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File 154111647815.png - (326.96KB, 900x750, MikoByaku.png) [iqdb]
41094 No. 41094
It’s embarrassing, but I woke late that morning. My head hurt, my perfected body whined at every move. I snuggled tight into my wife’s welcoming, curvaceous body to shield my poor, defenseless eyes from the burning sunlight. My legs entwined with her own full, healthy thighs and strong shins.

The legs she lost. Years ago. Centuries ago.

Still groggy, I groaned. Too tender to dare look, I listened.

She conveyed the same old fears of abandonment and isolation. Frustrations at trust betrayed. The same unwavering determination to see her ideals realized. That unflinching spirit that first drew me in. Then something else slipped through.

A sense of protectiveness. Not for her descendants or allies. For youkai. Not some youkai. All of them. Or most of them, at least. All underlaid with a broad distrust of humanity.

…And a wish to repent for severe misdeeds.

I groaned again, louder. She stirred, conveying similar physical discomforts and a distinct yearning for a good cup of sake. That one puzzled me.

Straining, I peeked one eye open.

A full head of fluffy purple hair, transitioning to brown around her shoulders.

Just as I’d thought. The grand monk herself shared this futon with me. Not Tojiko. I’d rather have awakened to Yoshika.

We were both quite clothed, but that only worried me more. Judging by the sensation, it appeared that I had slept in my common dress. A masterwork that didn’t deserve the wrinkles it would soon suffer.

[ ] Look around.

[ ] Wake her.

[ ] Get away.

[ ] Write-in.

--------------

No timer today; votes close when I post the next update.
Expand all images
>> No. 41095
[x] Look around.

stare at the buddhist knockers
>> No. 41096
[x] Get away.
Byakuren a shit
>> No. 41097
[x] Kiss her
[x] Wake her.

I think this is the only Miko POV I've ever seen in fanfic. You have my attention.
>> No. 41099
[x] Motorboat her.
>> No. 41100
[x] Get away.

Panic time.
>> No. 41103
[X] Wake her.
[X] Rudely. With a kick.
>> No. 41104
[X] Back to sleep.
It's too early in the morning to deal with what seems to be the aftermath of a night of drinking.
>> No. 41111
[X] Stay snuggled. Let her make the first move.
>> No. 41113
[X] Look around.
>> No. 41116
File 154122247060.jpg - (107.32KB, 600x664, Byakuren.jpg) [iqdb]
41116
[x] Get away.

I planted my still tired hands against her shoulders and shoved. Cool, moist air hit my poor, exposed shoulders as I left the futon’s gentle embrace. Sunlight stabbed through my eyelids as they left the embrace of the monk’s bust. I heard a shift in her desire.

Confusion. A desire to know what happened. She had begun to wake in earnest. I rolled around, planting my hands and knees beneath me. A push brought my still waking body upright, freeing my hands to shield my tender eyes.

I took a step back, then stopped. Something else floated to my ears. Someone else. Irritated and impatient, a desire to improve her lot in life. To earn the respect and trust she felt she deserved. To drop a bombshell on a pair of clueless freeloaders. Shutting that out, I squinted. Bare, cheap wood lined this room, with a matching ceiling above you and similarly cheap tatami beneath you.

I took another step back, finding the floor to support my weight, at least.

Byakuren stirred. She blinked. She looked up, staring into me.

I took another step. I patted myself down, my heart sinking at the expected, ugly folds in my shirt. I found both my cape and my sword to be missing.

Byakuren spoke first. “How did we…”

“We did nothing.” I considered that to be the complete, inerrant truth. I gave her another glance.

There was this movement to her throat. A redness to her eyes. She had likely…

She eyed me. “Someone drugged me.”

“It’s just alcohol.”

“Which I don’t…” She stared off to the side.

I followed her gaze, fighting through the glaring light to see a front porch and the young woman sitting there. The bright red ribbon perched behind her auburn hair told me all I needed to know of who this was, though the red dress with detached white sleeves helped.

Reimu.

[ ] I excused myself.

[ ] I interrogated Reimu.

[ ] I corrected Byakuren.

[ ] Write-in.

Voting ends in:
Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/03(Sat)20:00

>> No. 41117
[x] I interrogated Reimu.
Byakuren's no use if she doesn't remember anything.
>> No. 41118
[x] I interrogated Reimu.
>> No. 41119
[x] I interrogated Reimu.

I love that Miko is literally identifying touhous by their headgear.
>> No. 41121
[x] I interrogated Reimu.

Bring on the bombshell.
>> No. 41122
File 154124393885.jpg - (91.62KB, 960x744, image.jpg) [iqdb]
41122
[x] I interrogated Reimu
>> No. 41123
[x] I pleasantly said it was time for breakfast.

Don't receive bombshells on an empty stomach.
>> No. 41127
[X] I corrected Byakuren.

Yea ya did drink last night you crazy, lonely woman.
>> No. 41130
[x] I pleasantly said it was time for breakfast.
>> No. 41132
File 154129526119.jpg - (149.24KB, 700x990, ReimuTea.jpg) [iqdb]
41132
[x] I interrogated Reimu.

I stepped through the open doors, stopping just short of the shrine maiden. I rubbed my eyes and coughed. It rattled it my throat. Reimu’s desires shifted almost imperceptibly.

She reached down to a short row of cups on one side. A small pot sat behind them. She filled a cup and handed it to me.

I accepted, of course, as I eased myself down beside her. I took a sip. Tea. Some herbal blend with a nostalgic aroma. One that took me back to my days studying under Seiga. She would no doubt have loved to learn of this misfortune, assuming she had not already done so.

She picked up another cup, taking a sip herself. “’Morning, highness.”

A hint of pride, of a need to show off, lurked at the edges of her psyche.

“Good morning, Ms. Hakurei.”

She groaned at that. “Don’t get weird with me. Reimu’s fine.”

“Of course. Tell me about the party last night.”

She smirked, this time. “I’m impressed you pulled that together, given how it ended.”

I took a long, slow slurp. It glided down my throat, it’s cool moisture seeping into my body. A good brew, though one clearly meant to be served much warmer than this.

I rubbed my eyes, still shaking off fatigue as I scooted closer. “And just how did it end, Reimu?”

She threw her arms up, stretching them. “With a bang.”

“Reimu!” We both turned to see Byakuren’s offended visage. “I don’t know what you mean to suggest, but I—”

“Congratulations, by the way.” Reimu nudged me back.

I might have reveled in just how fast Byakuren’s jaw snapped shut, had a similar fear not settled into my own gut.

I leveled what was not, strictly speaking, a glare at our (assumed) host. “What is it?”

She pulled a small, folded paper from her shirt and handed it me.

I took my time unfolding it, careful not to smudge the already smeared handwriting. Byakuren settled in next to me.

‘Marriage certificate.’

