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File 155485148885.png - (740.77KB, 817x1091, __mononobe_no_futo_touhou_drawn_by_furorina__6f2de.png) [iqdb]
41996 No. 41996
Wherein some resolutions are made.

Previous thread: >>41501
Expand all images
>> No. 41998
File 155485170523.jpg - (1.41MB, 1688x2048, D2WhTIBVAAAqT8M_jpg orig.jpg) [iqdb]

Minamitsu let Mu’s limping treasure slip out of her mouth.

Care, love and a fair amount of work had seen its length scrubbed of lewd evidence. Minamitsu pushed herself up to admire her handiwork. Her handiwork, worn out and drooping, did its best mockery of a landed fish. It flopped. Once. Then, comically, it slumped down across its underslung carriage.

Minamitsu sighed her happiness. There had ever been something deeply gratifying about making a man come. Some immanent and deep-seated response to helping them achieve that prime, natural directive. Seeing (and tasting, and feeling) its tangible results almost always set her thoughts abuzz with the warm, pleasant glow of having done something… real. Intended. Lifelike. Minamitsu may never again be human; she’d had ages to internalise the fact. No quantity of unguarded sex had ever gotten her pregnant; no extent of teasing, coaxing and cajoling could resuscitate her own natural functions. Minamitsu had tried. All which could be dredged out were the feelings and sensations tied to the process. Never the full, genuine thing.

That had been ceded wholesale to something else. Another, blacker appetite.

Minamitsu felt it wrenching at her soul when the seed she had diligently licked up and swallowed began to die in her stomach. Tiny pinprick hooks of vitality, seeking purchase they would never find, doomed to swim out their precious seconds of life inside the entirely wrong area of Minamitsu’s body. Straggling, lost, crumbling, thrashing about…


Something exploded outside.

Someone cried in alarm.

Minamitsu gave it no heed, the anyway layered walls of the boarding house rendering the shouts far and incoherent. She climbed off of her knees, and rose along Handai Mu’s front. She pressed their naked chests together, enjoying the beat of his living heart through his bare skin. Mu breathed in, sharply – then gulped when Minamitsu craned her neck up and planted a kiss at the base of his neck.

“… Say, Captain,” whispered her very own voice – except lower, seductive; “did you know? There’s this big, outdoor bath behind this house.”

“… Yeah?” Mu managed to reply.

“Yeah,” said Minamitsu. “Yeah… Very private, as you like. No one in at this hour. It’s a hot spring, also. The water’s nice and warm, even in Winter.”

“… And?”

“And, we could have it all to ourselves. You and I. No onlookers. We could get in, wash each other… Take a dip in the water. And then, once we’ve warmed up and relaxed, we could get our naughty bits acquainted. My kitty would love to meet your cock. I’d teach you all my good spots… and you could repay me for that blowjob. I wager you could get me to cum in no time. I’m a youkai, too. So, you could finish inside me, as well. As. Many. Times—” She smooched his neck to punctuate each word, up to his bulging Adam’s apple. “… As you can squeeze out, Captain. No obligations. Just sex. Until neither of us can breathe anymore. Shall we??”

There was a laden moment as Mu weighed her salacious offer against whatever rope-end of decency he was still clinging to below.

At length, he disappointed her. “… Why do I have the idea,” he asked, “that you are leading me on?”

Minamitsu chuckled. Her sailor’s honesty spoke over her shallower instincts, “I am. Admittedly. But, I give you my oath, I will have as much sex with you as you can take ahead I do anything bad.”

Mu made a quiet scoff. “All the same,” he said. “Thanks, but pass.”

Minamitsu deflated. Her murky, vengeful desires gave a final, angry beat…

… Then quieted – hushed under a will so strong, so disciplined, that sister Byakuren might have popped at her seams from pride. Minamitsu shouldered aside the implicit affront in Mu’s response, and, the bare tips of her breasts brushing his, she rose up onto her toes.

“For being candid, at least,” she said, smiling. Then, kissed his lips.

