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File 144972999557.png - (962.71KB, 811x1168, how did this reach thread 2.png) [iqdb]
38909 No. 38909
[x] An assistant librarian.

"Heeeey!" I call, waving, "Koakuma!"

Koakuma's head jerks up from scanning the rest of the village. She puts on a burst of speed, swoops slightly, and does an acrobatic flip to land quickly without flipping her skirt. She touches down almost silently a few paces in front of us, straightens, and mutters a spell as she approaches. With a flick of her fingers and a few glowing runes, all four of her wings seem to just melt away.

Of course, most of the village just saw all of that, so it feels a little pointless to put on a disguise now.

"Miss Marisa," Koakuma says, bowing very slightly. She wears the tired half-smile of someone whose day isn't going well at all.

"Heya Koa," Marisa says, "yer a rare sight outside the Mansion. Ol' Patches send ya out book-huntin' or somethin'?"

"If only," Koakuma groans. "It's all hands on deck at the moment. Lady Remilia sent me to find you, among other people." She glances at me and Sekibanki. "I guess it might interest you too."

"Eh? Whassat ol' bat want with little ol' me?"

"Lady Remilia will be holding a carnival of sorts on the lawn in front of the Mansion gates, opening tomorrow evening."

"Carnival? Ya mean like a party?"

"More or less. For whatever reason, she wishes to bring as many humans and youkai together as possible, and would like to request your assistance in keeping the peace."

"Keepin' a bunch of partyin' youkai from layin' into a bunch of partyin' humans? That's a tall order."

Koakuma sighs. "I know. I'm supposed to let Miss Reimu and Miss Sanae know as well, but I've been to both shrines and I can't find either of them..."

"Reimu was here a moment ago," I say, "so she can't have gone far!"

"Good luck gettin' 'em both to work together, though," Marisa adds with a chuckle. "So, party at Remilia's, an' she wants folks from the village to attend. Seems a bit outta the blue, y'know?"

"She decided on it a few hours ago," Koakuma replies, looking even more tired.

"...huh. Yeah, that's Remilia for ya. Anythin' else I should know?"

"Miss Sakuya is busy preparing the venue, Meiling is out looking for people to provide food and entertainment, and Lady Patchouli is refusing to have anything whatsoever to do with the matter." A distant rumble of thunder punctuates her sentence. "...other than keeping the weather cooperative for the duration. You'd have to ask Lady Remilia herself for more information; I'm in the dark here myself."

"Okay, gotcha. I'll see about gettin' on Reimu's good side for ya," Marisa says, turning to leave.

"So you'll help?" Koakuma asks hopefully.

"O' 'course! Ya think I'd wanna miss out on an opportunity for a good party?"

Marisa departs with a wave, revealing Kosuzu frozen in place where she'd been hiding behind her.

"P-please excuse me!" Kosuzu says, and hurries off after Marisa.

Koakuma lets out a long sigh, head and shoulders drooping.

"So, um, been busy?" I ask.

"Have I ever," Koakuma groans. "First Marisa trashes the library, then she comes back and dumps a huge pile of books in the way of the cleanup, then some crazy fairy turns up and starts terrorising the maids, then the Young Mistress comes out to play with her and both of them start blowing the mansion to bits, then all the fairies are too scared or dead to do anything so Miss Sakuya drafts me to help with mansion repairs, then Lady Remilia wakes up in a rage and takes it out on us, then that stupid fairy challenges her to a drinking contest, which she accepts, and loses, and then she hugs me while reeking of alcohol and says 'hey Sakuya, I just had a great idea!' So now we're trying to organise a carnival on our doorstep in just twenty-four hours which is insane because the mansion is a complete freaking wreck!" Koakuma grows steadily more hysterical as she talks, until she's practically wailing. She takes a few deep breaths to steady herself.

"...ouch. Um, is there anything we can do to help?" I ask.

"No no no, I don't want get you tangled up in this mess too..."

"It's fine! We don't mind helping out, right?" I say.

"Of course!" Shinmyoumaru says, folding her arms. "It would be criminal for us to ignore a fair maiden in distress!"

"Fair maiden, you say... you do know I'm a devil, right?" Koakuma asks.

"Irrelevant details!" Shinmyoumaru replies, waving her hand dismissively.

"Uh, well, I'd offer to lend a hand but mine are in hospital..." Sekibanki says.

"Ah, yes, I heard about that," Koakuma says. "I hope you recover soon, Miss Sekibanki."

Sekibanki looks away uncomfortably.

"Speaking of which, did you know that you were in the paper this morning?" Koakuma asks.

"Me? Really?" I ask.

"The Kakashi Spirit News ran an article on you rescuing two human villagers from wild youkai."

"Er, well, I didn't really do all that much..."

"She even went and interviewed Miss Hijiri about improving human-youkai relations."

"Urk. So, um, anyway, what can we do to help?"

"Well... I'm sure Lady Patchouli or Miss Sakuya would appreciate some help cleaning up the mansion. None of us have a particularly good reputation in the village, so it's doubtful we'd be able to convince many humans to come, and I still need to find the mountain miko..."

[ ] Let's help clean up the Mansion!
[ ] Let's help advertise in the Village!
[ ] Let's help find Sanae!

---

I am so bad and slow without a deadline looming over me.
199posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>> No. 40096
We'll miss you while you're gone! I hope everything goes well for you until you can come back.
>> No. 40097
>>40094
That's too bad, this story is pretty awesome and it was fun to have it back. Best of luck with your personal stuff and we'll be here when you come back!
>> No. 40098
File 147664673715.jpg - (71.45KB, 850x597, 1412551965544-4.jpg) [iqdb]
40098
NOO, NOT RIGHT NOW.

Goddamnit, we were in the best moment. And... what about your other story?
>> No. 40611
File 150648705617.jpg - (189.46KB, 900x900, FFFFFFFF-.jpg) [iqdb]
40611
...owwwwwwwwww.

Sun's too bright.

Birds are too loud.

Go away world.

WHUMP

Uff! Ow. I think I just rolled out of bed... uhhh, wait, bed?

"You okay down there?"

I roll over - uergh no why did I do that - and squint upwards.

"Hi Meiling," I mumble, "why's there two of you?"

"...how much did you drink last night?"

"I 'unno. A lot."

"Well, maybe you'll think twice before doing it again."

"Tha' was the idea..."

I try to haul myself to my feet, overbalance, end up on all fours and ooooh spinniiiing -

"Not on the carpet!"

...

"No, I'm good."

"You sure?"

I straighten up, slowly and carefully. One Meiling. Kinda wobbly though. And why's she holding a feather?

