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[⊨] Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!
She has a point, I have to admit.
I should have watched what I was saying, but there's no help for that now. At least I can try some damage control.
"You want the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?"
"Keep in mind, then, that what you're about to hear is something extremely dangerous. What hap--"
"I don't mean to sound insulting, but this sounds like some sort of spy story." Orange interrupts me and is doing her darndest not to scoff, I think.
That doesn't bother me as much as what she said, though. "...Why would you make a story about spies? That sounds ...boring. Lots of sneaking and reporting back? Who wants to read that?"
"You haven't heard of 007, hav-- okay, never mind. I'm sorry, keep going. You were at 'extremely dangerous.'"
A small frown develops on my brow.
"This is not a story and this is not a joke." I tell her. By 'dangerous,' I mean...
I pause, thinking about how best to phrase this.
"You were there to see me land, right?" She nods. "What I'm going to tell you could very, very well mean that will happen to you, as well. And by that point, you will be glad for it."
Ah, there's the first signs of alarm. She swallows and motions to me. "You're laying it on a little heavily, but... okay. Go on?"
I smile sadly. "You have no idea how dearly, how badly I wish I were exaggerating. But I'll get to that in a moment."
Taking a deep breath, I look her in the eyes. "Yes. I know you. I have met you, and I bear you absolutely no grudge at all. I am not spying on you or stalking you, and in fact, that I happened to meet you was a--"
No, that can't have been a coincidence.
Somewhere, somehow, someone has eyes on me.
"--very fortunate turn of events, but not one I had any control over," I say, picking up smoothly. "I am very glad you were there."
"That's where the safe truth ends. The rest is the dangerous part."
I don't specifically ask her if she wants me to go on, but she answers anyway. "I'm a big girl. I've taken worse falls then yours and laughed them off. Although... that was a long, long while ago, sure, but I'm no slouch, miss."
I grin a little. "I know you're not. But as I've been seeing, you aren't up to full form, are you?"
"Hey, you already know I'm not! Don't mock me for it." Orange's eyes narrow, and her tone becomes a little defensive. I hold up a hand to calm her down.
"I know, I know..." Looking around the room, I think about how to go about the next part. A solution eventually comes to me, although it's fragmentary and held together by a lot of hunches and some guesswork that maybe reaches a little.
"Actually," I say, looking back at her, again. "To explain this next part, it'll go a lot better if you answer my original question, if I'm right."
She raises an eyebrow. "If you're right?"
I put my hands on the table, and flash her a smile. "I'm not hurting too much, which, like I said, is weird. I'm fairly certain you did something to me last night. And at what seems to be the same time, mysteriously, your own abilities and prowess are suffering. So. Here's what I'm able to guess: Whatever you have done --for which I am completely in your debt-- is what helped me. Furthermore, it is causing your skills to suffer as a result. If I am right, then I would like to see proof of this: remove this..." I gesture at myself, hoping I'm not wildly off track. "helping hand you have given me, for two reasons."
I hold up my hand, and raise a finger.
"One, I don't want to see you suffering any further on my account... which may become awfully ironic, considering what you're going to be finding out. I can only pray that it won't be."
Orange nods, chin resting on one hand. "Awfully noble of you," she says, but nods. "How long did you spend practicing this?"
"It's all on-the-spot, I assure you. I haven't lied once yet. Anyhow, the second reason--" I hold up a second finger. "--is because the question of who I am will be answered very easily once you do so, if I'm right."
My citrus princess' red eyes meet mine. "...All right, fine. It's going to hurt a hell of a lot, though. Is it really going to be worth all this drama?"
I can't hep but giggle slightly. "I think you'll think so."
Orange sighs, but gets up, and comes over by me. "Go stand in front of the couch," she says. I comply, rising to my feet, and moving over to the large blue piece of cushiony furniture.
"Turn around and face me," she says next, standing a few feet in front of me. I see her slowly, rhythmically closing her left hand into a fist, and opening it again.
Her right hand starts to raise towards my head, index finger held out, but I hold up one of my own, blocking it. "No. I want to be awake for this."
She hesitates, and then pulls the hand away. "It's going to--"
" '--hurt. A lot.' " I finish her sentence for her. Orange chuckles a little.
"You really do remember that, huh? I need to work on that..." Her voice trails off into a mutter, before she looks back up at me again, eyes unblinking. "Well, let me say ahead of time: I'm sorry."
Her left arm bursts into silent, blue-white flame, and without another word, she punches me squarely in the chest.
"Urgk," is about all I can muster by way of commentary as I feel strength leave my limbs, and my vision go bright white. The familiar pain of landing-injuries healing creeps back into my body, and I begin to hurt and ache everywhere. My chest feels like it's on fire, and I can barely breathe. I teeter slowly backward, before crumpling onto the couch.
...Which is really, really, soft. Wow. Okay. Yes, I think I'll be resting here for a few minutes... maybe longer if the returning pain gets any worse, like it's doing... Yes, that hurts. Okay. Maybe this was a really stupid idea.
My vision slowly clears, just in time for me to notice the flame around Orange's left arm dissipate into nothing. I'm not very surprised to see that it's unharmed and that... Ow. Yes, my clothing is undamaged as well. I don't think she was keeping a torch in her back pocket anyway, and that kind of color isn't really a natural one, either.
She kneels by me. "Are you all right?"
"More or less," I croak out. "So... was I right? You all back up to snuff, now?"
She nods, eyes narrowing. "Yes, that... technique does indeed deprive me of most of my youkai abilities and senses. They're coming back fast, but I still don't know who you are." She stands up, puts one hand on her hips, and frowns at me. "What am I supposed to be noticing?"
I sigh a little. "You can't tell?"
"No. How about you just tell me, yourself?"
With absolute and crystal clarity, the perfect method suddenly occurs to me. I fight to keep from grinning too widely, and instead offer her a gentle smile as I look her in those beautiful ruby eyes, and say:
"...As you wish."
I wink once, slowly.
Her first reaction isn't much of anything. She still seems to be waiting for me to say something more; for some kind of follow-up.
A second or three passes before it sinks in that I'm not going to. She must be then thinking about what I just did, and it probably won't take too long for her to think about that and---
There's confusion, followed by dawning comprehension but still some uncertainty and hold that for a few more seconds---
---and there, the color drains from her face, and her hands fly to her mouth. The rush of surprise is something powerful and strong, and I literally feel a little better already. Her eyes go wide, and she sinks back down onto one knee, next to me, and my smile is bigger, now, and that's all the confirmation she should need, but she still has to ask,and she does so now in a soft, disbelieving, awed whisper---
I giggle again, and close my eyes as I incline my head in a nod. This... this feels good. I feel light, and happy, and good, and---
---and suddenly, in a rather sizable amount of pain as she pulls me into her arms and hugs me close and her cheeks are as red as her eyes red as her hair red as her lips---
Which are very, very soft.
Soft enough that I forget about the pain I'm in for a few seconds as I hum happily into that pleasant sensation.
She reluctantly pulls away, looking a little guilty as she begins to realize what she's done, and the condition I'm in, and stammers out an apology, a start of some kind of question, a giggle, and something in Chinese that she repeats giddily to herself before standing up in a hurry. "J-just... Stay here! I'll be right back!"
And with that she tears off, back into the kitchen. Her pounding footsteps echo for a bit, and then stop. Then they sound off again, only coming back in this direction.
She arrives back in the entryway, and stands there for a moment, looking at me with an unexpectedly worried expression. She looks me up and down, silently, and takes a few steps over to me, and sniffs the air a few times. A smile breaks out over her face, momentarily, before she reaches over, and pinches the skin of her other arm. She yelps quietly, then lets out a happy, delighted sound, and races back off into the kitchen again.
I close my eyes again, and lean back into the couch, feeling suddenly exhausted... but very pleased.
Still... I'm worried about what's to come, as I've promised her the truth, and she'll definitely want to know that. It's unavoidable, at this stage.
I speak very softly to nobody in particular.
"My name is Kabuki, and I'm very tired."
Only one half is a lie.
It's an explicitly unavoidable one, however. For a while, at least.
Until I end this.
Down, down, down, and downer.
It almost feels like I'm sinking into this couch.
[ ] Now I lay me down to sleep.
[ ] I'll sleep when I'm dead.
>A smile breaks out over her face, momentarily, before she reaches over, and pinches the skin of her other arm. She yelps quietly, then lets out a happy, delighted sound, and races back off into the kitchen again.
>"My name is Kabuki, and I'm very tired." ...So I guess things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.
>You have chosen well. It had to happen eventually.
This time, instead of disguises and evasion, I believe we should sit tight. Not only does it mean more precious Orange time, but I want to see Sanae ripping her own hair out in frustration as much as anybody. And if she does somehow triangulate our position (unlikely, as Kogasa expended considerable effort changing the course of her flight, and that Orange's house is far enough away from impact that she was taken to Kurumi's first), I'd like to see how Sanae measures up against the strongest metal known to man.
And maybe we'll get to visit Meiling and learn why Sakuya is number two on Kogasa's shit list?
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[⊾] I'll sleep when I'm dead.
Shifting slightly, I look to my sides, blinking a few times.
I am sinking into the couch. Further and further into where the backrest meets the seat half.
Straightening up a little Ouch ouch argh dammit I pull myself out of the corner I've slowly been slipping into.
What a weird piece of furniture.
Need to get up, and stay up. No sleeping yet; I haven't finished.
Orange comes back into the room, holding a serving tray with a small kettle, two teacups, a silver circle on a chain, a spoon, and a jar of some kind of spice or herb or something. I peer closer at it. ...Make that several somethings. It's some kind of potpourri of what I'm sort of hoping are herbs, but I don't know what those longer, dried bits are. They don't seem... herb-y.
She sets it down on the low table, and gives me a cheerful smile as she has a seat next to me. I guess she's calmed down a bit. "This is some of my own personal tea for painkillers. Just drink some of this, and you'll be feeling better soon enough!" She grins, though it becomes a frown after a few seconds. "Granted, it maybe doesn't work as well as the stuff those rabbits peddle in town," she mutters quietly, "but I think they just grind up Vicodin and put it in a jar. Quacks, all of them." With a disdainful sniff, she pops open the jar. This at least brings the smile back to her face and she inhales happily.
