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File 140547728689.jpg - (68.59KB, 614x750, image.jpg) [iqdb]
60695 No. 60695
Thread One: >>54922
Thread Two: >>58538
__________

"Oh, for fuck's sake," you snap, your frayed temper breaking in twain.

Remilia doesn't falter so much as tilt her head a fraction of an inch. "I beg your pardon?"

"You want the truth? You want all of it? All right, fine, I'll tell you why I'm here." Your hand clamps around the spear's shaft in one blindingly fast motion, and Remilia nearly flinches. "But I've had my fill of people trying to kill me today, so get your goddamn spear away from my throat before I shove it down yours."

Remilia stares at you, just stares, for ten straight seconds before the tiniest of smiles crosses her face, and the spear disappears as fast as she had summoned it. "So you really are capable of getting angry."

You scowl deeply, which only seems to amuse her more. "Are you schizophrenic? Because you sure as hell act like it."

Remilia plunks herself down on the nearest free piece of rubble. "Oh, get on with it before I change my mind."

"User!" says the AI, its tone urgent. "You will be violating directives from Headquarters if you proceed with this course of action!"

"It's either this or we die," you say, more testily than you had perhaps intended, but damn it all if you're going to be second-guessed by your own armor.

Remilia clenches a fist one finger at a time, popping knuckles as she goes. "He's right, you know."

The AI falls silent, no doubt weighing the merits of living versus following orders. It takes roughly four seconds before the machine speaks again. "Termination at this juncture would be a waste of resources."

"Is that the go-ahead?" you ask.

"Affirmative."

You take a deep breath, willing your frustration and anger away. It takes you a short while, but when you speak again, your voice is steady and measured. "I did not come here solely to meet with you, Remilia. Primary objectives were to assess the numbers and capabilities of the mansion's inhabitants, as well as measure their potential worth as Coalition assets."

She makes an intrigued little noise. "So what you said when I had you first tied up, that this is what you were made for-"

"I'd normally slap this line of questioning down for being irrelevant to my goals, but it's not, as you'll see in a minute." You lean closer. "Cloning technology is one hell of a thing."

Remilia claps her hands together, smiling in vindication. "So that's how it is with you!"

You nod. "I won't get into details, but when you can make bodies on demand, people get squeamish about sending 'real' people to fight."

Remilia interlaces her fingers, studying you from behind them. "You don't mind that kind of life?"

You respond with a shrug. "I like my work. Besides, it's all I've ever known."

"That doesn't quite seem-"

"Ethical?" you interrupt, and she nods. "That's a good one coming from a vampire."

Remilia frowns. "I make very sure to drink lightly, thank you."

"I'll give you that. But, before we derail this into an ethics debate, let's move on." You straighten up. "My primary objectives met with success; I was able to engage all unique Mansion personnel in combat and gauge their strength accordingly. Threat levels fell on the high ends of the expected ranges, save Flandre, who didn't exceed the threat ceiling so much as break it into millions of little pieces and try to stab me with them."

"That is usually what happens with her, yes," Remilia says, the corner of her mouth twitching up just for a moment.

You sigh, readying yourself for an immediate resumption of hostilities. "On that particular note, we reach my secondary objective. The capture of Flandre Scarlet."

Remilia stops moving, stops breathing, lips parted ever so slightly in surprise, eyes focused unerringly on your own. She doesn't so much as twitch a single muscle, and the fact you're conversing with someone who is very much not human has never made itself so readily apparent. The seconds tick by, one by one, and you don't dare do anything else but breathe shallow breaths, any motion a potential trigger for her to murder you.

A whole minute has passed when she takes a deep, shuddering breath, closing her eyes and jerking her head away from you with visible effort. "Go on," she says, voice hoarse.

"I don't know the specifics behind the order," you say, speaking with great care. "But if I had to guess, I would say that Command wants to make use of her powers. Can you imagine it? If we had Flandre's genetic information, maybe even managed to work out her mental instabilities, we could have an army of women with horrific destructive potential. Slap some armor on them and we wouldn't even need to worry about sunlight."

"You're madmen," Remilia says, her voice quavering. "Utterly mad, every last one of you."

You pause. "I agree."

That gets her to look back at you, her expression one of surprise. "What?"

"There's too many unknowns with Flandre. Even if I managed to bring her with me of her own will, the possibilities for disaster like what happened in our attack on that base are too great, and that's not even mentioning the logistical nightmare of supplying troops that survive on blood."

"Is that all?" Remilia asks. "Is that really all there is to it?"

"Well, she'd also put me out of a job," you say, only half jokingly. "Taking that into consideration, as well as the mansion's aid in severely damaging a force hostile to my own, I'm going to do my best to get HQ to scrap any future plans for your sister."

Remilia stares at her feet as she mulls that over. "And if they don't?"

"Then one of us dies the next time we meet. Simple as that."

Remilia makes a noncommittal noise, but says nothing else for a few moments. "So, why change your mind about your orders? You hardly seem the type for such flagrant disobedience."

"I made the mistake of getting to know Flandre," you say. You look up at the ceiling, debating whether or not to say your next words, and decide to go for it. "Besides, I'd feel bad if I kidnapped her. She's pretty adorable whenever she isn't breaking my bones."

She looses a short bark of laughter at that one. "On that, we are agreed."

The two of you spend a handful of seconds in silence before you breach the topic looming overhead. "So," you say, pushing yourself to your feet. "You still want to kill me? Because right now is probably going to be the best chance you're ever going to get."

Remilia's expression is solemnly contemplative, the vampiress idly tapping a foot as she speaks. "Considering that if I end you, I would then have to scour Gensokyo for your allies and destroy them as well, not to mention any other potential intruders, I have to say letting you go back and smooth things over has a certain appeal to it." She allows herself a smile. "Plus, I'm curious to see where things might go between you and Meiling, no lie."

"Yes, because a relationship founded upon mutual punches to the face is bound to last."

"I don't see you denying it."

"Granted, granted." You gallantly offer her your good hand. "I think it's past time we see to Flandre, however."

Remilia daintily accepts your hand, and you pull her up with a grunt of effort. Her nose wrinkles as she first looks you over, then herself, her lips curling downward in distaste at her ruined dress. "God, we just look awful, don't we?"