To her pleased surprise, Handai Mu humoured her compulsions, and kissed back. With enough verve, in truth, that their mouths parted ways with pronounced reluctance when they did, in the end, come apart. Mu had a question behind his eyes – and insight on his tongue.

“You do really like this,” he said. “Kissing.”

He’d attired a face which gave off the wrinkly suggestion of having been pulled out of a coat’s rarest used pocket. Moreover, he’d attuned a tone that had nimbly swapped the specific “You” inside the question (“Murasa Minamitsu”) for an all-encompassing homonym (“you, youkai”).

The substituted you (Minamitsu) gave him no benefit of a bite.

“What-ever has betrayed me, Captain?” she asked.

Mu was polite enough to acknowledge her flirting. “A mouthful of instances,” he hinted.

“Jolly,” she acknowledged his joke in return. “Though… Well, yes. It’s an old affectation, right athwart of stories. Older, belike.”


And Minamitsu did tell. “When I was thirteen, or about,” she told him, “a sailor on his shore leave coasted by our village. Stayed in the loft of a barn of one of our neighbours, frittered his scales away on the local ale, cheated the field-hands at dice – what sailors get to on dry land. Harmless, when you’ve heard the stories I have; and, his coin was a fresher mint than anyone in town had seen in their lives. Anyhow, I was out in the woods one gorgeous noon – thirteen Winters of age me, fetching firewood for the stove. My Pa had gone with the plague years ahead, see – and Ma had her hands and noggin full of cooking for the sowers. So fell to me, therefore, to go out each day and pick up more kindling for stewing the oats.

“Somewise, the sailor was out and about that same noon,” Minamitsu continued, with fond remembrance. “Same environs, to boot. Gave one another a foul start, we did, actually. He’d not noticed me nosing about in the brush, and I hadn’t heard him strutting by – what on account of that rolling, sailor’s gait. We laughed about it some. Then, we sat in the grass and talked a while about the town and the world. He told me girls inland were mighty beautiful compared to sea-born ladies, who were scratchy and porous – what with all the salt in the air. I told him no parts of me were any beautiful, and he rather disagreed. At length – and with rather much fire.

“And then,” she delivered the thrust of the tale, “while I sat there, a beet for my face and porridge for wits, he said this. That, if I should give him but a kiss, he would show me the best feeling under the Sun.

“… Was it a good trade?” asked Mu.

Minamitsu gave a soft chuckle. She hadn’t to ask why he’d assumed she’d taken the offer. “It was the best, Captain. I wasn’t as good I am now at kissing then; though, he didn’t overmuch mind this. He sat me down on his lap, stuffed a hand under my dress, and did me with his fingers. There – in the open – under the trees. That was my very first orgasm. And, he kept kissing me all through. Couldn’t focus for the whole rest of the day, poor me. I gave him my maidenhead later that evening, in the loft. And, as you may wager… there were scads of kisses there, too.”

A soft, dreamy sigh whispered out of Minamitsu’s chest, which was still squished, rather agreeably, against Handai Mu’s broad, masculine front. “… Since then, Captain,” she quietly concluded, “I’ve had a thing for having my lips touched. You get? It’s a… memento. A reminder. Of fonder times.”

“A pleasant association,” translated Mu. “I get. But isn’t it... human? You are youkai now. No?”

“A ghost,” corrected Minamitsu. “Same difference, I know. But is there one, between those? Why should youkai be removed from sentimentality? We aren’t free from associations, Captain; on the contrary. We make them easy. Some of us live by our attachments. Some of us even died by the same.”

“May this be why,” Mu wanted to know, “that story felt unfinished?”

Minamitsu drafted up a grin. “Yes,” she obliged. “Alas, there is only so much that a girl will sell for a stick of sugarcane. And, Captain, a girl’s secrets… Those are her most expensive part.”

