File 126767235570.jpg - (494.27KB, 700x1280 , Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned.jpg) [iqdb]
[☡] But there was nobody in the back seat
After a few moments, I turn to Orange.
"Shouldn't we go, now?"
She holds up her hand, saying nothing, continuing to watch the smoke.
Finally, she speaks: "No."
I look back to the cave, then back at her. "...Why not?"
"Insurance. Or rather, ensurance."
She sighs slightly. "How stupid would you feel if we took off right now, and she crawled out of that cave five minutes later?"
"Stupid, I guess... but there's no w—"
A finger is pressed firmly against my lips, and my words die on the spot, mainly out of surprise.
"Don't finish that sentence." She gazes at me with unexpected intensity.
"It's begging for the hand of poetic justice— or irony, or comedic timing, or any other force you care to name —to come down and smack you."
I lift an eyebrow.
"It happens more often than you think. And need I remind you that this is a shrine maiden we're dealing with? I don't trust her gods to not be looking out for her."
She almost makes it sound convincing.
"All right, then," I say, conceding. "How about ten more minutes?"
"We'll see," she says, and turns back to watching the smoking opening.
A minute passes.
I hear a noise in the trees.
I turn, and am greeted with the sight of an oncoming hail of silent white fire.
I scream out a warning to Orange, but it comes far too late.
Hot, painful, searing little white balls of glowing energy rain down on the pair of us, peppering our bodies with a rapidly growing number of horrific, agonizing blossoms of sensation.
The vengeful rain continues for half a minute, but Orange and I are both driven to the ground, and if my own condition is any indication of hers, staying down.
Weirdly, the first coherent thought that passes through my mind is 'Well, she was right; I would have definitely felt stupid.'
The sound of rocks quietly scattering draws my attention, and I crane my neck to look uphill, whimpering at how awful it feels to even do just that.
There, against the red light and black smoke, stands the green girl.
She's breathing hard, and limping harder. Her outfit is torn and burnt, and she is covered in soot, a few healthy gashes, and occasional burns.
She is very much alive.
Wordlessly, she descends toward the two of us, and walks up to me.
For a full minute, she says nothing, but I can see tears making clean trails through the black soot on her face. Her golden eyes are full of some emotion I can't discern, and her lip is trembling.
Finally, with a growl, she kicks me in the head, and I almost black out. Somehow, I manage to stay conscious.
When the stars clear, I focus on her looking at me with mixed sorrow and rage. Tears occasionally drop onto my face, mixing with my own.
"You... You ungrateful, horrible ...bitch!" she spits out, between sobs. "How could you betray me like that?! BOTH of you!"
"I let you two go, because I thought you—"
She turns to Orange, jabbing her gohei in the air down at her.
"—were responsible enough to help her onto the right path! I gave you both a slap on the wrist, believing that you would make a difference in her life. And what do I get for my caring, thoughtful gesture?!"
She kicks Orange in the ribs, before wheeling back to face me.
"I get everything thrown back in my face! You betrayed my kindness! I'm trying to help you, dammit! And this is what I get?!"
She pauses while her words dissolve into tearful, racking sobs.
Wiping at her eyes with the slightly cleaner inside of her sleeve, she sniffles, and then looks at me again.
"I tried to help you. I wanted to help you. But... but, I, I just don't even know anymore."
...I've finally figured it out.
I've been wrong all along.
She's not broken.
No thinking-sick or head-sick, no.
Nowhere nearly as simple as that.
She is serious. Genuinely, totally serious.
Her ideas— what I hear of them —make sense in any other situation except that of the nature of a youkai.
The green girl is not insane at all.
She's very, very, very sane.
So sane it's terrifying.
She is misguided; terribly misguided.
But she believes in her mission, her goal, with the raw force of faith, and I don't think anything I say or do will ever sway her from her path.
I feel pity for her.
But I still want her dead, and I will end her if it's the last thing I do.
There is no compensation or apologizing for multiple lives lost and days spent in agony, when all of them are yours.
I will have my reckoning.
She looks tired. So very tired. I must be an incredible disappointment, and a source of all kinds of terrible feelings, for her.
"I'll figure out what to do later," she says, having reached some kind of decision. "Once I have you two back and under supervision, then... then I can..."
She stumbles slightly, and then shakes her head as if trying to clear it.
I look over at Orange, who's looking back at me.
Each of us reaches an arm out to the other, but we're too far apart.
We still try.
It's like if I wanted to, hard enough, I could.
It's right there, and yet, so far away.
"Good night," says the green girl, her tone weary and worn.
I feel her palm press against the side of my head, and all turns to blackness.
Also, for those of you that never clicked on them, I only tag pictures as NSFW if it's going to spoil things; as I recall, none of them are actually NSFW in nature. So, feel free to click them now if you haven't already done so.
Fact: We're used to pain. Fact: She can't do to us anything she hasn't already done before.
Sad Fact: She can do permanent shit to Orange. Point of Intrest: Doing this will inevitably result in her death - and not from us. Orange, from Yukari's reactions to her, is as close to youkai nobility as one gets. Non-threatening injuries? Ignorable. Permanent disfiguration and/or death? Not so, that kind of shit requires responses.
Fact: Death just means we get to tell this shit to the Yama. They forgive even less than we do.
>>113791 >Sad Fact: She can do permanent shit to Orange. How's that? Orange recovered just as completely as we did from our most recent fall, including fully regenerating her tongue, and if you're talking about psychological effects, I'm sure she's just as tough as we are, and we're still pretty sane even after half a year of this.
>>113794 Can you honestly say it would not hurt us if Sanae tortured the hell out of Orange? Orange may have said she was... alright... with that sort of thing being done to her, but it would pain us - especicially since we've only recently got over the whole 'can't involve other people because they'll get hurt' thing - a hell of a lot.
Unless you mean permanent as in 'unhealable' then yes, i believe Sanae could. hell, she's a Shrine Maiden - if anyone could it would be her. Though I admit the minute she does something which can't be covered up by Yukari conveniently ensuring she gets to heal up before meeting anyone else... well, then Sanae has pretty much sealed her doom.
Orange has power over life & death, evidenced when she revealed herself and snatched Kogasa back from the shores of the Sanzu. I don't think there's anything permanent that Sanae can do to Orange; her mood following her capture had not at all been dulled after witnessing what should have been harrowing torture and then having her own tongue cut out. I won't pretend to know what kind of 'reckoning' will satisfy Kogasa. I don't think it matters, just as how Orange rescued us without asking for our permission, she may kill Sanae on her own too. I think rather it will ultimately come down to whether or not Orange takes the gloves off.
If she has, this choice point is a vote to either see the tail end of such a fight (whether it comes down to her goddesses or just Sanae), or to let them have it out above and wait to be rescued.
If she hasn't, this may be a choice to see Sanae flummoxed when her best methods fail to provoke the desired response from Orange, or to wait for Sanae to take out her increasing frustration on Kogasa. Hopefully her anger causes her to slip and do something stupid.
That we have one of our restraints broken—which if a trap would probably be something she'd thought of before, such that Kogasa would be wary of it—is additional evidence for the theory that the voice in our dreams asking us to show Sanae mercy is one of her goddesses, since we've been explicitly told it isn't Yukari.
Not that yelling 'checkmate' while stabbing her to death with one of her own torture tools wouldn't be very satisfying, but we still have things to do between putting an end to Sanae's games and living happily ever after with Orange: These include dealing with fallout from the ultimate solution, thanking the Prismrivers, Kana, and Mystia and affirming to these friends that Kogasa is alright, and seeing if we can rectify things with Sakuya, in which case Orange (and vicariously, her sister) may be of great help. Going around and murdering the most influential humans in Gensokyo in a short matter of time is bad for Kogasa's health no matter righteous she may be.
File 126774451424.jpg - (12.92KB, 295x310 , Workers throw off your shackles and arise.jpg) [iqdb]
[⁂] It is that time.
...Hell with it.
If it's a trap, I am screwed.
If it isn't, and I don't get out of here, I am screwed.
If it isn't, and I do get out, then... well, I'll be better off than I would be otherwise.
I work feverishly on the straps holding my neck down, but soon figure out that there's no knots or anything. It's some kind of tightening-system thing, but ...fuck it.
I don't care about subtlety at the minute, and I damn for sure don't have any interest in keeping this wretched table intact and usable.
A brief pause, and a reflexive action, and the ends of my fingers lengthen, sharpen, harden.
Pretty much any youkai worthy of the term has claws. Putting them away so's you don't scare off Or as some might look at it, tip off humans is a trick we all eventually learn to master, sooner or later. Assuming one wants to be able to socialize with Or pass undetected amongst them, at least.
I haven't brought these things out in a long time. They still look just as good as they did back then, though.
Or wait. Maybe I did while fighting with Bigwings. I know she did. But did I?
Eh, not important right now.
I've got escaping to do.
I systematically shred every strap and belt to ribbons, and then slowly, carefully get to my feet.
