The earth goddess looks over at her opponent, trying to figure out if the youkai was the one making that noise. It seemed strange, almost larger-than-life, in a way. Such a growl sounded like a movie sound effect, or like Kanako did when she'd had too much Thai food.
That single word is uttered in a furious, guttural, unearthly voice. All doubt vanishes from the goddess' mind as the youkai woman begins to exude fire.
'Exude' is the perfect word. The fire, a dark blue-white color, begins to leak from her skin, from her clothing, from places here and there on her body. A trail of color blossoms into life, and then moves away from where it started, as though it were some thick liquid somehow dripping up. It only stays liquid for but a handful of seconds before bursting into cobalt flame.
But it appears thickest in her hair.
Once a passionate crimson, her long locks have been covered by, or perhaps even transformed into a mass of the same liquid, flowing blue-white flame. It doesn't flutter dramatically, or float about the youkai's head with an evenly spread crowning halo sort of effect. Even the white ribbon is still intact, tied in a bow about a separated lock of blue flame on her left. The fire needs no showboating, and indeed, the woman seems unaware that it's even happening. All her attention is focused on the object of her rage standing before her.
Suwako snorts, putting forth an unimpressed front. "...This some kind of super saiyan bullshit?" she asks.
Even as she mocks the sight before her, she knows it's an incredibly stupid thing to say. The god has much more worrisome things on her plate to deal with, and little time to make light of them in. And despite cracking jokes, she can feel a very definite sense of power rolling off this woman in waves. Nothing good can come from it.
...Besides, "Don't get all hotheaded, now," would have been much more clever.
"The little godlet shall make her farewells to this world for a short time."
The voice speaks again, and it is definitely the woman speaking, with a reptilian sort of slowness and hiss to the words, superimposed over a human-like system of vocal capabilities such as most youkai possess. Her lips move in time with the words, and she notices, suddenly, that her eyes now feature slit pupils, like a cat.
And when she grins after saying this, her teeth are sharp, white, and gleaming.
The blonde girl isn't overly bothered, however. So the youkai finally shed some of her more human-like features, and speaks in a creepy voice like some kind of demonic crocodile. She herself, on the other hand, is a god. Whatever the Blue Blazer here has to throw at her, she can ta—
...Wait, where did she go?
Stars burst across her vision as something solid and heavy strikes her on the side of the head. She goes flying off to the left, towards the side of the shrine, her polearm flying from her grasp. She rolls to a stop, and climbs to her feet again, a little shakily. The enormous bruise forming there is disappearing even as it appears, but not fast enough. The pain still lingers, and the disorientation is going to be a bit longer in going away than normal.
Her hearing is well enough that she hears the quick, rapid steps approaching her, however. The earth goddess leapfrogs away into the air, just in time to hear and feel the swing of the staff as it misses her by a hairsbreadth.
Okay, so the youkai isn't all show and bluster. Fine, whatever. She's still got this whole thing under control, after all.
With a confident grin, the blonde god lands and immediately plunges her hand into the ground. A little more pressure, that's all she needs.
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This water is really cold.
That's about all that I can think of for the first five to ten seconds.
Reeeeally, really cold.
It's not bothersome or dangerous or uncomfortable, but it's awful distracting.
do you mind?
not at all
I slowly begin to heat up, and try to focus on the task at hand as I do so, namely: War Mother. This is probably her lake, too, so I shouldn't stick around here for very long. Plus I'll need to come up for air in a minute or two, at most. Gotta get cracking.
Okay. what am I doing? Besides drowning. Well, I haven't started drowning yet; I haven't tried breathing in. But when I do, it won't be good. I don't have gills. At least, I don't think I do. A quick patting-touching of my neck confirms that I have not grown them.
What happened to focus? Me, probably. I usually happen to me, when other people aren't. But not always.
This is not a thinking-friendly environment at all.
...Oooh, now I'm warming up. That's better. All right, now. War Mother.
Bitch needs to go down, but how? Party favors are the most obvious route, but getting close enough is going to be tricky.
...Unless I just mislead her completely. But won't she see through that? I'd do what I've been doing, but she's likely going to be able to cut my fun pretty quickly. She's not a fan of sitting through things that don't amuse her, probably. Most people aren't, but I'll bet she especially doesn't like it.
I'm wandondering again.
I think when you want to fuck with somebody out in the West, you hit them with a glove or a shield or something. Well, I've got nothing like that; I'd have to borrow one of White Opening's gloves. But then she might be the one who has to...
Yeah, I'm getting nowhere with this. I'm toasty warm but this water is screwing with my head. I might as well do what I've always done, and then go from there.
And the beauty of doing what I always do is that it's unexpected. And if it's expected, well... then I get the world to be creative for me.
I can't even make sense of what I'm thinking. But in a sudden flash of clarity, I realize: this is perfect: if I don't know what I'm going to do, then she won't have a single clue, either.
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It wasn't very bright to begin with, as the sun hasn't put in a direct appearance yet, this morning. I think it was pretty cloudy, too, so that doesn't help.
But it's pretty damn dark, even now. I guess I'm pretty far down.
Time to go say hi, then. Hello, how are you, fuck you, stop trying to kill me you giant bitch, and all that.
I grin, and then giggle. It comes out as a stream of bubbles and muffled sound.
Closing my eyes, I spend a healthy amount, and pray the investment yields a decent return.
For a second, nothing happens.
Then, my feet touch the bottom of the lake. It's kinda gooshy.
And the ground bursts beneath my feet.
The surging blast draws a burbled screech from me at first, then a bubbly laugh. I ride it, tumbled about and spun around, almost losing it a few times, but that wouldn't happen. My surprises can't break that easily.
Little brighter, now.
I think divers have their lungs or their heart explode if they surface this fast. I'm seeing spots, and bits of me feel sort of funny, but I'm not dead yet, and that's what counts.
I wonder if those bean pods will keep me from exploding. I get a few sudden, sharp pains here and there on the way up, but that's about it.
...Shortly before I burst above the surface, I notice a darker patch in the middle of the overall slightly lighter patch.
The stream of water from the unlikely geyser that finally decided to erupt at the moment most convenient for me finally blasts me through the surface of the lake, and damn near into the arms of War Mother. She seems to have been peering down below, seeing if I'd truly bit the dust or not. I am rewarded with a wonderful rush as she jerks in midair, backing away from me. Her eyes, wide as the sun at first, narrow quickly into slits.
She probably isn't too pleased to see my cheerful, sopping-wet mug.
She's definitely not pleased when I spew the mouthful of water I'd been holding into her face, and then cackle like a madman.
Wiping her face off, she stares at me with a mixed look of hate and wonder, which is a strange combination. When you're as pissed off as her, though, I guess you can manage it if you need to.
"You are the most unbelievably tenacious little shit it has ever been my misfortune to encounter." She laughs shortly, and looks down at the two of us above the far end of the lake. Water drips off in a constant stream from my sodden form. I warm up a little more to help dry off sooner. Then I decide to increase it to a much higher level: I'm going to be a damn icicle if I have to move about much in this air. There's a word for that, but I forget what.
"...And making a mockery of me in my native element, above my lake, at my shrine" she finishes, almost as an afterthought. I'm only listening with half an ear, as I've been busy yanking out shards of wood and glass stuck into me here and there. Her little wind storm probably blew those into me. Kinda hurts. A lot.
She shakes her head, and holds out her hands as a casting circle begins to form. "Just how stupid can you get?" she asks.
I snort in laughter, though it turns into a giggle. "Lady, you have no idea," I tell her, and yank out the final piece of glass.
The best of the OS-tans. Also bears a resemblance to Ingrid (from Street Fighter), who I strangely also like.
Would have posted Hina but I came across a 3.1 picture recently, and remembered I liked her.
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The earth goddess is deciding that she may in fact need a lot more pressure, preferably equivalent to a garbage compactor. Or five. She jerks her nagamaki back up in front of her, blocking threes strikes in quick succession. Things are not going well, at all.
The youkai woman bears down on her, silent and smiling; a silent blue-burning avatar of doom. It is not a smile that gloats, nor one that mocks, nor one of glee. It is a very quiet and simple smile.
It says: I know the future.
In it, I am victorious.
I am content to go through the motions necessary to arrive at that point.
The smile is damnably unsettling, to say the least.
The youkai spins in a circle and brings her staff down, down, across, and once from either side. The strikes come in a blur, and the blonde girl is barely able to fend them all off. The youkai draws back momentarily, and the goddess uses this chance to try and press the attack, stabbing forward twice, and slashing.
But her target isn't there.
A flicker of movement from her right is the only indication she has of her opponent's presence before a white-shoed foot lashes out and cracks the back of her hand fiercely. Her hand lets go of the weapon in reflex, even as she turns to face this new angle of attack, but the youkai has already knocked the weapon flying.
It's becoming an all-too-common occurrence, and she's growing more and more worried every time it happens. It feels wrong, for some reason. Aside from losing, that is. Something else isn't right, and the burning woman assaulting her is that thing. She has little time to ponder the issue too deeply, for the woman is renewing her attack.
Dropping into the ground, the goddess pops out a handful of seconds later behind the now-blue-haired woman, bearing a spear-like polearm with a curved, crescent blade fixed across the base of the bladed spearhead. Thrusting up in a fierce jab, she is rather upset to find her opponent not only already facing her, but already attacking.
With a short cry of dismay, Suwako throws herself to the ground, feeling the brass ball on the end of the staff blow past her by not quite an inch. She snatches up the jumonji-yari and rolls away from the woman, putting some distance between them. Distance and defense are all she can do at the moment, until the woman shows an opening in her attacks.
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War Mother gives nothing but a "hmph," in reply, and then hurls some kind of blue spear at me.
I twist away, arching my back, and just barely avoid being skewered by the blue spear or brushed by the curling white ribbon of danmaku circling around it.
Okay, I can play "Don't Get Hit" for a while. I need to bide my time. But if she's throwing this crap at me now, it's probably not as simple as spears and ribbons.
I dodge two more of the damn things before I see the trick to it: they're breaking apart. slowly, the things disintegrate, leaving behind a growing cloud of danmaku, none of which is sure to feel good and fine when it pokes me full of holes.
I swoop down and away, dodging another spear. Ha, speaking of holes...
Flying further down, I soar around the shrine in a wide circle, turning and ducking away from those bastard spears all the while. They're unpleasantly fast to form. But at least by keeping on the move, I can stay out of the clouds as they fall apart.
Zooming back to the front, I hide behind some bushes briefly, waiting for her to come by.
Okay, this is probably a bad place to be.
I burst out of my hiding spot just as three spears blast the bush apart. Yep, timed that one well.
Giggling to myself, I fly up towards her, easily weaving between the spears she hurls. She knows and I know that these aren't good for close range.
Instead, she ends the pattern, and calls her black pillars into existence. They spread apart and line themselves up at me.
Sheer contrariness in terms of what she expects me to do is probably why I proceed to do one of the more stupid, most exhilarating things I've ever done.
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The blonde goddess stumbles back, avoiding anything that would cause her to trip and fall.
This woman is a monster, she thinks.
Before, she had been fighting with cold, calm precision. She'd not said a word since earlier, and only worn that heartless, quiet smile. But when she'd heard the huge splash as Sanae's youkai had burst out of the lake, she'd only grown more terrifying.
Her smile was wide, jubilant, and happy, and she fought even harder than before. The earth goddess was no stranger to armed combat, but this woman was some kind of demon. Even with godly speed and strength at her disposal, the childlike god was feeling horribly, horribly outmatched.
She'd lost the jumonji-yari a minute or two ago, and her next weapon was a miao dao, a heavy saber. She was actually able to block slightly better with this, and it would have been a perfect offensive weapon, but there were no openings anymore.
All there was was the cold, impending sense of dread and doom.
The blue burning woman glided toward her again, seeming almost somehow slow. And yet, if she was so slow, why was she moving so impossibly fast?
The butt of the woman's staff gets jabbed into the goddess' chest, sending girl and weapon alike sprawling. She doesn't even try to pick it up; the three fractures on her left arm remind her of what happened when she did. But she has to move it to move her weapon, or she'll be a goner.
That seems like it's going to happen anyway.
Ripping a katana out of the ground, she brings it up into an immediate defensive stance.
But again, the woman isn't even in front of her. Shit!
The force of impact is like a truck smashing into her side, and the blonde girl bounces like a ball off the cobbles as she goes flying. Another bounce, then a painful thud as she slams into the side of the shrine, close to where the ghost still lies.
It's far, far too painful to move. Her side feels crushed, and it probably has been. Her vision blurs a little, and Suwako realizes, with an inappropriate sense of peacefulness, that this is going to be the end of the road for a while.
The girl looks up as the burning woman approaches, and smiles down at her. She goes to speak, but the goddess beats her to it.
"...Pepperoni... sweet corn... and pineapple," she says between ragged, wheezing breaths. A smirk creeps its way onto her lips, and she coughs up some blood, and clutches her side. "May ten thousand ghosts haunt you for the crimes you've committed against this shrine."
She shudders and leans back, closing her eyes. Her expression turns calm and content.
For a second or two.
One of her cracked, blackened eyes opens, and she sticks her tongue out. "Also, I hope you get raped by an elephant."
"I see~" says the burning blue woman with a cheerful smile. Lifting one foot, she brings it down with tremendous force onto the goddess' chest, caving it in with an ugly, horrific crunching sound.
Stepping away again, she watches for several moments before nodding in satisfaction. Then she turns to the crumpled heap of dark clothing, and walks over to it.
With each step, the curling, liquid blue-white flames twist away and disappear, silently extinguished. By the time she stands over the form of the poltergeist, her appearance has returned to normal. She sways slightly, but firmly steadies herself.
"You can look up, now," Orange says, in her usual, normal tone of voice.
The first pillar launches towards me, and I race towards it and its owner. The smile on my face is a mad, terrible, wonderful thing.
I may very likely die in the next several seconds, and I am having the best time of my life living them.
I bank up sharply as the pillar approaches, and then suddenly, stop flying.
Instead, I run up the pillar.
They are comparatively short things, and I am traveling in the exact opposite direction it is traveling, so it only makes decent traction for about two or three steps before I leap off the end, spending a little. My jump is curiously prolonged, and I land perfectly on the next pillar that rushes my way.
I dash up this one, too, and repeat the process.
Again, another perfect landing.
I look up at War Mother, and her expression is some cross of horror and surprise.
It is a lovely, beautiful look on her, and it sustains me, powers me as I surge ever closer.
My hand digs into the bag at my side.
I land on the last pillar, but she hasn't sent it away, yet. It would do no good; I'm too close. She tries to fling it to the side so that I am thrown off. Instead, I cling to it.
She shakes harder and harder, and begins swinging it wildly.
Back... and forth. Back... and forth.
I let go on the backswing, which sends me straight at her.
And to think, I haven't used my ability to fly in the last ten seconds.
This is living.
I land on top of her, and grab a heavy handful of her shirt with one hand, and begin punching her with the other. Once, on the jaw. Once, on the throat. Once, to the sternum.
She groans in pain, then growls with fury. Smashing her forehead into mine, I reel back, but don't let go. I throw a rather awkward punch at her, but my hand catches on her shirt collar, pulling it open. I fumble about, and then yank my hand back sharply.
But before I can deliver another fistful of fun, she yanks my arm away from her with such force that my shoulder is dislocated with a strange, sickening pop.
The sensation throws me for a loop at the same moment that she throws me bodily away from her, flinging me toward the ground below.
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I meet up with Orange again, and the two of us practically fly into one another's arms at finding each other safe. Many, many overdue kisses and rushed words of worry and comfort and excitement are passed between us.
When we finally sort out what's happening, she tells me about White Opening's injury, and suggests we go pick up what's left of her.
Surprisingly, when we get there, she's still alive. Or as alive as a ghost can be, which isn't, but in Gensokyo, things like that get tricky.
I can't say the same for the remains of the younger god, though. My citrus princess really did one hell of a number on her, it seems.
It's a little frightening.
But at the same time, it's darkly encouraging. That someone would fight so viciously for my sake is strangely ...pleasant.
It's also kind of messy, so I'm really not too hot on repeating the experience anytime soon.
We carry White Opening with us around the shrine, and down the pillar-lined pathway.
It's kind of quiet, and nobody seems to want to speak.
They're probably wondering how in hell they expect to live beyond the next five days.
...I know I am.
I always thought about this moment, and told myself I'd worry about it when it came.
Maybe I never really expected it to come. But... here I am, and here's me with no plan.
Procrastination really sucks.
We reach the edge of the path, and the stairs stretch out below us.
...So begins the first day of the rest of our lives.
We set off down the steps, not knowing what lies ahead except the future itself.
...But the future refused to change.
We encounter the same heavy, thick resistance as before, and I feel a sudden, horrible chill.
"...I'm pretty sure I killed her," I say aloud.
"If the earth goddess isn't incapacitated," Orange comments, in line with my train of thought, "then I'm going to be extremely upset."
We step back, and are silent for a moment longer, while White Opening looks back and forth between us, and the invisible barrier.
"The hell is this shit? Why can't we leave?" she finally asks, neatly summing up my thoughts.
"No idea," I reply. We turn around, and head back towards the shrine. I don't know why; there's not much else we can do. Check the bodies, maybe, but even gods can't regenerate such gruesome injuries so quickly.
"I thought that by killing the gods, we'd crack this thing open," I wonder aloud. "I mean, we also had to kill them because they were trying to kill us, but I sort of figured it'd be kind of simple. They go down, it goes down. They're the ones who put it up, aren't they?"
Orange nods slowly. "That's what the wind goddess said, certainly. I don't have any reason to disbelieve her, but..."
"Coulda not quite killed 'em hard enough," White Opening offers.
"It was hard enough," Orange and I reply, in unison.
"Well... shit, I dunno," says the ghost. "Maybe it fell back onto Greenbitch. ...Well, except you already iced her, so that's a no-go."
We stop, and stare at her.
"She isn't dead," I say, but my mind is already racing ahead, putting two and two and three and three together and it spells Dammit.
"Oh. Better go take care of that then, shouldn't ya?"
Sometimes I wonder if fate has it in for me.
I have wondered it before, and it has always been an unhappy, depressing thought.
I wondered it first when was only I and I realized how quickly people got used to being surprised.
I wondered it when me and we was only he and that eye was finally lost to the furnace.
I wondered it when I was not all of me and some of me sat alone, unloved, and forgotten.
I wondered it often while huddled in whatever hiding spot I'd scratched out for the night, praying that she wouldn't find me.
But never have I thought that sad, unhappy thought more clearly or painfully than I did when I first heard that noise in the next moment after White Opening spoke.
It was a glassy sound, as of a bottle being tapped against something.
And then, that voice. That perfect, beautiful voice echoes faintly from inside the shrine, filtering out through the open door.
It drags the word out, almost teasingly, playfully. Tauntingly.
I stop dead in my tracks.
I was wrong. It's not fate that has it in for me.
That was the wrong line of thought entirely.
"Come out and plaaaaaaay-aaaaaay~"
That kind of thinking gets you nowhere but moping and depressed.
I have time for neither.
No. Not fate, but instead just one, specific person.
>>But the future refused to change......
Let's see, no extra lives. Check. No bombs. Check. No garnades, bullets, guns, magic drugs beans, and/or healing surges. Check. Axe crazy batshit wind miko who will probley use our organs later to play "Eurption"? Oh so fucking check. We're so screwed.
>>115844 The number fluctuated at first, but yes, we had three last time we checked. I'm seriously concerned about the "aftereffects" mentioned in >>114813, though.
We also have quite a few bullets in the form of Kana's dropped ammo. I doubt our protagonist can operate a firearm, but using her furnace powers to ignite the powder in an unfired cartridge would not only plausible, but a nice surprise.