"'m okay."

"Think you can make it downstairs?"

"...yeah."

I follow Meiling through the halls. Green and white is really easy to see against red and black. We end up in the main dining hall. I flop down at one of the smaller tables and rest my poor head on the nice cool tabletop.

"Here, drink this."

I gratefully take the glass of water and down it in one gulp -

- and promptly end up inhaling half of it. My stomach is on fire! Cold fire! I can't see, I can't smell, I feel like I've wet myself - I feel like I've got frostbite!

After what feels like years of choking I can finally breathe again. I wipe the tears away from my eyes and shake my head, shivering.

"What - gack - what was that?" I ask weakly.

"Hangover cure. Also good for hayfever and constipation!"

I blink a few more times and stare at the chair opposite me, willing the mass of red, white and blue to make sense.

"Nothing like the smell of minty freshness in the morning, eh?" Clownpiece says, grinning, with her hands behind her head and her feet on the table.

I shake my head again, just to check. No pain. No nausea. Still feel rotten otherwise though.

"It... worked?" I fidget a bit, discretely making sure I haven't actually soiled myself as I straighten up my clothes. "What are you doing here, anyway?"

"I... kinda sorta may have been roped into cleaning up," Clownpiece replies, letting her chair fall back onto all four legs and looking off to the side. "After getting double-teamed in a totally unfair, rigged match -"

"- that you agreed to, so you lost fair and square," Meiling says from behind me.

"I was drunk!"

"So was Yukari."

Meiling puts a steaming bowl and a glass full of something orange-colored on the table in front of me.

"Nothing fancy, but it should help with the head," she says.

"Um, actually, my head feels pretty okay now." I give it another shake and marvel at the lack of pain or spinniness. "Clownpiece gave me something."

"Did she now?" Meiling cracks her knuckles.

"Hey, hey, time out!" Clownpiece raises her hands in surrender. "One hundred percent oni-made medicine, nothing shady going on here!"

"...oni get hangovers?" I ask. "How much alcohol would that even take?"

"All of it," Clownpiece replies.

"Well, if you're sure you're okay, I should get back to work," Meiling says.

"Urk... um, I'm sorry..."

"Don't worry about it," Meiling says, patting me on the shoulder. "Looking after guests is my job too." She shoots Clownpiece a glare. "Behave."

"Geez," Clownpiece grumbles once Meiling is out of earshot, "one little rampage and everyone thinks I'm some kind of hooligan. Can't take a joke, any of 'em..."

"You did kind of blow holes in the walls," I remind her.

"That wasn't me! Well, okay, maybe a little. But Dame Laserlots and One Coin Wonder did most of it!"

I don't answer, instead starting on my breakfast. It's just like Meiling said, plain but easy to digest. My appetite slowly returns as I eat, and I end up finishing all of it. Clownpiece stays quiet the whole time, idly balancing her chair on two legs again while staring into space with a thoughtful expression. I didn't think a fairy could sit still for that long.

"So, um, if you lost a duel and they made you clean up, why are you still here?" I ask after I drain the last of my juice. "You don't seem to like the Scarlets much."

Clownpiece blinks, and her chair thunks to the floor again.

"Who said I didn't like 'em? This place is great!" she replies, face breaking into another grin. "Well, except for mean ol' headwings. I asked if there was anything I could do to help and she set me on fire!"

I wince. It takes a lot to make Koa actually get violent.

"Saaay... what's the deal with you and the headmistress?"

"...who?" I ask.

Clownpiece makes a slicing motion across her throat.

"You mean Sekibanki? Um... wait, where is she anyway?" I look around as I try to remember when I last...

...saw...

...oh.

Oh!

"That's a reeeeeal nice face you're makin' there young lady!" Clownpiece says, leaning forward with a smirk on her face.

"N-n-no, it's nothing like that! I just remembered I was drinking because I asked Reimu to teach me how to be a miko as a prank and she said yes and I have to be at the shrine first thing in the morning and what time is it!?"

Clownpiece suddenly looks like she's about to die laughing.

"It is currently seven minutes past nine," Sakuya's unflappable voice says from beside me, followed by the click of her pocket watch closing.

"She's gonna exterminate me!" I yelp, scrambling out of my chair -

- and smacking straight into Sekibanki.

"Oof!"
"Mmhmmmf!?"

Sakuya catches me before I fall over and crack my head on the table. Sekibanki jerks backwards out of my chest, face red.

"Godsdammit are you doing this on purpose!?" she wails.

"No! Ow! That hurt!"

"Shall I kiss it better?" Sakuya asks. I hear a chair falling over and a hell fairy struggling to breathe.

"I'm fine!" I shrug off Sakuya's hands and stand up on my own.

"If you say so, Miss Tatara. Would I be correct in assuming you were on your way out?"

"Er, well, I really shouldn't keep Reimu waiting so..."

"Understood. Will you be going with her, Miss Sekibanki?"

"I, uh, I guess so?"

"As you wish. This way, please."

I fall into step behind Sakuya, who looks like she's walking at her usual pace but is moving so fast I almost have to jog to keep up.

"So, um, about last night -" I begin.

"I have no idea what you're talking about! No idea at all!" Sekibanki blurts out, not looking at me.

We don't say anything else until we reach the front door.

"Thank you both for your assistance once again, and please do visit again soon," Sakuya says as we leave.

"Uh, it was nothing, and, um, sorry for getting drunk and being a bother!" I reply, already in the air. Sakuya just smiles pleasantly.

I head for the Hakurei shrine at top speed. Reimu is waiting under the torii, broom in hand.

"You're late." Somehow the fact that she doesn't sound angry only makes it even scarier!

"I'm sorry! I had too much to drink and slept in!"

"Whatever. Come on, let's get started already."

Reimu leads the way into the shrine, and I follow meekly behind. Sekibanki wisely keeps her distance.

"S-so, what am I actually supposed to do?" I ask.

"First," Reimu says as she closes the door, "you're going to strip."

-----

"This is, um... kind of breezy..." I say, fiddling with my sleeves. I'm wearing one of Reimu's not-quite-traditional miko outfits, complete with the trademark exposed armpits.

"Get used to it, it's the uniform," Reimu replies.

"...can I at least have my sarashi back?"

"No."

"But the chest is too tight, people are gonna see-"

I quickly shut up as a big stick stops right in front of my nose.

"Well?" Reimu prods (literally). "Hurry up and take it."

I gingerly take the stick. It has folded paper on the other end - one of Reimu's oversize gohei.