I hurt all over, still, but it's a dull ache. I'll probably be fine in a good few hours.
...Assuming I live that long.
I look around the place, taking a good look at the entire thing for the first time.
It's still an hour or two before dawn. Almost time for her to come down, so I've got to work fast.
Our clothes lie heaped in an untidy pile, next to my friend, who is turned away, as usual. Hope he doesn't spook when I wake him up.
Orange comes first, though.
I go over to where she again lies suspended between floor and ceiling. Also out of the way of the light coming in through that vent thing. Odd, but I'm assuming the green girl had her reasons. Maybe it's something to do with chi or feng shui, or any of a number of crazy Chinese things.
Those chains are going to be a problem, though.
I gently nudge her awake.
"...mmmwhaa?" she mumbles, eyes slowly opening.
The unusual position she's in works pretty well as a wake-up call, though, and she looks around, worried.
"What... how did you get out?"
"She got careless and stupid," I say, looking the chains over. "She doesn't do that often at all, and I intend to capitalize on this. Can you break out of these?"
She closes her eyes, and pulls, hard.
The creaking sounds of straining metal on metal and grating noises of metal on stone echo off the walls of the otherwise-quiet room as she fiercely tugs on her shackles.
Muscles shift under her skin, and the chains make some unpleasant noises, but nothing breaks free before she sags, panting.
"Jus...Just give me a minute...!"
After a few moments, I recall something, and feel stupid for not having thought of it sooner.
"Wait, hold on," I tell her. "Don't push yourself further; I'll have you out in a second."
I run over to the beautifully-crafted cabinet, and fling it open. Inside are a few more bottles of that same foreign wine, that black box, more than a few unsavory tools, a first-aid kit, several outsider things I don't recognize, and there, on a little metal hook, the ring of keys.
Snatching it, I dash back over to my chained princess, and look for where the hell these things are supposed to go. There's got to be a keyhole somewhere...
Aha, there! Up by the shackle-clamps themselves. Seems obvious now that I think about it, but I haven't really had a chance to do in-depth studies of these sort of things.
I undo the ones on her arms, first. After I open the one holding her left wrist, her arm flops down onto my shoulders, and holds me. The same again with her other arm, and we pause briefly while she lies against me.
It's as much for comfort and closeness as it is for physical stability.
Finally, she gives a nod, and I go to work on the leg irons. She kicks free of the first one as soon as I have it opened, and repeats the process with the second.
Naked and still grimy from last night's excursion, we sit there in silence, holding one another.
We are free, but only in the most literal sense.
Something tells me that complete freedom will not be as simple as running out and flying away.
After a while, we part. I gather our clothes up, but they are torn, shredded, and tattered.
Normally, they're fine by the time I wake up, after landing, but there is a shortcut. At least, for me.
Hopefully it will work for her, as well.
"Not to sound ungrateful, but wouldn't we be better off going naked, given the state of these?"
She gestures to the shirt she holds up, which has more than a few holes and slashes, plus a good number of burn marks.
I slip my vest on, which isn't in much better condition. "Put it on, anyway. Trust me on this one. You've had that outfit for a long time, right?"
She nods, slowly, and begins putting her yellow and green ensemble on, or at least, what's left of it.
"A few hundred years or so. I mean, I've replaced parts, and sewn together new pieces, but I've always carried over at least one part. One time, it was only just a few buttons I was able to salvage."
I nod, smiling. It's an odd youkai habit, but most find themselves compelled to do it, when it comes to clothes. Even if they can't sew, they'll either find someone who can, or sometimes even scrap the entire old outfit and go for a new look entirely, unless they're well-off enough to have a few separate ones. Even then, they will have some piece, or some aspect of the old worked into the new, and it is in that way that even if all the parts are replaced over a hundred years, it is still the same clothing, in a spiritual sense.
This is why the regeneration of clothing is possible, and why a youkai can wear what seems to be the same outfit for years on end.
Or maybe that's just how I do it, and by some coincidence, it happens to be her method as well.
I'm no youkaiologisticianyst, for sure, but this is what makes my trick work.
There's a chance I'm not wrong, at least.
We finish clothing ourselves in tatters, although she give me a dubious glance.
"You packing a fairy godmother in that bag, somewhere?"
I have no idea what a godmother is, or why she mentions it, but I shrug.
"Kind of?" I say. "I'll have to go get it, first."
I walk over to my friend.
hey, wake up
oh god, no, she's finally come for— oh, you aren't the shrine maiden; this is a pleasant surprise
of course i'm not; you can tell by how i try not to flash my armpits at everyone
true, true; so hey, i see you're not tied down and in horrific pain, for once
i know; i'm rather fond of the not-being-tortured look, myself; thinking of taking on it for the long term
It takes a few moments for my meaning to sink in. When my friend replies, it is in a much more serious tone.
so, we're doing it today, huh?
bitch got careless, and i mean to make her regret it
wow, damn; we're really going through with it, then?
i'm ready to rock, then; whatcha need?
i'll need my bag, my knife, and a touch-up for the two of us
whoa, wait, you're seriously going to let me tou—? ohhhh, oh; your clothes; right, i get it
There is a soft thump as my friend drops my bag onto the stone floor, and a quieter thump as my knife lands atop it. I have no idea where he carries all this stuff, but he does, and I am grateful for it.
I tie the bag to my hip, and put the knife away where it can be drawn easily. Scooping up my friend in my arms, I walk back over to my scrappy-looking princess.
I guide her to sit down on that hateful table, the only wide place to sit in here. I have a seat next to her, and put my hand on her shoulder.
"Just follow everything I say," I tell her, "And don't ask questions. It just throws the whole thing off. Just believe in me, and that I know what I'm doing."
She gives me an odd look, but nods.
"First, close your eyes," I tell her in a smooth, calm tone, making sure to follow my own directions as well.
"Imagine, really imagine your clothes. Not as they are right now, but as they were when you first wore them. As they were last night. As they were ten years ago. As they were a hundred years ago. As they were always, and as you may have wanted them to be.
"Visualize every single part of them. Every seam, every stitch, every button, every strip and piece of fabric. Remember any and every detail that you can. Every part of it that you liked, every annoying thing that got in the way, every part of it that you found odd.
"Remember your clothing and how it felt when you wore it. How it touches you, how it moves with you, how it covers you, how it feels on your skin. Remember how it makes you feel to wear it, how it feels when you put it on, how it feels when you take it off, how you move your body in each of these.
"Consider the purpose of your clothing. Consider that it protects you, that it warms you, that it covers you, that it defines a great deal of your very appearance, that it was made for you, that it does all of this every day that you wear it, that it has always done so, and that it will continue to do so for as long as you wear it.
"Imagine them, now. Visualize them, complete. Remember them, comfortable. Consider them, protecting. Your clothing is and has always been a part of you."
I take a breath, and through my friend, spend a little in a different sort of way.
"...Now, open your eyes."
I open mine and look immediately to Orange.
Her eyes open, and she looks at me, as well.
I grin, and point down, at her chest.
Following the gesture, she glances down. There is a short rush, and her breath catches slightly.
My clothes and her own have both returned to their former intact state. Better than intact, really, but not quite new enough that they still feel strange.
They are at that perfect point where they still look new and fresh, but their owner has gotten used to them, and takes pride in wearing them. It is this point when clothing most enjoys itself.
That's what my friend tells me, anyway.
"How... How exactly did you do that?" she asks, curious. She gets up, looking over herself, situation momentarily forgotten in the amidst this.
I pat my friend, and smile gently. "Things like being appreciated. When they've been with you for that long, and you take care of them, they're willing to help."
She nods to herself, and continues examining for a few moments more before she looks back at me, satisfied.
"What are we going to do, now?"
I open my mouth to reply, but a sound cuts off what I'd been about to say.
On an unrelated note, a response to >>/sdm/34724 (regarding a different theory involving dragons) to avoid cross-thread discussion: >I'm sorely tempted to cross-post this in Fell's thread. People seem to be convinced of similar theories about Orange when the evidence is flimsy at best. Keep in mind that Orange: - Is sister to Meiling, who has a hat that says "dragon" on it. (Iron-clad evidence, I know.) - Rescued us from the breasts jaws of death with energy that took the form of a dragon. - Has been referred to as "Lady" by Yukari, who she says her family had "land management" dealings with about a hundred years ago. Hint: Gensokyo was sealed in 1884, the same time that dragons were last seen in Gensokyo.
>>113824 Agreed. Vengeance alone will only lead to a sad death. As far as Sakuya goes, we have no idea what happened during the first altercation, just that Kogasa got a negative impression. Reimu is a different story, since Kogasa says "A healthy respect for someone who's good at her job"- a line that has no negativity but an understanding that Reimu's better off left alone. I wonder if Kogasa disrupted Sakuya's work badly during this time or in the past. For all we know, Sakuya might have talked Sanae into doing this.
>>113834 >>/sdm/34724 here. Didn't actually expect this to pop up here, and due to that I didn't bother to clarify what I meant regarding this story. Which was silly of me really.