>>115848 That was in the outside world, where people were more easily impressed. The real problem is seeing her 'parents' dead would no doubt push her over the edge into straight outbatshit insane like Flandre territory. You've always gotta watch out for those crazy people.
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We come to a stop a short ways in front of the shrine. White Opening props herself up against a red pillar, leaning heavily on it. She doesn't look too good, but from what Orange was saying, she looked a hell of a lot worse, earlier.
My citrus princess and I wait, watching the entrance
I should probably be petrified, or weary, or tired, or furious, or bloodthirsty, but I can only really focus on one particular happy, pleasing little thought:
'Hey, looks like I get my reckoning after all!'
"Are you going to rush her, or is there something you want to say to her, first?" asks Orange, quietly. She stands next to me, as calm and composed as myself.
"Oh... I dunno," I say. "I guess... yeah, there's probably a few things."
"Do you think she'll answer them?"
I shrug. "We'll see."
"Come out and plaaaaay-yaaaaaaaaaaay~"
White Opening sniffs disdainfully and looks toward the shrine. "Doesn't she know that guy got his ass beat? Kind of a crappy idea for announcing yourself."
"Who got what now?" I ask.
"It's a quote, you know. From... Ah, forget it. Pray a bunch of black people show up."
I frown at her. "Black people... you mean people in black clothes?"
"No, black people. Blacks. Their skin is black. ...I really can't make it any simpler than that."
Orange and I look at her blankly.
She makes a sound of disgust and rolls her eyes. "Never mind."
The door to the shrine, already open from when Orange and I made our way out, is pushed open a little wider.
The green girl steps out, tapping her gohei against an empty wine bottle.
It's a common tradition in storytelling for the bad guy to snarl and tell the hero "Playtime is over!"
There is still much, much more to come over the next few days, but I sort of like this installment-style thing. Makes me feel all Palingeneisia-ish.
...He updated, by the way. He's posting updates in the autosaged thread #2, which is a stupid thing to do, but... yeah, there's people already telling him that. Go read.[spoiler]
[spoiler]Also, Fallout Writefag: What happened to the midnight update? And how about that theory thing?
>>115864 Those shouts doesn't really scream sanity, y'know.
Anyway, she should go ahead and kill her.
I mean, they already killed two of the three Moriya's gods. What will happen if she spares one? She can only be exiled-slash-killed once.
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Orange looks at her, then up at the overcast morning sky.
"There's a storm coming," she remarks softly; almost to herself.
I'm inclined to agree.
The green girl walks around the donation box, and lightly descends the steps, stopping when she reaches the pavement. We are gifted with a smile as she looks us over.
"Good morning, my little runaways."
Silence is the only reply she receives.
"I ain't been running from you."
"Why exactly a professional singer is accompanying my little runaways is something that I'm curious about, but I'll ask about that after I'm done with the more important part," she says, and turns to point at my citrus princess and I. "Specifically, disposing of you two."
"We're to be disposed of, now?" asks Orange.
The green girl nods sadly. "Unfortunately. Lady Kanako and Lady Suwako arrived at the decision that the pair of you need to be suppressed. My project isn't a complete failure, and we hardly expected to succeed the first time through."
She gives us a wink and a thumbs-up. "You should feel proud, though! You've helped to prove most of my theories correct. By doing so, you've helped not only me, but Gensokyo as a whole, as well as the future of its people."
"Golly, that's reassuring," I reply. "What the hell are you going to tell the people of Shinon? How about the other people in the band when their lead singer goes missing? For that matter, what makes you think we'll just let you kill all three of us?"
Her expression turns sad. "Shinon... yes. That's the part I regret most. The people will be told that Miss Orange died defending lost children from feral youkai in the mountains. A little lie, perhaps, but it's something they can be proud of her for doing. Miss Anaberal will need some extreme convincing; I don't think killing her will be necessary at all with the condition she's in."
White Opening looks very, very uneasy.
She turns to look at me, and her mouth sets in a firm line. "...You, I regret most of all. You will be my reminder to remain alert, to never underestimate, and to always think twice. I am sorry that things came down to this, but I wish you had cooperated with me."
"You're not sorry at all for this whole thing?" I ask. "This youkai-taming—"
"Civilizing," she cuts in.
"—youkai-taming 'project' of yours? No apologies to me for the fucking misery I've undergone at your hands?"
"In the end you would have been happier, and you would have thanked me. And when I had succeeded with you, everyone would have enjoyed the benefits."
"Call it a villain's speech, if it makes you feel better. If there were a method that I thought was more successful that didn't necessitate such treatment, do you really think I wouldn't take it? If I could just wave my hands—" she does so "—and make youkai coexist perfectly with humans, I would have done so, ages ago."
She sighs and looks at me. "...But you're not hearing any of this, are you? I mean, you can hear me, but I don't think you're actually really getting what I'm saying."
I give a bright little smile. "Here and there, but mostly I'm just thinking how nice it's going to be to rid the world of a fucking lunatic like you."
The green girl nods. "I figured about as much. Still, I thought I'd be gracious enough to ask you one last time to submit peacefully."
"Not a chance in hell," reply my citrus princess and I, simultaneously.
"Blow me, Greenie," chimes in White Opening.
The green girl sighs and nods, giving us a peaceful smile. "As expected of my runaways."
"...And poltergeist. Although..."
She looks at my companions, and frowns. "Mmm... no, I can't really have you two interfering."
After saying that, she twirls her gohei around in a circular motion, and I feel the wind blow around me... but not upon me.
There is a brief cry from them, and they fly backwards. My head whips around as I turn, and try to follow them, but they move far, far too fast.
Orange and White Opening are flung back to the edge of the shrine grounds, where the stairs begin... and disappear.
They don't go over the edge, or far away out of sight. They disappear.
It is as if the air itself suddenly ate them.
I stare in shock for a minute, then slowly turn back to face the green girl, murder in my eyes and in my mind (this time this time).
"Oh, settle down. I've sealed them both into the barrier Lady Kanako erected. I can't have you three running around all willy-nilly, now, can I? You've rather brutally defeated my gods that way, so I won't make the same mistake."
I could ask her to let them go, but she'd already made her position on that whole issue quite clear.
Instead, I ask, "So. What now?"
She cracks her neck a couple of times, and assumes some sort of stance, gohei held out like they did in that one movie, when they fought with swords. "Now?" The green girl says, seeming to brighten up. "Now we dispose of all the spellcard and danmaku nonsense. Youkai extermination at its finest."
"...Go on, say it."
No idea what she's talking about.
"No comments about 'I think you mean miko extermination'?"
"I'm kind of hoping to just fucking get on with it."
"What a respectable attitude. Very well then. Goodbye."
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I immediately duck out of the way of the bottle, which shatters behind me. Wait, no. That was far too easy and much too cheesy and I think this was a feint.
She leaps with tremendous agility over to me, slashing downward with the gohei. It was indeed.
I roll out of the way, but receive a gash down my shoulder and heeeyyy that's reallyreallyreally hot burning ow painful much-hurt. Very lot. They make paper out of swords now or something.
I bring my friend up to help defend against the next swing which may seem rude but he's there and he can
take the hit...
Then a thought says ring-a-ding-ding got a message for you and I say: Oh. Bad idea.
So I fall on my head instead and ow.
i could've blocked that
no, it's a divine weapon; my arm's not healing
didn't think that one through, did i?
no you did not
you should go; give me an eye in the sky or something
are you sure?
if you say so
I throw my friend into the air like a ball and then away he schleps with nary a steps and now it's down to me-nie and greenie wiiiith nothing in my hand.
"That was kind of silly. Don't you need that?" she casually asks, stabbing down at me. I scoot back out of the way and get to my feet again. Hello feet. Time to hustle.
I don't bother answering her. She wouldn't understand. And even if she would, I wouldn't deign to answer her. I've got to find something to use as a weapon. My knife is a short-range weapon, and she's got a bit of reach with that gohei.
Shoulder says ring-a-ding again and I see that it's not healing up like everything else has, today. Probably why mikos make magnificent monster murderers.
That or the bean pods have some kind of limit. Thinking And hoping hoping praying, ha that it's the former.
Two quick slashes, and the dance continues. Away I scoot, keep out keep away keep it off me don't get any on me. I almost trip over one of Earth Mother's discarded weapons as I shuffle away, and momentarily stumble.
...Well, why not? What's the worst that could happen? Aside from fierce, burning, agonizing pain as retribution for daring to pick up the weapon of a goddess?
...Okay, I'll take that chance.
I dive for it just as the green girl stabs at me. She misses, and I grab the god's blade.
It's one of those things with a blade like a sword, but a loooong handle. Not long like a spear, but still long. I'm probably holding it wrong, but whatever. I bring it up to block her swing, and the gohei clashes with its blade.
Somehow How how HOW her stick of doom doesn't break. It doesn't even seem to have been damaged, and this is irritating, to say the least.
Still, free weapon!
Though I really should find something I'm more accustomed to using... which isn't this. To be fair, there's very little in the way of normal weapons that resemble what I'm accustomed to using.
The green girl tuts, and hops back.
I take this precious moment to look around and see if there's anything else that would be like what I use. I see meteor hammer over there, a guan dao there, and a miao dao right nearby.
Dammit dammit dammit.
This generally isn't a problem. I usually get by with my friend or his image. Never really needed to worry about fighting against gods. Some people talk with gods, some people pray to gods, some people write about gods. Fighting gods isn't at the top of anyone's list, I'll bet.
But it's at the top of mine, now, and I guess I need to make do with what... wait.
Why make do got to do got to do with it anyway when I can make new?
Another moment goes by, and I look at the weapons here and there in a whole new light.
Yes, there's probably enough here to work with.
I laugh joyfully, and assume a fighting stance. The green girl tenses up, ready to defend.
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I've got a good few seconds' lead on the green girl while she stands there, confused. I assume she's confused, anyway. No sense in looking back; I've got to keep my eyes on the prize. Prizes.
This is the craziest plan I've come up with in a long time but it's just stupid enough to work. God forbid I ever have an intelligent plan; I'd screw that up like a twisty thing that's very screwy.
The miao dao is no good. Or is it? Little time, little time tiiiiny time.
No, no good.
But I could use it anyway.
Fine, I'll grab it first. Won't lose much by doing it.
Ahhhh, there we go. I snicker like a child. It's always a pleasure when the last cow comes home.
But it's waaaaaayayayaay too late now~
are you ready for this
you think you can do this up right?
i hope so
it will be a thing of beauty
looking forward to it
The blade of the weapon in my hand begins to turn red.
I hear her footsteps now, but they sound odd. Too few, and the closeness of the sound is increasing faster than usual. She's zippity dippity doo-dah-ing, and that means I should duck now and -whish- goes the gohei above my head, paper streamers fluttering behind the paper strip wedged in at the top.
Paper cuts have never been something I've been afraid of, before. This situation is rapidly changing that. Nobody should live in fear of paper. I wonder if there are any paper-manipulating youkai.
At some point I seem to have snatched up the miao dao. I hold both weapons together, as their blades brighten and glow a rich yellow-y orange. The blade from the sword seems to be dripping onto the...
What was this other one called? Not a naginata. That's longer than this. Nagasaki? Nakadashi? Nekogoroshi? Fuck it, I'll remember later.
The metal from the sword is glowing brightly as it drips and flows onto the long-thing-weapon's blade like streams slowly joining up. I probably wouldn't want to take a dip in such a stream, though.
I whip around, and lash out at the green girl, swinging the blazing hot lump of fused weaponry at her. She wisely leans back out of range, but I don't let up. Another swing, and another. She's not blocking with her gohei, either. It's probably still flammable, then.
Too bad this magic mystery metal-melting can't be kept up forever.
After driving her several paces away Shoo, shoo I haul ass and move straight for the discarded meteor hammer. She tries to follow, but right about then, the handle of the miao dao pops off, and I fling it at her. Probably didn't buy me any time, but it's the spirit of the th— nagamaki! That was it!
Knew I was close.
I madly dash towards the fallen weapon, and I can see cle(eeee)arly now that picking up that mass of metal and chain is not going to be a one-second-grab sort of thing.
The green girl is already chasing after me again, and it's only a matter of time before she starts slinging some serious badness around.
I look at the long, thin shaft of glowing, mosty-toasty metal. It's thick, hot, and should be flowing off the wooden shaft like mud As well as setting it aflame but I've got magic people Voodoo people working their wonders on my behalf.
And I grin.
Today is a day full of genius.
Oh yeah, I can manage this in a second or two.
Bounding towards the weapon, I don't bother stretching a hand out for it.
Instead, I dip the shaft of glowing metal directly into the mass of chain lying there. The links press into the soft, thick metal, and cling to it.
I twirl the mass of metal around in a circle, winding up more and more of the chain at a rapid clip. The green girl draws up short for a moment, trying to figure out what I'm doing.
...It's not a very long moment, though, as she rushes in anyway. Luckily, the situation lends itself well to defending against this sort of thing, too.
I snap the remaining chain at her like a whip, and the heavy metal weight at the end jerks into the air. She throws herself to the side, narrowly dodging the solid metal lump, and giving me the precious time I need to coil up the rest of the weapon into the swelling lump of melting metal-on-a-stick.
won't rushing it hurt the quality?
if it was from anything but these, yes
how much longer?
it's almost done
As the green girl picks herself up, her eyes find me, stop, and widen.
In my hands, forming itself about the handle of the nagamaki, is a conical shape, quickly growing in size and detail. It begins to take on a ridged, corrugated sort of style, and a sharpened bladelike point emerges at the tip, jutting out to about the length of my hand.
i have no words; that is beautiful
this is absolutely perfect
and thank you
Within five seconds, the steel replica of my friend is complete. The green girl's expression is unreadable, but it's not very hard to guess she's not happy about this.
I look up at the overcast pre-dawn sky, and hold out a hand. ...Nothing. I'm pretty sure I felt that, th—
I rest my wonderful steel lance against one shoulder, and give the green girl a charming smile.
"Looks like I got this ready in time," I tell her. "We might be in for some rain."
So yeah, going back to school is (unsurprisingly) eating up lots of spare time. I do write on the way there and the way back, though, so it's not like this is stopped. Far from it; it's just taking it easy.
Just letting you people know, because I know I hate it when authors don't keep in touch or explain their delays.
And then I forgot to sage, which I also hate doing.
Agreed. That and the watch boards feature is almost worthless since it isn't cross board. Is there some way to get an RSS feed of the watched boards? Then again, that would probably be worthless to me too, since I only wanna get notified when the author makes a post.
Sometimes I think the image board format is very ill suited to this whole cyoa thing.
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We make for each other at the same time, and our weapons clash in the middle. My lance is heavier, though, and I am able to shove her back slightly. This gives me the room I need to make a series of quick, stabbing thrusts with the sharp bladed tip.
She dodges the first two, and barely scoots out of the way of the third before managing to mount a counteroffensive. I easily block both slashes, and swing heavily downward at her.
She's pressed back even further again, and once more I am granted an opening. She's frowning a little more each time, and it feels good to make her be on the defensive. It's not a position I enjoy, and I imagine she doesn't like it, either.
Unfortunately, she dislikes it enough to begin calling down those nasty little white flaming orbs from before, in the bamboo forest. This time, though, I sort of doubt they're purely to incapacitate and capture. As the first few hit the pavement, my doubts are confirmed by the smoking holes they leave behind.
how functional is this?
should be the same as the real thing
Hunkering down, I pop open the lance. The folded, scrunched-up cone snaps open into a wide, circle-y shield.
aha, this is perfect
did you expect any less?
Crouched down behind my makeshift barrier, I slowly move forward toward where she was. I haven't heard her move, yet, though that doesn't mean she couldn't be flying. Flying in the middle of this helly haily storm would be stupid, though. Even for her.
As the balls of energy whiz zoom whoosh past and thump thud wham on my shield, I continue to advance. The moment that they stop, I peek around the edge of the mobile metal wall.
The green girl is hastily drawing a small circle of some sort on the pavement with chalk. Pointing a finger up in the air, tilted a little, she fires off three yellow-y white sort of star-shaped blobs. They fly out and up, at a high angle.
Immediately after the third one is launched, she steps inside the chalk-sketched shape, bites her finger, and slaps it to the circle.
I'm a little confused, but those little star things are descending now, and that certainly can't be a good thing.
Quickly moving to the side of where they're going to land, I scoot out of harm's way. In the second before they land, I notice that the air about the green girl, in the shape of the circle, seems ...funny. Strange, somehow.
And she's grinning.
Something, I don't know what, prompts me to snap my shield closed, returning it to the short, lance-like state. This seems one of the more moronic courses of action, but if she is smiling, I am probably in danger.
The first star lands with an explosive bang. The bang is explosive but the explosion isn't there, and the sound is like the mountain itself grew hands and boxed my ears and then the other two stars land and all I get is bang bang bang. I can't hear a single noise; all I get is ring ring ring. I can't stand still for shit; all I get is trip trip trip. I think my eardrums broke again; all I get is bleed bleed bleed.
The ringing, the loss of balance, the everything.
I can say I should have seen it coming but I didn't see this coming despite seeing it come down down down to the ground.
Fucking fuck, and a goddamn double-half.
My vision is fine, but... but I can't stand up straight. Every step is shaky, fumbling, and awkward. My limbs work fine, but all my moving-ness seems gone and broken.
Out of the corner of my eye or possibly even both eyes, I see the green girl rub out part of the circle with her shoe and then dash at me.
I have indeed been fucked, but good.
She covers the ground between us in no time at all, and brings her gohei down in a brutal chopping motion as she lunges.
Going down without a fight is not on my agenda, even if it's a horribly outmatched fight following my walking blindly into a trap I could not did not see and saw it clearly. Knowing clearly is the difference and that is what I did not have. Knowledge is power, after all.
I bring up my weapon, but the weight— normally something I barely notice —throws me off horribly. Or maybe I walk step stumble harder worserer morer and I swing wide, twisting away almost comically.
Right out of the path of her strike. The not being dead tells me I did something right, and the short rush tells me I did something good.
She swings to the side, going after me. I sluggishly lift my weapon to block it, but overcompensate for the weight, and smack her weapon away. Too heavy. But it's not. Another short rush, and I wonder if I am onto something. If so, I wish I knew what.
Dropping the lance-holding hand back down brings the thing crashing to her feet. Only her feet, unfortunately, and not her head, because she steps back out of the way. She glares fiercely at me, gauging me.
She said I reminded her not to underestimate. I hope I didn't teach her not to overestimate, either, because right now that's what I could use a lot of.
I grin at her, swaying like a willow in a typhoon.
The willow bends; it does not break.
She says something, but I can't hear it. La la la la (la-lalala lalala lalala la lalalalalaaaaaaaa) I can't heeeeear yoooou. Never been truer.
And suddenly she is in my face. I am aware of there having been some kind of bit where she was moving towards me but it happened very fast. Maybeprobably. Could have been.
I bring up a hand to block the arm swinging the gohei at me, and end up catching her hand between my fingers. She tries to pull away for a second, then opts for punching me in the face instead.
And awaaaay I go, landing on my ass. Ow. Hmm. Probably a little exposed here; that's no good. Yes; she's making right for me. definitely no good.
I roll to the side, and flop over flat on my front. This is most certainly not how I or anyone at all rolls. I look over my shoulder, and lash out with a foot, kicking her right in the bloodied shin with my geta.
She's the one to stumble around this time, and I take a certain amount of smug satisfaction in this.
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My hearing is slowly returning, and with it, my balance. The clack-clank of weapons blocking each other starts out faint at first, but becomes more and more audible, along with my own breathing, the sound of footsteps, the sound of her breathing, and the sounds of the world around us.