A mental image occurs to you of Flandre going into a blood frenzy the moment she lays eyes on you and Remilia, and it isn't utterly terrifying only by virtue of you running out of fucks to give after the day you've had. "Maybe it would be a good idea to wash off all the blood first before we meet her, yeah?"

"I'm sure Sakuya has already handled Flandre's needs, so we should be safe as it is." She looks you over again with an appraising eye. "Although I suppose it wouldn't hurt to shove you into a tub and clean you off."

You mock gasp. "Lady Scarlet! But we've only met this morning!"

"Not like that, you moron," Remilia says without rancor. "Besides, I think Meiling would declare a blood vendetta if I moved in on you."

"You're threatening to kill me one moment, and now you're speculating on what would happen if you tried to seduce me," you say flatly.

"Oh, don't you know? Crippled men in mangled suits of armor are the subjects of my darkest fantasies." She delivers those outrageous words in an understated, dry manner, an arched eyebrow her only change in expression.

To be perfectly honest, you're not entirely sure she's joking.

She looks you over once again, and shakes her head disapprovingly. "We're not getting anywhere in a timely fashion with you like that." Her wings contort and lengthen, stretching out several feet behind her, and she grabs you by the arm. "Shall we?"

"Don't I get a say in this?" you ask, dread already mounting at the inevitable answer,

Remilia shakes her head, baring teeth in something not quite a smile. "After what you did to Patchy, consider this some well-deserved vengeance."

With that she kicks off the ground, gigantic wings beating the air with great leathery flaps, and flies. The two of you soar towards the main doors, you waving behind Remilia like cloth in the wind, and she smashes the doors aside without stopping, bowling the unfortunate Karin over with a shout of dismay. As the fairy hollers curses about your parentage after you, Remilia waves back, holding you by one hand without any noticable strain.

You don't scream as such, but you do emit a strangled noise of panic as Remilia bobs and weaves through the corridors so fast that the air whistles past your ears. The vampire, for her part, just looks to be enjoying herself way too much at your expense. The both of you continue hurtling through the mansion, scaring the daylights out of any fairies unfortunate enough to be in your path.

You continue on like this for only a short while before all the cries of surprise attract someone's attention. You're hurtling down an especially long hallway when it happens, one of the doors at the far end of the hallway opening up for a blonde head to stick out.

"Oi!" Marisa shouts, shaking a fist. "Get down here, you assclowns!"

Remilia decelerates with gusto, flinging you past her as she brakes on air. Once you're done being flailed about, she gently spins around and touches down, and you all but fall down as you pull free. Your world stops spinning after a handful of seconds, and a few firm shakes of your head dispels the rest of the dizziness. Once you're all right, you give Marisa your best glare.

It doesn't work, given how she's already staring at the two of you with eyes very, very wide and her mouth hanging open. Her expression is one of muted horror as her gaze alternates between you and Remilia. She's hatless, and her torso is bare save for a large number of bandages swathed over her chest, but at least she still has her skirt on so this isn't unbearably awkward.

"Savor the moment," Remilia says, looking unbearably smug. "She's never speechless."

Outrage briefly crosses Marisa's face, but it flees the moment she takes a closer look at you, to be replaced by dull horror. "Normally, I'd disagree, but ho-lee shit. What the hell did I miss?"

"You didn't hear the explosions and artillery and gunfire?" you ask, glaring skeptically at her.

She scowls. "Hey, getting shot takes a lot out of a girl, I'll have you know!"

"I was shot and electrocuted and crushed by a giant rock," Remilia says primly. "Piddly bullets are an invalid excuse, my dear."

Marisa wheels about, repeatedly jabbing her finger into the vampire's chest. "Well, not all of us have turbo vampire bullshit to keep us going, so shaddup."

You roll your eyes. "Look, we're busy, so if you would just-"

Your words remind Marisa of your existence, a fact she acknowledges by whirling on you and producing that strange octagonal focus from her skirt in a remarkably swift motion. "And you! I got shot 'cause of you busting in, jackass!"

"That was technically the Koakuma woman's fault, not mine," you say. "Remilia, come on, back me up here."

Remilia gives Marisa a contemplative look, then you, before she sidesteps out of the line of fire. "I'll just let you handle this, shall I?"

"You traitorous wench."

"Oi!" Marisa snaps her fingers. "I ain't finished with you, McHuge!"
__________

[X] "I apologize for any injuries you sustained during our previous encounter. It was entirely accidental on my assistant's part, and reparations will be made after all this has been dealt with."

[X] "I have had a long and trying day, there is a scared girl in the basement who thinks she's responsible for killing one of her family, and she is certainly guilty of killing a large number of men just recently. Shut up and go away."

[X] Punch her. Just... punch her.

[X] [WRITE-IN]
207posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>> No. 61455
[X] Kyouko was the first friendly face you saw, she's absolutely adorable, and you doubt anyone else you'd meet would be nearly as nice as her. You have no doubt she'd always have your back, and that counts for a whole lot.

I adore this echodog.
>> No. 61456
[X] Kyouko was the first friendly face you saw, she's absolutely adorable, and you doubt anyone else you'd meet would be nearly as nice as her. You have no doubt she'd always have your back, and that counts for a whole lot.

yamabiko or bust
>> No. 61459
File 141462429161.jpg - (248.89KB, 977x1067, image.jpg) [iqdb]
61459
NONE OF THIS IS CANON
__________

"Actually, I'm gay."

Three simple words, and everyone stops moving.

"...What?" Meiling asks, very quietly. "Then, all the flirting, and- and those kisses, and-"

"I am sorry to tell you this," you say, "but you got played, sister. I prefer dicks."

Meiling's mouth works open and shut in silence, eyes stretched fully open and staring blankly at you.

"So you're a knob-gobbler!" Cirno cheerfully says. "You really can't stop eating at all, can you, lardfat?"

Meiling, still stunned, slips out of her chair, landing in the dirt on her hands and knees. She smacks a fist into the ground. "Damn it." She punches the ground again and again as she speaks. "Damn it, damn it, damn it, you twatblocking asshole."

"It is the honest truth," you say solemnly. "And now I am off to inform Kyouko of this." Your boots flare to life as you jump, miniaturized jets in the soles propelling you up into the sky.

"Ground Control to Major Fat!" Cirno yells after you. "You're blocking out all the sunshine! Knock it off!"

You absent-mindedly pull the pin on a grenade and throw it at her. The entire stand bursts into flame, fairy and proprietor and gatekeeper included, and their screams follow you as you rocket off.