Hand shaking, I took another drink. Given Reimu’s demeanor, seeing my own name there surprised no one.

Byakuren gasped. Okay, it surprised one person. Or perhaps it was seeing her own name that shocked her.

The tea did little to ease my nerves this time, but I continued drinking. Then I caught something that did surprise me.

Reimu’s desires. She no longer sought to surprise us, and instead desired to see my reaction. That was it.

Byakuren trembled beside me. “We can’t do this. I’m sworn to celibacy. The temple trusts me.”

Celibacy? Really? Did she think I’d stoop so low as to—

I coughed, my confidence returning. It seemed we did nothing more embarrassing than signing a contract we’d cancel and forget about the next day.

Reimu still expected me to react.

[ ] I hammed it up.

[ ] I pressed Reimu for details.

[ ] I calmed Byakuren down.

[ ] Write-in.

Voting ends in:
Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/04(Sun)20:00

>> No. 41134
[x] I shrugged.
-[x] It wasn't legitimate since I was already married.

Miko is a strong independent prince who don't need no (wo)man
>> No. 41135
[x] I hammed it up.
>> No. 41136
[x] I shrugged.
-[x] It wasn't legitimate since I was already married.
>> No. 41139
[x] I hammed it up.
>> No. 41140
File 154133168062.gif - (1.06MB, 475x355, crown prince.gif) [iqdb]
41140
[x] I hammed it up.
>> No. 41141
[X] I calmed Byakuren down.

Whether it's legitimate or not would depend on local regulation, not on our personal feelings in the matter.
>> No. 41142
>>41141
True.

[X] I calmed Byakuren down.

"Relax, we can have a celibate relationship if that's what worries you"
>> No. 41145
[x] Remind her about Kokoro. Technically we're the father.
>> No. 41146
[x] I hammed it up.
Time to take responsibility!
>> No. 41147
[X] I hammed it up.

We've got some scenery to chew. Isn't Miko already married to Tojiko though?
>> No. 41149
File 154137471277.jpg - (369.41KB, 800x713, MikoShocked.jpg) [iqdb]
41149
[x] I hammed it up.

I took a long drink of tea. Then spat it right back out.

“Oh, what will I do?” I cried out, bringing my hands to my head. “What will Futo think?”

There was a glimmer to Reimu’s eyes. A calming in her mind.

“She’d see this as a betrayal, no doubt. Siding with those youkai and the temple that enables them.”

Byakuren coughed. “We don’t enable youkai. We do just the opposite!”

“And what of my many, many loyal disciples?”

Reimu cleared her throat. “The ones you use for personal errands?”

I threw my hands in the air. “Precisely! Who will run to the market for me now? Who will dust my libraries?”

I sighed, bringing my hands back down. Sliding one across Reimu’s shoulder. She batted it off.

“And, Reimu. What about Tojiko?”

“Eh?” A sense of unease echoed from her.

“You know, my wife.” I wiped my lips. “The one I already have.”

“W-well, she said it was perfectly fine and that you weren’t technically… Anyway, plural marriage isn’t strictly illegal here.”

“Actually,” Byakuren spoke up, “if you’d paid more attention to the village…”

“It’s legal here.”

I groaned. “‘Here’ being…?” Reimu wanted to hide something, but not to persuade me of an outright falsehood. Not with any real vigor, anyway.

“My shrine. Where the wedding took place.”

Tojiko wouldn’t have really said something so cold, would she?

“Well then, Reimu.” I gestured for another cup. Reimu filled one and passed it to me. I passed that to Byakuren. “Annul it.”

Byakuren blinked. “What? We made vows. To break them so soon would be…”

A desire to resolve the conflict. To decide. She was considering it.

“We shouldn’t even count—”

“No.”

Byakuren and I turned to Reimu.

“It’s the first major ceremony my shrine’s seen in years. You’re not taking it away from me just like that.”

I blinked. Nonsense. Utter, complete nonsense.

[ ] I challenged Reimu.

[ ] I bargained with Reimu.

[ ] I demanded to know more.

[ ] Write-in.

Voting ends in:
Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/05(Mon)21:00

>> No. 41150
[X] I challenged Reimu.

I feel that this is futile, but it is the Gensokyoan way.
>> No. 41151
[x] I demanded to know more.

Not enough information.
>> No. 41152
[x] I demanded to know more.

Byakuren is torn between breaking her vow of chastity and her, most recent, vow of marriage.
>> No. 41153
>>41140

Also, forgot to mention it but I greatly appreciate this gif. That is all.
>> No. 41154
>>41149
[x] I threw Byakuren under the bus.

Isn't it fine, then? The only obstacle is Byakuren in this case. Victory for Taoism.
>> No. 41155
I suspect I made a slight mistake that left the ending ambiguous. In case there was any confusion: The last two lines were spoken by Reimu.
>> No. 41157
[x] I demanded to know more.
>> No. 41161
[X] I bargained with Reimu.
Anull the marriage to the nun so we can marry the Miko.
>> No. 41165
[X] I bargained with Reimu.

What if we find another couple to hook up together. You get seen as the miracle romance miko and we get a divorce once all the heat dies down. It's a win-win.
>> No. 41167
File 154147569752.png - (712.75KB, 900x591, Religious War Booze.png) [iqdb]
41167
[x] I demanded to know more.

I steeled my nerves. Even I knew better than to confront her directly if I had other options.

“Then you should start from the beginning.”

Reimu sighed, long and heavy. “There’s not much to say. You two got drunk out of your skulls, someone egged you,” she pointed at me, “into confessing. A ‘test of courage,’ I think. Someone else goaded you,” she pointed to Byakuren now, “into accepting.”

I narrowed my eyes. “And Tojiko?”

Reimu groaned. “What about her?”

I huffed. “She wouldn’t have just discarded our time together. Would she?”

“What do you want? It was a party. She didn’t drink as much as either of you two,”—Byakuren flinched at that—“But she still got blitzed.”

I held my tongue. It seemed I’d need to get the story from Tojiko herself.

“Ah, um. Excuse me, Reimu.” Byakuren massaged her forehead. “There’s something I don’t understand.”

“Spit it out.”

“I don’t remember any ceremony.”

“Like I said, you both got wasted.”

“Yes, well. That’s just the thing. Leaving aside that I wouldn’t do that, we should have been incapable of performing our parts, right?”

“Yeah, duh. That’s the whole problem!”

Byakuren and I both flinched.

“It was barely a ceremony, okay? I said a few lines and asked if you both wanted to be together and stay loyal and all that crap.” She stood up, stomping a few paces away. “The tengu, the tsukumogmai, that vampire brat… everyone laughed their heads off!”

She sighed, spirits deflating. “I thought it was funny, too. But now…” She turned around, staring Byakuren dead in the eyes. Then turned her gaze to me.

