I blink at the girl. She did not open her mouth, though she does still continue to look down at me, grinning- and…
Where did that voice come from? Why did it ask me to explode? Does the person in the real world hate me that much? Is he or she layering my house with explosives?
And… is this girl getting closer?
Yes—definitely-- She is slowly but surely arching her back, bringing her face closer to mine. Moreover, the same grin of hers has not changed at all.
I get the strange feeling I should be scared.
But I’m not, for as I study the child like body underneath her garb and I look those azure pools masquerading as eyes, and I see… a glint of mischief.
She’s trying to scare me. My confusion melts away and I stare at her with half lidded, bored gaze.
The blue haired girl falters a bit under my gaze, and stops moving closer.
My dream is trying to scare me, trying to ruin a restful moment. Not a person, but my dream itself.
First it yells at me to be awake. Then it summons a very strange blue haired loli. Then it tells me to explode.
Well I won’t have it.
Lesser men would let their dreams turn into nightmares. But not I-- I will fight for my right to laze about.
I raise my hand and carefully bring it to her head.
The blue girl’s eyes widens, but she redoubles her effort, squinting as angrily as she can down at me.
Ha ha. This is my dream, dream- girl. My hand trembles as I touch just a bit of her head, the perfect amount needed for ruffling. “What are you…” she says with a soft tone. I grab some of it.
“Ehh!” The blue haired girl said with a terribly displeasing voice. I then pull as hard as I can.
“OW!” she cries. With a ripping sound, some of the fistful grabbed are torn from her scalp.
She teeters and almost topples over to the side, her balance evidently being poor due to all that bending over.
I stand up, slowly, as she just barely avoids hitting the ground, holding the top of her head.
I straighten my neck with a crack. Ow. I’m sore.
Wait a second- ow…?
“My hair!” the blue haired girl says as she holds one hand on the top of her head. “You… stupid… human..” I get a better look at her then, and I see, hidden behind her back this whole time, a pair of ice wings.
I shake my head. My dream will have to do better than that if it wants me to stop.
"Why did you..!?" She started to say.
“Why did you do that?” I cut her off in my best cold voice. Now that I have showed my dream who was boss, It was best to figure, what part of me would want this dream to end. And I may as well be awesome while doing it.
She blinks at me, as if not expecting what she was hearing. “Do what?!” Though she appears a little angry, some tears streak down her eyes.
“Try and scare me.” I say as cooly as I can. “It was so… " I yawn in mid sentence and stretch a bit "...annoying”
“It was scary! That green haired lady does it all the time to people who go on her sun flower field! You should be running for the hills!” She pointed at me accusingly.
I open my mouth to say something but then I stop.
It feel like I’m forgetting something…
[ ] I’m not dreaming
[ ] You girl, are an annoyance. Leave or shall I make you leave.
[ ] I’m terribly sorry for your loss
[ ] I’m terribly sorry for your loss (of hair)
[ ] Explode
[ ] write in
Apologies in advance for any silly mistakes; people make for bad distractions and I wanted to get this update out tonight.
oh don't be like that. she's a fairy, which means she'll revive sooner or later, and that meeting will make for an interesting plot point. in the meantime, we get to be lolifairyman and troll the rest of the ⑨squad.
if nothing else it keeps the story moving, which is more than can be said for explode.
… is what the voices say. For half a moment I swear I heard an explode in there- but no time to make sure.
I shake my head and I let the fury surge through my heart and into all corners of my body
A good idea is a damn good idea; its time to show this figment what for!
I throw my head back and let loose a berserker yell. Her eyes widen with surprise though this time she doesn’t let it get to her.
I charge her, arms flailing just a bit- just as irritation flashes on her face and all those little ice crystals are unleashed upon me. They zip around me, curving as much as they can trying to make contact with my flesh.
But its too late, I have closed the distance
I don’t have fighting skills- my scrawny build tells me that much.
But one does not need expertise to whack.
Her gaze barely even flickers as I deliver a fist to the side of her head.
I realize shortly why.
Her head feels like rock. Ice cold rock.
Every knuckle in my left hand curses me as I step backward and fall into the grass.
“Ne Human...” she says, blowing off that one strand of hair I knocked ajar. “... Don’t you know I have ice powers?”
Pain. Ah... You can’t hurt while you’re dreaming.
“Are you stupid or something...” She starts talking but I’m not listening.
I give my cheeks a good pinch.
I pinch myself harder.
Okay so I’m not dreaming.
There goes my peace of mind.
“You’re real?..” I say interrupting her “Oh wow...” I put my hand on my forehead. I get the impression I should be scared.
But I’m not. I’m horrendously confused but not scared. Why am I not.
“Were you even listening!?” she yells manhandling the top of my skull.
Ow. That-- and the irony-- hurts. At least it reminds me now is not time for questions.
“Not at all” I say back to her with what I wager is a totally blank stare. She lets go of my head and pushes me back with force unnatural for a little girl. Though It appears she isn’t a little girl.
The ice crystal spawn again, and this time, I take note of how sharp, pointy, and eager they are to make holes in my body. “oh forget it” she says.
I’m a bit too stunned to move at the moment. But I still have my wits.
“If you can escape, I’ll forgive you..” she says
Scratch that, I’m not moving. I may be thinking but I sure as hell I’m not doing anything.
“So you better run fast!”
Death in loli form is staring me in the face.
I should... I should probably do something right now.
[ ] write in
there is such thing as a bad end.
for anyone who thinks I'm guiding the story- so far I'm not. you can't beat an ice fairy with your fists- this won't be a (completely) humorous CYOA.
This is a life or death situation, I don't think hair ruffling is going to cut it. We need to decisively end this, and though she is as hard as a rock, her eyes are still weak and defenseless. We just need to close into distance and get a quick jab or two in before being impaled.
Don't do that. A simple hey would suffice in this situation, and would doubly serve to not make you look like a massive faggot.
>>135226 It's usually your call. If no updates are coming in a timely manner, then you should probably wait. However, if something is winning by a landslide after a set amount of time, it's a fair bet to say that trend will continue and simply call it.
Since this is just starting, isn't the best story, and is up against fierce competition against more popular stories, it's pretty much your say though. Personally, I suggest drawing in the crowd with rapid updates, as you seem to have a wish to write quicker.
Is what most of the voices say. I think I heard one voice say to poke her eyes out. Though they do seem softer than her head, I don’t think I can reach her without getting eviscerated.
“Are you ready?” She say, assuming a combat position.
There is only one way out of this. I say nothing as I sit up, and then drop to one knee before her.
“I am sorry”.
“.. what?” she says letting her ice crystals hang in there.
“I am sorry.. whoever you are” Genuflecting doesn’t seem like enough, so I quickly go the whole nine yards, groveling. I put my head on my heads in front of me.
“I’m Cirno!” she says with a hint of resentment, and some more confusion.
“Cirno?..” A stupid name. “ CIrno. I am terribly sorry”
“Begging for forgiveness? Well its too late! You should have thought of that before you tried fighting the strongest” she shouts, and I get the impression she got her hands on her hips again.
“I am begging for forgiveness because I was in the wrong. “ I say.
“Oh really? I could just smite you right here and now” Her tone is a bit more playful though I can still detect some simmering anger.
Will she kill me? Will she not? My heart beats a bit faster but I still have yet to soil myself so my voice remains firm, though quiet.
“You could. But before you do... I want to let you know I am sorry for hitting you. I thought this was all a dream and I’m new here... and.. I wanted to laze aboutI.. well..” Curses. Talking my way out of things is not my forte.
She scoffs. “Idiot. You’re only saying that because I beat you good.”
“No!” I say, raising my head up to her. “.. I would never hurt someone like that.. for fun.”
She blinks down at me, and her triumphant smile is replaced by some measure of disappointment. I try to correct what I’m saying. I suck at speaking. “... Well I’m just saying if I knew you were real, I wouldn’t have hurt you. I screwed up and for that.. I’m” I bow down again “... I’m sorry.”
“So you didn’t want to spar with me..."why did you rip some of my hair out, human?”
She thought I was trying to duel her. “I was just... trying to enjoy a good dream..."Well I thought I was dreaming you see...” I trail off totally unsure how to explain that which I barely undrestand myself.
“...You’re one of those crazy humans, aren’t-cha? “ Her tone reverts to being annoyed- als though more disappointed and pitying.
First thought is to say no. But maybe I am; I did just try to make a blue haired loli with wing, who can summon icey death no less, disappear with my mind. The berserker charge doesn’t help my case either. So I stay silent.
“I hate crazy humans.” she says without any of that childlike mischief I heard before. I look up, hoping that a needle of ice isn’t the last thing I see.
Instead she has turned around and started walking back to the lake.
“Hey... wait” I say to her and I reach outward her. Of course I have to clarify and settle this matter- and not ruffle her head. As insane as I may be, I don’t think she ever wants my hand around there ever again.
“Go away” she says bored. The blue mist just out a bit more, and I pull my hand back with a small yelp. “You annoyance!” Two more centimeters and I would have lost them to frost bite I swear.
She gives me one last glare before jumping upward, and.. levitating upwards...
Grenshaw’s ghost. She’s flying. Like propelling herself in the air, becoming a smaller and smaller dot in the sky until...
I stare up at the sky. What just happened?
I have so many questions. So many.
And the only person-- well magical creature--- who could have answered them I chased away.
I sigh and I feel another soft breeze blow on by.
Actually... since this isn’t a dream... maybe there is someone who can help me.
