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This turned out different than what I had originally written. Not sure if that's a good thing, I think I preferred the old one.

I decided to take the time to reassure my aunt. No matter how tired I was, no matter what had happened, I owed her at least something of an explanation. She was worried about me, I understood that. She was the only family that I had left - she took me in when I needed it the most and that counted for a lot.

Going up to sleep could wait until later, I stayed downstairs with her, telling her about my day. "I spent some time in the village, looking around at the festival preparations, it looks like they're coming along nicely." She nodded in agreement, giving no verbal interruption to my narrative. "I didn't stay very long there, I wanted to go to the shrine." I tried to sound upbeat about the whole ordeal, telling her with a smile on my face about meeting Suika there. "-sleeping without a care in the world. I tell you, sometimes I think that she's more like a lazy dog than oni. What's more, she's totally defenseless when she's like that." I had considered playing a prank on her at the moment, "She's lucky I didn't do anything to her while she was asleep. I needed to ask her things."

Auntie listened in with amusement in her eyes, never interrupting, as I told her about my little adventure in the afternoon. I used the most descriptive words I knew to show just how weird and funny Suika was, all dolled up like that in that strange patterned coat and hat. It was something I didn't understand, and judging from the look on my aunt's face, she didn't quite get it either. I ultimately dismissed the whole thing with Suika as one of those adorable quirks that had endeared the oni to me.

She seemed really interested when I brought up Yuugi. "She was big, tall and only had one horn. But she was as lively and maybe a bit more excitable than Suika was." I told her all about the encounter with Yuugi. I tried convey just how strange this oni was.

"The way these people are attracted to you is worrisome." She said finally, having listened to me go on about the tall oni.
"It's fine." I replied, trying to put her at ease, "They're totally ok people. Yuugi might be loud and brazen, but she's nice."
"I'm not going to tell you what's right and what's wrong. You can figure that out by yourself, but it doesn't mean that I won't worry."
"Ah, but there's no need, I try not to get myself into trouble."
"Attracting the attention of an oni who wants to take you back to here place sounds like trouble to me." She smiled wryly, alluding to how Yuugi had come on to me. "I don't think it'd suit you to be the plaything of someone like that."

I moved past that, telling her about the rest of the day. I told her of going back to the shrine, of waiting for Reimu there. I didn't get too specific, I didn't particularly feel like sharing the bit about getting in the bath with the oni. I told her how at Suika's suggestion we set up to receive Reimu with drinks. She interrupted with a question, "Was the alcohol from our store?"

"I think so." At least some of it was.
"Good then, that means that she'll be buying more from us soon." She let me continue with my narrative. I found humor in her question, and smiled thinking of her business sense.

I told her how the others arrived, with Reimu looking not very pleased with the others that were tagging along. I glossed over the rest, The only part I stopped to detail was meeting Sanae and how I helped the poor girl along. I left out the unpleasant details, but judging from how she eyed the spot on my shirt, she made the implicit connection easily. She bit her lip, but said nothing.

"And I've been there until now. Pretty exciting day, huh?" I wrapped up the storytelling.
"More exciting than mine, that's for sure."
"I'm going out early, before sunrise.."
"Heavens, whatever for?" She looked a bit surprised.
"I have a couple of things to do, I'm going to meet up with someone and then I'm probably going to try to spend the day with Reimu, there's something important I need to talk to her about. That's alright, right? There isn't anything that I have to do here is there?"
"No, you're free to go if you want." She looked at me with something of a mix of disapproval and sardonic humor. "You'll get up nice and early for a girl, but you're usually so unresponsive in the mornings when you need to open shop. That's the way of life I suppose."
"Oh, come now. I get up plenty early." I defended myself, thinking of examples, "Like just last week I got up early by myself."
"I woke you up like always. You were too sleepy to remember. Or do you really think that your clothes were laid out for you magically?"
"Ah." That much was true then.
"Don't look too sad. I'm teasing you. You do fine, everything considered, not every boy has to get up as early as I make you get up sometimes."
"Sorry, I try my hardest."
"I know." She smiled wryly again, "So who's the friend?"

Even though I knew she already had figured it out, I played her game and told her that Alice was coming over.

"I see. I'm not about to repeat myself about the company that you decide to keep, so I'm just going to tell you to follow what you believe is right."

"... I'm sorry for making you worry, auntie. I never wanted to worry you, but... I'm glad that you care that much. I'll try not to make you feel that way again." I told her sincerely. She had stayed up late to wait for me, and I appreciated that.
"That's just the way things are. If I don't worry, then who will? Just be responsible and I won't have to worry as much."

I approached her for a hug. She accepted happily, betraying only a bit of surprise as I embraced her. She was family, my only family, and I cared about her more than I might casually admit. She had given me a home when I had lost my old one, and stuck out her neck for me. This present reality wasn't grand or luxurious, but it was comforting. And I dreaded to think what, if anything, I would have if not for her.

"I wouldn't mind if you were this agreeable all the time." Auntie giggled while bringing a hand to my head and gently stroking my hair. Like she had done so many times in the past. It felt nice and I felt warm.
"I'm not a kid anymore, sheesh." I halfheartedly protested.
"That's right you're not. You're all grown up now, isn't that right?" She teased, "I sometimes forget with the way you act and all.

She changed subjects as our hugged ended and I leaned against the wall. "I wish you good luck tomorrow."
"What for?"
"It's pretty obvious." She smirked, looking like some sort of mischievous child. "With this Reimu. You're going to ask her out, aren't you?"
"Eh?" I looked at her like a child caught red-handed stealing treats before dinner. "I'm not going to do that."
"Sure you aren't." She continued to smirk, putting her hands assertively on her hips, "You're probably going to ask her to come to the festival with you. And isn't that the same thing? I've got to hand it to you, you've become bolder."
"Ahah... well, you see..."
"You don't need to confirm it, I know you better than you give me credit for. We've been together for a long time. I suppose that I always knew that this day would come..."She got melodramatic, "the day in which I would no longer be good enough to keep you company in public. I am hurt, but I'll try to move on for our sake."

She reached out and messed up my hair again with a quick pass of her hand.

"You should try to have fun and take it easy. Don't get too worked up. But make sure to tell me all about the interesting bits ok? I'm on your side, you know."

She went to bed with a smile, vindicating my choice to tell her about my day. All in all, she seemed satisfied, and I couldn't imagine a better outcome. She didn't even fuss about my dirty clothes or anything of the sort. Not that she usually did, but it felt like this would be a situation where everything like that would have been brought up.

I got undressed and ready for bed. I drank a lot of water so I would wake up before Alice got here. It wasn't the most elegant solution, but I felt that it was fairly reliable. I lay down and closed my eyes. I couldn't fall asleep. Not even after tossing and turning for the better part of an hour. It was as silent as silent could be outside, and my own breathing seemed very loud to my ears. Dawn would be in only a few hours, meaning that Alice would be here sooner. It almost felt pointless to sleep, despite feeling tired.

[] Try to sleep regardless
[] Fresh air might induce sleepiness
[] Give up on sleeping and make breakfast for two
[x] Try to sleep regardless

At least we should try to get some sleep.
[x] Try to sleep regardless
[X] Fresh air might induce sleepiness

Might as well walk off some of that nervous energy without committing to something like breakfast.

This was worth the wait, and now I desperately want some art of auntie. I wonder why I only just now noticed the first person perspective and the past tense style of narrative, compared to the popular second person in the present tense. Go figure. Anyway, the dialogue was a little too choppy in that first part, when Arc was recounting what happened. It probably should have been one long bit of dialogue with some of the narrative bits rearranged and edited to appear before or after the dialogue. Would flow a little better. As soon as the conversation with auntie started, it was all good.
[X] Fresh air might induce sleepiness
Nighttime walks are nice.
[x] Try to sleep regardless
[X] Fresh air might induce sleepiness

Works for me~!
[X] Fresh air might induce sleepiness
{X} Fresh air might induce sleepiness
{X} Fresh air might induce sleepiness

Crisp night air is crisp
[X] Try to sleep regardless
i bet we're going to find SOMETHING outside, something that will distract us and prevent us from sleeping.

Yuugi stalking Arc in the trees at night to spirit him away when the time is right?/Alice having planted some dolls to act as a form of short-circuit TV to watch over him in earnest for the coming events? Or he may simply just open a window from his room and sleep that way...
Writing now, hopefully won't take long.

Thanks for pointing that out. Admitedly I just wrote this with the goal of getting something done as I had been blocked ever since losing the first update. I'll try to pay more attention regardless.

I think that Yuugi would just walk in nonchalant, scoop Arc up, toss him over her shoulder and walk casually back home.
>I think that Yuugi would just walk in nonchalant, scoop Arc up, toss him over her shoulder and walk casually back home.
I'd fund it.
>I think that Yuugi would just walk in nonchalant, scoop Arc up, toss him over her shoulder and walk casually back home.

Cue a CYOA starring auntie, in which she invades the underground in order to rescue the captive Arc from that oni hussy.

"Sorry, Auntie, but Arc is in another cavern!"
I was wrong when I said it shouldn't take long. It took an hour longer than I expected.

There came a moment when I had to get out of bed. Things weren't working out, and I crawled out to find a solution. My room was hot, and stuffy. Couldn't really sleep like that, I thought. That's why I tried to get fresh air. That would help. I figured if I could feel refreshed, sleep would follow easily.

Opening a window let the cool night air seep into the second story. I stood by it, leaning my head out to soak the fresh air in. It took a while to cool down. Longer than if I had simply been very warm. There were nearly no lights. Just a mat of darkness that was occasionally lit up by weak moonlight poking through clouds. Normally, I could see a big part of town from this window, All I could make of the town now was a darkened roof or two. Everyone was sleeping comfortably.

I sat down, feeling the weariness from the previous day weighing down heavily. Fresh air was nice and soothing, but I realized that the stuffiness in my room wasn't what was keeping me up. I sighed. It might have been normal in my position, I suppose, but being anxious about the coming day seemed like a futile thing. It would all happen soon, and there was no use worrying about it. I probably would have been better off just dealing with things as they came up.

In the end, the fresh air helped a bit and I got a tiny bit of sleep.

A hard probing object pressed itself against my face. I opened my eyes to the smooth tip of a rounded finger. I gasped in surprise before beginning to recognize the small contours in front of me. The muted eyes and delicate frilly clothes belonged to one of Alice's dolls.

The doll backed away from my face, hovering in the middle of my room.

I got up and walked to the window.

"Good morning Alice." I greeted the figure standing down there in the predawn darkness.
"Good morning." The doll fluttered past my ear and back down towards the puppeteer.
"I'll be down in just a moment." I told her. Her silence was all the acknowledgment I got.

I dressed quickly and crept downstairs trying not to make too much noise, remembering that Auntie was probably asleep. She was waiting for me by the door, the shadows making her look much like a doll herself.

"I'm ready." I said, the anxiety welling up in me.
"We're flying." She grabbed ahold of my suddenly. "Hold on to me.."
"Um, sure." It felt weird being in what was basically a tight embrace with Alice, but I wasn't about to question her reasoning. I focused on my breathing, trying to get a smooth rhythm going on. It took a while to block out Alice's warmth, fragrance and presence. I had distracted myself so well that it was only halfway through the journey that I realized that we were indeed flying. Alice's home was near my own, at the very least it seemed that way when distance was judged by the time spend flying above the treetops.

"..."Alice's slacked embrace hinted at what I had to do.
"Oh sorry. That was quick, thanks." I let go of her. She didn't delay in opening up her door, ushering me inside.
"Please wait in the room to your right. I'll be along shortly."

I did as I was told and found myself in a room lined with bookshelves and oddities. Jars holding salves and roots were lined up here and there. The middle of the room was barren, like it was some sort of dead spot where even the candlelight refused to penetrate fully. I stood by the shelves, too timid to stand exposed in the middle.

Alice came in several moments later holding a thick leather-bound book and a small satchel. She kneeled at the center of the room, putting the book down in front of her. She produced a small white cylinder from her satchel and began to press it against the floor. I watched as she wordlessly drew lines that intersected with more lines bound within a circle with the chalk, the poor flickering lighting making the act seem hypnotic. The end result was a circle about as wide as two casks of ale with numerous symbols and writing decorating the inside. When she finished, she put the chalk away in the satchel and removed a small vial of liquid from the contents.

She looked to her book again before getting up and coming close to me. The vial was opened and she drank a mouthful of the liquid before offering the vial to me. I obviously had to drink some as well.

She didn't command me to, but I took it all the same. Bitter and nauseating, the liquid went poorly down my throat and into my stomach. She took the now empty vial from me and stuffed it back into the satchel. She snuffed the candle, plunging the windowless room into further darkness. The predawn twilight was in its earnest outside.

Alice pointed to the drawing on the floor - I was to stand there in order to begin. She looked at me with her unflinching gaze. She was asking wordlessly if I had any doubts or questions before we went further. It was definitely a courtesy on her part, as this early-hour pact clearly had a schedule to follow.

[] Ask Alice something
[] Proceed
[] Proceed
[X] Proceed
[X] Proceed
[X] Proceed

We didn't come here just to idly chat.
[0] Proceed
[X] Proceed

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[X] Proceed
asking something now really does sound silly, its not like we dont know what this is all about.
[x] Proceed
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I stood in the middle of the circle. Alice retrieved her tome and stood in front of me. She read from the book, speaking in a soft musical language that I did not understand. The figure drawn on the wood came alight with bright colors. The white dominated, but plumes of yellow, red, blue, and orange also abounded. It was as a bedazzling spectacle as was Mima's display all those months ago.

Unlike that display of magic, this one was interactive. Alice was illuminated by a soft white glow as she muttered words from the book. Her eyes closed, focused. My arm began tingling violently, almost numbing all feeling. As if understanding what I was feeling, Alice opened her eyes and looked at me with a reassuring smile. The book levitated by itself, her hands free to do as they pleased.

She grabbed one of my hands, bringing it up to her face. I couldn't even feel her moving it.

With a quick movement, she pricked my hand with a needle. An equally deft movement brought the finger into her mouth. Even though I shouldn't have been able to feel it - I did. I felt her warm insides wrapped around it, gentle probing sucking away the fluid gushing out. It seemed like my essence was leaking out to her and she was drinking it down greedily. It was as shocking as it was pleasurable, melting away in side her. My finger was ejected with a line of saliva leading back to where it had been. My hand was dropped, discarded, and began to numb again almost immediately.

From her next movements I understood that I would need to reciprocate. Her blood seemed to taste sweet - sweeter than my own at least. It was like sugar compared to the iron-tasting liquid I had sampled while injured growing up. I sucked on her finger as if I had never tasted anything better in my life. So warm, sweet, and personal - it felt like I was understanding things that I should have had no idea about.

She withdrew from me, continuing the ritual. Her fingertips traced symbols on my forehead and chest, seemingly etching designs into my very skin. Her touch was hot, enough to make me forget about the tingling that still hadn't subdued. It was as she finished tracing the last mark on my chest that it happened.

A numbing sensation - a different one than the one coming from my arm - began to envelop me. The lighting became erratic as tendrils of color shot out in every which way. Alice was all I could see clearly, her smile and labored breathing becoming my whole world. I heaved as I felt her spreading out from within, reaching out to fill my every corner and I wondered if the same was happening to her. It was then that I crumpled, being held on my descent downwards.

I felt like I was watching a series of events in my mind. There was a kindness and warmth that I had nearly forgotten about years ago. Not that I was the only one that had almost forgotten. There were a lot of things that I rediscovered. Things that I kept buried down. Not that I was the only one to do so either. I definitely wasn't alone.

The next moment that I recalled I was on the floor, looking blankly at the doorway. Predawn twilight had changed fro ma nebulous uncertainty to the full majesty of the rising sun. I lifted up my hand, looking at it as if it belonged to someone else. The mark on my arm - it was gone. Not even a single trace of the black stencil lingered. Like the circle which was supposed to be under me. That, too, was gone.

I felt tired. But energetic at the same time. It was a conflicting emotion, like something was settling inside of me but was still liable to thrash about without warning. I looked to my side to find Alice crumpled over as I had been, her breath ragged and her clothes completely crumpled. Even her hair was disheveled, her headband missing. Her eyes looked in my direction, the expected stoic look replaced by one of vulnerability. Tears streamed down her face, gently rolling down to her chin before dropping off quietly. I found myself understanding somewhat what she felt. As a consequence my hand automatically found its way to her temple, stroking her golden locks before wiping away her tears.

"How nostalgic..."She murmured with a sickly frailty. She smiled sweetly, letting herself be handled by me for a few moments longer.

Slowly, after a while, she began to collect herself. She haphazardly fixed her disheveled hair and fixed some of the loosened ribbons on her clothes. She placed her hands on me, fixing my own mussed up hair and wrinkled clothes with a soft and, what seemed to be, caring touch. Until everything was just right.

She looked blankly at the sunlight seeping in from the windows in the other rooms, staring with no discernible intent. I felt like holding her, seeking her warmth again. It wasn't something I could explain rationally, it was some sort of drive that came from within.

[] Wait, give her time, and follow in what she does
[] Ask her if she's alright
[] She needs a hug. Definitely.
[] She needs a hug. Definitely.
[X] She needs a hug. Definitely.
I dare anyone here tell me one good reason why we shouldnt hug her! even if my own brain is screaming out loud to take it easy and follow through!
[X] She needs a hug. Definitely.

This choice, it calls to me. It is the only righteous thing to do.
[X] She needs a hug. Definitely.

Let's hope in the worse case scenario, this doesn't end too badly.
[x] Ask her if she's alright

Middle ground for me.
[X] Wait, give her time, and follow in what she does

It may just be an after effect and a period of rest may be needed. Hugging her, as desirable as it may be, may interrupt whatever else that needs to be done.
[X] She needs a hug. Definitely.

It is never a wrong decision to hug Alice. In this situation, it would be wrong not to hug her.
I reached out at her, grabbing her from behind. I felt her shiver in my embrace, as I selfishly sought out more of the intoxicating warmth. I was looking at the same thing she was, the bright dawn light. I could hear her heartbeat in the silence, dully thumping alongside my own. She didn't protest as I held her, and I felt calm and at peace.

It was her that broke off the embrace, gently tugging away from my hold. It was only after what had been an eternity in the stillness of her home. She turned to face me, her face very close to my own. Her eyes were more settled than before, but I could still see traces of tears marring her pale skin. I was conscious of her soft breathing; Her soft short breaths collided against my chin. It made me conscious of my own breathing, and how it was still ragged.

"Your embrace felt comforting." She said, looking at me with a straight face.

It was only after staring into my eyes for several moments that she seemed to realize what she had said. Her eyes darted nervously from side to side and I thought that she was about to blush. I was mistaken. She regained control of herself quickly.