“Look, I’m not expecting you to kiss or get all lovey-dovey. I just…” She hunched over. “It’s bound to hit the papers soon, if it hasn’t already.” We both paled at that. “Everyone knows where this is going. The one really good, non-exorcising ceremony I perform this year, and it’s all just one big joke.”

I stepped up, but Byakuren cut me off. “You’d rather it end in conflict?”

Reimu rubbed her brow. “I don’t know, okay? I’m still not cancelling it. Not yet. I…”

Byakuren and I watched her straighten back up. “How about this? If you go along with it, just for a little while, I…”

She turned red. Her mind twisted itself in knots, her desires moving too quickly to follow.

Well, too quick to follow with any real precision, anyway. “I’ll do one favor for each of you.”

Byakuren wanted that. She set her cup aside. “Reimu, what do you mean by ‘go along with it?’”

“Just act like you enjoy each other’s company. Be seen with each other every now and then. Make it look like you have a comfortable relationship.”

I tapped my chin, wishing I had my shaku with me. “How long?”

“I don’t know, a month?”

A what?

[ ] I haggled her down. (How long.)

[ ] I negotiated terms. (Ground rules, her favor, etc.)

[ ] I consoled her.

[ ] I refused.

[ ] Write-in.

Voting ends:
Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/06(Tue)22:00

>> No. 41168
[X] I consoled her.
>> No. 41169
[X] I refused.

This isn't how any of this works. Reimu can go fuck off.
>> No. 41170
[x] I accepted.
>> No. 41171
[x] I negotiated terms. (Ground rules, her favor, etc.)

Why, cause while having to live with Byakuren for a month might be a living hell, at the end of the day Byakuren is stuck putting up with us for a month.

Ergo, it's worth it. The only reason to not accept immedately is to preserve our dignity.
>> No. 41172
[X] I consoled her.

Damn, she really wanted this to work. We don't owe her anything but... Isn't compassion a trait that should be followed by both of their religions?
>> No. 41174
[X] I consoled her.

There there raymoo.
Next time we get a second wife it's got to be a proper ceremony.
>> No. 41175
[x] I refused.

Reimu a shit.
>> No. 41177
[X] I consoled her.

New wife has legs.
>> No. 41179
File 154156882113.jpg - (373.45KB, 800x625, pushymiko.jpg) [iqdb]
41179
[x] I comforted her.

Reimu sounded… not quite herself. Perhaps I’d missed the forest for the trees.

I stepped forward, facing down a hardened gaze.

I stood before her, close enough to hear her heartbeat as I spread my arms. She glared back. I couldn’t help the small smirk. Pride and indignation aside, she wanted comfort. Someone to hug her and tell her it’s all right. She wanted this.

I must have twitched, for her eyes went wide as realization struck. A moment too late. I threw my arms beneath hers, circling them around her back and sliding them up to her shoulders. I pressed myself to her, nuzzling into her collar.

“There, there…” I slipped one finger to the edge of her hair.

She sputtered and squirmed, of course. But only for a moment. Then she eased into my embrace.

“You really should learn to respect someone’s space, you know.”

I sighed. “But you make it so hard.”

We stood there for a moment. Then she shoved me off.

She folded her arms. “Says the womanizer.”

“Lies, slander! Byakuren, back me up.”

I heard a long, noisy slurp. “Support my mortal enemy?”

“Oh, come on. Shouldn’t truth matter more than petty disagreements?”

“Yes. You’re married to two women right now.”

“You and I both know that doesn’t count!”

She grumbled but set her cup down. “Very well. It’s probably true, Reimu. She doesn’t deliberately pursue other women.”

Reimu suppressed a snicker. Mission accomplished.

I huffed, then reached out and squeezed Reimu’s shoulder. “It’ll be fine, I promise. Just give it a few days and you’ll forget all about it. Before you know, we’ll be back here like it never happened.”

She pushed my hand back off. “I’m not so sure.”

I circled around to give her a pat on the back. “Tell you what. Byakuren and I will each treat you to a delicacy of our choice. How does that sound?”

“Hey! Don’t just decide these things on my behalf. Besides, we don’t even have—”

“Shou.”

Byakuren shut up. “Well, I suppose I could consider this a form of discipline.”

“I’ll take you up on that offer.”

“Excellent.”

Perfect. Now was my chance to make a get-away, but…

I glanced back to Byakuren. Seeing her so flustered this morning was a rare opportunity, one this ‘arrangement’ would offer in spades. It would also offer a chance to see into the inner workings of her temple or to engage with people I otherwise wouldn’t see.

Opportunities I’d be forced to offer her as well.

It would embarrass me more than the story itself, but her as well. Perhaps I could even use it to turn the tables back on Reimu, bothering her in return.

If I could keep on top of Byakuren.

[ ] I made my escape.

[ ] I re-negotiated.
 [ ] Diplomatically.
 [ ] Aggressively.

[ ] I pressed Reimu to drop it.

[ ] Write-in.

Voting ends:
Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/07(Wed)22:00

>> No. 41180
Also, expect late updates Tuesdays and Thursdays, or Wednesdays and Fridays (I think), depending on your time zone. Basically, this day, and the one two days later.
>> No. 41181
[x] I re-negotiated.
 [x] Diplomatically.

Keeping on top of Byakuren sounds good.
>> No. 41184
[x] I re-negotiated.
 [x] Diplomatically.

Either she wins the negotiation and we get to bother Reimu and Byakuren or she loses and she gets knocked down a peg. It's win-win.
>> No. 41185
[x] I made my escape.

watch me swooce on out
>> No. 41187
File 154163518751.jpg - (390.58KB, 1536x2048, __toyosatomimi_no_miko_touhou_drawn_by_efukei__e12.jpg) [iqdb]
41187
[X] I made my escape.

find a hole, Senkai here we come, and into loving Tojiko's comfy breasts
>> No. 41189
[x] I made my escape.

I LEAVE!
>> No. 41190
File 154164261886.jpg - (163.46KB, 800x575, religious settlement.jpg) [iqdb]
41190
>>41187 >>41189
While I appreciate your contributions, I’m afraid you’re a bit late. Sorry.

--------------------------------------------------

[x] I re-negotiated.
 [x] Diplomatically.

I took a shaking breath. Here we go.

“Reimu, is that offer still open?”

“Eh?”

I shot a wink at Byakuren, ignoring her perplexed stare. A smile creeped to my lips. One born of that ancient, heady mixture: excitement and terror. I steadied it into a more casually confidant display as I faced Reimu down.

“I’ll play along, if you’ll let me.”

Her eyes flitted left and right. “R—” She coughed. “I mean, of course.”

“Wait! I haven’t agreed yet.”

I took a breath. “Take your time, my ‘wife.’”

Byakuren huffed. “Unlike you, Miko, I take my oaths seriously.”

“The old ones or the new ones?”