The chest, by which Minamitsu was braced, swelled even broader with a long, somewhat laboured breath. At its peak, as it almost overflowed, it escaped Mu’s lungs in the shape of a low, derisive scoff. And yet, when Minamitsu was nigh-on about to re-run her previous line in her head to check whether it had soured somewhere between her brain and her tongue, the inquisitive, bald man released the remainder of his breath into a disconsolate wheeze. It tickled all across the top of her head.

“… Wish I’d met you earlier,” sighed Mu. “Would’ve been another story all in.”

“What?” giggled Minamitsu. “Got a cute sailor girlfriend already?” The guilty silence which poured out of Handai Mu vouched that, even if she hadn’t struck gold, then she was shovelling in the approximate area. “Ah, chin aloof, Captain!” she consoled him, poking a finger at the relevant piece of his face. “As you say: I am a youkai; I do what I like. I’m not too concerned whether you’re banded or not.”

Mu hesitated. “… What,” he asked at last, “if my girlfriend is youkai as well?”

“Then, Captain,” replied Minamitsu, “brutally, unless she is a hashi-hime or the like, chances are she isn’t deeply bothered, either.”

There was no answer from the bald man – excepting, perhaps, that Minamitsu sensed she’d caused him someway a deep bother of his own through her frank assessment.

His troubled waves were married with hers when another noise shuddered the walls of the boarding house. Another explosion… only not. A duller, stifled THUD! this time – as that of a laded hull striking an underwater sand bank. Or, Minamitsu’s latter experiences were telling, that of a sandbag being dropped by a rattled earth spider from fifty fathoms above.

Handai Mu’s face was a-frown with alarm that would have made her laugh if her own wasn’t, at that time, playing accompaniment.

“… That,” the human opined, “was not a nice sound.”

“No,” agreed Minamitsu. “Not whatsoever.”

“Maybe you should get that.”

“Maybe I should.”

After two – or three, or five – more moments of enjoying Mu’s surface heat, Minamitsu began to peel their sweat-stuck bodies apart. A curious sensation all throughout, it tapered anyway to one last, disappointing tug when Minamitsu forced herself away. The whilom captain of the Palanquin Ship allowed the bald man a farewell eyeful of her humble bust, ahead she rolled her sailor’s top back down. Mu bent over to retrieve his shorts from around his ankles, while Minamitsu reached under her skirt to fix her panties.

With a slight foiling of her, all told, amiable mood, she discovered the underwear to feel damp and clammy on her groin. A major pain in the fundament, where Minamitsu was concerned, because Gensokyo had lately begun its cruise with the nightmare by the name of “bloomers,” which, by outward intention, were designed to accommodate women of all sizes – on the assumption that they were women whales. Minamitsu hoped – in the main, for the sake of whoever was churning the waters outside – that they would kindly drown themselves when asked, so that she may go about salvaging one of the remaining pairs of her sensible, Outside World underthings.

Hope, she knew of course, died last. But, as Minamitsu could affirm, death was as nothing before a dogged enough girl.

>> No. 42002
File 15549953232.jpg - (805.88KB, 1100x1500, 69749826_p0.jpg) [iqdb]

Outside was a conclave of commotion.

Sister Byakuren’s faithful – humans and human-likes, in their dozens – stood and scrambled about the temple yard in a confused uproar. Those who stood, gaped at the Myouren-ji’s main sanctuary as if it was on fire, which went to show how perceptive they were, since Myouren-ji’s main sanctuary was, indeed, on fire. A pillar of sooty, eye-watering smoke rose ponderously from the temple’s storage areas. Those Buddhists-in-waiting who were of a less receptive persuasion scampered to and fro with buckets of well-water for putting out the fire. They had their work cut out; and so did sister Byakuren, in her black Acharya robes – half whose towering authority was given to directing the fire-fighting efforts, and another half – to reining in a group of enraged youkai devotees.

In the middle of the yard – in a broken, bloodied heap – Ichirin lay inside a shallow crater, gasping and swearing.

And above all of it, a single, rumbustious voice broke the waves of the Winter air with bellowed threats.

—ye fiendish scum and Boddhist heretics! Come!” it raved on, “Come thou and one true might of Yamato face, and under the Sun Sword’s keening blade wither and die!