"It was a success." She informed me, putting a little more distance in between us. She got up slowly, still dazed. I did the same.
"The mark is gone." I showed her my arm.
"That was an unexpected outcome."
"What happened to it?"
"I... do not know." Her face darkened, contrasted heavily by the sunlight at her back, "A mark like that is supposed to stay until the contract is broken and I did not attempt to break it. Only suppress it by imposing my own will."
"It's a good thing that it's gone, isn't it though? Means that I don't have to worry about someone else sapping my strength."
"Yes. That is true." She conceded. "But... well, that's that I suppose."
"Is it?" I asked, feeling concerned.
"It would seem." She began to walk out of the room, telling me nothing.

I waited in the room out front. It was the proper place to wait for her.

And sure enough, she appeared sometime later carrying a tray with teacups. A doll brought a kettle.

"Congratulations and a celebration is in order." She smiled, looking strangely happy. "You have now taken the first proper steps on the path to becoming a magician."
"Thank you." I gladly accepted a cup of tea.
"You can feel it, can't you?"
"Feel what?" I didn't think she meant my still-fluttering heart.
"It manifests itself differently in everyone. It may be something that feels like heightened senses, or clearer thinking or something of the sort. It's the effect of the first exposure to magic."
"But this isn't really my first exposure to magic."
"True, but that's not really what I meant." I could tell she was happy, even though she looked at me with stoic eyes. It was infectious, making me feel happy as well. "After you finish your cup of tea, we can then begin your first lessons."
"First lessons already?"
"Strike while the iron is hot. You may not realize it, but your body is screaming out for stimulus. It's been uncorked and it's screaming out for something to fill up your new capabilities."

I sipped my tea. It was now early morning outside. For many the day was just beginning. Already for me it felt like it had begun, dragged on, and finished.

"Feeling tired?" She guessed what I was thinking about.
"I didn't sleep that much last night. Does it show that much?"
"It doesn't need to show that well for me to know. I don't know if you've realized it yet, but as your teacher I will be able to read you better than you can read yourself at times." She smiled. "And as such, you should always be prepared for me to be one step ahead of you. And, of course, to listen to any advice that I give you. It will, after all, be in your best interest to follow."
"I understand." All teacher figures were the same. Being able to read me and know me better than I thought I knew myself.
"More tea?" She poured more for the both of us. "If you have any queries, now would be the moment to ask. Magic favors the studious, hardworking, and inquisitive. More knowledge and power is only acquired when one wants it, naturally."

I looked at her. I had questions I wanted to ask. But some of them were more personal in nature. Not really pertaining to magic. There were some of those too. But I wasn't sure if I wanted to hear the answer to those right then.

[] Ask Alice a personal/technical question(s)
[] Finish the tea and get to the first lesson
[X] Ask Alice if she knows what sort of magic would suit you.
[X] Ask her... if the contract always feels like this. It's slightly embarrassing to admit, but having a connection like this with Alice feels absolutely wonderful. If it always feels so nice, you'll have to work hard to keep from being distracted.

From the way it's described, it feels so nice that spending a whole day lying around and doing nothing but holding Alice in our arms would be pure bliss. Not that it wouldn't be pure bliss anyway.
[X] Ask Alice if she knows what sort of magic would suit you.
[X] Ask her... if the contract always feels like this. It's slightly embarrassing to admit, but having a connection like this with Alice feels absolutely wonderful. If it always feels so nice, you'll have to work hard to keep from being distracted.
[X] Ask Alice if she knows what sort of magic would suit you.
[X] Ask her... if the contract always feels like this. It's slightly embarrassing to admit, but having a connection like this with Alice feels absolutely wonderful. If it always feels so nice, you'll have to work hard to keep from being distracted.
[x] Ask Alice if she knows what sort of magic would suit you.
[x] Ask her... if the contract always feels like this. It's slightly embarrassing to admit, but having a connection like this with Alice feels absolutely wonderful. If it always feels so nice, you'll have to work hard to keep from being distracted.
Oh ho~.
[X] Ask Alice if she knows what sort of magic would suit you.
[X] Ask her... if the contract always feels like this. It's slightly embarrassing to admit, but having a connection like this with Alice feels absolutely wonderful. If it always feels so nice, you'll have to work hard to keep from being distracted.
I didnt know what to say at first, but this seems fair enough.
ALSO, shouldnt we be worrying about when to leave? It wouldnt surprise me if poor Arc suddenly forgot what he had planned for today.

Good point

[X] Ask Alice if she knows what sort of magic would suit you.
[X] Ask her... if the contract always feels like this. It's slightly embarrassing to admit, but having a connection like this with Alice feels absolutely wonderful. If it always feels so nice, you'll have to work hard to keep from being distracted.
[x] Ask her if this would interfere with meeting Reimu at noon.

Just making sure.
[X] Ask Alice if she knows what sort of magic would suit you.
[X] Ask her... if the contract always feels like this. It's slightly embarrassing to admit, but having a connection like this with Alice feels absolutely wonderful. If it always feels so nice, you'll have to work hard to keep from being distracted.
[x] Ask her if this would interfere with meeting Reimu at noon.
[X] Ask Alice if she knows what sort of magic would suit you.
[X] Ask her... if the contract always feels like this. It's slightly embarrassing to admit, but having a connection like this with Alice feels absolutely wonderful. If it always feels so nice, you'll have to work hard to keep from being distracted.
[x] Ask her if this would interfere with meeting Reimu at noon.
[X] Ask Alice if she knows what sort of magic would suit you.
[X] Ask her... if the contract always feels like this. It's slightly embarrassing to admit, but having a connection like this with Alice feels absolutely wonderful. If it always feels so nice, you'll have to work hard to keep from being distracted.
[x] Ask her if this would interfere with meeting Reimu at noon.
Update in a bit. I started hours ago but then I, uh, got really carried away. So that became unusable. I'm writing something else now.
"Do you know what sort of magic would suit me?" I asked directly, following up on her not-so-subtle hint.
"Suit you?" She looked at me quizzically. "Are you asking me to make a judgment call?"
"Nothing like that. Just that there's different kinds of magic, right?"
"Then you're asking about specializations?"
"No, not really. Well, maybe." I thought about what little I knew. "Do you think any kind of specialization would suit me, or that I'd have an affinity for?"
"It's hard to say." She admitted with a small smile. It was obvious that she was in a good mood. "We won't actually know until we get you to try things. I don't think we should underestimate the influence that our bond as master and disciple may have."
"So it'd be easy for me to become a puppeteer?" I had the silly mental image of a bunch of dolls in uniform running the shop for me.
"Manipulating puppets isn't a magical discipline. But it may be that you might have an aptitude for something like that. Or at the very least I'd like to think that my influence would make the manipulation of magically prepared objects easier."

She reinforced her level of control during the conversation, manipulating two dolls to go and fetch a tray with sweets.

"I can offer you what knowledge I've picked up over the years," She continued, "I don't know if it's enough to count as a specialization, but you'll find your own way. You'll find the best way to let your abilities grow."

I took a small pastry when the dolls stopped to offer me one. It wasn't exactly my usual breakfast, but the sweet was agreeable nonetheless.

"This contract between us..."I began, "is it supposed to feel like this?" I began dithering as I went on, remembering feelings and sensations from earlier. Above all else in the swirl of emotions, the warmth stood out. I recalled how good it felt, how positively blissful it was. My heartbeat quickened as I looked at her from across the table.
"Like what?" She asked, putting down the tea cup. She looked like she was interested.
"It feels wonderful to be connected to you. It's hard to describe. I was thinking how I would have to work extra hard so as not to let myself get too distracted."
"You feel that way too?!" her loud exclamation startled us both.

In her excitable state, I managed to see a different side of her. Shock turned turned into embarrassment and panic over her reaction. She tried to play down her words with a fluster I had not expected to ever see from her, a streak of red tinged her cheeks.

"Is it that much of a big deal?" I asked sheepishly, not sure of how I should feel. I was embarrassed by what I said, but said it anyways, "Holding you felt wonderful... and I didn't really want to let go. Even now I can feel your warmth."

"Um... do you have any idea what you're saying?" Her question was a nervous one. She was as unpredictable as I was. "No, nevermind! Don't answer that. It's possible that because of our bond, we developed some sort of affinity for each other. That's all."

"So it's only a possibility?"

She turned her back to me, walking briskly to the opposite end of the room. I couldn't see her face at all.

"It's not like I've ever done this before. I followed what notes and instructions I had, but I haven't ever formed any sort of pact with another living being. Until now. That means that you're... my first for this sort of thing,"

She stopped and took a large breath of air. A moment later, she had turned around and was addressing me in the usual tone of voice. She was almost as composed as usual. Almost. She avoided making eye contact.

"I think that's enough time celebrating. We shouldn't tarry and get on to your first lessons. Come with me." She led on, and I followed. We went into a small room, barren except for a chair and a desk. "Have a seat."
"Before we begin, I have to ask something. Will the lessons take very long today? I have somewhere where I'd like to be come noon."
"This shouldn't interfere with your appointments. But where's that promise of hard work gone to?"
"I'll work hard, it's just that I really need to do this. Not that it's an appointment or anything... I don't really have a set meet up time.."
"Today is an introduction. It won't take long. And the hard work is for your benefit."

Her first task was simple enough. She left me in that room with a book. Her notes on magic.

"You can read, can't you?"
"If it's normal, then yes."
"Good. Then read as much as you can and I'll be back in a while."

That was that. I was left to tackle it by myself. I opened up the first page and found every possible spot on the paper covered with writing. Short but formal writing. Written with bold penmanship. I began to read, but found that it was all too much. The terms and phrases used were completely and utterly alien to me.

I skimmed through the book.

Every page was the same. I couldn't make heads or tails of any of it. I tried my best, piecing bits together and coming to derive the general subject.

It had taken me longer than I thought, as Alice informed.

"It's been an hour. Did you learn anything?" She asked, standing in the doorway.
"Not much, sorry. The first page talks about distances, but I didn't understand a lot of the terms."
"That's alright. I do not expect you to know much." She signaled for me to follow and spoke as we walked. "You first goal is to be able to read all of that book and understand its contents. It's something that's going to take a lot of work and very many small steps. You'll eventually be able to link the concepts and words with actual acts."

We went outside, and round back, to where she had stacked a pile of logs.

"Try upsetting that pile." She commanded.

I decided that she already knew what the outcome would be. I pointed at pile of logs and tried to move them by just thinking. It obviously didn't work.

"That is perhaps the first thing about magic that you should learn." Her lesson continued, "That magic is born out of a desire to impose your will over a preestablished order of things. Though not successful, you did well in your logic. Crudely put, the more you believe in something the likelier it'll occur. But, of course, you need power behind that belief."
"But where does the power come from? From me? Why?"
"It comes from you and the world and the natural order of things. It comes from knowledge on how to manipulate preexisting conditions."
"I'm not sure I understand."
"I'm not surprised. It isn't something usual for a human to understand just like that." She smiled. "I'd pose a question to my pupil. See if you've understood some of what you've seen and heard, if only subconsciously." She pointed a finger at the pile of logs, "What would be the most effective way to move any of the logs there?"

[] By going and picking one of them up
[] Borrowing some of Alice's power, of course
[] Spending time to learn the appropriate spell for this task
[] Other
[x] Spending time to learn the appropriate spell for this task

If you want to be a proper musician, you learn how to read and then play music properly. I'm going with this logic for magic.
[X] By going and picking one of them up

Simpler and less work to learn, so more efficient.
[x] Spending time to learn the appropriate spell for this task

I don't think Arc's particularly strong, so I think physical movement wouldn't work well.

And I think we shouldn't be too quick to rely one Alice so much. (Sure she's our teacher, but that should be a last resort.)
[x] Other: By willing, no... knowing that they aren't there, but somewhere else, because I have the ability to make it so.

>See if you've understood some of what you've seen and heard, if only subconsciously.

>That magic is born out of a desire to impose your will over a preestablished order of things.

I don't think she's asking us to do anything, but she wants to see if we're picking up what she's putting down.
[x] Other: By willing, no... knowing that they aren't there, but somewhere else, because I have the ability to make it so.
[x] Other: By willing, no... knowing that they aren't there, but somewhere else, because I have the ability to make it so.
[x] Other: By willing, no... knowing that they aren't there, but somewhere else, because I have the ability to make it so.

Just something about this write-in...
I thought about my answer.

"By willing, no... knowing that they aren't there, but somewhere else, because I have the ability to make it so." I gave her an answer with an unflinching gaze. And waited as she met that gaze with those deep eyes of her and analyzed my answer.

"So you are saying that the most effective way to move any one of those logs is by focusing on the end result and not the initial state?" She betrayed no approval or disdain in her flat voice, questioning as Miss Keine would for something like literature or history. "Is that what you think?"

"That's correct." I affirmed. "By knowing that I can, and that I want to the logs might as well be somewhere else. I can make it so easily."

"Well now," A placid smile formed on her lips, "That's a more complex and philosophical answer than I expected you to give. Magic does come from belief and knowledge, amongst other sources, but it's debatable how reality is affected precisely. It's important that you realize the intricacies involved. And I'm impressed that you would mention what is the vanity of an old magician."

"Yet there's a 'however' coming up, isn't there?" I could tell. I could read some of her body language now, it told me that she hadn't said all that she had to say.

She looked to the pile of logs, uttered an almost wordless phrase and a focused directional push came from her hand. The logs scattered far and wide with the simple act.

"However this lesson wasn't about understanding how the process worked. It was to teach that there's something very universal about being a magician." She turned to me, waving her hand as if it were hot. "That is to say, the ends justify the means. If you can accomplish your objective by doing something simple, so be it. If it requires finesse, that is acceptable as well. If you need to use powers beyond your own, that is perfectly conceivable - as long as it is understood that there the consequences for such an action. Do you understand now, the reason a true magician researches things? It's not only to be able to obtain raw power, but to find customizable solutions."

"Hm..."I felt like I had let her down somehow. Like I didn't try hard enough.
"Don't look so glum." Alice comforted me. "It doesn't suit you to look so downcast. You have done nothing wrong. As I said, yours was an intelligent and thoughtful answer." Her hand found its way to my shoulder, her touch almost immediately perking me up. "I'll point out any mistakes you make so we may correct them together. This is my first time teaching like this, so I may make mistakes as well."
"Thank you, I'll try not to disappoint you."
"Remember that sentiment, it'll serve you well." Her hand found its way to my face, hovering close to my cheek. It seemed like she was going to stroke it, but decided against it awkwardly fumbling back to her side. "Ehm. Well, in any case, it would seem that we have our work cut out for you. So then pupil, what would you rather do? Learn more of the terminology that so confused you and some more background information or perhaps learn your first trivial spell? The latter would need to be with my borrowed power for now I think. Either one is fine, and I don't wish to overburden you before your encounter later today."
"Does it matter? I thought these things all had a proper order."
"They do, but you can't be expected to master anything on the first day. So I offer a taste, whetting your appetite so to speak."
"Well then..."
"Before I forget." She took a pace or two away from me, fiddling with one of her inert dolls in her hands, "At any stage of this process you should feel free, if not encouraged, to ask any relevant questions. I'll be more than glad to answer any doubts or queries.."

She had once again shifted to the stoic persona that I first met. The fact that I got to see anything else was beginning to weigh down on me as I realized it was a privilege. This whole experience was, in fact, a privilege.

[] Try an actual spell
[] Learn more about the basics

[] Ask Alice further questions
[X] Learn more about the basics
[x] Learn more about the basics
[x] Learn more about the basics


[x] Ask Alice further questions

[Z] Learn more about the basics

If anon wanted to be a hot blooded, guts over brains, kick reason to the curb magician then he sure picked the wrong tutor.
[x] Learn more about the basics

[x] Ask about Marisa's kind of magic
[X] Learn more about the basics

we choose Alice because she'd offer to teach us more than how to blow things up.

[x] Learn more about the basics

[x] Ask about the differences between Alice's and Marisa's style, as well as any other magicians she knows.

A good foundation is the best start of building something.

Yes I'm trying to perhaps get her to talk about Patchy's style of magic
[x] Learn more about the basics
[+] Learn more about the basics
[+] Ask about the differences between Alice's and Marisa's style, as well as any other magicians she knows.
-[+] For that matter, ask about the various powers other residents of Gensoukyou use, not just magicians. Maybe it will give you ideas in the future.
Sorry, I had the bulk of the update written down a couple of hours ago and then had to leave. I'm afraid I won't be able to accommodate your query. I've gone with something else.
Learning about the basics was more difficult than I imagined. There were a lot of terms and concepts that she explained to me that went above my head. It was a lot to absorb. I felt a bit disheartened- if the basics were so complicated anything else would be simply impossible to learn. Alice supported her explanations with diagrams and texts, all of which were confusing. She picked up on my state and reminded me to just listen, even if I didn't actually understand most of it.

"...and the intense separation of energies is only surpassed by an additional commitment of energies." She concluded with a sigh. "I think we'll leave it at that for now. Tell me, did you learn anything?"
"Well, I'm more familiar with the terms in the books now. But I didn't know that spirituality was so deeply involved in this. And the levels of energy and power, it's like a rainbow but with more intensity."
"You'll come to understand it all given enough time. All that's important is an open mind and eagerness to learn.."

"How do you see magic, teacher?" I asked, curiosity getting the best of me.
"It's a tool to accomplish my goals, that's what it is." She replied directly and with no hesitation.
"How do others see it?"
"It depends. Some see it as an absolute way of life, a justification that they're meaningful. That can be self-destructive though." She mused. "Not that it's my place to judge. As long as one is content, any path is fine."
"Ah, so what about the other magicians in Gensokyo?"
"What about them? Are you asking who they are? There's no one you need to know about at this stage, you should focus on your own studies before you go out seeking others."
"I'm not planning to leave you or anything, I think you're an amazing magician and teacher."
"That may be, but lets have this conversation when you can actually do something by yourself, alright?"

She put away her reference materials. I helped put away the sheets and parchment that I had used. She was watching me from the corner of her eye, observing as I put things back into their proper shelves.

"Is anything the matter?" I asked, feeling self-conscious.
"Whatever do you mean?" She focused her gaze elsewhere, pretending to have misplaced a book.
"You were looking at me just now, weren't you?" Having finished what I was doing, I got closer to her. She tried harder to pretend that she was caught up with her sorting.
"I was not." She added with a note of finality, "We're done for today, so you can go to your engagement or whatever it was."
"I'm sorry teacher." I hugged her from behind. "I'm sorry for being useless on my first day like that."
"Ah! What are you doing..."She squirmed in my hold, struggling weakly.
"I'm sorry, being close to you well, this seemed like the right thing to do. It'd be wrong of me to leave without doing this."
"There's no need for you to get carried away," She managed to turn her body so that it faced towards me, she was keeping a straight face with difficulty, "I told you already you did fine. There's no need to do this sort of thing."
"Do you really mind?" It felt warm and nice. Like the previous time, and the time before. It had been difficult being near Alice and trying not to hug her. It hadn't dawned upon me the first time we met or until today just how nice it is to hug her.
"I... don't really think it's appropriate. We're teacher and student and don't know each other well and..."
"We're friends, right? Friends hug, you know." Not that I hugged my friends much before. But this was a nice thing and I intended to do it whenever possible.
"Mm well this may be..."