"Now this," she tells me, holding up the jar. "This is way better for you, even if it isn't as strong as that rabbit-scrap. It's got a track record that leaves their stuff as a miserable pile of white powder."
"Oh? That sounds... good." I ask, feeling that she probably wants me to comment in some way. I gesture at the bottle she holds. "What's it made of?"
She hesitates in the middle of dipping the spoon into the jar.
"...Lots of healthy, natural ingredients."
"Mint, willow bark, a tiiiiny bit of poppy, ginger, and... some other stuff."
I find myself becoming slightly worried.
She gives a little laugh, and plays with the end of her sidetail a little. It's kind of cute.
"Like... things you say 'I really wish you hadn't told me that' about after you've been told."
"We're talking... what? Animal parts?"
"Well, I trust you. Brew away." I give her a little smile, and lean my head against the armrest. "...and thank you."
Orange breathes a sigh and gives me a relieved smile. "Thank you. I guess I'm usually used to dispensing this to humans. They get a little worked up about certain things."
"Humans?" I frown a little. "In town?"
"Actually, there's sort of a small village a ways down the valley from here. A bunch of them live there. This is a great place for farming, after all. The water is clean, the soil is fertile, the air is clear..." A small smile has grown on her face as she talks. "It's a very good place to live."
"What about that lake of blood your neighbor hangs out at?"
"Oh, that? Kurumi's got no sense of taste." She lowers her voice a little, and winks. "It's not actually real blood. Just an enchantment she has over the place."
"That's sort of a relief."
"You're telling me. A lakeful of blood would play hell with the energy of this place."
She packs the herbs Or at least, mostly herbs into the silver thing, which apparently pops open like a stopwatch I will smash it open and stab the Dog in her eyes with the clock hands or something, and has little holes peppered about it. Closing it shut, she drops the thing into one of the cups, leaving the chain to dangle over the side.
And then something very interesting happens.
She places her palm on the surface of the little kettle she brought along with the rest of these things, and closes her eyes. The room falls quiet, and I suddenly become aware of her breathing. Very even, very steady...
Her hand glows slightly
maybe I imagined that
And then the moment passes and the kettle is whistling as it steams merrily away.
I blink, not sure what the hell I just witnessed. Orange turns to me and winks.
"Something my sister trained me in," she says, before I can ask.
"Wh--" I begin, and then rethink my question. "...water-boiling?"
"Ha. Nothing so simple. Just a practical application of certain family skills."
"...Sounds like an interesting family."
She snickers at this, and nods. "Ahaha.... yes. We've been around for a while, you could say."
I have the sudden feeling that there is some severe understating in that sentence. I just smile at this, and nod.
She pours the boiling water into the cup with the silver circle in it, and then sets it back. "Needs to steep for a little, first," she tells me. After that, my citrus princess scoots over next to me on the couch and looks at me a bit more seriously.
"I suppose you'd like to know what's with my..." I can't think of a different clever way to phrase it, and instead just sort of trace a long arc in the air that ends on the couch. "...trip."
Orange gives me a nod.
How to go about this...
"There are two women who serve at the two major shrines, in Gensokyo," I say starting off with the basics. I see her mouth start to move, and I hold up a finger in front of her. "Don't say their names. Not anywhere I can hear you. It... hurts me. A great deal, in fact. There is the new one, the green girl--" I pause here, and take her hand, writing snake and frog on her hand "--And the old-- well... other-- one." I look into my citrus princess' eyes and trace out, as I did for Little Red, that curvy line with two dots at either end.
It's putting a strain on me just to draw that shape, as I frantically think about other things, anything.
Orange looks down at her hand, back up at me, and nods again, slowly. "I know them," she says. "Sort of hard not to... Did they do this to you?" Her gaze takes on a look of mixed anger and sympathy.
"Only the first one. She has been hunting me for about the last six months, although it's probably coming up on month seven, now..."
Her eyes are wide. "You've been on the run for half a year?"
"Oh, if only." Chuckling weakly, I shake my head. "I have, but I get caught within a week, usually. The longest was eleven days."
"...And... what happens when she ...catches you?"
I close my eyes, and am quiet for a moment. I really don't want to let her know these things.
I can't. I'm not going t--
"Please. Tell me."
Her voice is quiet, and insistent.
I open my eyes, feeling tears beginning to form. Her hand seems to find my own just as I reach out for hers, and she squeezes gently, comfortingly.
"Horrible things," I whisper. "Pray that I am gone before she finds me again, because I do not want her to find me with you. Nobody else should have to suffer this. Nobody else will suffer this."
"...Why?" Orange's voice is so filled with worry, it almost sounds hurt.
"Because it's between me and her, and nobody else."
"No... I mean, why is she doing this?"
I sigh, and give her hand a gentle squeeze of my own. Her hands feel warm, like the sun. "I don't know, for certain. I have... an idea, though. It doesn't make much sense, but I feel sometimes like she's trying to make me human. Or less of a youkai. They're about the same sort of thing, or at least, in the same direction."
The wrong side of the fence. Green on both sides, but this shade isn't the shade it should be. Not the green I was walking on before all this.
A confused look from the other girl.
"More human..."Why would she do that? I don't mean to be rude, but that sounds ridiculous."
shrug say my shoulders
look away, look away
"I don't know. It's just this feeling I've been getting when I think about my situation. I've been sleeping at night, moving during the day, I'm scared of sudden and unfamiliar sounds at night, the darkness is beginning to frighten me, I worry about humans... The green girl, specifically, but... Humans, all the same." I look up at her again. "I shouldn't be afraid of humans. That's... I'm a youkai. That's just wrong."
Orange quirks an eyebrow. "What about ...um... the other one?"
Even thinking about her pause makes me wince slightly.
"That's not fear. That's a healthy respect for someone who's very good at her job."
She seems like she wants to disagree, but manages to refrain from doing so. Instead, she turns back to the table, and pulls out the metal circle, setting it on the tray. She picks up the teacup, and hands it to me.
I accept it, with a thank-you, and drink.
For having strange plants and bizarre animals in it, it tastes all right. It's strange, and unusual, but not bitter or unpleasant.
We sit in silence as the tea goes quietly to work on me. The warmth runs through me, making me feel light again, but relaxed.
Like a cat dozing in a sunbeam.
...Yes. It feels like sunlight.
I'm hazily aware of her picking me up, and carrying me through the house.
I'm laid down in a bed, and the covers are pulled up around me.
Lips touch my cheek, and the door is closed quietly.
>>107903 > That was a low blow.
If the target is short enough, it still counts as a high blow.
[zzzz] Bedside manner.
Still we need a plan on what to do after this. Obliviously leaving the crowd at the worst time possible didn't work out for us, since no one has come looking for us yet.
>>107912 We don't know that anyone isn't looking for us. First off, we told the Prismrivers very clearly not to search for us. So even if they ignored that and are searching anyway, they would at least be smart enough to be doing so quietly, and even then we're in an isolated enough area that we won't be easily found. Everyone else we've met knows us as Kabuki, and even Orange didn't recognize us until we dropped enough hints.
As for a plan... well I have quite a few ideas, but this doesn't feel like the best point in the story to start such a discussion. For now I'd rather wait an update or two and see how things develop with Orange.
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[◛] Bedside manner
I did not dream.
I don't remember most of my dreams when I wake up, anyway. The one that got me here was one of the scant few exceptions.
Judging by the light coming in from outside, it's mid-evening. It'll get pushed back more and more as the days go by, with autumn right around the corner.
Did something wake m-- oh.
Orange is poking her head part of the way through the open door. Her hair is done up in a bun, like women do when bathing. She's got a towel wrapped around her body, too. She steps into the room, but only gets a bit of the way in before pausing slightly, and smiling.
"Sorry... did I wake you up?"
I blink slowly, rubbing at my eyes. "Uh... not sure." My eyes run down along the other girl's body. It never really occurred to me, but she's sort of tall. I am not objecting to this in the slightest, however.
...Damn, those legs. I guess my friend was right.
Not objecting at all.
I sit up a little. The action is painful, but not as much as before. The tea really did the trick, it seems, but I don't know how long it'll last. I can't think she'd give me something substandard, though.
"Are you all right?"
Her voice, much closer now, startles me out of my thoughts. She's standing next to the bed, looking at me, a little concerned.
"Oh, yeah. Sorry, yes, I'm fine."
"I was just about to go take a bath, and I thought you might want to, as well. There's a bathroom right next to your room, if you do."
"Sure. That sounds great." I give her a tired smile.
"Oh? Um. Oh, okay..." She tucks a corner of the towel in to hold the whole thing in place as I push away the covers, and try to stand.
Okay... I can stand, at least.
"I'll go get you a towel or two, and something to wear to bed. Just set what you've got on by the door, and I'll put them in the wash."
She pauses slightly, and then adds: "Do you, um... have anything more to wear for, um... during the day?"
"Not with me."
She winces a little. "Oh... I'm sorry." Then she shrugs. "Well, I can lend you some of my things, though they'll be a bit big for you, maybe."
I put a hand to my chest, affecting a look of astonishment and embarrassment. "My, I'm already wearing your clothes?" A sly grin creeps across my lips as I add, "...You move fast, don't you?"
Orange goes bright red, and makes a few incomprehensible noises, before gathering herself together, and making for the door. In a rather distracted tone of voice, she tells me she'll go get those clothes and the bathroom is next door and You should be able to figure it out and I'll just go get those clothes now shall I oh and the towels too...
Ahhh... she's fun~
Shaking my head, I put on the slippers, and make my way to the bathroom next door. The walk is a short one, and only hurts a little. It feels like there's this terrible ache in all the muscles down my left side, probably from my leaping dive to catch the bowl earlier today. It'd probably be more terrible without that tea.
The bathroom is half red (on top) and half white (on the bottom), and actually looks very nice. There's a giant basin which I suppose is a bathtub, given the faucets by it. The whole look of the room is so western that I almost don't realize it's Japanese-style, in disguise. Or at least, functionally; there's a separate little shower stall to clean off in, first.
Happy with what I see, I loosen the laces on my vest, and pull it off. After that comes my shirt, and then my skirt. It is my skirt which I am in the middle of pulling down when I hear the door open.
Without even thinking, I turn and look.
Orange, still in her towel, leans in to place a pile of clothes on the shelves by the door.