My footing becomes more sure, my movements more intentional. I'm a little sad to see my unexpected edge go, but I like having the ability to hear. I've been blind and dumb before; I don't need to go deaf, too.
The green girl notices this, too, and she grows a little more relaxed, more confident. Her happiness is not something I wish for.
One of my thrusts is extended too far, and she leans back away from it. Then, with a vicious slap stronger than any human should be able to make, she knocks the lance out of my hands. It bounces away, clanking as it rolls away over the cobbled stone pathway.
She doesn't laugh dramatically at my disarming, but merely smiles a little wider, and hacks at me with her holy twig-and-scrap-paper-of-doom.
Silly bitch. Don't you know who I am?
I'm the person you tried this on a few minutes ago!
I catch her hand in mine, much quicker than before.
What now, huh?
...Ah, she's still smiling. Hmm.
Oh, wait. She's the one who came out on top last time with this little maneuver, wasn't she?
The fist connecting with my jaw says yes, yes she was.
Guess I'm still a little out of it from before.
I drag her back with me a few steps as I totter backwards, but it doesn't seem to affect her assault very much at all. Another heavy punch comes my way, and I turn a little, catching it in the shoulder. Better than the face, but when it hits that hard, nothing feels good.
Fist number three sails my way, but I've had it with that shit. My other hand snaps up, and catches her fist in my palm.
Now it's my turn to smile, and I do so.
Hauling on her arms, I throw her bodily over in an arc to the side, and slam her to the ground. She lets out an undignified "hurgh!" as she lands, and I Immediately jump on her, knees first into her stomach.
It's my turn to begin pummeling her, now. I drive an elbow into her throat, then slug her once across the jaw.
And as payback As if a moment of anger and fury could ever account for half a year of hell and terror let alone several minutes bumbling around like a drunk for earlier, I box her ears.
Ahhhh, now she looks angry.
Good. She smiles too much.
Then pain explodes across the back of my head, and she throws me off of her. I get up, only to be kicked in the stomach and slammed against one of the red pillars.
My eyes cross for a moment, regain proper focus in time to see her driving her weapon right at my head. With a yelp, I duck out of the way just as she stabs it into What the fuck; it actually pierced the wood the red column behind me.
I twist about, and kick up at her just as she yanks it out. Twirling about in place on the ground, I lash out and strike at her with my long legs Although not as long or as nice as those of my citrus princess. One of them connects, and sends her reeling. I flip over forward, and stand up.
I take a brief second to look around for my lance, and find it by the next pillar over. I run for it, only to have the ground in front of me ripped away suddenly as a deep furrow appears on the surface of the path.
A glance greenwards shows me that the miko is swinging her gohei in short, sharp cutting motions, sending out ripples of air racing my direction. Unsurprisingly, she'd rather I not re-arm myself.
I leap up, and cling to the pillar dodging the first of the incoming razor wind-waves. A reflexive twitch of my wrist lengthens my fingernails by a bit and hardens them to something approaching the strength of iron, allowing me to dig my fingers into the wood. It's really less a physical thing than a youkai thing. Most of us have it, even the new ones. Probably the only ones that don't are humans that came into youkaihood on a technicality.
Good thing I'm a proper youkai, then.
They bite into the wood, splintering the timber as I begin to ascend. And climb rapidly I must, for the cutting winds the shrine maiden throws at me are following closely behind.
I scramble up the pole, and pause on the top for a fraction of a second.
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I spring into action, leaping over to the next pillar just before the next wave of slicing wind shears off part of the top of the one I was on. Way too close, but I'm not Youkai: A Compleat Worke in Two Partes so there is still cause for happiness. Therefore I shall continue to express it.
My smile is probably irritating her, too.
I hope so~
I hop to the next, and then the next. This quickly becomes like a game, with her trying to hit me, and me staying juuuust out of range. Not by much, though.
Hippity skippity hop.
And when she finally decides to shoot ahead of where I'm leaping, just as I'm about to land, I kick off the post itself, and re-adjust my angle, aiming directly for her.
"DEATH FROM ABOVE!" I scream at her. My claws are extended, and my smile is a crazed, terrible, vicious thing.
It's more for me than her. There's a small rush despite her guarded expression, which means it's probably due more to the change in direction than the war cry. Unappreciative bitch. I'll fix her but good.
She sidesteps my attack, and I curl up into a ball, hit the ground, roll once, and spring back upright. She's already slashing at me; no wind crap this time, just nasty painful holy paper.
I crouch low to avoid the first swing, and snatch her hand. Digging my claws into her wrist, I draw blood and squeeze it painfully. She screams in pain, dropping her gohei, but then lands a decent blow on my chin that knocks me back into a pillar. The second I'm off her, she reaches down for her weapon.
I lunge and catch her in a tackle. The green girl and I roll for a ways, trading shouts, punches, and other various assorted bits of violence until we bump to a stop against the porch at the front of the shrine. With a thrust of heel of her palm
she slams my head against the thick wooden steps.
I counter with a raking of her chest, rending her flesh with my claws. She grits her teeth and bites off a scream as she punches me in the nose, then grabs my head in her hands, and drives her thumbs into my eyes.
The pain is excruciating, and my vision starts growing dark, not the least of which is from the aforementioned digits being jammed into my eye sockets.
I manage to tilt my head slightly to the side in her grip, and then bite down on the meaty base of the thumb, where it joins up with the rest of the hand. My sharp, pointed teeth sink into her flesh and clamp down, drawing a shriek from her lips.
The teeth-sharpening comes with the claws. It's part of the same "switch." Human turns off, youkai turns on.
To her credit, she doesn't let go. It's very hard to see at all, now. All I can hear is the strained, whimper of pain from her lips, our fierce breathing, the sound of her heart beating, and the sound of my own, all making up the background sound of two girls trying their damndest to kill one another.
Was this really what youkai extermination was like before spellcards? I have a hard time believing that.
I reach up, and grab her by the throat, squeezing hard. And yet, she still doesn't let go.
This is dedication at its best.
"Get... fucking... off of me!" I scream, and yank her away, throwing her to the side. There's a grunt of pain from her as she bonks her own head against the solid wood steps.
My vision slowly clears as I get to my feet. I want to rub my eyes, but that would probably hurt right now. Blinking carefully, I look over and see her trying to rise as well, coughing and rubbing her throat.
No rest for the wicked.
...Be ready to never sleep again, green girl. Spend a little time on your own side of the fence, why don't you?
I walk over to her and grab the front of her shirt; one hand seizing her collar and the other bunching up a fistful of fabric at the bottom. Lifting her up, I drop into a crouch and pivot in a half-circle to get a bit of momentum before throwing her forward, into the shrine.
The green girl flies true, crashing into the donation box. The wooden container for the monetary thanks of the faithful is smashed apart by the flying miko, whose ungainly landing reduces it to splinters. The impact sends it and her skidding back on the porch, slamming into the front door and breaking it down before coming to a stop.
I'm still for a moment, catching my breath with a big damn grin on my lips. That felt great.
My gaze flickers over to the wreckage in the doorway. Wood shards are scattered everywhere, and the broken box rests up against the smashed paper door, coins still spilling out now and then. The green girl lies on top of the box's cover, made up of wooden slats for the coins to be dropped through. Half of the wooden slats are broken along with the frame, lying at a weird angle or missing all together. That's the half she's on. The other half is still partially intact, so that her body is half-sunk into the thing.
There's probably some kind of joke to be made about using people as donations, or offering one's body to the gods, but I can't be bothered to give a damn. She groans and tries to lift herself up, meaning she's still alive. On the other hand, she's down for the moment, and that means I've got time to go grab my lance. Throwing her into a crate and through the door isn't going to put her out of the fight.
I spot my weapon, and run over to it, snatching it up as I go and not even bothering to stop or slow down for it. I curve around in a tight circle and hustle back, hoping to get back before she—
She's already crawling up and out of the box, wincing a little.
It would be nice if she stayed fucking down for a change, but I don't think that's going to happen so easily.
She makes a beckoning gesture towards me, but it doesn't seem like a particularly taunting or unkind sort of thing. More like she's—
I don't even bother asking my friend, I just do it. He's the one watching over me, anyway.
Dropping to the ground, I feel a brief but strong gust of wind blow by, and hear something make a fwiiifff sound overhead. I look up to see her gohei tumbling through the air at right about head height.
...Yeah, that could've easily killed me.
But, I reason, it didn't. Thanks to my friend's timely intervention, I live to kill another day. Or another minute, at this rate. If I can get her down and still for a moment. And hopefully inflict some sort of exceptionally grievous mortal wound on her, which seems unlikely. And then figure out how not to get killed in the next few days by the other one, who will probably not take too kindly to the notion that it's okay to go murdering shrine maidens.
...But hey, good times, right?
The green girl pushes herself upright. Her gohei sails over to her, and makes a little spin before it reaches her, allowing it to be caught handle-first as she holds out a hand for it. She checks herself over for any serious wounds, and finding none, turns her attention back to me.
I've been making a mad dash for her the second I saw the gohei go by. I'd scrambled to my feet and followed the damn stick, not being very eager to face her armed once more. Maybe I should have put the knife in her instead.
...Nah, she probably would have blasted me with a faceful of coinage; maybe even accelerated it. Pretty sure that would not have been a fun experience.
At least I'm properly armed again.
And now I arrive at the steps. I prepare to take a leaping bound and jump them all in one go so as to bring me face to face with her on the same terrain, but with a swing of the gohei, she indicates she has other plans.
These plans involve a sudden, heavy blast of wind that knocks me off my ass and sends me sprawling to the cobbles. It's not a particularly deadly attack, although it makes my butt hurt for a few moments from the unexpected impact. I quickly rise once more, flicking my tousled hair out of my eyes.
Her eyes are closed, and she's chanting quickly and quietly. The blowdown was just a stopgap measure, then.
A prayer of some sort, or a spell incantation? Either way, if I don't break it, I'm not goiong to be happy with the result.
But before I've taken more than a couple steps, her chant/prayer/babble finishes in a sudden burst. Her eyes snap open, and she spits the last two syllables at me, almost as if they were an insult.
They might be. Shouting obscenities is called "cursing" for a reason.
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what just happened?
some kind of yellow dome just got dropped on you
hell if i know
Sound still comes through the yellowness. Is it some kind of barrier..."No, it can't be. Everything around me looks yellow-ier. There's no line of yellow or not yellow. Today's reading is a suffusion of yellow. If I move forward, yellow. If I move around, yellow.
So it moves with me, and it doesn't restrict my movement. Then it's going to be something she's doing to me, then.
I do not like this at all.
I race up the stairs at her, and feel my ears pop. Odd, I wasn't moving that high up. Or wait, isn't it only supposed to happen when you go downhill? Weird.
The green girl is still doing that praying and chanting, even now. ...Wasn't she doing that before? I think she was.
Pretty sure she was.
Her eyes are open now, though, have been the whole time. But not before the yellow. Only after the yellow. Yellow yellow of... yellow.
Nobody called you and I don't care how calm you are.
Not a bit.
The shrine maiden sees me approaching and kicks off, floating away. I frown.
She can't do that. She was, like. Right, right here. And that's where she was. She should be here, because here is where she was.
Am I moving slow?
I. I am I
No, hold on.
Am I moving slow? I wave my hand. Wow. Kind of slow.
The yellow makes my hand and all of me look funny. My claws are this odd greenish tint.
Didn't I have something to do?
Green girl, right. Yellow is bad. It's going to do something to me. I should make her... make her... make her... make her...
That thing. That, that thing.
Stop. Make it stop.
I should make... her stop... the yellow thing.
Theeere we go. Right.
Well, what yellow? Everything's kind of... pale.
Dull pale and grey grey gray greaye greix.
No, this, is, it's kind of bad.
I look over at what's-her-face. She's still doing that praying and chanting, now. Wasn't she doing that before? I think she was.
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Fucking ow god oh god fucking ow ow god shit bleeding crying burning screaming hurting crashing pain all over and thud-thud-thud-thud thud goes the blood and I can't hear I can't see My everything is numb and I am cold all over and I'm on my side
I'm on the ground
Everything hurts and my head is spinning and I can see a little, now, and more and a tiny bit more
Someone is talking someones are talking I can hear but I can't hear
I can hear thud-thud-thud-thud-thud of the blood blood in my all of body-me and all over
I hurt everywhere
I don't want to move.
I can hear screaming.
It's not me.
I look up, and see the green girl gritting her teeth, eyes closed, tears streaming down her face as she hauls on my knife, which is embedded in her shoulder up to the hilt. Red streams pour down her fair skin.
I can see color again.
Fucking fuck, what did she do to me?
I slowly uncurl, and try to stand u— Yeeeah, not happening yet.
I slump back down on the ground, and try to prop myself up on one arm. Even braced against the ground, it trembles weakly from the sheer effort.
I'm trembling all over, and I ache everywhere. Little occasional flashes of light and floating dots swim across my vision.
I lay there for a few moments more. If she came up to me and was going to kill me, I don't think I could do anything to stop her.
...What am I saying? I'd do something. I'd do about anything.
I roll off of my side, and back onto my front. Come on, time to get up. Get up. Get up. GET UP.
Pushing myself off the ground with tremendous force of will, it feels like I am holding five whales on my back. Big whales, too. Maybe sharks. Whales and sharks.
Finally, I manage to prop my upper body upright, and am working on lifting my legs. I can move a little more, now. Those bean pods must be working fucking overtime for me. I hate to think what this would be like without them.
Just as I'm about braced on one knee and feeling good about it, I hear a horrific, raw-throated scream pierce the morning air. It comes out of nowhere and startles the hell out of me, and I drop back to a kneeling posture, banging my knee on the pavement. Swearing ensues.
Looking up, I see that the green girl has just yanked the knife free of the wooden support pillar that holds up the overhang above the porch. Freed up, she lets out a slower But no less loud drawn-out scream as she pulls the knife out of her shoulder. Blood flows freely now, and she tosses the knife aside. Yanking off one of those ridiculous detached sleeves, she barely bites back yet another scream, and tears it apart, wrapping it around her shoulder to make a makeshift bandage.
Despite the screaming, that is a ridiculously high tolerance for pain, given that she had to use the stabbed shoulder a lot in order to put that on. It's almost admirable, except for the bit where it's HER. So fuck that.
Casting a rage-filled glare at me, she picks up her gohei again, and sketches out a star shape in the air. Gently glowing lines appear in the air, and follow the tip of the miko's weapon and tool. The paper streamers sway gently in the air as she draws out another one about an arm's length away from the other. She begins to make more and more, filling the entryway with them, and slowly walking back into the hall of the shrine, disappearing from sight.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to get standing again. It's a long, arduous process. It only takes about another minute or two, but it feels long.
I retract my claws, and they turn back into normal fingernails again. My teeth sort of... change. There is no sudden point of changing back to a more human-seeming set of ivory whites, and it's not like they slowly, but gradually shift.
There is a constant sense of maybe and maybe-not-ness, and then the sensation sort of casually informs my mouth that of course there is a normal set of teeth there. Of course they're not pointy.
It is a very unphysical very physical weird thing.
I try taking a few steps, and seem to do all right. I stretch, bounce up and down a little, and feel great. A little sore, but not the immobile lump I was a bit ago.
Ready to roll, then.
I walk up the front steps of the shrine, nearly bumping my head on the enormous goddamn twisty rope, which seems to be hanging dangerously low. I'm not worried about it as much as I am the little white streamers hanging from it. Probably wouldn't be a good idea to touch those.
I walk over and pick up my bloody knife, examining it.
I have a momentary urge to lick the blood off, purely for show. But there's nobody to show, and I am honestly not too enamored with the taste of blood, even hers. Even the Silver Tick-Tock Dog's lungs; I'll wash them off first before eating them.
I do sniff it, though.
Smells like normal blood.
I don't see what Little Dark likes about it, really.
With a shrug, I wipe the blade off onto the enormous rope thing. That doesn't work too well, but a piece of shredded cloth amidst the wreckage of the donation box helps to clean it satisfactorily.
I slip the blade into its sheath, and turn to face the doorway and the hall beyond.
No longer dark, the entryway and the lobby are lit by dozens of glowing, floating star shapes suspended in mid-air. It is a reasonable assumption that these, too, are dangerous.
I cast a look behind me, at where I last saw my beloved and our ghostly ally.
I hated writing the first third of this update, but suddenly got into it for the last third or two. You may notice this reflected in my writing. I'm sorry.
>>116038 >>116045 It's funny, I've always argued the exact same damned thing. Why DID I sage them? ...Fuck it, you get noko'd status updates from now on. Half of them have been, anyway. Might as well be consistent, even though this is sort of late in the game to do so.
But yeah, don't bother with any watch boards feature. Just fucking go there, and look. Check all the boards, even the ones you think you hate. There's good stuff on almost all of them, just waiting to be read.
>>116055 The gods of rhyming and plays probably have a bounty on my head, now, if not eternal torment planned for me.
>>116095 In the yellow bit, or the stars bit at the end?
In either case I don't it's a depressurisation: in the first it was some sort of mindfuckery, and the last that's just a helluva lot of danmaku.
Are there going to be any choices from here on out, Fell, or is it the linear track to the end? I don't mind either way, (heck, I'm so worried about a wrong choice now that I'd put a no-choice option as better) but if you tell us I'd at least stop hitting F5 so much.
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Looking over the entrance to the shrine, it seems almost welcoming. The stars float in the air, filling the dark hall with a warm, gentle glow, not unlike a room filled with candles. They color in the darkness with their comforting illumination.
They're also likely to hurt me in fairly short order the moment I do something wrong.
But every second spent gazing on them or analyzing them is another second that the green girl gets further away from me, another second that she has to prepare, another second she has to heal from her injuries. Time is of the essence.
Waving the tip of my umbrella at the sea of lights, I poke the space in between some of them. They drift a little closer to where I'd gestured. ...So, some kind of moving-watching thing. Is that all, though?
I certainly wouldn't make all of them like that. Let's take a look at what she's done here.
Strolling back over to the remains of the donation box, I pick up a thick piece of wood used to make up the frame of the box's cover in one hand. My weapon gets shifted to the crook of my arm, and I pick up a small handful of coinage with the other, little copper and silvery coins falling clink-clink-thunk as a few spill over the side of my palm.
I'm not a thief; I'm a scientist, I am. And a master tacticologist as well, though this title is currently in dispute.
Footsteps clock-clack lightly on the wooden porch as I walk back to the doorway.
I first begin to prepare the coins, then take a step or two back Juuuust in case before lobbing the wood block through the door frame.
The response is swift and immediate: stars converge on the wood block as it passes by them, but ease off and slow down as leaves them behind.
It lands on the floor inside with a light clatta-clatter. Far lighter than it should be. Peering in, I see why.
The block has been riddled with little holes and small, smooth, rounded grooves litter its surface.
They will most definitely hurt in fairly short order.
But thanks to the noble sacrifice of the wood block for the greater glory And everlasting preservation of me, I've got a better understanding of how these work. With this next test, I'll hopefully have an even better idea still.
The coins in my hand are glowing a pleasant cherry-red. That's probably sufficient preparing...ing. Preparage? Preperactistization? Something.
I pluck two out, and flick them through the passage ahead.
Many, many more stars follow those, though not for quite as long.
I grin. Quantity over quality will serve me well, here. Take that, conventional wisdom!
Taking the lance into my other Poorer, cooler hand, I heft the other and give the room ahead of me a brief once over, considering the best route to take.
Going along the side should do it.
It works for typhoons and cyclones, too. Blue Fairy taught me that.
With a little whoop of excitement, I hurl the handful of heated money through the doorway, and plunge in behind it a second later.