"...Absolutely scandalous, right?" With a huge smile on her lips, Marisa came into the room as if she belonged there. "Shameimaru would be having a field day with this; 'Pervert Magicians go at it at broad daylight' or something."

"Ah, Marisa." Alice slipped free while my attention was divided. "It's always lovely to have you barge into my home unannounced and uninvited."
"If I knew that I was interrupting something, I wouldn't have."
"Doubtful. Besides, nothing is going on here. Just a hug. Which between friends is normal."
"Aren't you master and student though? But I guess that doesn't matter.. you're my friend, right? Can I get a hug then?"
"Absolutely not."
"I figured." She looked at me with a grin, "You'll indulge me though, right Arc old buddy?"

"Um, sure I guess." I ended up hugging the shorter girl for no real reason. Her hat made it hard, kept getting in the way.

"Well, now that that's all settled," Alice spoke with over hostility in her voice, "Mind telling why you once again invade my privacy?"
"Tch. Lighten up, you'll never understand my human heart at this rate. I just came by to see Arc here."
"Whatever for?" Alice eyed her with the usual mix of suspicion and hostility.
"I'm afraid it's P-R-I-V-A-T-E. Could you meet me outside Arc, away from certain busybodies?"
"Now just wait a moment. You barge in here, don't apologize, insult me and think you can get away with it?" Alice was ignored as the other girl grabbed me by the arm and dragged me outside.

"Is it alright to just do that to her?" I asked.
"She'll manage."
"So what's this about then?"
"I believe congratulations are in order first." She grinned, "Welcome to the wonderful world of magic!"
"...where did you hear about that?" 'How' was also a good question.
"Heard it through the grapevine." She winked at me, telling me with that 'That it was not important'.
"Eh... well, thank you then."
"I am a little bit disappointed that you chose her instead of me. Did she promise to give you a doll or something?"
"No, nothing like that... I umm..."
"Well, whatever. I won't take it personally."
"So what's all this about? What can't you say in front of Alice?" I said, and as an afterthought added, "Why do I get the feeling that it's nothing good for me?"
"Oh relax. I was just going to make you an offer and share some gossip."
"I'm not interested in either."
"Pff. Spoilsport. Us humans have got to stick together, you know?" The twinkle in her eyes made me believe that at least some part of that sentence was true. "Anyways, first with the offer; you can ask me for help anytime. With magic, duh. Although I wouldn't mind having your big strong arms wrapped around me either. Reminds me of papa."
"Um... okay." I was anything but strong. But then again, she was probably just joking as usual. It was best to just smile and nod with her.
"Great, huh? I can show you what the power of love can do for you." She lowered her voice and pulled me down to a ridiculously low stoop. "But here's the juicy piece of gossip.... you ready for it?" Her whispering was annoying.
"As I'll ever be."
"Well then...It's about our favorite shrine maiden. She was spotted sweeping as usual in the morning, but doing a real poor job at it, do you follow? Like she had her mind on something.."

Her description turned vivid, as she narrated the scene with unnecessary precision.

"She stood with broom in hand, leaves underfoot, the crisp morning sky clear as could be. A scene like so many others, yet different all the same. For it was the shrine maiden herself that was different. Her hands stopped from time to time, disconnected with her intent. She gazed wistfully at the sky, forgetting herself and her task. Naturally the sweeping took much longer than usual. Her face had a new emotion on it, rather a mix of emotions. Hope, anxiety, and so much more. She was never one to wear her heart on her sleeve, but there she had it being displayed for all to see and understand. Don't you understand what occurred with our shrine maiden of paradise? What still occurs, swirling about like leaf in a tempest in her maidenly heart?"

"..."I said nothing, letting Marisa ramble on like a fool.

"The answer is ever so evident to all but herself. For she would deny, worrying that it's not supposed to be, that it's not proper. But her heart can't lie anymore. Our shrine maiden has fallen to a state most unusual for her. She has succumbed to an ailment that none can remedy. I speak of course, of love."

Marisa smiled at me again.

"So what do you think of that?"
"I... um..."I didn't know if she was serious or not. The implications shook me to my very core.
"Dumbfounded, huh? I was as well. But a reliable eyewitness said that that was what she saw. And come to think about it, hasn't she been acting strange? Love would explain it all." She nodded to herself. "Our shrine maiden is in love alright."
"I've got things to do now." I broke free from her. Not sure what to think. The possibility that she...
"I bet you do, huh? Well, I'll leave you be. I'll probably go argue for a while with Alice before having lunch with her and then argue some more afterward. She loves to grumble, that one."

"Arc, are you quite done with her?" Alice called to me from the doorway. "I'm assigning you some homework for next time."

Her homework was additional reading. Read as much as I could, trying to make sense of things as I went along. Next time I saw Alice we would discuss what I read and continue our lessons. I was given a ride by Marisa back home to drop off my homework. Despite their constant fighting the two magicians did favors for each other quite regularly. I was left free to go to the shrine. Not that I was sure that I wanted to go there right away anymore. Marisa's gossip had left an impression on me, as much as I didn't want to admit it. Clearing my head felt like a priority. But so did a lot of other things.

[]Go to the shrine right away and...
-[] Consult with Suika about all this first
-[] See Reimu


[] Gather wits at home
-[] Think and make lunch for two
-[] Ask Auntie indirectly about this
[x] Gather wits at home
-[x] Think and make lunch for two
-[x] Try not to let that information trip you up today, but don't dismiss the possibility.

I wonder if Arc would get to hug Reimu or not by the end of the day.
[X]Go to the shrine right away and...
-[X] Consult with Suika about all this first
[X]Go to the shrine right away and...
-[X] Consult with Suika about all this first
[X] Go to the shrine right away and...
-[X] See Reimu.

Reimu in love, eh? I can only hope that Arc's recent good fortune doesn't abandon him here...

Well that's "so we heard" since Marisa was just making observations, they could be wrong. Hopefully Arc doesn't blunder anything.
[x] Gather wits at home
-[x] Think and make lunch for two
-[x] Try not to let that information trip you up today, but don't dismiss the possibility.
[X]Go to the shrine right away and...
-[X] Consult with Suika about all this first

In Oni We Trust
[x] Gather wits at home
-[x] Think and make lunch for two
-[x] Try not to let that information trip you up today, but don't dismiss the possibility.
[Z] Gather wits at home
-[Z] Think and make lunch for two

Remember. this is Reimu. small things like this show you care.

I'm surprised how quickly the news spread of Alice becoming your tutor though and how well Marissa seems to be taking it.
[x] Gather wits at home
-[x] Think and make lunch for two
[x]Go to the shrine right away and...
-[x] Consult with Suika about all this first
Oni are wise, despite being drunk
[x]Go to the shrine right away and...
-[x] Consult with Suika about all this first

Insert Oni-related comment here.
I'll likely not update today, at the very least not soon. I'm less than satisfied with some things here and need time to reflect upon them and see what happens.
Done reflecting upon things and realized some less-than-ideal things about the current state of affairs. This story is now in a hiatus until I can be enthused to write again.
um... goodluck with those affairs of yours then. Hope to see ya come back soon.
>About a choice away from finally going on a date with Reimu, and asking her out to the festival.

There is no conceivable way to convey the crippling despair you have just inflicted on me.
i has sad
Read again. It would do you good.
Sorry but I'm at a loss on what to do and don't see an alternative.
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[x] Misunderstandings.
[x] "Suika, deer, I'd love to have sex with you while Reimu is watching."
[x] Three-way
Despite not writing updates, I still find myself during idle moments thinking about things. Sometimes, with the right stimulus, this produces horrible certain results. Very short usually. And while I have seen no encouraging signs or changes presented in this thread in the last week or so, I still see myself inclined to share some of these quick concoctions.

"You know what's always fun?" Suika asked abruptly. We had been walking towards the shrine from home for the last couple of minutes and were taking a shortcut through a forest path. She'd been quiet until now - a rarity. In any case, she didn't let me even ask before jabbering on regardless. She was perfectly capable of holding a conversation with herself, it seemed, "We're all alone here huh? That makes it all the better."

Before I could really understand what she meant by that she forcefully hugged me from the side, knocking me back onto the ground. "Hey, what's the big idea-" I began to protest - she knew that I didn't like being jerked around on her slightest whim. However her next actions prevented me from ever finishing that sentence. I flapped my lips about, presumably saying something but the words just wouldn't come out. Suika, with a big smile on her face was tugging at my trousers, looking as if she were raiding the alcohol cabinet.

"Mm..." She looked at what she uncovered with undisguised greed and lust - she smacked her lips like she had found a rare bottle of vintage spirits. Still in shock, I simply shuddered as she got to work, sucking greedily at her source of fun. Loud, and certainly exaggerated, slurping echoed throughout, and all I could focus on was her bold and energetic movements. I felt an intense pressure on my swollen extremity and knew that I could not bear it for much longer.

She knew how to get what she wanted from me.

"Hey! That tickles!" Suika giggled as I got down to it. I ignored her laughing and focused on what I was doing. The sweet taste of sake intermingled with her girlish sweat greeted my taste buds. Even now I was impressed at how little resistance she had put up.

It was a hot summer day. Like all days lately we were sitting on the shrine's back porch, idling by. The usual was talk, laughter, a few refreshing drinks - normal activities for summer. But somehow things had gotten out of hand now. I may have drank more than I intended, or maybe she had. I didn't know. Maybe it was the vanishing orange sun in the sky, fleeing down to the horizon and casting long shadows about. It didn't really matter.

The trigger was clear as day. Somehow, in the course of our joking and drinking, a whole bottle of sake had been spilled. By some chance, it had gone all over Suika making a fine mess of her thin blouse. In part because she joked about it, and in part because I could clearly see her bare skin through the damped clothes, I took to the task of cleaning up the spill - and saving as much of the sake as I could in the process.

My tongue moved over her exposed chest, licking and lapping up any and all fluids that I found rolling off her small breasts. She continued to laugh as I had my fun. When I collected enough liquid, I was kind enough to share; I pressed my lips against hers, letting fluid pass between our mouths. It wasn't long before our tongues became involved - hers seeking to extract as much delicious alcohol (and seemingly something else) as she could from my tongue and mouth. It was a wild whirlwind of action, one that left the both of us completely out of breath.

Her face was probably as red as my own was, the alcohol and our fraternizing clearly effecting its toll. I wordlessly returned to my task, being as thorough as was appropriate. It behooved me not only to lick and taste, but to suck as well. Pink and glistening nipples were a treat to me - and to her. Soft moans escaped her as I continued to stimulate her, but I didn't let up, sticking to my mantra of doing a proper job of cleaning her up.

Of course, it seemed that as time went on, my mission became progressively more complex. It had become evident by a large wet spot on her skirt that the spill had affected other areas as well. With her blessing I stripped her down, and found that the problem was concentrated in a single area. Gleaming and sopping wet, a large area between her legs was similarly afflicted. I got to work, working my tongue through the deluge of juices and (surprisingly little!) sake. There was a slightly nostalgic taste to the fluids drenching the area, similar to sake but not quite.

It's safe to say that in the course of lapping them up faithfully, I started to become even more intoxicated. Suika as well - in spite of my selfish consumption she was acting more intoxicated by the moment; Her chest heaved up and down quickly and her breathing was ragged and heavy. It only seemed to get worse as I worked my way to the source of the torrent. Kissing, prodding, and sampling as I went along, the spring from which the juices squelched out at an alarming pace was a delicious honeypot. I don't know how long I kept at it, but I enjoyed more than my fill for certain.

Suika moaned, entranced, and shook as her muscles contorted. A most blissful expression came across her face as she threw herself upon me congratulating me for a job well done. It was now her turn; She had to return the favor now, and she warned with an impish smile that I had grown accustomed to, "This might take all evening. You better not pass out before we're done."
I.. wow.

Hot, Steamy... Sake.
I've just started to read this story. Please come back!
Damnit! s-stupid writefag! It's not like we miss you o-... or anything!
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This is a good Reimu. Similar in FLA's Reimu.

Except there there was a date, and then a feels bad man experience with Alice.

Here we got a feels good man experience with Alice, but no date with Reimu.
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[x] go to the shrine right away and...
-[x] take the opportunity for love.

"So you were just about to find me today to thank me?" I ask, looking around her room.
"Yes, to thank you properly for taking such good care of me the other night." Sanae says, closing her door. She invited me to her room so we could have a private chat.
"Oh, think nothing of it. I was happy to help you out." I tell her happily and somewhat awkwardly. This was the first time I've been in a girls room and I was feeling kind of nervous.
"No, no. I mean I need to thank you properly" Sanae says, blushing crimson as she steps in close to take hold of my wrist and press my hand against her right breast. I was shocked by this action and it took me a moment to respond, only her grip on my wrist kept me from immediately pulling back.
"S-Sanae?" I mutter out, shocked. She silences further protest from me with a kiss, heavy with lust, pressing urgently against my lips.
"I...I'm not usually this forward. I'm usually such a good girl." she says after breaking our kiss, her face still deeply pink with a look of nervousness in her eyes.

I decide this is what I want as step in close and silence her with a kiss of my own, Her tongue seeking out mine. She slowly begins slipping her maiden outfit from her shoulders, revealing no sarashi beneath. My hands work their way upwards from her waist

"A-are you sure?" I asked, slowly working into fondling her bountiful breasts.
"Mmm-mhmm." she moans her encouragement and approval of my actions, her hands unbuttoning my shirt.

I continue, trailing kisses from her mouth down to her breasts. she gasps suddenly as my tongue encircles then finds the tip of her breasts.

"Ahh~ do that some more~" she gasps out.

Spurred on by her encouragement I redoubled my efforts, teasing her breasts lightly with my tongue before working my way even lower. Her hand quickly reaches out for knot on the side of her dress, pulling it loose so her dress falls to the floor, revealing herself to me in full. At my urging, we move quickly over to the bed where I began my oral ministrations much to Sanae's quite vocal delight.

"Ahhn~ Oh gods~ So good!" she cries out in gasps, her hands entangled in my hair as she holds me close. My tongue dances and darts around, teasing her most sensitive spot, moving in a back and forth in a focused motion , briefly grazing around her before striking home in a decisive blow against her hitbox.

"AAAaaaaaAAhhnn!!!" She moans out loudly as she suddenly tenses up for a moment, her thighs pressing against my ears, then goes limp. I move up next to her as she looks at me with a smile on her face. She kisses me eagerly.

"Your turn~" she teases me as she turns over and her hands begin to undo my pants. My manhood soon freed from his clothy prison, rises to to greet her.

She lowers herself down to softly kiss the tip as means of saying hello, before slowly licking around the head with her tongue. She then licks agonisingly slow down then back up the underside of the shaft before enveloping it all in her mouth. Her head slowly bobs as she builds up a tempo, her eyes flicker up occasionally to judge the immense amount of pleasure I was in. Apparently she is satisfied by what she sees by the faint giggle she produces that does wonderful things with her tongue and mouth. Her eyes shine brilliantly as she plays me like a fine instrument, pleased at the effect she has on me.

"Ah, Sanae, I'm gonna.. gonna..." I gasp out. She speeds up her tempo at this, inducing me further towards release. One that I can hold back no further. Sanae's mouth fills as I cum, finally pulling away as I finish. She then swallows, and then uses her tongue to lick me clean.

"Mmmmm." She moans as her hands begin to try working me back to life.
"That was..." I begin, not knowing what to say.
"Was.. it good?" Sanae asks, just a bit insecure of herself.
"It was better than good." I say then, and move in for a kiss. she kisses me back with passion. We continue to kiss until I am stirred into action, not long with Sanae's deft hands.

I move into position over her, her legs clamp around my waist as I move myself into position for the final act. The tip of my penis rubs against her, soon finding her warm entrance. I press forward, meeting resistance. I gaze into her eyes, and she gives me the nod to go ahead as she gently bites her lower lip in apprehension. I thrust forward past her virginal wall, illiciting a sharp gasp from her as her eyes tear up.

"Are you--"
"I-I'm fine. Just need a moment." She says.
"Ok. I'm ready." She adds after a moment of silence.

I slowly push forward into her depths, She gasps in response as I do so, then sighs in pleasure as I sink all the way in. The moans and gasps increase in frequency and urgency as I begin to thrust into her, soon finding a tempo. She presses against me, matching the rhythm of my thrusts.

"Faster" she moans into my ear. I adjust my speed.
"Harder!" she moans. I again adjust, and her legs lock behind my back, giving me a better angle for my thrusts.
"Oh, Oh Arc, Harder!" she urgess me. I do my best to comply as we both near orgasm.
"Sanae, ah Sanae" I find myself moaning as I thrust.
"Oh, Oh yes Arc. Yeeeesssss~" She moans. I feel her tighten around me, prompting my own release as I shoot deep within her with one final thrust.

We both collapse down onto the bed below us, entangled in one another and exhausted from our ordeal. She snuggles in close against me happily. I hold her closely in return. Its not too long before she falls asleep in my arms and I follow suit with her.


Outside the shrine, a panting Oni waits for her spy to return, after coming down from her own orgasm. She watched through that spies eyes the passionate love making in the shrine and as she watched she couldn't help but stimulate herself at the sight. Her spy who is now running towards her, her task complete. The Oni reabsorbs her smaller self once she arrives and pulls out of her pocket a vial marked "Yagokoro brand Aphrodisiac, Human safe, tested on moonrabbit." the contents of which were just recently slipped into a certain shrine maiden's teapot by another of her little selves, and wondered if she did the right thing.

"Arc'll thank me later. He's not gonna be a challenge without more experience." she mumbles to herself, repocketing the vial as she takes a deep swig from her gourd. Large drops spill down her chin and onto her white blouse as she retreats, thinking thoughts of a contest to come.

[] Stay with Sanae forever
[] Ditch her like a one night stand.
[] Become friends with benifits with the cute shrine maiden.
[] Update the story, anon!
[] Oooh, the author of this should avoid going outside for a while or he'll be struck by lightning.
[] Or bit by a poison toad.
[] Become friends with benifits with the cute shrine maiden.
[] Update the story, anon!
[] Oooh, the author of this should avoid going outside for a while or he'll be struck by lightning.
[] Or bit by a poison toad.
Writefag here. I approve of this hijack.