Let me begin by saying I agree with you on all counts, especially this: >1884, the same time that dragons were last seen in Gensokyo. This is almost exactly the point I wanted to make. While she almost definitely has some relation to dragon nobility, what little information we have about dragons in Gensokyo is extremely dated, and comes from Akyu. Several theories had been made or dismissed on the basis that Yukari and Kanako would be wary of incurring the wrath of dragons and as such are not directly involved in all this, yet there's nothing in this story to indicate that Orange and Meiling aren't the last of their kind.
Some people seem to be under the impression that Orange has relatives that will rain hell upon the mountain if anything serious happens to her. Even if Orange does have family here besides Meiling, we just don't know how much power or sway they hold, and considering we've heard nothing of them in present times, it seems more likely the answer is "not a lot." This is all of course speculation, but better to act as though we're on our own, than to assume the aid of hypothetical allies.
>>113851 I point out that it's not necessarily relatives who will do the raining of hell. I'd expect (most) any Youkai who knows of Orange's status as near-nobility (and indeed any other youkai who would understand what such mutilation means) to take offense if Orange ended up missing major body parts, not to mention all the human villagers she regularly helps would also take to such unkindly.
Yukari, however, is quite obviously out to keep the overall peace regardless of the concerns of the 'little people' having their tongues and eyes removed and stuff. It was after all oh-so-convenient that we were allowed to heal up all the evidence before it was suggested that our welcome was running out. Ran obviously feels guilty about it, but it's not like she can go against the will of her master in any significant way.
Pulling my citrus princess to her feet, I motion for her to hide behind the cabinet, on the side not visible from the door.
I hide with my friend, just by the doorway.
The footsteps come ever closer, down, down, down.
And she opens the door, hum-hum-humming to herself.
She walks in, closing the door behind her, and goes over to the cabinet, apparently not even noticing the complete lack of prisoners.
This is too perfect.
I slip out of my friend's concealing embrace, and thank any god listening for making me forget to put my geta back on before she came in.
The green girl goes to the cabinet, and opens it up, still humming happily. She pulls out a bottle of her foreign drink, and I stand on the other side of the open door, hidden from sight.
She turns to face where she left my citrus princess and I, speaking cheerfully.
"Rise and shine, my little ru—"
Her words cut off abruptly as she no doubt finally sees the destroyed table and empty chains. The rush is short, but strong, and I have to fight the urge to giggle as my body shivers.
It is that time.
Reaching out with one hand, I slam the door shut with a loud bang! and reveal myself standing behind it.
Another rush; good, but not as strong.
Her head whips around to the side to face me, eyes wide for a second before narrowing.
"Good morning~" I say, giving her the brightest smile ever.
Her arm moves, but for once,
—for fucking once—
I am faster.
Putting a good deal of strength and a decent bit of spending behind my arm, I deliver an uppercut that connects beautifully with her jaw.
Goddamn, it feels good to finally do this.
She sails up and back, in a perfect arc, across the room, banging her head against the stone floor, bouncing once, and sliding to a dazed heap against the wall.
She had dropped the bottle after being sent flying, and it now lands on the floor. The shock of impact pops the cork out of the bottle, sending it bouncing and ricocheting across the room until it finally smacks her between the eyes while she tries desperately to get to her feet.
She collapses to her knees again, but grabs hold of a stool and tries pulling herself up.
...Like I'm going to let her do that.
Smiling grimly, I march over to her and grab her by the hair.
I lean down in front of her, looking at her unfocused eyes try to center on me. My unsettling leer transforms once more into a dazzling smile.
"And now, good night~"
Pulling those green locks up, I grip them tightly and proceed to slam her head against the stone wall,
and let go.
She collapses to the ground and slumps over, unconscious.
File 126783568555.png - (284.65KB, 337x439 , Shutterstock is the bane of my photo-hunting life.png) [iqdb]
The door leads to a short hallway that ends in a long, curving stairwell.
We ascend at a steady pace, electric lights dotting the walls at regular intervals lighting the way.
I haven't thought about Tall Red in a long time.
Well, not really thought about her.
...Didn't she give me something? I fumble in my bag as we climb the stairs.
What kind of gift would be the kind she would give?
Ah, there they are.
I pull out the three Oh, I guess it was three, after all bean pod things, and pause momentarily at the next electric light to peer at them.
"What is it?" asks Orange, coming to a stop next to me.
"...You're pretty good with foods, right? Any idea what these are?" I say, passing them over to her.
She takes them, and is very quiet for a few moments.
"...Where did you get these?" she says, finally.
"Miss Sunflower herself."
She looks up, confused. "Miss Sunfl— oh!" Comprehension dawns in her eyes, and she nods. "Yuuka gave these to you?"
Huh. She's on a first-name basis with her?
"She snuck them to me in a handshake."
Her brow furrows slightly, and she turns the pods over in her hands. "Just like that?"
"More or less." I snap my fingers. "Oh, wait! The singer ghost had just told her about my whole..." I wave my hand at the surroundings to indicate the shrine in general. "...situation, with the being hunted by the miko and all."
She looks back up at me, giving me a weird look. "Kana, the singer? I ...wouldn't have expected someone like her to associate with Yuuka, of all people."
"Back to the original question... what are they?"
Orange hands them back to me, placing them gently in my palm.
"Something that I didn't think grew anymore."
She chuckles slightly as she begins to climb the stairs once more, and adds, "Maybe that's why they're in Gensokyo? In any case, take very good care of them."
I stare after her for a moment before resuming my ascent as well.
How very needlessly cryptic.
Maybe if I'm out that way again, I can ask. For now, though, I carefully put them back in the bag, and hurry up the stairs to catch up.
I find her poking her head through a doorway next to a small landing in the stairs.
"Anything interesting?" I whisper.
She looks back over her shoulder at me. "I think it leads into the shrine itself."
Almost posted an update at 2am, but every time I looked at the second half, I was not happy with it. So I eventually decided to put it off until tomorrow, which is actually today, and it was a very good thing that I did so, since I was able to improve upon it.
Anyway, vote more, I'm itching to write. Shit is going to be so cash. Like, won-the-lottery amounts of cash.
>>113967 True she will probably be burning with a fury that would make the sun look like a candle, but it would have been much much worse for Kogasa, everyone associated with her and all the youkai if we did decide to kill her. I mean a minor (and Kogasa is pretty minor in the scheme of things) youkai killing a shrine maiden for apparently no reason probably wouldn't go down well with anyone. Yukari wouldn't help and Reimu would most likely want our head. Plus it wouldn't expose her 'rehabilitation program' as the god(s) supporting her would cover it up. Then, "Bad things would happen between the humans and youkai"™.
Exposing her program leads to many other interesting possibilities as to what could happen, rather then a large amount of (mostly) guaranteed pain for everyone.
If we put her into some kind of restraint, she'd know we have had power of life & death over her, and chose mercy. Now she'll probably assume Kogasa just ran away as quickly as possible. At least leaving the knife near her would leave implications, but Orange gave it back just as she denied her from using it. Odd that she was alright with the deathtraps Kogasa set up for Sanae.
Kogasa is unable to kill Sanae and end this. She didn't back-stab her, she & Sanae threw down and 'for once' Kogasa was the faster.
Orange better have a fucking plan, because if Kogasa ends up getting tortured again while Orange retains her happy-go-lucky personality, the wedding is off.
Also, why no input from Kogasa's friends? This is their revenge too.
>>113974 So quick to hate on Orange because she possibly saved us from doing something incredibly stupid, aren't you?
Now, I may be completely wrong about how I'm thinking about this, but say Sanae did end up dieing out in the forest, it could be written off as her being unlucky and getting killed at the hands of a group of wild youkai. Such things aren't terribly uncommon and it can happen no matter how strong the person is.
But if she was found dead in her own home? It sure as hell can't be written off just like that. People will investigate, and eventually will find us.
Again, I may be completely wrong about this so feel free to ignore it.
I have another point to make. How dumb would it be to kill Sanae before we get rid of whatever curses she put on us? We can't assume that they'll just disappear if she dies, or that anyone else would be able and willing to remove them.
>>Odd that she was alright with the deathtraps Kogasa set up for Sanae.
There is a difference between doing something that might kill someone while she's still conscious and at least capable of defending herself, and doing something that will kill her while she's unconscious and completely incapable of defending herself, you know.
Taking your enemy by surprise is simply good strategy. Killing your enemy while they're completely incapable of doing anything to react or defend against it, on the other hand, is nothing but pure cowardice.
All well and good if you don't care about lowering yourself in such a way, but to someone who actually gives a damn about honor and such like Orange seems to, it does matter.
Today's update will be coming later tonight, as I'm helping to prepare a large dinner.
Also, >>113977 ? When you posted, you made a new thread. Might want to delete that and re-post here. ...Alternately, if a mod could take care of that and delete the old one, that would be just as nice.