...is this a real gohei? I mean, is there such thing as a not-real gohei? They're made for purification, so they're dangerous to youkai... it's not burning my hands like the seal yesterday at least.

"Alright, go wait outside. I'll be out in a minute."

I do as I'm told, stepping out into the morning sun. It feels weird to be wearing tabi again after so long. At least she let me wear my own geta; she only has one pair after all.

Someone whistles loudly. I whirl around to see Sekibanki watching me with a huge smirk on her face and Shinmyoumaru perched on top of her.

"Lookin' good," Sekibanki says. Shinmyoumaru gives me a wink and a thumbs-up.

"Cut it out," I whine.

"No, really, it suits you. You won't scare any humans at all in that outfit!"

"Grrr, you - I'll exterminate you!"

"Wahahahahaha!"

I swing my gohei at her and she darts away, leading me on a chase around the shrine grounds. I keep from getting too close, just in case, and quickly stop when Reimu comes out.

"Umm, how do I use this?" I ask her.

CRACK

Stupid question!

"So, uh, what's all that for?" I ask, rubbing my forehead.

"This is the Portable Hakurei Shrine Donation Box!" Reimu declares. "I've been thinking it's high time I did a little bit of advertising in the village, and guess who volunteered to help out!"

"So this is just cosplay then?"

Reimu smiles menacingly. "Pretty much!"

...um. Well, I didn't actually want to become a miko (can a youkai even do that?) so I guess it's fine?

"Well don't just stand there! It's time to go drum up some faith, and more importantly, donations!"

-----

We spend the next four hours walking around the Human Village, without a single break. The clouds from yesterday have completely disappeared, and Reimu made me leave my umbrella at the shrine.

I think my armpits are sunburned.

If Reimu's bothered by the heat, she doesn't show it. The smile she gives the humans look genuine - and the smiles she gives the youkai look terrifying. Even more terrifying is how quickly she can go from one to the other. One moment she's cheerfully praising a little boy's manners, the next she's all but extorting money out of an 'undercover' kitsune.

I don't get to spend much time watching though - I'm too busy doing! My face hurts from all the smiling! How does Kyouko do this all day!? I get the feeling Reimu would have been much better off with a human helper, or at least someone less familiar. Everyone in the village knows who and what I am so they're just as guarded around me as they usually are.

I do manage to talk a few people into donating so it's not a total loss. I fall into a routine, moving far enough away to talk to people Reimu hasn't but staying close enough not to get left behind. Reimu pays no attention to me whatsoever so I get used to keeping one eye on her.

So when Reimu ducks into an alley I follow without even thinking about it.

The next thing I know she has my (bare, sunburned) shoulders in an oni-like grip, and her face is almost nose-to-nose with mine.

"Why are you so popular?"

"Wh-wh-what do you mean!?"

"Everyone is happy to see you. Everyone. Without exception. Have you bewitched them or something?"

"No! Nothing! I haven't been doing anything weird!"

"Then why does everyone like you?"

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

Reimu glares at me for a full minute.

Then she lets go. Her shoulders slump. Her face goes from terrible to tired.

"So that's it, is it? That's all there is to it. I'm less likable than a youkai."

"Umm..."

"You're here every day getting to know people while I'm stuck halfway up a mountain tending to a border nobody can see. It's no contest."

"Miss Reimu?"

"Ugh, I got loads of donations but it still feels like I lost. Stupid tsukumogami..."

Reimu leaves the alley and walks back the way we came. I hurry to catch up.

"So we're not going to keep going?" I ask.

"Do you want to keep going? I thought you said you were just trying to prank me."

"I don't care about that anymore! I want to help!"

Reimu stops so suddenly I nearly crash into her.

"You want to help me?" she asks, turning around.

"Yes!"

"...here."

Reimu slaps something onto my forehead. I go cross-eyed for a moment trying to look at it, and realize it's a piece of paper.

"...oh! But I thought I was supposed to be a miko, not a jiang-shi?"

Reimu doesn't answer. I peel the paper off and look at it.

It's an ofuda. An anti-youkai ward, just like the ones from yesterday.

Umm.

W-well, if she was trying to hurt me then it would be burning me again, right?

I look up, and realize Reimu isn't in front of me anymore. I tuck the ofuda in my sleeve and hurry after her again.

-----

Reimu is silent the whole way back, and when we arrive the shrine is deserted. I'm sure I saw Sekibanki and Shinmyoumaru follow us into the village but I lost track of them while I was working. As soon as we touch down Reimu heads straight for the kitchen and brews a pot of tea.

"You're still here," she says when she returns to the table.

"W-well, I do need to give the uniform back, and get my umbrella..."

Reimu wordlessly pours two cups of tea, and places the second on the other side of the table.

I sit.

Reimu stares at me, expression unreadable.

"...is there something on my face?" I ask nervously.

"No," Reimu replies.

She takes a sip of her tea.

"...and that's the problem, isn't it?"

It takes me a moment to figure out what she meant.

"You mean you were trying to hurt me!?"

Reimu waves her hand lazily. "You'd have recovered in no time."

I pull out the ofuda and look at it again. "So why isn't it working?"

Reimu abruptly stands up, walks around the table and takes the ofuda off me.

"Close your eyes," she orders.

"Wh-what are you going to do?"

"Just close them!"

I squeeze my eyes shut.

"Now, just... I dunno, think good thoughts."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"How the heck should I know!? Think about helping people or something!"

"O...kay?"

I try to think about all the helpful things I've done lately. Or tried to do. Even when I'm trying to be good, I'm not very good at it...

Something cold touches my hands.

"What are you doing?"

"Testing a theory. Okay, you can open your eyes now."

I open my eyes. Reimu is sitting in front of me, scowling.

I'm holding a yin-yang orb.

"Wh-wh-wh-wha-"

"Looks like I was right," Reimu says. She looks annoyed.

"Right about what!?"

"The Hakurei yin-yang orbs are my strongest weapons. A youkai shouldn't even be able to touch them."

"But I'm touching one right now!"

"Exactly. Which means," she narrows her eyes at me, "you're not a youkai."

"...eh?"

"At least, not entirely."

"Wh... what are you talking about!?" I hold the yin-yang orb a bit further away from myself.

Reimu gets up and goes back to her spot.

"There isn't much difference between youkai and gods, you know. Fox youkai become gods all the time. You could become a goddess of umbrellas pretty easily."

"Who'd worship that kind of goddess!? And besides that I'm not goddess-like at all!"

Reimu idly sips at her tea. "What have you been doing in the village lately?"

"I haven't been doing anything! I've been properly following the rules!"

Reimu pulls a newspaper out of her sleeve (why did she have that with her!?), unfolds it and throws it in front of me.