I hereby retcon the story to

[x] Stay with Sanae forever

The green-haired shrine maiden eventually marries our plucky lad Arc and they have a boatload of children. Of course Kanako and Suwako savor the groom before the wedding to see if he's good enough to marry Sanae. And test him many times after that as well. Just to make sure he doesn't lose his edge. Suika also moves in and joins the fun. Yuugi visits from time to time.

Everyone who matters is happy. Even Auntie is proud of the fine man her 'lil Arc becomes.

Reimu dies a spinster. Alone and forgotten.
You're not the writefag
Rather rude of you Anonymous. I'll just type my tripcode and - oh wait. Scratch that. Still naughty of you to not trust people. Why, without a name anyone could update this story! Nor just me, the actual creator. Tough to sleep with that hanging over your head, innit?

The style of writing and simply throwing away all that effort from the previous thread for a cop-out end did not appear at all as the author's style, thus my doubts that had the true writefag would ever accept it.

However if you're truly the writefag, shitty move bro and a damn shame too.
It's called a joke anonymous. I simply reacted to what someone else posted. Lighten up. Find some humor in your life. Someone went through the trouble of typing the earlier post up so the least I can do is acknowledge it with a grin and a nod.

I blame a lack of drinking buddies last night and some rage inducing posts on another forum stripping myself of having any sense of humor. Nonetheless I won't go further then that.
[x] Become friends with benifits with the cute shrine maiden.
[x] Update the story, anon!

Again jokes have a nasty habit of being taken seriously to disasterous effect here.
[x] Ditch her like a one night stand.
[x] Update the story, anon!

The original writefag approves. Lets go.
[x] Ditch her like a one night stand.

"You knew what this was."

[x] Update the story, anon!
[x] Become friends with benifits with the cute shrine maiden.
[x] Update the story, anon!
So, as the writer of that, I'm just wondering what people's thoughts are after reading it. Its hard to gauge its reception.

It's not really that bad at all. While kinda jarring in terms of the actual canon, I think this could fit into a "What if" scenario.

But the H-scene could have used a bit more detail (At least a remark on how nicely sized she is compared to the typical girls he sees)
[] Ditch her like a one night stand.
[] Update the story, anon!
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get back to work
[x] Whatever, but UPDATE ALREADY.
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"So what did you drag me all the way out here for?" I asked, looking around the small clearing I was dragged to. It was an oddly warm day for febuary, I thought to myself as I looked around.
Suika had dragged me to a small clearing out in the forest that I recognized as one of her favorite drinking spots. She had something planned, I could tell, from the blanket and basket she had set up nearby

Suika came by my house early that morning and practically dragged me out of work, refusing to answer questions until we arrived. The whole way she carried a strange bundle as if it were the most precious thing to her.

"I... I wanted to.." Suika says to me. I was surprised, this was the first time I've ever seen Suika this flustered. She looked away as if trying to find the right words, holding her bundle behind her back. She suddenly looks away and thrusts the bundle out to me. "H-here."

I reached for the bundle she held out in her outstreched hand almost cautiously, but she was having none of that, and thrust it heavily into my hands. Once secured in my grip, I gazed at the simple burlap wrapping of this bundle with a curious expression.

"W-well, go ahead and open it." Suika prompts me.
"Alright." I say, opening the tie at the top. The sack falls down to reveal an ornimented bottle of spirits.
"Happy Valentines day, Arc." Suika says shyly to me.

This was the first time I've ever seen her like this, so the combination of taking all this in, plus the realisation of todays date stunned me. All I could do was utter out a soft, "Ah. H-happy valentines day." as I stared down at the gift given to me. I could tell this was the good stuff. No, the great stuff. You would be hard pressed to find a liquer of this quality anywhere.

I was hard pressed to come up with a meaningful reply of my own, but luckily Suika saved me, as she had done so many times before. She patted the spot next to her on the blanket on the ground and produced from somewhere a couple of glasses and asked, "Would you care to share a drink with me?"

I could only reply "Of course" with a smile as I moved over to sit next to her to enjoy the Valentines day picknic she had set up.

[X] Happy Valentines day!
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D'aaaaaw, that was sweet. Suika is love.
So adorably cute ;_;

This site needs more Suika love <3
Oh wow, someone's writing a decent Suika.

Props to you, anon.
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Oh shit, just saw the new banner. I motion for /shrine to be rename /suika/
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I would like to thank the author of the Valentine's day piece. It was something of a catalyst to get this done.
I gathered my thoughts, or pretended to, at home. I whiled away most of the morning by myself, thinking and reflecting about this and that. About what Marisa said mostly. I knew I shouldn't take all that she said at face value, and there was a big chance that she was messing with me, but I still couldn't dismiss something like that. Just thinking about it made me feel uneasy. I didn't know what it all meant, if it meant anything at all. I found myself cursing the short blond, telling myself that I would never hug her even if she begged me too. It was a small thing, but it empowered me somehow as well.

Thinking usually was something that came easy to me. Sitting at the counter in the store, zoning out in between the sporadic customers or lying in bed at night, it was easy enough most of the time. Just unfocused a little on the present and just think. It made me seem dazed to any onlookers, like some sort of zombie, but I was really safely away in my own world of ideas. The only way to snap out of it was for the real world to invade my mind (most often it would be auntie coming in and telling me off for slacking off).

It wasn't very easy then.

My anxiety still lingered like a specter hiding in the shadows. If anything, Marisa's gossip had made the phantasm grow bolder. I really felt like doing something mean to the nosy girl with the floppy hat. But I knew that that would only make things worse. I would also never hear the end of it if the others found out either. Suika would probably expect wilder behavior from me. Just the thought of her pushing me further in that direction, destroying months of hard work building my character was enough deterrent. I didn't even have to think about the others before I completely gave up on that.

Still, moping wasn't my way really. Not since I had moved in with auntie anyways, she'd taught me better. I had a plan and I was going to stick to it. What this information did was prepare me... somehow. It was an advantage, even if it wasn't true. I told myself that.

The late morning sun was hot and intruded through the window with an intensity normally unexpected for the season. The last echoes of the long and hot summer were manifest on days like these. The sky was a clear blue with only the slightest bit of cloud cover like splotches of white on a bright azure tunic. I looked out the window for a bit, wondering just how long it would be before it was darker and much colder. Seasons had a funny way of changing abruptly it sometimes felt to me. Before I knew it, the autumn would be over and the first snows would fall and blanket the ground in a pure white.

I cut vegetables with a stupid smile on my face as I thought about the future. Suika would probably say that it was the season to drink and party indoors. She would find any excuse to drink. She would be right about the staying indoors part. I thought of drinking hot tea and maybe sitting close to someone to keep warm. It was a simple boyish fantasy, pure and unashamed, but as tired as the idea was it still appealed to me strongly. Auntie would laugh if she could read my mind. Call me adorable and muss my hair.

Then again she would probably think that it was all about her. With good reason too.

We had done that in the past plenty of times... shared a lot of cozy moments together in our time together. A lot had happened back then, a lot which still felt unresolved. A lot that might happen again.

My knife found nothing else to chop and I realized that I was done. All other thoughts were cast aside as I concentrated on making a lunch for two.

A little while later I was done. I placed the food away in little containers, which in turn were placed within a tightly tied bundle. I left home, just missing someone arriving judging by the sound of footsteps coming from the front. I didn't really care though. It was just probably Auntie anyways. She'd understand if I didn't stop to say hello.

The walk from the store to the shrine was normally not very long, but the scorching sun made it seem like an eternity. It was a relief when I reached the part of the walk that was protected by a leafy canopy. In the shade I was able to appreciate just how nice it was that the shrine was pretty close. Any trips made back and forth would be somewhat brief even in the worst of conditions.

Some of Reimu's first words to me came back as I reached the shrine. This place was the village's shrine, my shrine. It made sense that it would be near. So the faithful could come. I let out a small laugh, wondering if maybe I would be seen as a devout worshiper by others. Not likely, I concluded. For one I spent most of my time with someone that was anything but devout. And even if the oni had been religious, I never really had much experience with that sort of thing anyways.

"Sorry for intruding," I said with a friendly tone as I stepped into the main building of the shrine. Reimu was probably around somewhere. From my frequent visits I noticed that she either tended to be lazing around drinking tea by the porch or, sometimes, sweeping something somewhere. Other times she would be otherwise engaged with someone (it always seemed like the others liked to pester her).
This time I found her in a sitting room, enjoying a cup of tea with a half-awake look on her face. Her hair was slightly disheveled. Her whole appearance was a bit disordered.

"Good morning," I greeted her with a smile.
"Oh hi," She replied with a slow sleepy voice that matched her appearance perfectly. "How are you today?"
"I'm fine, thank you. And you?"
"Currently hoping to never see another drop of sake in my life. Or at the very least not for today."
"Ah, the others made you drink too much last night?"
"You know how it is..."She stopped to yawn, covering her mouth as almost an afterthought.
"I do." She was the bond that glued most of the people I had met. Without her they would probably not all meet up at the same place at the same time. Reimu complained often about her role, but I thought that just maybe she enjoyed it a little. I knew I at least appreciated it - without her being the center of it all I wouldn't have met her.
"I couldn't even finish sweeping... so I stopped for tea." She motioned at the kettle lazily, implying that I could help myself if I wanted. I could pick up on her muted but polite cues most of the time.

She looked frazzled, and something told me it wasn't just the drinking and little sleep. There was something that was making Reimu seem more distant than usual. As I began to talk to her some more I noticed that she got a bit uncoordinated, as if something were flustering her.

"I made lunch for us." I proudly showed her the cloth bundle, brandishing it on the table.
"Oh, that's really nice of you." Her eyes lit up, and I could have sworn that I heard her stomach growl - though that could have just been mine. Waking up early and doing all that with Alice had been quite something. Made me hungry.

All the same I could tell that there was a bit of hesitation in her tone.

"It didn't take me very long to make or anything. And hopefully it's good. I mean, I eat my own cooking all the time, but uh..."I felt a little embarrassed in admitting that I didn't really cook for others. "...please excuse me if it isn't to your taste. I just happened to think that lunch for two was a good idea."
"Ah, I-"

Reimu was interrupted by an all too familiar cheery voice.

"Hey Arc!" Suika came in with her usual informal greeting. A wide grin decorated her face, the total opposite of what one might expect from someone who drank as much as she did last night. She was as bright and jolly as ever. "You made lunch, that's awesome!"

She came and sat by my side, claiming and empty cushion for her own use. She stared at the bundle intently, like an impatient child staring at an after-dinner sweet.

"I hope you've made something really nice. I've always wanted to taste your cooking. it's an important skill you know," She continued, not even really stopping to read the situation. "I know it'll be awesome, because you're awesome. I'll be able to brag to Yuugi all about it as well. She'll be jealous, nyehehe." She laughed and I could picture the scene unfolding before my eyes, there would probably be a lot of childish taunts and cracks from both sides. That's how they behaved with one another.

Reimu's eyes met my own, her gaze inquisitive. She had heard me say that I made a meal for two and might have been wondering if I meant that or I was just being modest about the quantity. Yet again I could maybe see something else, some sort of conflict beyond gluttony.

"Come on, I'm hungry!" Suika slapped me on the back. "I want to eat with my friends. I want to eat what you made."

[] Sacrifice your portion to satiate the oni
[] Get Suika to leave somehow
[] All the food to Reimu; Take a brief stroll with Suika
[x] Sacrifice your portion to satiate the oni

Use non verbal communication to notify Reimu that this was not planned.
[x] Sacrifice part of your portion to satiate the oni.

Arc's human here, he needs the food more than the Oni, so this is half way.
Stick to given choices for now. For expediency's sake I don't want to consider a multitude of variants.

The choices here are three distinct possible outcomes.
[x] Sacrifice part of your portion to satiate the oni.
[X] Get Suika to leave somehow.

Remember how we told Reimu that we would stand up for ourselves when it really counted? Well, it counts now; it's time to stand up for ourselves now.

Suika may be kind of clingy, but I think that ultimately she has it together enough to not take offense when a guy wants some alone time with the girl he's interested in.
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[x] Get Suika to leave somehow
this wouldn't have happened if we just talked to her in the first place
[x] Get Suika to leave somehow
[X] Get Suika to leave somehow.
[X] Get Suika to leave somehow.
[x] Get Suika to leave somehow
[x] Share your portion with Suika.

A fourth option!

>Stick to given choices for now. For expediency's sake I don't want to consider a multitude of variants.
[X] Get Suika to leave somehow.

I wonder how the hell this would work... Bribery of something extra or what...
[X] Get Suika to leave somehow.

I love this story. It makes me sad that it isn't updated more.
Sorry about that. I wish to continue writing and updating, and so intended at every step. But then seeing that nothing changed at all from two months ago was enough to upset that. Hence being turned off and not writing for these past 2 days.

Rest assured though, I do plan to get to it regardless sometime later. As in, sometime in the next 24 hours after work and rest.

Status update appreciated~
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There was no keeping Suika away for long, that much I knew. She more or less always got what she wanted. At times I would pull the wool over her eyes and get my way, but it wasn't a sure thing. I didn't feel there was much cause to manipulate her; Despite her wild and energetic streaks she was mindful of me and anything she did almost always ended with me enjoying myself. I thought that maybe that meant I was just by nature soft.

I got to thinking about there and then instead of how amicable might be.

"Nyehehe, come on Arc, what's taking you so long?" Suika shook me, "Get the food, I'm hungry."

Reimu chuckled, her gaze telling me exactly why. She was amused at how Suika was bothering someone else for a change. Suika was like a child at time. I would have laughed too but for the thought of what I wanted to really do.

"I'm on it," I replied, lazily opening up the bundle. The cloth had a red ribbon closing it on top. The kind used for displays at the store. I could tie one up in just a few seconds after all the practice I'd gotten over the years. Auntie insisted on making the premium goods attractive, "It'll sell easier that way," she had said when I asked. I didn't know if it made any difference after all - the few regulars already knew what they wanted and never stopped to look at the other products.

But the ribbon gave me an idea.

"Hey Suika, you know, there was something I wanted to give you," I started.
"Can the love thing wait until after lunch?" She remarked casually, staring at the half-open bundle. From her angle above my right shoulder she wasn't able to see much so she impatiently nudged me again.
"Eh well," I smiled, putting on a gentler face usually reserved for the doting old housewives that came in to the store and found themselves ?buying more than they intended? (often after a line or two about how I remind them of their husbands when they were young), ?I guess it won't be drinking itself."

Like magic, the merest mention of alcohol was enough to get Suika interested.

"You wanted to give me something, you said?" Keeping an eye on the bundle, she leaned up against me.
"Oh, it's nothing. Just an old dusty bottle I found in the cellar. One that wasn't even in the inventory. It looked like it could be at least a decade or two old, there was no label. The only way to find out would be to try it, so I thought of you.."
"Won't your Aunt mind?"
"Not really. I guess I'll get it another day then. I mean, it's almost too early to drink right?"
"Geez, you know me better than that Arc. I'd gladly drink anything you gave me any time, because you're special."
"Well, it's at home so it'd have to wait until after lunch..."I gambled.
"I'll just go get it then."

And just like that I had her where I wanted. It didn't give me satisfaction to work her like that, lead her away. I decided that I'd tell her the truth some other time, and I was sure she would understand. She wouldn't mind though, being who she is, she would definitely ask me to do something for her. Probably getting more alcohol. At worst I'd have to play another game with her, compete for goodness knows what. At this stage of our relationship, I'd completely lost count of how many times she had me play with her.

Reimu smiled to me as Suika left. She then watched as I carefully unfolded the bundled lunch and handed her my handcrafted meal.

"She never leaves when I tell her something like that," Reimu quipped with slight annoyance, her smile showing that she felt a bit of envy. "I wonder why's that."
"Go figure. I don't know what goes through her head most of the time.."
"Can you afford to just give away bottles like that?" She asked casually, "I don't suppose you just happened upon a bottle and decided to give it your local bottomless pit on the spot?"
"It'll be fine. it's really something outside of our inventory, for all intents and purposes it's mine."

That was true. I had a bottle or two in my possession, supposedly for my use. Spirits given to me by relatives who wished me well in the past, a sample from a local brewer, that sort of thing. Things that just gathered dust. The bottle that I told Suika about was something special to be sure and I wouldn't miss it much either. She'd find it in my room in a chest, hopefully not having made a mess of everything. She'd be happy with it, I knew it, happy enough to drink it right there and then. She wouldn't be back for a while.

"Well, please go ahead and dig in," I announced. Reimu was looking at the prepared lunch with some fascination, "I'm sorry if something isn't to your taste, I didn't really know what to make and-"
"It looks really good," Reimu trumpeted. "If this tastes about as half as good as it looks..."

I looked at my own share. Rice, vegetables, some fish - All that I could get my hands on. I took the time to make the food more presentable, shifting the vegetables to form a simple color-coded pattern.

"...it's delicious.."

I had spaced out, looking at my food.

I looked up to see Reimu mumbling praise in between hurried scoops of chopsticks. While absolutely inelegant and unrestrained, her enthusiasm made me feel warm. A stupid smile formed on my face as I looked at her.

"What?" She looked up. "Don't stare."
"Sorry. I'm just happy that you like it."
"..."She probably realized that she was eating a little too fast and relaxed her tight grip on her chopsticks. She then took a slow and deliberate bit of food to her mouth, looking slightly embarrassed.

I dug in myself. I couldn't really taste the food, instead most on my attention was focused on Reimu's reaction. It was tasty, I decided as I watched her scrape for grains of rice.

She leaned back, looking satisfied.

"Thank you very much for that, that was delicious. You're lucky to be talented at cooking."
"Thank you, but I'm not that good." I spoke with honesty. In the village just about anyone who cooked could do at least that much. I was leagued behind the likes of Auntie or even the average housewife. It still made me smile, being complemented by Reimu like that.

"So, why did you want to get rid of Suika?" She asked all of a sudden, looking like she already knew the answer. Her voice was low and sluggish, the meal satiated her.
"That way we could eat together. Plus, remember yesterday? You agreed to spend some time together relaxing. it's not always easy to do with her around."
"Yesterday?" Her brow creased.
"Last night. Just before you went to drink with the others."
"Ah. Right." She said unconvincingly.
"I said that I wanted to talk to you, then it came to spending a bit of time together relaxing and we agreed to spend time today doing that." I looked at her. Her disheveled shrine maiden's outfit was matched by an equally unsteady smile of hers. "...You don't remember?"
"Well, I do remember talking to you. And saying things." She ran a finger through a lock of her hair, up to the ribbon on her head. "After that things get a little confusing so I think I might be forgetting some detail."
"Well, that was it as far as we were concerned. I spent the rest of the night with Sanae."
"Oh she was pretty ill, wasn't she? I remember yelling at Aya."
"It seems like shrine maidens don't deal too well with alcohol," I joked.
"I deal just fine."
"Right, I don't mind. it's nice to have someone normal that I can compare my drinking abilities to."
"-Normal?. After spending so more time with the people here I don't think you'll be able to claim that.."
"...you're probably right about that."