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The flurry of glowing coinage scatters through the air, drawing with it a majority of the stars denying me entry. Following it a step behind, I leap over a pair of low-lying stars that had been slumming around the floor just inside the door, and land
on the floor.
There is no time at all to waste, and even less to hesitate. Hesitaste makes waste, which would be doubly bad. It would be doing something I can't afford to do two times in a row. That's an entire pair of things.
And that's terrible.
Springing away, I shy away from a cluster on the left that had been moving towards me. No hole-poking, thanks. I already gave today. Or yesterday. Or did I? I'm sure I did.
...Whatever the case, I've given enough to last these glowing five-pointed sons of bitches for a long damned time. They can fuck right off.
Throwing myself up against a wall to avoid a pair coming towards me, I roll against it, and bounce away again. This takes me to the middle of the hall.
I can see a big clear area coming up where the coins landed, drawing away a huge number of the sentry stars and stranding them. But beyond that is a thicker, undisturbed field of stars that I'll be walking right into.
I'm not quite there yet, though.
Slipping quickly between a pair,
I take two steps,
duck under a few at head height,
skirt around a large star already moving my way,
and roll under a couple more,
hopping into the clear area.
I get clear of the ones behind me, and look ahead again. I see... almost a path. If I had my friend, I'd have him hide me and take me through since he's much smaller, but I can't risk bringing him into combat. Not while the green girl's still got her gohei.
Although... what if I could just pop open my weapon and plow through them? It's divine steel, so it should work... right?
That assumes that the star sentries are also created by divine power. Some of the things the green girl has done don't seem to be divine so much as simply magical, though. And on top of that, this weapon is newly created and has no special anything about it that would make it resistant to magic. As far as I know, the only reason her gohei and the falling orbs bounced off it is because there's nothing better than a rock wall to hide behind when somebody is throwing rocks at you.
It makes sense in my head.
Most of all I don't want to lose this weapon or fill it full of holes. That'd just suck.
Far up ahead, I hear the chillybox shut. It's followed a second later by the sound of glass breaking. No bang, so it's not something dropping. A window, then?
...And of course, time. Fucking time.
Here goes nothing. Or possibly everything.
I break into a sprint, dashing towards the mass of stars ahead, geta clicking on the wooden floor. The glowing wall draws nearer and nearer, and around about the halfway point, I remember that I don't have anything like a plan for this.
Nothing for it but to improvise, then. Quickly, for preference.
I reach into the bag at my side, and yank out the shaker marked "Salt." Throwing it ahead of me, it draws away just enough of the stars to allow me to do the very stupid thing I am about to do.
Four-fifths of the way there, I take the long handle of the lance in both hands, holding it near the end like an oar.
I drive the point down into the the floor, and heave myself up into the air like a pole vaulter. The maneuver works beautifully, and I soar up into the air over and through the mass of stars.
...However, it's oh-so oh-no clear that I'm not going to make it. The arc I'm on will drop me back to the floor in a matter of seconds, and I'll still be short of the end of this beautifully glowing gauntlet.
This is why, unlike a normal pole vaulter, I took my stick with me.
Just before I pass the high point of the arc, I twist about and jam the sharp point into the ceiling as I come up to meet it. It digs in, biting sharp enough into it to do what I need it to do, and not enough to make it stick.
I kick my feet forward, turning the upward momentum of the arc into forward momentum, giving myself much more comfortable landing prospects. Swinging as though on on a dramatically employed rope I'm not here to rescue so much as inflict harm I shoot forward, the lance popping out of the ceiling at the end of the swing.
With a cackle of joy, I swoop over the rest of the stars. Some of them begin moving to intercept, but I'm past them way too fast.
CLACKkkk k kk kkk kkk
I land neatly on the floor, though still in motion. My geta slide and scrape against the lacquered wood floor, and I feel zero shame about the restoration work that'll have to be done to smooth out the marks I make. If they want to complain, they can bite my shiny youkai ass.
...Well, it's not very shiny, admittedly. Perfect, yes. Shiny, not so much.
Sometimes Flygirl gets like that, though.
...And I suppose if I wore pantyhose that was sleek and reflective enough, my ass would be shiny.
Or when I get out of the shower, before drying off; it's shiny then.
I suppose as long as I don't go flashing it to people (Unless they are my citrus princess), it should stay un-bit.
At least I have a plan, and that's what counts. Right?
Coming to a stop, I look around. No green girl in sight. The sound of the chillybox shutting means she's likely in the kitchen.
Let's go have us a look-see then, shall we?
I pad down the hallway to the kitchen, leaving the glowing field of stars behind.
Well, inasmuch as anyone can pad while wearing geta. More like I walk slowly on the heels, and shuffle carefully. Not much better, but better than walking through, whistling without a care.
I reach the edge of the hall, where it branches off to the room I'm looking for...
There's the soft, quiet sound of a tiny piece of glass being ground underfoot from beyond. Not close by, strangely.
But somewhere beyond here.
[ ] Barefoot, pregnant, &
[ ] If you can't stand the heat
The glass sound isn't necessarily coming from the kitchen, and she even says as much.
Sanae could have broken something and gone into the living room just as easily. Unless you are thwarting raptors hunting you in your grandfather's park, then a kitchen is generally a poor choice of places to trap someone.
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[⌆] Barefoot, pregnant, &
Freezing absolutely still, I wait and listen, holding my breath. Not that hard to do, sort of. Still hurts a little from earlier, but not enough to where it bothers me or seems to be getting worse.
Glass falling is one thing. Glass can fall off of things that aren't flat, or shards can fall out of the pane of a broken window. This happens. This is normal.
Glass being crunched means there is somebody or something She's really more thing than body to step on it and put weight on it and grind it down. She has had much practice doing that to me; it should be easy, no?
I am better than glass.
I wait, and I listen.
...No, that's not true.
A breath, coming from somewhere nearby but not close.
Very, very, very soft. I almost don't hear it, and probably wouldn't have heard it normally. I can't even pinpoint a direction; just... "nearby."
Fat lot of good that did.
Stepping forward, I turn the corner and enter the kitchen.
Same as we left it, if a little bit more illuminated from the muted grey morning's not-light oozing its way inside the room.
However, it's a bit more chilly than before. Unless things are being cooked, kitchens tend to be cold places in the morning, anyway. This one is colder still for the brisk morning air seeping in through a shattered window.
Creeping around the room, I don't see anything out of place, aside from the discarded dishes lying in the sink. That was from Orange and I, though. Everything else is as we left it, a normal family kitchen. Things scattered here and there in neat piles, most everything put away otherwise except for a few books and the occasional ladle or pot.
It's this kind of light, gentle untidiness that makes a kitchen feel warm and welcoming. Or at least to those who live there.
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For the first time, I notice that the chillybox has foreign letter-things scattered over it; clinging somehow to the surface. On the larger lower door, there's a picture, yellowed ever so slightly and covered in glass with a frame surrounding it. It's a child's drawing, using some kind of rough, colorful drawing medium.
The picture is of a crudely drawn trio: a tall, dark-haired woman standing next to a shorter, light-haired woman, and a child between them. They're standing in front of what is probably supposed to be the shrine, holding hands, and a big heart is drawn around them. The caption below reads "I LOVE YOU KANA-MAMA AND SUWA-MAMA!!!!"
A few seconds pass as I gaze at the picture.
I suppose every childhood dream has to come crashing down in flames at some point.
Some people dream about being famous, and they are doomed to failure. You cannot reap the rewards without working for it.
Some people dream about being rich, and they are doomed to poverty. Constantly chasing a dream of money makes you short-sighted, desperate, and stupid.
Some people dream of being powerful and respected. Power they may find, but respect must be earned, and power corrupts.
Some people dream of very little, and lead a simple life. Their life will be calm, peaceful, and devoid of substance or value.
Eventually, most just do their job, live their lives, and hope that the day will go well. They hope to contribute something of value to the world around them in one way or another. This, I can respect.
And it is this dream of the green girl's that I aim to bring down in a terrible, horrific wreck today, burning and smoking as it shatters apart.
I take one last, long look at the picture.
...I feel no guilt about being the one bearing the flames. When your dream involves making other people suffer against their will, you have forfeited your right to pursue any dream ever again.
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Walking as quietly as I can over the polished wooden floor, I keep looking around. Nothing seems disturbed or even partially in disarray.
Except of course, for small scattering of glass shards beneath the broken window.
I stop again, and look at it. There's not much of it in here. The rest must be outside, meaning it was broken from the inside.
...Kinda could have guessed as much, though.
Nevertheless, I make a quick but careful circuit of the kitchen, peering around, nudging chairs, stabbing through cabinet doors with the point of my lance and then disappointedly pulling away an unbloodied tip. Nothing at all, then.
She's around somewhere, though.
A terrible thought hits me.
...I'd been assuming that the broken window was just a diversion, some fake clue to draw my attention away.
But what if it wasn't? What if she really did jump out the window and escape? I'd have been wasting the last minute or three entirely, then, and that would suck a big one. She could have waited until I started walking around, and then slunk away to lick her wounds.
A fantastically big one.
Striding over to the window frame, I step over the glass. A few errant fragments scratch the floor or skitter away as they come underfoot. Leaning down, I peer out the window, arms grasping the frame carefully in places so as not to slice my hand open.
Beyond the sill outside extends a broad window ledge. Just outside the window are a small brick path and a garden beyond that goes for a little ways before meeting the shrine grounds. Beneath the window and on the ledge outside are many more pieces of broken glass. My eyes scour the area, looking for footprints, somewhere, anywhere.
None are to be found in the garden, nor is there any dirt trailed or tracked out onto the small pathway.
She's not here, then.
I've lost her.
I wait there for a moment.
Something is wrong.
The breathing is gone. But not that missing kind of gone, no.
It is the "I'm-not-here-and-you-can't-hear-me" kind of gone. The sound of breathing is gone but there's the occasional not-a-noise kind of noise that belies human presence.
Specifically, a human who has hidden herself away very well.
It occurs to me, in that same instant, that the glass fragments caught under my geta only scratched against the wood floor, and skittered away.
They did not get crushed underfoot, or ground to dust, as something might if it were against a hard and unyielding surface My eyes flick below and already I hear her moving because I know and she knows and I know that she knows and she knows that I know and heaven knows and earth knows such as brick.
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"Almost" is a very critical word.
It has the power to divide reality between "happened" and "didn't happen." But not in broad strokes. People know broad strokes; they know history.
But everyone is fascinated by what-could-have-happened, what-nearly-happened, what-came-so-close-to-happening. It's the same fascination one has when one narrowly escapes death.
And then there are chumps like me who get stuck in the world of it-definitely-happened-and-it-sucks.
I think I've been in that world for a while, now.
The green girl emerges from under the window ledge, where she must have been pressed up against the outside wall, bent over, not moving a muscle, only barely breathing. Already turned to face me, she swings her gohei upwards in a fierce, hard slash.
I idly think, as I draw back Far far far too slow that I want to be angry at myself for falling into a trap, but I think I would have been screwed even if I hadn't looked. At least this way she's coming at me from the front, just as I became aware of her, rather than her sneaking back in while I poked around in the living room and catching me unawares.
It's small comfort, however, once the gohei bites into my flesh.
The painful sensation, a curious combination of slicing, burning, and raw pain, starts in the middle of my right cheek, where the corner of the consecrated paper first contacts my flesh. It digs in, skin and muscle parting lightly under the sheer power of the sacred tool.
It then digs a thin furrow across my cheek, angling upwards. The paper cuts a little deeper, now, and scores my cheekbone ever so slightly. This is the deepest it will go for a while, as it then proceeds to pass through the small valley between the top of my cheek and the bridge of my nose.
Agonizing pain returns, along with a sensation like the smell in your nose when you inhale a tiny bit of water. Only instead of that smell, it is like smelling air itself. It is a very strange feeling, but one that passes quickly as pain moves in to replace it, and the edge of the paper moves on.
From there, it cuts a healthy gash across the bridge of my nose as it hits the top of the arc of its swing.
Next, it passes through a short bit of space before tearing across my left eyebrow and narrowly missing my eye. It is here that it cuts into the bone once again, ever so slightly.
As before, this also hurts.
Finally, the strip of paper grazes my forehead, taking a short jaunt across it before coming away as it moves along the rest of its path, leaving behind it a searing line of intense pain.
I scream in pain and reel back, clutching at the long, bleeding wound. No longer pulling away form her as much as I am stumbling, I barely stay upright in the sudden haze of pain and confusion.
Words cannot describe how terrible it feels.
And that was a mere near-miss, too.
I don't think I want to be on the receiving end of anything like a solid direct strike.
And because things are, by this point, going so amazingly fun and well at this point, the wall explodes inward.
You can take the internal musings of the second post or you can leave them. They're probably not story canon; I was tired when I wrote it and failing at DEEP, I think. The picture is real and on the fridge, though. The lack of guilt is also real.
On an entirely unrelated note, I forgot how fucking awesome Segata Sanshiro was. Rest assured, my forgetfulness has been brutally dispelled. I found an mp3 of his theme song which I keep listening to with the volume all the way up. Good stuff.
>>116095 Thank god, somebody got it. Only now noticed this.
>>116167 I actually couldn't finish reading SDMLA due to HURFDURF UBERBITCH SAKUYA, so I can sympathize.
In all honesty, I'd actually prefer bringing in an original character if you need someone outright evil. The only ones that would fit that role are Yuuka and Medicine; even then Yuuka is pretty chill if you don't mess with her flowers and Medicine would probably outgrow the whole genocide thing if she had a friend.
I dunno. Turning one or two touhoes into monstrous villains and leaving the rest of the setting nearly unchanged just feels weird to me.
Sage for faggotry.
[HURF] Heat In Beat
[X] Heat in Beat
Going with this just because I like the song better.
>>116167 Oddly enough, I find this story that much more enjoyable precisely because I'm fond of Sanae.
>>116169 >>I actually couldn't finish reading SDMLA due to HURFDURF UBERBITCH SAKUYA
I would suggest that if that is all you were getting out of SDMLA's Sakuya, or this Sanae, then you're not trying nearly hard enough to understand them or why they do what they do.
Neither of them are evil, let alone outright so. They're not driven purely by malice nor do they hurt others simply because they can and/or they enjoy it. They're simply acting for what they believe is the "greater good", with their respective protagonists just happening to have the misfortune of being on the side of the fence that doesn't stand to reap the benefits.
"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" only really sounds noble when you're not one of "the few", after all. It mostly just means you're going to get fucked over. Hard.
Still, while she is overlooking a few key things (such as the fact that even centuries-old beings with ridiculous regenerative abilities tend to resent being repeatedly kidnapped and tortured, and might develop something of a grudge as a result), when viewed from a certain perspective Sanae's methods don't really seem all that unreasonable.
Compared to the hundreds or even thousands of years a youkai can live, what's a few months of unspeakable agony? It's a blink of an eye in comparison, and certainly doesn't stop them from then going on to finding some sort of happiness for themselves.
Hell, Sanae already has a certain someone who's basically proven that very point by virtue of that someone's relationship with another certain someone.
If there was a way to ensure the peace and happiness of every single person in your town for decades or even centuries to come, and all you had to do to secure it was to put a couple people through several minutes of pain and suffering, but with absolutely no permanent physical injuries inflicted upon them whatsoever, would you consider yourself evil for making that trade? Would the people who stand to benefit from such a trade?
While it is possible that Sanae is not so far gone that she's unsalvageable, trying to defend her actions with the knowledge that we have now ( in italics for a reason ) is pretty ridiculous, at best.
Some things to keep in mind:
Gensokyo was sealed as a preservation for youkai, something akin to the Indian reservations in America. They were more or less forced to go there to escape the progress of science and continue existing. It simply doesn't matter what she is trying to accomplish, since she doesn't even really have the right to decide how things should go in the first place.
There's also no reason for her to be trying to make humans and youkai get along better, or remove their youkai instincts, or whatever (which is what I assume she's attempting), since they already get along rather well in the first place. Youkai guard the fucking human village. They trade in the damn town. They put on rock concerts. People simply don't get eaten often in Gensokyo, and when they do it is probably their own damn fault. And by all accounts, the youkai are pretty damn happy with how Gensokyo currently is.
Frankly, their opinions are the only ones that even matter in the first place, since it is their land. Humans rule the rule the rest of the world afterall, so why take away the last little bit the youkai have left?
And lets not even touch on the fact that even if she was successful, she wouldn't be torturing a single youkai like Kogasa, or even a small group of youkai... but would eventually have to do it to pretty much every youkai, considering that Kogasa is one of the more mellow and friendly of them and even she was deemed too troublesome as she was. Also, considering the youkai VASTLY outnumber the humans, it would actually be a case of "the needs of the few outweighing the needs of the many". And the "needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" has always been a cop-out reason for doing anything. Its just a sad excuse for not being able to find a compromise.
Forcing your point of view through incredibly violent and painful means against a group of people that aren't even harming you in the first place in what is basically a reservation they were forced to in the FIRST place?
And now attempting to murder two of those people just so you wont have to explain your actions that even your fellow humans would be APPALLED by your actions?
What part of this is supposed to be a noble endeavor again? Isn't this pretty much the textbook example of what an evil dictator does?
tl;dr: None of her reasons are justified. She just didn't like how things were done in a land she just recently moved to and decided to change it by any means necessary. Bitch is a villain and deserves a villain's end if she doesn't wise the fuck up. Too bad she's already had her chance.
There is a caveat to all this, however. If Fell is going to pull the plot twist I am suspecting he might pull, her actions are still pretty damned evil, but might actually be addressing a legitimate problem, and explains why Yukari has not interfered.
Sorry for the long, rambling post. It is late, and I have class in 4 and a half hours. I'm sure you can relate.
>>116174 Reading it after such a long time is not the same as waiting daily for updates while discussing it with the people in the threads.
But while i agree on you that many things were just annoying it had Remilia route and Flandre. Those were enough to make it good again.
>>116184 116174 here, I was actually more annoyed by his "lol fanfiction/alice" Patchouli and "quivering moe-blob" Flandre than Sakuya.
HY is a great writer, but apparently disliking the way he depicted those characters makes me a HUGE FAGGOT WHO CAN'T UNDERSTAND TRUE ART, or something.
>>116171 I'm not saying what she's doing is right, mind you. I was merely arguing against the notion that she is, as the poster I was responding to phrased it, "outright evil". She's not. She's not doing what she's doing purely for shits and giggles or for personal gain, she seems to genuinely believe that should her project work as it was meant to, that everyone would stand to benefit from it, even the ones she had to torture as a result of it.
Which would be better for a person whose whole shtick is to go around scaring others? For her to continue doing so, inspiring fear in people who would likely in turn develop feelings of resentment and animosity towards her, feelings that they might eventually act on?
Or, for her to learn to stop surprising and scaring people, and instead learn to coexist peacefully with them, without antagonizing them or causing them to want to harm her in return?
I don't think Sanae intends to do what she's doing with the heroine to practically every single youkai in Gensokyo, just the ones that are prone to doing things that are genuinely harmful to others. The Rumias and Medicines of Gensokyo, essentially. While her current test subject is certainly nowhere as dangerous as those two particular examples, the fact of the matter is that she is still prone to doing something that is undesirable and potentially harmful to others.
If you're attempting a new way of training dogs, which would you consider the more logical one to try your new methods out on first? The little one whose only real problem is that it barks way too much? Or the bigger one with the long history of violently mauling people?
You would naturally test things out on the one that is far less dangerous before moving on to the bigger one, of course.
And, really, what she's trying to do really is more akin to training a dog to stop an undesirable behavior than it is helping a drunk cure his alcoholism.
