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File 13620447037.jpg - (356.02KB, 1120x700, Border Crossing.jpg) [iqdb]
35318
It’s good to be home. Or it will be, once you get past the Border.

You still remember when you left Gensokyo, young and starry-eyed and itching to see the world outside that tiny bubble, perched on that outsider’s shoulder. They said you wouldn’t last a month. They said you wouldn’t have a scrap of belief to live on.

You cannot wait to see their faces when you return, in your full-grown glory and your elegant European suit, and tell them how that outsider wound up becoming a famous poet. How his greatest work fed you enough belief to go from that little boy who could barely spend a whole day in human form to – and here you’re tooting your own horn somewhat, but it’s quite true according to ladies far and wide – the strapping man you are today.

You’ll tell them of all the mad adventures you’ve had in a world far less dead to the supernatural than they had feared. Psychopomps carrying heads made of cheese doing battle with neckless knights over who had the right to their shared myth of origin. Strange flying mushroom men in Groucho Marx glasses arguing with a coal-black genius of fantasy-science. Infinite varieties of vampires and were-things, who were actually quite entertaining thanks to how often you got to kick their fangs in. Spirits, ghosts, gods, angels, demons…

Before you can do that, though, you’ll need to get back through the Border. The pulsing wrongness of it still strikes dread into you, even as it offers no response to the touch of your black-gloved fingers.

[]For all of Lady Yakumo’s cunning, she always forgets that most supernatural beings can fly.
[]There was a shrine that marked a safe entryway, right?
[]With all the force of myth behind you, you can probably just brute-force it.
[]You still have that odd little token…
[X]You still have that odd little token…

Calling for mysterious acquitance that gave us a last parting gift before we left to search for adventure in the Outside.
[X]You still have that odd little token…
[X]You still have that odd little token…
[X]You still have that odd little token…
Love interest?
>>35318
[X]You still have that odd little token…
Awesome! A new story!
[x]There was a shrine that marked a safe entryway, right?

Excellent, a new story.
[x]You still have that odd little token…

So...a raven? And he left with Edgar Allan Poe? Neat.
[]There was a shrine that marked a safe entryway, right?

Are we Okuu?
[]There was a shrine that marked a safe entryway, right?
>>35327
Waaaaaay off base. You are a short-tailed albatross - the one and only variety that nests in Japan - and the outsider was Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
File 136209535766.jpg - (138.69KB, 800x650, Too Early For This.jpg) [iqdb]
35332
She had smirked at you.

She had smirked extra wide, and handed you that little piece of paper shaped like a ribbon. “Rip it when you start feeling the aches,” she had said. “Auntie will come save you,” she had said.

Time to see if the magic held for two hundred years and change.

The first thing you hear is yawning. No surprise for early spring. “Who’zzat? Haven’t handed one of those out since… uuuuugh. Mus’ be a waker-uper dream.”

Ooh, telling her off for having written you off is going to be fun.

“Gotta be a dream, no way little Brownie would be comin’ back now after all ‘ese years. Goin’ back to sleep.”

Oh, no she doesn’t. You cup your hands around your mouth, line up with the little sound-only gap, and-

”Hello, Yukari! Wakey wakey! This is your nine o’clock alarm call!”

“AAAAAAUGH!”
In an instant, you’ve been dumped into an empty Japanese room. Sounds of furious cursing and shuffling cloth fill your ears for a few brief moments, and then –

“- Don’t know who you think you are, but-”

-The great Yukari Yakumo appears, resplendent in that silly purple nightgown she wore when it was just you visiting Chen instead of there being anyone she cared about in the house. Even with her hair in bed-tangles, she’s just as striking of a sight as she was all those years ago-

“-n’t explain yourself RIGHT NOW, I will cast you into the abyss between worlds!”

-Though you’re sure she would be easier to appreciate if you weren’t being lifted by your collar.

“So how, pray tell, did you get that token of mine from Chen’s poor doomed friend?”

When you think about it, you should have realized she wouldn’t recognize you. You really do look completely different now, thanks to the change in colors.