Alice alone had me headed in a direction I wasn't too sure of. One that involved urges I couldn't explain nor felt entirely comfortable with. I honestly didn't know what would happen the next time I saw here. I didn't know what to expect from her or from myself. I got the feeling that it would be the same for her.

...And I could go on and on about Marisa. Or a certain disappeared specter.

Magicians, as a lot, were a messed up bunch. Getting involved with them changed me.

Not any more than getting involved with Suika had. That was for certain. Every day I felt like I changed a bit more. Sometimes for the best. Other times I wasn't very sure. Like when we took a bath together. Or just now with the liquor. And her own friend and fellow oni. She was something alright. I felt that that was another big factor I tried not to think too much about.

"So do you want to go somewhere?" I changed my train of thought again, focusing on the present.
"Like where?"
"Somewhere to relax and take it easy."
"I don't have anything to do right now, so alright," She replied lazily, back on the floor and head on her arms. Despite her words, she didn't look like she wanted to move right then.

It didn't feel like it was time to bring up that either. It was just a feeling I had. A feeling that came with anxiety adjoined. One thing had to lead to another. It would be best if we were all alone and talk just naturally went in that direction.

[] Take a walk
[] Stay put

[] Party last evening
[] Food
[] The other shrine
[] Other
[x] Stay put
[x] Party last evening

I wonder what Arc missed while he was taking care of drunken newbie.
[x] Stay put
[x] Party last evening

This seems like a good way to pass the time and gain some insight.
[x] Stay put
[x] Party last evening
[x] Stay put
[x] Party last evening
[x] Stay put
[x] Party last evening

This will do.
[x] Stay put
[x] Party last evening
[x] Stay put
[x] Party last evening
It has to do.
[xy] Stay put
[xy] Party last evening
[x] Stay put
[x] Party last evening
[x] Stay put
[x] Party last evening
I'm not sure if any of you have enough awareness to have realized this yet but I'll spell it out: It is probable that I will never update this again. It's over and done with.

And before the inevitable 'shock' and 'I am disappoint' let me just say that the feeling is more than mutual. But I gave this more than enough chances and no one seemed to care. So that's it.
People were voting a nice deal; how does this translate to "no one seems to care"? There isn't deep discussion about a Gensokyo native human dealing with things.

What a Teruyo
10 votes on the last update.

If you quit after that turnout, good riddance. If you wanted discussion, then maybe you should have given us something to talk about.

The fuck? What are you talking about? That really you?

More votes than a lot of stories get these days, the better part of them coming soon after the update, and that somehow equates to no one caring? What else is needed? Discussion? I mean, this isn't a major decision point where super delicate word choice is necessary; it's just steering a conversation.

I don't see where you're coming from here, man.
Another inane and moronic comment by wiseman, who can't even follow instructions as exemplified by >>29836

It was never about numbers. In fact, given the numbers, I was surprised there wasn't even one person among you gave this more than a passing thought.

Discussion would have been nice. Maybe variety would have helped too. Any sort of input or comment would have sufficed truth be told. Instead I got moronic zombies. Please scan the goddamn thread. Even when I gave pause for people to think or come up with creative things (or ask about interesting story details, like when talking with Alice) no one said anything. I never expected literary analysis but I did expect something beyond drone behavior. Hell, even when I naively started writing again after the hiatus, hoping things had changed, I didn't even get a 'oh this is back'.

Try to get past your selective goldfish memory for a moment. Let it be known that it wasn't just this last choice that made me pull the plug.

If that's how you feel about it, fair enough I suppose, but I think you may have been expecting too much. Anonymous has a natural tendency to go with the flow, and even when we disagree we tend to become polarized and fall into specific voting blocks.

On top of that, you need to consider the type of story you were writing, or at the very least the type of story that your audience considered you to be writing: a simple slice-of-life story. You had some interesting sub-plots, especially in the department of Arc becoming a magician, but ultimately I think it's fair to say most of us were coming here because we considered it a more relaxed story. What we were interested in was having fun, and maybe wooing a girl. We coasted through Arc's routine, pursued his interests in his leisure time, and didn't give much deep thought to things unless it was necessary. It may not have been encouraging to you, but it is a fairly accurate reflection of what life is like; people, most of us included, don't tend to put much deep thought into things like doing their job or hanging out with friends.

The bits where maybe we would have put more thought into things were brief. Whether or not to become a magician? Something we delayed, and actually had some small discussion about. Starting our magical training? A short few scenes, and the only real challenge we ran into was answering the question Alice posed us - everything else was either very pleasant, or something we assumed could be explained later. Coming up with a way to confess to Reimu? Well, you kind of took that out of our hands with the introduction of the festival plot point.

Frankly, if you were looking for a story that your audience would put deeper thought into, or would have genuine disagreements over, I think you chose the wrong genre. If that was what you wanted, I would encourage you to keep writing, just not to keep writing this; come up with a more action and adventure, or complex plot oriented story, and I'm sure you will have more success. I think you have enough talent to get what you want, but you'll have to aim it in the right direction.

As far as not getting a lot of rejoicing when you came back... well, to be frank, you have had some long break periods before, and each time you indicated that you intended to come back. I think most of us took it for granted that you would. You got a fair amount of people expressing sadness whenever you took a break, I think, and really - which do you think people are more likely to comment on: something that disappoints them, or something that makes them happy?

Putting all that aside, while I can't see entirely where you're coming from with this decision, I do have at least some idea. If you really don't want to write this anymore then I'll be sorry to see it go, but that's your decision. I hope you'll consider writing something else, at least.

All the best.
Oh no, my audience has quickly banded together around a single vote instead of spending +100 post arguing about who to fuck.

This is clearly the worst thing that could happen.

I'm sorry to see this story go but, this is ridiculous.
I'm sorry, I didn't intend to drag this out. However, you've obviously taken some time in that reply so it's only fair that I take some time to reciprocate.

Just to be clear - I am pretty aware of the overall tone of the story, one has to look no further than the first post I made for it for a declaration of intentions (something along the lines of something lighthearted and fun). And for the most part it has been narrative-wise and voting-wise.

The issue is not just one single thing that did or did not happen, it's the whole ride (in particular as of late). Sure, as you said, you may not give much thought about having fun but to me it seems that things are from the readers' end as superficial as it is disengaged. I was trying to do something fun - diversions with characters and the development of relationships. But the reality of it all is that in an interactive story when you simply get seemingly thoughtless votes it seems that perhaps no one has any idea of anything beside the immediate choice.

Length of a particular update or scene does not preclude thinking about it. It does not preclude coming up with a larger strategy with dealing with things. I don't know about you, but in every story I read I like to think about how things will play out, how characters interact and why. The simplest example of this would be how to approach a love interest given a particular set of events.

Don't misconstrue that as 'deep analysis was necessary'. It never was. The occasional nod of self-awareness would have sufficed. Saying that you enjoyed (or didn't) something at any point. Y'know, a comment of any kind; As moronic as it may seem this wasn't a linear and unmoldable affair. It's a Choose-your-own-adventure type affair where reader input beyond asinine bandwagoning with no reasoning really matters.

Don't kid yourself about the prospect that writing anything with a heavy emphasis on plot or action and adventure would be faced with better results. Take a look around the website. In most cases stories like that either get ignored or still don't get any sort of analysis. Or if there is analysis it's often in the way of 'how to get into xx's pants'. My standards may be lowered given this type of story but they still existed. If a writer can't expect any sort of participation and input from an interactive story then why even bother? Why not just write something on fanfiction.net or the myriad of other sites dedicated to that sort of thing?

Also to make this clear: I am not begging for attention. The comment about the lack of any reaction when I came back was an example of the systematic apathy of the readerbase. Other examples include how when smut, fan tribute (done by someone I know somewhat at my nudging admittedly), and all sorts of other goodies were given to the readers it didn't even produce a stir in the populace. People like this story? Like Reimu? Suika? Auntie? They sure have a strange way of showing it.

>If you really don't want to write this anymore then I'll be sorry to see it go, but that's your decision. I hope you'll consider writing something else, at least.
I did write something else. There was the story in eientei that died for similar reasons - namely no one gave a rat's ass and the last two comments are by people who I know who I hoped would stir up the spirit of the apathetic masses. this story's fault. And it's not the first time I tried either.

Just for the record: I really did enjoy writing this story and I think it was headed in a good direction. And if there was any sort of guarantee that people would spend more than 2 seconds when posting a vote, I would write again. I mean look at >>29993: A vote a week after the rest, adding nothing to an already dull and unanimous vote.

Again I appreciate the time you took to write that and I just wish that it wasn't the first time anyone had taken the time to ask something or write something like that.

I wish you all the best as well.

No. What's ridiculous is that this is the first time you've shown any sort of emotion or attachment. For bitching purposes. Funny that.

To Teruyo's credit, he's yet to give up entirely. At most he's taken breaks and hiatuses, but never truly gave up...
I stand corrected. I must give him that much credit, him and Saguya both soldier on pretty well.

And while many stories may have routes, in some the routes are much secondary to the main plot. Fragments of Memories in /youkai/ is a fine example. In that story, the plot is the center of discussion with route remarks coming up rarely. The use of such petty and ignorant comments paints an unflattering picture, you know.
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Sir, Fuck You. For all of this shit. I rarely ever contribute (that includes voting) to the stories on here except yours, SATA's LSL and Glasnost's Underground. I followed both this and the naturalist with Mokou story in Eintei. The writing is enjoyable and they actually focused on somewhat new premises (IE Likable Reimu and Mokou being something other than generictomboy.jpg).
You say you aren't begging for attention but listen to yourself. You want discussion on something right after you come back, on Shrine of all things. I was happy to see you come back, and yet seeing the shit you did the last time you came back? This shit you just fucking pulled is completely expected. You want reviews, discussions and words of encouragement? Post regularly, update regularly, don't blame the anons that actually take the time to browse shrine (one of the least trafficked boards after the YAFfaggotry)for the lack of votes. The fact you even got as many as you did in the time frame you came back is remarkable. You have discussions as well, just read this damn thread.
The reason you got so many people voting this last update without discussion? People wanted you to continue, as such they wanted to show an increased response, so you would update faster. Discussion ends up slowing things down and quite possibly pissing off the writers. I can't speak for other anons (even though I just did) but goddamn man every person who voted is a reader. They actually read this. It isn't like there is a bot here that finds the most voted for option and mimics it.
Regarding the Naturalist thread? Nobody gave fuck all? Did you even fucking update it after you took your first hiatus? Christ, that board gets more action than here. It gets bumped back and anons looking for story updates don't see it because what are the odds of seeing an update on page 2 here? Hell I saw anons in these threads asking you to update the other story.
Your bitching reeks of unwarranted self importance. Especially the "Well, I dunno if I'll ever post here again." bullshit. Stop jerking us around with this shit. I'll say again I like your writing style and the premises you have come up for these stories are both intriguing and entertaining. You, however, needs to stop this shit, this isn't your blog, we aren't a legion of mindless fans just here to swell your ego.
You write well and to a lesser extent often (case in point Glasnost until he started picking things up lately) you'll generate some good discussion. You start posting "Well this response is less than what I want so I'm going to take another hiatus right after the update." then you may as well get the fuck out. I would like to see you continue the stories however. In all honestly I liked naturalist more but I'm not going to bump something that has been bumped when the writer goes on hiatus just to remind everyone what we no longer have. Its the same reason the McCoy shit on here got stale fast.
Take it easy. Seriously. Take a deep breath. Calm now? Well if you are I suggest you reread my previous posts with a little more attentiveness. After you've done that I suggest that you maybe look back on this thread, and the one before. Before the hiatus and all. Can you spot any differences between then and now?

If you're able to see past your rage just for a moment you might see that I am, in fact, not doing this for the egoistic reasons you claim.

If you take the time to try to discuss things rationally and without expletives I suppose I wouldn't mind giving you the satisfaction of a reply. Otherwise fuck you, you can't demand and bemoan without giving something in return.
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I see your of the sort that only reads the first paragraph of text and makes conjectures based on that. My rage is not blinding and I fully believe it is justified. "As of late" is not even remotely applicable to this situation as you haven't done anything except one update then went "OH WELL ANON ISN'T INTERESTED HERP DERP" You also didn't even bother to address the points I raised about your other story, nor have you even bothered to give justification for your coming back then quitting other than "Well the ride as of late and most the stories here are penis+touhou." Granted, most stories are, but blaming something on the current community is only even remotely applicable if someone is an active and contributing member to said community. Even then it is pushing it. You leave, come back for a few updates, leave while complaining about lack of interest, come back, post one update that gets more votes than most other regular stories, and say your leaving again for "lack of interest as of late". Besides, I'm not demanding anything.

So how about you look back on the previous post, bother to read more than the first sentence, and actually give an answer, or are you just going to confirm every suspicion I have that you're not much more than an egoistic asspie that expects us to sit around hitting f5 on your threads on this "Riveting tale of hats, frilly dresses, and beers"?
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>Just to be clear - I am pretty aware of the overall tone of the story, one has to look no further than the first post I made for it for a declaration of intentions (something along the lines of something lighthearted and fun).

A statement of intent there may be, that doesn't mean that the tone of the story itself corroborates with this intention. Just as an author's forward might explain nothing of what a critic might call a prime theme of the work, perhaps the mood and tone has changed, without you noticing it? Unlike slipping into different person or tense which is what you get when you combine disparate, separately-wrote pieces, usually on the scope of sentences or paragraphs, slipping into a different mood or tone is more indicative of shifts in the author's own views, moods, or dispositions, over possibly the entirety of the work.

>And for the most part it has been narrative-wise and voting-wise.

This is where it gets complicated. The only heavy discussion I remember was on dealing with the apparent conflicts in the story for the main character. These were 1) getting out from under the heel of Suika and other external forces (an example might be Aya's forcible tongue-rape), 2) moving out from under the eye of his apparently negligent auntie, 3) learning magic, and 4) securing the maiden Reimu's affections.

Only the last appears to be of any mention now, and with its difficulty markedly decreased in addition. But while these other conflicts were there, and while Reimu seemed as yet out of reach, this was not a story that would be considered lighthearted & fluffy. It was a bildungsroman! There was the capacity and all the ingredients for a transformation of character on the protagonist's part. Now these conflicts have hence been written out, or arguably, they only ever existed in the heads of some (or just one) of its readers, and so the story has become 'light' like you have apparently wanted from the beginning.

You ask why the quality of the votes you receive has diminished, without necessarily the quantity?

The problem may be that the tone of the story has changed: Arc regularly now admits to himself that he usually has a good time around Suika, even though he has taken to lying in a pit for god knows how many hours to escape her interest. Keine pops up, worried about Arc, who has to deal with the (apparent) loss of parental figures as well as working at his young age, but she is duly reassured that everything is shipshape and on the level--Arc is practically glowing at times now from the filial love he feels from his aunt. Mima appears, granting him a boon, and nothing ever comes of it, except demands by Alice and Marisa, which he of course acquiesces to. Reimu admits that the two of them are alike, forever the brunt of jokes and tricks by their 'friends', but more than that implies with disgust that even a normal person who didn't have special powers could strip him of every dignity. Now the two are on a collision course for romance, no doubt by happenings that were engineered by their mutual friends (Marisa obviously on this end, who knows on hers). The way the track seems headed is not the kind of transformation that builds great character, but, to paraphrase Thoreau, the common life of quiet desperation.

My reactions perhaps are different than other Anons who have voted above, but then again, I no longer regularly vote for this story when I at one point F5'ed it, because it's not the story I thought it was. There was no 'eat the liver'/'don't eat the liver' that I can point to say 'here, this is where this reader filed for divorce from the author' but this is a reason why you might receive one less verbose comment per choice. Even the alcohol plus truth & dare somehow equaling a maiming might've been later explained.

Now this may be only one person's view, but I figure, from the hostility of some of your other readers, you can't do much worse.
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well shit 50% of the reason I even came to this site is now gone

goddamn it

I honestly can't find anything to disagree. You have put words to my rage.

If I had known this was on the brink of being dropped like a hot potato, I probably would have said more. But for crying out loud, I expressed how much I enjoyed this story and put a little thought into my vote. And I still checked this every day after the update to see if you'd update.
I assure you I read your post fully and thoroughly. Points you raise? Dealt with in my previous posts for the most part. I call into question your reading comprehension. The rest is a mix of praise and bitching and moaning about my being an egomaniac. Yes, there are specific things to address concisely. But quite frankly, I don't wish to take the time be more specific with you. You seem hell bent on applying a label for the sake of self-satisfaction. Go ahead. Label me this or that and be done with it.

If you do wish to sometime converse like a grown up I'll take the time to reply.

I thank you for putting forward your opinion. Though, truth be told, this sort of thing would have been better 5 months ago rather than now. To me, that's part of the overall issue.

I agree with your comment about intent. It's notoriously difficult to keep something consistent given the nature of the beast. A lot of it depended on the patchwork of posts made over the months by me, essentially a human being vulnerable to moods and other circumstances.

That said I think I did maintain a rather consistent level all things considered. My comment was pertaining to mood not conflict. No matter what the adversity or circumstances, the story was upbeat and about day to day stuff. Arc is not perfect, he knows that. Neither are most of the characters. But the protagonist doesn't let that or any of his hardships get in his way of having fun and living every day to the fullest. Sure, as you then point out there's behavior that contradicts that sort of mindset, like hiding away for a morning from Suika. I put forward that everyone has their shortcomings and I wished to make someone a little bit more interesting than fully confident self=insert #493. His outlook on life was to be explained by backstory, mostly via his Aunt and how he saw the situations unfolding before him. This attitude wasn't fixed in stone however and character development would (and did) occur given choices and situations.

This is why I can claim that, for the most part, the story has been a lighthearted affair. It's not plot nor mystery heavy and is the very essence of slice-of-life.

I realize that some actions (like the arm breakage and cowering) were frowned upon. But there weren't constant events that drove the story fast in a single direction. Rather, given the protagonist's outlook on life, they were bases and beacons by which progress could be measured. How far along he could come from any of these things was a matter of interest (at least to me). Perhaps you are right in calling it a bildungsroman. It would certainly fit. My concern was not dealing (or getting stuck on) the dark and angsty side of things. Nor getting stuck on a complex and deeply-layered story laden with symbolism and whatnot. It was an affair to be enjoyed as it was, with the analysis of the actual challenges optional. Perhaps in that sense it was light and fluffy.

I don't think that my complaint could be summed up as a drop in quality while keeping a set number of votes.