It's the Kakashi Spirit News, and the page she opened it to is the article about me guiding two humans back to the village two nights ago.

"It looks to me like you've been protecting people."

"But if I'd just left them there Miss Keine would have thrown me out of the village! And I didn't actually do anything to stop Seija!"

"It doesn't matter why you're doing it or how good you are at it. What matters is what people think about it."

"What's that supposed to mean!?"

Reimu leans over the table and taps at the photograph. "These people trust you to protect them." She leans even closer. "They have faith in you."

I blink.

"I... but..."

Reimu sits back down. "Only a tiny little bit, but that's all it takes to start the process."

"But I'm not even a good person." I stare at the floor. "I've done loads of awful things..."

Reimu shrugs. "Doesn't matter. There are evil gods as well as good gods. Though mind you, youkai or god I'll kick your butt if you cause trouble."

"I wasn't thinking of it!"

"Good. I have enough pests to deal with already."

I carefully put the yin-yang orb down on the table, then reflexively wipe my hands and check them for damage. There is none, which only confirms what Reimu said.

"What if... what if I don't want to be a goddess?"

"Stop helping people," Reimu says simply. "They'll forget about it, the sliver of faith you've gathered will fade and nothing will have changed."

Reimu closes her eyes and sips her her tea in silence.

[ ] ...I should go find the others.
[ ] ...I should ask someone else about this.
[ ] ...I need time to think.

---

The only thing shittier than my life is my update rate aaaaaaaaaaaah.
>> No. 40612
[X] ...I should ask someone else about this.

It's back! Thank you for returning Masking Tape, I almost didn't want to hope when I saw the image on the front page.
>> No. 40613
[x] ...I need time to think.

deus ex umbrella
>> No. 40614
[x] I should think about it

Oh wow you're back! And with a excellent plot twist, no less!

Go go, Kogasa-sama; Guest god of the Hakurei Shrine!
>> No. 40615
Holy shit this is back! And now I need to re-read it all to get caught up again. Welcome back, Masking Tape, missed you and your story both!

[X] ...I should go find the others.

Banki has good advice. We should ask her about things. And also about last night while we're at it.
>> No. 40616
File 150655748984.jpg - (308.92KB, 850x1202, yukari.jpg) [iqdb]
40616
[ ] ...I need time to think.

Something that I just thought of. Several of the really powerful Touhous carry umbrellas. And we just became the goddess of umbrellas.
>> No. 40617
[X] ...I should go find the others.

Hooray, it's back!
>> No. 40618
[x] ...I should go find the others.
>> No. 40619
File 150665862815.png - (587.04KB, 999x999, a tie for atai.png) [iqdb]
40619
Don't get too excited just yet; shit's still going down so updates will still be hit-and-miss for a while.

If everything goes according to keikaku I should be getting the hell out of Dodge sometime this winter, but Hina knows I have the worst luck in the world so something is bound to go wrong.

>>40614
> plot twist

It only took me two years, and >>39278 saw it coming a mile away.

> excellent

Hahahaha nice joke your honor.

>>40616
> yukari.jpg

Funny you should mention her... well, it's a few votes away yet.

Also that's a parasol not an umbrella.

Also also, see pic. I should probably leave the votes open for a week or so after such a long hiatus, but still.
>> No. 40620
>>40619
>>40612
If it's a tie then I'll swap my vote to
[x] I should think about it

Also I don't think anyone would joke about your story being excellent, it certainly was a pleasure to read even after the extended break.
>> No. 40621
>Kogasa becomes Goddess of Umbrellas
>Umbrellas are used when its raining
>Through the transitive property of mathematics, Kogasa becomes a Rain Goddess
>Kanako is already a Rain Goddess
>Kanako is also a War Goddess
>OHSHIT.jpg
>Kogasa vs. Kanako. Winner takes all.

I foresee fun times ahead.

[x] ...I need time to think.
>> No. 40623
File 150670377187.jpg - (10.39KB, 266x190, images.jpg) [iqdb]
40623
>I should leave the vote open for a while...

NO

CALL VOTES MAKE UPDATES

420 BLAZE IT FAGGOT

Or don't. Whatever you feel it's best.
>> No. 40624
Calling it for thinking before it ties again.
>> No. 40625
>>40621

Eh, another story on this site (Which is completed BTW) had Kogasa kick both Kanako's a and Suwako's asses while at a disadvantage. So I'd say she's got this.
>> No. 40626
>>40625
Well she had backup to take care of Suwako.
>> No. 40627
File 15067403836.png - (1.01MB, 800x850, Orange's OTP.png) [iqdb]
40627
>>40625
But that Kogasa was tempered by despair. I think she could have taken even Emperor's Color with enough motivation.
>> No. 40628
File 150685315774.jpg - (433.58KB, 814x710, thoughtful umbrella.jpg) [iqdb]
40628
>>40623

Okay, okay, keep your skirt on. Geez.

>>40625

I am not Fell, your argument is invalid.

---

[x] ...I need time to think.

For a while neither of us moves. We just quietly sit and drink our tea.

The shrine sure is quiet with nobody else around.

When the tea runs out, I get up and go looking for my stuff. I change back into my own clothes and hug my umbrella to my chest. Reimu is lying down on the floor where she was sitting, and seems to have fallen asleep, so I decide not to bother her any more.

The hot afternoon sun is still beating down, but with my umbrella for shade and a nice cool breeze at higher altitudes flying around is actually quite pleasant. I drift aimlessly for a while, letting the wind take me where it will, as I think about what Reimu said.

I don't really believe it, to be honest. But she doesn't exactly have a reason to make something like that up, does she?

Becoming a goddess...

...

...no matter how I look at it, that's too weird. Hina, Shizuha, Minoriko, Kanako, Suwako... they all have a sort of protective aura. Almost motherly in a way. Hina's always mopey but spends all her time protecting people in her own way. Shizuha's really shy, but she's always so kind. And even though Suwako seems to spend all day playing around she's probably the scariest of the lot whenever someone's actually in danger.

Now that I think of it, Sanae's a goddess too, isn't she? She's more of an older sister figure than a mother, but she takes her job as a youkai exterminator really seriously. Though since she started spending time with Nue her idea of 'extermination' has gotten a lot less brutal.

I'm... well...

...umbrellas are made to protect people from the rain, I guess. I never got to do that much, so it's not weird that I want to make up for it.

But umbrellas are just tools. Something you bring out when you need it and put away again when you're done. People take good care of their tools - or they should! - but in the end the owner is the one in charge. Being a tsukumogami means I have a mind of my own, of course, but I'm still... I don't want to be in charge. I just want to be helpful. Most other tsukumogami I know do too.