“I wasn’t doomed at all, actually. I did fine for myself Outside, thanks to that Englishman and his writing. I just thought I would visit an old friend. And her master. And her master’s master.”

The Lady in the Gaps narrows her eyes. “You’re seriously telling me that you-”

“That’s right,” you interrupt. “I am the one, the only…”

[]{Enter name.}
File 136209778890.png - (26.83KB, 120x120, DravenSquare.png) [iqdb]
35333
[x] Draven
>>35333
I hate you

[x] Draven's jacking this vote
>>35333
Oh come on. Let's not ruin this perfectly good story. I'm liking the concept thus far. It has potential.

[x] Byrne.

Irish surname transferred to forename use, from an Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Broin "descendant of Bran," hence "raven."
[x] Byrne.
I don't know what name exactly we should have, but its got to be something grand.

And I friggin' love it so far. Cant go wrong with pissing off Yukari!
[x] Byrne.
[x] Byrne.
Is good for our adopted outside name.

Makes little sense for name in Gensokyo 200 years ago.
[x] Tori
Because I don't like western names in Touhou fics.
[x] Byrne. An adventurous youkai returning after a successful 2 centuries abroad. Are we going to have adjustment difficulties? Because "knowing what Gensokyo used to be but having our cultural viewpoint warped by westernization" would be a neat alternative to cliche "OC already knows Gensokyo" or "OC knows nothing about Gensokyo"



>>35342
Except for Marisa, Alice, Mystia, Medicine, Sariel, Ellen, Elly, Luize, Letty, Lily, Lunasa, Merlin, and Lyrica. I'm sure if I opened up the wiki I could find more, but I haven't played any games past 11.
I'm with >>35342 on this one; if he's native from Gensokyo, he should have a Japanese-like name. Like:

[X]Arubato

Basing this name on >>35330 This would be how Japanese people would say 'albatross' when they try to speak English, more or less.

However, if we decide to go by our outsider name, then [x]Byrne sounds alright for me.
[x]Byrne
>>35335
On the contrary, utilizing a well known character's name gives our MC personality traits he'd otherwise lack.

That said, I'm gonna go for:

[x]Xanadu
Because the poet wasn't an addict after all! He just saw and talked to things no one else saw. I don't think he was bipolar either, wink wink.


Also, I'm gonna be disappointed if we don't meet the Ghost who captured that ship to avenge our death or the hermit who helped the only survivor.
[X]Byrne

Works for me~!
[X]Byrne

I like the sounds of this.

By the way, this is a promising story. Keep it up.
[X]Byrne

Sounds fine to me
“…Byrne the Fixer, if you’ll pardon me going by what I’ve been called for the last couple of centuries. You probably remember calling me Shinten, though.”

“So you say,” Yukari replies. “If you really are little Brownie, then why the white suit and the absurd -”

“Plumage changes color at maturity. You should know from having known Mother for so long.”

The tips of your shoes make contact with the floor. “Ah, yes, dear Shiri. Shame about that one youkai hunter choosing that day to not ask the villagers who was liked.”

Shino,” you correct, “and she went roaming just like I did. You admitted as much to me the day I told Chen I was leaving.”

Another short descent leaves you genuinely standing on your legs again. “Oh, yes, that’s right. Do forgive my memory, won’t you?”

“Since when did you ever forget things like that?”

“Oh, you know, since the soba incident.”

”We do not talk about the soba incident.” You can’t suppress the shudder that runs down your arms. Gods, just the mention of it makes you feel sick.

“So it really is you, then.” Her fingers finally release your collar. “I’m sure you’ll be able to explain why you woke me at such an early hello, Chen.

“Goooooot yoooooooou!” You may have grown more than a little while you were wandering in the West, but the impact of that little cat’s flying tackle is still enough to knock you off your feet. “I always knew you’d be back some day, you dumb bird!”

“And I always told you to stop pronouncing it like that.” You’ve already been infected with her grin. “So how’d you know it was me right off the bat?”

“It’s ‘cause you still smell like breakfast.”

“You know what else is still true? I’m not on your menu.”