So... Voices. Tell me if you can hear me.
What is going on here?
[ ] write in
By now I think you can all guess at the “trick” behind this CYOA. But if its still not clear I’ll make another post explaining such. I may not do choices besides write in unless I get any funny, appropiate, or stupid ideas as to how the story should advance.
I have other ideas in my mind, so please don’t think this will be the only difference from other CYOA’s.
The voices say. They don’t muddle together this time, though it seems there are even less of them.
I let out a slight groan as I lay back down. I had asked them what was happening, not what I should do- though I think one of them asked if I could them.
You are in my head. Of course I can hear you.
Well I suppose its insane to assume that voices in my head would know more than myself. Of course, its insane also to have them to begin with.
I scratch my head and I bend my legs.
I glance at the mountains in the distance.
Yeah-- lIke I’m going to walk all the way up there. It’d be nice if I could have a map or something.
I don’t suppose you voices could provide me with one?
No answer. I really must be crazy to keep trying to talk to them.
I momentarily imagine myself in straitjacket imaging this whole thing.
Regardless if that's the truth, I might as well take up the voices advice and clear my head.
I close my eyes and pause all thinking. The sunshine, the grass it all feels pretty good, and I appreciate how it good feels. A moment later, I feel rejuvenated, still a bit guilty about ripping out that blue haired girl’s hair, but rejuvenated.
That was pretty quick. Then again, I wasn’t feeling that disturbed to begin with. Huh, I should be.
The words sociopath cross my mind.
Nah. It can’t be that simple. If that blue haired Cir... Cir.. Circle? well if that blue haired girl gets ice powers I must have a super power too.
And given my abilities thus far... my superpower must be being a lazy git.
A little lame but if it means I don’t lose totally it, I’m not complaining. My stomach however begs to differ.
I hear it gargle, demanding an entire cow’s tender meat inside of it
As much as I enjoy my superpower, I don’t want to see it triumph over my physical needs.
I should find something to eat. And then something to drink. And then.. whatever the hell is going on here. And then I’ll have some more R&R.
The prospect of more relaxation is enough motivation for me to stand up.
As I survey my surroundings, I can’t help but feel like I forgot something...
[ ] yeah. who are you, anon?
[ ] Tell him what he should do
[ ] Tell him he’s in a video game world
[ ] Explode
[ ] write in
I’ll update later tonight probably, and if this thread has more activity, do another update after that.
With those words, an image flashes in my mind. Ouch. That hurts a little. I put my hand on my forehead, though the image recedes as quickly as it came.
I try to remember what it was and surprisingly, I am able to to do so with total clarity. It is a map presumably of where I am, albeit lacking in any meaningful particulars like latitude, longitude. Half the places don’t make sense to me, but I pick up on some key choice words like “Human Village “Misty Lake” “Scarlet devil Manision”. Human Village sounds right, though far, and scarlet devil mansion, though close, sounds like its filled with scarlet devils so I should probably avoid going there.
I look back to the lake. Its a little misty now that I look at it, but also rather large. Given its size and this map in my head, I guess this world is maybe a hundred kilometers in diameter, assuming is a flat circle created by magical borders. Or some other nonsense.
As I trudge along the grass, I scratch my head at the weirdness of all this
Did the voices give me this map-memory? Or did I have it all along?
Although I’d like to believe they’re not simply voices in my head, II swear I keep hearing a demand for me to explode. I’m pretty sure I can’t so I think I’m going to have assume they’re some sort of passive aggressive collective, fond on ordering me around.
Sound advice is sound however so I start scavenging for food. I walk across the field, away from the lake in the meantime.
This isn’t much better than wandering around, I really don’t know how to scavenge for myself, and there may be more impossibilities like that Circle character.
Since I have no real answers to the myriad of questions assaulting me, I zone out and all becomes well in my little world.
Some indeterminable time later, I smell food.
And not the juicy raspberry or the small furry kind; like actual food. Its just a tiny waft brought on by the breeze, but my stomach assures me I would be a fool not to follow it.
So I do. Eventually, the green field gives way to a forest, and the mountains have gotten much closer, and much more present.
How long have I been walking? How did the smell carry here this far?
I consider stopping, turning around, but hey, this place is bound to have more food than that bloody lake, and if it doesn’t, I might as well starve.
It is then I notice a few waterfalls and a large body of water. A pond, and next to it..
Food. Japanese styled cuisine, udon, rice balls, but by Park’s Pleasure, its a feast.
Its under an old and rotting house like construct, that has no walls, and half way consumed by the vegetation present.
A little weird, but hey, food is food right?
[ ] Eat and be glad
[ ] Investigate the lake
[ ] Try to find other people
[ ] write in
The voices say. One tells me to throw common sense to the wind, and of course I have to wonder what sort of man would listen to that advice.
Then again, the laziest option would be to just eat the food. And my stomach’s fury tells me that would be the best long term lazy option, if not the only option for the long term.
So with a heavy heavy heart, I quickly set up on the scrumptious feast before me.
Now which to start upon first? Ah perhaps the noodles. Or maybe the riceballs. Or how about both...
Something gives an ugly croak. I stop half way through choking down noodles and rice.
Could someone disapprove of my wanton display of gluttony?
I turn around, to see a single toad, looking rather pointedly at me.
It croaks even louder. Perhaps it wants me to share?
I break my gaze, and mouth chock full of food, I break a piece of meat in half, and toss the scrap over to that amphibious moocher.
Huh. Now there are two toads. And both don’t seem to want to partake in my offerings. The mist seems to be getting denser?
They croak again, in sync. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say they were angry with me.
Well I don’t know any better, this is a... Gensyoko? Nonsense land. Ah well. If toads with no taste are the only detriments to free meals lying about, I ain’t complaining.
I continue to eat, filling myself quite satisfactorily. Of course, somewhere in there I feel the need to drink water. There is no liquid as far as I can tell that would sate that, so I decide to take a break nad look around to eat.
Ah. The mist seems to have gotten alot strong...
Toads. Before me on the ground. Next to me treading in the water. Behind me, in the forest.
Toad everywhere. Rows and rows of the little buggers surround me. Their bulbous eyes seem filled with fury of a most intelligent kind, and though they merely sit there; they sit there. Unblinking, croaking, furious toads.
Another passive aggressive collective. Wonderful.
“Human.” said a vaguely reptilian, elderly voice, coming from somewhere in the mist.
“Speaking.” I quickly jut in, a little impulsively. The toad seem to grow more tense, and they start croaking wildly, as if chanting.
A giant, and I mean giant black blob comes closer. I have never seen a blob this big, who knows what it would be.
Oh wait, its just a giant toad. With long silvery hair, and some very displeased eyes.
“Did you enjoy eating the offerings given to the toads?” it opens its mouth, and its jaw.. vibrates"... somehow producing speech.
Enervated Ellis. These toads... they think they own all the food in the world.
“Well!?” it shouts.. or croaks? It brings a leg down on the water, behind the toads. Like a depth charge, the water parts under its blow, and the toads seperating me from quickly swim away.
On second thought, maybe someone was giving this creature food to as sacrifice.
So what should I do? Voices? Anyone?
[ ] Cry
[ ] Genuflect and beg for forgiveness
[ ] Offer a way to repay them
[ ] Point out that its not like anyone could have known it was theirs
[ ] write in
once I have more free time, I’ll probably start doing updates on a six-seven hour basis, as it seems I can’t hit 4 posts/vote per update.
Half the voices seem to advise caution while the other half believe I’m indestructable.
Since its a giant elderly toad lord thing, I have a half a mind to believe I’ve fallen asleep again.
Well I suppose I could press my luck just a bit.
“Lord Frog..” The words come out in a jumble, and the toad lets out a deafening croak.
Oh yeah, he’s a toad. “... Lord toad! Uhm...” Bollocks. Those voices give orders like they could do it themselves; I still suck at talking my way out of things.
“I did eat your... offerings!” I tried injecting some bravado but all I managed was a pathetic edge to a tone.
The toad continues to stare me down, as if waiting for me to continue... and I think its moved closer. At this distance, I think he’s about twenty times my size...
Something tells me I should be terrified. “So uh..” I steel myself “Its not like they were yours to begin with!”
One of the toads croaked to my side. They had been silent, respectfully so this entire time, but it seemed the one to break the silence, had just had pulled away some vegetation obscuring a nameplate I hadn’t seen before...
Toad Shrine, it says.
Oh I see. Toad Load’s pupils contract just a bit. “Young human, you are foolish” it says.
Hmmm. Don’t have the element of confusion, or the element of rightneousness or well... anything to my advantage. I’m screwed once again. “... I hate foolishness” it says.
I start backing away, slowly and carefully. I glance behind me. Just some frogs, though magical as that voice said. Still I should make a break for it...
A gale force wind breaks through the air.
I look back. A giant splash in the water, but Toad Lord is gone.
What? Did he forget how to swim?
The toads around me start backing away and the sky starts getting darker and... Could it be? Oh my god. I know whats going on.
I have the power to make things disappear at will.
Ha! So this is a dream after all!
I take one confident step forward. God I was silly to ever think any of this was real.
At that moment, the ground below shifted with an explosive bang. A shockwave came from behind me and propels me into the bushes.
I don’t even have time to scream as I see the word go upside down, and then right side up, and then upside down...
I land, and I look up at the toad lord sitting in the center of a newly formed crater.
What just happened? The blood rushes into my head. How did I end up lying upside down?
“Oh? You were able to dodge, young human?”