Which I guess is why we get along well with others, even humans. Raiko, Benben, Yatsuhashi, Kokoro... okay, Medicine hates humans, but that's because she was thrown away instead of being used properly. It's only natural she'd harbour a grudge after that. But even then, she's been spending a lot of time in the village lately, hasn't she? I'm not really sure if she wants to or if Yuuka is forcing her into it but either way she's trying, right?

Anyway, that aside, we can all come and go in the village without trouble. We are still youkai, so the humans are still mindful of us, but they're not actually scared of us. There, I said it! I'm not scary at all! Kokoro maybe is a little, because she's weird and she stirred up all that trouble in the village, which youkai aren't supposed to do. But any of us can show up at a festival or walk into a bar and get drunk without causing a panic.

If someone like Wriggle, Mystia, or even Kagerou did that... it wouldn't be pretty.

I guess where I'm going with this is... uuuh... I dunno actually. But tsukumogami really aren't goddess-like, least of all me! We're more friends and helpers than leaders and guardians. And youkai... don't change much. Humans do, because they want to, and gods do, because their followers want them to. Even fairies change, when nature changes. But we're stuck as whatever humans believe we are.

That's the whole reason Gensoukyou exists, after all.

I guess if I was to become a goddess then that wouldn't apply to me anymore, but... it's still a bit much. In fact it's weird that I'm even thinking about it to begin with.

...

...well, I guess there is a reason for it. But...

...

...in the end, that just means...

...

I don't deserve it.

I slap myself and shake my head. Don't think about that!

I blink, look around, and realize I'm flying low over the edge of the Forest of Magic. I know this place. It should be somwhere around... aha!

I touch down on the little-used path leading up to Kourindou. Mister Morichika built his little curio shop on the edge of the Forest because it's the border between human territory and youkai territory, so he reasoned he could get customers from both sides. But in the end it only ended up being equally out of the way for both sides, so nobody really visits it much at all.

I do come here from time to time though. Most of the things he sells have been thrown out or abandoned by other people. I like to rescue the umbrellas and give them a chance at a new owner. And sometimes I buy other things too. You never really know what you'll find in Kourindou. For instance, this time I'm not the only one here!

"...and if you press this button it stops again," a vaguely familiar voice says, followed by a loud click.

"I see," Mister Morichika replies. "Thank you for your explanation once again, Miss Usami. Despite knowing the name and purpose of every item, it's still fascinating to learn how they're actually used."

"Don't mention it! Even on the Outside these are pretty uncommon nowdays!"

I find my way to the counter, and see the owner of the shop talking to a girl in purpley Outsider clothes. A boxy silver thing is sitting on the countertop. It looks almost like it has a face on it, with two big circles at either end for eyes, a little rectangle in the middle for a mouth and a row of stubby 'teeth' at the bottom.

"Good afternoon!" I call cheerfully.

"Good afternoon, Miss Tatara!" Mister Morichika replies, with his usual professional warmth. "I'm afraid I still don't have any karakasa in stock, but you're welcome to look around as always."

"Heya! Fancy meeting again so soon!" the girl says.

"Err..." I reply slowly. She seems familiar, but I don't quite recognize her.

"Whaaat? You can't have forgotten me already!" A bunch of random objects fly off the shelves and swirl around in front of her as she strikes a pose. "Sumireko the psychic Outsider, remember?"

"Oh! I'm sorry, I had a bit too much to drink last night so it's all a bit muddled..." I bow apologetically. "You look really different in those clothes, too."

"Do I?" Sumireko asks. The odds and ends float back to their places, and Morichika lets out the breath he was holding. "It's only a school uniform..."

"You have to wear a uniform to school on the Outside? That sounds rough."

"It's just another stupid rule." Sumireko waves her hand dismissively.

"Why are you wearing it here, then?"

Sumireko smirks. "Because I'm at school!"

"...but you're in Kourindou," I say, stating the obvious.

"Astral Projection," Sumireko says smugly, as if that explained everything. "My spirit is here but my body is asleep on my desk."

"You're sleeping at school? Won't you get into trouble?" Miss Keine sure wouldn't approve of it!

Sumireko shrugs, smirking again. "What're they gonna do, give me detention? Besides, my grades haven't dropped so who cares?"

...I don't really get what that means, but okay. "If you're just a spirit on this side then why were you so worried last night?"

Sumireko's smugness evaporates. "Ah, that. I wasn't a spirit last night, I was the real deal." She grins sheepishly. "Reimu gave me an earful for it, she hates me crossing the Border without her permission. But what's the point of coming to a festival if you can't eat and drink properly?"

"Wait, you can cross the Border!?"

Sumireko's smug grin returns in full force. "Nothing is impossible for me!"

"I can't really object to having my shop used as a meeting place," Morichika interrupts patiently, "but I would like to remind you to take any duels outside, before they get started."

"I wasn't starting anything!" Sumireko says.

"Just making sure," Morichika says, before turning his attention back to the boxes behind the counter.

"So!" I say, changing the subject, "if you're an Outsider then most of this stuff must be pretty boring to you."

"Not really," Sumireko replies. "Most things that fall into Gensoukyou have been forgotten in the Outside world, so it's a real blast from the past!"

Sumireko starts showing off her knowledge by pointing out all sorts of things she recognises. There's a little red and white thing a bit like the game I played with Kanako and Suwako, lots of the big bulky boxes that show pictures, all manner of different music-making devices, something called a 'mouse' that doesn't look much like one at all and doesn't really look like it would be helpful for pointing at things... most of them require electricity to work, so she can't actually show me what they do, but they all sound interesting!

"Outsiders sure make a lot of machines," I say, peering at the shelves.

"I guess so? They're kind of like our version of magic," Sumireko replies.

"They sure sound magical! It's a pity most of them don't work here."

"They're not that interesting. Flying around in real life is way cooler than a game!"

I turn around. "Can you fly?"

"Huh? Sure." Sumireko floats into the air and stays there.

"No, I mean, on the Outside."

"Of course. My powers work anywhere."

"But that's not normal, right?"

"Nope! I'm the only one who can do it."

"What do other people say when they see it?"

Sumireko lands and sighs. "They think it's a trick. They make up all kinds of stupid rationalizations to say I'm just fooling around."

"People really don't believe in magic anymore, huh?"

"Nope. They say they want to, but actually they don't."

That's... kind of depressing, actually.

"Ah! That reminds me!" Sumireko says. "I wanted to take a look around the village."

"The village? Why there?"