>"Regardless, I will not have you dishonoring my vow this way." Wow, that was close. Nice save Orange. I guess that, when the night has come, and the land is dark and the moon is the only light they will see; She won't be afraid, oh, she won't be afraid. Just as long as Orange stands, stands by her. I hope Kogasa recovers her peaceful life soon. It'd be a perfect end for such a good story.
File 126802667087.jpg - (126.57KB, 500x350 , `japanese girl`s bedroom` turns up lots of porn.jpg) [iqdb]
The door opens onto clothes. Lots of them.
Not any huge amount, but certainly a respectable number. All are hung neatly on hangers, and seem clean and well-pressed.
We push them aside, and slide open the door of the closet.
It's her room.
True, I don't know for certain that it's hers. But everything sort of screams "teenager" to me. Much of it is decorated and furnished with Outsider things and items and so on, but it still comes through just as strong.
Quite a lot of Outsider things, actually. It's like this place was dropped here straight from there.
Come to think of it, I think that's actually what happened. Where did I hear that, again?
The room itself is generally clean, and neatly kept.
And the more I look around, the more I'm beginning to worry that my earlier notion of her being terribly, terribly sane is being proven.
There are no holes in the wall, nothing is torn, and no damage done to anything in here. She is not an irrationally violent little shit, or prone to outbursts, then.
It's not too neatly kept, and there isn't really any dust lying around, so she's no closet neat freak, and this isn't any kind of a facade. She really does use this room.
And there definitely aren't any creepy pictures or paintings or anything around. No pictures of me with a knife in them, no giant kanji spelling my name on one wall with "DIE" painted over it in red, nothing.
No map of Gensokyo with pins in it, either. I check twice, just to make sure.
She's an ordinary girl. Or as ordinary as she can be while still being her.
There is something of significant note that we almost pass over before Orange calls my attention to it. Some large books are shelved between bookends on the desk that appear to have been well-read, and have several bookmarked places.
Clinical Psychology, Ninth Edition, Principles of Treatment and Rehabilitation, A Study of Addiction - Twelve Significant Cases, The Addict and the Care-Giver, and two or three others in Korean and Chinese.
I stare at them for a few moments.
The green girl really was telling the truth, then. She's trying to cure me, or something.
Bless her vicious, misguided, wretched, hateful soul, she's serious.
I shake my head sadly, experiencing again a brief moment of pity for her.
It won't keep me from putting the knife through her, or locking my fingers about her throat, or crushing her head under a rock, or any of ten thousand other ways I could end her. It's a shame I can't try them all.
File 126802670947.jpg - (110.19KB, 500x375 , One day my son this will all be on fire.jpg) [iqdb]
"Why the rush, exactly?" I ask, as we leave her room through the normal door. "She won't wake up for a while."
"I'm worried that her gods may know."
We enter a hallway, which looks like it's in about the same traditional style as the green girl's room.
"Aren't they still asleep?"
She looks slightly unhappy at me, for some reason.
"Who says they even sleep? Even in a faith-rich place like Gensokyo, just because something looks like a person doesn't mean that it always has to act like a person. You should know this, as a youkai," she says, and gestures to me. "It is doubly true of gods."
I nod, conceding this point.
We come upon a living room that connects to a kitchen in one direction, and a much fancier and elaborate hallway in the other.
"...That's certainly probably so," I tell her, "but if that's what her gods do, then who was drinking the tea?"
Her gaze follows the finger I hold out, pointing to two still-steaming cups of tea sitting on the table in the living room.
We're both very quiet for a minute.
Orange's eyes dart around the room, as if searching for traces of the green girl's gods.
After a minute, she speaks, calmly and coolly.
"They know we're here."
A chill runs down my spine, and I try very hard to keep from looking around fearfully.
"Do they know what happened, do you think?" I ask her, softly.
"No idea. I can't feel them here."
"...Maybe they're checking down below, then?"
"It's quite possible."
"So, hurrying would be good."
"That's a pretty safe assumption."
"Then I'm jacking something for breakfast."
"I'm hungry as hell," I admit, already walking towards the kitchen. I make straight for the chillybox, and open it up. "You want anything?" I ask, looking over the door.
"We need to go now."
"If they were going to attack us, they'd have done so by now, right? Well, I haven't had breakfast, and I'll be damned if I'm going to leave here without leaving my mark. And since I don't see any paint lying around with which to write 'Youkai were here; the shrine maiden is a loser' in giant kana on the walls, I'm going to settle for stealing their food," I explain.
She stares at me, possibly trying to work out if I'm serious or not.
I look back inside, and report my findings as I come across them. "There's... let's see. Tamagoyaki... curry rice... some kind of beef stew; probably not too viable. What else, what else... roast chicken... dumplings... and beef and bell peppers, but without the beef."
This last item seems to get her attention, and she frowns, walking over to peer over my shoulder. "...It's not really beef and bell peppers without the beef. Why would you call it that?"
"Smells like it, looks like it. Oh, some kind of pudding, too. Also, there's juice and milk."
"I'll take the roast chicken and the beefless peppers."
"Here ya go," I say, handing the wrapped items to her. "Probably going to have to eat them cold, though. I don't think they'll wait forever for us. Juice?"
"Nyumff? Mm, mm-hmm," she replies, already working on the chicken and peppers. I hand her the carton Apple juice; cannibalism avoided once again and grab the tamagoyaki and the curry rice for myself, plus a container of pudding, and the milk.
We scarf down the food in fairly short order. Even cold, it tastes good. Somebody here is a decent cook.
...Not legendarily skillful like my citrus princess, certainly, but they're no stranger to the kitchen.
We polish off the last of our hasty breakfast, and hustle out of there.
File 12680267846.png - (905.65KB, 800x484 , Surprisingly close to what I wanted.png) [iqdb]
Passing through the posh hallway, my sandals make a clacking sound on the hardwood floor.
It feels good to be disrespectful in the home of one's nemesis, even if only in small ways.
The front door leads to the front of the shrine proper. Donation box, bell cord, strips of paper here and there.
Everything a shrine should have.
That means, of course, that the bits a shrine shouldn't have are kept deep underground, out of sight.
I guess that means they're doing it right, then.
Stepping out into the early grey not-light-yet, we walk briskly down the stone walkway, bold as you please. Large red pillars flank us on either side, and line the entire rest of the path for quite a long ways down.
Halfway down, Orange scoots closer to me, and firmly takes ahold of my hand.
I don't need to ask to know why.
Someone is watching us.
Nothing happens, though.
Nobody makes a move on us, nobody attacks us, the pillars don't fall over onto us.
But that's no reason to take it easy, and my citrus princess seems to agree.
We reach the end of the path, where the stairs begin, and begin to walk down them.
We try to.
The air suddenly gets thick and immeasurably heavy, and trying to push through it is like pushing through a... a very slow and unpushable-through liquid. That's cold.
After a few tries, we step back, looking at one another.
"...Do you have those pods from earlier?" she asks, very, very softly.
"Of course," I answer, just as quietly.
"Get them out. Very carefully and unobtrusively hand me one while I'm talking, and keep one for yourself. Don't draw attention to yourself while getting them."
I nod, and she lets go of my hand.
She looks around for a moment, and I hear her sniffing the air.
My hand casually slips into the bag of tricks. Bean pods, bean pods... I have them here somewhere.
Orange's head jerks to the left, then the right.
Raising her voice, she calls out calmly.
"Skulking around on your own shrine? Are you really that afraid of us?"
There's a tch of frustration from one side, and a snort of laughter from the other.
Two figures that weren't there when we walked down here a moment ago step onto the path from nowhere.
About four or five pillars down from us, on either side of the path, walk two women.
On the right is a tall, proud, imposing figure that radiates power and strength. Not exactly the friendly kind, either. This one is a born conqueror. She somehow keeps a circular mirror nestled between her breasts, and a thick rope ring behind her.
On the left walks the shorter of the two. She seems younger, as well. Much more casual in her bearing and appearance, with a ridiculous hat that blinks at me, and sleeves that seem too long for her arms.
War Mother and Child Mother.
I think these are the green girl's Gods parents.
That they are not apologizing And instead gazing at us, as if sizing us up strikes me as yet another unsettling sign.
The shorter woman looks over at the other. "So maybe next time you'll go along with my suggestion when I say that we should dematerialize?"
The taller one snorts derisively. "Hiding in air never failed me before. We should have been undetectable to eye, ear, and nose alike."
Child Mother shrugs. "There's always gotta be a first."
"Mm," replies the deep-hued god, still staring intently at us.
[ ] Kill people now, kill people later, kill people tomorrow, talk next week. [ ] If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. [ ] The clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him.
[x] The clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him. We're tired, beaten and still need more support. Best not to take on a final boss AND an EX boss and gods. Also now I want to try beef and bell peppers.
>[ ] Kill people now, kill people later, kill people tomorrow, talk next week. Suicide, considering who we're dealing with. >[ ] The clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him. Arrogance, considering who we're dealing with.