As I said before, I don't expect constant deep meaningful insight or analysis. But I did expect something. A something that would have been great as an anything. For starters, some display of awareness from the participants (for you're more than an audience). Awareness of perhaps where things were going or how they were going to come about. For convenience's sake (in order not to make you or anyone else spelunk through the threads) I cite the last several votes:

The objective is to get Reimu to go to the festival. I stepped in when necessary but for the most part it seems like an absent-minded affair. As in vote and only see the immediate ramifications. Every choice is there for a reason. If it was superfluous it wouldn't be there. Nor is anything necessarily 'the best' choice. Yes - there is an advantage to talking to Auntie - and there's also an advantage to not kicking Suika out and sharing lunch. As there is an advantage to not talk about the party. My point is that even if an individual or two may realize it, as a whole it doesn't seem that way.

This sort of thing can be shown in a manner of ways; By someone occasionally writing a line or two justifying their choice (that does happen but rarely often enough to have an impact). There's also not going for a unanimous vote - like I said, the choices are there for a reason. There's a few readers, correct? Even the most like-minded individuals have their differences. Bandwagonning does not contribute to the richness of the story be it a regular vote or write in.

Stepping back for a moment and going 'Who cares about that? People vote and like your story', I would argue that there's a problem with that. Even if I accepted the lack of signs of engagement and thinking about the story there'd be another thing that would weigh me down. Namely the lack of any other kind of opinion. This would be the 'this story is good/sucks' or 'I liked that scene/I hated it'. I'm not saying that it's absolutely necessary but given the lack of aforementioned displays of awareness it's at least something. Something that lets me know that I'm on track (or not). Yeah I've gotten that sort of feedback before (like now or during the hiatus) but I'm talking about something more systematic. Saying how you feel about the story or characters or scene. It's a useful measuring stick. Again, not every time. But sometime.

Otherwise I get people like yourself. The disenfranchised and upset. Thought I've never really gotten strong reactions (except for the ending and new beginning) I have prided myself in replying as thoroughly as I could to any concerns or issues.

You bring up issues, things left unresolved or only partially resolved. I must emphasize something I said long ago. That this story was supposed to be short. Episodic so to speak. The idea was to introduce a character, introduce the world and all the other elements of a basic framework. Then I could do 'episodes' of Arc dealing with different situation (helping at a SDM party, dealing with the game of cat and mouse magicians play, dealing with youkai partying in the village during festivals, etc). There would be the common theme of alcohol and foppery and whim. Again, this relates to the supposed lightheartedness.

Instead, due to complaints and requests I changed that. Changed from an episodic format to something a little more sequential. The seeds of plot were sown for all these smaller stories and interwoven. Made it more focused on a narrower band of characters while all the same leaving opportunities for light exploration of the other ideas. In fact, after the festival and some other events I planned on penning a side story/lightly interactive thing that clarified the deal with Mima. This would be independent from the 'main' narrative.

I once again thank you for your opinion but also will take this moment to express something:

Your no longer voting regularly ruined the story. And not just this story.

You and others like you, despite being well-reasoned individuals would rather leave displeasure and conflict bottled up instead of confronting and (hopefully) paving the way for improvements. Too often do interesting story concepts get shafted because of the abandonment. Abandonment by the reader base or the writer for any number of reasons. This site hosts a wide array of interactive stories. I don't think I would be out of place in stating that a certain level of discourse should be expected between participants and writer.

Yes, I am aware of the irony here. Though to my (ha 'modest') credit I can say with a clear conscious that I always replied to any queries and always sought to engage. As I am engaging now.

It's very easy to say "I left the story because I didn't like the direction it was going" but I ask you - have you ever vocalized your discontent to the author? I speak for myself and a few others I know when I say that that sort of honesty is almost always welcome. I don't think anyone on this site claims to be a virtuoso or tries to ram their vision unrelentingly down everyone else's throat.

This site would be a better place if people realized that. If they realized that interactive stories are about varying levels of give and take. Some people (both authors and readers alike) prefer to only give little and take a lot. I feel that that doesn't represent the majority. For the most part everyone has fun getting involved in this fiction. Otherwise they wouldn't be here. These stories are a journey that everyone embarks upon together.

I apologize if that seems like a personal attack, it wasn't my intention. I do hope that you'll understand where I'm coming from here. Hopefully some of the others will as well. This is something that doesn't affect just me, but the whole of the site.

I have voiced this sort of thing before, see a couple threads back. So it may make me a little less of a hypocrite. Just maybe.

Oh and I never did quite like Thoreau. Nor do I see things as set in stone, as collision courses to this and that.

Look, I'm sorry. I didn't make an ultimatum like some sort of child throwing a tantrum. I broached some issues in the distant past, things didn't change that much, I got disheartened, took a break with the vain hope that my announcement of a break would stir up the emotion and connection (and reflection about the then choice and direction) that I wanted, saw that it didn't, saw that even side material didn't produce a stir and then decided to do an update or two to see if things had changed at all. They had not.

I don't doubt that some of you, or even probably most of you cared. But repeated calls to manifest that care in the form of contributing to the story sort of fell flat. Not everyone will be able to get into my head nor see what I want or did with a particular scene, but my earlier comment about drone behavior was about everyone seeming to take things laying down.

If you wish to be upset and cherry pick like the gentleman you quoted that's fine. I can see where you're coming from and I accept it as long as you don't fall into the trap of sounding like an angry jerk. It's just a shame that the only real displays of attachment and caring are now, and mostly in the form of anger. I would have rather you used some of that energy to make the story more robust.

As long as people refuse to acknowledge these issues, discuss or work around them - being content on occasionally voting and not much else, I will not write. There would be no point to it.
Anon has never been one to say much on simple seeming matters, more so since dropping stories with or without a word became a popular activity around her.

Anon was never one to say much about anything unless they feel very strongly about it, quiet contentment doesn't count. Your habit of long periods between updates also doesn't help when they're regular sized updates. Anon is more likely to speak up when they're pissed off, mainly in terms of a unforgivably bad story or when something like this happens.

And Anon has this line of thought as of late: "We're not here to tell you how you're doing, just enjoying the stories unless they're total shit." but if you actually ASKED, people would answer. This is what is occurring right now people are responding to what you said. There was something of a small discussion of that in /blue/, you'd know if you actually stuck around on the site for a decent period of time.

Something is fundamentally wrong if you NEED to rely on Anon to write the story. Most of the truly good writers have a plan or vision that Anon merely directs or occasionally improves upon.

Once again it's a slice of life story; folks are easy going in terms of the story flow. That and they wanted you to update faster. If everyone votes the same way, it basically implies "We think this is the best choice". If anything you should have made more compelling choices.

Your dropping this story will not help things much at all, since why should Anon discuss on a story if it'll get dropped by the attention seeking writer? Anyways, the stories that get the most discussion are by those who write for the art, not for attention.

It does reek of stereotypical /eientei/ drama, and the fact is some people actually suspected you of being Teruyo, which isn't that much of a good sign. Worse would be being suspected of being Wiseman. Expecting Anon to write the story for you is very stereotypically /eientei/. Thank fucking god Serial ATA and Harker aren't like that.

If you're to persist your opinion that Anon bend over backwards and cater to your whims despite your drama, long waits for normal quality updates, then you should leave and delete any traces just so Anon is not reminded on the note this ends on.
Way to misinterpret everything I've said. I never asked anyone to write the story; I have never asked for anything even remotely as extraordinary as that.

You are also highly presumptuous. You doubt my reason for writing. Apparently my intent of doing things for fun and joy of writing doesn't fall under 'art'. You claim I wish nothing short of worship. Yes this is exactly the reason I make sure to go around the site every day singing my own praises and using a secure tripcode so everyone will know it's me (yes, that's sarcasm). Finally you are implying I haven't been around the site much, when in fact I was here since the day of the migration from /jp/.

That is definitely much more than I can say about you Wiseman. I appreciate the effort you're making to try to be insightful, but as always you fall horribly short. These comparisons to other drama on the site come from you and you only and are borne from your gross oversimplifications and misinterpretations. I have been more than clear with my position and feelings over the last few posts and if someone else needs further clarification I'll be glad to elaborate as well as I can. I wish you really would think a bit more before posting - too often it seems to me that you simply don't grasp that which is stated in plain language. Quite frankly it is a displeasure to count you among the site's user base. While people can be outright dickish or contrary at times in stories there's nothing worse than someone who thinks that they know what they're on about all the time popping in and contributing nothing of value.

I do check most of the site more than once a day, even when not updating and writing. So it's likely that I'll be able to see any further replies made to this thread within a day.
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Now this is getting ridiculous...

>>my intent of doing things for fun and joy of writing

Sure as hell fooled most anon considering what's happening now

>>Finally you are implying I haven't been around the site much, when in fact I was here since the day of the migration from /jp/

He's referring to your disappearances with long periods of time during your recent CYOA not how long you've actually been known or how long ago you've stuck with the community.

>>That is definitely much more than I can say about you Wiseman

If he's Wiseman than I'm the King of Spain.

Enough of your hemming & hawwing with your misplaced indignity. You have no one but your self to blame in your inability to enjoy your writing; not to mention how anon votes.

I will give you credit in that we've managed to see more writing and effort from you in a short span of time than ever before. Shame you couldn't put that enthusiasm, that gusto, into the story rather than the whiny livejournal posts.

C'est la vie, je suppose non?

Auf Wiedersehen und alles Gute in Ihrem Zukunft alles Gute
I didn't know that taking time for a conversation with well thought out points on both sides counted as indignation. Look, like I said a couple of posts earlier, if you want to label me as whatever and leave it at that, that's fine. I'm at least making an effort to engage people and I did appreciate the valid criticism (ie: not the snide kind of comments embedded in posts such as yours).

>I will give you credit in that we've managed to see more writing and effort from you in a short span of time than ever before. Shame you couldn't put that enthusiasm, that gusto, into the story rather than the whiny livejournal posts.

Way to read this story. There were plenty of times that I updated continuously and often more than once a day. Plenty of effort and dedication there I'd say.

Also since when is engaging readers considered blog material? I've never mentioned my own personal life, and instead just brought up things about the story. An interactive story that depends in part on reader participation.

I can't say I'm particularly surprised at the negativity given the context of these posts but I'm not exactly shutting everyone out either. I would like to get follow ups to the people that took their time to post and I took the time to reply to. The way this thread is headed though it'll just be trolls ignoring things on either end.

>If he's Wiseman than I'm the King of Spain.
Por que no se calla, Su Majestad?"
>Otherwise I get people like yourself. The disenfranchised and upset. Thought I've never really gotten strong reactions (except for the ending and new beginning) I have prided myself in replying as thoroughly as I could to any concerns or issues.

The people who are not reading this are not upset. They may have been when it became apparent the story was not going in the direction they thought it was, but that's life. They get engrossed in other things, other stories, write their own, even. You should focus on the readers who still read this; by the last count there are a lot of them.

>I once again thank you for your opinion but also will take this moment to express something:
>Your no longer voting regularly ruined the story. And not just this story.

No, see, you can't have it both ways.

If I'm in the market for beef for dinner and the fishwife is claiming she has it on sale, am I going to go to her, or am I going to the proper butcher?

If Anon stopped voting because this wasn't the story he thought it was, and you agree on that much, than there's no reason for him to continue reading it, and also no rational reason for you to want him to continue to read it. If anything, Anon not voting for that reason puts you closer to your target audience, and whatever comments or speculations they might drum up.

>You and others like you, despite being well-reasoned individuals would rather leave displeasure and conflict bottled up instead of confronting and (hopefully) paving the way for improvements. Too often do interesting story concepts get shafted because of the abandonment. Abandonment by the reader base or the writer for any number of reasons. This site hosts a wide array of interactive stories. I don't think I would be out of place in stating that a certain level of discourse should be expected between participants and writer.

Nothing gets 'bottled up' because, again, I'm paying very much attention. The only reason I'm responding to you is because you look like you're having an apoplectic fit, and need to sit down and chill out before you alienate what reader base you have left.

>Too often do interesting story concepts get shafted because of the abandonment. Abandonment by the reader base or the writer for any number of reasons. This site hosts a wide array of interactive stories. I don't think I would be out of place in stating that a certain level of discourse should be expected between participants and writer.

Yes, it's a terrible shame for the interests of a special few who write the 'interesting' stories and receive no readership. On the other hand, when a considerable readership gives the author carte blanche without qualifying their votes, and the author still does not write, it's a greater shame for more people.

Here's an example: Scorn did something that caused upset for his readers in FLA by making Wriggle appear to save the day with her goof troop, after a very serious, dire even, conflict with Alice and her obsessions. But he owned up to it, chanced an even larger loss of readership by retconning it, and in fact it was an unqualified success, the escape becoming more in tone an believable. That was a good thing.

Later on, he included a sort of 'rest stop' in the afterlife which receive mixed opinions initially, but which I thought was an excellent way of breaking the suspension of disbelief by a simple [x] 3 choices back. Whether that contributed to his eventual hiatus, I don't know, but it was definitely an example of an experiment & reaction that had a negative effect on the perception of the author, and that's the real shame: When the readership (which is invariably greater in number) likes something, but the author does away with it, or writing entirely, because he thinks it was no good.

What you're doing now is very similar. The story is not ruined. Compare the outspoken minority with the number of actual vote you received, and feel blessed that even while you're in an argument, there a reservoir of readers for you to sally forth, whatever your intentions for the story may be.

Assuming you choose to do so, continuing the story in whatever way you feel fit. To not continue to write, that would ruin the story.

Similar parallels can be drawn from Blank and RaAN. Sour grapes between a minority of readers and the author that caused the author to be disenfranchised. The readership however, is still clamoring for it, and thus the opposite of what you purport this issue to be.

>Yes, I am aware of the irony here. Though to my (ha 'modest') credit I can say with a clear conscious that I always replied to any queries and always sought to engage. As I am engaging now.

That's not always a credit. In fact, as you are now, you're doing yourself a disservice.

>It's very easy to say "I left the story because I didn't like the direction it was going" but I ask you - have you ever vocalized your discontent to the author?

Why would would I ask someone to write something he doesn't want to write? That's just stupid. Maybe if there were a doubt in my mind, sure I might ask, but as you've repetitively asserted, the story is following the lighthearted track it was meant to be on.

>I speak for myself and a few others I know when I say that that sort of honesty is almost always welcome.

If a man tells me he likes boxers because they're comfortable, where do I get off telling him to wear briefs? Even if I like briefs more for their support, it still has no import to the person standing in front of me.

>I don't think anyone on this site claims to be a virtuoso or tries to ram their vision unrelentingly down everyone else's throat.

And yet that is exactly what you're asking Anon to do.

>This site would be a better place if people realized that. If they realized that interactive stories are about varying levels of give and take. Some people (both authors and readers alike) prefer to only give little and take a lot. I feel that that doesn't represent the majority. For the most part everyone has fun getting involved in this fiction. Otherwise they wouldn't be here. These stories are a journey that everyone embarks upon together.

And I'm sure the vast silent, crickets-chirping majority agrees with you. You're falling behind the rest of the pack however, and I don't know how long they're willing to wait.

>I apologize if that seems like a personal attack, it wasn't my intention. I do hope that you'll understand where I'm coming from here. Hopefully some of the others will as well. This is something that doesn't affect just me, but the whole of the site.

I don't visit IRC. I don't pretend to intercept the communications of the grand writefag cabal. Perhaps that's why this particular instance seems like the hemorrhaging will to write of a singular person. Much like a former writer in /shrine/.

>Oh and I never did quite like Thoreau. Nor do I see things as set in stone, as collision courses to this and that.

The statement in question was a personal description of how things are, not a proscription for how things would or should be. The intent was an impetus for the common man to rise above mediocrity, not an endorsement of fatalism.

Or pretend it otherwise, and prove me wrong by writing a well-liked and celebrated piece of fiction.
I have to say that I believe that things are seldom as clear cut as you make them out to be.

There is great merit in knowing when and how to engage in one's endeavors. If I wish for steak, the natural choice would be indeed the butcher, regardless of what the fishmonger may be offering. However this is not a case of seeking steak and then choosing. Novels, short stories, and most other written fiction is set in its tone and direction. No matter how ever much the reader desires that the story change it will never do so.

This is not true of these sorts of stories. These stories can be linear, but they can as well be nearly free form. What I argue is that when stories tend more to the latter than the former they are not to be restricted to such narrow interpretations. You may expect something from a story - if halfway in an active run you realize that your expectations cannot be met, you can simply abandon it. This is fine. However I believe it's a disservice if you leave without even trying to put things in the open. In the case that the focus goes to other characters, naught can be done usually, but when your issues are about things that bother you or a recent changes it's different.

Instead of abandoning and skipping on, would it not be better to see if your concerns could be addressed? If it is something the author intended from the start that'll be that but, if not, aren't you potentially improving things for yourself and others? This is not to be confused with having the readers write the story, they are still steering through conversation and interaction with the author. The 'you' I use for this purpose, the ones that abandon quietly, I feel should be aware of this. That if they feel strongly enough about a story at one point and then cast it aside later they may want try to stop and give dialog a chance.

I used the phrase 'bottling up' meaning exactly the situation we have now. The fact that things are abandoned and people get displeased without anyone on any side vocalizing anything. This system is not perfect and more than once has failed (need I count the times an author has stopped writing on this site?). This is not a fit nor attempt to alienate anyone. People asked, so here I am explaining how I feel about the state of things. Some relating solely to this story, a lot of the points relating to the site.

>Why would would I ask someone to write something he doesn't want to write? That's just stupid.

It's not about asking people to write what they don't wish to write, nor is it to get people to read what they don't want to read. While anyone with half a brain can't expect to ask an author of a sci-fi story to do high fantasy and get that change, I contend that they could very well point out technical weakness in the writing or areas in the narrative that can be improved and expect change. You know, reasonable things. If you don't enjoy how an author seems to jerk around his audience, point it out. If others agree with you and the author cares, he may change it. For all you know it may have been unintentional. These are not impossible things to dream up and while different people have different tastes and thus inclined to different stories, this level of openness would likely eliminate some of the more common grievances.

If a man tells me he likes boxers because they're comfortable, where do I get off telling him to wear briefs? Even if I like briefs more for their support, it still has no import to the person standing in front of me.
>And yet that is exactly what you're asking Anon to do.

I am no more forcing down my ideas as you currently are. In no place in my posts have I specified that 'you must' do this or that, regardless of your preferences. I am saying that for things to go smoother, some changes may help. Asking for the occasional bit of honesty and participation does not equate into everyone having to write dissertations for the most minute things. Nor does it equal into everyone adopting The One Universal Truth?.

>I don't visit IRC. I don't pretend to intercept the communications of the grand writefag cabal. Perhaps that's why this particular instance seems like the hemorrhaging will to write of a singular person. Much like a former writer in /shrine/.

A believer in the cabal, eh? I suggest you lock your doors before going to bed at night, lest the IRC conspiracy get you. In all seriousness, I don't associate with that crowd either.