Ah, the same classic banter between friends as always. You missed her, all those years.

[]Ask Chen what’s been happening while you were gone.
[]Regale her with stories of your adventures.
[X] Take turns swapping stories. There will, of course, be the expected initial argument about who goes first, but you'd gracefully accede to her wishes, as usual.
Obviously.
[X] Take turns swapping stories. There will, of course, be the expected initial argument about who goes first, but you'd gracefully accede to her wishes, as usual.
I like this write in.
[X] Take turns swapping stories. There will, of course, be the expected initial argument about who goes first, but you'd gracefully accede to her wishes, as usual.
Obviously.

I hate to bandwagon, but this is quite sensible.
[X] Take turns swapping stories. There will, of course, be the expected initial argument about who goes first, but you'd gracefully accede to her wishes, as usual.

Bandwagons are good if the write-in is good.
[X] Take turns swapping stories. There will, of course, be the expected initial argument about who goes first, but you'd gracefully accede to her wishes, as usual.

sounds good to me
[X] Take turns swapping stories. There will, of course, be the expected initial argument about who goes first, but you'd gracefully accede to her wishes, as usual.
Obviously.
[X] Take turns swapping stories. There will, of course, be the expected initial argument about who goes first, but you'd gracefully accede to her wishes, as usual.

Well, when a write-in's this good...
[X] Take turns swapping stories. There will, of course, be the expected initial argument about who goes first, but you'd gracefully accede to her wishes, as usual.

This one is really good.

>Soba incident
Almost made me spill my noodles
Update has been delayed by the vidya trying to write a wall and not being able to transition between sections properly the vidya not being sure whether or not to give you guys a chioce, or just continue into a planned event the vidya. My apologies.

Stay frosty. I'm working on it.

Fucking Etrian Odyssey IV, stop addicting me.
File 136316568083.jpg - (234.66KB, 1280x960, You Shouldn't Believe In Such Superstitions.jpg) [iqdb]
35387
You gently lever Chen’s arms off of your torso. It’s not that you don’t like letting the kitten hold you in a tackle grip, but you’d really rather be sitting up than lying down. Being a bird by nature, you generally associate being on your back with being dead, or soon to be killed…

Well, okay, maybe it is that you don’t like being pinned on your back by a carnivore.

“So,” you say, “I’ve been gone for a long time, now, and I’m not exactly up to speed on what’s been happening in Gensokyo. Care to tell me a story or two?”

“Maaaaaaaybe.” Chen doesn’t so much lift herself off of you as pop up, springing into a sitting position with surprising grace. “But I think I want to hear about what you were doing first.”

A vicious smirk creeps across your face. “I bet someone just doesn’t want to admit how much time she spent napping.”

“Huh?”

“Oh, you know - ” and by now, your lips have stretched as far out and up as the can possibly go – “I just figured, since you’ve got all those nice south-facing windows, and your master is extra fluffy, and your master’s master is a genuine expert on all matters sleep related… maybe you decided to spend more time curled up in warm places.”

Just as you try to sit up, Chen pushes you back down, one tiny finger exerting irresistible force on your forehead. “That is a baseless and hurtful stereotype, Shin, and you know it. When have I ever been a kotatsu addict?”

“That’s a completely unfair question. We both know there were no such things as kotatsu when I was here last.”

“Darn right. You have no way of knowing if I’m a kotatsu fan or not-”

“Except,” you interrupt with a triumphant smirk, “that you’re being exceptionally specific about how I don’t know whether or not you like them. Very, very specific, indeed.”

The finger leaves your forehead, and your fine feline friend feigns a furious frown. “You win. Meanie.”

“Aww, you know me. I just can’t resist messing with you. So, anyways…”

And as you sit up, you stretch your arms out wide. They shimmer, and for a brief instant, seem to split –four black gloves, four white sleeves, four patterns of black markings running along the inner seams – before your wings spring back into existence, their great span no longer hidden behind a veil of thinly constructed nonexistence.

“…Since it would be rude of me to exploit my stunning victory in argument any further, why don’t I start?”