"Because that's where the humans of Gensoukyou live, right? Even if it's not fancy and magical and everything, it's still totally different to the Outside!"

"Err, okay, but just so you know causing trouble in the village is forbidden. Reimu'll give you a lot more than an earful if you so much as think about it."

"I know, I know. That's kind of why I brought it up." Sumireko grins awkwardly. "See, I was kind of hoping I could get a local to show me around. That way I've got someone keeping an eye on me, plus it's way better than just wandering around by myself gawking at things."

"...so you're asking me to show you around?"

"Well, yes. More or less. Please?" Sumireko puts her hands together and smiles as innocently as possible.

...um.

"You do remember I'm a youkai, right?" I'm not a goddess yet, whatever Reimu says!

"Yes? But Kasen said you live in the village and you're on good terms with humans, so... umm, did I say something bad?"

"No..." I say, straightening back up. "I'm okay with not being scary, I'm used to it by now..."

"Err, if it's a bother then don't worry about it!"

[ ] No, it's fine. I can show you around the village.
[ ] I really think you'd be better off finding someone else...
>> No. 40629
[X] No, it's fine. I can show you around the village.
I don't deserve it

Oh Kogasa no, please don't think that way.
>> No. 40630
[X] No, it's fine. I can show you around the village.

Best get to work on those self-esteem issues, Kogasa. If you don't believe in yourself, how can anyone else?
>> No. 40631
[x] No, it's fine. I can show you around the village.

She seems cool.
>> No. 40633
[X] No, it's fine. I can show you around the village.

Kogasa for Hitogami 2020.
>> No. 40634
[x] No, it's fine. I can show you around the village.
>> No. 40635
[X] No, it's fine. I can show you around the village.
Second good deed of the day.
>> No. 40636
[X] No, it's fine. I can show you around the village.

So if Kogasa becomes a goddess of Umbrellas, what kind of goddess would Banki become?
>> No. 40637
>>40636
Airheads
>> No. 40638
File 150742838127.png - (1.67MB, 1280x720, conspicuous by her absence.png) [iqdb]
40638
>>40637

That was bad and you should feel bad.

[x] No, it's fine. I can show you around the village.

"No, it's fine," I say. "I can show you around the village."

"Are you sure?" Sumireko asks. "You don't look very happy about it..."

"It's nothing." See? I'm smiling! "But why didn't you ask Kasen? You two seemed to be on good terms."

"Well... she already did show me around Gensoukyou a bit, but I got the feeling she wasn't really taking me seriously."

"How do you mean?"

"Well, she insisted on doing it at night, and all of the people we met acted like cartoon villains..."

"...umm..."

"Yeah, 'umm'. Some of them even forgot their lines. It was painful to watch."

"W-wow..."

I try to imagine the Kasen I know doing that as we step out of Kourindou. It's not working. She can be a little bit odd sometimes, but I always chalked that up to her being a hermit.

"Erm, is there any particular reason why we're walking?" Sumireko asks. "Not that I'm in a hurry or anything, but I do have to wake up at the end of class, and it's hot in the sun..."

"Hmm? Oh! If the sun's bothering you, we can use my umbrella!"

I swing my umbrella up and open and fall back to walk beside Sumireko, but she jumps away.

"H-hey, wait a sec! We've only just met!"

"Huh? Um, I'm not trying to eat you or anything..."

"...ah." Sumireko stares at me blankly for a moment, then puts a hand to her forehead. "Urgh, stupid classmates, making me say stupid stuff... forget I said anything, okay?"

"...okay?" I reply, still confused.

We end up flying the rest of the way to the village anyway. It's not that far but the breeze is nice. I put on my most cheerful smile as we walk past the guards at the gate, who watch us warily. I guess a known youkai and a stranger in Outsider clothes make a pretty suspicious pair.

"Man, it's totally like walking onto a movie set, only for real!" Sumireko says.

"A... movie set?" I ask.

"A place set up for filming movies. Like a stage for a play."

"Oh! So, you're saying villages outside don't look like this anymore?"

"Nope. It's weird to see somewhere like this without cars or asphalt."

"...I don't know what those are either..."

Sumireko smirks.

"Here, let me show you!"

Sumireko pulls somthing out of her pocket. It looks a bit like a thin notebook, but it doesn't open up. Instead she taps the cover and it lights up, showing a picture with words and numbers drawn on it. A few more taps and swipes and the picture changes. I crowd closer to look.

"I don't have a lot of pictures of random normal stuff, but..." Sumireko flicks her fingers across the picture, flipping it through all different angles and places at a dizzying rate, "...I took these during a field trip. That black stuff on the ground is asphalt, they use it to make roads hard, flat and rough, so that cars..."

My original goal of showing Sumireko around the village is forgotten for quite a while as she shows me around places I've never actually been. Each new picture has so many new things I've never seen before that I can't help asking more questions, which leads to more pictures and even more questions!

"Wow, the outside world sure has changed since I last saw it!" I say once I finally manage to tear my eyes away from Sumireko's "mobile phone".

"That must have been a long time ago if you've never seen a car before," Sumireko replies.

"Well, I was already living here when the Barrier went up so... about a hundred and thirty years, I think?"

Sumireko looks at me strangely.

"...seriously? Er... how old are you, if you don't mind my asking?"

"...um," I reply, stopping to think. How old am I? "When was I made again? About... thirteen hundred... no, fourteen hundred-"

"You were born in fourteen hundred!?" Sumireko exclaims.

"Nnno? I am fourteen hundred, or thereabouts. Prince Shoutoku's reign was about that long ago, right?"

Sumireko stares at me, wide-eyed. It takes her a few seconds to realize her mouth is open. She closes it and swallows.

"You... you were born in the Asuka period?"

"W-well, I was just an umbrella for most of it, but, uh, yes?"

Sumireko continues to stare at me. Then she suddenly starts laughing.

"Ahahahaha, youkai really are in a whole different league!"

"Er, are you alright...?" I ask. Sumireko's face has gone very pale.

"Y-yeah, I'm fine, It's just, I've barely even seen anything that old, let alone a person! Ahaha..."

"Uh, well, do you want get something to eat?" My stomach chooses that moment to remind me that I haven't eaten anything since breakfast, except for tea at the shrine.

"Ah, no, lunch break just finished, I'm good." Sumireko says. She looks kind of unsteady. "I could do with some water though, I think the heat's getting to me..."

"Well, I know this place that sells dango..."

I lead Sumireko to the dango shop where I met Kokoro and all but force her to sit down on one of the benches outside. It's only a snack for me, but after a a glass of water, a few dango and lots of mundane smalltalk, Sumireko seems to have recovered from whatever it was that came over her.