Minamitsu hadn’t to peer up at the lurid sky to know who would be found there. She did, anyway.

And there she was. Mononobe Futo. The Scourge. A guardian dog under the command of Myouren-ji’s theological contender: Toyosatomimi Miko’s Sen-kai – whom the golden saint refused, or simply failed, to keep chained to a post. The rogue Taoist hovered overhead: a varicoloured cross of legs and floppy sleeves, shrouded by a tempest of stagnant, ghostly wind.

Minamitsu shook her head. Small wonder Ichirin had got herself keelhauled. It took like to like to defeat a wraith.

Minamitsu hopped from the raised veranda of the boarding house, down to the cold sand below. Out from a slip in mind-scape, a tri-pronged Yachtman’s anchor, engraved with a long-forgotten name, tore into reality and slammed into the ground beside her. Minamitsu, sighing, gripped it by the shank and swung it up onto one shoulder.

At her back, atop the veranda, Handai Mu made a pained sound. Minamitsu half-turned to see the bald man cannoning the wild Taoist with mute exasperation.

“Heard about our pest problem, then?” chuckled Minamitsu. “See, Captain, when they said ‘rats as big as men,’ they weren’t jesting.”

Mu tore his eyes from the raving woman in the sky, and looked to the anchor-hefting one aground.

“Should I…?” he began, doubtfully.

“Scarper?” guessed Minamitsu. “Belike you should. Or, go chip in against the fire, if you can. Not as if you’ve a lot of hair to lose, anyhow.”

Handai Mu swept a philosophical glance lengthwise the chaos of the yard. Then, weighing it counter to his less philosophical mortality, he made the appropriately material decision.

“… Sailor girl?”

“Aye, Captain?” replied Minamitsu.

Mu gave her an odd, almost sympathetic, look. “On the chance I don’t get to say this,” he told her. “… There is nothing bad with your legs. They’re terrific legs.”

Minamitsu, stunned, batted her eyes. In that heartbeat moment of inattention, Mu had already re-trained his own elsewhere. Confirming, at once, everything the people-watcher Minamitsu had figured about him, and galling the woman inside her. This was probably fine viewed from within Mu’s shaven skull; but, from an outside perspective, it could one day be a real bitch – or, at least, a youkai with enough faculties to act like a woman, but with less tolerance than Minamitsu.

Which was the main cause why, once Minamitsu roped down hers, she told the bald man to—

( ) “Come again.”
( ) Be better – for him – if he wouldn’t.
>> No. 42003
[x] “Come again.”
This sailor needs another turn in the barrel, if you catch the intended meaning of my utterance.
>> No. 42004
[x] “Come again.”

Oh fug
>> No. 42005
(x) “Come again.”
>> No. 42007
(X) meet with her again - but to do so elsewhere.
>> No. 42008
File 155537151833.jpg - (279.79KB, 2048x1660, DO69brLV4AU3vdx_jpg orig.jpg) [iqdb]
(X) “Come again.”

—To do, at his own peril, what she would have expected such a man to do, regardless.


Mu quit lovingly eyeing the temple’s Toori gate, and – less the love – rededicated his notice to Minamitsu. The once-commander of the Palanquin Ship unfurled her best, most winning smile.

“Come again, if you like,” she told the bold, bald man. Then, ahead the aft wind caught and bore his attention onward, she went on to add, “And, if you should like – bootleg us something nice to drink. Whisky, or plum wine, or even some porter. My hearty, Ichirin, there—” she nudged her chin at the bodily pile of limbs and oaths that was her best friend, “—she’d tie the knot with a bottle of yuzushu, if she could get it to last. So you know.”

Yuzu—” began Mu, tying a knot of his own above his nose. “… That’s a mite tall order. Those’re rare.

“Ichirin’s a tall girl. You get? I’m running a shot across the bow, here. Yuzushu or bust.”

Or no bust, as it were, she amused inside.