In turning to face her, my motion catches her eye.
>>107909 Awesome. It's very nice indeed to see another local. The only other people even remotely from around here are a guy in Oregon and another in Spokane (I miss you, Cat or Fish?).
Also, *youkai. Capitating and spellifizing correctly is preferred here. You don't have to type with your pinky extended, though; we did away with that.
>>108047 I would imagine we would have heard about any scars we have during earlier scenes involving nakedness. You make a good point, though; showing Orange whatever's on our upper back is probably a good way to kill the 'romantic comedy' mood.
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[Տ] Smooth like sandpaper
Okay, calm down. That's the first step.
Play it cool. Like a cucumber.
No, wait, I can't think about that song. It was funny, but it's not going to help.
I think I'm smiling a little, though. Well, no help for it.
And... say something.
That could have gone better, but it could have been much worse.
"Didn't we do this before?"
A beat, then: "I think so."
I let things sit a bit longer. The trick is not to move... or move much. It breaks the spell.
Hold on, why the hell do I know this?
golly i can't imagine why
so this is your fault
can you really say it's a bad thing?
i could argue a solid case for it, yes
well don't cut out on me now
wasn't planning on it
"I think it was the other way around, though."
"...That sounds about right," she replies, faintly.
A blush is beginning to creep up on her cheeks. Okay, time for honesty.
"It's only fair, then: you get a free look, too. You know I'm not going to scream and throw things at you, right?"
Neither of us have moved, still, so it's easy to notice her eyes moving over me for a few seconds before they snap back to lock gazes with my own. She's blushing much harder, now. I can feel myself grinning.
Ah, maybe grinning a bit too much. Well, better end this.
"Go ahead, take your time." Wider grin.
Her eyes dip back down for a second before she realizes what she's doing, yet again. Orange straightens up, trying not to show that she's panicking.
"So-anyway-here-are-those-clothes-just-tell-me-if-you-need-anything-else-enjoy-the-bath-good-night!" Her words are spoken in what tries to be a level tone, but unfortunately, she speaks them too rapidly and close together. The much deeper flush of her cheeks helps betray her mood as well.
With that, she adds another couple of towels to the stack of clothes, and grabs the clothes I've just finished taking off. I barely manage to add my skirt and panties to the pile before she leaves, and only succeed in doing so because I throw them onto the top of the others in her arms at the last second.
I have to grab a towel to muffle my laughter.
Once the giggles have died down, I tie my hair up so that it doesn't get wet in the bath. Next, I turn on the water in the tub so that it will fill slowly. While it does so, I wash myself off, rinse down, and slip into the by-now full bathtub.
I lean back, and relax, letting the warmth seep into me.
I finish drying off, and slip into the night clothes, which apparently seem to consist of a dress shirt that's a size or two too big for me, and panties. Nice ones, if I do say so myself. Reddish, soft, and kind of smooth. Also a few unnecessary ribbons here and there.
And... no other sort of bottom half anywhere. I double check the clothes I was given, just to make sure, but nothing.
Huh. Odd, but... okay.
I chalk it up to her being flustered, and not paying attention to what she was grabbing, until I put on the shirt. It's long enough to cover everything... almost.
There's one last thing that seems to match the panties, though I'm not entirely certain what it is. it looks like it straps around, and cups som--
After a few tries, I figure out how it's supposed to go on. It's one of her older ones, maybe, as my own bust mostly fills it, but I'm certain hers are larger than what this can hold.
I look at my self in the mirror, then pause, and wipe the steam off with the corner of my towel.
I don't look half bad in this.
My face goes a little red as I debate doing this next thing for a few moments, and then give in.
I pose a little, leaning this way, then that... bent over slightly... I wonder how I look from the back?
...Very good indeed.
I don't think I've ever looked this good before. Ever.
...I wonder if this was intentional, then..."
Smiling to my reflection, I blow it a kiss, and leave the bathroom.
Orange's own door is shut, and the house is dark. I can hear a thrumming sound from somewhere in the house which has me worrying for a few seconds before it occurs to me that there was something similar-sounding in Performer Housing 1 in Mizukan. Judging that it's probably something okay, I decide not to pursue that flimsy line of logic any further than I have to: each step I take towards the guest bedroom makes me more and more tired for some reason. Right now, I don't care, I just want to go back to sleep.
With a smile on my face, my head hits the pillow, and I'm asleep shortly thereafter.
[ ] there came a tapping as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door
[ ] and didn't get up til morning
Reposted because the picture could reasonably be called nsfw, or close enough to be a problem in some workplaces/locales.
As long as it is at least situationally relevant, I do not care if it's got a touhoe in it or not, I'll still consider using it. I have never understood why some people don't bother with pictures. It's okay even if it doesn't have people in it, let alone the ones in your story.
The first thread or two of this story illustrated that idea well enough. Lighthouse was almost entirely like that, I think.
>>108099 >needlessly saging a vote
...Did I do something?
>>108118 Heh, that would be a nice twist.
On the downside, I'd have to stop reading this story and any other stories made by this author and even all stories with the same style.
Why? Simple. Once you have broken the last safe haven, there's nowhere else to hide. If this was a trap what else could be? You couldn't trust ANYTHING at all on the story, so, further reading would be pointless.
Certain games and books have pulled this off, but at the end: that way you can't stop reading since there's nothing left to read. You can only raise your fist and curse the author for being such a jackass.
Romantic relationships fill my daily dose of total paranoia thank you. Vainilla is good, but Chocolate is shit.
>>108120 Well, i really like stories where something unexpected happens, when the writer can shock you so much that you feel hate.
But i doubt that this will happen here. It is pretty much a straight line with one goal: don't get fucking caught or you will lose your sanity and then your life.
Kogasa already has a plan anyway, it was made clear in the last updates. So let us see how many surprise tortures will be up in the near future.
[-] there came a tapping as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door
You're doing that thing again where you give us a choice to skip an event with the most lovable character in this story not written from a first-person perspective. I'd ask you to stop, but it's just so darn cute.
File 126118585688.jpg - (152.17KB,
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[❖] surely that is something at my window lattice
I had my first normal dream in ...I can't remember. It's been a long, long time.
It was a boring dream, which made it a rather nice change from the normal. I was sitting at a table and talking to a squinting man. Winking, maybe. Old and grizzled, but tough. His skin was tanned as though he worked in the middle of the sun.
His geta clack against the floor when he got up, after the two of us reached an agreement. Then we went outside, and danced and drank sake and he told jokes. And then he disappeared, except he didn't, because the paper said so.
Of course, the paper. Over by the sake bottles.
I seemed to have signed it, as did he, but I appear to have signed it twice. Except I can see that I didn't. Except I can see that I did.
And back again.
I still needed to rent the other room out to someone else and I am a pioneer and a genius, do you hear me? I'll bet not even The Emperor's Color thought of this. I will be rich and not make a single scrap of money. Different riches.
Enrichment. That was the word.
These were good times.
A foreign curved fruit tries talking to me. He seems like a very nice person who wants to friend with much to say and many things to share and sights to see, but I turn him down. I'm not xenophobic; he just seems a little bent. Admittedly, I do prefer local company, but he seemed like the product of a bout of insanity. He may not have been real at all, in any way.
That's the worst kind.
Tak tak tak, the little bird on the branch says.
And I say, stop it, bird, you don't make that kind of noise.
The bird makes that kind of noise again.
I think it's trying to piss me off on purpose. What a jerk.
Oh, now it's talking to me? All right, I've had it with this little bastard.
"Wake up already."
This bird sounds hazily familiar.
"I probably should have saved the bandages. Though they would not be any good by now."
Tak tak tak tak.
...And now it's back to making that impossible sound again.
Right, I've had it.
I leap at the little fiend and
I appear to be on the floor of the guest bedroom. ...several feet from the bed.
Did I just jump out of bed? That .. is going to hurt. Eventually, but for now --as a few experimental twists and pokes and whatnot tells me-- that tea still appears to be working.
That's some good tea.
It occurs to me I can't see a damn thing.
No, hold on.
It's just dark out. What the hell time is it?
And what the hell was I dreaming about?
some kind of... curved bird? Made of paper?
It makes no goddamn sense at all, but that's wonderful. It makes me feel properly normal again, and I haven't felt normal in far, far too long.
Tak tak tak tak
I whip around to the source of the sound. It sounds like someone is knocking on the windows.
I light a candle near my bed, and bring it to the window. Aside from my own reflection, I can almost barely make out Bigwings outside.
"Let me in already," she says, voice muffled a bit by the glass.
"...What the hell are you doing?" I ask her, still not really awake.
"Walking around. Open the window."
There's a moment where we stare at each other. She adds, as if throwing in a bonus, "I promise not to vampire you."
Thought people might re-vote even a little given the rewording of the option, but okay.
To make up for it, I've added on something I mentioned a little while back. It may be seen sooner, or it may be seen later, depending on your choice here. It is not a bad thing; you have my word on this.
>>108119 That's cocaine (and crack, and I think meth too), not weed.
...And now I have a sudden urge to start a Twilight parody CYOA. Except this would require that I read/watch Twilight, and I'm not even sure that replacing the cast with melodramatic lesbian Touhous would be funny in the first place. Of course, there are plenty of other series involving undeath and juvenile writing which I could exploit instead. Hmm...
>>108198 >And now I have a sudden urge to start a Twilight parody CYOA.
sometimes, there are ideas that you may have that you would be better off just dropping, and walking away from.
This idea is one of those.
>>108199 Aw, come on, it'd be great! I could even imitate the style of that guy writing "Blue Touhou" in Others for maximum QUALITY.
Disclaimer: none of it was serious. Though I am grateful to know you would call me out should my reason lapse enough to actually consider such a thing.
>>108185 >That's cocaine (and crack, and I think meth too), not weed.
Actually, while relatively small amounts of weed do the usual relaxation bit, if you smoke one bowl too many it's very easy to fall into a fit of paranoia and overstimulation. So yeah, laying off would be plenty appropriate.
>>108231 Never an excuse not to learn. Hell, I still remember the first time I thought the world was vibrating just fast enough for me to fall through it and had to lay down while my sister brought me a glass of chocolate milk.