[x] If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. Let's cross our fingers, and learn about what we're dealing with.
File 126808950114.jpg - (1.67MB, 1500x1800 , Minus starbitch on the left.jpg) [iqdb]
[௱] If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.
The four of us stare at one another, two by two by two by two.
Most of the extra numbers are on their side, since they're gods.
I'd like to have had more time in my life to do the things I loved best.
One of the things right up on the top of the list is "being alive."
That's why nobody can die doing what they love. Call me crazy, but I would stop loving something if it ended up killing me.
But I shouldn't be so grim so soon. I'll save it for when I know I'm fucked, rather than merely the exceptionally strong suspicion that I'm fucked that I have right now.
All right, then.
"Can we help you?" asks my citrus princess in a level tone.
The younger goddess thinks for a moment, then wiggles her hand in a side-to-side rocking motion. "Sorta," she says.
"And how may we do that?"
"By ceasing any attempts to escape and coming with us quietly," replies War Mother, coldness coloring her voice, if coldness can in fact color.
Child Mother sighs, and gives her companion a withering stare.
"Kanako, seriously. Do you actually think they're going to do that?" She pauses, and turns to us. "...You guys aren't gonna, are ya." Less of a question, and more of a just-to-make-sure sort of comment.
The blonde woman puts her hands on her hips, and looks back to her friend. "Told you so."
"It's the spirit of the thing, Suwako. I don't expect you to understand."
The taller woman receives a disdainful snort in reply.
Ah. Found the bean pods.
Holding them in my hand, I withdraw them from my bag, and begin to slowly, idly pace about.
"Can I at least ask a question or two?" I ask, a hopeful tone in my voice. "Maybe a few more?"
"Do you think we've never seen a 007 film?" says War Mother with a sneer. "We aren't that stupid."
"...A what?" This is the second time somebody's mentioned that.
"We're not going to tell you what's going on," pipes up the short woman. "Because we've clearly got you at a disadvantage, and now's the perfect time to figure out what's going on, and then you make some kind of daring escape, except that's not possible, and..." She trails off, frowning. "...Wait, hold on. Dammit, that makes us the villains."
"I would hardly call our cause villainous, Suwako."
"Mmm... true, I guess. Well, whatever. Anyway, no, we're not going to tell you what our plans are. And were. And basically, anything about what's going on. Although, I guess if Sanae asks the kappa to install some kind of slow, crotch-slicing laser in the downstairs room, then we'll have some serious cause for worry."
The deep-hued woman's composure cracks briefly when she smirks at this comment.
I, on the other hand, have no fucking clue what either of these lunatics are on about.
"No, no, not that," I say, waving my non-bean-pod-holding hand. "Just some basic things. Like: you don't have any intention of letting us leave, do you?"
"Not especially," says the purple-haired goddess. "That's why I set up the barrier around the shrine's grounds."
"Welcome to Moriyadome! Two youkai go in, none come out!"
"If you make another movie reference, Suwako, I'm going to throw something at you. Where is your sense of godlike conduct?"
"Left it in my other coat."
War Mother makes a disgusted sound, and turns back to me.
"'None come out'?" asks Orange. "So... you're going to kill us."
She's taking this very well.
Me, I'm a wee bit worried. Trying to follow her example and not show it, though.
"We can't really just let you walk out of here after doing that to our shrine maiden, and especially with what you know."
"What?" I say, baffled. "You all never had a problem before with me doing that. You were launching my ass out of here every time before. Why the problem now?"
The older-looking goddess sighs. "You do not possess much credibility on your own. Even less, after we took precautions. But most of all, you leaving now would be on your terms, not ours. That would rather change things."
I pass next to Orange, and stop. With my hands held behind me, I curl them slightly, holding the important one partially open.
A skeptical look crosses my face as I gaze at the two gods. "That doesn't make a damn bit of sense, but okay, whatever. You're going to kill us off, I'm assuming, for good. You're gods; you can probably pull that off, somehow."
The blonde woman nods cheerfully.
Behind me, I feel a hand creep gently into my own, and take one of the bean pods.
"Any reason you're not just killing us now and being done with it?"
War Mother grimaces, as if she'd just eaten something spoiled.
Her co-goddess pipes up with something more useful.
"Hey, come on. We're goddesses, not monsters. The hell kind of assholes do you take us for?"
"Be ready to eat one of the pods when I tell you to," whispers my citrus princess, very quietly.
"The kind of assholes that let their shrine maiden repeatedly torture a youkai in horrific ways," I say bluntly. "What the hell was the plan there, seriously? No, wait, better question: Why me? What did I do to deserve this? Is there something special about me?"
The two gods seem slightly uncomfortable at this line of questioning, and look at each other a few times.
"...While her methods are exceptionally forceful," War Mother admits, "the ideas she has are sound, and the principles are proven. As for why you, specifically, perhaps you should have asked her that before you assaulted her."
Somehow, she manages to sound indignant and angry about this last. Arrogance overwhelming, huh?
I can't help but feel a little put out.
"So, there's nothing special about me? I'm kind of upset, I have to admit."
I put my hands on my hips, slipping away the third pod into the bag at my side as I do so, keeping the second between my fingers.
The blonde one shrugs. "Hey, if it makes you feel better, you became special the moment we started all this."
"Because you were the one that got involved in it. You're special because you're in the position that you're in."
"And soon to be departed from the earth," War Mother declares, and it becomes apparent from her tone and the shift in her posture that she has had an assful of talk. "I apologize for what has befallen you, but unfortunately, some things are bigger than one's self. Are you ready to pass on?"
From behind me, urgently whispered, come instructions from my beloved. "Eat it now. The smaller one is much more dangerous. Take the one in red, and I will take the fool."
I snort. "Pfffft. Not even fucking close, lady."
With a laugh, I pop the bean pod into my mouth, and chew it.
...Nothing amazing happens.
I sincerely hope she knew what she was talking about.
The deep-hued woman narrows her eyes.
"Then die unprepared."
"Charge her, now!"
The smaller woman drops into a crouch, and places both palms flat on the stone path, while her companion holds her arms out, as if inviting one to embrace her.
Four dark hexagonal No, wait, they have eight sides... or do they? I can't tell pillars fade into very solid being around War Mother, while Child Mother pulls a pair of Chinese-looking blades from out of the ground itself, though they look clean and pristine.
I think I can get the jump on Miss Mirror, though.
>>114163 Oh, but don't you see? Killing them isn't the point.
The point is, their little girl has gone and racked herself up a rather immense amount of debt to our protagonist. A debt that, by virtue of her relatively frail and mortal body, is physically impossible for her to pay back in full. Why, even the most slow, painful, agonizingly drawn-out death would probably not even amount to but a fraction of what is owed.
How fortunate, then, that both of her mommies have admitted to being co-signers! Since daughter-dearest cannot pay back what she owes, her parents can be the ones to do it in her place.
A pound of flesh is much easier to collect from two bodies than just one. And there are a lot of pounds we have to collect...
>>114166 [x]Inertial Beating them up isn't going to help. Well, it'll probably make us feel better, but as demonstrated it's not going to stick unless you've got a weapon of great belief in your bag or something that hasn't been demonstrated yet.
Knock em down and scram, then call the Tengu to do a full sordid writeup.
The way to a god's heart is through their followers, and I feel like twisting a knife in god's hearts right now.
>>114156 Sorry. I meant 'sentient' being. But, really, come on you knew what I was referring to. We're in a fucking Touhou fanfiction imageboard. Did you really thought that I didn't know that Kogasa was a youkai or were you just nitpicking? No need to answer, I'm just curious.
>"...While her methods are exceptionally forceful," War Mother admits, "the ideas she has are sound, and the principles are proven This is what war goddesses actually believe. Her methods are byzantine, her ideas are worthless and the principles are all fucked up. Unless Sanae's objective is to increase Youkai's bloodlust, she's doing it wrong and those two are too much of a wuss to do anything about it.
No, like I said in my post, I did know what you meant, but it still made me facepalm a bit. I suppose I was just nitpicking, but stuff like that sticks out like a sore thumb whenever I see it. Sort of like that guy a couple posts below me with that whole 'your/you're' thing.
>>114172 I suspect there is a bet between Yukari and the gods about if Sanae's plans would work on a Youkai. The twist is that Yukari knew Kogasa was going to react like this sooner or later. And while her hands are tied, she's hoping for Kogasa finally snapping and showing what a youkai's true nature is.
>>114174 Perhaps, but I think that theory raises more questions than it answers. Why are the gods trying to kill us for real now, if it means they'll lose this bet? (Perhaps the possibility of word getting out is more important than the bet, but then why didn't they kill us while we were raiding their fridge?) What purpose do they have for making the bet? (It's not gaining faith, since youkai and humans seem to have integrated quite nicely in this Gensokyo.) What gives the new kids on the mountain the right to make such a bet in the first place? (This is almost certainly post-MoF, meaning Kanako has already lost to Reimu.) What does Yukari have to gain from such a bet? (All indications are that she's not a total asshole who would do that sort of thing to pass the time.)