She held up a finger. Then let it down, desires still swirling.

“I… I shall participate in this farce as well.”

I tapped my waist. “Great. Let’s figure these rules out, then.”

Reimu scratched her shoulder. “Uh, no fighting. No insults. Do something together at least once a day.”

“Where others will see us.”

“Right.”

“Is that it?”

“Well, the occasional romantic moment would help.”

Byakuren blushed, just a little. “What are you asking?”

“Well.” Reimu paused, thinking.

“How about we just do something alone, as well. Something a bit more… private.”

I glanced back to find Byakuren burning red and her mouth floundering.

Reimu hummed. “Yeah. That sounds great.”

Byakuren stomped up next to me. “Don’t you think this is too much?”

I tapped my chin. I really needed that damn shaku. “They just need to see us depart together. We have to sell this, honey.”

She froze. Really, I just wanted better access inside the temple.

“H-How long would we need to spend together?”

“Long enough to convince the reporters.”

I sighed. “That is the challenge, isn’t it?”

“You want a blank check from me? This is what it takes.”

“I won’t lie, anyway. If we maintain our vows, we will at least try to fulfill them.”

I gave her a look.

She rubbed her wrists. “In part. In the… platonic part.”

“That’s it, then? We just sell the story.”

“That’s it, yeah.” Reimu sighed, stepping back toward the shrine. “Convince them for a month and you get a personal favor of your choosing. Fail and, uh… you don’t.”

“Excuse me.” Byakuren cleared her throat. “I don’t think a month is necessary. Perhaps you could settle for two weeks?”

“Urgh. I don’t know. Ask me in a week. Anything else?”

I smiled. “Sounds good to me. Darling, how about you?”

“Well, I suppose it will suffice. But I have so many people to reassure now. Please, excuse me.”

Come to think of it, so did I.

“Alright, fine. Shoo. But don’t forget your appearances.”

“So long as you remember your favor.”

She grunted. “Fine. If this works.”

Two weeks of playing nice, possibly more. Opportunities for fun, for profit, and for disaster. The play had begun.

[ ] I ran to Tojiko.

[ ] I calmed Futo down.

[ ] I consulted Seiga.

[ ] I followed Byakuren.

[ ] Write-in.

Voting ends:
Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/08(Thu)21:00

>> No. 41192
[X] I calmed Futo down.

FUTO, NO! PUT THE MATCHES DOWN.
>> No. 41193
[X] I followed Byakuren.
-[X] Openly. I want to see the look on the "in-laws" faces myself.

And then we can do the reverse with Byakuren.
>> No. 41194
[X] I ran to Tojiko.

Gotta reassure the real wife.
>> No. 41195
[x] I consulted Seiga.
>> No. 41196
[X] I ran to Tojiko.
>> No. 41197
[X] I calmed Futo down.

OH LORD EVERYTHINGS ON FIRE
>> No. 41198
[X] I calmed Futo down.

Futo stop! Burning down temples is not how things are done around here, even if they are filled with youkai, buddhists, and youkai buddhists.
>> No. 41199
[x] I ran to Tojiko.
Must see the dank waifu.
>> No. 41200
[X] I calmed Futo down.

May as well deal with the biggest problem first.
>> No. 41203
[X] I calmed Futo down.
>> No. 41205
[x] I consulted Seiga.

Maximum terror and excitement!
>> No. 41209
Update's on the way, but I wanted to revise a previous statement: Tuesdays and Thursdays (my time) don't look like they'll just be 'late' days. I'll still try to get something out on them, but there's a good chance the updates will be especially small, from a different perspective, or missed entirely. When I miss them (like yesterday) I'll try to get an extra out to compensate, but I can't promise too much.
>> No. 41212
File 154178923974.jpg - (67.89KB, 800x600, futocalmfire.jpg) [iqdb]
41212
[x] I calmed Futo down.

After a brief exchange of farewells, I found myself taking to the sky, almost fleeing the shrine. I wanted to see Tojiko, to feel her embrace after the bizarre morning I’d been through. But I also had that twitchy, slimy feeling in my gut when I thought about it.

Now that the initial rush had ended, I felt only endless tension. A nagging sensation rung at the back of my head. My proper marriage would weather this… whatever this was, just fine. It wasn’t the first hurdle it suffered, and it wouldn’t be the last.

Byakuren though, she worried me. She behaved so simply at times, so straightforwardly, that you’d forget just how canny she could be. I had her on the back foot now, but she would adapt.

It was about then that the rising din of needs and wishes drowned out every other thought I had. The voices of hundreds of people rose unbidden to my ears. Desires for food, money, safety, distraction. Every need, wish, and want jostled, as if for my attention. I shut them out.

But not before one desire floated to my ears. A driving thirst for vengeance.

I dropped out of the sky, landing just outside the farms surrounding the human village. Men and women tilled soil and sowed crops behind me as I scanned the tree-line. The tip of Myouren Temple’s roof peeked out from between tree-tops.

That’s when I heard a familiar hum. Pale gray hair, tied in a topknot, bounced away, her tall blue hat bouncing with it. She wore her usual white, billowy shirt atop a simple, pleated blue skirt. I even caught the familiar yellow and green folds beneath this shirt.

Futo.

I had to check all these things as she also carried a heavy cask, slung by a rope over her shoulder, and marched straight toward the temple. Liquid swished inside.

I followed her, trudging through dry forest bed as she continued her journey.

“Visiting the Buddhists, Futo?”

“Indeed, Crown Prince. They…” She stopped and spun around. She scanned my wrinkled dress, her gaze turning black. “Was their foolery insufficient? Had they to despoil you too?”

I had no answer for that, not knowing where my possessions went.

“It’s fine, Futo. We just got a bit carried away.”

“Do you not remember the horrors you suffered?”

“Horrors?”

“You kissed Byakuren. On the hand.”

I sighed. How best to handle this?

[ ] I introduced her to the ‘in-laws.’

[ ] I brought her to Tojiko first.

[ ] I explained it carefully.

[ ] Write-in.

Voting ends:
Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/10(Sat)03:00

>> No. 41213
[X] I brought her to Tojiko first.

Our wife will know how to calm her down... Or rile her up. Either/or

Besides, Miko did say she wanted to talk to her.
>> No. 41214
[x] I explained it carefully.
Let's be calm and rationally explain it before the inevitable misunderstanding happens.
>> No. 41215
[X] I brought her to Tojiko first.
We need to keep these two on the up-and-up, if they don't know anything you can expect SHENANIGANS.
>> No. 41217
[x] I brought her to Tojiko first.
I WILL NOT BE DENIED THE DANKNESS
>> No. 41218
[X] I brought her to Tojiko first.
>> No. 41220
[x] I brought her to Tojiko first.
>> No. 41221
[X] I introduced her to the ‘in-laws.’