Cannibis doesn't cause parnaoia. It can cause irritability, anxiety, phonophobia, photophobia, and even depersonalization, but if you show me a man who is paranoid while smoking reefer, either there's an adulterant at work, you're confused in your terminology, or you have an undiagnosed schizophrenic on your hands.
Marijuana does not cause delusions. Benadryl can cause delusions. Adderall can cause delusions. Cough syrup can cause delusions. Marijuana does not cause delusions. Marijuana doesn't ever correlate strongly with schizophrenic use, unlike nicotine.
>>108240 >If it makes you all feel any better, you get to see the thing I added sooner, instead of later.
Yes! ...maybe? I'm still pretty clueless as to what this 'thing' is supposed to see, but I guess we'll find out soon enough.
Anyway, feel better Fell. I'm looking forward to whatever it is you've got planned.
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[➑] Speak friend and enter
I stare at the window for a while, then sigh, and look around for a catch or a handle, or something.
I find a handle and pull it open. Bigwings hops inside, feet making only the softest sound as she lands on the floor.
She stares at me for a brief moment, then looks around the room. Nodding once to herself, she strolls casually out of there and into the hallway.
...I look at the spot where she was standing a second ago and then tiredly shake my head in confusion and not a small amount of irritation. What the hell is going on?
I shut the window, and then hurry after my late-night visitor after putting my slippers on, and pulling my friend along.
She doesn't turn to look at me as she strides down the hall, let alone answer me. Where is she going?
"What are you doing here?"
"In Orange's house?"
"I've done this before."
"In the middle of the night?!"
Bigwings pauses, and looks back at me. "...when else would I do it?"
"During dayli..." I trail off as I think about that for a moment.
Point now made, she begins walking again. Passing through the living room, she heads into the kitchen with me close behind, trying to make some sense of the situation through the haze of sleep.
Even with a youkai's vision, the kitchen is dark, quiet, and cold. Well, not that I can see sounds or heat, but it's all about the atmosphere. The large white tiles on the floor make it less dark than it could be, but not really any brighter. Limbo with a tiny shove, or something.
I don't know.
The vampire strides right on through it, not giving the room a second thought. Well, at least she's not stealing food, but I still don't know what she's planning on doing, though. It doesn't seem to be anything bad.
We round the corner at the back end of the kitchen, where shelves line the walls to either side, filled with a large variety of what must be common ingredients in boxes and jars. Bigwings flips on a light switch by the wall, illuminating this part of the kitchen and beyond.
I see now that the room splits a little ways in. On the left, it carries on for much longer, with even more shelves, and even more things for cooking, most of which I couldn't likely identify even if I saw them out of the box. On the right, a heavy door made of metal sits. It's got a little window in it, and a large handle-y crank sort of thing.
It makes me feel uneasy.
We head to the left, though, passing by rows and rows of foods, spices, sauces, cans, containers, jugs, bottles, and I don't even know what else. some of it is in Japanese, some of it is in Chinese (there are a lot of what seem to be like labels in Chinese marking sections among shelves, but I can't be bothered to stop and figure all of them out right now. I do recognize a few kanji that seem vaguely to correspond with what lies next to it, though: 'oil,' 'wine,' 'sugar,' 'seasoning,' 'medicinal'), a scant few are in Korean --or at least something looking an awful lot like what Extra Bird was writing in-- but the vast majority of it is in foreign languages, plural.
I recognize the most common kind, 'English,' but some of them look odd, like they use the same letters, but don't make the same kind of words. Oftentimes with funny little marks I haven't seen before that seem to be peppered on or about the letters. Then there are some that seem to be composed entirely of long, calligraphic script; all swooshes and dots, all seeming to rise off of one long line. Yet another kind seems to be also calligraphic, but clearly forming some kind of letters that I haven't seem before, many of which have some kind of upside-down rainbow of thing black lines and flames on the end, like a large, elaborate candlestick. Still another looks almost like the last one, but made of lines, and having little circles at the ends of the lines. Still just as incomprehensible, but the dishes appear to be something hazily similar to Japanese or Chinese cuisine.
I wonder if Orange can actually read all that.
well, there was more English on most of those, so maybe she just knows that
i guess that'd make sense, but not all of them did
ask her in the morning, maybe?
it probably is the morning, technically
two-seventeen is what the hall clock said
there's a clock in the hall?
down at the back end
i never noticed
i don't blame you; you've still yet to be up and moving in this house while fully lucid and/or recovered
that's truer than i'd like
Bigwings has to tuck her wings in closely behind her as she walks. It's rather narrow, compared to the main hallway.
We round another corner, and pass more shelves, before coming to a door at the end of the hall. She opens it up, and flicks on another light switch before stepping in.
I follow her into a room with smooth wooden paneling. It's carpeted, unlike most rooms in this house. On the wall next to the door seems to be a rack of short spears without spearheads. Bigwings picks up one as she walks past it, and picks up a little cube or block or something, and cups it over the tip of the spear, which I now notice is tapered somewhat. She does something with it, moving her hand over the thinner end of the spear with a faint rustling sort of sound. Putting the little block back, she goes over to the table I had barely noticed until just now.
It sits in the middle of the room with a pair of lamps hanging over it as the sole source of illumination. Long and heavy-looking, not to mention bulky, it is covered in something that looks soft, thin, and green, except for the edges, which are in smooth, lacquered wood. A number of colorful balls sit in the middle, contained in a kind of triangle-frame thing. There are also holes in the corners of it, into which Bigwings begins dipping her hand, as if searching for something.
"...What is this?" I ask, confused.
And come to think of it, how did this thing get in here? It's way too big to get through the hall. If you took the shelves out, you might have room to carry it in, but turning the corners wouldn't be possible, I think.
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I still don't think I really know what's going on.
But it's because of that that I should stick around and watch her to make sure she doesn't get up to anything. She could be making this up, for all I know.
"What are we playing?" I ask. If she can answer a question with a question, I can do it, too. It's too early for this.
She apparently finds what she was looking for: a little white ball that seems about the size of the others in the triangle. "Aytball. If you weren't here, I'd have covered the pockets and played proper billiards instead until half an hour before dawn," she goes on to say, as she puts the white ball down on a dot on the table, and moves the still en-triangled balls a ways down the table from them, positioning them with care so that the whole thing seems to be pointing at the white ball. "...Or until Orange wandered in and yelled at me about breaking another window instead of using the front door," she adds, as an afterthought.
"Why don't you use the front door?" I'm waking up slowly but surely, but this whole situation is leaving me just as confused as if I'd climbed out of bed only a second ago.
This seems to give her cause to stop and think for a brief minute before she lifts up the triangle and places it on a hook. "I don't like to get too chummy."
And that's about my limit.
"So you're not just a natural bitch? It's intentional?" I ask, trying to keep the exasperation out of my voice.
If she's offended, she doesn't show it, or much of anything else, for that matter. Like usual.
"It's more a result of certain things," she says to me, shrugging.
...I can't take any more of this.
I sigh in resignation. "How do we play 'aytball'?"
Bigwings reaches into a pocket somewhere and pulls out a red coin. "Call it," she remarks, flipping it.
I stare levelly at her, and spend just a little. "Edge."
The gaze of the vampire seems more unamused than normal.
"That joke was stupid after the first five times it was ever used," I am told as the coin lands on the table. "I'll go first if you're just go--"
Her voice cuts off abruptly as she turns to look at her funny coin. It rests evenly on its edge, neatly balancing on the green surface. She looks at the coin for a little while before snatching it up. Turning to me, now, she tosses the headless spear to me, which I catch somewhere around the thicker end, like she was holding it.
"Your shot, then." Completely unperturbed.
I hide a little smirk as I approach the table.
...And then stop.
Looking down at the stick in my hands, I begin to ask, "How d--"
"Like this," she cuts in, leaning over the table in a practiced stance, but one she assumes naturally, like she's been playing this for a while. She takes the thick end of the stick in her left hand, holding it up slightly. Her right hand is placed on the green surface of the table perpendicular to the stick, index finger lifted. The thin end of the stick slides into the gap between hand and finger. Index finger closes over it slightly. The spear, pointed at the white ball, draws back, and
slams the white ball into the others, sending them rolling around and bouncing off the edges of the table and each other. One of the balls with sort of gold band around the middle drops into one of the holes. Perhaps it's late for something important.
...Wait a minute.
She got me.
"That is how you do it," she says, walking around the table. "Hit the cue ball and sink the other balls. I am stripes, so you go for solids."
It takes me a bit to get what she's saying. "Anything else?"
"Plenty. We will keep it simple for now, though. First: sink all your balls first, then go after this one, the aytball. If you sink it before all yours are gone, even accidentally, you lose." She points at the black ball which stands out. I soon realize it's the only one not to have a striped copy of itself. I also suddenly notice for the first time that it has the number eight written on it. All of them have numbers, I notice. Some of them use what I assume are formal Chinese kanji for the numbers, for some reason. Either that, or it's a word, but given that the rest seem to be normal numbers, it probably isn't that.
She continues listing rules.
"Second: When you sink one of your balls, you get to shoot again, unless you sunk one of mine in the process. If you sink the cue ball, it is a foul. That means not only is it my turn, but I also get to place the ball wherever I want it and take the shot from there.
"Third: When taking a shot at the aytball, you have to call or mark the pocket you're shooting it into." She flicks a spot on the table next to one of the holes. "If you sink it into the wrong pocket, or sink the cue ball instead, you lose."
She stands quietly for a moment, and I decide it's time to ask something that's been on my mind. "Why'd you call it an aytball?"
"...Because that is the number eight on it. 'Ayt' is eight, in English."
"...Oh." No helping it, then.
Seeing no further questions forthcoming, Bigwings turns back around, and lines up her next shot. She sinks two more colored-band balls, a green one and a blue one. My guess was right, then: I take the 'solid'-color ones. She doesn't manage to sink the next one, though; a red-banded ball. It comes close, though.
She makes a small noise of irritation, and steps back from the table. My turn, huh?
I try to emulate the same pose as her, and look for a ball to sink.
I love this picture so, so, so, so fucking much. There is nothing that I do not like about it. Everything is done right.
My recollection of 8-ball rules is basic and simplistic, but it was an easy enough set of rules to be picked up by me while drunk on bitter-tasting one-dollar screwdrivers, so it's enough for this sleepy protagonist to grasp as well, I think.