And, it's in this where Sanae's intentions fall flat on their face. These aren't animals (well, not anymore, in some cases) who just need a few jolts from a shock collar to teach them to stop barking, they are rational, thinking beings. As such, I would think that it should be just as possible to get them to stop doing whatever they're doing by just, you know, talking to them.
Then again, from the sound of it, speed and efficiency seems to be a factor, and I suppose it would take far longer to get a youkai to stop acting on centuries worth of instinct by just talking to them about it than it would to resort to the Jigsaw-esque methods she is using.
That said, I can see how even a drunk would have an easier time staying on the wagon if what awaited them when they fell off wasn't several more weeks of AA meetings, but a few hours of waterboarding.
It would still be wrong, but you certainly can't argue that it's not effective.
Really, I still think that if you really want to label someone as a villain in all this, it would be Sanae's two mommies. They're the ones who have enabled all of this, even encouraged it, and if anyone was going to directly benefit from all of this in some way, it would most certainly be them.
>>116185 It's one matter to dislike the way a Touhou has been presented because it conflicts with your personal preference and it's entirely another to say that the same Touhou has been written without flaws or dynamic characterization, or that she's made banal and uninteresting by the overuse of tired clichés. I cannot tell from your post by which of these standards you're deciding if they're well-written or not, but
>"lol fanfiction/alice" Patchouli
By a consensus that was reached very early on, anonymous made it very clear that she was going to be a supporting character, which is a perfectly acceptable reason for the relatively limited development that she received. This doesn't mean she wasn't a good character. The very fact that you're able to remember that quirk about her means that she has fulfilled her purpose.
>"quivering moe-blob" Flandre
I didn't like this either, but I can live with it because it's part of playing to the audience. How many people here are going to want to read a story where the Touhous are realistically competent and independent?
>>116186 Do you want me to start pulling in quotes from GH about how they think that Taisa's Sakuya is the better-written because "she's not a bitch?"
>>116185 People who call HY's Flan a moe blob forgot the part where she let the moe mask drop and gave Belmonyous a peek at a part of herself that's rather scary and seems to know more about things than even Remilia herself.
>>116171 Sanae's stunt seems to reek more of forcing her views on Gensokyo with Kanako backing her views due to the potential faith gain from the human population. Remember that bit about how Sanae seems to come back from her 'parents' 'happy'? If I didn't know any better Sanae's a willing puppet to the two gods.
And I still stick to my reason to why Yukari hasn't stepped in: She made a bet with Kanako on how well such a thing would work. I'm sure she warned them what would happen if you kept on messing with even a rather peaceful Youkai. Hell just look at that last scene where Kogasa took out her claws, that's proof that the Moriya shrine's experiment is backfiring royally.
>>116191 I think HY gave Patchouli the fanfiction quirk as to make her not just another "Cold Stotic Patchy" that's rather common.
But folks are quick to A) Forget things such as HY's Sakuya's reasons and B) Like non-bitchy characters.
To be honest, HY's Sakuya was a bit fanon-heavy (Too much ice queen and not enough girlish ditz)
On the topic of Sakuya: I think after Sanae is dealt with, we might find out why there's such terrible blood between Kogasa and Sakuya.
>>On the topic of Sakuya: I think after Sanae is dealt with, we might find out why there's such terrible blood between Kogasa and Sakuya.
I dunno. As curious as I am to find out just what exactly Sakuya did to cause Kogasa to have such a serious mad-on for her in such a short period of time, especially when compared to what Sanae's done, I can't help but wonder if this isn't the sort of thing that's best left to our imaginations. Like "The Noodle Incident" but with far more bloodshed.
>>116196 Kinda doubt it, Kogasa wasn't in the habit of relying on others until recently, I suspect Kogasa caused an incident in the mansion inadvertently. I don't think Sanae could really force anyone in the SDM to do anything.
>>116194 Not even Sanae causes Kogasa to go talking about tearing out her lungs. I get the feeling that Sakuya is connected to this mess somehow, such as what if it was Sakuya that suggested Kogasa as a target?
>>116202 I wouldn't write off the idea that Sakuya sold her out so quickly. Remember that she's the perfect elegant time-stopping maid, and thus could find anyone who's trying to hide in the mansion without alerting them to her presence. She didn't necessarily ask for her help.
Also, Sanae is a psychopath as far as she's concerned - someone powerful enough to be feared. You can't let anger get in the way when you're trying to keep her away. Sakuya, on the other hand, simply betrayed her trust. However much or little trust there was, that can be worth the ire.
>>116191 >>116193 Both personal preference and weak characterization.
Patchy's little interlude annoyed me because of the sudden "lol boinking Alice" and the "apparently Alice somehow got a computer, internet access, a printer, electricity, and knows what Dragon Ball Z is" stuff. Remembering something because it annoys me and detracts from my enjoyment of the story is not a good purpose to fulfill.
Moe Moe Flandre~ annoys me personally, but even Taisa's clingy version is better, in that she actually acts, you know, unstable and dangerous sometimes. And no, once letting on hints that she might be scarier than she seems doesn't goddamn count. Hell, HY's Remilia acted more insane than her sister. I'm pretty picky about Flandre though, Princess Tepes' version is pretty much the only version of her here I've really liked.
His Sakuya bugged me because she felt way too much like she was the bad guy simply because the story needed a bad guy, regardless of her reasons. As someone in one of the threads put it, "So if we'd gone Sakuya route, would Remilia be the one going all psycho-bitch on us?"
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[✺] Heat in Beat
The blast is a small one, if there was even a blast at all. It's more like a hole being blown into it, but it still knocks me off my feet and into the living room. Tripping over the low table in the middle of the room, there, I land sprawled out on my ass. There's a cushion where I land, at least. Small comforts are at least still comforting, right?
Time to ungratefully repay the people who put it here with great discomfort, then!
First order of business: arming myself.
No, before that, clearing the blood out of my eyes. That cut across my face left a nasty gash, and it's not healing up so quick. I wipe the blood and wet, reddened hair out of my eyes with my sleeve.
That done, arming myself becomes a valid priority again.
It flew out of my hand when I tipped over, so.. ah, there it is. my mood becomes positive once more, and a cheerful laugh bursts forth from me as I spring to my feet, using my weapon to pull myself up. Am I enjoying this?
No, that's not right. It's not the fighting I'm enjoying, it's simply that I am able to fight her at last that fuels this wellspring of positive energy that these bean pods seem to have tapped into. Well, I'll take all they can give.
Better to be up beat than beaten up, after all!
I get up just in time to see the green girl striding grimly through the hole she made, plaster dust and dirt from outside blowing in from a gust at her back that seems to be dying down even now.
Wow. She really, literally, blew a hole into the side of the house. I'd have ripped the window out, myself, but I guess it's all to do with the impression you want to make.
Lucky for me, I don't care how she presents herself. I want to kill her; how I view her is kind of noise in the wind after that.
She's quick on her feet, though, and by the time I'm back on mine, she's in front of me.
The miko swings her gohei in a quick slash that I easily avoid. However, it seems to have been a feint for the punch she throws at me. I twist to avoid it, letting it land on my collarbone instead. If I wasn't at the angle I was at, feels like it might have broken it. Maybe.
Probably not. I hope not.
Dancing back to the table, I snatch up a glass bowl resting on top of it and throw it at her. She ducks, letting it sail behind her to go crashing apart on the wooden floor of the kitchen. Immediately after tossing it at her, I leap at the miko, stabbing my weapon down at her lowered form.
She brings up her gohei in a two-handed grip and forcefully deflects my strike to one side, smirking at me. I return her own earlier trick, and punch her in the face, having failed to stab her. She grunts in pain, taking it on the left cheek before lifting her legs up and kicking mine out from under me.
I fall ungracefully to the side, and narrowly miss getting a nice jagged shard of glass through the head as I collapse to the wooden floor of the kitchen. Almost did myself in, there.
Grabbing it, I turn around and get back up just as she stomps the floor where my head was lying just moments before. Shifting it into a kick, it in my ribs instead, making me stumble and momentarily winding me. The being-winded-ness is extended for somewhat longer as she rams a fist into my gut, As I'm bent double and moaning in pain, she brings both elbows down on my back, dropping me to the floor.
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My weapon falls out of momentarily loosened hands, even as I snatch for it.
Fuck. She's not letting up at all. This is... this is kind of bad.
All I've got is my— oh, still got the glass, though.
The green girl follows me, and kicks me again as I try to get up. Same side, too. It doesn't feel very good.
But, I reflect as I grin through the pain, swinging the jagged shard of glass over and down onto her foot, this will hurt her a whole lot and me not at all.
The tip of the glass is driven into the soft spot where the laces cross, and easily pierces the fabric there, spearing through to impale her foot. She screams and jerks the foot back, hopping on one leg, clinging to the wall.
I hop up and try to pop her in the jaw, but she brings her gohei back up to guard. I draw back, not exactly wanting to have that thing stabbing my hand. It'd hurt one hell of a lot more than the glass would, for sure.
She skips back, yanking the glass out of her foot. A strangled gasp escapes her lips as she tosses the bloodied fragment at me. Leaning to the side, I let it go past me, breaking apart on the wall.
Moving back to the living room, I find my weapon half-rolled under the table. Kneeling down, I take the black handle up once more in hand, and look up.
The green girl is snatching the last of the knives out of the knife block on the kitchen counter. She turns and begins hurling the first of them at me. With a yelp, I dive behind the table, though she still manages to catch me with a carving knife before I upend the table with a crash, ducking behind it for cover. Several solid 'thunk' sounds are audible as the knives bury themselves into the wood at my back.
They stop for a moment, and I pull the knife out of my leg with a cry of severe discomfort.
Peeking out behind the table, I see her poking her head up above the island/counter in the middle of the kitchen. Each of us narrows our eyes at the other, then sling the knife in our hands at the girl across the room.
clank! Mine bounces off the chillybox behind her.
whunk. Hers joins the others in my impromptu shield. She's pretty good at that. The Silver Tick-Tock Dog has her beat in that area of course, but I hate them equally.
...Okay, maybe not equally.
No, definitely not equally.
But the time for ruminating on intense personal hatred is now. As far as I'm concerned, the Silver Dog and the green girl can both go fist each other in hell.
I snort in dark amusement at the godawful mental image, then grab my weapon. Peering out momentarily, I see her already in mid-throw. Ducking back down again, I run out from behind the table at a crouch, popping my weapon open, and rush her position.
Several clanks and clatters resound, each one making my metal shield tremble. But as expected from such perfect material and such careful craftsmanship, it holds wonderfully. I toss it over the top of the island, and hear a shriek from behind there. Breaking right, I peel off to one side of the island, and catch the green girl in a running tackle as she flees her position.
Grinning fiercely, I slam into her. We smash against a row of cabinets, and before she can swing that fucking gohei at me, I grab the wrist of the hand holding it and pound it against the metal cabinet handles with heavy force until she drops it.
Through sounds of pain, she manages to retaliate rather fiercely: her as-yet unbattered left hand reaches out and palms my face, fingers digging in with ferocious strength. Her little finger and thumb each jam against either of my cheekbones FUCKING FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK STILL JUST A LITTLE TENDER FROM EARLIER GODDAMMIT SHIT OW and the other three fingers clamp the top of my head and forehead, pressing against them painfully.
Somehow, she actually manages to lift me off the floor like that as my hands fly to the one that has seized me so, trying to break its iron claw-like grip on me. And still her fingers press in, applying more and more force. She's no normal girl, clearly.
...Then again, what self-respecting shrine maiden is normal? I haven't had a lot of experience with a wide selection, but I imagine to make it as a miko in Gensokyo, you have to be some pretty hot shit. The other one is living proof of that.
The five fingers of death continue to squeeze my skull. Most painful of all is her little finger, which is digging directly into the bloody wound left behind by her gohei. Tears spring up from the pain alone, and they flow riiiiight into the wound as well. And by golly, fresh saltwater in the wounds feels greeeeeeat.
But no matter what I do, I can't seem to break this hellish grip. I can't bite her hand like when she was going for my eyes Again! and I can't do anything to this iron hand of hers...!
Wait, I'm being stupid. This move has a huge, huge weak spot. It must have been developed by a man, because no man would be half as hurt by what I'm about to do as a woman. Probably some Outside thing, then.
I stop trying to assault the hand holding me aloft, and instead lift a foot up, and drive my be-geta'd heel forward in a horizontal stomping motion, directly into her right breast.
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She howls in unbelievable pain as I kick her, grinding my heel against that softness. She lets me go, and I drop to the wooden floor. Whimpering and clutching her bruised bust, she goes for her gohei, but if I'm going at this unarmed, she can damn well do that, too.
Grabbing at her hand, I yank her close, and straight into my waiting fist. She doesn't much care for that, and I don't much care that she doesn't care for it, so it all works out. Hooray!
Humming happily, I take a handful of her hair once more, and by doing so grab ahold of her head. Once I've got a secure grip, I haul her around, and smash her head into the cabinets behind us, splintering three of them from the sheer impact alone.
...Is she dead yet?
I look down, and she gazes at me with unfocused eyes that are no less full of rage for being unable to see me straight.
Not bad. Guess I need to try har—
She reaches up and grabs the arm holding her head. This is the first and only warning I get.
Unfortunately for me, all I do is look back down with a frown and say, "Hmm?"
She's not in the mood for talking, so she settles for pulling my arm out of its socket in one mighty yank and then breaking it cleanly in two places by way of a reply.
I let go.
My mouth utters several unkind words, and she kicks me across the room. Not a big fan of those either, it seems.
She clutches at the countertop to stay upright. I realize, through the haze of pain and agony, that she seems to be wearing down. Unfortunately, I think I'm starting to run down a little, myself. I'm still healing, but not as fast. I shift my arm back into position, and then heave against it, which is not how you're supposed to do it at all, and sure as fuck not when it's broken.
Nevertheless, it seems to do the trick nicely, and I can start getting those breaks mended.
But the pain is a bit much, so the first order of business is to pass out.
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...For a few moments.
Holy shit. That was not part of the plan.
Thank god Not hers I'm still alive. Still where I toppled over.
Arm is tender as fuck and twinges painfully, but it seems to be setting okay.
Why is it so fucking dark?
And where is all that chanting coming from?
What's going on?
I prop myself up on my good arm, and wait for things to unblur while I try and get upright.
Eventually, I achieve verticality, using my lance-like weapon to steady myself.
She's seated right about where I left her, clasping her gohei in both hands. Her breath makes little puffs in the air as she chants, and I notice how cold it's gotten. Colder than an autumn morning should be, and darker.
The darkness seems to emanate from her, filtering throughout the two rooms, cloaking everything in gloom. It's not so distinct as to be able to make out dancing tendrils of unholy shadow behind her, or any such nonsense, but she seems to have dimmed the whole room.
She's even somehow made herself dim, as if she were merely part of the background. This ability is not hers, I think, but an effect of whatever she is doing.
It is only my sheer focus on wanting to end her life that I can even really see her, I think.
Whatever she is calling up— and she is calling up something, I am sure of it —seems holy and yet somehow dreadful. It is both divine and sinister; pure and disconcerting; righteous and chilling.
I do not think I will like whatever it is she is calling forth.
All I can do is sit, wait, and focus on restoring myself to fighting shape.
She looks to be doing not so well, like before, and this makes me happy.
After all, she is only human.
The things she has been summoning, however are not: they appear, and it is like they had always been there.
They fade into reality with swiftness, becoming real. They had and have been unreal for a long, long time, but that did not stop them from existing. They feel ancient and powerful.
I don't think they're snakes. They look like snakes because once, long ago, people probably thought they should be snakes because that was a fairly unpleasant thing to look like.
They are not snakes.
They're only snakes when they're real, I think, but not when they are unreal.
But a snake is easy to look like when you want to look like a thing, so
We will look like snakes while we are real.
I could be wrong.
I could be wrong but right now I am many more things, and most of that many is fearful.
They are huge, and white. They are snake-not-snakes, and their eyes are red like intense, brightly-glowing blood.
They do not hiss.
The snake-not-snakes leave behind a little oily black cloud for a short distance behind them, wherever they move. It disappears shortly after, but it is a continuously-made thing, like smoke issues continuously from a fire.
This is no smoke and they are no fire.
I don't know how many there are. Even if I could count all the ones that looked like they were here, I think there would be more.
But it looks like between five or ten of them.
They weave and coil in the air around the green girl who is looking at me, now.
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She looks angry. She looks tired. She looks upset.
She looks firm, like a mountain is firm.
Her mind is made up. This— she has determined —is what needed to be done. She does not like having had to do this, and I think she feels bad about it. However, my behavior and continued assault on her person warranted the use of this and them and all of that is the they.
I could be imagining things, though.
She says nothing. She simply lifts her gohei, and points at me.
They break their chaotic non-formation with terrifying liquid ease, and move towards me.
Twisting and curling, I can hear feel their approach. Their not-realness is what they trail behind them, the substance of duty and being in one. It is a feeling, a sensation that grates not on the ears, but the mind and the body's sense of awareness of the unreal.
I try to back away, but one of them is fast, and jumps through the air as though an arrow, yet shot flawlessly through water.
Its mouth opens, revealing simple fangs. They are not terrifying fangs; the terror comes from the beast itself. They are normal snake-like fangs as befits a snake-not-snake of unusual size.
The fanged maw clamps down on my arm and bi
It has been days since we had any water, now that the stream has dried up. How long will this drought continue? The crops are already starting to fail. If we do not have crops, we will not have food, come the harvest time. And then we will starve. And then we will die.
Why is this happening?
The raiders came again today. They took my sister and her friend back to their camp with them. We could hear them crying when the wind was still. Later the next day, they brought my sister back bruised, crying, and ruined. Of Yoko, there was no sign. They probably have kept her for their amusement. It fills me with rage that these men ever once called themselves soldiers. Now, they plunder the land they once protected. They, too, are trying to survive these war-torn times, but they do it by preying upon those they should be keeping safe.
Who is letting this happen?
e on the a
Her baby died minutes after it was born. This is Kyouko's third child whose life ended so shortly after it began. Her husband is a good and honest man, and she is a warm and loving person. But the other people in the village whisper about this, and wonder if she did something to anger the gods. They don't deserve this. Nobody deserves this kind of fate.
What kind of god would make this happen?
rm and images flash through my mind.
People crying, people lamenting, people suffering, people abused by the grand designs of life, their fellow man, or their own foolish choices.
This thing knows each and every one of those things intimately, for it was the cause of them.
It ate the water, it corrupted the soldiers, it stole the child's life away.
And that was just the beginning.
I shriek, and fling the thing off me. It slithers glides away, even as two more approach me.
I feel the wellspring beginning to dry up, and I fear this may be the end. I am not prepared to take on these monsters, and nothing I have can touch them.
How can you ever hope to defeat the embodiment of curses?
This is nothing like Christmas Curse, who takes misfortune from others. She is a gentle, caring, thoughtful god who takes the burdens of those around her onto herself, literally and figuratively.
She is someone worthy of respect.
These snake-not-snakes are nothing like her.
They are the bringers of misfortune, worshiped only to make them stay away.
Even the green girl is above that.
Why and how she could ever possibly have these things at her beck and call, I simply cannot fathom.
They sicken me.
They will also be the death of me, I think.
But I will not take it lying down.
I will go out with a fierce smile on my lips and rage guiding my hand.
The fear-bringers will not take me lying down, no matter how terrified they make me, no matter how horribly they will wreck me, no matter what kind of holy wretchedness they inflict upon me.
I will not go quietly into the night.
The first one of the two leaps at me, and I duck, rolling out of the living room and into the hall.
The others follow.
The second of the two leaps at me, and as I turn to face it, I trip, falling backwards. Jamming the butt of my weapon against the floorboards, I hold onto it, propping myself upright, and aiming the tip at the oncoming snake-not-snake.