Human this. Human that. I have a name... Ah it just tried to crush me.
Now is the time to beg. Yep yep. “Wait... wait... please.. don’t kill me- I’m.. I’m sorry!”
The toad croaks and one of its brows goes up.. if it had an eyebrow it would have raised it.
“Begging for forgiveness?” it says with an tired, and annoyed tone.
“Pray tell, Human, Shouldn’t you have done that immediately” It starts getting closer.
I scramble upward, but gravity and foliage are the quite the opponent.
“Definitely” I say.
“Then why should I give you another chance to right your wrong?”
“Uhm...” Its right over me and my mind draws a blank.
I can hear the crowd of frogs begin croaking, as if yelling for the toad lord to kill me.
It's time. Outnumbered, outgunned, and with our back against the wall, it's time to show these shitty frogs just whose in charge. This is our dream, and these pieces of trash aren't going to stop us from doing whatever we want.
The voice says. One even gives you a fifteen second motivational speech.
I wonder if Toad Lord’s leg will make my head go squish or go splat.
… Anyway, I am very sure I can’t explode. I don’t know why they keep insisting I can.
Its not like I’d want to. I should be trying to survive. But...
Well. Death seems inevitable, and it is eternal slumber isn’t it? A neverending laziness, albeit a bit less majestic than relaxing in an open field... So I guess I shouldn’t worry about leaving anymore. I manage a defiant look at my oncoming death.
Yeah the voices are right.. I might as well go with a bang... assuming I can explode. Unsure of how to do so, I concentrate on the idea of exploding; imagining my insides forcibly being blow out of my body as if it were layered with mini-bombs. My femur would go through the toad lord’s head, and then the shock wave would probably wipe out all other life in at least a mile radius... Inanity I know, but.. just as the grubby leg comes down, I swear I hear something gurgle inside me...
“I FOUND YOU” shrieks an all too familiar, high pitched, obnoxious voice.
The leg stops a foot above my head. The toads who had been croaking like crazy fall quiet. Even the toad lord mills about, searching for the source of that racket.
“I found you!” that voice says again.
There.. above the toad lord, levitating in air is a.. oh crap
Blue hair, blue dress, blue eyes, blue wings. Its Circle... who isn’t happy judging by the many little ice crystals hanging in the air, all pointing at me.
“...You’re going to pay for what you did to me” I thought we were done with this.
“Uh.. what did I do?” I blurt out.
“You know what!” The toad lord’s eyes dart between the two of us, though it appears more or less bemused by the whole interruption.The toads croak amongst themselves, but at least the blood lust in them is gone.
I’m a little confused myself. Why resume hostilities? If she was angry before she could have ended me.
“No. I don’t know what.” I say.
A faint red blush creeps on her otherwise pale face. “You...”
“You made me a laughing stock at the pond!..”
“Beg your pardon?” I say.
“Just.. Look!” She spins around and points rather angrily at the back of her head.
I see it as clear as day. So does the toad lord and all his followers.
A fresh, pink island in the middle of blue. A quite noticeable bald spot, if I do say so myself.
How am I suppose to react"...
As I ponder my next course of action, my vocal chords take the initiative.
I start chuckling.
“What!" Why are you laughing? Stop it!” An annoying little girl with a big fat bald spot on her head. Surreal but funny, somehow. God I wonder why I didn’t see before.
Barely a moment later the toad lord rumbles, with... fury? No.. thats not its as if..
The toad lord closes its eyes, and unleashes wave after wave of pure mirth. The other toads join with their own croaks, and soon we’re all sharing in a good laugh.
Well Minus one fairy who stamps her foot mid air and shouts .”Shut up you smelly toads! Or else I’ll ice you!...”
Abruptly, the toad lord stops laughing and his tongue shoots out, like a wound up rubber band. My laughter and the other toad’s laughter stops. The tongue wraps around the floating fairy like a snake, and before she can even struggle, before she can process what happened, the tongue retracts, dragging the blue haired girl into a gaping maw.
She lets loose a small defiant scream, just as the toad lord’s mouth closes.
I hear some bizzare smushing noises.. and then the toad lord opens his mouth.
I was expecting blood but instead...
Nothing. As if the Cirno girl was never even there. “That was a good laugh” the toad lord says approvingly.
“... Did you just... kill her?”
The toad lord gives something akin to a sigh and says “... It should keep her out of our hair for a day.”
“what?. ” After some struggling, I manage to right myself and stand back up. “... what?”
Towering over me, the toad lord looked down at me with a very serious expression. “Human... what did you do to her?”
[ ] nothing at all
[ ] The whole truth
[ ] An exaggerated truth
[ ] EAT MY EXPLOSION, FROGFACE
[ ] write in
Many voices say at once. No harm embellishing my role? Lie Harder?
Too risky. I may be fearless-- or maybe just a sociopath-- but I have little faith in my speechcraft- and I’m pretty sure Toad Lord wouldn’t be so stupid as to fall for that.
Sorry, voices, If I tried lying I think I would just stutter all over the place.
“Well... I woke up in a field. Saw her standing over me. Ripped out some of her hair. Told her to go disappear... She didn’t. She started attacking me. I charged her punched the side of her head... almost broke my hand... and then I begged for forgiveness” I said, finishing off my little lame retelling.
“I see.” The toad lord says with a slow rumbling voice. The other toads stay quite as he seemingly appraises the worth of your words.
“Very pathetic.” it says with an oh so very condescending tone.
“Oh yes... I suppose” I nod my head. No shame for the shameless, or the weak for that matter.
“A mere human attacking an ice fairy one moment and groveling the next?” Now it just seems a bit amused.
I lay my hand on my chest. “In my defense.... great toad lord, I thought she was a... hallucination”
“...You’re insane, aren’t you?”
I still don’t know the answer to that question. You’d think the voices would at least have the common courtesy to say otherwise.
“Yes, No, Maybe so”
The toad lord’s tongue ripples out of his mouth, and rubs against the tip of his head, as though scratching it. “Hmmm. I should just crush you... but that ice fairy had been icing up parts of my dominion, and annoying many of my vassals...”
Perhaps he’d be willing to forgive me since I helped him get rid of annoyance, Its a stretch but I have to seize it.
“... It is only fair I give you another chance.” it says with all the air of a fat king.
Chance? “uh... to? to what?”
“Another chance to repay us for all that food you took”
“You mean you’re not just going to let me go?” Ah, Stupid Questions, I can be full of them.
The toad lord pauses, and retracts his tongue and if its not my imagination, I see its followers toads slink back just a bit. “Now how would I be able to crush you if I were to do that ?“ The ends of its mouth curls upward very slightly. I didn’t even know toads could do that sort of thing.
My heart beats just a bit faster.
“Anyway, you should be thankful I granted you extra audience. The laugh we had wasn’t that great... and you helped very little in lowering the guard of that fairy.”
“Oh” I scratch my cheek. I’d beg to differ but something tells me I’m an argument away from a head squish. For the most part though, it does seem like I have a chance to save myself... Toad Lord seems like he’ll keep his word.
“How will you repay us?” the toad lord asks.
He’s not going to tell me? “... Uhm.. You’re not going to tell me?”
“Do you have food on your personage?”
Why, yes, its all inside of m.... “No.”
“Then the alternative is hard labor. You shall work for a month serving us...”
Hard Labor. If my will to laziness was a thread of sanity, oh it just got pulled tight. Even in the interests of future laziness, there must be a lazier option!
“Hold on.. please, oh great Toad Lord.”
“Yes, Foolish Human?”
“May I think of a way to repay you... Well that you will approve of, of course”
“By all means.” he croaks then. “... I do tire of seeing you small humans expire after the first week of servitude”
He looks at me, as though he expected me to quiver. I should be... but I’m not.
Anyway. I think. I close my eyes I breathe out. And in. And out... And in....
I hit my moment of zen and my mind clears leaving just two thoughts behind. One, Toad Lord enjoys a good laugh... and two, I should tell an exaggerated truth.
Epiphany strikes. Kind of sort of, since its the same idea the voices had.
Aggravating Axel-- I’m back to square one. Well at least now it won’t be a lie...
I open my eyes, and the toad lord looks down, with a mix of devilish amusement and anticipation. to me. “May I tell you, oh great toad lord.. a story?”
“A story, foolish human?”
“A story. That you will enjoy”
The toad lord lets out a croak which is answered by a multitude of croaks from our audience. The toad lord listens as they all voice their... croaks?
He closed his eyes, and nods his head.
“I doubt you can make me laugh again... But my followers are interested... Go ahead and try. But if isn’t enjoyable...” It raises its foot and brings it down with lightning speed. A small smoking hole is made in the ground where it was.
Although I think I’m not intimidated, I realize that hole is fast becoming a metaphor for my predicament.
I don’t know a single story off the top of my head.
what story can I tell then?
[ ] write in
I am grateful for all the votes last night- really I am. I also hope I can continue to make it enjoyable for all involved.
I hope nobody thinks I’m avoiding the vote (if anything we came right back to it)- but I’m trying to stay true to MC’s limitations and personality, as opposed to making him a jack of all trades.
And all of a sudden, I do. The voices in a rush, inject another memory into my skull.
A quick flash fiction called... the “Frog in a Milk Pail”. I place my right hand on my forehead, shadowing my eyes as I give the story a once over.
…. Not bad. Not bad wherever it came from. Toad Lord does not seem like the kind that would be amused by that though.
Reality hits me at that moment.
How in god’s name, can I tell a story well if I suck at talking? Even at my best anyhow, it’d come out as a boring monologue or something.