Personally I would prefer to encourage the shenanigans rather than try to stop them.
>> No. 41224
[X] I brought her to Tojiko first.
>> No. 41231
[X] I brought her to Tojiko first.
Shenanigans are fine but having Futo burn down the second wives temple seems like a bad idea.
>> No. 41236
[X] Tenderly reassure…
 [X] Both.
>> No. 41237
File 154189197177.png - (324.62KB, 433x650, annoyedsoga.png) [iqdb]
41237
[x] I brought her to Tojiko first.

I leaned in and whispered into her ear. “I’ve got something I need to tell you.”

She perked up as I walked off, deeper in the woods. She followed.

I poked at a few trees, then found one to have a nice deep crack running down the trunk. I grabbed Futo’s hand and stepped inside, dragging her with me.

We fell through the earth, plummeting through space until we glided out the other end, floating just above an expansive pool. I let go and flew across it, Futo following close behind.

“Pardon me, Crown Prince, but does there be a reason to hold our conference here?”

“How cold, Futo. Just because I chose to greet you first does not leave me free to neglect my lifelong companion.”

“But I’m right here!”

I chuckled. “The other one.”

“What? Oh, of course—”

“About fucking time.”

We turned around to find the stern scowl of a bold woman wearing a beautiful head of soft green hair and a darker dress, with healthy wisps trailing out beneath. This, ladies and gentlemen, was Tojiko of the late Soga clan. My wife.

In a moment, my previous trepidations evaporated.

She huffed, hands on her hips. Yes, she still had those. They were quite fine. I flew to her, wrapping my arms underneath hers and across her back. I nuzzled her with far more intensity than I ever bestowed upon the shrine maiden. “It’s so good to see you again.”

She pushed me back. “So, how’s your marriage?”

‘My’ marriage. Not ‘our’ marriage. Ouch.

“It’s…” I glanced back to Futo.

No. I had some questions of my own first.

“About that. About last night. Did you deny our own bond?”

She pinched her nose. “I died. We’ve done jack shit for vows since.”

I stared at the Mausoleum in the distance, narrowing my eyes.

“You mean to say…”

She sighed. “It’s a technicality, but you’re only married to the monk. Did you get that cut off?”

I folded my arms, studying the Mausoleum. “No. I’ve committed to it for the next few weeks.”

“WHAT!” Futo screamed. “To ally with that witch! Crown prince, I must say, yo—”

A thunderclap hit the wall behind me. “Calm down, Futo. I’m sure she has her reasons. Right, Miko?”

A twisting mess of desires floated through Tojiko’s head, all converging on a similar general feeling: Worry. There was a fair chunk of annoyance too. She did not approve, but her desires made it seem more a great headache than a threat.

I vowed to renew our vows once this affair ended.

Futo probably trusted me too. But her desires, while still raging, failed to achieve coherence.

[ ] Tenderly reassure…
 [ ] Tojiko.
 [ ] Futo.
 [ ] Both.

[ ] Emphasize strategic opportunities.

[ ] Promise to carve out plenty of ‘us’ time.

[ ] Write-in.

Voting ends:
Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/11(Sun)15:00

>> No. 41238
[x] Tenderly reassure…
-[x] Tojiko.

Preserve the danktity.
>> No. 41239
[x] Emphasize strategic opportunities.
>> No. 41241
[x] Emphasize strategic opportunities.

Surely after witnessing the crown prince's cunning they shan't object.
>> No. 41245
[X] Tenderly reassure…
 [X] Both.

It's only a sham marriage for the papers, no big deal.
>> No. 41248
[X] Emphasize strategic opportunities.
>> No. 41249
[x] Tenderly reassure…
-[x] Tojiko.

>I died. We’ve done jack shit for vows since.

Ouch. It's true that it is 'until death do us part' but that's only because we assume that death sticks.
>> No. 41250
File 154199229689.jpg - (933.85KB, 1000x1000, mikotojifuto.jpg) [iqdb]
41250
[x] Tenderly reassure…
 [x] Both.

I turned around to face them, meeting a pair of scowls. I grabbed hold of Tojiko’s hand, giving her a soft squeeze as I beckoned Futo over. She hesitated but floated forward. I ran a hand through her hair, ending with a quick rub under her left ear.

She winced, still frowning. She also leaned into my touch. I let go and floated down, beckoning Tojiko and Futo to follow. They did, of course.

I passed into a wide tunnel, touched down, and leaned against the smooth rock wall.

Tojiko floated to the opposite wall and Futo stepped before me, still carrying that cask. I gestured they come closer. Futo hopped forward. Tojiko glided in. I wrapped an arm around each shoulder and pulled them into a group hug.

Futo squirmed. “Is this truly appropriate, crown prince?”

Tojiko draped her own arm across me, grumbling.

“It’s fine, every now and then.” I sighed, pulling back from a hug into more of a huddle. “You can trust me, right?”

“Yea.”

“I trust you’ll survive.”

I gave them both a soft clap on the back, then let go.

“Well then, let’s…” I glanced at Futo’s cask one more time. “Futo. While this is going on, I need to try to keep the temple calm. So…”

“Don’t fuck them up, Futo. Not yet.”

Futo heaved a sigh. Long, sad, and slow. Then set the cask down.

“Excellent. Then it’s time to make my appearance.”

Tojiko floated in close, stroking my cheek. “How long?”

I rested a hand on her side. “Two weeks. Care to plan our ceremony for the moment it ends?”

She smiled. “Of course. Don’t embarrass yourself too bad, okay?”

“Me? Embarrass myself? Please.” I scoffed and turned. Then stopped. “Say, Tojiko. Would you know what happened to my possessions?”

“Yes. Senkai.”

Perfect. I turned and searched the wall for another crevice, only for Tojiko to poke my back. I turned.

“Take me with you.”

I smiled and linked arms.

It was a short, uneventful trip. I found a crack, whooshed in, gave token greetings to some fellow hermits, and found my chamber. Once there, I closed and locked the door.

I found a fresh, folded set of clothes lying in wait on the floor. Toijko rested on the bed as I stripped down and pulled the undergarments on.

“What’s your plan?”

I pulled the skirt on. “Get close to Byakuren, figure out how she works and how more of her followers think.”

“Is that all?”

I threw my shirt on. “I’ll also embarrass her a little, but that’s just for fun.”

She scoffed. “You sound like a villain.”

“Do I?” I buckled the belts around my waist, finally reunited with my vessel. “I’m not going to kill or destroy her.”

“But you’re going to deceive her, play with her heart.”

I sighed, pulling the golden bracers over my hands. “She knows as well as I do it’s all fake. It’s closer to extortion than deception.”

“Extortion over what?”

I tied the sandals around my feet. “A deal we’d made with the woman who married us. Byakuren wants what she offered, and she needs to treat me like a wife to get it.”

“And you treat her like one as well?”