If anyone has a picture of a set of pool balls with kanji on them, as Orange has, it would be helpful. The only one I can find shows thirteen looking very strange, but I may be misreading it with the whole formal-number bit. I don't know. Some retconning may be in order.
A dead straight shot can be harder to land than some simple bank shots, and spins right out for a first-timer. Of course this is all moot if she uses some of that surprise juju, but it'd probably be best to get a basic grasp of the game before trying that. Not to mention using too much up front could tip off Kurumi.
>>108508 Vampire traits, abilities, and weaknesses are pretty much used and ignored at an author's leisure in pretty much any work (especially if the person has read Dracula --or more likely, read the Wikipedia article for it-- and is now smugly confident that they know how vampires are really supposed to be.
This does not excuse Stephanie Meyer's crime against the printed word, however.
The short version is that vampires are pretty mix-and-match nowadays, and having to invite them in is generally one of the more ignored ones.
1 ball. Simple, but we could pocket the cue ball accidentally.
With the difference in ability here, allowing Kurumi to place the cue ball wherever she wants could be fatal.
However, I do have confidence in Kogasa's ability to deaden the cue ball if she used her power. Kurumi knows something is up already with the Twilight Zone coin-flipping shit. What do we have to hide? Even if we don't use it now, she'll still suspect it was in play, making Kogasa look all the more incompetent if she looses. That means negative faith, and that means less power to play with for real. Besides, Kurumi already cheated herself, taking our shot, even if it was in 'demonstration'.
guide the green ball away from its pre-destined target, which is you. Remember that dream?
All-in-all, every option has the chance of being a runout game on Kurumi's next shot. Pick the one you think be most surprising for Kurumi, while still being in the realm of possibility. You want to get more than you give, obviously. Changing the trajectory of multiple rebounds is obviously going to be more strenuous.
[x] ㊀ - straight
Following this, if there's no easy shots, we cinch position, which opens up Kogasa's real ability to play: We can create an unplayable game for Kurumi. Now, isn't that a lot like we want to do with Sanae?
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[⌚] The Time
>⌛: It is 2:53 AM.
Nahhh, I won't.
She stays still, almost frozen, but one win unfurls slightly.
Stretching out just a little, the talon on the outer wingtip reaches over to one of the pockets, and
taps the wooden edge of the table next to it.
That necessary step done, Bigwings draws back the spear, and thrusts down, with a
Well, that's the game, then.
Bigwings relaxes, posture easing up. She slips down off the table and looks it over, as if satisfied.
I suppose i wasn't really that big a challenge to her, so that's it for me for ton--
"Up for another?" she asks me, interrupting my thoughts and proving them wrong in one fell swoop.
The blonde girl turns back to the table and pulls a lever on the underside.
There is a rumblin' and a clackin' and a rollin' as all the balls drop out of the pockets they were in and begin to roll down a wire chute along the outside of the table, and come to a stop in a hopper along one side. Clever. I wonder how it knows to let the cue ball drop pass and not stay caught.
We fish them out of the hopper, and begin placing them in the wooden triangle.
After they're all out, Bigwings sorts them, ordering and placing the balls according to some sort of order. It seems she's trying to alternate back and forth between striped and solid-color balls.
Huh. I guess every game has its funny traditions.
I shrug, and wait for her to fill up the triangle properly.
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It is seven games later, and I think I may be getting the hang of this.
With a bit more practice, I might end up winning on my own, rather than it defaulting to me because of a screwup the other girl made.
Still, I'm having fun, and mostly awake.
Though it's the kind of awake you don't want to be and can't quite sleep your way out of.
I never had problems like that before the green girl.
Yet another small bit further on this side of the green grass.
I miss not caring about this field.
I miss not even knowing of the concept of this field.
Of course, this is all based on my own theories, which could be and are very quite possibly actually wrong. The only person who knows probably won't tell me.
I make a note to myself that when--
Come on, be positive. It is a positive place made of positivity, or something. Let me have a little of that for only a passing moment.
--if I see the green girl again, I'll ask her.
I can vaguely recall asking her why, early on-- though it was more like sobbing it, over and over, and over. But that was only natural, not thoughtful. I only wanted for this painful, confusing nightmare to end.
Maybe she'll respect that if it comes out calmly enough.
I can hope.
After the seventh game, Bigwings does not place the balls in the triangle for another round, but simply leaves them in the hopper. She places her spear back on the rack, cracks open a small, thin window, probably meant for ventilation.
"All done for today?" I ask her, putting my own spear back, as well.
"Dawn is coming. I need to get back home to bed so I can sleep."
"Lucky you. Well, um... see you, then." I give her a smile and a wave goodbye. "Thank you for teaching me how to play this. I actually kind of enjoyed it."
She gives me a slight nod, which seems as close as I'll get to a proper farewell of any sort, and then dissolves right before my eyes into what looks like thick, smooth, beautiful red wispy smoke. It swirls for a moment, then pours itself out the small ventilation window.
After waiting a minute or so to make sure she's all gone, I shut the window which is letting in chilly late-summer morning air. The light out is the pale grey that brings light but without the sun showing up all proper-like, yet.
I stand around here for a moment before I become aware that I can hear noises off a ways away, coming from down the hall. Judging by the clatter and clink and the delicious smell, it is probably breakfast, and that means Orange.
I'm feeling more lively by the second, if a tiny bit ache-y. Seems like the tea is finally wearing off.
...That's some damn good tea she's got there.
I make sure --as best I can-- that everything is put back the way I might possibly remember it being when I came in here. Way. That it was.
Well, it looks fine.
I am possibly slightly biased in my priorities. I will admit that.
Meandering back down the hall, the air begins to warm a little once I'm in the kitchen proper.
I pass the strange metal-doored room, and round the corner to find something out of fantasies that I had not had before now, but am finding I am quite willing to pursue.
Orange stands by the stove with two frying pans in front of her, singing quietly to herself in Chinese. Occasionally she flips one pan, sending its contents into a neat somersault, landing perfectly back inside once more.
But the interesting part, the oh-so-very interesting part is her choice of clothing.
Apparently she is a firm believer in being relatively unhindered by what she wears. A short dark grey shirt --or something"-- that seems to be doing a very good job of keeping her impressive bustline from... busting out?
It is hard to be clever while beholding such a vision.
And to match, some sort of similar dark grey underwear. Her hair is loose and hanging down her back, just barely hiding the perfect behind, snugly enclosed in grey.
I move forward, as if possessed. Quietly, though.
It does not seem to make a difference, however, as I can see her cheeks heat up immediately, and a smile breaking out over her lips, which she tries keeping hidden. Her efforts are only slightly successful.
As I get closer, I can tell she's breathing a little bit faster, now. I also notice her skin is slightly shiny, as though from a light sheen of sweat.
I come up behind Orange and hug her close, arms wrapping about her midsection, and cuddling her to me. I lean my head on her shoulder, and say the first thing that springs to mind.
[ ] oh god
-[ ] ...❤
[ ] Cool and collected.
-[ ] Interview With The Vampire
-[ ] The Hustler
-[ ] The Breakfast Club
She's got to be blushing even redder than her hair right now.
The thought makes me smile.
I breathe in deeply, pausing as I savor this moment.
She smells faintly of sweat, of food, of spices, and of some kind of flowery smell. Some kind of soap or shampoo, maybe?
It is an Orange smell. Not the fruit.
"Something here smells wonderful," I say. "And that wonderful thing is you."
Orange is silent for a long moment, before she trembles slightly, and sets down food-flipping-thing on the counter and the pan she was holding (with a pair of eggs in it) onto a burner that isn't on.
I can hear her increased heartrate. I'm a youkai, after all, but even if I wasn't, my ear is right near her jugular.
She slowly turns around, and slips her own arms about me, holding me and pulls me in for a long, slow kiss.
Just as good as before.
Better, in fact.
If this is some kind of hallucination from lack of sleep, I'm going to become an insomniac.
Thoughts of sleep and waking and kissing continue to bounce around in my head until we pull apart, the both of us crimson as the stove burners. Only the kiss is over, but neither of us have let go of the other.
They bounce around and around in my head until they finally come out in something actually coherent: "Can you wake me up like that every day?"
Orange raises an eyebrow, and begins to smile. A giggle bursts from her lips, and she lets go of me as she turns back to the stove.
My arms are still wrapped about her midsection, and she leans against me slightly as she resumes cooking.
After a minute or two, she looks over her shoulder and winks at me.
File 12617986377.png - (636.11KB,
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We finish cooking like this, she and I standing in front of the stove next to one another. I act as another pair of hands for her, holding a pan while she works on another, flipping the flat things (pancakes, she calls them. Supposedly these aren't like normal pancakes, but having never seen a normal one, I would not know the difference) and placing them onto a serving platter after they're done.
It only takes me four tries to get the flipping motion down right. Orange caught two of them in an empty pan withe lightning-quick movements. The other two were only caught because she bumped or nudged my pan-holding hand over slightly, letting the pancake land neatly inside it.
Afterwards, she goes off to get dressed while I bring the food out to the table and have a seat.
It's a very nice spread, and it smells lovely.
Eggs, pancakes, some sort of shredded potato mass, bacon, milk, and some kind of fruit juice. Pink stuff, and sort of sour but sweet. Something to do with grapes.
She says it's supposedly what westerners eat for breakfast, but judging by the things labeled as western breakfast food that she's seen and read about, this particular assortment of foods is more like a traditional image rather than the current reality of the situation.
Or, in other words, it's not like that anymore, but they keep telling themselves it should be like this.
It's yet another piece of evidence proving that foreigners are weird.
After we are done, the two of us do the dishes together. Orange tries to insist that I stay at the table, but I insist just as hard that I help.
In the end, we compromise: She washes, I dry and put things away, with her telling me where each tray, utensil, platter, cup, and bowl go.
if she's telling me this for future reference.
As in: I would like you to have many more opportunities to put dishes away here.
The subtle subtext --subtextle"-- of that is a rather nice notion to ponder.
But I think that's mostly in my own head, and it's more: This is where they go.
Yet I do not think she would be opposed to... me being around for many more dish-puttings-away to come.
But and double but: I can't do that anyway. I've been going over the numbers in my head, from what I can figure out, and I've already been in the area for about 5 days.