Aaaaah, that felt good.

-----

You touch down on Myouren grounds, directly in front of your next target.

Kyouko freezes up at your sudden entrance. "What the h-"

"Kyouko!" you say, voice booming grandly across the courtyard. "I've come to tell you two things! First, Meiling is not the one for me!"

She flushes bright red, hands clutched over her mouth in shock. "Are- does that mean-"

"Second! I am actually gay!"

She blinks, slowly lowering her hands, her expression utterly gobsmacked. When she speaks, it's a high-pitched, whining, "Whaaaaaaaaat?"

You shrug. "I just thought you should know that you will never, ever get the dick."

Kyouko's face twists up in outraged sadness, tears brimming in her eyes. "W-why do you have to be a jerk about it?"

Another woman's voice rings clear through the air, confident and commanding. "Hold, man!" The person in question, a blue-haired nun in matching robes, leaps down the temple steps, landing in a crouch and springboarding to her feet at Kyouko's side. She sweeps an arm around Kyouko's shoulders and hugs the smaller girl close to her chest. "You must be AE! What have you done that hurts Kyouko so?"

Kyouko points at you, the threat of tears giving way to a downpour. "He likes meeeeeeeeeen!" she wails, sobbing into Ichirin's robe.

Ichirin pats Kyouko reassuringly on the back, and nods wisely. "I see. Then I know what must be done! Unzan, it is time!"

She gently moves Kyouko aside, leaving the girl to weep uncontrollably into her hands, and brandishes a pair of golden rings. She smacks them together, and HOLY SHIT GIANT PINK CLOUD FACE.

"WHAT'RE YOU DOIN' HERE, WHITE BOY?" says the bearded giant floating overhead, with a voice like thunder and fists that could crush tanks.

Your visor whirrs back into place. "Oh, fuck me."

Pink teeth are bared at you. "POOOOOOOR CHOICE OF WORDS, PAL."

JESUS NO HE'S GOT THOSE TWO GIANT HANDS AROUND YOU.

"You wouldn't think a cloud man could have sexual preferences, but here we are!" Ichirin says, her eyes agleam with anticipation. "Oh, you two are going to have such a good time together!"

"YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO FIND A GAY MAN IN THIS MAGICAL REALM?" Unzan asks, shaking you around as he talks. "ABOUT AS HARD AS MY DICK. TRY NOT TO SCREAM, 'CAUSE I'M GOING IN DRY."

FFFFFFUCK. THERE'S A STORM BREWING, AND IT'S GONNA BE IN YOUR ASS IF YOU DON'T GET OUT OF HERE RIGHT QUICK.

There's a screeching staticky noise from your comms. "Not like this, Operator! Not like this!" says the AI, panic so real you almost forget it's a machine.

You cast about desperately for ideas; you can't punch him, your arms are pinned at your sides, you can't break out, shit, shit, shiiiiiii-

Wait.

Pinned at your side your arms may be, but that still means-

"I BRING YOU FIRE!" you bellow, roughly jerking the pins out of a pair of incendiaries.

Flames blaze upwards, battling cloud and engulfing you. Your captor recoils, releasing you to fall on your knees, and floats out of reach as he shakes his hands about. "FUCKIN' GOD DAMN, OW, WHY YOU GOTTA BE LIKE THAT, HOLY SHIT, YOU DICKHOLE."

You don't reply, boots flaring alive as you jump up and rocket towards the cloud's face, fist outstretched. A mighty uppercut rocks his head back, and then you jet back and stabilize your flight directly in front of him.

You bounce from foot to foot, fists at the ready. "Come and get me, Fluffy."

"YOU CAN'T LAST TWO MINUTES IN MY WORLD, BITCH," he rumbles, bringing his fists up.

"Beat the crap out of him, Unzan!" Ichirin yells, miming punches, while Kyouko watches the spectacle with an open jaw.

"EAGER T- MOTHERFUCKER!" Unzan roars as you punch him straight in the eyeball. "I'M GONNA EAT YOUR ASSHOLE ALIVE!"

His fists fly at you far faster than they have any right to, but you bob and weave and spin through the barrage of punches like a mosquito. Ten seconds you do this, darting up and down and all around, before Unzan abruptly stops, scowling fiercely down at you.

"OH, YOU THINK YOU'RE A REAL FUNNY GUY, HUH? LET'S SEE YOU LAUGHING AFTER THIS."

He hauls back with one giant fist, and it comes at you like a freight train with cut breaks; you stretch out your arms and catch the blow around his pinky and forefinger, the sheer kinetic force carrying you back through the air a dozen feet. You roll with the momentum and, after falling flat on your back, disengage flight.

Unzan's face is one of sheer alarm as the two of you plummet towards the ground, his head on a collision course for the hard tiles. There's an earthquake on impact, his cloudy face smashing into the ground hard enough that it loses all shape and drifts across the earth in a fine mist. You hit the ground moments later, armor insulating you from the worst of it, and jump upright.

A quick look about reveals Kyouko and Ichirin are flat on their asses, staring at you in wide-eyed awe, the former's despair utterly forgotten. Elsewhere, Unzan's head begins to reform, slowly but steadily. You stalk over to him, kneel, and lean in.

"I like your guts, big man," you whisper into the manly cloud's ear, a deep, burning desire filling your body. "Let's do it. Also I will keep my suit on."

Unzan's eyes flick towards you, and his eyebrows scrunch up in thought. "...OKAY, I GUESS. YA FUCKIN' ASS."

"I hate you, Operator," says your armor, as you reposition to make good on your offer.

Ichirin and Kyouko are holding hands, their faces filled with horrified, yet oddly eager, anticipation.

With no regard for your observers, for holy ground, or for basic decency, you fuck that cloud right in his fluffy ass.

Kyouko and Ichirin squeal like schoolgirls.

It is amazing.
__________

GOOD END
>> No. 61460
AND YES THE VOTES FOR THE ACTUAL UPDATE ARE STILL OPEN UNTIL TOMORROW

ANYONE WHO VOTED FOR THIS BONUS THING, GO DO A PROPER VOTE
>> No. 61461
>>61460
[x] That was True End


Y'ain't topping it, so embrace it as the truth. That's our true good end.
>> No. 61462
>>61460
NOT GAY ENOUGH

ALSO >CUT BREAKS

YOU FUCKIN' ILLITERATE
>> No. 61463
>"WHAT'RE YOU DOIN' HERE, WHITE BOY?"