Mu gave a sour nod. “I get. I think. Yuzushu…”

You had best be thankful, Ichirin, thought Minamitsu. “Solid man,” she said to Mu. “Now. Scram, ahead you get beamed about. This one will be a pig to remove, I feel.”


“Nice to meet you, by the bye.”

“… Same.”

With some, understandable, distraction, Handai Mu mimed a bow he must have envisaged would become a Buddhist temple. Minamitsu laughed – saluted back – and, hefting her anchor, swung about on a heel to march for where Ichirin lay in shameful defeat.

(What Minamitsu would’ve had a harder time laughing up was that, once he was but out of view, Handai Mu did a harsh yaw and dashed behind the bathhouse – whereat he would, easily and with no overt regard for courtesy, leap over the three fathoms of outer fence.)

Above, the rabid Taoist taunted on.

Fie, Boddhist!” she jeered over the ghoulish wind. “Ruth, Boddhist! Infamy upon thee! I thy foetid temples destroy, and what dost thou? Feeble, wood Boddhist! Hast Shigisan all thy zest therewith stolen? Pardie, thy prideful claims doth so hollow as yon victory be! Canst nary of thou me a challenge provide? I, of the Mononobe daughter, whom thou vanquished clepest! Lief will I thee welcome! Come! FIGHT ME!

Minamitsu gleefully ignored the outpour of antiquated expletives, and approached, instead, her downed friend.

Ichirin was bruised purple. Outwards and – earmarks were – inwards both. Her trademark, navy habit – which Ichirin fancied for reasons ever unknown – was in shreds, as were the edges of her sturdy kesa and the not-so-sturdy self-esteem. Hateful, hateful words were bubbling up between Ichirin’s bloodied lips, all despite sister Byakuren being still in nearby vicinity. Good, old Ichirin was slipping badly.

“Someone got blown down,” quipped Minamitsu, stooping over Ichirin’s contorted body. “Someone else’s feistier than usual, too. Sink me.”

Ichirin’s eyes heaved down in their sockets. “… ‘Mitsu,” she groaned. “May I ask as to where the bloody hell you were?”

Minamitsu smiled. Then, she put her free hand, balled in a fist, up to one cheek – and stuck her tongue into the opposite.

Ichirin, bless her spirits, decoded the gesture in a blink. In another, she blinked her incredulity. “… For real?”


“You were giving some guy a…?”

“Aye, ma’am.”

“While I was dancing with that white devil?”

Minamitsu sketched a one-shouldered shrug. “You’re the better dancer. I’m better at the other stuff.”

Her friend of long, faithless years stared on for a long, disbelieving moment. Then, tweaking her eyes shut, she wheezed, “… I hate you.”

Well, bring a spring upon my cable, mused Minamitsu. All the same, for her best friend’s contused ego, she volunteered, “Shouldn’t have lent Unzan out, smack dab in the middle of Mononobe season, eh, Chichirin? Not your brightest, you’ll agree.”

Ichirin growled. “Should have bloody said if you were keeping track of her rag days.”

“Ah, I’m running a rig on you,” confessed Minamitsu. “I only smelt it now, myself. Or is that yours?”



Ichirin sighed. “Good thing you didn’t choke.”

All but, and Minamitsu would have – on her replying chortle.

Ichirin cracked a pained smile. “… Tit?” she proposed.

Minamitsu wiped her face. “Tat,” she surrendered. “And, I reckon, on a less funny note… How are you holding together? Your knees seem… a couple degrees off?”

“Ask me, I’ll ask you,” groaned Ichirin. “Can’t feel bull-crap below my waist. Think my bloody spine’s snapped. In, like, three places.”

“So, she broke your back, literally.”

“Cheerful,” spat Ichirin. “No, that was the ground, thank you. It’s… It’s that bloody wind. You get that? Once she fanned that up, I couldn’t punch a hole. Unzan may have. My fists bounced right bloody off. My chakrams, too. The bleeding wind’s alive, my oath.”