>>114173 It's a pretty common type of linguistic error; he almost certainly started with "torture a person" or "torture someone", then decided to 'trade up' to "torture a human being" for emphasis without realizing that 'human being' is a more limited class than 'person'. A similar error happens all the time in real life when people replace "black" with "African-American" for formality and political correctness's sake without checking whether the referent is actually an American of African descent.
>>114176 Possibly Yukari wanting to put Kanako in her place after Kanako came bragging about how her priestess figured out a way via modern pyschology to cultivate full on peace. As opposed to dismissing it, Yukari went along as to see it blow up in their faces. Sure it seems rather inhuman to basically let them torture some poor Youkai, but Yukari is a Youkai after all. A rivalry between Kanako and Yukari wouldn't be that unusual, with the conflicting Shrines, Kanako's attempt at shaking that status quo, etc.
Do consider that even canonically, some Youkai live nicely with humans. But outside the gates, humans are on their own, and the need for humans to exterminate particularly unruly ones. Imagine the amount of faith the gods' get when their method ensures peaceful travel outside villages. The Moriya Shrine would be surpreme in all of Gensokyo. Kanako would be arrogant and greedy enough to try such a plan.
Yukari couldn't actively help Kogasa as a result, but there was nothing against letting a badly injured traveler rest up at her house for a few days. She might have arranged for other methods of assistance that wouldn't show signs of tipping Yukari's hand.
I think she saw Kogasa as a nice choice for the fact the backfire would be much worse for them. Turning an amusing peaceful Youkai into one with a killer instinct? That would be the ultimate failure.
As for the Gods wanting to kill Kogasa. On top of assaulting their shrine maiden, Kogasa is fighting back in true Youkai nature in addition to standing with someone. As a result, their scenario is quickly falling apart and they're desperate to salvage it. What better way than to remove the unruly subject, say it was too weak and find a new one? The reason why they don't take Orange's word is that to them, she's just another Youkai, not nobility.
What would Yukari have to gain from all this in the end? Maintaining the balance of Gensokyo, and putting an upstart spoiled goddess in her place.
>"If you make another movie reference, Suwako, I'm going to throw something at you. Where is your sense of godlike conduct?"
>"Left it in my other coat."
Despite the overwhelming sense of dread hanging over this scene, much of that conversation managed to make me smile. Fell, should you ever have the time and inclination after this story is finished, I would sincerely like to see you write more of those two. Especially Suwako, but I just happen to be biased.
>>114160 > I am still inclined to show enough mercy towards Sanae to not kill or permanently maim her. Would permanently damaging her anterograde memory count as permanent maiming? (that means she can remember what happened before the damage, but can't make any new long-term memories)
Capture her, rough her up a bit, knock her out, have Eirin perform a teensy tiny lobotomy, and BAM! Someone who you can surprise. Again. And again. And again. And again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again andagainandagainandagainandagainandagainandagainandagainandagainandagainandagain
The more I think about it, the more absurd the notion of a Youkai attack-free Gensokyo sounds. It'd throw Gensokyo badly out of balance.
I also think that Sanae if she has indeed abandoned common sense, I can see things going a certain way. Sanae innocently showing Kanako some psychology books ,with Kanako noting the parts where animals were tested on with shocks. I bring up the common sense matter because without common sense, Sanae is far more likely to follow Kanako's orders blindly.
The possibility is that they're not using human psychology on Youkai, but a twisted version of it. I can imagine Kanako thinking "If animals can refuse human food after being shocked enough, a Youkai won't harm humans after being tortured enough.
I do suspect Byakuren as Kogasa's guardian spirit, mainly due to how she asked Kogasa to give Sanae mercy. I can imagine her getting involved after Yukari asked her or after she noticed it herself. Her temple is the weakest in political power in Gensokyo, being the new girl on the block. This would forgo any real interference; that and the whole Sanae arranging the temple to be built. But I think She would disapprove of the whole thing, since it's basically pitting human vs youkai, both of which she knows. If Yukari didn't ask, she's allowing it since Byakuren is more against Kanako than her. She would be most against maiming or killing Sanae because that'd be going too far against someone who was only following orders in good faith from a Monsterous God.
But I don't think Mercy was originally part of Yukari's plan. The point wouldn't be driven home without Sanae getting killed or maimed as a result of this idea. This might have changed after Yukari met Kogasa personally. Yukari may be a mastermind cutthroat Youkai, but she isn't completely heartless.
Out of the two, Kanako's the far greater evil here. Kanako might only care for Sanae as a useful servant. She is ruthless enough to think like that, especially this version. Suwako? We do not know how deeply she's involved in this plan. For all we know, she's just taking Kanako and Sanae's word that they're doing the right thing. Do note how Kanako merely describes it as "forceful methods" not torture in front of her.
I think the Tengu are a sizable factor into things, since I doubt Kanako would want word of this getting out to them before having a successful subject. That could explain why Sanae sent off Kogasa the way she did, to prevent any investigation by the Tengu. The ripping out of Orange's toungue could be related to the point. This could easily explain how hasty she was the last time she removing Kogasa, fear of the Tengu seeing it. It easily goes without saying that the Tengu would recognize Orange as nobility. That leads me to suspect that if the two gods do recognize Orange, They plan on using her death to further their own goals assuming that Suwako's deeply involved like Kanako is.
Quite a twisted little game being played if this theory is true. I admit this is a crackpot theory, but a good number of things would make sense.
>>114226 The Tengu have lived in that mountain for thousands of years. Up until Yukari made whatever deal for her share of Gensokyo, Orange's family held most of the surrounding lands. So, unless the Tengu were completely ignorant of the dragons living next door for the last few millenia, I imagine they'd know who Orange is.
>>114230 It's a theory that I admit is rather crackpot-ish. And what other reason would Yukari NOT interfere with something if it wasn't some sort of bet/game? Until Fell reveals the full details, who to say what unknowns are right or wrong?
>>114229 here. >>114224 is someone else, and he already pointed out that most of his posts are suspicion and conjecture. Also, yes, he does need to rework some of those caps.
Although Tengu should still be capitalized depending on the context (i.e. Tengu nation/national vs tengu species)
As for my own post, well let's break it down. 1) >The Tengu have lived in that mountain for thousands of years. Canon. See PMiSS, MoF profiles, and SA: Reimu/Aya route dialogue.
2) >Up until Yukari made whatever deal for her share of Gensokyo, Orange's family held most of the surrounding lands. From last thread, Orange talking about her family's business with Yukari: >"...Property acquisition and land management. We helped her get set up."
3) >So, unless the Tengu were completely ignorant of the dragons living next door for the last few millenia, I imagine they'd know who Orange is. Conclusion drawn from 1+2. If we're still up in the air on the dragon theory then that changes the context somewhat, but given the location of the mountain, the Tengu would still have been closely involved in such land dealings that lead to Gensokyo's founding.
If I'm missing something here please let me know, but my original point, that >>114224 is correct that Orange should be recognizable to any tengu who's been around long enough, seems sound.
Update may be a day or two late while I whip up some combat planning.
Can somebody remind me how many updates (and how many posts) the fight with Kurumi took? I'd look it up myself, but I'm chilling in the advisor's office, making doodles of little stick figures fighting orchestrating complex and detailed martial choreography while I wait.
>>114237 Update 1: agreeing to fight, comparing powers. One post, 1668 words. Update 2: coin flipping, garlic powdering. One post, 1202 words. Update 3: compliments, alcohol shower, immolation. One post, 983 words. Update 4: getting chased, exploding cigars. Two posts, 1239 words. Update 5: getting stabbed, disarming. One post, 352 words. Update 6: capoeira kicks, marbles, feinting, throat shot, and the big finish. Four posts, 2535 words.
>>114236 You have a point, but the same argument could be made to say that Kogasa should be familiar with dragon nobility: she lives in Gensokyo, she's been alive for over 100 years, and she seems familiar with most of Gensokyo's other big names. The fact that she clearly lacks that familiarity leads me to believe that the tengu may be the same. To draw an analogy, even if a landlord sells the apartment building to somebody else and leaves town, the tenant's rent checks still go to the same address.
>Although Tengu should still be capitalized depending on the context (i.e. Tengu nation/national vs tengu species) I must respectfully disagree. Tengu isn't the name of a tribe or ethnicity, it's the name of a species, and even if there is a "tengu nation", I rather doubt it's called "Tengu".
>>114239 Kogasa is a nomadic youkai who, before the past six months, had little to no concern for Gensokyo's politics, or social on-goings in general. After all, she didn't recognize the Prismrivers, who are quite well-known in this story, nor was she even certain when she met Yukari, going more by rumors and presence rather than looks. I don't think it'd be a stretch for her not to realize she's sleeping with a celebrity.