I laughed.

Why is your Cirno such an asshole. anyway?
>> No. 61464
>>61461
ALSO I'M GONNA BANDWAGON ON WITH THIS GUY

[X] GAY END IS TRUE CANON END
>> No. 61465
>>61463

THE ANSWER IS WHY NOT

SHE'S A CHEEKY, CHEEKY GIRL WHO AIN'T GOT RESPECT FO' ANYONE. SHE PERFECT, YO
>> No. 61466
>>61459
You owe me new sides, you fucking fuck.
>> No. 61467
Youu're all fucking faggots

[X] Echodog
>> No. 61468
[X] Meiling is an amazing fighter, blunt and beautiful and carved out of pure muscle to top it off. You'd rather have no one else at your side, even if she's pretty rough. Also, God Almighty, those legs.
>> No. 61472
[X] Meiling is an amazing fighter, blunt and beautiful and carved out of pure muscle to top it off. You'd rather have no one else at your side, even if she's pretty rough. Also, God Almighty, those legs.

In other news, that was quite possibly the greatest joke update I've ever read.
>> No. 61473
[X] Meiling is an amazing fighter, blunt and beautiful and carved out of pure muscle to top it off. You'd rather have no one else at your side, even if she's pretty rough. Also, God Almighty, those legs.

I was >>61407 and I regret nothing.
Now we just have to have both of them tell us that they're actually lesbians.
>> No. 61476
[X] Kyouko was the first friendly face you saw, she's absolutely adorable, and you doubt anyone else you'd meet would be nearly as nice as her. You have no doubt she'd always have your back, and that counts for a whole lot.

The big guy and small girl dynamic appeals to me.
>> No. 61477
[X] Meiling is an amazing fighter, blunt and beautiful and carved out of pure muscle to top it off. You'd rather have no one else at your side, even if she's pretty rough. Also, God Almighty, those legs.
>> No. 61482
File 141471079014.jpg - (193.84KB, 782x1190, image.jpg) [iqdb]
61482
Well, folks, it's been a close, close vote. Kyouko took an early lead, but Meiling rallied halfway through, bringing the race to something very, very close. In the end, though, the votes come out to 21 for Kyouko (not counting that one GODDAMN RABBIT POST) and 18 for Meiling.[/B

In the end, I really liked Kyouko, but I always thought Meiling was going to win this. Never did I expect Kyouko to have such a fanbase. Thanks to everyone for voting!

Better luck with Meiling in the sequel!

[B]ROUTE LOCKED

>> No. 61483
>>61482

>those tag fails

SON OF A FUCK
>> No. 61484
>>61482
She may have lost the vote, but Meiling will always be the true winner in my heart.
>> No. 61485
>>61483
YOU SUCK AT THIS SO MUCH
>> No. 61487
>>61482
MAYBE IF YOUR FINGERS WEREN'T SO PUDGY YOU'D HIT THOSE KEYSTROKES CORRECTLY
>> No. 61488
>>61482
Please don't mock us, sequels are rare and the last time Meiling was a favorite for a sequel, Sakuya stole the story.

Well if not for that /at/ thing with Kyouko and being Meiling, Meiling would have likely won.
>> No. 61489
Voted for Meiling, but I'm perfectly happy with this outcome as well. Both girls proved themselves to be superb and had fun dynamics.

I wonder how things would have gone if there was a Remilia option as well...
>> No. 61490
>>61488

nigga what, that ain't mocking that i'm doing

i gots another /sdm/ story in mind after this, same universe and everything

you probably right about sakuya suddenly becoming best girl somehow, though
>> No. 61491
> that /at/ thing with Kyouko

What's this?
>> No. 61492
>>61491

Non-canon sex scene with Kyouko and AE
>> No. 61497
>>61459
You've gone and ruined my sides you fuck. Thanks a lot.

>Dragon lady loses
Can't even win on her home board? Damn.
>> No. 61506
>>61491
That would be the non-canon(?) spinoff at >>/at/35268.

Incidentally, scroll down a bit in that thread to get the chatlog that Cirno was probably based on.
>> No. 61508
>>61506

It's... semi-canon, if only because circumstances have changed in the story proper.

And yes, that chatlog is exactly why Cirno is such a dick.

NOW BRACE, BECAUSE AN UPDATE IS INCOMING.
>> No. 61509
File 141489194596.jpg - (138.48KB, 650x800, image.jpg) [iqdb]
61509
You'd been all ready to see where things went with Meiling, and then she shot herself in the foot by telling you about Kyouko.

The kid really thinks about you that way, huh?

You scowl, and mentally slap yourself; 'kid' is inaccurate and condescending. Kyouko's a fine young woman, and she deserves to be treated as such. She's sweet, good-hearted, attractive in a slender, cute kind of fashion, and doesn't punch you in the jaw on a regular basis (not that that's a strike against Meiling.)

For all of Meiling's upsides, her boisterous personality and steel body included, there's just the simple fact that Kyouko is nice. She's nice to you, the professional wrecking ball, of all people, and that goes a hell of a long way.

You swallow your food. "...You realize you've made a terrible mistake by telling me this, haven't you?" you say, very softly.

Meiling purses her lips and squints at you, affecting a face not unlike a disappointed lioness that just missed its prey. "So that's your answer, eh?"

You push your half-full plate aside and turn to face her, leaning sideways against the counter. "Afraid so."

She lightly thumps a fist on the desk, and raps her knuckles against the wood several times more before she speaks. "Well, damn. You're sure I can't change your mind?"

"Meiling, you've successfully escaped the blob," Cirno says, deadly serious as she clasps her hands together and casts pleading eyes up at the back of the woman's head. "Let his fat rolls envelop someone else instead, please, I beg you!"

Meiling twists around to glare at Cirno. "If I hear one more smartass comment, girl, I will beat you."

Cirno shrugs, relaxing back in her seat. "I've committed to it, sorry."

"And I'm going with Kyouko," you say, trying to steer this conversation back on track. "She's... she's been good to me. And I do like her."

Meiling sighs, turning back to you. "Double damn." Her sudden smile, bright and genuine, ambushes you. "Glad we got it out of the way, at least! Besides, this way we're avoiding any hurt feelings over her later."

"If it's any consolation," you say, "it's a damn hard choice for me too. You're a pretty spectacular person."