Well maybe... maybe if I just pretend I’m the frog in the story, all by myself.
Yeah.. Thats it. I snap my fingers, to the apparent confusion of my audience, whom ribbit amongst themselves quietly.
If I imagine I’m in my own little word- getting ready to relax- then I shouldn’t feel any pressure. For a brief second, I wonder if its wise to build another psychosis.
‘Are you ready, foolish Human?” the toad lord rumbles with a tone that suggests he wanted to add in “yet”-- and that any more delay would result in a squish.
Better start then. I close my eyes, with my hand still on my head.
Relax. I close my eyes.
Breathe in. I am a frog in a field.
Breathe out. I am a frog in a field.
This is just like telling myself a bed time story. Yeah, stories are an escape from troubles, the better they’re told, the more relaxing the story it is. For my survival, for my happiness, I shall be a frog!
“... You bet I am” I open my ideas. Of course, toad lord looks as if he’s smirking at me but by joe thats not going to stop me.
Without missing a beat, I begin by sweeping my arms out.
“A frog was hopping around a farmyard, “ I say slowly, turning around, and sweeping my arms out to the audience, as I drop to the ground on my fours. The toads watch me blinking, but silent, as if wondering what came over me.
No time to wonder myself: I have to tell this story well.
I have to be the frog.
I start hopping around, on all fours.
“..when it decide to investigate the barn.” I look around an invisible corner with a shifty look. I keep my tone level, but as scholarly as I can muster.
“...Being somewhat careless, and maybe a little too curious...” In an instant, I cease pretending to be a frog, and I stand up, scanning my audience while wagging my index finger at them.
“...he ended up falling into a pail half-filled with fresh milk!” I fall down onto my back, my face contorted in a look of pure horror written upon it. The frog lord’s pupils contract then as if something had stabbed his heart.
Apparently I also strike a chord with my audience, as I hear some croaks that sounds like gasps.
Well whatever the reason, its a good thing. Feel my fear; enter the story. Become the frog that is me.
“As he swam about attempting to reach the top of the pail,” I crouch-walk, bringing my arms forward and backward in a swimming motion, frantically watching the top of the imaginary pail. “... he found that the sides of the pail were too high and steep to reach.”
My tone became low and dismal, as gut wrenching terror consume my frog soul. I clamor upwards, at a freedom just out of my reach.
“He tried to stretch his back legs to push off the bottom of the pail...” I try doing what I described as painstakingly and as emotionally as ever. I bent my knees down, and down to the ground.
I leap up after a second with all my might, reaching for the sky. Freedom!
“..but found it too deep!” I falter in mid air, and I drop back onto my knees, my hand still stretch out, yearning for freedom. As if on cue, I hear more croacks- sounding dare I say more concern.
I regard my audience again, showing them my eyes, filled to the brim with utter despair. “This was the end for the poor toad.”
“He would die here.” I sat down carefully and curl up into a ball. I would die here.
“The pail would be his death knell.” I bury my head, as my voice became more softer Death is coming for me.
No. I won’t let it end this way. “HOWEVER!” I screamed, clenching both of my fists, looking upright with fury rippling across my face.
“... this frog was determined not to give up, so he struggled!” I leapt upwards.
“He kicked and squirmed and kicked and squirmed” I did so, without looking as though I was convulsing. With each kick, and each bold, random action, I inject a firmness, a resoluteness, fitting for that for a samurai. Or maybe a ninja.
“until... until... until...” I couldn’t keep the anticipation out of my voice. “...all his churning about in the milk had turned the milk into a big hunk of butter.” I look down to the ground as though it transformed into solid gold
“The butter was now solid enough for him to climb onto and get out of the pail!” I
“.. and what did he learn from this? what did he tell his children, and his children’s children?”
Looking straight down at my feet, I point to the heavens above and I shout "Never... Give... Up!" With that, I look back up with a wide grin.
My frog persona ebbs away, as I remember that I am a human. A human who is now tired after such a dramatic display. I don’t even bother to wonder what the hell I just did as I sigh contently.
I blink a few times with probably a lazy smile as I take in my surroundings.
Toads staring at me quietly. Toad Lord probably behind me too.
Oh thats right, my life is still on the line. Or is it? Its deathly quiet, and... some of those toads crying?
I look closer and yes, they’re crying, the whole lot of them. I didn’t even know toads could do this sort of thing. “Human...” I hear a very dark old voice said.
I told a depressing story even though Toad Lord wants something funny. I turn around. “Uhm yes?”
He looks down at me, neither smiling nor frowning, but with a sliver of tears making its way from his eyes, over his warts to ground.. Manly tears.
“How did you know... about the pail?” The pail?
“wait what now” I say to him.
“The pail human.... When I was a youngling, I got trapped in the terrible pail and I... did everything you said...”
Did I just happen to stumble on a traumatic incident in his..
“Human.” He puts his webbed, cold, foot, lightly on my shoulder “... Those words you said... Never give up.... I thought you were just a fool but clearly... you know what it means to be a toad!” Oh god, what were the chances..
“Cheer for this man!” The toad lord says, he twists his head around. “He has told us the greatest, most secret story of this clan and told it well!.” Am I going to get struck by lightning?
The crowd goes nuts upon the toad lord’s words, well, hopping up down, croaking loudly and exuberantly. Uh...
“Never give up!” the toad lord then goes on to say, his tears finally leaving him as he thumps the ground like some twentieth century dictator.
All the toads chant out three croaks on command, three happy meaningful croaks, over and over again.
…. I smile a bit weakly.
what should I do now?
[ ] ask for safe passage to the human village
[ ] run away as quickly as you can
[ ] write in
jesus this ate up some time. apologies for the lack of editing, but I really can't spend more than two hours on this with the amount of work I have.
[ ] croak with happiness, stay here, ask for passage to human village (no clear choice0
is what the voices say. I hear a bit more talking this time, though definitely not as much as before.
What happened to the rest of them? Do they not care about me? Shouldn’t crazy voices in a person’s head be much more consistent?
I can hear them give no response.
Ah well. I can’t croak so I tighten up my smile, nodding my head to the assembled cheering toads. Its not a false smile, the atmosphere and the toads seems much more hospitable now that they aren’t calling for my death.
Ah thats right. Ten minutes ago, they were about to squish me. Before I can ponder the fortuitous turnabout, the Toad Lord speaks again.
“Silence, Silence” He calls, silencing his followers once again. He looks to me, his tone softening, as he says “... I, the great toad lord have made my decision... The human is forgiven and he shall walk free.”
That wasn’t a given? “T-T-Thank you, Toad Lord.” I put my hand on my chest I bow deeply.
He gives a small croak, which I guess sounds pleased. Note to self, kowtowing is a skill. “I also decree that with your freedom, you become the jester for my court!” He pronounces this with a thump of his leg.
“Thank you...” Jester? “ you... “ in court? “...What?” I blink a few times for good measure as the toad rumbles a bit. “But-But But what about my freedom?” I blurt out.
“Of course, you are free to become the jester of my court!” he proclaims with the same amount of gusto.
“I kid, Human...” The toad lord says noticing my twitching eye. “... You are also free to leave our pond if you so choose. I am no tyrant.”
Wasn’t it going to kill me for eating its food before"... well technically it was all the toad’s food... and... I scratch the back of my head, sighing just a bit. “Uhm Thank you, great Toad Lord”
Just a bit overwhelmed at the moment.“... Though I speak for my constituents when I say, we would appreciate an entertaining brother in our ranks. Its been a long long time since we’ve had someone who could move so.”
The more he talks the more I’m confused. “...A jester is a brother?” I venture, slowly, but managing a respectful tone.
“Ey. No matter your position, if you join our court, we will teach you the ways of the toad, so that one day, you will become a full fledged brother”
All this for one story. Well one story plus ripping some blue hair off a girl. “brother?” I almost squawk.
The toard lord continues on. “A brother of the toads has bonds that are unbreakable, respect that is unquestionable, and the firm support of all other toad Not that, I would use my magic to transform you into an actual toad of course”
They must be desperate for some entertainment... But I can’t resist his avuncular smile and I smile back. The toads around us let loose a chorus of croaks at the end of his little speech that sounds like they approve. Well these toads do seem like a nice crowd and it doesn’t seem like it’d that bad being a brother..
I shake my head. I can’t be so easily manipulated.
What I should be doing is figuring out.... everything. Well everything is alot, so maybe I should just see which choice will be easier on me in the long run?
To accept or not to accept...
A toad from the toad audience croaks once and the Toad Lord turns to acknowledge the toad.
“Ah yes. That is right, brother Alexei... “ he turns back to me. ”Human, we can’t just keep calling you human... what is your name?”
My name? Ugh, one question at a time please.
[ ] write in a name
[ ] accept his offer. BROTHERHOOD AWAITS!
[ ] don’t accept. You can find a way to live somehow...
[ ] explode
if anyone has any complaints or otherwise, please voice them. in my opinion, the story has developed a workable foundation by this point.
As we are now friends, we shall go and ask the following after other anons have decided our name.
[X] Ask who left the offering.
If it's Suwako (for whatever reason she may like toads as well.) we can head down Suwako route, hopefully the toads will put in a good word for us.
[X] "What is your opinion on frogs?"
Now that we are in good terms with the toad lord, I suggest we go on to learn of the toad lords relation with frogs, if a conflict between the two is under way, then we shall strive to settle with peace between the two!