That said, you make a valid point about how the average tengu might have been affected by such "land management", which is to say they wouldn't. Given your argument I'm now more inclined to think that Orange wouldn't be recognized other than by the tengu leadership, people likely to have been involved in the political scene at the time... Which now has me wondering, should all parties survive this encounter, will we soon find ourselves in the halls of the tengu. inb4 the first post-fight choice is basically "up or down?"
>even if there is a "tengu nation", I rather doubt it's called "Tengu". Good point, I think I just developed such a mindset after reading Lion's story in youkai. Though looking back now, he never capitalizes it either, just the voters.
>>114241 Yes, the name of a genus is always capitalized. Whether that applies here though, I can't really say.
>>114241 >>114242 >Whether that applies here though, I can't really say. I can: it doesn't.
You don't capitalize tiger, you don't capitalize ape, you don't capitalize bird, you don't capitalize human, and you don't capitalize kangaroo unless this is the 80s and it is an officer, neither of which are the case.
No, you do not capitalize tengu. If anything, italicize it.
>>114167 Much. And don't forget the difference; we like to have some attempt at having standards here.
>>114326 Mind you, that's heavily dependent on context. Capitalizing every instance of youkai, tengu, kappa, and similar words on this site would quickly become obnoxious for both author and reader alike. After all, if someone's found their way to this board, odds are they're already familiar with these terms, and if they're not, that's what the wiki is for.
>>114325 We've had many reports of this issue, and would like to let you know that the feature is working as intended. Some won't get this, some will laugh, others will rage.
File 126826309795.png - (530.25KB, 1050x1180 , Won`t you spin away with me.png) [iqdb]
>>114325 It will continue to not do much of anything until some time tomorrow, barring any crazy shit happening. I am roughly 2/3 done with the planning. The result will hopefully be what you hip, fast-talking kids these days call "a doozy."
In the mean time, go read Mirai Nikki, John Dies at the End (If you can find it online; I think he took it down because it's being rewritten or something), or start putting your heads together and figure out what the possible purpose, significance, implications, or ramifcations of Mary and Max (in Fallout in Gensokyo) being born on the dates of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes (equinoses? equinii?), respectively, are ( >>114094 ). I don't have a clue, and the censored passages relating to that are unsettling.
>>114238 Thank you ever so kindly. That was more than what I asked for, but I like that kind of above-and-beyond-ness. Good on ya. Have a Hina.
>Galstaff-- You have entered the door to the north
I see what you did there.
Kanako & Suwako talk a lot of confusing bullshit? That's your job.
[x] "I bet your mirror doesn't even talk!" [x] Inertial
Already their understanding of behavioral effects of inducing learned helplessness by shock-aversion are deeply flawed. There is always that 1% of the test population that will brave any amount of electrocution to get at the cheese. 1% that will attempt to scale the experiment walls no matter how high they be. The 1% that braves being visible to predators in the open field exam. 1% that flail about in the forced-swim test until their muscles fail them completely.
>(equinoses? equinii?) Equinoctes. (Or 'equinoxes', if you don't want to sound like an obnoxious know-it-all.)
>John Dies at the End Unfortunately, this is no longer available online, what with it having actually been picked up by a publisher, but I'd recommend shelling out $25 for the hardcover to anyone who likes this story.
Recently went from 0 to 60 11 in the last day or so(my daily drug of choice deux), curious... Story certainly runs the gamut, and I loved every moment. I think I'm going to hate myself for getting caught up before everything has been resolved, and I couldn't be happier. My hat is off; this is truly a fantastic yarn you're weaving.
Two things, though, that have got me puzzled: Isn't the protagonist not Kogasa? She's someone overwhelmingly Kogasa-like, but she's not, right? She hasn't been in any pictures, she said she didn't have a name to give, the topic is skirted every single time, and the note at the end of >>112454. I don't know who she is, but she probably isn't who everyone thinks she is, right?
Is dream lady Byakuren, because it seems like it to me. She's the only person empathetic enough with the wellbeing of youaki to shed tears over the plight of MC, would have enough beef with green girl's approach to youkai (they must be reformed or eradicated vs. youkai are just fine like they are) to pit her beliefs against those of the Moriya shrine (with Yukari as the mediator to determine whose approach is more appropriate), and would have the capacity to enter someone's dreams. I'd make note of them being adherents to two different (but admittedly 'complimentary') religions, but "MY GOD IS BETTER THAN YOURS" really hasn't played a big role... at least from what I've read.
>>114362 >Isn't the protagonist not Kogasa? She's someone overwhelmingly Kogasa-like So overwhelmingly Kogasa-like that it would almost certainly be a lame twist if we ended up not being Kogasa. (I can think of a few non-lame possibilities, but they are way, way out there, with no in-story evidence whatsoever.) My theory regarding our name is in >>112949.
>>114374 Yeah, sorry 'bout that. Now that Kira, Harker, and Fallout anon are back, Patchwork is my go-to writer when I need to reference a "person that regularly updated that isn't regularly updating anymore." 'Regularly' being a relative term, of course.
Damn, 1 post (2, now) and I'm already shitting up the thread. Commencing radio silence.
>>114381 Sorry about that again, it's just that story suffered a shitstorm over sex (Something Patchwork is known for, depending on person, either in a praising tone, a scornful one.)
You could always use Anonymaster (Flea writer) I would have said Glasnost, but even he's updated more in the time being.
I'll talk about Byakuren's temple's position to get back on topic. They were never out to compete with the shrines, just help people the best they could. It's said in some of UFO's ending, it's become quite popular with the village human due to its close location and the friendly people.
Interesting take on this whole thing, but there hasn't been any active figures from the Temple interacting. But I'm certain that she would not approve of Kanako's thinking at all. I think once the little 'game' is up, that Byakuren will most likely make an active move.
What's everyone else's take on Sakuya in this story, being perhaps the most hated person in Kogasa's mind?
It would help a lot, but for the most part, the writer explains mostly everything through the story. Still, google Fallout Wikia to fill in whatever doesn't quite make sense to you, or better yet, play the games, as they're quite fun.
>>114391 Ehhh...I know that nukes happened, and everyone's living in the subways, and you've gotta put on this suit thinger and go outside to...uh...do something. Oh, and there's the usual assortment of post-apocalypse nasties for you to kill and get killed by. Mutants and zombies and bandits and stuff.
You should be fine. The reason I'm so adamant about you playing the games/checking the wiki is because as someone who's played every Fallout game, I can't be sure about what might not make sense. Just read the story and look up what doesn't click.
File 126836021659.jpg - (600.50KB, 1200x725 , I curse you You curse me Yes Hina-mizawa.jpg) [iqdb]
Shit did indeed happen, and it's pretty much entirely my fault.
I might write, but even if I do, I don't think anything's getting posted today. I'm really sorry about this. Have another Hina.
On the upside, fight scene plannerizing is all done, so there is nothing left but to write (turns out specific strikes and counters and positioning often gives way to more general notes. I think it probably works out better when I do that, too).
Also I've got Kanako's battle music playing in my head from hearing it over and over, but at least it's not shitty pop music from the gym.
File 126837667692.jpg - (519.32KB, 800x518 , Gundam is for pussies; REAL women `create sky`.jpg) [iqdb]
I lied. Jack in the Box comes to the rescue once again.
I spring for the rope-y goddess, my feet riding on wings of lightning.
When exactly lightning got wings, and why one would ride on the wings themselves is beyond me.
I have more important things to worry about.
Once I've covered about two-thirds of the distance between us, I launch myself into the air, delivering a flying kick that hits here squarely in the—
Unless she is some sort of heavenly automaton, something is very wrong.
I look down and find my geta clinging, for but a gnat's-breath of a second, to the four pillars War Mother brought into existence a moment ago. They have arranged themselves side-by-side in front of her, leaving no space in between. The effect is rather like a very black raft, or perhaps a crude section of metallic palisade wall.
I guess those are iron or something.
Then the brief speck of time passes, and the pillar I am on is slammed forward, as if hammering a nail.
I don't feel very nail-y, but the ground and the damnably heavy iron pillar disagree with me, and I am crushed in between the two.
...But strangely, it doesn't feel bad. Hell, it barely broke anything.
I feel good.
No, scratch that. I feel fucking great. I feel amazing. I feel like trying to outrace a tengu, and that I could seriously win. I feel like I could have a mountain dropped on me and that I could laugh it off. I feel like punching an oni and telling her to fight me like she means it. I feel like telling Tall Red that sunflowers look godawful. I feel like I could argue against the Yama herself and come out on top.
I feel like I've just entered a stadium, and ten thousand fans of mine are screaming my name and cheering for me.
A huge grin works its way onto my lips, and I don't think I can get rid of it. I wouldn't want to, anyway.
I believe, in this moment, right here, and right now:
I can do this.
I can fight this huge-breasted surly bitch of a goddess and win. Fuck if I know how but goddamn, I can do this!
With a shout of joyous laughter, I throw my friend high into the air, and then roll to the left, holding the pillar that smashed me out and in front of me, providing the perfect cover to deflect the next pillar that comes sweeping down that way to crush me. The two iron posts smash together with a resounding clang that reverberates through my body.