==========

”You want to call me what.”

“ ‘Tis a noble name, for such a noble spirit,” the graying man replies. “The raven is a somber an’ respectable bird which-”

“-Has no traits that matter to me.” There are some things that are too important to wait to say. “Because where I come from, the word is the same as the word for crows. Loud, pushy, obnoxious sky rats that I wouldn’t trust any further than I could fling them with a punch. Ever try to punch a bird in flight?”

“The distinction may not be made in your lands,” the old priest replies, “but it is made in ours. And when, pray tell, have ye ever heard a citizen o’ this town speak aught but ill of the albatross?”

The old man has a point.

“Byrne it is, then.” The words are half speech, and half a groan.


==========

“…And over time, I got used to it. Frankly, I’m not that hung up about the meaning any more, either – folks here are about as unlikely to know what it means as they are to know about the difference between a raven and a crow.”

Chen shakes her head. “Changing names is just weird, though. I mean… Byrne. It doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue.”

“There were extenuating circumstances, like I said. And stop trying to make me forget it’s your turn.”

“Aww, you found me out. So, not long after you left, that old, old darkness youkai started getting really tired of having phenomenal cosmic powers…”

…………
………
……


“-nd right when the fangy bastard has me on the ropes, he starts monologuing! MONOLOGUING! About how he’s going to cover the world in darkness and blah blah blah, and that kept him busy long enough for the Doc to open the curtains. So he catches on fire, and we all start laughing, and that poor old American lying in the corner with the shattered spine? He sucks in a biiiiig breath of air, and he starts belting out his national anthem, but with different words! ‘Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, how that vampire just failed, basic villainy classes, th-”

…………
………
……


“-But then Wriggle – and remember, this was when she was just tiny – sneaks up and starts trying to nibble on the Outsider’s ankle, and he just shrieks and drops the spell entirely. So the Hakurei and I beat him up and tossed him back out of the Border. I miss her, y’know. Four more Hakurei maidens since then, and there hasn’t been a one who was that fun. Your turn.”

“Okay. So, about a hundred years ago, I’m mucking about in Russia, and there’s this town where guys start turning up drowned. Now, this is in the western end, a long way from Japan, so I know it’s not just a particularly grouchy kappa…”

…………
………
……


“-So now Mysty has a band, but they’re terrible. They call it ‘punk rock’ or something, but it’s just repetitive notes and lots of shouting. It’s a good thing she still has her lamprey stand to fall back on.”

“I’d hate to hear what you think of thrash metal, then.”

“Say what now? Anyways, your turn.”

You throw your hands up in a huge, exaggerated shrug. “I’m out, sorry.”

“Good timing. I just reached the one about this horrid little bird coming back to Gensokyo after two centuries and counting, during which he never once bothered to write.”

“Why, you little - wait a second.” That wasn’t Chen’s voice just now.

“And then he expends a perfectly good piece of solidified magic for no reason, wakes me up at ten-thirty in the morning, destroys my seventy-hour, extra-restful napping streak, and starts trying to impress my shikigami’s shikigami instead of making it up to me.”

Oh. OH.

Oh, hell, you can already hear the nagging.

“Chen, dear. Could you go make sure Ran is preparing a meal?”

This is going to end poorly.

“Now. Shinten.” Yukari’s tone loads your name with a message, specifically you little shit, how DARE you use a name besides the one your mother gave you?

“Yes?”

“Why, exactly, did you feel the need to wake me up so early, and then ignore me for that whole winding storytime of yours?”

Oh, hell no. You are NOT going to let this stand.

“Early. Early, you say.” You smack your palm into your forehead theatrically, an action that says don’t YOU talk down to me. “I’m not sure how much attention you pay to anyone or anything outside of your own house these days, but even those late-waking slacker Outsider humans would have been at work for an hour and a half by now. It’s almost lunch time, for the Dragon’s sake!”

“My, my. Have you been among humans so long that you’ve forgotten what it is to be a creature of the night?”