Let me tell you outright that my problem isn't mustering enough willpower to write.

Succinctly put: If I were to continue writing, ignoring all things I have brought up here, this story would not be as good as it could be, as good as it deserves to be.

It boils down to the fact that on my end I can do no more. The only recourse I have is to make this into regular fanfiction. Which was never my intent; I'd never have started this story if that was what I desired from the beginning. This would shut out all the participants to day.

For me to write this, to make it the best as I can make it, I would ask those interested to bear the things I've put forward here in mind. If there really are silent masses who wish me to continue because they enjoy this I ask them to speak up and at least acknowledge things. Not even embody them, but just to be aware of them. I wish to have fun and for others to have fun as well. And it won't simply work if we keep on the path we're on. Would you not prefer having a writer that cares as opposed to one who doesn't? The same applied to readership is also true, let me assure you. I don't think anyone on this site would disagree with me there.

I don't know what else to say and I'll shut up now unless someone else asks me something directly or wishes to engage. And even if those silent masses, and Mr. >>30040 (and those who were more negative and pedantic) or anyone else don't effectively want me to continue, I wish that you'll at least pause to consider my points when dealing with your favorite story.
>As I said before, I don't expect constant deep meaningful insight or analysis. But I did expect something. A something that would have been great as an anything.
Okay, here's the thing: how, precisely, is anyone supposed to know what you were expecting when you don't tell us?

I scanned through the past three threads, and here is a complete list of occasions where you displayed dissatisfaction with the readers prior to >>30000:
The first four are asking for more votes, so we'll disregard those, since you've explained that your present dissatisfaction is due to quality, not quantity. The next two explain that the story is in a hiatus due to "less-than-ideal things about the current state of affairs", which really tells us nothing. The next post after those two hints at feelings of dissatisfaction with something regarding the story, but gives us no clue as to what those feelings stem from. And, of course, >>30000 tells us that you're not going to update anymore.

You'll note that nowhere in any of these posts, or, indeed, anywhere else, do you indicate exactly what you are dissatisfied with. For some reason, you chose not to favor us with that information until after announcing that you would no longer be writing.

Now, I can anticipate your reply: "I shouldn't have to tell Anon to think about and comment on my story. This should be implicit." And, in a sense, you are right. There is a sort of social contract between readers and writers on this site. Whether or not it was broken in this story is strictly a matter of opinion (how much discussion is enough discussion?), but it's perfectly valid for you to believe the contract was broken.

But what do we do when social contracts are broken? If, one day, your friend takes up the habit of belching loudly in your face every time you try to speak, what do you do? Yes, ceasing to be his friend is certainly an option, but if you like the guy at all in the first place, you'd probably be better off talking to him about it first.

Frankly, you're acting like a bad girlfriend here. Anon has committed the equivalent of leaving the toilet seat up, shaving his pubes in the shower, and not saying "I love you" enough. Your response has been to be angry with him without telling him why (classic bad girlfriend behavior), then throw his clothes out into the street, take away his key, and lock him out of the apartment in his boxers in the middle of the night (as of >>30000).

Here's what you should have done: said something before things got to the point that you felt the need to stop the story. Explained, in plain and simple terms, exactly what you were dissatisfied with, and what Anon could do to fix it. "Hey, Anon, I'm feeling like people aren't really paying attention to the story. Please include a sentence of justification along with your votes." It feels stupid and hokey, I know, but I think you'd find that it gets results. Look at Ancient Gensokyo: that writefag demands intelligent choices from his readers, and while his story has lost some voters because of it, he has, by and large, gotten what he demanded.

And here's what you should do now: Go back to writing. You have, in the end, done exactly what I suggest; you have, more or less clearly, explained what the problem was, and what needs to be done to fix it. I wish it hadn't required a stoppage of play of this magnitude to get things sorted out, but things are sorted out now.

Unless I've misapprehended or overlooked some of your concerns, in which case you should -- you guessed it -- explain those concerns clearly and concisely, and explain what needs to be done to alleviate them.

It should be obvious to you now that there are people who want to read your writing. Those people may not have met your expectations as readers, and even after this, some of them still might not, but rest assured that there are some people who will rise to any challenge you set before us in order to continue reading your story. You just have to tell us what you want.
You know, you're absolutely right. Nearly everything you said. And it is unfair of me to put everyone on the spot.

You did guess one of the things I'd say: I really shouldn't be telling people how to comment or interpret things. Not to mention that it's just common sense that if you enjoy something or think you spotted something interesting you'd share that. I can't stress enough the interactive nature of these stories.

But there's another thing, and you may have noticed it now as well with some of other brief times here and in other stories/boards: People react in a most hostile fashion even to things which aren't a direct criticism or threat to them. And use excuses that don't even really pertain to the matter at hand. You'll notice that even with all that I brought up I still got things like the ridiculous notion that more updates equates to more votes. This is the typical fallback argument that almost everyone loves to make, disregarding actual update speeds in the past. Indeed it is also used when the topic is something else entirely!

From simple experience and observation over the last (almost) two years I can safely say that people saying things like "if you update more, more people will read and vote", "more interesting choices make for discussion" and "there simply isn't anything to discuss, we are all in agreement", "that was just a regular update!" (funny how something that's as long as an essay, takes a while to write, and is a direct result of reader will can ever be 'regular') are, at best, living in an ideal world or simply have their heads stuck up their asses.

So it's hard to say anything at all. You get idiots like wiseman oversimplifying things and spouting the same tired and (demonstrably) false rhetoric and several others who chose the easy way of just blaming an author. For the shitstorms, for 'demanding' attention, for not keeping the reader base under control and more. It's happened time and time again with some of the more popular stories on this site and with some of the less popular ones too. Truth is that if things aren't going smoothly, both sides are to blame.

I like this website and the role I have in maintaining it. I still believe in the magic that makes this place special, though the legions of jaded and weary readers and authors may not. This is why, despite the negativity, I hope I reached someone out there.

I hope that at least a handful of you will realize I'm not being unreasonable and (again) think about maybe applying some of these ideas to the stories on this site.

Those that do care about and want me to continue writing I'll ask the following: give me the reasoning for your unanimous vote, reconsider it, or make a write in. Yeah, I realize that this isn't the biggest thing to talk about but, hey, if I told you to consider Arc's relationship with Auntie, his relationship with Suika (and how it's changed), or what the hell Mima was on about I bet most of you would be completely lost (though those who can are welcome to try).

What will this accomplish? I don't know. Probably little, but you never know. If this goes through, I'm not going to force things like this in the future again. This is just an exercise, something of a proof of concept as well. At the very least it'll be something of a shot in the arm restoring some faith in humanity for me (and that I'll admit is a very selfish reason).

Do something similar for my /eientei/ story as well if you wish, and I'll get around to that. Show that you're engaged (the two longer comments are by people I know and who tried to get things going and failed).

If you think me unreasonable or totally selfish, you're probably still not reading this. But if you are, you're excused. Go ahead, believe that I'm only stroking my own ego, not wanting to do something fun for the sake of doing something fun. That includes you wiseman, I'm pretty sick of your shit and if I don't have you in my threads I'd be a happier man.

Those who do want to keep going forward, don't be silent.
I said it before {>>29880} and I'll say it again, I love this story. I'll definitely put more effort into discussion from now on.
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"raging" Anon here, thank you for the bad girlfriend analogy. It put what I wanted to say far clearer than how I did.
Now that I know what's been bothering you, I'll be happy to comply.
>That includes you wiseman, I'm pretty sick of your shit and if I don't have you in my threads I'd be a happier man.

What'd he do to cheese you off so badly?
It's the fact that you keep spouting the same tired lines even when people take the time to prove otherwise. It's like you're incapable of learning except by copying what some people say. If you were to do this intentionally, you'd be a very persistent troll but fortunately that's not really the case. I judge this from the honestly moronic things I've seen posted at times on the various boards of the site. Hell, you're capable of doing better as shown by that thread dealing with tradition. My advice is that you think twice, perhaps run a checklist, before replying to other people. Something like 'What is he saying?', 'is he providing evidence for his claims?', 'do I have my own evidence (not hearsay) that contradicts said evidence?'. I assure you that that way people will call you out less and some may even agree with whatever you're saying.

Or, you know, whatever, continue being needlessly dense and aggravating. It'll just continue to annoy people and no one will ever take you seriously. You know how one of my posts was 'in b4 oversimplification of a complex issue'? It was fitting that your post did exactly just that. It surely does not help that for every little thing you are quick to say things like 'xxx' is the worst author/story', 'yyy is a drama queen', and 'zzz is throwing a hissy fit'. That kind of comment achieves nothing constructive. If not for civility and rationality we may never accomplish anything, instead simply flamming everyone and everything as it's all destroyed.

The fact that I've taken time to reply to you means that, despite what you may think, I don't hate you. It just physically pains me to see some of the stuff you do. If you get over that I have no real problem with you.

For all the others: I really wasn't kidding with the last few paragraphs of my last post. The sooner one of you ventures forth, and the others follow suit, the faster things will move forward. It's the catalyst to jump start things in either story.
Oh and because people are apparently reading things posted and paying little to no attention (if you're reading this, you know who you are). I'm talking about:
>Shameless plug here: I write DEFT in /shrine/, so if you haven't read it I encourage you to. Sorry, won't bring it up again.
>In the meantime, to keep you lot busy, you might want to check out another story I run: >>/eientei/16979
But I guess in your eyes I'm as wrong about things I stated overtly with no intent to keep a secret as I am about not throwing a hissy fit. Then again you seem the type to give up when something threatens your paradigm, so you may not be seeing this. This is a reminder to people that I don't just pull stuff out of thin air.

And all of you who don't know what to say or do now, take some inspiration from the first thread of ADEFT. In lieu of the things I stated clearly, imitating what has been absent in the story for about 6-7 months now would also do.
You really need to let go of that "Everybody who isn't me is obviously Wiseman" mentality, it seriously is not healthy.
Has it ever occurred to you that maybe I can, you know, really tell instead of just being a paranoid fuck? Something that perhaps has to do with >>/gensokyo/200

But even then it's ridiculously easy to tell at just a glance.
I'm not sure what you hope this exercise will accomplish, but I suppose I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

The current issue at hand is pretty simple. Reimu doesn't seem to be in the mood to move around much, so staying put is fine. We want to naturally segue into inviting her to the festival, and it seems easy enough to move from talking about festivities that have passed to discussing festivities that are about to go down. Festivities to which we would like to invite her. Talking about the other shrine just seems like it would put her in a bad mood, and talking about food is a little more difficult to transition from.

I'll save discussing Auntie and Suika until after I see at least one or two other people jump in on this. Mima I have already talked about on several other occasions.
This thread is bordering on shrine.

Exactly. The other options do not seem conducive to getting/keeping her in a good mood. Quality time with the miko is the short term goal, I guess.

The long-term goal here is to simply confess to Reimu and build Arc up.
I wonder if it is too late to have a transformation of character ...
Wiseman Here apologizing for my remarks, false accusations and insistence of shitting up of your thread with my rants.
Wow lets not have every one jump up to have a discussion about Auntie or Suika. However I have no room to talk as I don't know where to start, but if someone want to take a stab at getting this discussion off the ground I be happy to through in my 2 cents.

Took the words write out of my mouth I was planing on writing that when I saw the post asking for the reason behind the unanimous vote but it was late at night when I saw that so didn't feel like writing

Are we sure we want Arc to confess to Reimu cause it seemed Arc and Alice have a thing going on especially because of their connection.
Then again I am biased towards Alice
That's the thing with Alice: We don't know if what we're feeling is natural or just due to the connection while with Reimu, Arc already had some natural feelings already.
True I'll concede that point. And speaking of the connection shouldn't we still be concerned about the black mark. Sure it's gone now but the fact that Alice said it wasn't supposed to vanish like that, makes me wonder what really happened to it.
I suspect Mima is out to use Arc's education to empower herself or that the mark might have acted up if Arc didn't act on it soon. Hard to tell with Mima.

Indeed. I can't say her intentions are noble, but we don't really know all that much about it.


The Alice attraction materialized when we made a magic contract with her. Until then she had been pretty pushy and such. In fact, most of the youkai have been incredibly pushy with us. Reimu seems to be the only one that hasn't really disrespected us wholesale. (Not that we actually deserve respect, but regard for our feelings would have been nice.)

I think the main connecting point with Arc and Reimu is how she's just a girl to him, nothing too big or fancy. When you have a pretty big responsibility, it's nice to have someone just regard you as you, not the Hakurei Miko.
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"Let's just get to the point, shall we?" Reimu impatiently cut the conversation short.
"Eh, what do you mean?" I replied with a question. I had been happily talking to her for the last half hour about this and that, asking her about things that gone on. And then suddenly, completely out of the blue, she had suddenly decided to change subject. I was tensing up as I felt that she could see right through me with little effort. All that which I was hoping to would be laid to waste. "We're just talking right? If you want to change subjects we can..."
"That's not what I mean. There's something you want to ask me right? You've been dancing around it for quite some time Arc."
"Ask you? Like what?" I felt my face go white as I nervously tried to assess how much she knew.
"Don't be coy, I know why you're at the shrine. And it's not to donate. You want something from me."
"What would give you that impression?"
"The fact that you're avoiding answering me for starters."
"Ah." I gulped.
"There's also a little something called 'female intuition', I just now that something's up?

I could just hear Marisa cracking a joke at Reimu's expense there.

"So, is there something?" She asked brusquely, sounding edgy.
"Well, you see, there is." I caved and decided to just tell her then and then. There was no more point to dancing around it, looking for the perfect moment to get things out in the open.
"Oh. Well, in that case let me tell you a little something. A little story." Reimu smiled. "You don't mind right?"
"Of course not."
"Well then. This s a story about a lovely young maiden who liked live like a normal person would. She would stay at home and enjoy life without being bothered by people and things," Her smile intensified, "A lot of things happened in her life. Some good, some bad. There were interesting people she met, some of whom were genuinely not annoying. In fact, one day, she was to be asked to do something very interesting by someone very nice. Someone whose request she'd agree to gladly with heart and soul. That is, of course," Her smile disappeared suddenly, replaced by an ugly scowl, "if it hadn't been for what had happened earlier that day. You see, the girl had received a visit earlier, when she was cleaning the front. A woman whom she hadn't ever met came up to her and talked." She looked positively dour, the scowl changed to something more resembling a pout, "She seemed friendly enough, the girl decided. But the message that she was given wasn't friendly at all. You see, the woman was a relative of her friend. And she was there to warn her. To not to set into her business and territory or heads of roll. Now you see, normally the girl wouldn't have taken that, but the woman seemed scarily powerful, as if she were motivated by a force greater than anything she had ever encountered. When the girl asked why the woman was asking this of her, the woman replied that it was 'because of a kind of love she would never understand'...."

Reimu sighed. And then smiled again.

"Now sorry, what was it that you wanted to say?"
"I, uh - nothing." I had gotten the message clearly. "Say, in this story of yours, was there a troublemaker that mooched off the girl? And was she able to stand up to the woman."
"Even she wasn't able to do anything."
"I see." I thought that perhaps love was a truly frightening thing. "I'm sorry for wasting your time then."

I left in a daze, shambling out of the shrine with much weighing on my mind. My plans with Reimu were absolutely shattered. Suika saw me come out and gave me a knowing look, keeping her distance with what may have been apprehension - something which I thought I'd never see come from the rambunctious and lively oni who feared no one. I stumbled down the steps and towards home, the afternoon sun heating me up to an uncomfortable degree.

Home was as I left it. The store was closed and everything seemed quiet. I found signs of life in the kitchen, where Auntie was chopping something.

It took but a single glance for me to confirm my suspicions. I could have run away before that, pretended that the story was just a story. But the moment that I saw her dressed in nothing but an apron, her hair down and draping on her back, I knew that this was the kind of thing I couldn't just turn my back to. The playful auburn strands beckoned.

"Hello there. I was waiting for you." Auntie showed me the same mischievous grin that I had grown to love - and associate with excitement - over the years. I knew that things were changing, that we were changing, but there was nothing I could do.
"Auntie, I-"
"Hey, don't call me that." She frowned. "Here I go all out and you have to ruin things by doing something I've told you not to do a million times."
"I'm sorry." I apologized, trying to make it better. I began to say her name, getting as far as the first syllable, "Re-."

She grasped me with a welcoming embrace.

I suddenly had other things besides harvest festivals and a certain friendly miko on my mind.
Well played anon, well played.

I concur~!
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This must be the power of THE HEART

But tasty.
Is Anon going to see updates ever again?
Probably not, unless the Writer starts again.
Thank you Cap'n Obvious.

A whole of stuff happened between April and now. Keep your eye on this space though. There will potentially be something in the very near future.
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I was filled in with what happened last night according to Reimu. It wasn't much, truth be told. I smiled as I realized that at some point in the evening the miko had completely lost it and she was trying her best to patch up the holes in her memory. They discussed the day's events and drank a lot. That's how I could probably best sum it up. There were hints that other topics were brought up. Most telling of all was her avoidance to comment even after I pressed.

"I somehow get the feeling that you were talking about me.."
"What, really?" I had hit the nail right on the head judging from how Reimu was acting. She was as shifty as our beloved town drunk. Auntie and I knew better than to extend credit to him at our store. He'd never pay back and would just come back the next day asking for more. "Why were you talking about me?"

"Oh we weren't really... I wasn't at least." I raised an inquisitive eyebrow. "They just brought you up. You mean a lot to them. Suika especially."

There was an understatement. Though Suika liked to play all the time and would rather drink than talk I knew that she really liked me. I didn't know what that meant, nor exactly why, but it didn't stop me from suspecting that she went around speaking the world of me. She helped me fit in with the others, even if sometimes she exaggerated a little bit too much. I had never wrestled a wolf, for instance. Nor did I ever want to.

"I can understand that. But it's weird to have people talking about me."
"Well," Reimu smiled, "No one said anything bad if that makes you feel any better."
"A little."
"You might want to stay away from Aya for a while. I get the feeling that she might try something."
"Try something?" My heart skipped a beat. I wondered what I had gotten myself into.
"Don't worry about it. I'll be there to make sure the stupid crow doesn't do anything."

I sat back and sighed. "I don't want to be protected. I can manage on my own."

"It shows," Reimu stated dryly. "Listen, don't think that because you're somewhat familiar with these people, that you can handle them. They give me constant headaches and I'm more willing to stand up for myself. And besides," She added playfully, "What kind of shrine maiden would I be if I didn't look out for the well being of our most devoted faithful? I'd be a laughingstock if I couldn't somehow bring the devout comfort."

I held my tongue. There was no point in bringing up the fact that I wasn't ever sure what deity the shrine was consigned to. As far as any casual visitor could tell, this was a shrine without a god. That seemed to suit Reimu just fine and, by extension, me. I decided to keep things rolling.