"...his father wants him to take over the family business, but he's fascinated by woodworking. I've spotted him sneaking out to visit old Yoshinobu at night several times. I bet the old man was all too happy to teach him - he's been pestering his grandsons about it since they could walk. I don't really blame him either; it's easy to see he loves his craft and it would be a shame if he didn't get to pass on his skills just because no-one in his family wanted to learn it."

"So Gensoukyou has family troubles too, huh?" Sumireko says, with a sympathetic grin.

"Doesn't everywhere?" I reply. "Family is part of what it means to be human."

"...that sounds kind of weird, coming from someone who's not human." Sumireko glances at me again.

"You really don't have to be nervous about me, you know," I reassure her. "Attacking humans in the village is forbidden, even if you're not from here."

"No, no, it's not that, it's just..." Sumireko takes a deep breath, staring up at the sky. "...what's it like, living for a thousand years?"

"...painful," I reply after a while. "We... youkai don't get stronger with age; it's more that we have to be strong in the first place to live that long. I'm... kinda weak, as far as youkai go, so I spent a lot of it... well, hiding. Running. And... other things I probably shouldn't have done." I look down at my hands, fiddling with my dango skewer.

"Ah, sorry, I didn't mean to bring up bad memories."

"No, it's fine. I need to remember all that stuff, 'cause it's what makes me me. But, well... some of it I'd rather forget. Most of the Sengoku period, for a start."

"The warring states? Hey, did you ever meet Nobunaga?"

"What? No!" What kind of question is that!? "I did see him once, though."

"Really? What was he like?" Sumireko leans toward me eagerly.

"Scary. All the daimyou were." I stand up. "Can we talk about something else please?"

"Sorry, sorry!" Sumireko jumps up as well and bows apologetically. "It's just so weird talking to someone who was actually around for that kind of stuff!"

"Well excuse me for being old!"

Sumireko's response is cut off by a strange chirping noise. She whips out her - what was it called again? Phone, that's it, phone! - and checks something on it.

"Ah, crap!" she exclaims. "Class is nearly over!"

"Does that mean you're leaving already? We hardly got to go anywhere yet!"

"No, but I learned heaps! Way more than I did in Kasen's tourist trap!" Sumireko bows again, properly this time. "Thank you very much for taking the time to tell me all those things."

"Ah, um, it was nothing! Maybe next time we'll actually get to walk around for a while..."

"I'll look forward to it!"

And with that, Sumireko just... fades out of existance, as if she was never there.

"...huh," I say, to nobody in particular.

What now?

[ ] Food!
[ ] Sekibanki!
[ ] ...Medicine?

---

FIFTIETH UPDATE WOOO

Random silly fact I found while trying to improve my CAVE-worthy Japanese history: the Hakurei Barrier went up the year the car was invented. Huh.

Let me know if you're sick of the carboard monologuing. I should have some more carboard slice-of-life or cardboard shenanigans lying around somewhere.
>> No. 40639
[X] ...Medicine?

Fellow tsukumogami!
>> No. 40640
[X] ...Medicine?

Does old enough modern tools and stuff can become a tsukumogami, I wonder. Like say, a Mk IV Tank Tsukunogami...
>> No. 40641
[X] ...Medicine?

Dammit, I want more Banki but now I'm curious. Also, wow, I really didn't expect Kogasa to be that old. Wonder what exactly she regrets doing...
>> No. 40642
[x] Sekibanki!

More banki pls.
>> No. 40643
[x] Sekibanki!
>> No. 40644
[x] Sekibanki!
'banki time? 'banki time.
>> No. 40645
[x] ...Medicine?
>> No. 40646
>banki time?

Banking on it.
>> No. 40647
File 150760821589.jpg - (1.24MB, 2000x2920, I believe.jpg) [iqdb]
40647
Calling it for Medicine before the curse strikes again. I usually seem to get around seven votes anyway.

In the meantime, have some more Hina.
>> No. 40648
Hey writer, as I see your Hina pictures in the comments it means do you like her also?
>> No. 40649
File 150796623069.png - (459.25KB, 882x1007, objectively shit taste.png) [iqdb]
40649
Update keeps getting longer and I can't find a spot for a vote. Also I think I just ended up writing all three choices in a different order. What even is a CYOA. orz

>>40648

Gee man I dunno.
>> No. 40650
>>40649

Well, I certainly can't complain about that.
>> No. 40651
File 150805840822.jpg - (281.74KB, 1000x842, not enough pics of this pair.jpg) [iqdb]
40651
[x] ...Medicine?

Since my reason for coming to the Village has literally vanished into thin air, I'm a bit lost for what to do next. I still haven't eaten a proper lunch, and I still don't know where Sekibanki went... or even if she still wants to hang around me anymore, for that matter. I kind of went overboard last night, didn't I? Urk...

So I just wander around for a bit, watching the other villagers going about their day-to-day business. Even doing that much makes what Reimu was talking about painfully obvious - people aren't avoiding me. The glances I'm getting are looks of recognition rather than fear. They still keep a polite distance, but I'm no longer surrounded by an island of empty space in an otherwise busy street.

And then I notice someone who is: Medicine Melancholy. She's wandering down a less-used side street, which has suddenly become even more conspicuously empty than usual. I start to call out to her but the words die in my throat as I get closer. As if sensing my presence, Medicine turns around.

Her clothes are smudged and dirty. Her hair is dull and messy, like she's only combed it with her fingers. There are dark bags under her eyes. And on top of that... well, there's no nice way to say this. She stinks. Which is sort of to be expected from a poison youkai, but she doesn't smell like poison.

She smells like she hasn't bathed in days.

"Umm, are you okay?" I ask before I can stop myself.

"...huh?" Medicine replies, blinking blearily at me.

"I, um, I don't mean to be rude, but... you look awful."

"Oh." She pauses for such a long time that I almost think that's all she's going to say. "Yuuka said I can't leave."

"Leave what?" I ask, confused.

"The village."

"Why?"

"...dunno."

"Well, er, where have you been sleeping then?"

"I haven't."

"...what have you been eating?"

"Nothing."

"But... you've been here for three days!"

Medicine doesn't respond.

"...come with me," I say, holding out my hand.

Medicine doesn't move.

"You can get cleaned up at my place, and I have food, so..."

Medicine stares at me.

"...please?"

"...why?" Medicine finally asks.

"You don't want my help?" I ask.

"Why help me?"

"That - why wouldn't I!? You look terrible! Who'd leave someone on the street for three days with no food!?"