I should have moved on by now already. I can maybe safely stay here for another day or two days, but any longer than that, and the risk of the green girl finding me will rise dramatically. That track record of hers is going to slap me upside the head with its cold reality.
Stealing a sideways glance at the other girl, I look at her smile, her happy expression, her posture, that little ribbon in her sidetail, her long red hair...
And I feel a little bad.
I don't want to leave her.
But... I will have to leave her in order to protect her.
My life has become some kind of cliche, but it's the truth: The longer I stay here, the more likely I will bring trouble to those I care about.
...How does that usually work out for characters in that kind of story?
My hands pause in the middle of drying as I stop and ponder that.
I can't really recall.
They win in the end, right?
I just have to avoid this turning into some kind of tragedy.
We do not die so easily, we youkai.
But we can be scarred.
It is a cold and unpleasant line of thinking, this is.
I snap out of my daze. Orange is looking at me, a little concerned.
"...You looked really upset. Is... are you all right?"
"Oh. Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine. Sorry to worry you like that."
Actually, I'm feeling a little sore, but it's to be expected.
>>108715 >Still, why would the 4 in 14 look normal?
The formal kanji for 4 and 6-9 are basically obsolete in Japanese, as those numerals don't suffer from the same problem of being easily alterable that 1-3, 5, and 10 do. I doubt they're even common knowledge to native speakers; the formal kanji for 4 (肆) isn't even in the jouyou kanji, which puts it in the highest level of the kanji kentei, a test that native Japanese fail at a fairly high rate.
[X] Land of dreams
Maybe Orange will invite us in for some... hot tea.
>I look around the room again. No, this is still the guest bedroom. I wasn't taken to the green girl's room while I slept.
Goddamn, every time i read something like this i rage a little inside. Always expecting a sudden mindfuck twist. Like always a clock ticking in the background and once it is over, they gonna take everything away from you.
[x] Land of dreams
Surprise cuddling with Orange in her sleep. There is no better way than that to wake someone up.
>>108728 We could just... explore?
It's not like we actually have any idea where Orange's house even is right now so it's not like we can currently pick a destination other than 'thattaway'.
At the very least we should probably look for a likely looking escape route, or ask Orange if anyone else of particular power lives around here.
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[ƶ] Land of dreams
I'll try for her bedroom first. I might as well, it's closer. And besides, I can't hear anything from either one, so it could be either.
Or none; maybe she leaves the lights on by accident a lot.
I hobble across the short distance between the two rooms, and poke my head in.
Same room as it was back then. No Orange now, either.
I grit my teeth a little, not looking forward to the trip down to the living room.
I've only started out about a few footsteps, when I hear the triumphant shout of my citrus princess. I look back into her room to see her stepping back out of her closet, holding something. A book of some sort?
She looks at it fondly for a moment before her head snaps up, apparently only just now noticing my presence.
"Oh, Kabuki! Are you all r--" She breaks off what she was going to say, and peers at me for a moment. Then she winces.
"...No... you're not, are you?"
Setting the book(?) down on a night table, she hustles over to ma, and helps me walk to the bed.
"The tea's worn off, it looks like."
"Sure looks that way," I reply, nodding. "Could you brew me up another?"
"Um... not without making you severely ill. And you don't look like you're up for that."
"Eheh..." Orange looks a little embarrassed. "That's the downside of my homemade brew, unfortunately. The body doesn't stand up well to repeated doses of some of the ingredients, you see."
It seems it's a bit of a roll of the dice with Chinese medicine, sometimes.
"But don't you worry. I've had to deal with this sort of thing before, so I've had a backup plan ready for just such an occasion." She winks at me. "As a matter of fact, I do have something else that you can use more often."
"You do?" I ask, my tone brightening up.
She's been blushing more and more.
"I do, indeed..." She laces her fingers together and looks away slightly. "Have you ever heard of dit da jow?"
"It's a kind of ointment martial artists have traditionally used for aches, sores, pains, and the like for a very long time. I've got my own special blend of the stuff, but with a few things that I don't think have been available in the outside world for quite a while."
"More special ingredients?"
She puts her hands on her hips, looking a little put out. "Hey, don't knock it! The tea worked just fine, didn't it? Better than that rabbit garbage would have, that's for sure..." She mutters this last line under her breath.
"Well... okay. I'm not really in a position to complain, I guess," I tell her, giving a little shrug... and biting back a yelp at the pain of the movement.
"Good! You can use my bathroom to put it on in, since you're already here. Let me help you in."
She assists me in getting to the bathroom with a minimum of painful movements on my part. I have a seat while she looks through a large cabinet, and comes back with a large jar.
"Here it is! Just put some on anywhere you need it."
>>108779 I'm sure when she's trying to cure you her medicine is close to 100% reliable.
Problem is that most of what we see is a mix of her playing with experimental stuff (cold medicines with side effects, etc) or simply not out to cure her victim in the first place.
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[上] Bet high
Yes, I still think. Right?
and if you don't, i'm here to do it for you
i do it all
you're dodging the question
nice try-- actually, no; fairly weak try
but I think: I'll take a chance.
What is life for if not that?
That, and living.
She's already halfway out the door when I say, "Actually..."
Orange pauses, and looks back at me. "Hmm?"
...All right, this is kind of embarrassing. There's a bit of a difference between flirting and doing things to. Having things done is... different.
Not a bad different, but... I don't have any say in it. It's almost terrifying, but kind of exciting, in a weird way.
A very, very weird way.
Trying to keep my tone casual, I ask her, "I don't suppose you could help me out with this?"
"Oh. Well, sure!"
Hmm... I don't think she realized what she just agreed to.
I sneak a glance at her, and-- oh, a little red. Maybe she does? Or maybe it's just thoughts in her own head?
...Which would sort of explain why she was blushing a bit when she brought this up. Maybe. Not really. Damn, is it me? Am I doing this to her?
I... I really don't know. I stopped being entirely sure of what was going on in my own head a long time ago.
Shaking my head slightly, I sigh, and then pause, mind catching up to the current situation.
And from behind me, I hear a hesitant "...Um..." as Orange sits down on the stool behind me.
We must be on exactly the same wavelength.
I smile a little.
And with that, I begin unbuttoning the shirt.
It is only at about the fourth button down that I realize what this will expose.
...I'm not really afraid of doing that.
But I'm kind of worried about what she might do.
I know she sees them the moment I hear that sharp intake of breath as the shirt, with only two buttons left, slips down my shoulders, exposing my upper back to her.
The last two buttons go in silence, and I put the shirt up on a peg meant for towels and the like for when she washes up in here before entering the bath (which presumably lies beyond the short hallway on the other side of the room).
"...What are those?" she asks me, curious, but worried.
"You...?" She sounds a little confused.
"Do you remember when I asked you not to mention ...certain names?"
"This is her making sure they don't get said or heard. And more beyond that, I think."
"It keeps you from saying them?"
"And hearing them. And for the other one, thinking about it."
I hear her clothes rustle as her arm lifts, and snap at her. "Don't touch them."
She squeaks slightly, and I almost smile.
"I tried to, once. It hurt about as bad as the names do."
There is a long silence. I'm almost about to turn back around when I feel arms wrapping around my midsection, and Orange leans her head on my shoulder.
"...I'm sorry," she whispers.
I say nothing, instead wrapping an arm around her head, cradling it close.
After a few minutes, she squeezes me gently, and pulls away. I let go, and hear her stand up.
"It's... it's late enough, I should probably get ready for a bath, while I'm in here."
"Um," I ask stupidly. "What about that ...ditto jawa stuff?"
"It goes on better after a bath. You can take yours, first."
And then she mumbles something I can't hear.
"...unless mumble mumble whisper."
I finally turn to look at her, and dear god, she's the dictionary definition of embarrassed. Looking away, red as red can be, hand folded by her mouth...
damn but it's kind of cute
i fully agree
And I manage to hear it this time, just barely. The words are all rushed together and spoken in a mouse's whisper, but still audible.
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[Ⴘ] Are you god?
Did she just--"
Yes. Yes, I believe she did in fact just ask me if I wanted to share the bath with her.
Inside, I am laughing like an excited maniac, troubles and cares suddenly blown to the wind.
All hail the Crimson Queen.
I give her a bright, happy smile, eyes closed. "If you'll have me, then certainly."
She's still just as red as before, and probably still as much of an excited wreck as before, but I can see her smiling behind her hand, now.
Like a twist of the happy-knife.
I hum aimlessly Oh wait aimless because it doesn't have a point. I get it! to myself for a few minutes while I put my hair up, and begin getting undressed.
The panties were easy enough. And a shame to see them go; I liked wearing such things, as odd as it feels to admit such, let alone realize it.
The breast-cupping-holding thing, though, proves to be a trial of wits; it against me.
The mechanism seemed simple enough, but should it be this hard to get off?
Actually, it probably wouldn't be, if not for the fact that I have to be extremely careful, like working with a very delicately triggered trap: the green girl's promise-keepers sit right beneath my fingers, ready to punish me for touching them.
Wretched, hateful things.
At last, the breast-thing is off, and I can begin washing myself down. Or at least, washing the bits that don't hurt too much to get at.
Orange comes back --her own hair done up-- wearing a fuzzy-looking bathrobe, and carrying the by-now-dry towel I used yesterday, a new dress shirt, and some kind of silky-looking blue panties. Hopefully Presumably those are for me.
...I wonder if all her underwear is fancy or daring stuff like this.
I do not believe I would be upset by such a thing.
I am fully prepared to accept such a reality. Waiting for it with open arms, in fact.
She sets this all down by another towel-- hers? --on a shelf right near the entryway into what must be the bath, and turns back to me. "Do you still, um... need help?"
I chuckle, and nod. "Actually, yes... Most of my back, if you could?"
"Okay~" she says, and sits behind me.
I hear the robe come off before she starts in on me.
My mind is rather occupied with what sights are right behind me that I am not looking at, to the point that the whole thing flies by in an instant, and I only come back down to earth when she dumps the rinse water on me.
"Ah! ...Er, sorry about that... Done already?"
"Mm-hmm! Go on ahead, I'll, um. Be in. Too. In a few."
"I'm looking forward to it!" I say to her with a wink, and make my way into the bathroom. Painfully, but happily.
This is not what I was expecting, but it is a very nice bath all the same.
The bathroom proper is covered in large, broad stone tiles in light earth tones. Little mats are placed here and there.