"Ah, you just say that 'cause I keep kicking your ass up and down town," she says, patting a mighty bicep.

"You mean 'rolled,' Meiling," Cirno says. "Not even you could launch the blob more than a few inches."

"Cirno," Meiling says, not bothering to turn around, her smile gone. "Run."

Cirno squeaks, shoves her now-empty bowl back across the counter, and runs as fast as her short legs can carry her. She disappears into the safety of the nearby tree line in quick order.

"Thank you," you say, immensely relieved. You return to your meal, devouring a few pieces before you speak again. "Anyway, like I was saying. I had to really think on it. I mean, you're really one of a kind."

"You should see the Oni women if you think that's the case," Meiling dryly replies. "But let me guess; short and cute won out over huge muscles, eh?"

"Something like that," you say.

"As a personal friend of hers," Mystia says, forcibly inserting herself into the conversation as she plants her hands on the counter and leans half over it, "I think you've made an excellent choice."

"Ah, she finally has the courage to speak!" you say, feigning shock. "Pray, tell me more about your sister in anarchy, miss Lorelei."

Mystia merely smiles enigmatically. "That's for you to find out personally, sir."

"So unfair, woman," you say, all in good cheer. You inhale the remnants of your meal, and then push away from the table to stand straight. "I guess I'll just have to find out the old-fashioned way, then."

"Is that your cue to leave?" Meiling asks, standing up as well.

"I'm afraid so," you say. You dip your head at Mystia. "Thank you for the meal. It was... an experience."

"Good or bad?" she asks, a long, delicate eyebrow raised.

"I'm not quite sure yet," you say. "But I'm glad for it all the same."

"Hey," Meiling says, while Mystia gives you a distinctly unimpressed look. "If you're leaving, there's one last thing I want before you go."

You turn to face her properly. "Well? What is i-"

She's on you before you can blink, her arms hooking around your neck as she forcibly pulls you in until your noses touch.

"One last hurrah," she whispers huskily, then kisses you full on the mouth. Almost without thinking, you wrap your arms around her back and hold her close, the two of you staying locked together like that for a time you don't bother tracking.

You only pull back when your lungs can't take it anymore, gulping down a great mouthful of glorious oxygen. Meiling's grin is infectious, and you find yourself matching her even as you release each other.

She claps you on the shoulders. "There, I'm done. Now make sure to be good to her, you hear me?"

"I plan on being the best," you say, not missing a beat.

She winks, releasing you and stepping back. "Of course you are." Her grin takes an impish edge. "Oh, and put that tongue to good use. She'll love it."

"The only thing his tongue loves is fried chicken!" Cirno yells, revealing herself hidden in the branches of a nearby tree. "Hey, fatcakes, gobble up Mystia instead! That'd be more your speed!"

The shopkeep vaults over the desk, landing between you and Meiling. "Excuse me," Mystia says, a rigid smile fixed on her face as she hefts her cudgel. "I'm going to go kill her."

She gives chase to the madly cackling fairy, leaving you alone with Meiling.

"Well," you say, dipping your head in a bow. "Hong Meiling, it's been a pleasure."

Meiling slaps you on the arm with enough force to knock you stumbling, but this time you're braced for it, and instead merely scoot across the grass by inches. "Oh, go tell her already, you silly bastard!"

"Eager to," you say, stepping back. "See you around."

"So long, and gods speed you on!" she says, shooting you a thumbs up as you head off.

She really is one hell of a woman, isn't she?
>> No. 61511
File 141489362688.jpg - (211.40KB, 850x1506, image.jpg) [iqdb]
61511
It's a long run back to Myouren Temple, but a pleasant one. Evening is falling by the time you actually reach the place. There's no sign of Kyouko on arrival, which isn't too much of a surprise considering she probably couldn't sweep all day every day without going absolutely insane. You'd investigate inside the temple, but as it so happens, the gates themselves are closed at the moment.

Even if you were of a mind to simply break in, there's the issue of the gatekeeper, a spear-wielding blonde in tiger-patterned dress with what appears, at first glance, to be a weed perched firmly atop her head. You know hats are the in thing in this burg, but that's just ridiculous.

"Hail, stranger!" she says, her words coming out in a smooth, confident contralto, that of a woman who holds no fear of any intruder, least of all you. "I hope you have not come to cause a disturbance, else I should be forced to impale you most grievously."

"Why do you have a weed on your head?" you ask, ever the image of decorum.

She blinks, her self-assured stature shaken by the sheer idiocy of your question. "...This is a lotus, sir," she says, in the slow tone used teaching toddlers the basics of speaking. "It is a common Asian flower, the likes of which can be found with ease at any waterway." She tilts her head slightly and squints at you. "You should consider perhaps opening a book. Or not being an imbecile."

"All right, I had that one coming," you say. "However, I thought you people were Buddhist. Doesn't stabbing travelers sort of go against that?"

"Most innocent travelers do not come here in full suits of armor," she says, her tone mild. "Generally, that sort of dress is impractical unless you intend to actually make use of it, such as in the fashion of, for example, a barbaric raider intent on pillaging a holy place of all its treasures."

"I'm unarmed?" you say, uncertainly raising your hands.

"Steel fists can kill sure as any weapon. Believe you me, I speak from experience." She leans back against the gate, her expression casual, yet her body tensed for action. "Though, to be honest, I much prefer tooth and claw. It feels more natural."

"Hence the spear," you say, delighting in her narrowing of eyes. You lower your arms again as exasperation starts to get the better of you. "Now, lady, I'm just here to visit someone. I'd rather not have to punch you out to do it, because that would hurt her feelings."

"Oh? And who could a brigand such as yourself wish to see here?" she says, her tone cold.

"Kyouko."

She blinks once, slowly. Then she does it again. And again. And a few more times, just because. "Oh," she says, very quietly, horrified realization playing across her face. "Then, that armor means- oh."

"Yo, Shou!" Kyouko shouts from somewhere inside temple grounds, her voice carrying so clearly it's almost as if she's right next to you. "I hear talking! What's going on over there?"

"I am a complete moron!" Shou calls back, her face flush with embarrassment.

"I am forced to agree!" you bellow, determined to make your voice heard.

There's a brief silence before Kyouko shouts again, a great deal more excited. "Hold on, hold on, hold on, I'm coming over!"