“In case you’ve forgotten, they call me Byrne the Fixer out there. ‘Creatures of the night’ are a category of people whose teeth I kick in. Professionally. And the best time of the day for that happens to be-”

“Are you threatening me, little chicklet?”

“No, but I might, if it has a chance of getting you to wake up in the mornings again instead of sleeping three days in a row! Mother would be ashamed of you, sleeping that long outside of winter!”

“Are you lecturing me, you little zygote?

“Yes. Do you have an issue with that-” and mockery creeps into your tone – “my dear young maiden?

You can almost see little wisps of steam escaping her ears at that one. Her rage is delicious. This is so easy!

“Three cards, no bombing,” she announces. “When I win, you get your arrogant little ass out of my house.”

If you remember right, those sound like terms to those silly ‘spell card duels’ that Chen mentioned as being the new method of conflict resolution in Gensokyo. Knowing Yukari, she probably didn’t even bother designing any decent attack patterns, and you have the right to use a simple aimed stream instead of having to improvise a pattern on the spot. Even tamping things down to the level of that old non-lethal practice magic you started with, you’re quite confident in the power you earned from your two hundred years of fighting against those nasty creatures that Westerners loved to fear so much.

Taunting her was totally the right thing to-

Bounded Field [Edge of Past and Future]

-This was NOT the right thing to do! Why can’t you block or dodge any of these fucking bullets? Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. SHIIIIII-

*pichuun*

“And STAY out, ingrate!”

Before you can even push the sheer mind-melting [i]pain
of several dozen simultaneous impacts, you’re falling, falling, falling like a rock. It’s a good thing you had already brought your wings back out, or you wouldn’t have the slightest hope of righting yourself in time.

As it is, you manage to get yourself to a speed that isn’t a threat to life and limb, but still sends a shockwave running up your aching legs as you land. Fortunately, your landing doesn’t seem to have injured anyone nearby.

Unfortunately, there is, in fact, someone nearby, and she’s gaping at you. Some kind of… green-haired… puppy?

Wow, it has been too long since you saw any of the lesser-known youkai.

[] “Who are you?”
[] “Where is this?”
[] “Hello?”
[] “HELLLOOOOO?”
[x] “Who are you?”
[x] “Hello?”

Cue the echo-games.
[X] “Hello?”
[x] “Hello?”
[] “Hello?”
[x] “Hello?”

Just how long was he gone? It sounds like he'd be way older than Chen.
>>35394
Remember, we don't have any real indication of Chen's age in canon, since nekomata don't follow the hundred-years-equals-one-tail rule of kitsune. The way I figure it, Chen has probably been in her physical early teens for a reeeeeeeally long time.

Byrne IS older than Chen, but not by that much of a margin in terms of sheer years - it's more a difference in size and appearance, since I'm going with bird youkai aging somewhat faster than youkai cats. Assume that you're physically in the college-student bracket.

[X] “Who are you?”

Seems like 200 years is long enough to forget how ridiculously powerful Yukari is.

>“-nd right when the fangy bastard has me on the ropes, he starts monologuing! MONOLOGUING! About how he’s going to cover the world in darkness and blah blah blah,
You are now hearing this in the voice of Samuel L. Jackson. Manually.
>>35396
>You are now hearing this in the voice of Samuel L. Jackson.
I already was. I've wanted to see him as some sort of vampire/whatever hunter since, at least, the first Blade movie.
>>35395
Plus we have pretty significant faith behind us
[X] “HELLLOOOOO?”

Louder is always better. Don't you know anything about greeting people?
>>35390
"Echoooooo~~!"
"Echoooooo~~!"
"How are you~~?"
"Fine, thank you~~"

[X] “Hello?”
[X] “Hello?”

Hmm..
[X] "Hello?"
I'm just pining for the fjords.

In all seriousness, though, I'm working on this again. Should be back before too long.
>>35443
So when is 'too long', shitlord?
Well! A new story! This one looks good, even.

[X] “Hello?”

Shame on you, guy whom posted Draven.
File 138959033984.gif - (14.83KB, 275x300, slowpoke.gif) [iqdb]
37384
>>37382

>Well! A new story! This one looks good, even.
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