This is it.
I love you, Orange.
I wish I had told you my real name.
I'm still sorry I dragged you into this.
...Ｉ ｄｏｎ＇ｔ ｗａｎｔ ｔｏ ｄｉｅ．
It screams in agony makes the world around it resonate with its death throes, writhing about on the bladed tip of my lance.
I blink in amazement.
There is a weird, cold, twisting rush.
It is akin to having freezing sewage dumped on you in the middle of the burning desert: Horrible, filthy, disgusting, and yet it feels amazing for the simple fact that it is what you needed; respite from the harsh conditions you have been in.
Dying after living so long must have come as something of a very, very terrible surprise.
I admit that I, too, am confused and surprised.
Sure, it's divine steel, but... these things shouldn't have been affected by that.
The others have paused, and now circle about me. More and more appear from the nowhere in the corner of my sight, coming out of that one spot I wasn't quite watching close enough, and now cannot say for sure that maybe it wasn't there all along, hiding in the light.
They are wary.
They are afraid.
They fear me.
The wellspring, I realize, was never dry.
I simply scraped the sides, and thought I had hit the bottom of a dried-up pit.
In fact, the water's even better tasting than ever.
I feel joy and happiness.
Not at being feared, but simply at being alive, and given another chance to attain that which I came seeking.
It is a wonderful miracle.
I look around at the sinuous albino snake-not-snakes, as they hiss scratch scratch scratch at the mind.
Grinning the grin of the ecstatic and the truly mad, I heft my weapon, and prepare for battle.
I know I've done this blankline-page shit before but man, it seemed right. Also I am half-spaced-out, and imagining that the sheer sensation of my teeth is like the size of an indoor gym as I write this and holy shit they keyboard is even bigger and there is much sound that isn't, and it is ever-present.
And I'm not even on drugs. It feels like... you know about scrambled cable in the 80s? Imagine if you could scramble mushrooms. Maybe it's like that. Having never taken shrooms, I'm really not qualified to make this analogy at all, but I really wanted to use the scrambled cable comparison.
...So yeah, the blankpage-line thing seemed like a good idea. To all one and a half of you who fell for it, I like you. It is good when people can still be surprised, but only good for me. Not for you; it means your life is going to be hell.
Back in the world of things that are not inane, bizarre, meaningless exhaustion-induced ramblings:
I realized the other day that I've included every single character from Lotus Land Story in this story, aside from Reimu and Marisa (who don't count) and nightgown-Yuuka (who is still Yuuka). This was not intentional, but nevertheless, it amused me.
In before people talk about my blathering and not the update. Don't worry, folks, I'm going to sleep soon after this.
>Also I am half-spaced-out, and imagining that the sheer sensation of my teeth is like the size of an indoor gym as I write this and holy shit they keyboard is even bigger and there is much sound that isn't, and it is ever-present.
...Um. Sleep well, man.
>Tears spring up from the pain alone, and they flow riiiiight into the wound as well.
This is actually not nearly as painful as one would expect, in my experience.
[X] KILL WHITEY
Is this the "Attack Sanae directly" option?
Every time one of these updates comes, I start out thinking, "Oh hell this fight still isn't over?" Yet by the time I reach the end I constantly find myself wanting more. It feels as though this should have sputtered out, keeled over, and died several threads ago. By anything resembling logic, the excitement and tension within these fight scenes should not be sustainable over the time-period in which you have written this. It simply doesn't make sense that it has persisted as long as it has only to retain it momentum, and in defiance of all reason it continues to do so. Somehow it just does, and kudos to you, sir, for making it possible. I cannot comprehend what sorcery you've employed to make this such a fucking joy to read from start to (impending) finish, so I simply ask that you persist. That you remain in whatever mystical state of being you employ that affords you these powers to so enrapture with the written word. Simply persist at being Fell, and I will be content.
Short version: This has been epic. It has its flaws, but they are few and far between, and I greatly anticipate the continuation and conclusion of this entity which you've crafted.
Why am I thinking that these...things are the true reason that Sanae and her gods are like this? Using the Moriya's as pesudo-hosts, hoping to corrupt Kogasa (How, I do not know), and eventually take over Gensokyo. They may also be why Yukari wouldn't interfere even if she could, they may use her for a more offensive, and deadly, approach for Gensokyo's takeover.
>>116289 Because Fallout Writefag knows everything, especially about America. He's not particularly in the habit of posting picture answers, though (though to be fair, the opportunity for picture answers is not all that common, but it doesn't seem like his thing, all the same.), so... yeah.
My next guesses were Kapow, KC, or one of the Michiganiers (Michigonians?) that we seem to have so many of at this site.
Now while I'd like this to be a Richter choice—kill her and learn nothing, or kill what has broken her mind, and free her—the two major gods being in full support of her Die Endlösung, and that Suwako supposedly controls the Mishaguji make it all pretty unlikely that Sanae could be rehabilitated at this point. That and I don't know how Hina could tolerate it, as she has own shrine in this story.
Not that I'd be disappointed if I were wrong.
>Also I am half-spaced-out, and imagining that the sheer sensation of my teeth is like the size of an indoor gym as I write this and holy shit they keyboard is even bigger and there is much sound that isn't, and it is ever-present.
Probably a sensory gating issue. It gets better in time, as you realize there are always sensations all over you body, and by concentrating on them you learn not to fear them, and as you stop fearing them you start to forget them, and then you can focus on what you want to focus on, or you just fall asleep which is a good thing, since sleeping regular helps a lot, too.
I'm afraid of writing today. I've got homework, but instead of sleeping last night I watched The Postman and Shaft.
The corrupt cops had some of the worst dialogue ever. It was like they were doing a reenactment of the Son of Dolemite sketches from fucking Mad TV or something. If they had referred one another as "Corrupt Cop #1" and "Corrupt Cop #2," I would not have been surprised at all.
Second observation: whoever designed post-apocalyptic fashion chic must have been getting a huge bribe from the Fingerless Wool Gloves Lobby.
I will take on these things, these snake-not-snakes, and I will kill every last one of them.
I will do it with a smile on my face, and then I will kill the green girl.
I have no plan for doing this.
Some, probably many, likely most would call this insane.
They would call me stupid. They would call me reckless. They would call me a fool.
But I have my enemies in front of me, a capable weapon in my hands, an able body, a willing spirit, and a single, clear goal in mind.
I'd say I've lined things up pretty nicely for someone who wasn't planning.
Words I heard from somewhere, once upon a time, creep back into my memory. Maybe I never heard them at all. Maybe I'm making them up as I go along.
No matter what the truth of it is, they still have a strange, soothing, calming effect on my mind, allowing me to go about my business at my (mental) leisure.
"I am not a fool. I am wise."
I do not bravely meet them head on. That would be foolish, for there are many of them, and more or less only one of me. Usually.
I dart further down into the hall, putting a bit of distance between myself and them. The star mines from earlier are gone, having presumably disappeared during the fight between the green girl and I. Guess I thumped her hard enough at one point to break her concentration. It probably broke around the same time I rammed her forehead through the second cabinet door. Those were oak, too.
"I will run from my fear, I will outdistance my fear."
They curve around the corner, twisting shimmying through the air as they leave the kitchen/living room area, and enter the hall.
I am not there.
But I am there.
They mill about, whispering hum scratch scratch hummmm in the mind. Like scribbly head-static-noise. They seem confused, curious. Where did she go? they may be wondering.
She went away, that's where.
I have gone out of sight, but certainly not out of the hateful pit of ugliness that constitutes their minds. I watch them carefully, patient and confident that the right moment will come along, and soon.
"Then I will hide from my fear, and I will wait for my fear."
My eyes settle on one that's nosing about too high. It might get lucky, and I can't have that.
Then again, this put it further away from the others. Not by too much, but by enough to work with.
I creep along, moving with it. It is very difficult to do but I manage it. Failure is not an option, and therefore, success is mandatory. The hardest part is not giggling or laughing or deciding to strike early. I want to do all of those right now so bad so bad so BAD
...but all will come in good time. Or bad time.
Come closer, you pale little fuck.
"I will let my fear run past me, then I will follow my fear."
The urge to spring into action is very great. I can't even breathe quickly, just to be sure.
It is getting close to my hiding spot, and still it has not seen me. This is both to be expected and unexpected. Tricky, I know. But for ancient curse gods, their senses are pretty damn terrible.
Maybe they grew too fat on all the praying people did to them. They stopped being lean and mean. They lost their edge.
Perhaps it's because they're freshly summoned. A case of not having their morning coffee, yet.
It could be none of these.
"I will track my fear until I can approach my fear in complete silence."
Whatever the case, I must wait. Wait, and follow.
The green girl slowly approaches the entryway from the room into the hall. I can't see her, but I can hear her.
Better and better, no?
Except that she's at the opposite end, behind all the snake-not-snakes. That's... a problem.
But I can deal with problems.
The snake-not-snake looks up, and sees me.
"Then I will strike at my fear."
Problems such as this.
I spring off the ceiling rafters just as the thing opens its mouth and screams assails the mind with the urgent sensation of the taste of corroded copper and the smell after lightning. Loud loud loud without a sound.
The blade on the end of my lance penetrates the snake-not-snake's mouth, cutting off the flurry of alarm-feelings. Black oily smoke, like ink dropped in water, spurts out the back side of the thing's head, curling dark twisty plumes coiling away into the air.
I bear the thing to the ground, by which time it has already faded to nothingness. Even the last coil of smoke-not-smoke-nor-blood fades away in the air above, and it is like the thing had never really existed in the first place, or had simply decided to not be lying dead on the end of my weapon anymore, and chosen instead to be nowhere instead.
Looking up, I see the other snake-not-snakes looking towards where I stand, near the doorway of the shrine. They do not hesitate, they come for me at once. Behind them, I see the green girl, watching impassively. Her wounds are slowly healing, but I think maybe, maybe, m a y b e not fast enough.
The next thing lunges step-step-steps through the uncountable miniature between-seconds of life and sight and seems to shudder closer.
I smack it to the side, the stab twice, one-two. And it disappears.
The hiss creak of wood under strain on a boat sounds behind me, and I duck. One more flies creeps at speed through the air above me, and I thrust upwards, piercing it throught the bottom of its mouth, and binding its lower jaw to its upper for a moment before slamming it down, and ripping my weapon forward, tearing open its head.
Smoke-not-smoke-nor-blood flies everywhere, dissipating to nothing before it can even land.
"I will charge my fear, I will grab hold of my fear, I will sink my fingers into my fear."
Two down, several more to go.
I realize I'm laughing aloud, and don't stop myself. I'm enjoying this. Again, not the killing, so much as the living, and continued insistence upon living.
Three come at me at once. One bites my le
The third child of the five was born early this morning. Like the other two, his life beginning meant the end of hers. The women had gotten pregnant at around the same time, and were expecting to give birth around the same time, as well. It had been the talk of the town for the last nine months, and everyone was looking forward to it. Bets were placed, jokes were made, but the whole affair was uplifting for everyone. At least, until the mothers started dying this way. Now, nobody talks about it in public, and even at home, only in hushed tones. Anko and Meiko, the two remaining women, are terrified for their lives. They don't want to be next, and are often seen crying.
How can this be happening?
g, and another nearly rips off my arm. I drop to the ground on top of the one chewing on my leg, and slice the lower half of its body open before bashing it in the head with the handle of my weapon. It groans makes the loudest, toneless humming sound ever inside the space of thoughts, and then fades away.
"Then I will bite my fear, I will tear the throat of my fear, I will break the neck of my fear."
The third one snuck around behind me, and it is only by sheer, stupid luck that it ran into my lance as I hauled myself upright again. I chop its head off as it stumbles drops backwards down but sideways, erratically.
But there was a second one, wasn't there?
I look up.
It drops down at me, soundlessly, from the ceiling. Trying to copy me, huh?
I step to the side, and smash the snake-not-snake against the wall with brutal strength, mashing it against the folded-metal conical shaft of my weapon. I smirk as it fades away. Too bad it didn't copy that.
Turning to face the rest, I give a little scream.
No longer content to attack me in small groups, they have decided to rush me all at once.
At least maybe ten of the things swarm cram full the air in front of me as they click clack scratch shriek creak croak chitter scrape towards me, and something else, as well. I can't see what, because it's all white.
For a moment.
"I will drink the blood of my fear, I will gulp the flesh of my fear."
I leap towards one wall, then spring off it, attacking the cloud of things from the side. Stabbing two of them, I fall to the ground again, and fling them against the wall, where they splat soundlessly, and then are no more. Twist left to avoid another one, and stepping back to avoid a pair working in concert, I begin my joyful slaughter.
One is laid open like a fish. It should not have tried making that wide loop with its belly exposed.
Another is beaten to death. Two blows to the back, and then one more to make its head burst apart.
"I will crush the bones of my fear, and I will savor my fear."
I pop open my weapon and catch three of them in between the metal sheets and the sturdy, thick wooden rafters. Efficiency is good and wholesome.
I snatch one and beat its friend senseless with its companion's body before spearing them both on the end of my lance.
The remaining five band together and herd me outside. This was surprising, but not unexpected. They are frightened, and wary.
I jealously guard my area of this side of the fence. These albino bastards can piss off.
Still, I've got it under control.
One of them darts creeps and soaks through the air like it was water in a dry sponge, and si
My unit is all dead except for myself. I fear my own time is fast approaching as well. Lord Kouma sent us ahead to scout the pass, and one by one, things started happening to everyone after we got cut off from the main army by a blizzard. Not mysterious things, not off where nobody could see them, but clear as day. A loose boulder. A weak cliff. Wolves. Frostbite. Madness. Only I remain now, and I know, I just know, that tonight is my last night alive.
Why did this have to happen to me?
nks its powerful jaws into my shoulder.
It is painful, but I am laughing still. That is exactly what I wanted.
"I will swallow my fear, all of it."
Turning my weapon around in one swift movement, I ram the bladed tip towards my neck. I curve the path of its trajectory so that it rips through the isn't-actually-a-nose and cuts off its never-had-an-actual-tongue. It makes a mournful screech sound like mental metal mental metal mental metal broken breaken breaked broke apart. It's no stronger a sensation coming from next to my head than it would be coming from across a room.
It feels weird when it dies so close, though.
Less unsettling and more curious and strange.
Ponder later, kill today.
My hands are now in the perfect position to swing my weapon in a powerful sideways slash, ripping open a terrible wound in the one coming up from near the wreckage of the donation box.
Hopping off the porch, I swing my weapon up above me, cutting off the support wires for the enormous, thick bundle of twisted rope hanging over the steps leading up to the shrine. It drops like a rock, and I'm never really certain whether it was the crushing weight of the holy rope, or the paper streamers that did them in.
Either way, the two snake-not-snakes damn near explode into nothingness.
"And then I will digest my fear until I can do nothing else but shit out my fear. "
That's all of them, then.
I look back at the rope.
I don't know where it's coming from, and I don't know how it's going to attack.
I close my eyes, spin around, spend a huge amount, and fling my weapon away in a random direction.
There is that 'icy sewage in the desert' feel again, and the last one dies never was, pinned to a pole before fading out.
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I stand there, not breathing very hard at all.
I should be.
I feel ever so slightly light-headed. A tiny bit.
With a shake of my head, it's gone.
Those things are finally gone and ...dead. Deadish.
As dead as they can get, which ought to be pretty goddamn dead.
I walk over to the pole where my weapon lies, still quivering, and take it out of the pillar.
It's served me very well, and it's going to be a shame to destroy it when I'm done.
Unfortunately, the shape and design of it are odd and unique enough that it singles me out fairly quick. Even among lesser youkai, I think it'd make me an obvious suspect pretty fast.
Of course, if the gods resurrect, as I suspect they will in another hour or half an hour, they'll be able to hunt me down on memory alone.
Still, it's a loose end.
I could take it with me, I suppose, but given it's made from Child Mother's weapons, I think she could probably home in on it fairly well. Not to mention I'd need to explain why I was toting around a statue of my friend.
'course i am; i'm hanging out back
well, get on over here
shit, are you, you know, done inside?
we're done inside, but she's still around somewh—
"Wha?" I say, stupidly.
I turn, and my weapon goes flying from my grasp as the green girl nimbly kicks it from my grasp. She wastes no words, not time, no movements, and brings the gohei down at my head, edge-on.
I'm so surprised, I don't have time to be angry or upset or to fear for my life.
My eyes are still on the gohei as it descends, and my mind is still trying to process what just happened and where she came from.
A stray flits through my mind: 'This is going to leave something bigger than a scar.'
And then another: She has properly utilized my side of the fence for her own gain. I am completely, and totally
A third thought: I have been facing certain death an awful lot today, but something always seems to be saving me at the last minute, miraculously. Although with War Mother, I don't know if that... well, maybe. I dunno.
The gohei is rapidly eating up my attention.
A last, final thought: Maybe I showed up late to the reckoning, and the green girl had just decided to start without me.
I hear a rustling noise.
Then a purple blur.
There is a loud, dry and yet wet SNAPPING sound, followed by a shrill scream of intense pain from right in front of me. My ears ring for a few moments from the pitch alone and I wince. The green girl is knocked down and away from me.
As she flies off to the side, the gohei's path changes, cutting at a sudden angle. I duck, but it shears off a large lock of my my hair, creating a significant gap in my bangs and a neat, thin, sliced-open line across my scalp and forehead that feels like someone slashed at it with a ragged blade.
Pressing a hand to it, I find that it comes away bloody and matted with sliced-off hairs. I kind of hope those grow back, I think to myself.
My friend loops back around, and lands in my open hand.
are you all right?!
i, i, yeah; probably; i think so
are you sure?
i hope so
so do i
that was far too close
i know, i know; i was there, remember? and thanks, both of you
it's what we're here for
i'm just glad i was in time
i think we all are
Placing my friend into his usual position, I shake my head again. The light-headedness had come back, but it was easily dispelled again.
I look over to where the green girl lies, and begin calmly strolling over towards her.
>There is a loud, dry and yet wet SNAPPING sound, followed by a shrill scream of intense pain from right in front of me. My ears ring for a few moments from the pitch alone and I wince. The green girl is knocked down and away from me.
>My friend loops back around, and lands in my open hand.
"You must do exactly what you would have yourself do. This is the absolutely important part. Do you see? You, being you, will only do the things that you would do. If you decide to do it, then that is something that you should do."
So, really, it doesn't matter at all what we do, because whatever we do, we do'd it, and since we're the type to only do what we would do, what we do is automatically what we should do, which is what we would do.
>>116448 Basically, but consider the deeper implications it has in this situation.
Consider what has happened to her, and more to the point, why it's been happening, what the objective behind it has been.
I do not believe the message is so much "it doesn't matter what you choose" so much as it's you choose, not what you have been conditioned to choose.
The point is, you're not going to validate anything Sanae believes or has done no matter what you choose to do, especially if we assume the big final choice is in whether or not to kill her.
You will not be proving her right about youkai and the heroine in particular by making good on your threat to kill her, even if she thinks you are.
More importantly, though, you're not going to prove her and her project right by showing her mercy and [b]not[/i] killing her.
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My walk is slow and measured. I don't need to rush now, I think. And if I do, well.
As she is, she's dealt with easily enough.
The green girl lies with her back slumped against one of the multiple red pillars. She makes a few efforts at trying to get up, but every attempt results in a painful grimace, and a slow, careful, settling-back-down. One of her legs is bent at a strange, unusual angle, and in addition to that, there's something wrong in the way she's sitting. Physically wrong.
My friend does solid work when he can be made to give a damn.
Stray strands of my hair that were sliced by the gohei occasionally drift down, shaken loose by my steps.