It was a struggle. I felt anxious as I led the conversation on, moving past protection and drunken debauchery to now and the future. "Well, if you wouldn't mind keeping me company then, I'd love it if you came to the festival with me."

"Oh, what festival?"
"The, um... harvest festival at the village." I struggled to remember the lines I had practiced in anticipation for the moment. It felt like looking for a needle in a haystack. In my panicked search, I pinched myself on the needle, the words coming out with no pause, "Every year the village has a festival to celebrate the harvest and there's good food and drinking and dancing and everyone has a good time and I would really like it if you came with me that is if you don't mind and you are free after all I'm imposing aren't I with little notice I should have told you earlier but it didn't seem appropriate and it's my fault but you'd make me happy if you went and I'm sure you'd enjoy it so please come with me not that I'm begging but... I'd just really enjoy it if you were there."

I shied away from looking at her directly, knowing I messed it up. I cursed my verbal hemorrhaging.

"Alright I'll go."
"I understan- eh, really?" I looked up to see her smiling wryly. She shook her head as if to say ?it can't be helped I suppose?.
"Sure, sounds like fun. it's been a while since I last went to any kind of festival. I could do with a little break. I'm sure the village will be very lively. I didn't even know they were doing something for harvest."

Her comment made me think about the general relationship between the village and her shrine. Rather, the lack of relationship. It was a pity, this shrine was lovely and worth recognizing. Most of the people I had talked to had no idea about it though, thinking that it was abandoned or not their shrine to begin with.

"I'll come pick you up then. I'll make sure to guide you around since I've been to many of these already."
"it's decided then.."

Later that afternoon, as I left the shrine for home, I found myself grinning like an idiot. Not only had Reimu accepted my invitation but she had shown interest and for a while, we had talked about all the fun things we could do together. She seemed genuinely enthused. There was definitely a spring in my step and the purple-orange of the sky seemed like a great big congratulatory banner.

I was still grinning when I got home. At once Auntie knew what was up.

"I take it congratulations are in order." She ruffled my hair gave me a bear hug. Just like she always does.
"When will you get it in your head that I'm not a kid anymore?"
"When you stop being so gosh darned cute." She gave me a kiss on the forehead, making me blush for some reason. She was adorable in her own way, but I tried to hide the fact that I thought as much for fear of her unending babying of me if she found out. It was bad enough having her treat me like a kid half the time, I didn't want her to think I actually enjoyed the way she behaved around me.
"Oh," I freed myself from her, "Did you get a new perfume?"
"You noticed! You're such a dear." She went for another hug. An uncomfortably long one. I gave in and hugged back.

When it was all said and done, she continued to congratulate me in her own way - by making my favorite meal. We ate, talking about the upcoming festival and she brought up Suika. The diminutive oni did come looking for that bottle and left sometime later.

"It wasn't very nice of you to get rid of her like that," Auntie scolded. She knew the reason why the oni had shown up without me having to spell it out, "She hasn't been anything but nice to you so you should be nice to her. Even if you think it was the right call to make, it's never good to deceive friends." She was right about that and I knew it.

"I'm sorry. I guess I shouldn't have done that."

"As long as you understand." She let the matter drop with a smile. She trusted me enough to really comprehend the impact of my actions. I liked to believe that she was right, I always tried my hardest to be the best I could be.

Being the best I could be didn't help me sleep that night. I was too anxious and worked up about the festival to sleep properly. I counted all the lines on my ceiling several times over before I was able to finally get some shut eye.

Eventually, it was the day of the festival. Lively crowds were gathering throughout the village and there was song and laughter in the air. From my home I could smell the various food stalls preparing their treats and all seemed well. The sky was clear and it was a crisp day. Auntie left some time ago, going to meet up with our family beforehand - they would be together most of the time, which suited me just fine. The last thing I wanted was to spend time with those people.

I prepared everything I would need for the day and left home. I noticed something right before I left the village. In a crowd of people going towards the village center a pair of familiar horns jutted out from time to time. A familiar ribbon confirmed who it was. She was going into town by herself.

[] Continue on to the shrine
[] Apologize to Suika
[\\!/] Continue on to the shrine
????????(???)?????? !!!!!
[x] Continue on to the shrine


I don't really have a reason for voting for this option other than I think it would be more interesting than the other. I hope that suffices.
It's amazing that this is back. But I feel I need to go reread at least Adeft from thread 1 cause I forgot what was going on and I want to do this story justice. A vote from me will come later.
[X] Continue on to the shrine
[X] Continue on to the shrine

As much as I'd like to apologize, I'd feel Suika'd end up derailing things. I'd figured we'd do it later with some nice liquor as a way to make up for it.
Yay it's back!

[X] Continue on to the shrine

>>30457 sums up my thoughts.
[x] Continue on to the shrine
[x] Apologize to Suika

C'mon, don't be like that to a friend.
I'm with >>30460

[x] Apologize to Suika

Even if it's just a short apology before we head to the shrine, it's better than outright ignoring her.
It's not so much ignoring her, but waiting until we can get the liquor we promised her in the first place when we do apologize. And if we end up getting derailed as a result of apologizing, it'll negate the point of the initial deception (getting her out of the way so we can spend time with Reimu).
[x] Apologize to Suika
[X] Continue on to the shrine

>It's not so much ignoring her, but waiting until we can get the liquor we promised her in the first place when we do apologize. And if we end up getting derailed as a result of apologizing, it'll negate the point of the initial deception (getting her out of the way so we can spend time with Reimu).

I don't think apologizing here would result in losing relationship points with Reimu, but you make a good point about the liquor. That way, Arc isn't totally a liar, and the joy of getting the present will probably override any earlier disappointment.

[x] Continue on to the shrine
[x] Apologize to Suika
We owe it to the oni, she's our buddy after all.

I definitely want to reread this from the beginning. Delicious update.
Exactly, and any apology to an Oni goes better with some nice booze.
I had to reread the update and I've noticed that for all the crap we put Suika in (having her help search for Reimu somewhat fruitlessly, hiding away from her for what felt like weeks) her patience as well as grace behind it all along with putting forward a good word on Arc...

I can't honestly help but feel like a complete dick. No, worse then that.

At the same time though while Suika's been great if at times overbearing Reimu's been nothing but a bastion of stability as well as some one that encourages Arc into being self sufficient and being practical rather than complicating simple problems.

tl;dr - Perhaps Arc will some how be able to do both right; making up to Suika and providing Reimu some real social engagement with the villagers.

I still remember though on Arc's last visit with Alice upon his start on becoming a magician as well as Mima's past dealings with Arc. How the hell will that work out?

I can only wait warmly for those unwritten answers...[/spoilter][spoiler];_;
[x] Apologize to Suika
Damn you commenters, guilt tripping me into this vote.
I am torn. On the one hand, I feel like we ought to apologize. On the other, I can easily see Suika injecting herself into what is really meant to be a night for Arc and Reimu. She's just so... dense about this stuff.

On the other hand, everything might go more smoothly if we simply confront her and tell her how special tonight is supposed to be.

Eh, for now I'll go with this, but...

[X] Apologize to Suika
-[X] But for goodness' sake, sit down and have a talk with her about tonight.

Agreed. I like your priorities. Let's see where this takes us.

[x] Apologize to Suika
-[X] But for goodness' sake, sit down and have a talk with her about tonight.

Good idea.
[X] Continue on to the shrine
[X] Continue on to the shrine

Because i'd rather deal with suika bottle in hand. To give her the time she deserves.
[X] Apologize to Suika
-[X] But for goodness' sake, sit down and have a talk with her about tonight.
[x] Continue on to the shrine
>It was a struggle. I felt anxious as I led the conversation on, moving past protection and drunken debauchery to now and the future. "Well, if you wouldn't mind keeping me company then, I'd love it if you came to the festival with me."
Smooth delivery. I guess I underestimated our MC. Also, was I the only one who thought that he was getting obsessed without something -if not trivial- not that hard? It was a given that she'll accept, it's not like it's a date... at least for her.
>?You might want to stay away from Aya for a while. I get the feeling that she might try something.."
The last time Arc escaped from her only because she gave up. I don't think that he'll be as lucky if Aya gets serious. She's stronger, faster and a Tengu (embodiments of human sins, if I remember correctly) I... I can only hope he gets lucky again or that Reimu or Suika is near when that happens. Which leads me to the present choice...

After re-reading the last update, I think that Suika either has no idea about what happened or doesn't really mind (if I had to choose, I'd go for the latter: she has proven time and time again to be much smarter that she looks. Besides, I don't want to sound heartless but, like that anon said, talking to Suika now will only railroad us farther from the goal. Arc has waited a long time for this and, if he speaks to the little oni now, their date-but-not-really will go down the drain. I mean, Suika will most likely want to come along with him... and how is he gonna stop that his time?
Honesty might work, but Suika might take it the wrong way so I'd prefer if he apologized later, when time isn't of the essence.

[x] Continue on to the shrine
[x] Continue on to the shrine

I disagree, talking to her now and making it clear that we want to make the festival special to Reimu should clear her out of the way, if we do it right.
But hey, I could be wrong. She could bang us over the head and drag us away to do something else.
You might be right and apologizing now to Suika would mean that we could make our cake and eat it but... I don't think I want to risk that, even if that means that the most adorable Oni has to stay sad for a day longer (again, does she even realized what he did and why?)
It's been a little while, any updates in the works?
You disappoint me friend; I expected better from you wiseman. This is the only warning you'll get - votespam anywhere on the site again and you'll be getting something more than a simple slap on the wrist.

My apologies, setbacks and responsibilities in the real world kept me. I should be able to provide more regular and faster updates. We'll see how it goes.

Suika melted away into the crowd as I watched, possibly after meeting up with someone. I got a move on as more and more villagers began to leave their homes and head to the center of town.

I found the shrine in its usual solemn quiet, sharply contrasting the buzz felt throughout the village. I found myself thinking that it seemed at times that the shrine was frozen in time, a place that even time forgot about. There was considerable care given to mainting the buildings and surroundings, making it the old structure seem dignified. It was a wonder how Reimu managed to keep the place the way it was just by herself. I looked for Reimu, politely knocking on screen doors and gently calling out her name.

I found her in what I assumed was her room.

"Just a moment." The reply came from the other side of the screen door. I heard some rustling and shuffling for a few moments, followed by some low-level muttering. There may have been a sigh, but I wasn't exactly eavesdropping so it could have just as easily been my ears playing tricks on me. "Sorry to have kept you waiting." The door slid open.

"Not a problem. I'm early anyways, we have plenty of time." I replied with a smile as my eyes took in the sight before me. "Your ribbon..."And it wasn't just the ribbon, the Reimu I knew was transformed from head to toe. Her hair was down and her usual red outfit was replaced by a comparatively plain brown number.

"I didn't think it would be appropriate for me to show up looking like a shrine maiden. it's better if I fit in, right?"
"No one will mind either way. You look nice though." She was dressed like one of my classmates, like one of the many village girls. She could be mistaken for any of the girls that had dressed up in their nicer clothes for the festival. It was remarkable just how unremarkable she was.
"Thank you, I'm surprised this fits though." She didn't seem to be completely comfortable. The modest cut of the dress pinched at places while at the same time looking baggy at her arms and legs. I wasn't too sure that the dress was made for her. "It doesn't matter," She said after a quick and final check, "let's go to the festival."

Reimu closed several doors at the shrine and stopped to offer a short prayer before setting off with me. We walked leisurely back to the village, and my whole body was filled to the brim with excitement. In the many years that I had gone to the harvest festival I probably never had a reason to be this jubilant. It usually meant good business for the store and, by extension, a few weeks with no money troubles but it was pretty much the same thing every year. The last new element to be introduced to the fair was probably Miss Keine - and I remember feeling somewhat intimidated the first time I met her.

As we got closer, the sounds of the village in unabashed celebration shook the air. The energy and liveliness reverberating through the air washed over us. We saw lights coming from the square and streets as torches and fires were being lit. After the sun set, there would be even more artificial illumination to cheer the festivities on.

"This is quite something." Reimu remarked with some awe. We were making our way through the lateral streets now, intent on getting right into the middle of it all.
"Is this your first time to the festival?" I asked despite suspecting that I already knew the answer.
"Pretty much. I might have gone once when I was little but I'm not sure. it's a bit strange that everyone is making such a fuss."
"it's a huge deal for everyone," I explained, "A lot of the crops planted earlier in the year are finally fully grown around this time. So everyone is busy reaping and gathering what they grew. A lot of preserves are made as well and in the coming weeks a lot of the food will be treated so to last us through winter. This festival is a way of everyone letting off steam for all of the hard work they put in as well as giving thanks for the harvest."
"That makes sense." She then added with some humor, "It wouldn't be bad if they thanked their local shrine a little bit as well. Divine protection and help rendered for growing and such . Food isn't exactly cheap for me."

I laughed. I thought about telling her about her but I didn't want to spoil the mood. If I was unlucky she'd find out soon enough on her own. I hoped that she would laugh it off and not make a big deal of it.

The stalls by the square were bristling with activity. The ambience was pregnant with energy. Throngs of happy villagers bought freshly prepared snacks and competed in games for prizes. Off in the far end of the square the town's children gathered and clapped eagerly at the puppet show. I didn't have to get any closer that it was Alice's dolls acting out whatever little play she had picked - I felt a familiar tingle of her presence coming from that direction. Things seemed to be going well for her too; The crowd surrounding her spot included some smiling adults, looking a little bit guilty for enjoying the show.

An unfamiliar face attended to a relatively unpopular stall. The girl, an outsider with rabbit's ears looked wary of the crowd and kept mostly to herself. She looked out of place there and she knew it.

"Oh would you look at that..."

I saw it too now. Reimu's comment was about the busiest booth in the place. A long queue formed around the gaudy-looking stall. It was painted blue and splashed generously with loud golden drawings of stars and constellations. We gravitated towards it, and I felt in the pit of my stomach that I knew what was up. It looked like Reimu did too, judging by the mix of apprehension and curiosity she showed. A loud voice could be heard above the merry crowd, a very familiar voice, "Yo! Come one, come all! Come for the best and most awesome items you'll ever find! Feeling down, need a pick-me-up? Buy one of my awesome ?shrooms and you'll be feeling more awesome in no time. Guaranteed! You'll be able to be the coolest and strongest around, kinda like me!"

"Good grief." Reimu grinned as she looked on at Marisa's antics. I wondered what she was doing here, it was the first time I had seen her at the festival. "I feel like saying something to her, like how foolish she looks, but I just don't know. Might not be worth the line, right?"

People I knew brushed past us as we walked around the square. Most ignored us, having fun with their cliques or groups but I got the occasional perplexed look from an old classmate. They had enough sense to stay away, with one of them giving me a sly approving nod after looking at Reimu. I pretended to not to understand and focused on showing her around. I was having fun and she also seemed to be having fun. It was hard not to, the merrymaking was infectious.

I was buying her something to drink when I made eye contact with Auntie. She was several stalls down, chatting with people I tried to avoid whenever possible. She smiled and spoke with her eyes, telling me that she wanted to talk to me if possible. I wasn't sure if I minded or not - it depended if they came along or not.

"Is something the matter, Arc?"
"No, nothing." I smiled and gave Reimu her drink, "What do you want to do?"
"You're more familiar with this whole thing than I am. You go ahead and decide."
"Well, I don't mind if that's how you feel."

The small group of family members approached us and Auntie seemed to be excited to talk to me, though the others hadn't even noticed me. I was trying to think how to make the best of the festival and didn't know how things would turn out. I didn't want to disappoint anyone I cared about.

[] Exchange a few words with Marisa at her stall
[] Talk with Auntie
[] Catch a bit of the puppet show
[] Melt away into the side streets for a while
[x] Catch a bit of the puppet show

So are you saying you're my stalker now? That time's better spent on making sure other people don't pull such stunts.
[X] Catch a bit of the puppet show

At least now Reimu will be able to see one without said show assaulting her with danmaku this time around
[x] Talk with Auntie

This could shed light on the situation with her family. I'm interested in learning more about them. As long as choosing this option doesn't mean leaving Reimu.
[X] Melt away into the side streets for a while

Leave me alone alone
Leave me alone leave me alone
Leave me alone
[x] Present Reimu to the family.
Is this write-in acceptable? It's a 'Talk with your Aunt' with an added thing to make sure that we don't leave Reimu hanging around.
If that isn't then...
[x] Go see Alice's puppet show.
None of the choices leave Reimu ignored or by herself. Your write in is equivalent to the choice. The introduction is therefore implied.

Don't flatter yourself. The warning stands for anyone stupid enough to vote more than once or use a proxy for that purpose for any story. It's easy for site staff to check and even easier for a ban to be issued.
[x] Talk with Auntie
[x] Talk with Auntie
Well, this might be worth checking out, maybe she's got hints or something for us.
[x] Talk with Auntie
[X] Melt away into the side streets for a while

Then we catch Auntie alone of course.
I'm also interested in Arc's reasons not to see these people, his family situation, etc. But it was just now very bluntly stated that he doesn't want to deal with them.
File 127604197050.jpg - (267.37KB, 800x1154 , cd52b486c12516a8dfdaf9a9670150a8.jpg) [iqdb]
[!/] Catch a bit of the puppet show

>she felt out of place and she knew it.

Isn't it sa...;__;
[X] Talk with Auntie

Auntie and Reimu, the two most important ladies in Arc's life. They ought to be formally introduced.

If the rest of the family tries to ruin this, well, they can go screw themselves.
>?Pretty much. I might have gone once when I was little but I'm not sure. it's a bit strange that everyone is making such a fuss."
>?it's a huge deal for everyone," I explained, "A lot of the crops planted earlier in the year are finally fully grown around this time. So everyone is busy reaping and gathering what they grew. A lot of preserves are made as well and in the coming weeks a lot of the food will be treated so to last us through winter. This festival is a way of everyone letting off steam for all of the hard work they put in as well as giving thanks for the harvest.."

I can already see it; the marriage will definitely increase Reimu's revenue.

[x] Talk with Auntie

If she can abide Suika spiriting Arc away, she can damn well approve Reimu.
I think she will anyways. Being brought into the Hakurei family is most certainly a prestigious honor despite Reimu's humble earnings.
Any updates this week?
I don't mean to annoy, but checking this space every few hours gets old.
Writer doesn't seem to be in the mood to write. Chances for updates in the next time are close to zero.
It's never an annoyance unless it's spam I suppose. In reply: Probably later today in all likelihood. Use the thread watching function or the rss feeds in to check more comfortably. They're there to help.

Academic commitments have mostly kept me busy or unfocused and in my free time I've tried to relax in other ways than by writing. I'd hoped to create a new thread but this one didn't fill as I thought it would.
>Probably later today in all likelihood.

next thread

kudos if you read every word of this one

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