We shall become a nature Youkai, (or a druid)and control magical green laser beams, sending out amphibian death rays! our path to glory has begun!
Make sure to name us with something that relates to frogs or toads.
Picture related, its how Manly we will become after long hard MANLY training sessions.
[X] Ask who left the offering.
[X] "What is your opinion on frogs?"
[x] don’t accept. You can find a way to live somehow...
[x] Perhaps as a way to improve toad relations with the humans and youkai in Gensokyo?
I googled toad whisperer and it was the first thing that came up.
[X] Ask who left the offering.
[X] "What is your opinion on frogs?"
[X] accept his offer. BROTHERHOOD AWAITS!
[x] Perhaps as a way to improve toad relations with the humans and youkai in Gensokyo?
Like an indecisive typhoon, the voices hit me with their suggestsions in an instant. I blink a few times trying to make sense of all the information. For the most part the voices agree on some bits- but...
Oh god, why do I see a half human half toad things with a black circle for a willy? is this some kind of a joke? Becoming a druid? half youkai"... And did one of them say for me to explode?
“Your name?” the toad lord asks with a curious tone, as his tongue slashes about.
Oh thats right, reality is still around me. “My name is Abe” I say off the bat, bowing my head just a bit. I hold my head, and I squint down at the ground.
Abe? No that can’t be my name... its...
“.. And your family name?” Ah yes, when people ask for your name you give them your first and your last... I’d like to curse the voices but that’d be hypocritical since I seem to know neither. Sechung’s soul.
“Abe Gray. Abe Gray.” I shake my head and I look back up at him.
“Is there something wrong, Abe Gray?”
Yes. YES. That toad-human image... Sure I’ve manage to push out of mind, but the foul after-thought-taste clings to me. “...Pounding Headache sorta”
“.. Do you accept our offer?” The toad lord says with gusto again, as our audience looks on as rapt as ever.
Brotherhood awaits"... is this the right-- easy-- option? It may be a bit of hard work, but I could really take it easy with a bunch of sentient toads.
“Do you want to become more than just a man..?” he says to me.
Assuming they don’t kill me like they did Circle. Then again if she had been annoying them and I also kind of need someone to help explain this world to me.
“Do you want brotherhood, Abe Gray?” he says with a very stern tone.
Well as long as I won’t turn into something out of bestiality porno, though I wish I could have said this thought out loud.
“Yes, great Toad Lord... “ I almost yawn. Ah, crick, a food coma and my instinctive desire to relax almost converged; must... compensate...
“.. Yes Toad Lord!” I shout firmly, to the mild surprise of the Toad Lord I salute him firmly with my words, standing boldly at attention. “ I want to be a brother”
“Does the court of toads agree?”
One series of croaks, as bold and as strong as my answer fill the air. The festive mood has faded and been replaced with something more stern and professional then should have
The toad lord closes his eyes and I hear another rumble come back from his throat “Then it is decided”
“From this day forth...” The rumble becomes a roar. “You shall be known as.. Abe GLENN Gray!”
Glenn?.. Ah why not. Sounds nice enough. “Yes, great toad Lord!” I say. Three more croaks come form the audience, almost echoing the toad lord’s words.
“Now my constituents, return to your normal duties!.. Glenn has to finish his initiation!” My middle name has become first name apparently.
Ah well. With a few more collective croaks of approval, the toads begin hopping and crawling away, most letting loose happy croak that I deem to be farewells.
I turn around and wave to once-captors, waving. “Thank you... Thank you.. We should... hang out later.. ” Given that we’re not speaking the same language, that would probably be quite a challenge. Then again, one does not need to talk to relax.
Speaking of which, I think I deserve an afternoon nap.
“Come Glenn, We must swim to sunken rock” the toad lord says as he waddles over to the water.
“Swim? I’m not sure if I know how” I was getting caught up again; everything is going too fast.
I’d much rather lay here for a bit and take in the pond’s good atmosphere.
“Onto my head then.” he gives a good push off the ground and jumps in, spraying me with water.
Well that woke me up. I sigh as I walk over to the toad lord’s head, which is now just above my eye level.
It strikes me just as I’m about to plant my foot down on his rubbery skin, that its as if the king offered me a piggy back. “You won’t mind?”
The toad lord gives a curt croak, sounding sorta like a snort. “You’re only a twentieth of my weight.”
I don’t think I’m over the whole squishing thing just yet, but I better trust him anyway.
I put a foot on him, and though it appears slippery, I get purchase quickly.
He starts drifting away from land, and I lose balance. Choosing the lesser of two evils, I fall splat on his back, and the smell of toad grime fills my nostrils. Nothing overpowering, but still...
“Comfortable?” he says with a hint of wryness in his tone.
I don’t know if he’s joking or even if he meant to move before I was ready, but I won’t forget this,. “Yes, Toad Lord”
I move up to the top of his head, and take a good seat. He begins floats rather briskly away from the land, and it disappears into the mist.
After a few moments, the far off croaks from other toads of the pond disappear.
Breaking the silence, I ask “So uhm do Toads get along well with humans?” The voices brought this up, and they’d probably annoy me if I were to ignore them.
“Isn’t it clear, Glenn. We don’t bother them. They don’t bother us. If they trespass on our dominion, all they have to do is leave offerings.” the toad lord says matter of factly.
“oh.” I have better questions to ask, many more questions to ask.
“There is something on your chest. Isn’t there Glenn?”
“its not about brotherhood” I blurt out “Its just... “ I groan inwardly and I lay on back on his skin, which though smelly seems quite clean.
“Doubts will be forbidden upon initiation, Glenn. Please speak your mind now.” he says. If there is a threat in those words, his tone hides it quite well.
Well then, what should I ask him?
[ ] write in questions
thanks for all the votes. I basically ran out of time on this one. so we’ll see how it goes.
I’m considering doing a double update today if I get eight 'votes' for this one (no votespamming please), but we’ll see.
>>135730 I have a couple of questions in mind already, but seeing as how the situation allows for as many as need be, there's no point in offering them as choices. Moreover, some of the best choices so far have been write in's (even when other options were included) and I wanted to see if a CYOA could be more write in directed.
But, in hindsight, I should have included options which will allow you, the readers, to frame the type of questions asked/information revealed.
that being said, here are choices:
[ ] Ask questions about this world
[ ] Tell a partial truth, say you just have amnesia
[ ] Tell the whole truth, including voices
[ ] Don't say the truth at all
[ ] Stay Silent
[ ] Write in
[ ] Ask Questions
[ ] Tell the whole truth including voices
One voice sends me deluge of questions, another offers me a tidbit of advice, and the last one asks me to ask the Toad Lord how to pronounce Circle.
Well its Circle, num-nuts.
Anyway, I wonder why the number of voices keep fluctuating. Perhaps they trust me to take care of the situation? or maybe they all agree with those three voices this time? Alternatively, I could be boring them.
I look at the giant, sentient, toad beneath me, carrying me for my intiation into the toad brotherhood.
Yeah-- I’m a boring guy.
“Glenn, do you find pleasure in spacing out?” I should really stop getting lost in my thoughts.
“Funny story about that...” I bit my lip. Should I really confess one of my secrets? If he didn’t like what he heard, he could just flip over and...
“I can hear voices in my head” He’d take even less kindly to it in the future I guess.
“I see....” he says.
I try articulating. “They tell me to do things.” Well that helps me a bundle.
“Terrible things?” the Toad Lord says in still a questioning, not yet judgemental tone.
“No.” Rip out that girl’s hair. Explode. “well...” Eat the offerings. Explode. “uh...” Explode. “Yeah... yeah maybe.”
The Toad Lord lets out a rumble, and an exhaust of air blows out of his mouth... I think that was a sigh. Perhaps there is a magical/nonsensical explanation for my seeming-psychosis?
“You’re insane.” he says, with ever the wise kingly tone. I hang my head. On the plus side, at least there is such a thing as insanity in this fantasy land.
“No.. well..” I can’t really defend what I’m sure isn’t the truth. Ugh. “if... if I was insane, how would these voices know more than me about the world I’m in?”
I can’t see the Toad Lord’s eyes, but since he’s still moving at the same speed, I’m guessing he isn’t too perturbed by what I’m saying. “...They know more about the world than you do?”
“Yes. I’m sure of that”
“Then why did they tell you to eat the offerings?”
“Good question.” I say back without thinking it through. He’s right though. Had it not been for Circle, that bit of advice they gave me, would have been the Another question, wasn’t I suppose to be asking the questions to begin with?
“Not sure.... but... like” I felt around in my pockets for the map. “They gave me a map of this place..” Ah yes, it was mental. “..and then they seem to know whats going on in the general sense?”
“You don’t sound very certain”
Poetry strikes “... Well... The certain insanity is more fearsome than the uncertain, right?.” I try a more jovial tone.
“.. Did the voices tell you to say that?” His voice remains concerned through neutral.
I recline on the back of the toad. Now that I got use to his smell, I think I can get squeeze some shut eye in. “That line was me... and even when offer me things to say... I’m not very good at saying them so it doesn’t really matter...”
“Ah, so they only offer you advice.”
“Yes... and its up to me to take it.” I’m just going to omit exploding for now. “... They said they know more than I or you..."would ever know”
“oh?” the toad says. “Tell me then, what is danmaku?”
Ah! He may actually believe me if I answer this question.
So Voices, quick, help me out here!
Of course when I really need you guys, you don’t show up.
“Glenn, It is not wise to fool around...”
“Wait, oh great Toad Lord, they...”
