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Previous thread: >>190622


“I wonder if this is what it feels like to be a mother,” Aya said at long last. She had been relatively quiet for some time, offering only a terse shrug or half-mumbled reply whenever I said something. Part of it may have been a normal post-meal slump, that time when thoughts are weighed down by physical satisfaction. Part of it may have been real introspection. Perhaps, more likely, it had been a convenient way for her to setup whatever other point she wanted to make before the night was through.

I couldn’t tell what her deal really was. As the night wore on, I was less and less sure of her real thoughts and motivations. I briefly wondered if she thought the same about me, since I wasn’t really open either. At least, I tried not to be. I refrained from asking her about things I wanted to ask because I wasn’t sure if it’d be playing into her hand. At any rate, the timing was off.

I smiled, hoping to mask my true thoughts and went through the opening she left me, asking, “what do you mean?”

Aya sighed, leaned back in her chair and turned her eyes up to the ceiling, looking like she was staring through solid material at the stars. There was a pause. For better or worse, I found myself leaning in slightly, crossing my arms. “I have my doubts about if you’re ready,” she said, keeping her gaze fixed upwards.

“About tomorrow?” I asked the unnecessary.

“Yep. Going out into the wider world all by yourself isn’t easy. If you mess up, it won’t just be me that you have to worry about.”
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you've just made it clear you don't follow the story, why are you even bothering to complain

Are you giving me permission to vote twice?
In order of (likely) effort from least to most, here are some practical things you can do:
1) If you're one of the people who have been voting without thinking about the tengu perspective of the protagonist, reconsider your vote in light of that world view.
2) If you're not or already have: try to persuade other voters that your position makes the most sense.
3) Tell others to read and vote/recommend the story. Whether it's internet friends, irc, discord or whatever else. I've tried promoting the story but, honestly, this is the kind of thing that works best when it's a peer doing it. I've never seen any of my stories talked about or recommended despite being told in threads that it's okay/good, so that might be part of the problem.

I don't think any of those is truly hard and I'm limited as a writer to what I can do right now. My ideal for this story is to write substantial updates twice a week or so, getting 4-5 votes each time, but if I can't because of lack of audience/votes and lack of interest in the tengu perspective, then I'll have to implement a big restructuring at the very least or give up the story.

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I sighed as I sat up, annoyed at myself. Mother always said a shrine maiden’s most basic responsibility of all is towards herself – I couldn’t hope to serve her or help others if I couldn’t take care of myself. Eating enough and eating properly, sleeping right, keeping clean and neat; all elementary things you might not think consciously about, but of vital importance nonetheless. Because it was Mother’s direct teaching, I took it as seriously as I would any youkai extermination: a threat to my health was a thread to my work, and that could not be allowed.

I knew what the issue was. Slowing down to keep pace with Aya for a few days in a row had left me with excess energy. I didn’t think I was the kind to get restless over it, but it built up over time either way.

I took stock of our situation as I thought of what to do to work off the extra energy. The night no longer looked red: the thin white lines now radiated enough clear, bright light that they easily drowned out the moon and stars in intensity. They lacked the red color, as if they were on the inside, and the sky on the outside of a big pane of colored glass. They had nearly covered the entire sky now, and I had to look for a full minute to spot even one tiny patch of starlit sky not covered by the web of light. Whatever this was doing to the world, it would be complete before next dusk.

Aya breathed peacefully, having tumbled into sleep nearly instantly from the fatigue of the day. I felt a strong pull of anxiety as I saw his skinny, pale little limbs shake from another passing shiver, the fire having died down to embers by then. My teeth clenched. It was that same unexplainable protective instinct from before flaring up again. I huffed as I got up and fed the fire, and forcing myself to stop there. It would get improper, otherwise.

I hadn’t seen my friend for almost a full day now, but I quickly nixed the idea of going off to look for him. Aya was vulnerable here, I couldn’t just run off to look for a dog. There was one thing I could do to occupy my time.

I sat near the fire and started to relax, feeling the warmth of the fire wash over me. With some reverence
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Wait what. Seriously? Damn.