I threw the cape over my shoulders. “Correct.”

“So she can insist she sees our places as well.”

I ran a comb through my hair, getting out the worst of the kinks.

“…Yes. Make sure she doesn’t find anything too sensitive, okay?”

“Fine.”

I plopped the earmuffs over my head and grabbed my shaku.

[ ] I spent a quiet moment with Toijko.

[ ] I slipped into the human village.

[ ] I paraded into the human village.

[ ] I visited Myouren Temple.

[ ] Write-in.

Voting ends:
Quit livin' in the past

>> No. 41251
Screwed up the timer, lemme try again.
Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/12(Mon)21:00

>> No. 41252
[X] I visited Myouren Temple.
better meet our new wife
>> No. 41253
[X] I spent a quiet moment with Toijko.

hands -> boobs
>> No. 41254
[X] I visited Myouren Temple.

However bad it is in the Mausoleum, I'm sure it's far worse there.
>> No. 41255
[X] I spent a quiet moment with Toijko.

It's the least she deserves, considering everything she's about to put up with.
>> No. 41256
[x] I spent a quiet moment with Toijko.

I wonder if they should do the new ceremony on the shrine as well. Not like they can do one on Sekai.
>> No. 41258
[X] I spent a quiet moment with Toijko.
Dank.
>> No. 41261
File 154206402999.jpg - (462.18KB, 1195x1500, mikotoji.jpg) [iqdb]
41261
[x] I spent a quiet moment with Toijko.

I stepped back and sat down beside my true wife. I scooted close, pressing my hip to hers, and wrapped an arm around to hold the other.

I leaned back and let out a heavy sigh. “This might be our last chance to do this for a while.”

“Yep.”

I leaned into her shoulder as I listened to the distant, muffled sounds of soft footfalls, turning pages, and quiet conversations. I felt her shift as she wrapped her own arm behind my back, pulling me close.

Time passed as a muted whiff of incense floated through the air.

Tojiko giggled. “It feels good.”

“Hmm?”

“Seeing you get clingy for a change.”

I pinched her side. “I’m not being clingy.”

“Sure, sure. I’ll miss you too, by the way.”

“Mm.” I wasn’t normally the quiet type, but words failed to escape my throat.

Another moment passed and Tojiko’s luxurious chest sat still. That took some getting used to when I first awoke. She had no trouble breathing, but because she no longer needed to, she rarely bothered unless speaking or deliberately emoting.

“How have things been at the mausoleum?”

“Quiet, just the way I like it.”

“Should I apologize for the noise I’ll inevitably bring in?”

Tojiko inhaled, rubbing my back. “No. I’ll live.”

“Good.” I patted her side, then let go and stood up. “I’m afraid I can’t put this off any longer. Wish me luck, Tojiko.”

“With Byakuren.”

“Yes. Putting up with her.”

“May you put up with her, then.”

“Thank you.” I flicked my cape out and stepped away, holding my hand out.

She took it, hugging me as I escorted her back out of the temple and through the crack we took back to Gensokyo. I hugged her back, of course.

We came out near the mausoleum, floating above the water, with the great, hexagonal tower before us.

I cleared my throat. “Goodbye, Tojiko. I’ll see you as soon as I can.”

She nodded. “Goodbye, Miko.”

I turned back to the crevice we came from and stepped back inside.

[ ] To the human village.

[ ] To Myouren Temple.

[ ] Write-in.

Voting ends:
Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/13(Tue)21:00

>> No. 41262
[X] To Myouren Temple.

Let's fulfill our duty
>> No. 41265
[x] To Myouren Temple.
>> No. 41266
[x] To Myouren Temple.
>> No. 41268
[X] To Myouren Temple.
>> No. 41272
[x] To the human village.
Piss.
>> No. 41278
File 154217501379.png - (417.73KB, 700x966, kyoukopanic.png) [iqdb]
41278
[x] To Myouren Temple

I slipped through, coming out a pace from the road. I trotted from bare dirt, scattered with leaves and dry branches, to lush grass as I left the woods. From there, the ground transitioned back to dirt as I reached the road.

I followed the road up a hill, humming. Now shielded by my trusty earmuffs, listened at leisure to the desires floating through the air. Wild, impatient and impulsive urges drifted to my ears, infrequently punctuated by the more restrained wants of what I assumed to be adult humans. As opposed to the numerous youkai inhabiting this temple, with perhaps a few children among them.

As I crested the hill, the full splendor of her temple rose to greet me. A wide, heavy roof atop a well-engineered base with fine-crafted windows. The dry, prickly aroma of incense mixed with grains wafted from its doors. It was no Senkai, but it represented the second most exquisite religious center here.

Sutra chanting reached my ears as I approached, carried by an enthusiastic but wavering voice. Other sounds echoed from inside the temple, hidden beneath her louder tune. Discontent murmurs and hushed arguments.

The sutra cut off, its speaker staring me in the eyes. Timid and shaking, but very focused. She wanted to be anywhere but here. Plain, pink dress, short green hair, and a large fluffy dog ears. She held a broom in one hand, poised just beside a small pile of leaves.

I sympathized with her desire, half me feeling the same. Nonetheless, I continued forward.

“Good morning, Kyouko.”

“Good. Morn…” She gulped. “I mean, stay away! No one’s home!”

I sighed, tapping the shaku to my chin, even as something crashed inside the temple.

She glanced back inside, just as a thin, willowy woman burst out, a blue cloak and dark vest barely hanging from her otherwise plain, white dress.

“Good morning, Ms. Toyosatomimi.” She nodded her head, assumedly in place of a bow. Gulping air, she elbowed Kyouko. “What, what brings you here today?”

I raised a brow. Kyouko wanted to help her friends. Ichirin—the other woman—wanted to… She didn’t know what she wanted, but she wanted it not now.

[ ] I asked about the temple.

[ ] I offered my assistance.

[ ] I requested my ‘wife.’

[ ] Write-in.

Votes End:
Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/15(Thu)00:00

>> No. 41279
[x] I offered my assistance.
Sometimes, you gotta help out your enemies.
>> No. 41280
>the second most exquisite religious center here.
>Im-fuckin-plying
it is currently real moriya shrine hours

Since I'm not sure what we'd be offering assistance /with/:

[X] I requested my ‘wife.’

Probably shouldn't phrase it like that though, not sure how much she's told everyone yet, just call her regularly.
>> No. 41283
[x] I requested my ‘wife.’
>> No. 41284
[x] I offered my assistance.

If we're going to be staying here for a week, we should be as friendly as possible
>> No. 41285
[x] I offered my assistance.
As much as I would like Miko to go full emperor/empress mode and ham it up about getting their Wife, the first thing to do while infiltrating the enemy is NOT freaking everyone else out.
The ham is for when we're in public and the paparazzi are around.
>> No. 41288
[x] I requested my ‘wife.’
>> No. 41291
[x] I asked about the temple.
Pissin'
>> No. 41293
[x] I offered my assistance.