Minamitsu sniffed the sepulchral currents whipping the air above Myouren-ji. “That thing?” she asked, in a quiet, disdainful voice. “That thing’s all except alive. And, it cannot touch me.”

“… The hell?”

“Ghost-stuff,” Minamitsu offered, helpfully. “I’m dead; so is it. You’d be amazed at what we deaders can’t do to each other. ‘Specially when you learn many of those things can be catching to you livin’ folks. Jolly fortune—” she stuck on a smile she thought was appropriately grim, “—that our bilge rat’s every inch bodied. Means I can body her off the air right well – no matter how hard she puffs.”

“… Great,” groaned Ichirin. “Then, I got trounced on your time. Hope you had fun, ‘Mitsu. Great, big, bloody captain, you.”

Minamitsu’s humours curdled from the hurt underneath her friend’s tone. “… Sorry,” she murmured. I’ll make my amends, she promised inside, over some yuzushu, too – if someone’s favour holds. “On my oath, I didn’t sense a thing. Until I heard it.”

Ichirin tried – and rather pitifully failed – to swat the apology away with one raw hand. “… Never mind,” she gave up. “No one here’s accountable for that madwoman. Least of all you or I. Wish you’d been here to swap with me, is everything.”


Ichirin muttered a handful of weary – and unwomanly – terms. “… Tell me later,” she sighed, “what debauchery you got up to while I was being knocked around. Over a cup of that oolong-hai I know you’ve stashed somewhere, would be ideal. Then, we’re square. Sister Byakuren’s your real boss, anyway. Not I.”

“… That’ll belike take more rowing, huh,” supposed Minamitsu.

“Want a tip? Start throwing out the rats,” suggested Ichirin. “Or whatever else you sea-folk do with those. I’ll lie this one out. Let my spine un-snap itself.”

“That,” said Minamitsu, a measure of good mood returning, “is the wisest thing I’ve heard from somebody with tits that bi—”

A blast of fierce, funereal wind clamped down on her retort.

FACE ME!” screamed the mad Taoist. “SHALT THOU DARE!

Minamitsu’s patience sailed over a waterfall. With a grand heave, she twirled on a rock-steady heel – and hurled her anchor at the crazed woman in the sky.

The half-tonne of unchained, rust-nipped steel tore apart the sheath of protective wind around the looming Taoist. A foul, nauseating CRUNCH of shattered bones assailed Minamitsu’s ears when the anchor smashed into the Taoist’s light, undersized body. The Scourge, Mononobe Futo, spraying blood, careened after the anchor, which had blithely continued its arc – even after slugging the diminutive woman aside.

What would have scuttled a medium whale merely inconvenienced the hound of Toyosatomimi Miko. Killing her momentum, wounds mending within the moment, the small Taoist sought out her desired challenger. She found her glaring back.

Murasa Minamitsu was not a combative soul.

As a body politic of youkai, gods and assorted preternatural fauna, Gensokyo, the Land of Illusions, by law resolved its internal conflicts through means most suited to the strengths of its inhabitants. Minamitsu had played truant from that school of thought. Not, she would defend herself if singled out, for violence only begot more violence at the end of the day; physical clashes were of ultimately no consequence to all but the weakest youkai. Minamitsu abstained from bodily solutions to her disagreements because life (and death) as a sea-borne woman had instilled in her that words – as a rule – left both sides of an argument gladder for having had them. Stab a disagreeable man through the kidneys, and all you got was a disagreeable man with a shiv in his kidneys. Talk him up, however, break past the waves… and you may end up with a friend and a jar of yuzushu furthermore.

Some would venture Murasa Minamitsu was a peaceful soul – insofar, anyway, as a vengeful ghost can ever be truly at ease. Those wouldn’t be wrong on most days. Minamitsu was not averse to peace; a calm day had its rewards (which the previous half-hour had shown), just as well as the frantic excitement of sailing out in a storm. That much, Minamitsu was ready to let clip her youkai’s pride.