“and I do not like being interrupted.” he says firmly.
I hold my tongue. “.... My apologies.”
“However, I can tell if a man is lying... and you are not. Or in the least, you do not think you are.”
Could I be imagining that I’m hearing voices? I almost laugh at that thought.
But I don’t because I think I would just make Toad Lord nervous
“Thank you, oh.. wise Toad Lord... but if you want proof.... Ask me three questions, and in the next five minutes I will have answer. They uhm talk to me on intervals, you see .”
“I see.” the Toad Lord says. For someone who was quick to crush me before, he sure is patient. Perhaps because he can tell if a person is lying or not right off the bat?
“Hmm... Listen carefully then.”
“Yes, Toad Lord”
“What are youkai? who cares over the human village? who judges the souls of spirits?”
Pseudo-religious gobbly gook but I got it. Or at least the voices will when they come back. “Do you know the answers to any of these questions?” he asks me
“No..., Toad Lord” I say firmly. If there’s one thing I’m good at, so far today, is that I’m clueless.
“... If you do not answer all these questions by the time we reach sunken rock, I will have to send you to our healers, Glenn.”
Should I be worried about the Toad Healers? Eh Why not. Its better than him just rolling over right here and right now.
“I have some questions for you however.” he says as I stretch out on his bakc.
“Of course, Toad Lord.” I close my eyes and I take in the cool damp air.
“You’re not of this land, now are you?”
You knew!" Is my first thought. But then again it was pretty obvious given everything. “It was obvious, Glenn. Least of all by your dress..”
“My dress?” I say, looking over myself. A black vest over a long dark red, formal, shirt, with black pants, and black shoes. Nothing out of the ordinary, and dare I say, I look spiffy.
“... It is much different than what people of this land wear”
“Oh.” Not much to be said about that then.
“Would you care to explain your predicament, Glenn?”
“... I’m not sure, Toad Lord. I woke up in a field, and I thought I was dreaming...”
“I don’t remember who I am, where I came from, how I got here...”
“You didn’t know your name, Glenn? He says with a knowing tone. The surface I lay on suddenly seems much less comfortable.
“...Yes.. but it wasn’t a lie..” I was just saying whatever came to mind, so technically..
“I know what it was.” He cuts me off coldly. Uh oh.
“But it doesn’t matter.. for in my eyes and my brother’s eyes, you are are Glenn”
“... Thank you..?”
The ride is as smooth as ever, but this guy keeps throwing me off balance.
[ ] answer his questions
[ ] write in
This isn’t so much a choice stop (though feel free to make choices) as it is just because I ran out of time while working on this.
Yes, it is true that we can only speak to you in intervals, but it isn't our fault, or yours.
Anyway, instead of voices, you can call us Anonymous, Anon for short.
Also, a word of advice, if you see what looks like a hole with multiple eyes looking out, get away from there. And I don't mean an opening in a tree or the entrance to a cave, I mean in the middle of the air and stuff like that, where it shouldn't be. Trust us on this for now because we don't know the mental state of the one who uses that sort of power.
By the way, the blue haired girl? That's an Ice Fairy named CIRNO, not Circle. She often claims to be the strongest, which she is...among the fairies. Which in Gensokyo, are the resident weak cannon fodder. If you thought she was bad, wait until you meet some of the other residents.
Oh, and they're sort of immortal due to being able to regenerate/re-spawn. So if you see Cirno again, don't freak out.
Also, danmaku is used as a non-leathal way of fighting in Gensokyo. They're rather nice to watch as well. You'll know when you see one such battle.
By the way, that toad grime you got on you? It's probably poisonous. Good luck dealing whatever the effects of giant toad poison are. And those ridges behind the eyes? The ones that look like they'd make great hand-holds? Yeah, don't do that. They're super-poisonous. Just a heads-up, I don't want you going insane from giant frog poison.
The voices hit me. Not too much, but this time, they have a lot to say.
“Toad Lord... a moment please!” I say while clutching my head. It doesn’t hurt but...
“The Voices..” I can’t afford to keep getting overwhelmed like this. I cover my face with one hand, and I take a deep breath. “Pardon me I just need to... process them.”
“By all means” Toad lord says with a vaguely commanding tone.
First voice thinks toad healers can’t be that bad and then it tells me to...
Okay moving on.
Second voice just gave me the answers to Toad Lord’s questions. Whether or not they’re right, they sound bizarre enough to work. Cool. I’ll save it for later once I’ve sorted through all these info... thank you voice, whoever or whatever you are.
Next voice told me....
Finally. I open my eyes and crack a smile.. One of them is getting serious.
It says to call the rest of the voices; Anonymous.... Weird name, but if the voices don’t have an objection, anonymous it is.
As for holes with eyes- it doesn’t sound too terrifying. Then again, I’ve been borderline psychopathic fearless since I got here so maybe I’m wrong in the head.
Well I’ll just trust you on this one, Anonymous number three.. or should I Just call you Anonymous since you all sound like?
I find myself looking up at the misty sky, waiting for answer. I shake my head after a moment of thought or two. They’re not god-- I hope-- nor are they going to respond to me immediately anyway.
Next up... still the same voice. Circle not circ... Oh. Its Cirno?
Bleh. What an ugly name. I can see how I muddled it up to begin with.
Actually, that appears to be the least of my worries. Apparently the other denizens of this land are similarly powerful and immortal... and Cirno is still alive?
Lan’s labarum. She got digested and everything and...
She’s still alive...
Well at least it means Toad Lord isn’t a murderer? does this make him a good guy? or he is still a murderer? Will Circ-Cirno, I said Cirno, come back and try to ice me?
I wait for panic to set in. Curiously though, it does not, though these questions hang around in my mind. They feel more like math problems of some annoyance than incapacitating conundrums.
Perhaps my lazy power has softened the impact of what Anonymous had to tell me. Or perhaps I’m just having a delayed reaction and in an hours time, I’ll start running around in circles screaming.
Well we’ll see in hour then. Fourth voice-- thankfully-- doesn’t have as much to say. Numb-nuts? I think its one word actually... but I suppose I’d rather not get into a fight with a hand that feeding me. Apologies, Anonymous.
As for the rest of what this voice had to say... “Great toad Lord?”
“Yes, Glenn?” it says
“Are you poisonous? like is your back poisonous?”
“..Only in times of battle and blood, Glenn... Why do you ask?” he says.
“Uh no reason.. thanks.” l I’ll take that to mean not at the moment.
And last voice... Strange image you gave me, but I don’t think I’ll go insane that easily.
As ominous as all these warnings are/my situation/my possible future, there’s no point raising a fuss. Get intiated, learn to be a brother, become a brother, all the while taking it easy in between.
Though I guess I kinda want to figure out who I really am and all that.
But finding a way to relax after a hard’s day of work comes first.
“Are you ready with your answers, Glenn?” The toad lord says with a voice that is not very amused at all.
First? Relaxing is second. First is surviving.
“Yes. Uhm...” I sit cross legged on his head. I tell him all three answers that were provided to me, with some stutters and general mistakes, but the funny thing is that I do in fact recall the gist of it.
Especially that Keine gal. From that image alone... she’s quite a fine lady indeed.
“Glenn what did you just say about Ms Kamishirasawa?”
Ah. “Hard last name.” As I wrap up my answers, I make another small note to not blurt out my thoughts. “... And thats what they told me” I say.
“For sure?” he asks me.
“Sure. Yes. I guess. I mean yes definitely.”
The toad lord rumbles, with what seems to be consternation. For a second, it seems like we slow down just a bit.
“... Very well.” He starts moving again.
“They call themselves, Anonymous.... do you know anyone called that in this land?”
“Nay... We will consult one of the scribes at sunken rock”
“Scribes?” I should probably stop the one word questions. “Uhm I mean... You don’t know what I am?” With all the airs he puts on, I was pretty sure he did.
“I have lived through a millennium, Glenn but not even I know all the secrets of Gensyoko”
“oh.” I sigh inwardly. The last thing I need is secrets,... and did he just say he’s 1,000 years old?
“Don’t worry though, we’ll find out what you are.” Or maybe It’d be better for me to stay ignorant. who knows.
“Thank you” I almost murmur, though I feel no thanks at all. Does so much have to be done at once? can’t I just relax?”
“We’ll reach the sunken rock soon”
Well there goes that idea.
“Is there anything else in your mind you wish to speak of?”
“Besides initiation?” Otherwise known as the choice that may very well define the rest of my life. I scratch my head.
“We’ll explain what initiation is once we get there, Glenn...”
I frown, and I close my eyes once more.
Probably only time for one question then...
Well... Anonymous.. what should I ask him now?
[ ] ask him why he’s being so nice to you
[ ] ask him about his life
[ ] ask about gensyoko and what it is exactly/the immortals therein.
[ ] no more doubts, stay silent
[ ] write in
I have a whole lot of work.
It’ll be hard maintaining quality/having lengthy updates but I’ll try.
Glad to see more people are interacting with Abe meaningfully.
I highly doubt Cirno will actively seek you out. She isn't exactly known for her intellegence. Of course, if she sees you, her memory may get a jump start and then, well, then the chase is on.
And as for us, we've seen many different types of Genoskyo, ranging from a peaceful land to generally muck around in, to a land struggling after the apocalypse. And yes, we've seen Genokyo in the middle of a few apocalypses as well. We usually know what's what.
Don't think of us as Omnipotent, because we aren't. We're damn close though.
Oh, and don't be alarmed if we end up trying to hook you up with one of the natives. Because in case you didn't know, Gensokyo is populated mostly by females.