The Crown Prince is anything if not helpful.
>> No. 41294
[x] I offered my assistance.
>> No. 41296
File 154225569011.jpg - (163.16KB, 700x990, ichi1.jpg) [iqdb]
41296
[x] I offered my assistance.

“Perhaps I could help with your troubles.”

“No, no. We’re fine, just fine. Right, Kyouko?”

“Uh, well, I mean, um, yeah!”

I smiled, a little tight. “Please, let me help you.”

Ichirin Kumoi stood firm. For a few seconds. Then she… she didn’t scream, but just sorted of groaned. Loudly. Then collapsed, her butt hitting the temple platform as her back leaned forward, frizzled hair hanging low.

I stepped onto the wooden floor and sat next to her, sword bumping against the wood. I leaned back, making sure to keep my hands away. Even from here, I got the sense that I played a significant role in her frustrations.

So, I simply sat back and waited.

Kyouko tip-toed back inside.

Finally, back heaving, she spoke. “Don’t you have things to do? Places to be?”

A placed the shaku across my lap, stroking my chin. “Naturally. But I have more urgent business here.”

“Are you sure you don’t have anything else you could do right now?”

“Do you know what happened last night?”

“Don’t remind me.”

“Then surely you understand how I’m obligated to help.”

“…What?” She stared at me, blatantly incredulous.

I pressed a hand to my chest. “As your master’s wife, of course.”

I heard a sinking feeling in her gut. Yes, the metaphor’s a bit strange, but that’s what I heard.

“You’re really committing to this joke, aren’t you?”

I heard something else. She had something to hide. Not for power or protection, but for self-image. Something she found… humiliating, perhaps?

I stretched my arms out. “It’s not a joke.” A farce, perhaps, but I had a story to keep.

“I don’t believe you.”

I waved her off. “Is this the extent of your troubles? Fear of how I’ll treat your master?”

She looked off into the distance. “No. You’re mostly correct, but I must also help protect the temple itself.”

“Then if there’s nothing I can help with, I suppose I’ll just have to find my wife.”

“Wait!” Ichirin leapt to her feet, grabbing my skirt. “Hiji—I mean, um, oh! Nue smuggled beer into the temple recently. Maybe you could chastise her for us?”

“And she would listen to me, but not you, because…?”

“You’re stronger?”

Ichirin wanted me away from the temple. She also kind of wanted Nue to get away with it. I doubted that chasing this task would solve any of her concerns.

[ ] I offered to let her ‘chaperone’ us.

[ ] I challenged her to fight me if I went too far.

[ ] I promised to treat the temple well. I also ‘offered’ to keep her secret.

[ ] I smothered her in newly-wed gushing. In my style, of course.

[ ] Write-in.

Votes End:
Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/16(Fri)00:00

>> No. 41297
[X] I smothered her in newly-wed gushing. In my style, of course.
>> No. 41299
[x] I smothered her in newly-wed gushing. In my style, of course.
>> No. 41302
[X] I smothered her in newly-wed gushing. In my style, of course.

Never not ham.
>> No. 41303
[x] I challenged her to fight me if I went too far.

put up ur dukes bitch
>> No. 41304
[X] I smothered her in newly-wed gushing. In my style, of course.

This guy is so ham, he is forbidden in every synagogue on Earth.
>> No. 41305
File 154233718335.jpg - (149.28KB, 700x1040, hijimiko romantic.jpg) [iqdb]
41305
[x] I smothered her in newly-wed gushing. In my style, of course.

“Your concerns, Ms. Kumoi are noted.”

She looked back to me, hopeful.

“And discarded.”

She frowned and lifted her ass, trapped halfway between either giving in or literally fighting me just to keep me out. I sighed. Now was the time to go all out.

“Because my cherished wife awaits. Would it not be cruel to deny a loyal, loving woman the jewel of her life?”

She stared back, jaw hanging, utterly bemused.

“She is, after all, utterly marvelous.”

I swallowed. “The radiance of her smile. The exquisite, joyous sound of her laughter. That master’s touch displayed by every curve in her body.”

Ichirin turned a little green at that moment. I continued. “The sheer… brilliance of her mind.”

I stepped off, onto the dirt, and walked a few steps away. “She’s so… so kind, loving, and generous.” Or at least I felt she wanted to be those things. Perhaps I’d even help her with that.

Ichirin groaned. “Since when did you value these things?”

I turned, gasped, and clenched my chest. “What sort of monster do you take me for? I’ve taken dozens under my wing and I’d take dozens more!”

I walked back, stepping up onto the platform. “Now, I must see her. Byakuren of the Toyostamimi!”

“Excuse me?”

“Oh? Would you prefer Miko Hijiri?” I certainly didn’t.

Ichirin groaned. “Look, I’ll let you in. Just, please. Shut up.”

“Lead the way, my sister.”

“How?”

“In spirit. An in-law of sorts.”

Her lips parted, then shut. She stepped up and pushed the door open. I followed, tapping the shaku to my chin.

We walked through the common rooms into side halls, passing men and women, decorated with a wild range of animal ears and other appendages. With a few humans scattered among them. As we progressed, the faces and bodies grew rarer. Then new voices floated our way.

“—sn’t make any sense.” A familiar voice. Proud and civilized, but with a very distinct touch of the feral still clinging to it. “Just break it off. Surely you—”

“Enough, Shou.” A long, deep breath. “Please, just trust me. Everything will be…”

Ichirin pushed the door open, revealing Byakuren sitting firm on one side, chastising the tiger youkai on the other.

“Lady Hijiri, your husband is here.”

I stepped before them. “Wife, Ms. Ichirin. I am her wife.”

Byakuren’s skin turned pink. “Right, yes. Miko. Hello.”

I knelt to one knee and took her hand in mine. “I’m so glad to finally see you again.”

A quick glance to the corners of my vision revealed a flat, uncertain stare from Ichirin, and a blank, vacant gaze from Shou. Based on what I heard of their desires, I’d almost thought that Shou had just attained Nirvana.

[ ] I suggested a quiet one-on-one (to get our stories straight).

[ ] I offered to take her to a play.

[ ] I invited her to a friendly brunch.
 [ ] I also invited… (Write-in.)

[ ] Write-in.

Votes End:
Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/16(Fri)22:00

>> No. 41306
[X] I invited her to a friendly brunch

Can't go wrong with brunch
>> No. 41307
[x] I offered to take her to a play.

Keep her off balance.
>> No. 41308
>[ ] I suggested a quiet one-on-one (to get our stories straight).
There is no chance in hell we could possibly get a real one-on-one when we're right next to Byakuren on her own turf, surrounded by the consideration of her worried followers.