Medicine tilts her head slightly, her face still dazed and vacant.

"...you're not thinking right after going without eating or sleeping for three days straight," I say. "Please at least let me treat you to lunch."

Medicine still doesn't seem to acknowledge me, but when I tug on her hand she follows without resistance.

---

"It's nothing special, but please dig in!"

Medicine stares blankly at the food in front of her for a few seconds before slowly picking up her chopsticks. She's wearing my bathrobe while her clothes are drying, and looks (and smells!) a lot better now that she's all clean.

After the first mechanical bites of food, her appetite slowly returns. She doesn't exactly start wolfing it down, but she keeps at it for a long while - I deliberately cooked enough to feed four people, and I almost end up going hungry!

"Thank you for the food," she says quietly after picking the last grain of rice from her bowl.

"You're welcome!" I say, smiling. "Feeling better now?"

Medicine rubs her eyes and takes a deep breath.

"...yeah." She stretches a little and looks around, finally noticing her surroundings. "Where is this?"

"My house, on the edge of the Village. It's not much, but it's home!"

"...it's big," Medicine says, leaning to one side to peer through a doorway. "Bigger than Yuuka's."

"Really? I thought someone as important as Yuuka would live in a big fancy mansion, like the Scarlets."

...come to think of it, I've never seen Yuuka's house, not even when flying right over the Garden of the Sun. It's just sunflowers as far as the eye can see. Maybe it's hidden somehow?

"I haven't been into any other houses, so I don't know about that," Medicine says.

"What about your house?" I ask.

"I don't have one."

"But... then... what do you do when it rains?"

"I get wet," Medicine says simply.

...umm.

"S-so, um, what happened with you and Yuuka, anyway?" I ask. "I mean, I heard she attacked you, but..." I trail off as Medicine looks down with a frown on her face.

"I hurt her male," she says after a while.

"...you mean her boyfriend?" I ask.

Medicine half-shrugs. "She called him a friend too. But I don't have a friend, so she hurt su-san instead."

"The... suzuraan?"

Medicine nods.

"So, why the village?"

"Yuuka said I needed a friend. But I don't know what a friend is. So she said I had to stay in the village until I understood." She finally looks up. "I don't understand. What's a friend?"

...what. I knew she was different, but this is too much!

"You... you really don't know?" I ask, too stunned to say anything more intelligent.

"No. Is that bad?"

"W-well, I guess... maybe? Um. How am I supposed to explain this... a friend is someone you do things with." Wait no that's a terrible explanation -

"So a friend is a person?" Medicine asks.

My head hits the table.

Why me!?

---

After what's possibly the weirdest conversation I've ever had, Medicine falls asleep. Or rather she starts nodding off in the middle of it and just curls up on the floor. I try to move her to my futon but I come back later to find she's thrown the covers off and rolled onto the floor again, so in the end I leave her be.

I take the opportunity to do some housework and air the place out a bit. Even if it is walled in on all sides at the end of an alley and never gets any visitors, that's no excuse to let it end up like Marisa's! Besides, I've been having people over regularly for almost a week now, as strange as it is to think about.

Medicine doesn't stay asleep for very long, though; it can't be more than an hour before she shuffles into the kitchen, already dressed in her own clothes again and tugging fruitlessly at her messy hair.

"Ah! Looking for a comb?" I ask, rinsing off one last bowl and drying my hands. "...you do know what a comb is, right?" I add in response to her blank stare.

"Of course I do," she replies. "I don't have one though."

"That's okay, you can borrow mine!"

Medicine frowns in confusion as I slip around her and into my room. Her expression only grows even more confused when I return and pat the floor next to the kotatsu.

"Hey, don't just stand there!" I say cheerfully. "Sit down!"

"Why?" Medicine asks.

"So I can brush your hair!"

Medicine stares at me for several seconds, but eventually sits.

"Your hair's all curly like Miss Marisa's," I say as I get to work, gently teasing out all the knots. "It's really pretty."

"...why are you doing this?" Medicine asks, holding almost eerily still.

"Because I want to?" I reply.

"...I don't get it. It doesn't help you."

"So? Sometimes people just want to do nice things for each other! Were you already asleep when I said that?"

Medicine remains silent for a minute or two before she speaks up again.

"Does this mean you want to be my friend?" she asks.

"Hmm? Of course I do. Us tsukumogami should stick together after all!"

Another long pause.

"...I still don't understand."

"That's okay. Friendship isn't something you can learn in an hour or two, or even a whole day." Finishing up with the comb, I move around in front of her. "As long as you keep trying, you'll work it out eventually."

I gently tug Medicine's ribbon out of her hands and attempt to tie it in her hair. It's a very different style to Sekibanki's or Reimu's, and feels kind of anemic from being so thin, but eventually I get it just right.

"There! All done."

Medicine runs a hand over her head carefully, which makes me realize I forgot to get a mirror.

"...thank you," she says quietly.

"Hey, hey, why do you look so sad? Smile!" I put on a big smile of my own, but Medicine's expression doesn't change.

"...I miss su-san..." she says, looking down again.

I pull her into a hug. This won't do at all! Operation "Cheer Up Medicine" starts now!

...but, um, where should I start...

[ ] If she can't go back to Nameless Hill, what about a potted flower? There's a florist right here in the village!
[ ] Kokoro is learning about this sort of thing too, right? Maybe talking to her might help!
[ ] It's a long shot, but... Byakuren helped cheer me up. And it's hard to stay miserable around Kyouko!
[ ] Write-in.
>> No. 40652
[X] If she can't go back to Nameless Hill, what about a potted flower? There's a florist right here in the village!

inb4 the florist is Yuuka.
>> No. 40653
[X] If she can't go back to Nameless Hill, what about a potted flower? There's a florist right here in the village!

Commence operation!
>> No. 40654
[x] Kokoro is learning about this sort of thing too, right? Maybe talking to her might help!
I'm a simple man. I see a Kokoro option, I vote for it.
>> No. 40655
[X] Kokoro is learning about this sort of thing too, right? Maybe talking to her might help!

Maybe we shouldn't immediately draw attention to everything that she's lost? Also, more Kokoro is always a plus.
>> No. 40656
[X] Kokoro is learning about this sort of thing too, right? Maybe talking to her might help!

This should be good.
>> No. 40657
[X] Kokoro is learning about this sort of thing too, right? Maybe talking to her might help!

Tsukomogami need to stick together!
>> No. 40665
[X] It's a long shot, but... Byakuren helped cheer me up. And it's hard to stay miserable around Kyouko!

Obligatory tide piss
>> No. 40680
Thread 3: >>40679
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