Anonymous speaks to me again. There’s less than last time... so I better make this go quickly.
First Voice of Anonymous; thre’s no rush. I would have appreciated some shut eye.. Second Voice. Staying in one place is boring? I’ve been moving around all day, I think I’ll need a week to recover from all this activity.
Third Voice.Ugh. A long one. So the blue haired one won’t track me predator and prey style? Good to know. Different versions of gensyoko? Well... sure why not but I only care about this version. Not omnipotent? Unless you guys were holding out on me, I figured that one out.
Natives? Not citizens Oo just people? As childish and as murder-intent as Circ-Cirno was, I don’t think she’s a primitive.
Wait. What was that about hooking up?
Gender? What of course I am a... Of course I’m sure about not cross dressing... I’m.. a
Gender. I don’t know my gender.That’s right... I haven’t seen myself at all since I got here. My voice does sound gruff and masculine, but can I really be sure by that alone? Perhaps I lost my voice somewhere along the line. Looking down at my surprisingly clean vest, I have a skinny, and scrawny build- which could be a woman’s...
Thankfully I resist the urge to ask Toad Lord this question.
Yes... so... I should find a mirror. Where can I find a mirror in this pond?
I shift over a bit, wary not to make my host/my ride uncomfortable, and peer over the side of his warty skin. The water is clear-- a little surprising given the mist-- though I’ll accept magic or some random physics, as an answer, since I’m too lazy to think worry about something so small.
Anyway, I see in the water, a fortysomething man with some wrinkles, and a receding hairline stares back at me.
He’s rather ugly. Nice clothes, yes, but boy...
Sigh. I can’t believe it but this reflection seems to be me. I bring my hand down toward the water. The person in the reflection does the same. I look at my hands, I look at his. The same.
I clench my fist. He does so. There are many things I can let slide but... I had always fashioned myself vaguely as a young man in his prime. Now all of a sudden, I’m old. Is this how every other man feels when they’ve hit my age?
I sigh, and I continue to examine the face even a mother could hate. Perhaps I can change it with enough...
“Ah.. We have a guest it seems” the toad lord says with a deep rumble.
“Hm?” My face distorts with that thought. Woah. I concentrate a bit harder, and... more distortions. Its changing right before my eyes.
,A toad jumps out of the ripples in the water, onto my outstretched fist.
My reflex is to just lie there as the toad... its white... makes it way up my arm.
“Glenn, this is Cornelius” I bring my outstretch arm back to my side, and with my other free hand I plucks it off before it can reach my shoulder. I sit back up.
“Pleased to meet you... Cornelius, yeah.” I manage a weak smile, as hold him out before my face.
Aside from the pale white color, there’s nothing too different about this toad compared to the others. His eyes seem a bit more dark, though it could just be my imagination.
“Say hello, Cornelius” the toad lord says.
The toad rasps, not croaks or anything toad-like. It rasps at me, as if someone had shoved a skillet down its throat. Harsh, biting, and a little loud.
“He is a... newer toad. Forgive him if he does not want to converse.”
With a voice like that, you are forgiven totally and absolutely, Cornelius. I sit him down on the ground, though he continues to look at me. For a moment, a very slight glint of utter distaste crosses his eyes.
But that can’t be right. He can’t automatically hate me “He’s about to be intiated himself, Glenn” the Toad Lord says as I look more closely at Cornelius.
Cornelius spews some water into my face “Ah!”
“Strange that he’d come by and see you instead of heading straight to sunken rock with the rest of the initiates” The toad lord says in a speculative tone. If I were not such an easygoing guy, Cornelius, you’d be on dead toad.
I sigh as I wipe away some disgusting toad dribble. I can actually see sunken rock now. Its not really a rock more like a black, flat, unnatural surface two or three inches below the surface of the water. I start hearing more croaks, alot more croaks.
“Toad Lord... One last question.. one last doubt I mean... Why are you being so nice to me?” Cornelius looks at me, and back to the toad lord and back to me.
“Because we see you as a potential brother, and a potential jester for my court, Glenn”
“Yes but... what makes me so desirable for those two positions, great toad lord?”
“Are you questioning your lord, young Glenn?” Cornelius breaks off his tare, silently turns around and looks off into the distance, toward sunken rock.
It feels good to be called young now that I’m apparently old but uh.. “No Sir.” I say firmly.
“Relax Glenn.” The toad lord says with a kidding tone. “...The story was half the reason for your good fortune. You told something we hadn’t heard in a long time, that I myself had forgotten a millennium ago. Very well Might I add”
I spot Cornelius out my eyes, staring at me again. “..Thank you, Toad Lord” I say bowing my head, shooting that little white bugger a fierce glare.
“... Never give up, Glenn... Is one of the sacred lesson that must be learned by an initiate before he becomes a brother”
“Well its one thing to say it... and its another to do it and know it right?” Am I debating against my supposed decency"... But I can’t take it easy until I’m sure he won’t try and head squish me again.
“True, Glenn. Your telling was impassioned, and very truthful, but that's not all. You showed another value of a toad brother... honesty, Glenn”
“Honesty?” Wait What?
“Honesty, Glenn..You ate our offerings and yet you did not fight us like youkai. you did not stand arrogantly before us and thought you could get away with it. Nor did you act like a hapless beggar, begging pathetically for your life. You apologized and honestly felt sorry for eating our meal, despite how you did not know better... Am I not right?”
“Uhm... Sure?” From what he says, I sound like a good guy. But-- hell-- all I want to do is relax. Toad Lord completely overestimates me.... but at least it means we can trust each oth-
Wait a second. “Hey, if you were impressed by my honesty-- and if you knew I didn’t know any better, would you have released even if I hadn’t told you a story?”
“Absolutely” More and more croaks fill the air. I guess sunken rock has plenty of toads in it.
“Then why did you still threaten to squish me?” I ask.
As if describing the weather, he replies “To scare the living daylights out of you.”
“Oh.” My mind thinks of a few colorful curses but I don’t speak them- for it is a far better punishment than being squished.
At that moment, the toad croaks- conversations I assume- die down.
“We’re here.” The Toad Lord says simply. I look up and I see he has touched the edge of the sunken surface and that a group of toads, floating on lilipads, are now watching us with rapt attention. The rock isn’t a square as I had first assumed, instead its kind of like a half moon with a big lily pad on the surface. “Uh...” Too much is happening at once. I..
Toad Lord bends his head and lets me slide off, into the water. Cornelius waits for a bit, and then jumps onto my shoulder. “Thanks.. uhm” Hey I didn’t let you get on my shoulder.
“Find a seat, the initiation will begin shortly” the toad lord commands me. What I.. The Toad lord then sinks, or more like drops, into the water, submerging himself and then disappearing from view in a matter of seconds. Wow.
I look out to the toads on the lily pads who stare right back at me. These ones are a bit smaller than the ones I just saw.
Uhm what should I do?
[ ] Quietly find a place to sit.
[ ] Address them, say hello
[ ] Get Cornelius off your shoulder
[ ] write in
somehow I'm able to cram in writing time!
if the story is still going too slowly, please tell me so.
is the general gist of what Anonymous had to say. Also, they don’t like it when address them individually. Apparently, they want me to regard them as a schizophrenic hive mind, saying they have my back, while at the same telling me to explode. Hmm. At least I know I’m not the insae one here.
Well anyway... Anonymous.. seems to have a somewhat good idea. Unless I pretend I’m all by myself again, I don’t think I could talk a crowd this large, let alone break the awkward silence.
But think I’m going to crouch instead because if I did sit, my pants would get wet. Like, this rock is completely sunken; my black shoes are soaked through.
Despite the somewhat uncomfortable silence, I walk a few feet away from the lily pads the toads are sitting on. Some of their stares follow me but most begin to utter hushed croaks among themselves, as though they’re whispering.
As I crouch down, near the edge of the sunken rock, this crowd of smaller toads return to their croaking, ignoring me completely.
“Am I unwelcomed?” I say to myself as I look down at my reflection. Well I guess this face is but...
Ah Cornelius! He’s still on my shoulder. I frown. Well yeah.. I guess I forgot to take him off. “How did I forget he was there? Just as I bring my hand up to take him off, a queer voice suddenly speaks up.
“Yes, you are quite unwelcome, fleshy.” it says with a harsh and an inhuman voice, as someone threw their vocal chords into a forbidden blender.
I look around. The cacophony of the green toad conversations aside... I can’t seem to trace it. Inside my head? No.. it was only one voice.. .and Anonymous doesn’t sound that demonic.
Cornelius leaps off my shoulder down into the water before me.
“Down.” I look down and I see it, and I make the connection.
Oh it can talk. Wow. “Ah?”
“We have things to discuss, fleshy” Fleshy?
“Ah! A talking toad.” First one besides the toad lord. Or maybe they can all talk but they just find their native tongue more pleasant than English. Or perhaps...
“Focus.” it says with its very untoadlike voice, and a very business like manner.
“Oh.” Is my zoning out that noticeable? Shouldn’t I be more flummoxed by this white toad’s sudden speech? Actually... I glare at it softly.“.. Why did you spray your spit my face”
“You brought your face close to mine... did you not?” The small white toad tilts his head, rather cutely.
“Yeah.. but thats no excuse-” I start to say.
“A revolting horror unlike any other descended on me... Filling my vision with a most subhuman image... Twas only a matter of time until it invoked madness into the depths of my soul“ it says looking straight at me the whole time, with a flat tone.