One moment it's just you and Shou, and the next Kyouko is pressed up against the gate like a dog trying to squeeze through the holes in his chain-link cage. "Hi, AE!" she says, waving at you with a sizable smile lighting her face up. "Was Shou bothering you?"

"I was, and for that I am sincerely sorry, sir," Shou says. She sets her spear aside, and bows until her face is parallel with the ground. "We've all heard so much about you that I should have been able to recognize you on sight. Please forgive my hostility, and know you have my deepest thanks for what you've done for Kyouko."

"Apology accepted," you say, happy to be moving on. "And don't be so hard on yourself, you were only doing your job."

"Incompetence deserves nothing but scorn," Shou says, her face set grim when she straightens up.

"You can stop being all worried about 'HONOR' any time now, missy," Kyouko says teasingly. She pushes the gate open and steps through, and gives Shou a companionable pat on the back. The tiger-lady sighs, but her dour expression lightens up.

"So, Kyouko, there's something I wanted to talk to you about," you say. "Privately, if possible."

"Is... something wrong?" Kyouko asks, her own good cheer suddenly on shaky ground.

"Nothing like that," you say quickly. "Do you mind coming with me?"

She's at your side in a handful of long strides, apparently deciding hesitation is for wusses. "Of course not! Let's go!"

"Stay safe!" Shou says, waving you off as Kyouko grabs you firmly by the hand and drags you with her. You play along with it, letting her lead you on into the forest until the two of you are clear of Shou's prying eyes, and then a bit further just to be safe.

"This should work," you say, pulling free from Kyouko's grip. She settles up against a tree, green eyes watching you with curiosity.

"So, this is awful soon for another visit," she says, her tone worried. "I'm not complaining, but you mind telling me what's going on? Is something dangerous happening?"

Her concern is so sudden that you can't help but feel like a heel for giving her the wrong idea. "Nothing so serious. I just visited the mansion earlier."

Her lips twitch downward. "Ahuh."

"And I talked with Meiling," you say, watching her close to gauge her reaction. "She told me about you."

Her eyes widen by fractions of an inch, and her mouth drops open by the same measure, before her expression falls to something profoundly glum. It's not a good look for her.

"...Oh." She slowly nods, eyes downcast. "It's okay. I know what she's got going for her."

"What's that supposed to mean?" you ask.

She clasps her hands together. "Well, y'know, she's all tall and strong and gorgeous, and I'm short and can maybe punch out a few fairies if it comes down to it, and also cute, cute is definitely a term thrown about a lot when I'm involved. We're kind of complete opposites like that, so..." She looks back up at you, smiling wanly. "I can see why you'd go for her."

Ow, your heart. "I came here for you."

"Yeah, I figured you wait what." Kyouko's jaw hangs open, her entire body frozen in place as she dares not even breathe, her eyes focused intently on your own. "You're not serious here, are you?" she whispers, her hands trembling so slightly you almost miss it.

"Why wouldn't I be?" you say, taking a cautious step forward, wary of spooking her off.

Of all the things you expected her to do, she laughs, something small and wavering and easily crushed. "I- I didn't push for anything yesterday because I thought you only wanted to be friends. But... you're really interested?"

"Would I be telling you this if I wasn't?" you say, spreading your hands in a hopefully friendly manner.

The rise and fall of her chest is growing steadily more erratic, and the shakes are proceeding up from her hands to the rest of her body. Just when you're about to take another step, she launches herself at you, hooking her arms between yours and around your back in a tight hug, burying her face against your chest.

Her voice cracks when she speaks. "This is real. It's really happening."

"Shh," you say, running metal fingers through her hair. "I'm here. I'm here."

She's content to simply rest against you in silence, the two of you held together by her iron grip. You didn't expect her to react like this, but... there's something intensely cute about it, all the same.

"Hey," she says, very quietly. "I'm sorry. I- I know I'm being stupid about this. It's just... if Meiling hadn't said anything, would you have gone for her instead?"

You suck in a breath, not looking forward to her reaction. "Yes."

Kyouko pulls back just enough to look up at you, the tears beading in the corners of her eyes contrasting sharply with her tiny, sincere smile. "That's how close I came to missing out on you, then, because I didn't ask when I had the chance." She sniffles. "I don't know whether to be mad at myself or happy it all worked out anyway."

And then she leans up, straining on her tip-toes, to lightly press soft lips to your own. It's a short, chaste little gesture, but you still sorely miss it when she breaks away.

"But," she says, brushing the tears out of her eyes, her smile widening. "I think I'll go with happy."

"...I can't promise this'll last," you say, reluctantly. "I could be redeployed elsewhere, and orders are orders. If that's a dealbreaker, then so be it." Seeing her frown ever so slightly, you hold up a finger. "But if you really want to stick by me, I promise that as long as I'm here, I'm damn well going to try to make this work."

"If that's how you want to play it, mister," she says, her smile back in play as she reaches up, wrapping her arms around the back of your neck. "I agree to your terms."

"Allow me to seal the deal," you say, and dart in those few inches to kiss her full on the mouth, pulling her close in your arms. Her eyelids drift shut, and she sinks into you without any resistance.

Even with this barrier of metal between the two of you, it feels good just holding her, and it's only with great reluctance that you eventually break it off for air. Kyouko's cheeks are rosy as she looks up at you, and she giggles breathlessly while she leans back in your arms, your sure grip the only thing holding her upright.

"Well, I think that's a good start to things, don't you?" she says, reaching down and gently prying your hands off her.

"I'm forced to agree," you say, letting her do as she will. She takes a few steps back once she's out of your grip, the better to get some room to smooth her dress off.

"You know what?" she asks once she finishes, a twinkle in her eyes as she sizes you up. Both her hands grasp one of your own. "I think it's time I introduced you to everyone."

She pulls you along, back to the temple, and it's with a glad heart that you follow her.
__________

ALL AVAILABLE EPILOGUES COMPLETED

KYOUKO ROMANCE COMPLETED

FINAL EPISODE UNLOCKED

__________

[X] The Man In The Iron Mask

THERE WERE NO FUCKUPS HERE. NONE.
>> No. 61512
THE SINCEREST MILE
>> No. 61513
[X] The Man In The Iron Mask

Even Kyouko underestimated how great she is.
>> No. 61514
>>61509
>>61511
Nice to see Kyouko get some love but, still, poor Meiling.