Well, thank you for your time and effort; I certainly don't think it was a waste. I could tell toward the end that you cared less and less, but at least during the Seija story it still felt like you were invested. And Kiss Me looked like nothing less than a labor of love - you'll have to forgive me if I refuse to believe you didn't feel something from that epic, even if it makes me a big fat hypocrite.

But anyway, thanks for the good times, and good luck with whatever you decide to 'waste' your free time on instead.
It sucks to see it stop, but I suppose if it's not fun for you to write, it can't be helped. For whatever it's worth I enjoyed reading and I'm sure a lot of others did as well.

I would like an ending of sorts if you can be bothered, just for a little closure. Doesn't have to be long or good but something is better than nothing IMO
Witness: yet another reason we should have more writers working for commission. Everything would be so much easier around here if writers were slaves to our capitalist society instead of normal people with feelings/emotions.

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[x] What's all this about a 'were-hakutaku' anyway?
[x] She seemed kind of cranky when I talked to her. Is that normal for her?
[X] This "outside world trinket" shop seems interesting. Maybe they could give me some more precise directions.

"Oh, are you guys talking about her being a, er… were-hakutaku?"

One of the guys, just out of his teens with patchy facial hair, let out a laugh. "Yeah. Don't ask me how it works; I doubt even the Hiedas know. The gist of it is: get bit by something and change into it on the full moon. This something happened to be a hakutaku.” He waved over to someone a few years older than him. “Masa, you know more than me. What was that thing again?"

"I've heard that a hakutaku is a beast that appears to give advice to kings once they've proven they’re all virtuous and sagely,” his friend answered. “It can name each and every type of youkai in the world, how to exterminate the evil ones, how to cozy up to the good ones, all that good stuff." He drew lazy circles with his hand. "So, kinda like the youkai equivalent of the Hiedas, heh."

"The Hiedas, huh?" I scratched my head. The name was sort of familiar, but all I had to go on was what Kasen told me, which was very little.

A grin spread on one of the older women's faces. "That's right, it was that Yasumi girl who wrote that book for outsiders, wasn’t it?"

The whole bath shared a chuckle. Oh, right, there was that rivalry over ‘plagiarism’ or something.
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>July 2015

It's dead, Jim.
Just read an alternate story you... YOU... DOUBLE FUKU!

In all seriousness, I miss it, too, but all there is to do is wait.
At least he's still working on Tycoon.

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Here's a rather short story whose magical evening is only a few choices long. Putting brevity aside, it'll hopefully still be fun. Follow your hearts and all will be well.


She’s late.

It’s a thought that’s annoyingly hard to dismiss. Logic threatens to reach some sort of conclusion from that fact. Specifically, it’s the sort conclusion that makes you weak in the knees. So you keep telling yourself that she’s just being fashionably late.

At least it’s somewhat comforting to know that you’re not the only one made to wait. A few individuals and small groups loiter in the reception area, making small talk and stealing the occasional furtive glance towards the door. This fellowship is usually short-lived, however, as most of those waiting are only there for a few minutes. Some run out of patience and ask to be seated, ushered beyond the separating curtain, leaving their companions to sheepishly ask after them at the reception when they arrive. Others choose to wait right there and greet their friends as they come in, going in as one happy group.

Though there’s still a few people waiting that arrived at around the same time as you, none have been there quite as long as you have. After checking in on your reservation, you had stood to one side of the room. That was about a half hour ago by your reckoning. A few minutes ago, you got an annoyingly sympathetic look from the one of the wait staff. Her eyes said everything that you had been working so hard to avoid thinking about. She saw someone well-dressed, with a reservation for two, waiting for his date and reached the natural conclusion…

But how could she know you were on a date? Well, it was the most popular restaurant in the village. During the day farmers and merchants showed up for hearty lunches but the atmosphere was completely different at night. With soft, live music and candlelight, it was a natural draw for couples and closely-knit groups of friends.
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The whole reason I stop writing stories isn't that I get bored with them, it's that there's no interest in them any longer. It gets too frustrating to wait for the non-response every update and I stop doing it because even my masochism has limits. There is nothing else that stops me from writing whatever. Since I generally have liked the concepts of all my stories, there's nothing I wouldn't pick up again if the demand existed. Demand doesn't exist, so here we are! I've never been a popular author and there's not many people who would care about those stories to begin with. Even ignoring that reality, good luck finding a bunch of people who would read and vote daily in the current community. You're up shit creek without a paddle there.