>[ ] I offered to take her to a play.
I wonder whose~
No, really, I do wonder. It is an off balance choice indeed, but I really don't know what would happen.

>[ ] I invited her to a friendly brunch.
Safe enough, unless we decide to do a belly flop on the relations and like, bring her and her disciples out for meat skewers.

I guess risks can come later then.

[X] I invited her to a friendly brunch.
 [X] I also invited Ichirin and Shou.

They're right there. Unless there's other people we could bring in, a clarification on that might help.
>> No. 41312
[x] I offered to take her to a play.
Kookaburra route.
>> No. 41313
[X] I offered to take her to a play.
>> No. 41314
[X] I offered to take her to a play.

Time to go check up on our daughter!
>> No. 41317
File 154242074359.jpg - (139.97KB, 800x600, ampthitheater.jpg) [iqdb]
41317
[x] I offered to take her to a play.

“There’s a splendid play coming on soon, darling. Would you care to join me?”

“Eh?” Byakuren blinked at me. Gears turned in Ichirin’s head and I still heard nothing from Shou.

I gave her hand a kiss. “Don’t you wish for some time alone? Just the two of us?”

Byakuren’s eyes fluttered as she caught her breath. She bit her lip. “…Yes. I suppose I do.”

“Good. This way, then.”

She stood, I linked arms with her, and we walked back through the temple. Back into the commotion of untrained youkai and barely-better humans. Although she sometimes stressed how her adherents—the youkai especially—were a work in progress, I had trouble seeing just where this ‘progress’ had occurred.

We passed back into a common room and from there to the front gate. And off we went down the main road to the village.

It felt strange. The soft curve of her body reminded me of Tojiko, but it was the uncanny sensation of a skilled forgery. Comfortable but disconcerting. We walked several minutes in silence.

“When does the play start, Miko dear?”

‘Dear.’ My stomach clenched. “About half an hour.” Well played, Hijiri. Well played.

“Don’t you think we could fly there, just to be safe?”

“I prefer to take my time.”

She put a finger to her chin. “You’re not…” she glanced around, lowering her voice, “really in lo— interested, right?”

I felt a strange twisting to her desires. Something hidden in there that her other wants and duties piled atop each other to snuff out. Not that it was any of my business.

I nodded, almost imperceptibly. “I have no idea what you mean.”

She shook her head. “Never mind.”

We walked on, soon approaching the village. After a brief but polite exchange of greetings, we passed through the gate and moved on our way down one of the wide, outer roads. Whispers and hushed questions broke out like wildfires around us, accompanied by a surge of curiosity among the villagers. We turned into a smaller road, entering one of the village blocks.

We reached a cozy amphitheater, seating perhaps a couple hundred. I pulled out a small handful of coins and passed them to a tired young man outside and stepped inside. Byakuren kept quiet the whole time, even as I sat down at the back row.

She sat next to me, twisting and fidgeting as an older, heavyset woman announced the cast for this play.

There were a couple actors I had my eye on, but no one of great import yet.

“Excuse me.” A familiar, flat voice.

I turned to see a stone-faced young woman with long, fluffy pink hair and a pumpkin-like skirt with faces cut out of it. Kokoro. She wore the Fox mask above her head.

“What’s the incident?”

“Incident?”

“What is it?” She reiterated.

I turned to Byakuren. She blinked.

I turned back.

The audience went quiet as the play began. Kokoro scooted forward and sat down by Byakuren, staring at us.

[ ] I focused on the play.

[ ] I asked, quietly, what had her concerned.

[ ] I introduced her to her new ‘family.’

[ ] Write-in.

Votes End:
Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/17(Sat)20:00

>> No. 41318
[x] I introduced her to her new ‘family.’

Our first trial.

Also, is Byakuren interesed? That's a nice development.
>> No. 41319
File 154242913067.jpg - (707.51KB, 750x950, 48874433_p0.jpg) [iqdb]
41319
[X] Inform her about the marriage youkai that has been wreaking havoc and matrimony recently.

She can learn more later.
>> No. 41320
[X] I focused on the play.
>> No. 41322
[X] Inform her about the marriage youkai that has been wreaking havoc and matrimony recently.

Let's derail this into a spiral of never-ending FUN.
>> No. 41323
[x] Inform her about the marriage youkai that has been wreaking havoc and matrimony recently.

Just blame it on a youkai. That'll work.
>> No. 41325
File 154250061416.jpg - (335.02KB, 600x583, kokorounimpressed.jpg) [iqdb]
41325
[x] Inform her about the marriage youkai that has been wreaking havoc and matrimony recently.

I sat quietly through the first few scenes, introducing the hero and setting. Then, with the audience distracted, I leaned over Byakuren’s lap, setting a hand on her thigh, and beckoned to Kokoro. She leaned in.

I leaned further, until my face nearly pressed to her ear. “There appears to be some youkai running around, sowing discord and marriage.”

Byakuren frowned. I pulled back and slid a hand around her back, resting on her side. Kokoro blinked, parsing what I’d said. I returned to the play, keeping half an eye on her.

The lead actor, Eito, delivered a very by-the-book performance. Lines well projected and enunciated, with the standard level of emotion, where applicable. I held out hope that he would start to experiment and find a unique style to offer. He had the talent for more understated performances like Hibiki or Reiji, or perhaps something a bit more playful. Still, his technical competence won the common crowds over.

Really, the actor who most caught my eye was Kenzou. He played a minor role here and lacked the practiced efficiency that Eito displayed, but there was something to the way his movements flowed, the way his voice shrunk just that little bit when his character suffered.

It was very likely accidental on his part, but it held the potential to become part of a distinctive style. One that, once trained and rolled into a more expansive repertoire, would help bring an engaging color to his roles.

“Sowing marriage?”

I turned back, finding Kokoro now leaning over Byakuren. Byakuren sighed as Kokoro stared me down.

I leaned in again. “It’s as you see, Kokoro. Some wicked creature has made me fall head over heels for this terrible witch here.”

She pinched my side. Gently.

“Miko, dear, could you please not fill her head with such absurdities?”

“Please, darling, you can’t deny there’s something odd to our sudden affections.” I cast a glance to the play, now entering the second act. “We’re married and seeing plays together, Kokoro. This must be the work of some marriage youkai.”

Kokoro stared back. Her desires suggested she wasn’t impressed. Byakuren wanted us off her lap.

[ ] I invited Kokoro to lunch with us.

[ ] I clung to Byakuren to prove the story.

[ ] I proposed an investigation.

[ ] Write-in.

Votes End:
Time remaining: :: Timer ended at: 2018/11/18(Sun)23:00

>> No. 41326
[X] I proposed an investigation.

Stoking the passion of one of my favorite youks.
>> No. 41327
[x] I invited Kokoro to lunch with us.

Just a daughter going for lunch with her two moms.
>> No. 41328
[X] I invited Kokoro to lunch with us.
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