>>61512
Insincere miles are the worst.
>> No. 61515
File 141489696897.jpg - (129.75KB, 320x318, daaw ultimate.jpg) [iqdb]
61515
>THAT. ENTIRE. UPDATE.

nigga dat's fukkin kawaii
>> No. 61516
File 141490295326.png - (536.93KB, 500x750, d28b12539568704b5acf47f059d9505c.png) [iqdb]
61516
YES

VICTORY
>> No. 61517
Even after all this, I still wish we had kidnapped Flandre. I'm sure nothing but the best buddy cop-esque adventures would ensue.
>> No. 61523
>instead merely scoot across the grass by inches.

>by inches
>> No. 61534
File 141497757278.jpg - (252.27KB, 1600x900, image.jpg) [iqdb]
61534
ONE WEEK LATER

-----

The night sky is filled with a wide blanket of stars; Gensokyo being free of light pollution makes for some spectacular views, ones you don't usually see when being shipped through space. The full moon's icy-blue light spills down from on high, casting an ethereal blue tint over the world. You're looking at this from flat on your back, left arm folded behind your head to serve as a pillow on this grassy hillock.

"Hey," Kyouko says from next to you, her head nestled in the crook of your right arm. "I was wondering about something."

"Mm?" you say, content to merely watch the sky.

"So, you've told me about some of the things you've done up there," she says, and out of the corner of your eye you spy her looking at you. "But it's just been sort of a little background detail to the rest of your stories. What's it like in space?"

You hum in thought, and decide on an honest answer. "Cold and empty and deadly. You can get one hell of a view, though, so long as you don't mind throwing yourself out an airlock to do so."

"What, no windows in your ships?" she asks, sounding disappointed.

"Structural weaknesses," you say, looking over to give her an apologetic smile. "Nobody wants to get spaced if one is busted, after all."

"Huh. I always expected something more... romantic, I guess." Her hopeful enthusiasm makes a valiant return, determined to not be beaten by mere facts so easily. "I mean, you go flying through the stars! That should be really cool!"

"If you flew through stars, you would die," you say, mock-serious.

Kyouko giggles, and follows it up with an elbow to your side. "You know exactly what I mean, smartass."

"The sad truth of space travel is that it's really boring," you say, removing your free arm from behind your head, the better to gesture about vaguely with it. "At least, that's the case on military ships. You'd have a better time on a luxury vessel."

"Is that an invitation I hear?" she says, a teasing edge to her words. "Because going on a space trip sounds like fun."

You wince, thinking of the manifold difficulties of actually pulling that off. "Sorry, the sheer culture shock alone would probably kill you."

She props herself up on her elbows, pouting viciously at you. "Aww, I could deal with it! It can't be that hard, can it?"

"For someone who was born and raised in modern society, no, it isn't that hard," you say. "For a girl from a fantasy wonderland that's way, way behind in tech progression, on the other hand? One without any identification, no less? You'd be chained to me on a leash if you wanted to get anywhere or do anything."

Kyouko stares at you, her expression completely blank save the little smirk creeping onto her face. "...On a leash, you say."

Well, shit, you've just given her enough ammunition to last for weeks. "Bad choice of words."

"Oh, I dunno about that," she says, reaching over to trace a smooth, cool finger across your neck, causing your breath to catch for the barest fragment of a second. "Now that you've given me the idea, I can't say I'd mind having you on a leash."

"That'd be a sight to see," you say, mentally envisioning it and finding the result not entirely unpleasant. "You'd need something industrial-strength to keep me down, though."

When Kyouko speaks again, it's in an exaggeratedly haughty tone, her face set in disapproval. "Well, we hicks have our own little tricks, thank you very much."

"Remilia taught me that," you say. "Chafed like hell, though."

"Oh, really?" Her mischievous expression flatlines, her eyes widening, and she looks over her shoulder in a sudden motion, her face set in concern. "Hold that thought. I hear someone coming."

You sit up quickly, your left hand drifting down to your holstered pistol. At first, you don't hear or see anything, but within a minute the stomping of heavy, deliberate footsteps becomes audible. Whoever it is is making no effort to conceal themselves, so you stand up straight, Kyouko following your lead, and keep a firm grip on your weapon.

The source of the steps crests the top of the hillock, and halts a short distance away from you. The large, familiar shape stands still, black against the moonlight.

"Operator," it rumbles.

Agh, son of a bitch.

"No," you say, taking your hand off your gun, annoyance boiling over at your night getting interrupted. "Go away."

"But Operator-"

"No," you snap. "Now I know how the Tin Man ended up rusted stiff in that field. Someone got tired of his shit and left his ass there."

The suit simply stands there, doing some professional-grade looming and being irritatingly quiet.

"I don't get the reference," Kyouko eventually says, confused uncertainty clear in her voice.

"The answer to your question, miss, is The Wizard Of Oz," says the suit, remaining perfectly still.

"Oh," she says, off-balance from that unexpected answer. "Thanks?"

"You are welcome."

Well, if it's not going to leave, you might as well learn why it came here. "All right, what's going on that HQ decided to send you out after me? You could simply have called. I do keep a radio on me."

The suit gives you a restrained nod. "We are being temporarily transferred to serve in a major military action. I wished to inform you in person."

Well, shit.

"Oh, no," Kyouko breathes out, her confusion quickly blossoming to gut-wrenching worry. She looks up at you, her mouth agape. "You- no, you can't leave! Not already!"

"How long is this expected to last?" you desperately ask the suit, hoping the answer isn't something horrible like, say, several years.

"Baseline estimate is for a single month, Operator."

"Well, that's not too bad," you say, already relieved. Granted, it's only an estimate, but it's one you'll gladly work with.

"How is that not too bad?" Kyouko snaps, indignantly tugging on your arm. "You're- you can't just leave like this! I won't let you!"

You grab both her hands in one of yours, and lock eyes with her. She stops pulling on you, her lower lip trembling, and you sigh as you let her go. "I have to. Don't worry, all right? If everything goes well, I'll be back here before fall."

She growls wordlessly, frustration clear and present, and bangs a fist against your chest. "It's not fair!"

"I did warn you about this when we first started going out," you say, as gently as possible to take the sting out of those words. "This is just something I have to do."

Her face scrunches up in exasperation. "I know, but- but you're going off to get shot at! Doesn't that scare you?"