Listen, I could go make a polite and reasoned argument like I usually try but I'm not in the mood because we've been here before. Instead, here are your two options: vote or fuck off.

It'll soon be ten years that I've been doing this shit on this site. When people vote and are active I've written hundreds of thousands of words (if not millions), done daily updates and finished several stories. When people don't, I don't write. That simple. I'm not going to go away because I'm part of this community, like it or not, but I will focus my efforts only on the stories that do get attention. If you can't be bothered to do the bare minimum and vote: fuck right off!

You know what you get with me and I promise continuity and stability so long as you do the most basic thing and just vote regularly. I've found the people that bitch the most about this simple concept are the people who least regularly vote in or read stories. So either prove me wrong and do your bit or—you guessed it—fuck off somewhere else since I don't give a shit about the mewling of those who don't read and vote.

Don't even get me started on the "hurr durr ir
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I'd love to see you writing, under a fake name a story of a genre you're not used to, with characters you don't know that well. And all of that accepting copy pasted votes

You'd probably go mad in a week, but maybe you could find that elusive success that way.
Aaaah man don't do this to me! I had troubles with internet and I had to stop coming for a while, and I come back to this.

I really liked this idea. Any chanches you'd really start up again? I have already voted for the last choice, by the way...

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Billy Herrington awoke with a start, a flash in his eyes, and a pain in his rectum. Looking around, there was a thick fog around him through which he could discern the shadows of trees. Suddenly he hears a rustling noise approach him.

Konichiwa! Gomenesai!
Is this Japan?
And you?
A little computer guy?

“No I am the strongest!” said the miniscule shadow in the corner of his eye. He turned about to see a small blue idiot. “Are you some sort of karate master? You know I’ve always to come to Japan because of my background in karate.”
“What’s karate are you lost mister?” inquired the blue idiot.
“When you lose your way it’s probably because of fairies.”

“I guess I’m the one at the wrong door this time.” He said reminiscing of his days with Van Darkholme. “Door?” Cirno said. Suddenly more rustling and a gust of air from behind. At this point a gushing beam of vehement life eliminated the blue idiot’s map for keeps. “Why did you did you go offscreen damn you?” It was a witch…. Billy thought. “Wait this isn’t Japan!” he cried out in ecstasy and dismay. “What’s japan?” said the witch. “The subject behind my studies!” Billy exclamated. The witch looked at him worriedly having not seen anyone more muscular than Rinnosuke before. “This is the land of illusion.” she said, “namely Gensokyo.” “Yeah yeah okay where’s the gym then?” “This isn’t pokemon you know.” Said an extremely thin man with a flowery hat and a large glass of beer in the sky. “So you’re the little computer guy!” said Billy “The little computer guy in the sky!” ZUN looked at him worriedly, also never having seen anyone more muscular than Rinnosuke, before disappearing into thin air. “I need your help!” said Billy. “If there’s no gym how do I keep my gains?” “You’re obviously not from here.” Marissa said. “I know someone who can help take you back.” “So you know a place where I can practice my karate skills?”
“Eh, well, just hop on my broom.”
“Okay!” exclaimed Billy excitedly, as he placed Marisa’s firm, long broom handle in
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This would have been the perfect shitpost for the contest.
aniki ;_;
Wrestle in Peace, Aniki. You were the original big guy for us.

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“Who’s Kisume?”

“You’re about to find out.”

All your mental alarms go off simultaneously, but you refrain from acting to avoid making a mess of the situation. You silently reach out with your senses, but all you get is the echoing gloom of the cave—


“...don’t ya fecking dare!” It’s faint, but you can hear Sekibanki slipping into her Irish accent from somewhere behind you.