Yet, when someone cracked that peace… When they bloodied her best friend and churned the waters of Myouren-ji’s quiet bay…

Minamitsu thrust out an arm. Her anchor shimmered into renewed existence and dropped into her waiting hand. Its impossible, insubstantial weight flooded her cold, drowned heart with boiling, spiteful indignation.

… Then, as she was about to demonstrate, the proverbial mistakes had been made.

For the next block:
( ) Futo
( ) Mu
>> No. 42009
[x] Mu
Bald or bust.
>> No. 42010
(x) Mu
>> No. 42011
(x) Mu
>> No. 42012
(X) Mu

>> No. 42013
(x) Mu
>> No. 42015
File 155579836297.jpg - (87.14KB, 868x1228, __mononobe_no_futo_touhou_drawn_by_paburisiyasu__7.jpg) [iqdb]

Gensokyo was a realm of limitless interest. At any given time, there was something exotic and extraordinary taking place. At the present, for example, a sailor-ghost by the name of Minamitsu was floating forty-odd yards over the bare forest roof, gripping Mu’s Tao tutor, Futo, by the front of Futo’s hunting cloak, and threatening, by way of fist, to acquaint Futo’s grinning face with the rear of Futo’s grinning skull. Inside the next moment, Futo corkscrewed out of the hold – kicked off the ghost’s own face – and began to choke the pale, Winter sky with tiny, facsimile Suns, all the while widening the three-dimensional no-man’s-land between them. Minamitsu back-handed the few that strayed close off-course with the ship’s anchor she held, as it happened, in the same hand. The one, slim, feminine hand. A whole anchor.

Limitless, limitless interest.

Handai Mu stood in the crown of a leafless tree a ways from the duel, weight Damped to a quarter and Wind feeding his strength for the eventuality of urgent escape. He peered up at the two flying, fantastic, and above all familiar figures.

And he couldn’t scrape up a care.

What would have – and had – spellbound him two years ago, nearer his involuntary relocation to Gensokyo, now at best had his mental defences slightly dented. Getting Used to It had ever been mankind’s strongest bulwark and curse, all in one set; and, somewhat in spite of his contemporary situation, Handai Mu was still very deep a man. With, it seemed, the assorted, manly quirks. While the religious war raging in the heavens was little short of mythic, Mu had seen its varying renditions before. There was altogether another conflict which he hadn’t; and that one was being waged in a place some men never even found out they had.

Handai Mu clenched his jaw. Then, doing as a man stuck in a narrow alley with very loud hip-hop blasted from a stolen car stereo coming up from behind should do, he gauged his car-hopping skills – and faced the music.

He’d cheated on Seki.

There were no two ways about it. Truthfully, there were three, four, or even more; only, they all drove off the same rock face upon the final turn. He’d cheated on Seki. He had met with, sweet-talked, sweet-bribed and eventually unloaded his pent-up libido onto and into a girl who had – verifiably – not been the adorable, peevish redhead whom he’d serenaded for the better half of a year and drunk with for thrice that. There were terms for men who did this sort of thing to their adorable, peevish redheads, and most of them banned from day-time TV. Some of them from after-midnight programmes as good.

And it got worse than that. Ogling Futo’s thighs and dreaming about naïve, little blond youkai were but a step on the staircase to bastardry. Coaxing oral sex from a girl he’d met bare minutes earlier – and getting it – was fifty all in one bastard leap. And yet, underneath the speeding logic train of the situation (girl → love → frustration → another girl → final stop: cheating), Mu could find not a daring-American-agent-on-espionage-mission of guilt. Nor a reckless-engineer-keenly-lacking-for-foresight. Not even a stray-dog-hitching-a-ride of it.

There was none. Nada. Nai. No guilt. No regret. He’d had his mast polished top to bottom by a girl who wasn’t Seki – in whom he was emotionally invested – then sailed on unconcerned. His head hadn’t cleared up afterwards of the act, as he’d half-anticipated it would. He’d even, preliminarily, arranged for a second date. With the same, non-Seki girl.

And that upset to the core the man Handai Mu had thought himself to be.