Quickly rolling to the right, I repeat the process with another ringing crash of metal on metal, then spring to my feet.
I leap into the air, and bat away the fourth pillar like the ball-hitting club-wielders in the magazines at Silverman's store.
"Run home!" I shout exuberantly as the other black log goes flying off.
...I think that was the phrase by the picture of the guy.
I curl into a somersault, and come out of it with the pillar pointed straight downwards. The other end slams into the ground with a mighty thud, and I pause—
coil like a spring, minus the curling
—and then launch myself forward like some kind of physics-ignoring pole vaulting jerk.
This sends me flying towards War Mother, whose only sign of surprise is the strange, tingling rush I am beginning to associate with divine sources, and how she draws her head back, as if gently, coolly recoiling.
I don't think that works, but I am not in Caring Village right now.
Currently I am in Punching A Goddess City, and sending letters home to everyone. With pictures!
My fist connects with her chin, and her head rocks with the motion.
For a moment.
Then she whips back upright as if she'd merely been slapped, and glares furiously at me.
Like a snake made out of lightning— but no wings —her arm darts out and grabs me by the shoulder.
With a grip like a vise, she bends and turns at the hip, and pitches me straight at one of the many dozens of red pillars that line the path we're on with an amazing overhand toss.
I go sailing through the air, yet again, until I slam into one of the pillars. The breath is driven from my lungs, and I collapse to the ground, sitting at the base of the pillar, wheezing.
And for some reason, giggling.
It kinda hurts, but not in a far-away sense, or a detached sense. More of a "Yep, that hurts. Moving on, I have more important things to worry about" sense. Also maybe not as much.
Is this the power of those bean pods?
I guess I won't make fun of Tall Red's sunflowers, after all. I wonder where she found these things. I really hope they aren't horribly addictive, or only last five minutes and leave me unable to move, or drain a year of my life away Although, since I'm a youkai, that wouldn't be too huge a loss or turn me into a demon, or cause my brain to rot and fall off, or whatever else might possibly happen.
Any of those would seriously suck.
Well, I'll find out when I get there, and I hope I'm not screaming for my own death when I arrive!
That's the spirit~
I wheeze another giggle, and hop back to my feet to see War Mother striding this way, and four rapidly growing black blots in the sky.
Time to go!
Rolling to the side, I nimbly dodge the first iron column as it smashes into the ground, sending red-painted splinters of wood everywhere. I turn the roll into a backwards motion, and it becomes a series of backflips that would make any gymnast into a decent replacement for that bridge guard.
The next iron pole crashes into the path, sending shattered chips of cobblestone everywhere.
Another black post pounds the ground just behind me, and I can feel the tremors even when my hands touch the ground again on backflip number
The last of her small black pillars crashes to the earth right behind me, almost throwing me off, but I regain my posture a split second later.
I land on my feet, grinning madly, and then hold my hand out.
A beat later, my friend drops into it.
i'm back! did you miss me?
goodness yes; things were ever so dull at home without you, dear
well, i'm here to liven your day up once again
be still, my beating heart
I look around.
The goddess is not there.
Off a ways from where I am, my citrus princess is engaged in fierce combat with the shorter god.
I look back.
The black iron pillars are gone, too.
I feel a sudden sense of grave danger.
And yet I still feel just as alive and brimming with energy as I did before, so I can't help but smile.
I swear to god the pods aren't Senzu beans, or even based on them. Akira Toriyama is terrible. Except for Jessica from DQ8 and Deborah from DQ5. They are rather lovely, but they hardly make up for the entire Dragonball franchise.
It's actually a viewpoint-change option. There are two fights happening simultaneously, remember. Vitamin ! Is the protagonist (! For surprise), Vitamin C is Orange (no explanation needed), and Multivitamin has both at once, but takes a bit longer to write. There will be more view choices like this in updates to come. Don't worry about missing out on scenes; switching back will pick up where you left off.
File 126845806890.jpg - (172.71KB, 580x580 , I see a red goddess and I want to paint her black.jpg) [iqdb]
[∢] Vitamin !
Okay, she's gone. I look around, again.
I'm feeling very disconcerted about this whole missing-goddess thing. Can't kill my grin, though.
That is the sound of a quiet, confident smirk.
And it came from... behind me? Or something.
It would be most people's first reaction to throw themselves forward, or to the side, as they dove for safety. It's probably to do with instinct, or maybe that's just because it's how the human form works: More distance can be gained by leaping forward than falling back, and faster. Not to mention that it's far easier to see what you're leaping onto, and especially because you can put your arms out to cushion your fall, and protect your head.
I, however, deal in surprise, and am not human, no matter how human-y this particular form might be.
Leaping backwards in an unusual sort of twisting roll, I easily dodge each of the four iron pillars that slam into the ground on, ahead of, to the left of, and to the right of the spot I'd been a moment ago.
Each appears when it lands, amidst the dust thrown up by the force of impact, as though out of watery air. It's a lot like a heat haze, except only right around the pillars, and it's an early autumn pre-dawn morning.
Not due to the heat, then.
My eyes flick up to the sky, searching, before looking back around as I hop back to my feet.
The goddess is still nowhere in sight.
I turn back to the pillars in time to see the last one straightening up, and lifting into the sky. It fades from sight as it begins to rise, as though the air were somehow falling around it and onto it.
File 126845815414.jpg - (1.08MB, 900x900 , Not voiced by Hugo Weaving.jpg) [iqdb]
Well, now I know what's going on.
The question is how Not To Get Hit. I can't rely on odd gut feelings every single time, now, can I?
But the next "every single time" would probably become the last time very fast, so... no.
Not much time left.
It's the tiniest sound that I hear as a faint breeze blows through the expansive shrine grounds, and only for a second, between the sound of the wind, and the ringing of steel on steel as Orange does battle with Child Mother across the way from where i stand.
The flapping of fabric, rustling in the wind.
Somewhere to... the side of me.
Which side? The le— No, definitely the right.
I launch myself up, and curve like a rocket. she should be about... here!
I thrust my friend out in front of me, apologizing quickly to him as I do so. There's a grunt of surprise and another tingling rush, stronger this time.
"Found you~!" I announce cheerfully.
In one motion, I rip my knife out of its sheath and swing it in an arc directly in front of me.
I am rewarded with the feeling of momentary pressure against my slash, followed by a small spurt of red and a quiet gasp of pain.
The air falls off of the retreating form of War Mother, who still regards me with that glare of hers. Her right sleeve is sliced open, and flutters gently in the light wind. It reveals a long, neat gash running from the back of her hand to halfway to her elbow that drips blood.
"You know, you're really, really loud," I tell her, grinning. "Anybody with a working pair of ears could find you."
Her glare deepens in confusion, then shifts into a look of understanding. Finally, she crosses her arms and favors me with a bitter smile.
"Is that so," she says in her cool, deadly voice.
She begins to trace out a short series of kanji in the air which hang there, glowing ever so faintly for a moment before fading.
"But what good are ears if you cannot... hear?"
It occurs to me— rather late —that revealing my opponent's weak point to her might not have been the most brilliant of ideas.
Her eyebrows raise slightly along with her smirk as she begins to fade from view...
I begin to realize that everything is growing quieter.
Shouts and clashing weapons from below fades away.
Though I feel it blowing, the wind grows quiet.
shit," I say good-naturedly. I zoom away just in time to feel an odd ruffling of rushing air blow by my skirt.
I should probably be a lot more worried than I am, but I'm finding that I just can't get too worked up into a panic over this. I'm not letting myself slip, or being apathetic about that; I have a very vested interest in not being hit, and am working to stay in a state of not-being-hit.
It's just that I'm finding myself thinking more and panicking less.
Yes, thanking Tall Red is going to be right up at the top of my list of things to do once I'm out of this.
Once again, the sensation of something rushing by me. Closer, now.
I drop into an angled dive and begin to weave a quick trail among the tall red wooden columns standing along the path.
A metal pillar nails me in the right hip, sending me into a slight spin and smashing me against one of the quiet But what isn't? red sentinels, followed by another clipping my left leg.
It's very surreal, going through so much pain in mid-flight in a world of total silence and confusion and sudden horizon changes and sky ground sky ground sky lots of ground and then a lot of crashing.
And I still can't hear a thing, even as I moan in pain.
I crawl weakly to feet, wincing slightly.
At the speed those were going, I shouldn't be able to walk.
But, here I am... upright.
Okay, mostly upright. Stumbling, and still in need of support, granted.
But vaguely vertical all the same.
Pretty sure I should have some extremely broken bones, even as a youkai. Or at least, more broken than I feel.
Still in a world of pain, but not in a world of pieces.
Might just make Tall Red's place the first one I visit, if I don't have half the mountain on my tail.
Fat chance of that, but these things do wonders for optimism.
The deep-hued god isn't going to let me chill and get my breath back while my bruised, sorry ass leans on these big red bastards like oversized crutches.