“Seki?” You turn around to try to get a better head on her location, Yamame temporarily forgotten as you listen for—


Drop into a crouch and immediately feel something go flying past you, ruffling the hairs on the top of your head, and impacting on something with a painful-sounding “GAH!” from two voices.
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You're very welcome. If it helps keep your motivation I'd be more than happy to do more of these. Heck, I might even draw some of these myself. Keep being awesome, man.

I had a good base to go off of, so it was a team effort, really. Though, you might've made Wash's jaw a tad too much Ayy Lmao like.

I figured since Wash is Irish(?) that he wouldn't have black hair, so I made him brown-ish. I also researched what 19th century Irish(?) peasants used to wear but I really didn't have much to work with,t hen I said "fuck it" and went with the 2hu route of him having a primary (brown) and secondary colour (black). Brown being symbolic of him being the most down-to-earth out of the four, and black since he's blind (lul). If I had to choose a colour for his pants, I'd probably be the same brown as his necktie thing.

I used "Paint.net" for this. Though, I probably would be using SAI if I had a drawpad.
Well, I won't give up anything regarding Wash's nationality (yet) but I like the way you and original drawfag imagine him to look like!

And I can say with full confidence that I am, indeed motivated to work on Watch Your Step more. However, there's a lot of things happening IRL that keep me from working on it at the pace I did when I first started, so regretfully it may still take a while for me to come up with new updates.

Rest assured though that Thread 4 is coming soon. Most likely before the month is out.

Thank you (and all the people following this story) for being an awesome reader!
Thread 4 is up!


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I hunger. Radishes taste nice. Look, I have radishes in my arms. How nice. I wonder who put them there. Master wanted radishes…. Maybe she wants these radishes! I forgot where I am. Master says I need to try and think more. I’m thinking hard right now. I can’t remember where I am for the life of me. There’s a weird lady standing outside that wall over there. Maybe I could talk to her. Oh, I don’t know. I’m thinking but I can’t decide…
[] You could talk to the lady…
[] …or you could ignore her and look towards the lake.
[] Perhaps you want to make your own choice?
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[x] Creep inside and surprise them with a hug. I know, surprise hugs really do help sometimes.

Let's hope she doesn't turn into confetti and will have to be sewn back together
[x] Creep inside and surprise them with a hug. I know, surprise hugs really do help sometimes.
[X] Sing a song about radishes before entering the room.

Singing usually brightens up the mood.

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I awake with a start, jumping in my seat, eyes flying open.

Bright light sears my vision, my world a white blur. I instinctively screw my eyes shut, grimacing at the thought of exposing them again. A dull pain stomps its way across my forehead, prompting me to gnash my teeth. I reach up to massage it - ouch! My shoulders tighten at the pain and my heart pounds in response. Is that a bump? Slumping down in resignation, I take a moment to gather myself, focusing on slowing my breathing.

This sucks.

What feels like an eternity passes before I open my eyes again, this time bracing myself for round two of blinding light.

I slowly pry open my eyelids. Sterile fluorescent lights glare off immaculately polished rows of desks to either side of me. A lectern stands in front, a logo proudly emblazoned on rich mahogany sides. Behind it, a dull, gray chalkboard nearly as pristine as the desks next to me. Linoleum flooring squeaks as I shuffle around in my seat, hastily surveying my surroundings.

All in all, a very tidy classroom presents itself. I hear nothing except for the drone of the lights and my own ragged breathing. Unease starts to seep through my thoughts as questions spring from my hazy mind.

Did I fall asleep in class? What time is it?
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[x]Crimson and brooding.
Called! Writing.
ya still writing? -_-