The bath itself is like a miniature artificial hot spring: it is set into the floor with a wall of rock-ish bricks around it. I can see the handles on the opposite side.
A few candles and flowers line the thing and are also scattered throughout the bathroom.
Next to the bath/spring are two large, tall windows, one of which must slide open or something like a door, given the handle on it.
It is apparently early evening or something, as the light outside is somewhat dim. I can see enough to make out some kind of rock garden outside. Or perhaps a sort of bonsai garden with good landscaping. Either way, it probably looks nicer in proper daylight.
I make my way over to the bathtub, and find a few boxes of firescrapey sticks. I use them to light some of the candles, bringing a soft light to the room.
The ambiance is wonderful.
This is relaxing.
And I haven't even gotten in, yet!
...Oh right. Water.
It seems to have similar controls to the other bathtubs, and within a short time, I have the tub filling up with hot water.
It's a long-ish sort of affair for a bathtub. It has steps and layers rather than one smooth, single inside. However, some of the steps are fairly long (for leaning back on), and some are short, wide, and properly step-like (for sitting on).
I shut the water off just as Orange enters the room.
She sees me naked, and blushes deeply. But good for her, she doesn't look away.
Well, not fully. It looks like she's trying to keep her eyes on my face.
She sighs a little, and slips out of that bathrobe, exposing herself to me in all her athletic glory.
[-] Light reconnaissance
I don't know if I actually want this to win, but I'm voting for it anyway.
>If I screwed this up somehow, I'm sorry.
Judging by the spike in my blood-sugar levels, these updates are just fine.
>My sleeping is going all... weird.
Pick a day where you can afford to be a zombie and force yourself to get up at 4 or 5am. Don't nap that day. By the time evening rolls around you'll be back on track. Assuming you're aiming for a 9-to-5er sleep/wake cycle or something similar.
These scenes with Orange are downright love~.
Unfortunately, before this day is over we're going to have to serious up and start making plans. Preferably out loud and in Orange's presence, so she can do her part in dissuading Kogasa from trying to go it alone. I'd say more, but I don't want to spoil the mood... yet.
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[見] Light reconnaissance
Glory is indeed the right word.
Orange stands before me, looking nervous and expectant and anxious and embarrassed and red all over.
It is adorable and beautiful all at once.
I take my time looking at her, but not too long.
Definitely long enough to remember, though.
It is important to commit everything to memory.
Her long red hair is bound up into twin loops to keep it out of the water, tied in place with a white ribbon; probably the one she normally uses to tie together the long lock of hair she keeps on her left.
Her arms are firm, and toned. Not overtly muscular or anything, but clearly belonging to someone possessed of great agility and strength.
Her breasts are large, round, and lovely. They look soft, and yet, like her, they are still full of the vitality of youth with the build of maturity.
Her legs are long, strong, smooth, and perfect. Like her arms, they are fit and toned, but smooth enough to look good while still showing hints of the power contained inside.
I continue to gaze for a while, a funny little smile on my face.
"I'm trying to think of something, and nothing really seems good enough for the situation," I tell her.
I am speaking with perfect honesty. Saying something clever and snappy would only cheapen the experience.
"...Is that good or bad?"
"I'm not really sure. I think you're going to fry my brain if you keep standing there like that, though."
At last, the nervousness breaks, and she snickers.
Stepping down into the tub, she sits back, sighing happily as she is immersed in the heated waters.
After a few moments, she sits up and opens her eyes When did she close them? and looks at me, grining a bit slyly, now.
"Your turn," she says, simply.
"Is that so?" I ask her, finding a smile reaching my own lips.
I stand up and pose for her, showing off the goods. or at least, what goods I have to offer. I don't work out or train, like she does, so my arms and legs aren't quite the same wet dream of athletes (but, being a youkai, I don't exactly need them. I could still rip a person apart with my bare hands, if I really needed to, though it'd be a little messy. That isn't my style, though). Still, I like to think I've got a decent enough figure. And even if it isn't, I've had more than my share of compliments about my rear, back before... all this.
"Wait, hold it like that for just a second."
I pause. I am bent over, and looking back at her over my shoulder.
...Yep, I've still got it.
"See something you like?"
"Plenty," she says happily. "But go get that shirt I brought you. You'll want to put that on before you get in."
A little confused, I do so. After putting it on, I come back into the bathroom to find Orange leaning back, eyes closed again.
I step into the bath on the opposite side from Orange, hot water swirling about my ankles, my knees, my thighs, my bottom, and finally most of the rest of me as I sink into the water.
Oh god, that's niiiiiiice.
I sigh contentedly, and have a seat alongside my citrus princess' long, lovely legs, and lean back.
Silence reigns as girls are soaking warmly.
[ ] Oh, hey--
[ ] --Ah, sorry. You go first.
[ ] Nah, never mind.
One over nothing: And you thought it couldn't get worse than dividing by zero.
I kind of cut this one short. Had I started earlier today, I would have offered to write another one tonight if I got enough votes.
...Damn, I actually kind of miss doing that; updating twice in one (more or less) day.
I need to wake up earlier.
...Oh, what the hell, fine. I don't know about updating again tonight, but I can certainly start writing it tonight, if the votes are going in a noticeable direction.
On another note: Fallout Writefag, please update?
[X] Live product demonstration
You know what I hear really surprises people? Impromptu lesbian sex.
Just sayin' is all.
>"Your hair is green and mine is bright, bright magenta."
Exactly what color is Kogasa's hair in this, anyway? It's pretty blue in ZUN's art, but all the green-related metaphors leading up to now have made me wonder.
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[⍰] Informative brochure
I could-- and maybe should --simply show her. Nothing like an on-the-spot example.
It'd be better and paint a clearer picture, and she probably wouldn't mind.
I don't wanna move. This feels way too good, just sitting and relaxing here. I hope I don't pass out or something. Does that really happen?
it doesn't happen, does it?
why are you asking me?
because i don't know
well, i don't, either; never spent much time being immersed in water, you know
yes, you can, but it's mainly at hot springs
oh, okay; thank you
An explanation is fine, too.
"You're a youkai of surprise? How's that work?" Orange looks me over briefly. "You don't... look surprising."
"Well... hmm. I'm not of surprise as I do surprise, and take surprise. I make it, and live on it."
She blinks. "I'm still sort of lost, I think."
Maybe an example would have been better after all.
"I can do surprising things, things that surprise, cause surprises... shock, unexpectedness, and spontaneity; those too. It's all sort of in the same bag. I can do things I shouldn't be able to do, or can't normally do, as long as it surprises someone. Someone not me or anyone similar. Okay?"
"All right..." she says, nodding. Huh, maybe I'm explaining this better than it sounds like to me. Or anything. I would be confused.
"The other half of it, though," I say, holding up a finger, "is that I also gain power from causing surprise, or anything closely like it. Almost everything non-human in Gensokyo thrives on faith, right? So I think that's basically 'faith,' for me."
The girl beside me smiles at me.
"Believe it or not, I understand perfectly," she says. "I'm... much the same, in many respects."
"...You are?" I'm a little curious, myself.
"Yep. Only instead of surprise, my power--"
Somehow, without splashing me, or sending water everywhere, Orange flips herself up out of the bath from a sitting position into a backflip. But instead of completing the flip, she straightens her body out like a diver, and...
...Lands neatly on the rim of the tub, holding her entire body up on one hand.
...no, one finger.
I sit there, eyes wide.
That is some damn talent.
"--is to amaze," she finishes. She winks and gives me a little wave with her free hand as if she just saw me across the street, rather than doing some kind of insane handstand on a single finger.
I have no words at all, for a while.
All hail the Crimson Queen.
She giggles at my dumbfounded expression, and then slowly, gracefully lets herself down; body curving smoothly back down until she is standing once more.
"Ahh... I haven't done anything like that in a while. Good to know I've still got it, hmm?" She chuckles to herself, and then slips back into the tub.
Sitting (while naked) next to a woman whom one is attracted to (who is also naked) plays merry hell with coherent thought. All I can do is keep my mouth shut, or else I'll start saying something stupid, or I'll be fumbling for words.
Orange sighs happily as she gets into the hot bath once again, and nestles up against me.
She is warm and strong and soft and she still smells so good
"So, um. Why, uh, did you have me wear, the, uh, this, this shirt?"
Dammit. What happened to the whole mouth-shut-keeping thing? I demand to see the supervisor.
But I think that's me.
Damn, the service in this place is terrible.
the landlady is a bitch sometimes, too
i know, tell me ab-- oh, screw you
you already made that crappy joke before anyway
don't think i did
i think you didn't
okay fine, you win
My lovely Orange Girl looks down for a moment before answering, then turns her gold eyes back to me.
They have something like a twinkle in them.
"So I could do this~"
And with that, she simply snakes an arm around my back, and pulls me closer to her.
Oh I see
It's because it keeps her arm safe
...But most of that passes through my mind in a flash.
Everything else is all just sort of light and fluffy and excited in my mind and I rest my head against the shoulder of my citrus princess and we sit like this in silence for a while and
We climb out of the bath, and return to the front half of the bathroom to dry off.
The two of is are both are smiling quietly.
I remove the wet dress shirt, and put it in the laundry basket, then grab my towel and begin drying off.
After I am dry once more, I let down my hair, and reach for a shirt, only to recall that I have nothing top-ish to wear.
I bring this up to her, and she coughs a little. Despite being responsible for my lack of clothing, it seems she had not anticipated this. Looking apologetic, she ducks back into her room to find something suitable to wear for the night.
She returns a few minutes later with an orange tunic sort of thing from the outside world. It has some kind of enormous, fuzzy vaguely slug-shaped animal with tusks. It appears to be in the way of a man and some kind of vehicle. The man is shoving-- likely fruitlessly --at the side of the enormous animal, which appears to have flippers, now that I notice.
"It's called a 'teesh-urt," she tells me.
I'll take her word on it.
Before I can put it on, though, she hands me another breast-cupping garment that seems to complement the blue panties I had slipped on several minutes before. Not just in style, but color and design. Part of a set, then.
"You're lucky, you know," she mentions, while helping me get it on. "This one fastens from the front, so it should be easier for you to take off."
Once finished, I have a seat on a washing stool, and she pulls up another one behind me. Opening the jar of the ditto jawa stuff, she sets to work applying it
And oh my, it is nice.
