quick glance at Reimu confirms that she heard it as well. “We can, Patchy.”

“Wonderful. Ah, you don’t have to speak aloud. Just think of a thought and who you want to have hear it.”

“…Like this?” Reimu’s voice says in your mind.

“I think so.” you respond.

“Good, good. I’m set up over here, so I can assist.”

“… So, what can you do from there?” asks Reimu, evidently growing tired of telepathy.

“At the moment, the most I can do is expand your hearing range via magic.”

“… I have an idea,” you say. “Let’s go to the outskirts of the forest, and see if we can pick anything up.”

Three minutes later, you and the shrine maiden are in position.

“So, what do we do?”

[i[“Clear your minds. Good… here.”[/i]

All of a sudden, you can hear… well, it feels like everything. Bugs, animals, plants swaying in the wind—

“…Are you sure this is a good idea?” a slightly nasal voice asks, doubt lacing the words.

“Orders are orders, boy. All of this is for the glory of the kamaitachi.” A deeper, older-sounding voice responds.

“… I just feel like we’re in over our heads,” the first voice says. “You’ve heard the rumors of the current Hakurei priestess, haven’t you? They say she shows no mercy to youkai who try to cause trouble…”

Reimu frowns.

“We have a trump card for that, remember? More importantly, why haven’t you started your patrol?”


“You forgot your route again didn’t you? You punks with your heads in the clouds… loop around the oak grove, brush the edge of the forest, and return to the village.”

“…Fine.” The first voice says, and you hear the sound of footsteps.

…An idea sparks in your brain. “Patchy, can you predict his route and show it to us?”

You hear an affirmation, and a moment later you can visualize the patroller’s projected path. “Excellent. See those two trees over there?” You gesture to two large trees. “We can each hide behind them, and wait.”

“…There’s more to your plan than a simple ambush, isn’t there?” the miko asks.

“There is. Tell me, have either of you heard of the ‘Good Cop, Bad Cop’ routine?”

When they respond in the negative, you grin and explain your plan.

Reimu is grinning as well by the time you’re done explaining. “I like this idea. Which roles should we take?”

[x] Reimu Good; Wallace Bad
[x] Reimu Bad; Wallace Good
[x] Reimu Good; Wallace Bad

Voting for comedic potential rather than effectiveness.
[x] Reimu Good; Wallace Bad
[x]Let Reimu decide.
I would rather make progress than have comedic appeal here.

[x] Reimu Bad; Wallace Good
Then that would just be me picking. This isn't a "Don't Choose Your Own Adventure."
[x] Reimu Bad; Wallace Good
[x] Reimu Good; Wallace Bad
Wallace is a vampire, so he should be intimidating when necessary, right?
[x] Reimu Bad; Wallace Good

Oh, this'll be interesting...
[x] Reimu Bad; Wallace Good

Either way, it'll be pretty entertaining.
[x] Reimu Bad; Wallace Good

Some already fear Reimu,while Wallace is an unknown. it'll be easier for him to play good cop than bad cop.
[x] Reimu Bad; Wallace Good
[x] Reimu Bad; Wallace Good
The guy's already heard stories about that big, bad Hakurei. I would think that would make things a bit easier.
[x] Reimu Bad; Wallace Good
Although Wallace is a vampire I feel Reimu will be able to play the bad cop better
[x] Reimu Bad; Wallace Good

Wallace is a subtle politician. I don't doubt he can be intimidating when he wants, but it's the elegant sort of intimidating. We want the... <i>other</i> sort.
Votes counted, writing begun.
File 136804330096.jpg - (1.55MB, 1155x1155, Hakurei_Reimu_full_797596.jpg) [iqdb]
“I think that I should be the ‘good’ one. He’s already intimidated by your reputation, so….”

Reimu sighs, and then shakes her head, her face becoming resolute. “Alright.”

The two of you take your positions. As soon as you can just barely hear the patrolman’s breathing, you cast the most effective silencing spell around yourself and Reimu. It’s hard to keep up for extended periods, but you shouldn’t need that long.

The kamaitachi (who looks rather young, though you can never tell with youkai) rounds a corner, his attention clearly elsewhere. As soon as he’s past Reimu’s tree, you step out of your cover. “Hello there, friend.”

He jumps nearly two feet into the air. “GAAAHHH!!!”

“Oh, I’m very sorry about that. I honestly didn’t mean to scare you.” You say, in your best ‘polite gentleman’ voice.

“…Look, this isn’t a place for you, hu— uh, whatever you are.”

“Ah, I’m a vampire. And I just want to ask you some questions about the recent disappearances of humans around here.”

He looks very nervous, and his hand goes for the chain-sickle at his waist. “I don’t think that I need to tell you anything. Besides, you’re a youkai, aren’t you? And something of a weak-looking one, at that. Why should you care about the humans?”

You smile congenially. “As a matter of fact, I like humans— they’re very interesting. But actually, at the moment, I’m more worried about you. You see, I really think it would be in your best interests to tell me what you know.”

“…Why should I?”

“Because,” you say, and cancel the silence spell as Reimu steps out from behind her cover. “I’m far more willing to let you walk away from this without any injuries than she is.”

The kamaitachi whirls around. “Who—“

“Hello there,” the shrine maiden says as she cracks her knuckles, her yin-yang orbs hovering behind her, pulsing with a faint light. “I’m Reimu Hakurei. I exorcise youkai and bad little boys like yourself. Don’t worry— it shouldn’t be very painful for that long.”

Damn, she’s really hamming it up. “Now calm down, Miss Hakurei. He looks like a smart young lad. You’ll tell us what we need to know, won’t you?”

To his credit, the youkai manages to stand his ground, even though he’s still obviously scared out of his mind. “Y-you don’t s-scare me—“

Reimu sighs a theatrical sigh. “Well, you heard him, Mister Scarlet— he doesn’t want to talk. Well,” she says, grinning malevolently. “That suits me just fine. Now, what method should I use to exorcise him? The ‘North Star Purification Method?’ Should I cram ofuda into his mouth? Oh, how about—“ the thing she describes sounds really elaborate, but she says it in what you think is extremely archaic Japanese, so you can’t really follow it.

The poor kid between you seems to, however, and blanches. Good, now for one last push…

“Oh my, that does sound… thorough,” you say, lying through your teeth. “… Actually, as a scholar, I’m sort of interested…”

That does it. “I’ll talk! I’ll talk, so don’t let her do it!”

“…Awww…” Reimu sighs disappointedly, and the youkai flinches. She’s a natural at this.


[x] Take charge of the questioning.
[x] Follow Reimu’s lead.
[x] Follow Reimu’s lead.
He's scared of her, so it's more likely he'll answer Reimu's questions.
[x] Follow Reimu’s lead.
[x] Follow Reimu’s lead.
[x] Follow Reimu’s lead.
File 136808495831.jpg - (228.44KB, 969x825, HNK.jpg) [iqdb]
[x]Follow Reimu's Lead

The ‘North Star Purification Method?’ huh?
[x]Follow Reimu's Lead
Keep up the good work!
[x]Follow Reimu's Lead
[x] Take charge of the questioning.

I thought we were doing the 'good cop, bad cop' routine? Kid's already scared enough and we shouldn't push it.
The semester is nearly over. I'll start writing tomorrow.
Just went back to try to re-read this story, and it seems that thread 2 is missing from the archives. Is anyone else getting this issue, or is it a problem with my internet?
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