I come to a stop in front of her, and look down.
She looks up at me.
I don't smirk, gloat, or otherwise lord it over her. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to, or that I'm not doing it inside.
She, in turn, doesn't glare up at me with hatred or anger in her eyes, doesn't gaze upon me with contempt. But likewise, I'm sure she's feeling it inside.
We're trying to be professional about this, I think.
Call it stupid, misplaced vanity.
But important, if only to tell yourself later that you handled it well.
"So," I say.
Silence reigns for a moment before she replies in a similar calm, unperturbed voice.
Neither of us say anything more for another minute.
"It's got to suck, being beaten by a monster." I say. Might as well get this started so that it can be ended.
She looks at me for a moment, and shakes her head gently, a slow smile building on her lips. "It's not nearly as terrible as you might think. If anything, you're proving me right. Then again, if I had won, I'd still be right."
"Is that so?"
"Certainly." She closes her eyes, and tries to shift her position a little, wincing and sucking air in sharply as she does. She opens them again, her expression calm. "If you hadn't beaten me, I would win simply for proving myself stronger than a youkai in personal combat. That I have lost against you simply proves that youkai are too destructive to be allowed to do as they so please, and my initial claim is then proved correct."
She chuckles. "You see? Even when I lose, I win."
I take this in for a few moments, considering her words carefully, and then chucking them out the window.
"So... what I'm gathering from all this," I tell her, gesturing at her and the shrine in general, "Is that despite you and your gods getting soundly thrashed, you haven't learned your lesson."
The green girl giggles. "I have no lesson to learn, my little runaway."
"The hell you don't." I take a step closer to her, and jab a finger at her. "You see, we youkai don't necessarily want your 'help.' If we had a problem, we'd have done something about it ages ago."
The smile disappears, replaced by sadness. She nods. "Spoken like a true addict," she says softly. "As expected."
I blink at her.
She's still on about that?
"An addict?" I ask, almost wonderingly, as I look at her in a new light. "You're... You really, truly, are serious about that, aren't you? I mean, I saw your room, and I saw your books, and I heard what you said a week ago or so, but..."
I laugh, almost in disbelief.
"...but you're genuinely serious. You actually believe that crazy..." I wave my hands, trying to think of a word, but nothing seems demeaning enough. "...idea?"
The miko's eyes narrow, and even in her broken, battered, bruised, and crippled state, she manages to draw herself up with an air of deadly seriousness. "Of course I'm serious," she tells me, her gaze piercing my own. "If you can't be serious about such a thing, then any commitment of belief you make towards a plan is worthless."
"I believe in this plan, this project," she says. Her voice is not beautiful right now so much as powerful. It is a good voice for making speeches, and she would probably have had a decent career as a politician, had she chosen to pursue such a thing. "I believe in myself and my ability to carry it out. I believe in my ideas, I believe in my gods, and I believe that we will bring this thing to fruition."
I keep quiet. I want to hear this.
"I believe in the inherent worth of our project, and in the goals it seeks to accomplish. I believe that it will bring about much, much more good than ill by the time it is at last complete, and I believe that sooner or later, even those who doubted me will thank me, when they look within themselves, and realize that they are better for having participated. I believe that this will be good not only for me and my gods, but for Gensokyo as a whole. I believe that anyone who knew what I knew would be able to recognize the importance of this project."
"How about in the here and now?" I say when she pauses. "How about the people like me who don't take kindly to the downright barbaric shit you've done to me?"
She closes her eyes, and that smile returns, faint but present. "I try to think in the long term, my little runaway. What happens in the now is sad and unfortunate, and certainly should have been approached differently. Nevertheless, the concept has been shown to be sound. Succeeding on the very first try almost never happens, and I was prepared to deal with this from the outset. But the groundwork has now been laid, and things can proceed much more smoothly from here on out."
"Bullshit. It's going to take you ages to recover from today." I take another step closer, and my fists clench. What is wrong with her? Does she not realize how screwed she is?
"Not at all. You underestimate my conviction, little runaway. Believe me with every ounce of your soul when I say that I will never, ever stop. How could I live with myself if I did? I have the power to help every last person living in Gensokyo for the better, human and youkai alike. I know that I can do this, and nothing will keep me from doing it. I no longer do this for myself, or for my gods, but for this land and everyone in it. I want to help, to nourish, to nurture, and to bring about a lasting sense of harmony and coexistence."
She opens her eyes again, and turns those golden orbs on me. I almost flinch from the intensity of her stare.
"If you knew you had the power to make everyone's life safer, happier, and better," asks the green girl, "Wouldn't you do it, no matter who stood in your way or what happened to you?"
I sit there, transfixed by her words.
As I thought, back on the hillside in the bamboo forest But never really truly knew, not for certain until now she is not insane.
She is incredibly, viciously sane.
Such sanity is like a knife of utmost clarity, cutting through confusion, deception, appearances, convention, normality, reasoning, and decency. Whatever stands before it is cut, be it God, Buddha, or her fellow man.
All that matters is her dream, her plan, her mission, her ideals.
Everything else becomes secondary to the overwhelming, horrifying power of sheer and unrestricted sanity.
This only looks like insanity from the outside of her mind, because it is so sane that it has curved around and come back the other side.
This is the power of faith.
It's... really something.
I become aware that at some point, my fingers seem to have wrapped themselves around the handle of my knife.
But it's clear to me what I must do, even if I don't want to do it.
[ ] Radio Four is static
[ ] by the legacy of these fools!
Too bad that Kogasa never shot back about how before Sanae started her program, she's never actively attacked a single person.
Our 'guardian angel' said to give her mercy
Yukari tell us to do what we'd have done normally... which is mercy, since before this point, Kogasa has never attacked anyone. But it could be the other way around, since Kogasa's nature has changed as a result of this.
And the most important thing: The ramifications of our choice.
Though I have no idea what the choices mean. That just means more time to think.
This story raises a point about faith, even in regards to the real world. We may see Zealots as insane, but they themselves don't see it that way.
This update finally crystallized what it is about Sanae I find so infuriating, and simultaneously terrifying: there's nothing wrong with her, other than the fact that she simply cannot consider the possibility that she is wrong.
It's like talking to very fervent Christians in real life: just as they take the existence of God and Jesus as an axiom, something which is self-evidently true against which no argument exists, so does she take this concept of hers of youkai as beings in need of rehabilitation, and of her plan as the mode of rehabilitation, as simple fact, the way the world works, not subject to any reasonable doubt. If you start from the same set of universal truths that she starts from, you'll end up at the same conclusion. She's not illogical, she's just not right.
I really want Kogasa to just grab her, throw her over her shoulder, take her down the mountain, and introduce her, one by one, to all the citizens of Gensokyo, youkai and human, who live in harmony with one another, and have them tell her that her starting premises are just plain wrong. But I have a feeling that no matter how many people she meets, how many opinions she hears, nothing will ever convince her that her world view is anything other than pure, objective truth.
Because she has faith.
But if that's true, then there's nothing we, or anyone else, will ever be able to do to end her actions, ever. It's implied in this update that killing her would only be temporary (change, then our course of action is obvious.
[X] Radio Four is static
You're wrong, Sanae. Hopefully, there's still something left inside you that knows what that means.
>>116467 >>It's like talking to very fervent Christians in real life: just as they take the existence of God and Jesus as an axiom, something which is self-evidently true against which no argument exists, so does she take this concept of hers of youkai as beings in need of rehabilitation, and of her plan as the mode of rehabilitation, as simple fact, the way the world works, not subject to any reasonable doubt. If you start from the same set of universal truths that she starts from, you'll end up at the same conclusion. She's not illogical, she's just not right.
>Believe me with every ounce of your soul when I say that I will never, ever stop. How could I live with myself if I did? I have the power to help every last person living in Gensokyo for the better, human and youkai alike. I know that I can do this, and nothing will keep me from doing it.
It's too dangerous to let her live. Even if we get away she'll grab some other youkai and start this shit all over again. We can't let that happen.
>>116469 Not quite sure what you mean. If you're saying that Kogasa's belief that she's well is as unjustified as Sanae's belief that she's sick, I don't think that's true; we've gathered plenty of objective evidence for the former and very little for the latter over our journeys.
>That I have lost against you simply proves that youkai are too destructive to be allowed to do as they so please, and my initial claim is then proved correct.
Sorry, the moral high ground is not yours when you instigated the fight. But we're ending this, and not in the way you expected.
[X] Radio Four is static
We don't have to kill you to hurt you. We can just turn your own source of faith against you. I don't think anyone in Gensokyo is expecting one of their shrine maidens to use the same tactics as the Spanish Inquisition. And I doubt they'd look kindly on that either.
So, it's finally the endgame. Of course, due to all the contempt I've gathered throught the story, and the contempt I've always had for blind, stubborn and stupid people (and all the harm they cause*), I really want our MC to kill Sanae.
But, for the same reasons, I realize that I'm all but impartial on this. I won't vote this time, but I want to thank you, again, for a good story, writefag.
*Including, and up to, turning a harmless Youkai into a murderer
If we let her live, we won't have to worry about Reimu hunting us down. Assuming the name curse sticks around, we can just have Orange explain what happened in our stead, since she's more credible anyway. Actually, we could probably do this regardless of whether or not we kill Sanae. Things would probably work out in our favor more if we let her live though.
Not to mention we have made several friends along the way that can back us. Really, if we get out of here in one piece, Sanae's plan just plain can't work anymore, since it relied on secrecy. Kinda hard to convert a group of people who know you don't care about their opinions on the matter.
I think the real question here is if we even CAN leave without killing her. We might actually not have a choice if we want to survive, since the barrier is still up and her gods are likely to revive soon.
I also don't get either of the references, so I'm just plain not gonna vote on this one.
While this choice (or what I assume it to be) was predictable, the way it has been carried out makes it worth considering. Rather than simply being vengeance versus mercy or moralfaggotry versus...not, this decision will seemingly change the face of Gensokyo depending on how it is handled. There is the life of our protagonist, certainly, but I must also think of Orange's wishes, the stance Yukari has taken, the behavior of her gods, her reasoning, and her own faith in this "project". Certainly, killing her is an attractive choice knowing what she plans to do either to the protagonist or another hapless youkai after regrouping, but would seeing it strengthen even the faith her gods would have to have had in the project? They will continue to exist, and may choose to continue their dark work. Leaving her alive, though, would extend the argument. A physical fight can be much easier than swallowing your pride for the sake of peace - "He needs to die" is a much simpler end met through much simpler means than "We both need to change the way we think about this."
Is she capable of abandoning this foolish and inhuman goal of hers? If we do let her live, will our suffering end? Will it allow her the smug sense of superiority and the peace of mind that she was right, and will it be worth it?
I have faith that things will turn for the better.
[X] Radio Four is static
Surprise! You're alive!
I do hope this post wasn't too rambling. It is my first, vote or otherwise, though I have been following the story from its beginning, and thus is the summation of the maelstrom of emotions it has inspired. Good show, Fell.
>Certainly, killing her is an attractive choice knowing what she plans to do either to the protagonist or another hapless youkai after regrouping, but would seeing it strengthen even the faith her gods would have to have had in the project?
Their 'project' turned a well-know harmless Youkai into a killer. I don't think that it's possible to have more solid evidence that their plan is shit.
But wait... what if this is what they wanted all along? What if part of their plan was to sacrifice a popular Shrine Maiden to show Gensokyo that even the most harmless of the Youkai can turn into a monster without a reason?
All that happened to her is secret and when it sees the light of day will be treated as petty lies from a gang of criminals to try and hide their sin. What the fuck will happen to Orange once she's accused of accomplice in the murder of a 17 years old girl?!
>>116489 First you raise some good points, but you kinda missed the part where The gods were going to eradicate both Kogasa and Orange due to this case being a failure. But this raises the question: What happens if they never succeed? We might be looking at the near Genocide of all Youkai. But I do see Sanae and Kogasa as the main focal points to this. If anyone can get the gods to stop, it'd be her.
Yukari was suspicious neutral to the whole thing, leading to the theory of the bet. If that is the case, would Kogasa sparing Sanae be a draw? I just realized this might be the greatest victory for Kogasa: Sparing Sanae after all this proves that Youkai can be civilized despite such things.
I hope I'm not wrong, for the sake of other youkai out there.
>>116497 Killing Sanae might show the gods, if they still have a leg to stand on that Youkai are savages and must be 'fixed' if not wiped out.
Even though she's a complete monster, to me killing Sanae would be too short, too quick, and bittersweet for my tastes. I'd much rather take my revenge in the form of getting the truth of her horrors out and watch her shrine rot as humans and youkai alike abandon the Moriya Shrine. Youkai provide the bulk of Moryia's faith after all.
>>116502 >Their 'project' turned a well-know harmless Youkai into a killer.
She wasn't well-known. She had no friends to turn to when she got in this mess, and apparently nobody even noticed she was missing. Even if you assume she was well-known at some point, and the name-curse made everyone forget her; that changes nothing. If they forgot her then she certainly isn't well-known anymore.
>But wait... what if this is what they wanted all along? What if part of their plan was to sacrifice a popular Shrine Maiden to show Gensokyo that even the most harmless of the Youkai can turn into a monster without a reason?
What possible motivation could they have to want that? They live on YOUKAI Mountain. Many, if not most, of their followers are youkai. They themselves could technically be considered Youkai. Why the fuck would they want to publicly discredit youkai? That makes no goddamned sense.
>>116486 >Orange explain what happened in our stead
Hey fuckwit, remember how they explained how they were going to cover up Orange's death, how Orange is currently trapped in a barrier that's probably held up solely by Sanae, and how the goddesses tried their damnedest to kill Orange?
[x] by the legacy of these fools!
Even if this does nothing, and everybody dies, at the very least Sanae won't be able to do this to other people.
a.k.a. we get Yukari to send us and Sanae to the future to see how 'well' Sanae's idea is taken by Gensokyo. And by that, I mean a future that looks like a Bad End from Sanae's view point. We don't kill Sanae, but we do destroy her faith that what she had planned for Gensokyo was good, when she can plainly see that that it was anything but.
It may even have the added bonus of breaking her mind.
"Seeing isn't believing. It's where belief stops." - Terry Pratchett
>>116511 >Even if this does nothing, and everybody dies, at the very least Sanae won't be able to do this to other people.
You sure about that? She seems pretty calm for someone who's about to die. Even Kogasa says "It's going to take you ages to recover from this." As in, she will recover from this.
Besides, even if she does stay dead, her gods won't, and hell hath no fury like parents with a dead child. Killing Sanae now basically ensures that her plan will never end.
As for Orange being trapped, I'm sure that barrier will come down after a nurturing, harmonious waterboarding session or two.
Some things I am wondering...
What is truly the problem with Sanae and her project? What she is seeking to accomplish, or merely the way in which she was trying to accomplish it? If there is no chance of her wavering from her goal, does that necessarily mean she cannot at least change her way of reaching it?
If there was absolutely no merit to any of this, would Yukari and company stand idly by a let it all happen? Just look what two pissed-off youkai and a poltergeist were able to accomplish in taking them on.
Granted, it was not without a lot of help from various factors, but that just goes to show that if the superpowers of Gensokyo rallied together, the Moriya group would not fare any better.
Also, as horrific, unethical, and possibly even evil as Sanae's methods may have been, can you really truly argue that our heroine hasn't been in some way made better as a result of it? She's learned to trust and rely upon others, she's found love, and most of all she's found the strength to stop running and face her challenges head-on.
Even with the best possible outcome to this situation, do you think she could (or even would) choose to go back to living the way she did before this all started?
>>116516 I'm pretty sure that was in reference to the damage Sanae's already sustained, not the damage she may be about to sustain. But hey, ambiguous.
>As for Orange being trapped, I'm sure that barrier will come down after a nurturing, harmonious waterboarding session or two.
Sanae's been shown to have a very high pain tolerance, and it's been said that the goddesses will be back shortly. On top of this, Sanae's blind faith may make it even harder to make her drop it. Not saying that you don't have a good idea, I just don't think we have the time for it.
Actually, torture seems like a bad idea, since the more time Sanae is alive, the more time she has to heal and make us not alive.
I voted to walk away because it provides the best opportunity for Sanae to receive an even greater comeuppance. Sure it would be awesome to kill her ourselves, but Fell's awesome skill of being fucking awesome lets him write an even better end without Kogasa having to do anything. My ideal ending: Sanae gets crushed by a giant radio antenna in a Cuban jungle.
To make matters worse, I had actually forgotten about that until you brought it back up. At this point I can only hope that when it comes to life and haunts me for my negligence, it is as amicable and awesome as Kogasa's dear friend, as you have portrayed him.
So the people who are voting for her to live, what exactly do you expect to happen? Assuming everyone we care about dies if Sanae dies, how is letting her live not going to end even worse? Do you expect Reimu and yukari to burst out behind some bushes and shout "SURPRISE! IT WAS ALL A GAME!
You know what I think the best way to get back at Sanae is?
Let her live, and then take up a cause with the exact same objective as hers, but using completely different methods (namely, ones that don't involve kidnapping and torture), and succeed.
You might not be able to shake her faith in her cause, but you sure as hell can show her how her way of doing things sucks compared to yours.
>>116514 It's a nice idea, but not exactly practical seeing as it involves somehow motivating Yukari to do what we want. Let's try another angle.
[x] Go back to her room and recover all written work on her "project". Get said works publicized, and hang it over her head mockingly when they become widely criticized and are eventually discredited due to containing several, key logistical flaws.
Surely this sensible plan will crush her spirit beyond repair, and all we have to do is hide for a decade or two. It's perfect.
>>116529 >Assuming everyone we care about dies if Sanae dies, how is letting her live not going to end even worse?
Right back at you. Assuming everyone dies if Sanae lives, how is killing her going to end up any better? Sure, the girl herself won't be around to torment us, but the gods aren't going anywhere, and if we kill their daughter, I guarantee you they won't forget about us. We'll be sleeping with one eye open for the rest of our lives, and without a steady supply of magic beans to fight them off, I don't like our odds for living to see our next birthday.
If we let her live, yeah, worst case scenario, we're gonna be on the lam for the entirety of her life span, but if there's any human left in her, she's gonna die well before we do. The gods all but said that they were just going along with her crazy shit; if she dies a natural death, maybe they'll just say 'fuck it' and call the whole thing off.
Or, hell, maybe Sanae herself will change somewhere down the line. She wouldn't be the first genocidal teenager to give up on plans of world conquest after getting laid. Maybe she'll get fisted by Unzan and decide to put youkai rehabilitation on the back burner while she ethnically cleanses whatever country Ichirin's from. Maybe she'll actually have a genuine change of heart, realize what a monster she is, and off herself.
I'm not saying that if we let her live, she's suddenly going to see the light, renounce her evil ways, and invite us to a tea party. But leaving her alive leaves possibilities for change, whereas killing her signs our death warrant in permanent fucking ink.
>>116537 >how is killing her going to end up any better?
She won't be able to continue what she's doing on others, for one.
The problem with your argument is that she's already said she's not going to let us live, and the barrier keeps us from running. Unless she suddenly sees the light, renounces her evil ways, invites us to a tea party, and decides to drop the barrier, we die. We have no way to escape unless she decides to drop the barrier for us, we're running low on energy, and the two gods will be back shortly.
The worst case scenario if we let her live is that everyone dies shortly afterwards, not that we'll be on the lam.
Hell, worst case scenario if we kill Sanae's is that everyone dies, because the barrier is held up by something else entirely. The upside is that Sanae will be dead.
>>what is certain is that she will start chasing kogasa again
I doubt that.
She killed one of her goddesses, numerous things-that-should-not-be, and beat her ass on her own turf. And that's not even considering what Orange did to her other goddess.