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The simple straw doll stared eyelessly at me from where it had been tied to a tree with a length of coarse linen. Quickly but meticulously made, a certain sign I was still walking in the right direction. A black substance emerged slowly, delicately from between the straws, clinging to the wood and flowing gently upwards. Like incense smoke in still air, but of solid black, as if someone had plucked up a line of ink by one end and lifted it clear from the paper. It reacted as I approached, turning towards me as I gingerly placed my hand upon its host. It continued to move with the same ethereal smoothness as before, but now with the purpose I’d given it. With the push of a thought, it coiled around my fingers, spinning, up my wrist and arm, over my long sleeves, to finally slip into my chest like a dagger to the heart. I had gotten used to it, but seeing it move across my skin without even the scantest whisper of sound or feeling was still novel every time.
It all took less than a half-minute. I’d performed the entire ritual dozens of times this week alone. The doll was drained then, and all that was left to do was methodically cut the ties, take it down and scatter the now mundane straws in the wind. This latter part wasn’t strictly necessary, but there was no sense in leaving the doll here to spook random people.
Even being as slim as a silk string, to me the smoke-like substance coming from the next marker was clearly visible from just over the horizon, probably a good couple of hard hours away. I suppressed a sigh, folded my skirt beneath me and sat against the tree. Only a very short break, that’s all.
The sun was nearly fully down, although I could feasibly have travelled at night with the bright moon for a companion. I’d long abandoned what road there was – an overgrown dirt path that looked as though it had seen no men for months. I hadn’t seen another person at all for a full three days and change. This far from the rule of law, a path like that was as likely to lead into trouble as not. And anyway – I thought, fiddling with the string I’d just recovered – I had my own guide.

I leaned my h
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[X] Get up and do something productive instead.
[x] Sleep, damn it.
Cuddle the dork-child.
Nearly a year later, threadu two:

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[-h+2-] Press forward and find them. It's all she can do.


"Get… Get a hold of yourself, Rika." The girl continues to pant to before forcing a step forward. "Just… I have to find them. I have to… They'll be fine. Nothing happened to them. They took care of it and they'll… they'll be just fine…"

Eventually, Rika manages to look back up through the forest before beginning to skulk back through the trees. She continues to look back and forth, her hair whipping back and forth in its ruined state. There's nothing that she can see; there's nothing lingering but for the trees.

"…Where… where would they have gone? They couldn't have been taken. Marisa was better than that. Wasn't she? She was, wasn't she?" The question goes unanswered; she dearly hopes that she has the answer, but the weight at the bottom of her stomach continues to call her assurances into question. Though unable to cast those aside, he continues to amble along through the silent, still, stale forest. She continues to walk until, at last, she finds a mark of life.

Or, at least, the remains of it. The tree line is charred with the faint outline of a hole. Various other burn marks litter the ground, pock marking the dirt and turning over the sod. One tree has been toppled over with the trunk being savagely cracked by impact. Of the jagged shards that still stick up from the trunk, she sees stray, tattered feathers along with fresh blood caking the outer edges of the wood. The ground beneath it is disturbed, but there is no trail from which a body would have been dragged.

Rika gulps silently and look around, her eyes searching for more. She sees more pitted earth along with another tree that seems to be half uprooted. A rock is extruded from underneath, lifting it up and tilting it over. Near the roots of that tree, however, are two strips of familiar black cloth pinned into thin gashes within the wood. "…Marisa? You
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Well. That is certainly a distraction. Now we just need to make good use off it.

[x] Check if there's a mind in the tower and use your power to find a good time to run. Hide around the corner of the way out while you do.
[x] Head to the treeline and skulk around to the ship. Hopefully the melting building is a good enough distraction.
Third option is suicide. Fourth option is a definite 'no.'

[X] Time to book it; make a beeline for the vessel. It’ll be hard to keep up with her in the commotion as it is.

>The stranger then turns her eyes to the camera.
I don't trust Junko not to have prey-seeking mechanisms or some bullshit. We have a distraction. Let's go.

Wonder if it's 'physical cold,' as in, Letty displaces the heat to cause combustion, thus cooling somewhere else - or 'conceptual cold,' in which she draws in the 'cold' from elsewhere; thus, heating everywhere else up. Doesn't matter either way, it's a Kappa BBQ nonetheless.

Once again, it's difficult to keep track of cardinal direction and the general map layout, given the space between updates.

>Limited cryokinesis doesn't sound terrible useful. Though 'limited' to kappa might still be significant if it's by a youkai's measure.
Neat. I was right.

>I don't see her exploding out like a blizzard and killing us
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Changing vote to...

[X] Time to book it; make a beeline for the vessel. It’ll be hard to keep up with her in the commotion as it is.

You know, if the building is melting, couldn't it, like... fall on us if we dally?

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