"I've been doing this for years now, and they haven't gotten me yet," you say, casual confidence overflowing in your voice. "Besides, if I do get blown up, they'll just staple new limbs on my stumps and drop me off here to recover. You can visit! It'll be great!"

"That's not funny!" she says, tears starting to form in the corners of her eyes. "Don't joke about it!"

Ah, damn, you went too far. "...You're right. I'm sorry."

"You'd better be," she says, only slightly satisfied. She hugs you close, laying her head against your chest, and you can feel her trembling through your shirt. "...Do you really have to go?" she asks, her voice little more than a whisper.

You place your hands on her shoulders, and give them a light squeeze. "It's my duty."

She doesn't answer at first, instead grabbing your wrists in a near bone-crunching grip. "Just... stay safe, all right?" she says, craning her head up so she can look you head-on, her eyes glittering in the moonlight. "Please?"

"I'm coming back," you say, brandishing an off-kilter smile. "Trust me on that."

She blinks a few times, ridding her eyes of tears, and pulls your hands up to her mouth, the better to plant a little kiss on the back of each one. Once that's done, she lets go of one hand, and intertwines her fingers with the other.

"I don't have to like it," she says, her face somber, "but I'm not just gonna let you walk off alone. Let's go. I can at least see you off."

You merely shake your head, chuckling. "Well, I won't stop you."

Her answering smile is a little one. "You couldn't even if you tried, mister."

You wouldn't want to in the first place.

The suit emits a low buzz. "Let us move, Operator."

And so, hand in hand with Kyouko, you follow the hulking armor in silence, man and woman and machine all together. As you walk, your irritation fades, replaced by a curious sense of anticipation. You don't like to leave Kyouko behind, but at the same time, you want to go; Gensokyo's left you complacent lately, and it's already been too long since you've delivered a truly righteous asskicking.

This has been a nice respite, but you've a job to do.

It's time you got back to work.
>> No. 61535
File 141497811666.jpg - (501.11KB, 2024x1065, image.jpg) [iqdb]
61535
And that is it, folks! It's been a long, fun ride, but Don't Lose Your Head is finished! I couldn't have done this without you guys, and I'm looking forward to writing again for you in the future!

In all honesty, this whole story has just been one huge, unplanned mess from start to finish, but it was a fun mess, and that's what really matters.

Questions are open, and I'll do my level best to answer them. Hit me with whatever you want to say!

And, as one last bonus, have a picture of AE and Roll The Dice's Clint drinking together, as done by RTD's author, the excellent Stove.
>> No. 61536
CONGRATULATIONS

YOU'RE STILL AN ILLITERATE AND A FAGGOT

GOOD TO SEE THAT KYOUKO WON AND I WAS THE BEST CHARACTER EVER IN YOUR STORY
>> No. 61537
Thanks for running this Clear Your Sights. This was something I really look forward to and while Meiling didn't win that ending was pretty comfy and Kyouko is certainly no average girl.

On a separate note whatever did happen to Big Red? I know Flandre was was using him as a giant teddy bear club and I can't imagine that being to healthy even for giant robots.
>> No. 61538
>>61537

The answer to Big Red's fate can be found in AE's meeting with the Commander back at base.

>"The remnants of the base were mostly unsalvageable, with the exception of a damaged titan found amidst dozens of wounded enemy personnel."

AE's Coalition buddies scavenged the titanic mech and hauled it back to base for memory-bank analysis, repair, and refitting, and they're now in possession of their very own reprogrammed Big Red.
>> No. 61540
So any hints as to what you have planned next?
>> No. 61542
>>61540

We're in autosage territory now, so sage isn't necessary any more, but I appreciate the thought!

Anyway, what I've got in mind next? First, there's a followup to Don't Lose Your Head, a slice-of-lifeish SDM story starring Karin, Patchouli's magically augmented freak of a fairy. Of all the ideas I've got, it's the one that appeals to me the most.

Second, I've been toying with the idea of writing a Disgaea crossover starring an OC and her crew of generics as they try to take over Gensokyo. It'd be a mostly comedic/action thing, but the scale of it is daunting.

Third, and my original intent when I started this story, is to reboot A Stalker Falls Into Gensokyo, my very first story on this site. I got sick of not being a good writer and having no idea where the story was going, so I started DLYH to improve myself, but this took on a life of its own and became what we see today. If I do go back to it, it'll be a complete restart, with actual plot straight from the beginning instead of a bunch of aimless wandering around Gensokyo.

Finally, if Team Fortress 2 is your kind of thing, I write CTF_Gensokyo over in /th/. I wanted a break from DLYH when I started it, and my intent is to keep it an upbeat and completely ridiculous thing.
>> No. 61543
>Karin

Yessssss do this one.
>> No. 61545
http://www.touhou-project.com/shorts/res/1295.html

so more knife youkai when

this post with 100% more functioning links
>> No. 61547
>>61543

Not gonna lie, she certainly has my main interest. However, I'm gonna give myself a week before I start up any new stories, just so I don't immediately leap into a whole new hot mess. Maybe I'll write out OPs for all those ideas and see which one really grabs me; I've already done one for Karin, after all, might as well do the rest.

>>61545

Well, that's canon for when I reboot STALKER, so maybe then! Or maybe I'll do a followup short starring Rada and Boryan just doing the STALKER thing, I haven't decided yet.

Also, WOW, my technical ability was awful back then! It hurts to look at!
>> No. 61548
>>61547

Oh man I loved your STALKER stuff. It'd be great to see it rebooted one of these days.

That said, I'm also A-OK with Karin shenanigans.
>> No. 61553
File 141511202529.jpg - (28.89KB, 347x440, image.jpg) [iqdb]
61553
Out of curiosity, I decided to tally up the wordcount for the entire story. Note that this includes all my little author's notes in the updates themselves, including available choices, so subtract a few thousand from the total. This also does not take into account the joke update.

Over the course of three threads, I wrote 107707 words, coming to a total of 612912 characters. Each thread accounts for roughly 35000 words, given some leeway here and there.

Of the top keywords, Flandre was mentioned the most of any character, at 515 uses of her name, while Meiling came second with 444. Remilia took third with 294 mentions, and Kyouko fourth with 245. Mystia and any other characters weren't used enough to make the top keyword list, so they don't count.

Finally, as a reward for sitting through stastistics talk, I was greeted with this art of the line >Kyouko is pressed up against the gate like a dog trying to squeeze through the holes in his chain-link cage.

It is adorable and I love it.
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