This is about as physically relaxing as the bath; having this creamy stuff massaged into my skin. Orange's hands glide over my body, rubbing it in, squeezing, gently working my aching muscles as she spreads the ointment.
I find myself getting a little... excited.
After finishing my upper half, her hands dip between my legs, rubbing it onto the smooth skin of my thighs. She keeps her hands away from where a small part of me sort of wishes she wouldn't, using the panties as a border... mostly.
She deliberately sneaks in a light squeeze while spreading it over my rear, leading to a cry of surprise from me, and feigned protests of innocence from her.
Turning away from her apologies with a huff of pretend anger, I rotate to face her, crossing my arms, and stick one leg out, bent partly, almost expectantly.
"I'm waiting!" I say, imperiously.
Orange immediately begins applying the cream to it, although I can hear her trying very hard not to laugh.
After repeating the process with the other leg, I stand up, looking at them, and nod, giving a disdainful sniff. "Very good," I say, haughtily.
The other girl bows deeply and respectfully, and for some reason, I lose it then and there. Laughing uproariously, I hold myself against the wall to steady myself, giggling like an idiot. She watches me with a smirk, and shakes her head.
After it dies down, I pull the teesh-urt on. The moment it is on, she pulls me into a light kiss.
I think I could
get used to this.
For now, I can only enjoy it.
Interrupting that thought, Orange pulls away.
"I'm going to go get dinner started," she tells me, and then leaves the bathroom.
[ ] Don't worry, ma'am. We're here to help.
[ ] He stopped in at the break room.
[ ] They're searching for clues in the next room.
[ ] I took a nap in the squad car.
>[ ] Don't worry, ma'am. We're here to help.
Help Orange with dinner
>[ ] He stopped in at the break room.
Take a break (Most likely some kind of pool, alone or with Orange)
>[ ] They're searching for clues in the next room.
Look around the house or have Orange give the tour.
>[ ] I took a nap in the squad car.
Nap, easy enough
[x] They're searching for clues in the next room.
I'm willing to take a chance for a tour with Orange.
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[警察] Don't worry, ma'am. We're here to help.
I follow out the door, after Orange.
"What are you making?" I ask, as we pass through her bedroom.
"Moldovan Peasant Soup," she replies.
"Well, that soun--"
"...Made with real Moldovan peasants."
She bursts into laughter, and waves a hand in dismissal. "I'm kidding, I'm kidding. No, I was thinking of Armenian, tonight."
"Lots of Arabic food-- oh. Do you even... ah, well, it'll be a surprise this way!" Flashing me a grin over her shoulder as we go down the hallway, this orange girl hums happily to herself.
"What can I do to help?"
"Hmm... not too much, really," she replies, putting a finger to her lips in thought. "...Though I guess I could use somebody chopping things up and getting them on the skewers, and... Huh. Okay, maybe there's something for you to do after all."
She turns and looks at me just after we enter the kitchen.
"Are you sure you're all right?"
"Feeling better and better by the minute," I tell her.
I am, too. That ditto jawa cream or whatever is pretty good. Maybe not as strong as the tea, but I'm feeling actually better, just as I said. At this rate, I might be back in shape by the time the seven days are up.
...That puts a bit of a damper on my mood.
I can't really seem to escape that, can I?
I really don't want to leave.
I'm going to have to leave.
Whether respectfully or in secret, I need to be gone before I bring my hunter here.
It will hurt a lot, no matter how I do it.
I don't want to leave.
I don't want that at all.
I have to to leave.
I have no other choice.
My eyes feel hot.
I look up into Orange's worried-looking face, and throw my arms about her as I begin sobbing like a child.
The reason why I voted to keep on helping is giving Orange a chance to get it through to Kogasa's head that her habit of doing things alone is getting her nowhere. (If it was ever going to succeed, it'd would have before now)
But we can only hope otherwise that Orange proves to be insanely stubborn in terms of helping Kogasa.
That is if this isn't just a way to torture readers in an 'artsy' manner.
>>109215 >giving Orange a chance to get it through to Kogasa's head that her habit of doing things alone is getting her nowhere.
This. Before we leave here I want to have moved Kogasa at least a little on this. I've got plenty of different theories on how this story could play out, but almost all of them involve accomplishing this asap if we want to see any kind of decent ending.
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[➟] Object in motion
"Oh.. no, no, I'll be fine," I tell her. I give her a smile.
...I hope it looks convincing.
She looks uncertain, but nods slowly. Giving my shoulder a comforting squeeze, she continues into the kitchen, me tagging along behind her.
Over the next hour or two, I chop up vegetables. Lots of onion and peppers, mainly. Most of the onions I chop up into lots of small small pieces like glass chunks if glass came in tiny pieces and large amounts.
I cry again, but not because of earlier.
The plight of onions is a sad and tragic thing.
One of the quarters of onion gets chopped in half again, and then set aside.
Orange gets out a few packages of meat; some whole, and some all squished and shredded in long noodly chunks things. She tells me they're both lamb-- I don't know what a Moldovan peasant's flesh smells like, but this does seem to admittedly smell fairly lamb-ish, so I'm taking her word on it.
She sets me to work cutting up the whole meat, then and putting it and the vegetables on skewers. Sort of like takoyaki, only not. Also, these alternate; meat-onion-meat-pepper-etc.
While I am doing this she starts on what she calls "La-Majun" or something. Using the noodly packed meat, me mixes in the tiny chopped onion bits, peppers, and some other vegetables (including tomatoes that were hiding inside a can. Very crafty vegetables, tomatoes are. They can even pass themselves off as fruit!) into a bowl. She squishes and mashes it all up together into this big mess.
Putting it momentarily aside, she and I mix up some dough of some sort, which is made into big, round, flat circles. The meat mash stuff is then spread onto them, and then put in the oven.
It vaguely reminds me of paytza, and I wonder if she knows how to make that, too.
I should ask.
Finally, she mixes up some rice, although it has some kind of noodle bits in it. She doesn't make it in the usual way, either. That isn't exactly surprising, I guess. Foreign food, foreign methods, right?
"I think that's about all I need help with for the moment," she says, stirring the rice in the pot. Some kind of sauce is in there. She turns to me, a hint of slyness evident on her features. "Why don't you go and make yourself comfortable while I finish things up in here?"
Hard to tell with the trying to escape from Sanae scene (A case where i couldn't figure out what the options meant), and that scene following it was hard to read due to the feelings it provoked. It's kinda hard not to suspect that when you take a look at those scenes.
All I can figure is that the options are sounds of certain actions. I suspect this is the pool option, not sure if Orange wouldn't mind having dinner wait as to play some pool (or it'd be after dinner.
>[ ] Click on
>[ ] Click-clack
Pool most likely
>[ ] Flip/turn
Setting the table?
>[ ] Flop, thump
Relax on the couch?
>>109252 >Hard to tell with the trying to escape from Sanae scene (A case where i couldn't figure out what the options meant), and that scene following it was hard to read due to the feelings it provoked. It's kinda hard not to suspect that when you take a look at those scenes.
Interesting, I can see why you'd feel that way, but to me those same scenes gave the opposite impression regarding the author. That sequence of events was nothing short of painful to read, but that's only because the emotions behind it were so powerful, and I don't think Fell could have pulled it off without truly caring about the story and his readers. For one thing, I'm sure the torture sequence was even harder to write than it was to read. Moreover, this wasn't the type of despair we're used to. Traditionally, we've seen things associated with BAD ENDs along the lines of: "you failed, here's the heart-wrenching shit that happened because of it". This was more about giving value to the protagonist's struggle in the eyes of the readers. Sure, we knew about the horrible things happening to Kogasa before then, but it's only since those scenes that we actually know just how bad it is. Is there honestly anyone here who doesn't find themselves more sympathetic with Kogasa since reading that part? I seriously doubt it.
In short, while that whole sequence was indeed hard to read, and I would be happy to never see a repeat of it, it was a necessary part of what makes this story great instead of just good. For your own enjoyment, try not confuse it with the common antics of authors screwing with their readers.
>this is really breaking my heart knowing how this will end. Each moment comes closer to the nightmare.
Then don't let it happen. While our control of the protagonist is looser than what we're used to, it's still up to us to see her through this mess, and we can still have this turn out well if we're smart about it.
Don't prove me wrong here, Fell.
>>109282 I couldn't agree more with your assessment of the actual torture scenes. It's not often that a story is immersive enough to make me empathize particularly hard, but here, I found myself having to Alt-Tab away and think happy thoughts to make it through those updates.
The 'reader torture', if you can call it that, was the preceding choices, where it feels like we picked the worst possible option four or five times in a row. Good for making the reader feel as trapped as Kogasa does, yes, but also depressing in a non-story-related way. I suspect that we were doomed to be captured regardless of what we chose there, which makes it a little better, but still.
I was complimenting him on the matter of how those scenes made me feel.
But this is THP, a place that had a few folks more or less jerk Anon around for shits and giggles. It's easier to do that under the guise of "artistic" style choices that we have to interpret and pray we guess right. (I find that to be a bit of an annoying trend in general as of late, even Lion's /youkai/ story has started to do that outside of the memory selection choices, the only place they'd make sense.)
We can only hope that next time something like that happens we'd be able to figure out the choices and not get "Always lose" choices.
And I certainly hope something breaks Kogasa out of the cycle trying to do things alone and failing again and again.
>>109299 Yeah, a feeling of hopelessness. Good from an writing skill standpoint, not so much for retaining readers. Since if the reader feels the struggle is hopeless they'd stop voting and perhaps stop reading. But I think the core of the fanbase of this story is loyal enough to stick through it.
And i am not sure what to vote for.
>But I think the core of the fanbase of this story is loyal enough to stick through it.
Well, i am. But i really don't know if i can read another torture scene.
>But I think the core of the fanbase of this story is loyal enough to stick through it.
I am and I'd read as many torture scenes as the author needed. The story shouldn't need to be butchered due to some whim of the readers.
There's no good without the bad, right? Those 'bad' scenes were what made you so empathic towards Kogasa now.
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No offense to Fell, the torture scene was quite well-done and all, but jesus christ people get it together. "Hard to read due to the feelings it provoked"? "Nothing short of painful"? Having to fucking alt-tab away?