That man clamoured for sense. For explanations. The man Mu, after all, was – had none. Together, their attentions snapped to the feature of Handai Mu’s psychology which was routinely left tied and gagged and jammed in a sound-proofed closet whence it had been seldom released since their shared exodus into the land of the supernatural. The inner Mu-chanism which took a problem, crunched it, and spat out an objective evaluation uncoloured by emotion or ephemeral wonderment. Its two siblings gave it a kick each.

It whirred for a bit. Whined for two. Then, it proffered a string of cold, raw analyses, which the allied Mus read through with quiet trepidation.

 Theorem #1: Minamitsu was not a human. Thus, it did not count as cheating.

 Countermand #1: Neither was Seki, placing them within the same racial criteria for infidelity.

 Theorem #2: Minamitsu had seduced, cursed, hypnotised, or otherwise cozened Mu into performing sexual advances. Therefore, he was not to fault.

 Countermand #2: Handai Mu’s three dantians were in perfect balance (less his lowest one being momentarily diminished), which would not have been the case in the case of a ghost’s curse. Therefore, he hadn’t been conducted in any supernatural manner. Additionally, Handai Mu had himself, unprompted, steered the conversation onto sexual currents.

 Theorem #3: He did not love Seki. Not since she’d lost her temper and demanded he stay away.

 Countermand #3: Seki was the reason why he’d mounted the investigation to start. For her understanding and comfort. Her reassurance. He was doing what he was doing for her sake.

 Theorem #4 (last): He had no romantic feelings for Minamitsu. Thus, it was not cheating. A temporary failure in restraint, at worst.

 Countermand #4: …

 Theorem #4.5 (last-last): For the same, it was why he’d been grudging in his partnership with Futo. Because he did have feelings for Futo. Because, notwithstanding of his words and efforts, he’d fallen in dumb and indiscreet love with his wonderful, frisky tutor. Because he knew, in the brain of his heart and the heart of his brain, that if he should ever feel Futo’s dainty hands anywhere nearby his mast, then there would be no room for doubt. There would be no daft introspection or stupid, blasted theorems. No idiotic queries. He would have cheated on his very first friend – his first love – in Gensokyo, in full measure and with all the gods-blasted weight of the implications. The bastard.

Oh, that’s swell, thought Mu. His objective mind seemed to have a more direct line to his conscience than his conscious did.

Wherever that intriguing sidelight on his own internal framework led, however, neither of the mental Mus vying for ownership of Mu’s mast may explore it at any scientific length.

Mainly, for reason of something – someone – exploding in the sky.

A long, smoking arc described the explodee’s journey from the battlefield toward the horizon. The touch of empiric evidence it supplied told Mu in no unsure terms who had come out on top in the unreal duel. The trouble part was, he could not see Futo anywhere. The excess of her winning blow was dissipating in the frigid air – heat-shimmer blurring the sky-scape – but the small master of the Tao was nowhere in an eye’s scanline. Not to the left. Not to the right. Not up, not down. Not in front. Not—


She’d been behind.

Mu’s breath was hammered from his chest when Futo body-slammed into his back. Her tiny arms wound, with crushing force, all around his ribcage as she knocked her stunned brother out of his tree. The tree to which Mu had, across the previous minutes, become fairly attached. It’d been a real nice tree to have a think in. And snap off tiny twigs of while at it.

He was not attached anymore. As a matter of rough fact, he was now plummeting, Futo and all, toward the hard forest floor. Mu Damped his weight down to null, but none of it slowed the ground’s rapid approach. Not with Futo’s chest firmly stuck to his back. Handai Mu swore in advance of the coming pain.

And, also, because he sensed, from the feral excitement in Futo’s grip, that his bones weren’t nearly everything that was about to get a nasty rattle.

For the next block:
( ) Mu
( ) Futo
>> No. 42016
(x) Mu
>> No. 42017
[x] Mu
Bald% run, no stop gogogogo
>> No. 42018
(x) Futo
>> No. 42019
(x) Mu
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