Sure, they had a lot of help from those beans, but neither she nor her mothers should know that.
Antagonizing someone you know can and will kill you if pushed far enough is generally not a good idea. If they could make a deal with Yukari to not interfere with their project, then perhaps they would be just as inclined to negotiate with someone who just set a new standard for "not to be fucked with" like Kogasa and company just did.
>>116517 I'd just like to point out that when the story started, Kogasa had already been completely broken. We have no idea what she was like before all this started. Maybe right now, she's the amputee that's learned to walk but won't ever run again. Maybe had her life not been so royally fucked for this time, she'd have progressed further by herself. There is absolutely no way that Sanae has given Kogasa anything to thank her for.
>>116544 It was a close fight, and they know it. What do you think would happen if Kanako and Suwako asked the Tengu to send an army to back them up next time? It's naive to assume that they'll stop trying to kill us just because they failed once.
>>116543 Is there something in particular from the story that leads you to believe the gods are due to resurrect very soon? The only mention I can recall is Suwako thinking that this was the "end of the road for a while," which makes it sound like we've got some time to spend here. With that in mind, I don't think killing Sanae is necessary to get her to drop the barrier; if it's not already down due to lack of energy, I'm not altogether opposed to the idea of ramming her head through some more oak cabinets until she gets more cooperative. (Which may be very slightly hypocritical of me. I dunno.)
After all the discussion that's gone on regarding the votes, I'm now of the opinion that they're both just about equally bad choices. Killing Sanae may also kill her plan and allow us to get off scot-free, but that's pretty unlikely. Letting Sanae live may lead to her changing her ways and calling this whole thing off, but that's pretty unlikely, too.
In the end, I'm sticking with my vote to let her live mostly because it's the bigger 'fuck you'. The thought that she might die thinking she's some noble martyr just plain pisses me off.
>>116542 Well, yeah, but it's a kind of a dumb write-in. You may as well vote for the furry dragon from Neverending Story to come rescue us.
>>116546 >>It was a close fight, and they know it.
>>The earth goddess was no stranger to armed combat, but this woman was some kind of demon. Even with godly speed and strength at her disposal, the childlike god was feeling horribly, horribly outmatched.
I'm not sure what you consider to be a "close fight", but I'm pretty sure they don't typically involve just one side of the battle feeling like they are completely and utterly fucked by the end of it.
You could say that Kogasa's fight with Sanae was close, but you have to consider the fact that while Sanae started out relatively fresh and rested, her opponent had just come away from a rough fight against a deity, and yet was still in good enough shape to take her on equal footing and win.
>>What do you think would happen if Kanako and Suwako asked the Tengu to send an army to back them up next time?
Assuming they even have the tengu at their beck-and-call like that, do you seriously believe all they would have to do is say "youkais over there, KILL THEY ASS" and get immediate, unquestioning compliance?
You're talking about a small-fry youkai and a couple of her friends, and yet somehow two full-fledged goddesses and their priestess/goddess need help in dealing with them? From the tengu? The group that produced the likes of Aya and Hatate?
Considering the whole reason for this big-ass battle was because they were trying to keep information about their project from getting out, wouldn't bringing the tengu into this be more than just a tad counter-productive for them?
Simply because it is harder to predict what would happen if we let her go. Killing her is very predictable. She dies, barrier goes down, we escape, either flee or explain to the miko what happened. Blag blah blah. But on the other hand we have NO idea whats going to happen if we let her live. Since when does Kogasa ever choose the predictable route?
Besides, sparing her would be rather surprising at this point, at least from Sanae's point of view.
Actually, Sanae doesn't give a damn at this point. If she dies, then she's 'right' in that every single youkai is too 'corrupt' and must be 'changed' for 'the good of us all.' If she doesn't die, then she's 'right' in that her project produced even better results that she thought.
No matter how I look at it, both choices just say 'Fuck You'
Seriously? Are you being serious here? She fucking tortured Kogasa for months, and now when Kogasa finally fucking escapes and spares Sanae's fucking life, the bitch and her gods try to murder not only her, but an innocent as well.
And now she's flat out telling us she is going to keep doing it.
I really don't think Kogasa should kill her, but it would be in no way , shape, or form, would be in any moral wrongdoing to kill her. It is not only simple self defense, but also protecting those close to her.
The major difference here is that Sanae has actually done the things she's accused of, while Kogasa was only theorized to be a monster.
I'm not at all convinced that letting Sanae live would be anything less than sheer stupidity.
All of Kogasa's advantages are gone. Sanae can heal back up and continue her amateur psychology "fix the youkai" game, and may also have the backup of Kanako and Suwako (whose "deaths" are unconfirmed). Orange, Kana, and the rest are all locked outside by a barrier that won't go down without Sanae's say-so, or else her death.
Sanae has stated that this won't end until Kogasa and Orange are dead. Mercy is not an option in my mind.
Sanae's words suggest that she expects Kogasa to grant her mercy.
What does growing claws have to do with morality? She's a youaki. She grew claws when she needed them. Stop the fucking presses.
This is pretty simple. Some jackass beats the shit out of you for months on end without telling you why, and when you finally find a way to tell on them, they decide to kill you.
Don't you think you might be just a smidge justified in defending yourself? The entire youkai thing isn't even relevant to this discussion. Thats what Sanae doesn't get. A human in Kogasa's situation would have been just as, or more, dangerous than Kogasa, depending on the person.
So she grows claws. Big fucking deal. In this case we can actually see into Kogasa's mind, and she's been a genuinely good person. Perhaps you are the one that has not been reading the fucking story
Jesus, moralfagging is one thing, but you're actually trying to make this morally ambiguous? Oh, perhaps the moral thing to do would have been to lie down and die.
>>116560 >>and now when Kogasa finally fucking escapes and spares Sanae's fucking life
I'm not sure that really counts for much when the only reason she didn't kill her was because Orange stopped her from doing it.
On top of that, don't forget that when they got caught this time, it was in the midst of a plan to hurt/maim/kill Sanae by luring her into a series of booby-traps and the crossfire of a crazy immortal death-match.
>>the bitch and her gods try to murder not only her, but an innocent as well.
By that point, Kogasa already had attempted to murder Sanae twice, and while that "innocent" was responsible for stopping the second attempt, she was definitely an accomplice in the first attempt.
Not to say Kanako and Suwako didn't deserve what they got (they'll recover, anyway), nor that Sanae doesn't deserve her comeuppance as well (whatever it may be), but they probably wouldn't have gone as far as trying to kill those two (yet) if the runaway and her citrus princess had not tried to kill their priestess, first.
Really, though, my post wasn't meant to address Kogasa's viewpoint as it relates to Sanae's, so much as Anon's viewpoint as it relates to Sanae's.
While I can appreciate the karmic value of Sanae's own reasoning essentially being turned against her, I find it hard to view such a stance as holding any sort of high ground over her while it entails basically lowering yourself to her level.
>>He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.
>>116565 It was more the fashion that Kogasa was going to kill her that caused orange to interfere. Kogasa's guardian angel, and perhaps Yukari have leaned towards mercy.
But you're right about that remark. Good luck telling that to the tripfags throwing their weight around.
>>116564 Never before now has she considered it, and the main claw users are either wild or animal types. Basic humanoid types don't use claws after a certain "age" due to using other tools or magic to do the fighting. The usage of claws by Kogasa was a sign of getting back to her roots. I was not saying her cause wasn't good, but she was desperate enough to get the claws out.
I understand what you're getting at, but I find it rather laughable to say that setting up an ambush for someone who has been inflicting horrible torture on you for half a year is anything except self defense. Especially when this person has repeatedly shown that directly confronting her, or even just plain trying to run away, will not work. Its not like Kogasa hadn't tried other methods.
This is especially true when you take into account that this person forcibly removes any peaceful recourse you may have had in the first place.
And about anon's view toward Sanae, I really don't think you get what is going on here. Sanae has her own vision for how Gensokyo should be, and has taken it upon herself to achieve that vision no matter how much pain and suffering she causes. She has already proven that with Kogasa. Sanae has made it perfectly clear that this plan is happening no matter what and is completely unwilling to negotiate.
Kogasa has been presented with two choices.
A) Kill Sanae. This prevents Sanae from killing her and her friends. Even if this choice was ONLY going to save Kogasa's hide, it is still not an immoral one because its simple self defense. The girl herself has outright told us she's not going to stop. It also has the added benefit of preventing Sanae from doing this to others, which she also outright told us she was going to do. I cannot see any possible way this could be construed as immoral.
B) Let Sanae live and hope she doesn't kill you and Orange when her and her gods recover (which she has given no indication of). And hope she doesn't keep doing this to other youkai. Oh, and lets not forget that if we don't kill her the only way to get the barrier down is for her to agree to take it down, which she seems like she won't do.
So... I have to know exactly how killing her lowers us to her level. Honestly, it looks like the smart thing to do here. I'm still against it, but it is still laughable to say that we'd be the same as her for doing so.
I mean fuck, we might actually have to kill her to bring down the barrier.
A) You have no evidence that only "animalistic" youkai have claws, and I do believe that Kogasa herself remarked that all youkai can do it.
B) Again, what does her using her claws have to do with anything? She needed a tool, so she used one. And even if she was "getting back to her roots", what does that matter? I think you're trying to argue for the "slippery slope" when Kogasa's own thoughts have proven otherwise.
Finally, and this is the most important point, even if Sanae was right and she becomes more wild and youkai like... guess what?
It doesn't matter!. Gensokyo belongs to the youkai. They lived there in the first place before it was sealed. It was sealed specifically to preserve their way of life as science grew more far reaching.
Gensokyo is a preserve for youaki. So why the fuck would you think you have any right to tell the youkai what to do on their own land?!
>>Thats what Sanae doesn't get. A human in Kogasa's situation would have been just as, or more, dangerous than Kogasa, depending on the person.
No, I'm pretty sure a human going though the exact same things Kogasa experienced wouldn't be more dangerous than her, no matter what kind of person they were. They'd be dead.
Hell, a normal human probably wouldn't even have survived the same "slap on the wrist" Orange received. In the time between her tongue getting cut out, and her being found again, a human would probably have either bled to death or suffocated on the blood going into their lungs. Even if they did somehow survive, they certainly would never be talking like they used to.
Which, frankly, I think is the whole point.
Youkai can survive far more damage than a human, to the point that physical damage is supposed to be more or less irrelevant to them. Therefore, such torture should not mean the same thing for a youkai that it would for a human.
Were Sanae trying to "train" a human, I don't doubt she would adjust her methods accordingly.
>>116569 >>Gensokyo is a preserve for youaki. So why the fuck would you think you have any right to tell the youkai what to do on their own land?!
I'm thinking maybe being a human in a magically-sealed land populated by creatures with a long, well-established history of preying upon humans (up to and including killing and eating them) might have something to do with that.
Just a hunch.
>>116464 >"If you knew you had the power to make everyone's life safer, happier, and better," asks the green girl, "Wouldn't you do it, no matter who stood in your way or what happened to you?"
[x] "Yes. I would. That's why I have to kill you, after all."
[x] by the legacy of these fools!
This means the death of Sanae, and the disestablishment of her malevolent goddesses.
Kogasa burns with a righteous fury. She's no mere animal, lashing out because she's in pain, nor is she a predator who is looking for a meal. Rather she is very, very deliberately killing a person, because she is a danger to Kogasa's person and also everyone around her.
Furthermore, if Sanae is allowed to live, she'll see that mercy as evidence of the salience of her project even after this; if Kogasa is deemed a success, then there's no telling who else might be subjected to similar horrors, even if she stop pursuing Kogasa and Orange by having been dissuaded by their powers. That's exactly how fanatics justify things: "Oh that was just an effect of the population size; next time we'll use a larger treatment group, and exlude Oranges and karakasa." Because she is a true believer in her theories, she will automatically respond to failure with 'this was a bad batch' and start torturing other youkai, and if she doesn't see this as a failure, she'll start torturing other youkai using the same methodology.
>>116570 >Youkai can survive far more damage than a human, to the point that physical damage is supposed to be more or less irrelevant to them.
You're wrong. Right from the beginning it's revealed that Sanae had broken Kogasa's mind through torture. The proof is in the pudding.
>Therefore, such torture should not mean the same thing for a youkai that it would for a human.
That suffering without expiring doesn't preclude being tortured. In fact, it just allows for yet more horrific tortures. Anyway, if you had been reading this at all, you'd know that Kogasa does indeed feel pain.
>Were Sanae trying to "train" a human, I don't doubt she would adjust her methods accordingly.
Yes, I'm sure she would use far less fatal methods of torture. Now what gives her the right to fucking 'train' anybody?
>>116569 I never said only animalistic youkai have claws; just that they're the only ones who still use them after a certain point in their lives. And I did not mean a slipper slope, just that it's a marked regression which was temporary. Now stooping to Sanae's level, that would be jumping off the slippery slope
Good: Her plan might be stopped for good, her gods' foothold damaged, barrier drops
Bad: We might end up proving her ultimately right and convince her gods that Youkai should be fixed, if not utterly exterminated.
Good: Might surprise her, might open her up for discussion on this matter, perhaps prove her wrong, and get her and the gods to stop this plan.
Bad: Might not do a damn thing ultimately.
>>Maybe she should get the fuck out then. Who invited her?
I don't think she really had much of a choice in the matter, and in case you've forgotten she's not the only human living there.
As crazy as this might sound, try looking at this from a different perspective.
Imagine you've just been moved to an entirely new place, completely unlike the home you once knew. A place where humans are not on the top of the food chain, and being in the wrong place at night doesn't mean you're likely to be mugged and stabbed/shot, but instead torn apart and eaten by something unpleasant. Say, a pack of ravenous wolves. Let's say those wolves are even the dominant species here.
Naturally, as is often the case with matters of survival, the humans here have done the best they can to adapt and minimize their chances of experiencing a gruesome, painful death. Nevertheless, the lives they lead are still much harder than they would be if they didn't to deal with such things.
Yes, things have managed to last a fairly long time as-is, and yes, this is essentially just the "natural order" of things here, but if it didn't have to be? If you felt you could do something, anything, to improve the quality of life there, wouldn't you? How would you do it?
You certainly couldn't just kill the wolves. The whole reason they're there is because they cannot survive anywhere else in the world, and they have just as much a right to live as anything or anyone else. On top of that, not every wolf preys upon people. Some avoid people altogether, while others are actually helpful to them. It's just a certain segment of them that continue to make life difficult, even dangerous, for people there.
Even if they are dangerous, though, you don't want to outright kill them if at all possible. Yet, you also do not find it acceptable to let things continue as they have, and just tell the people who wind up falling victim to the wolves "sucks to be you!"
So what do you do? How do you stop the loss of life on the human side, without causing loss of life on the wolf side? Simple, you try change their behavior. The fact that there are wolves that either help or avoid humans indicates they don't need to prey on people to survive, so if you could just change the behavior of those aren't so harmless, wouldn't that make things better for everyone?
Sure, you might have to do some unpleasant, even downright cruel things to do it, but nothing that leaves any lasting physical harm. There will be no scars, no disfigurement. Physically, they will be no different from how they were before, and they will still be able to do all the things they did before. The only difference, the only lasting effect is purely in their minds. If they want to hunt, they can still hunt. If they want to kill, they can still kill. The only difference is that they won't want to do it to humans anymore.
Not that there aren't problems with this line of thinking. There are, most definitely. Yet, it is far from the worst possible thing that could be done in the situation.
I think it's as misguided to try to condition a youkai to stop going after humans as it is to try to condition a lion to stop eating meat. Yet, if the nutjob trying to stuff tofu down the lion's gullet is determined to do something no matter what, I'd rather it be that than them trying to outright kill them all.
>>116586 That sort of thinking leads to vast facilities of strapped-down lions on the plains of Africa, emaciated and slowly dying in the boiling sun. Feeder tubes hooked up to their mouths. Some still twitch uselessly against their bonds, most however are simply broken in minds, lying there like so much meat. Some of them had to be partially lobotomised, but those old scars have healed and been hidden by cosmetics. They're still alive, certainly. There is a heartbeat.
Power does not equal danger. Kogasa is certainly capable of more wanton destruction than a normal human, but that doesn't mean she's dangerous. Danger comes from the lack of ability to control one's actions and an intent to cause harm. Youkai as they are portrayed in this story, especially Kogasa, display neither trait.
Kogasa had several opportunities to end Sanae's life. She could have simply ripped out her throat at the concert (funny how the people arguing against kogasa seem to have forgotten that scene). That would have been the end of it. But she didn't. Are you honestly telling me that there aren't any humans that would have taken that opportunity? I'd wager that if a human was in Kogasa's situation most would have done so. In fact, the fact that she's a youkai likely lead to her NOT doing so. She's tougher so its less of a life and death thing, so she has more patience.
And thats the thing. Desperation leads to danger. Youkai aren't desperate unless you really really push them, so in effect all Sanae is doing is creating danger when there previously was none.
Again, how is it a slippery slope? Kogasa's choice isn't even a moral one. She's on the moral high ground no matter what she chooses. If she kills her, she is simply executing her right to defend herself and her people from harm.
If she lets her go, then she shows mercy. I literally see no way to interpret either choice as morally wrong. Even slightly.
I think the whole youkai thing is throwing people off. Forget the entire youkai / human matter. What we have here is Girl A, who is a confirmed threat (not even debatable) to Girl B's life and well being. If Girl B doesn't kill Girl A, then there is an incredibly good chance Girl A will kill Girl B and those she loves, later. Oh, and Girl A has a magical force feild that prevents Girl B from leaving unless Girl A dies. That's kinda a major factor.
View it like that and you'll see that the youkai thing isn't even relevant. A human could respond anywhere in the range of showing mercy and letting her go, killing her as painlessly as possible, or torturing them for retribution.
Sanae and her gods came to Gensokyo, a land that is not theirs, and proceeded to try and lord about the place. How would you like it if some asshole moved into your neighborhood and suddenly started using force to get you to follow some inane rules that aren't a part of your culture?
Yeah, the youkai wouldn't even have been in the wrong to kill them on sight, let alone after what they did. It sounds like they are pretty chill to me.
Your argument would be like saying that I would have every right to walk into a lion's den and expect to be safe, and that I could use lethal force to keep myself safe from the lions, even though it is their fucking home and I don't belong there.
And that's the other main point. Sanae doesn't belong here. She retreated to this new realm to gather faith and was shocked to discover that it was different than where she came from, so she's trying to change it into what she's used to. She is the very definition of selfish. If she doesn't like it, she can fucking leave.
And finally, as I said, the youkai aren't even really all that dangerous in the first place. This has been made pretty clear in both canon and this story. Kogasa not ripping out Sanae's throat at the concert is a testament to just how tolerant youkai are of humans. I am failing to see exactly what needs to change.
It seems like Sanae hasn't learned her lesson from UFO. She's operating under the assumption that the humans have it really bad. She has this idea of youkai that simply doesn't match what is really going on.
As an aside, while I was writing this, I realized something. Both Sanae and the people arguing against Kogasa being on the moral high ground seem to have the argument that because youkai are stronger, tougher, etc, that torture and such aren't as bad as it would be on humans.
So you're telling me that just because they are youkai, they don't have the right to prevent others from inflicting pain and suffering on them? Lets not even get into the fact that this so called "harmless torture" seems to have mentally scarred her.
Gentlemen, that is racism. To deny a group civil liberties based solely on their race is horrible. Especially when that race are indigenous people. Is that what you are really arguing for?
>>116594 So either sanae is going do die anyway or there is going to be a scene so dripping full of sunshine and happiness as Sanae has a change of heart, completely ruining any sense of atmosphere the story had