… I do believe this white, talking toad has just called me ugly.
“Are... are you calling me ugly?” I say, without any real thought behind this question.
“Misshapen, fleshy. Merely misshapen.”
That hurts. I blink down at my surprise verbal abuser as Questions swirl in my mind. Also a dark thought involving a heavy rock and Cornelius. Unfortunately, the white toad continues on after just two seconds.
“Back to business.” it says with that nonchalant, cultured tone. “They say you’re from the outside...”
“Yes?” I say, being dragged out of my though time.
“So are you from the outside?”
“Of this place? Gensyoko? Uh...”
“Yes Fleshy, Outside this accursed land of Gensyoko. Answer quickly.”
“Wait why...” Fleshy this. Fleshy that. Didn’t I just get over the whole “you human” hurdle? Why is he calling me a flesh..."
“Now, intiation begins soon.” Intiation. Oh. Oh. I get it now. Something time sensitive is happening. I better do something.. or say something.. uhm... uh..
“Come now, ugly one!”
Going too far there, you little runt. “Hey- My name is Glenn.” No... “ Abe? “No “.. Ah” I scratch my head “Anyway. I think I’m from the outside, because this place seems so weird” Or at least it should feel weird, but I can’t just go..
“Which outside?” the toad says.
“Which outside?” I parrot the question dumbly. Again, everything is moving too fast. Just give me a few seconds and I’ll figure out a way to make a pillow out of this little..
“Do you know of a place called Reichstag?”
“.. No?” It feels like I’m being interrogated.
“The Universalae Empire?” He continues, eyeing me carefully... I’m not sure if he blinked for the entire time we’ve been talking.
“No., Cornelius.. I-I-I don’t remember anything about my past. I woke up here like five hours ago“
“I see... Thanks.” With some haste, he turns around and starts swimming away toward the pond lilies with other toads.
“Hey.. Hold on. Hold on.” I grab him before he gets out reach. “What the... what was that all for?”
He studies me, though how I know that I don’t know. He seems even less expressive than other the toads, which is saying something since they don’t technically even have faces.“.. Oh joy... You’re even less informed than I thought” he says... or maybe groans?
“Enough with the insults... I could squish you... you know.” I wag my finger at Cornelius, and for good measure give him a small squeeze.
Cornelius however remains unimpressed and rasps softly..“Don’t go making threats if you can’t bakc them up.”
“One, Toad Lord does not take kindly to intiates killing intiates.” .. He’s most likely right about that. “Two-- fleshy--” Now that I’ve gotten use to his voice, I can smell an edge of condescension. “.. You don’t have it in yourself -- just yet --- to kill.”
I could say try me. I could say asta la vista. But instead I say...
Nothing. I sigh inwardly and I close my eyes. He’s right. Am I such an open book that even toads know exactly how weak I am? “... Anyway, fleshy. making a scene won’t help your chances of finding a partner.”
“A partner? Huh”
“Yes. A partner.” The toads let out a loud rasp... which sounds sort of like a very, very hollow laugh. “You have five minutes left to find one.”
Wait. Wait what?
[ ] Keep a hold of him, demand answers
[ ] see what he does next
[ ] Squish him
[ ] Let him go &
& [ ] ask for answers
& [ ] talk to other toads
& [ ] relax
[ ] Explode
[ ] write in
We got a bunch of new stories/newly update stories today, and I think today is the first day mine got booted off the front page. I look forward to battling them for popularity.
Just kidding. All I want to do is to write a fun story for all of us.
Formatting came out weird for the sub choices; will have to figure out how that all works sometime later
[x] Keep a hold of him, you just found your new partner.
Is what Anonymous says. Barely three voices, and actually their advice doesn’t seem that sound. I have no inkling about what Cornelius means by partners and even if I did know what he was talking about, I don’t think I could partner with someone which incites an displeasure far greater than a burning solar flare..
“Hey, Fleshbag.” The little bugger says to me in its totally inappropriate, strange voice. “If you want to ask me questions, then do so. If you don’t, then let me go”
“... Hey give me a moment here” I say with a fierce glare.
“You don’t have a moment. Be Decisive”
I put the squeeze on him. Literally. He rasps softly. Whether it was in pain or otherwise doesn’t really matter, since the sound of it hurts my ears anyway.
But anyway. “Alright. Listen up here... Cornelius... What is the partner thing you’re talking about?”
I expect him to give more of a fuss, like a fierce staring contest, but instead, he immediately answers me. “Partners. Intiates in pairs, who will go out into Gensyoko and fulfill various objectives scattered in this land, to learn the ways of the Toad.”
I blink. How very forthcoming of him. Did I scare him? His tone betrays no fear, just an edge of irritation as he continues, leaving me no time to respond. “To maximize chances of survival in this quest, you should find a partner that suits your strengths, fills your weaknesses, etc etc. And that is the gist of it.”
“Oh.” I say without much comprehension. I blink a few times, and I scratch my chin as Cornelius sits there, not blinking.
So... they, the brotherhood, are going to send me off in to the world. Into this big, dangerous world filled with secrets and beings of power beyond my wildest imagination...
Realization hits me and my jaw drops a little.
I won’t be able to relax.
For the first time, I feel very ,very unnerved.
Is this what intiation means? A quest? No, No It can’t be a quest. Maybe its just a field trip or something.
Air. What was once toad in my hand, now feels like air... I open my eyes to discover that my hand is grasping at nothing.
Cornelius has jumped into the pond. How did he do that? Slippery toad.
‘Hey.. wait” It also occurs to me that Cornelius has just implied
“... yes?” The white toad says, without looking back at me.
“.. So is uhm this.. quest"... dangerous?” Admittedly, this question sounds a bit stupid, but... well there is no but, I suck at asking questions off the bat.
“Yes. Very. Many of these toads will not survive”
Yikes. “Uh... So why not be my partner? I mean you talked to me for a reason right?” I say right off the bat. Perhaps Anonymous was right, for although this guy is a “cryptic piece of shit”... there’s something dependable about him?
Cripes I’m just grasping at straws.
“I was hoping you could be someone I could work with.” Was his interrogation testing my knowledge of gensyoko/getting to know me?
“Am I not?” I say.
“You’re a physically scrawny, socially awkward, averagely intelligent, ugly--” he pauses as if considering his words “ -- ugly amnesiac.”
“Also you are fleshed.” he says as he resumes swimming.
Double ow. And I don’t even know what he means about that. Is toad flesh not flesh?
But I-- must-- have plenty of redeeming features. Being able to relax, and clear my mind. And I can tell a mean story when I think I’m the only one...
“Fleshy. My name is not Cornelius.” He says simply with a glance back at me. Rasping once, the white toad plunges below the water and lilies, disappearing from view.
… Not Cornelius? What?
I sigh, feeling a bit overwhelmed and a little pathetic for automatically seeking the help of a person doesn’t like me.
I rub my temples as I close my eyes. Breathing in and out, I feel my mind clear.
So... three minutes I guess at this point to find a partner. Funny Toad Lord just dropped me into this situation. maybe he is planning on assigning me one?
Maybe I should just run. Well try and swim my way out of here. Or maybe I should go looking for a partner. Or just relax and hope Toad Lord will show up and give me some expository dialogue.
Opening my eyes, I look down at the water. I wince. Whoops I forgot my face would be there.
“Human” a strange, guttural voice croaks then.
. I look up.and I see one of those toads with three other toads on the lily pad closest to me, addressing me.
“Please come over here” it says. Another talking toad. Its higher pitched, and a lot softer then Toad Lord’s voice, but its definitely more toadlike than Cornelius’s was
Well should I do then, Anon?
[ ] Go over there, see what he? she? wants
[ ] Relaxation time, Trust Toad Lord not to have dropped you into a mess
[ ] Try and find Cornelius
[ ] Jump in the pond.
[ ] write in
Anonymous says to me. They also seem confident its a girl, though I’m not sure they determine a gender of another species, especially one thats magical, on voice alone.
“You’re coming, yes Glenn?” the same toad says, with what seems to be the toad version of a smile.
“A second please... ma’am.” I bite down on the question mark at the end, and to my luck, she, the middle, nods in response. Well thats one less ambiguity in life, as predicted by anonymous. Indeed, you guys have good advice... sometimes.
Anyway, I close my eyes tightly, and I sweep all my niggling doubts and ponderings out of my head. Relax.. Breathe in ..Relax.. Breathe out. My mind become as empty as if I had just a lobotomy while drugged with cocaine.
Feels rather good. So good that when I open my eyes again, I sigh happily half expecting, to wake up froml a dream. But it isn’t. Toads on lily pads chat amongst themselves on a sunken rock before me.
Ah well, the delusion was worth it. “How long did... my second take?” I say to the toad girls, making a small note to cram more relaxation sessions whenever I’m confused.
“About fifteen-” Her eyes go wide and her puils to little tiny dots as she lets loose a highly unladylike croak. “- seconds.” In no less than an instant, her gaze becomes normal, and seemingly oblivious to her sudden interruption.
Uh... Huh.. I blink once a little slowly. Well her partners don’t notice it either or at least not bothered by it. Maybe its English as a second language?.. That... uh.. speech impediment is quite something, though it does explains why the toads didn’t talk to me in english before..
“Uh.. wel.. Hi!” Awkward. Awkward. “Uhm. My name is...”
“Oh we know who you are, Abe Glenn Gray. The pond has been filled with hubbub about you. yes.”
“Really?” Her partners close their eyes and nod their heads. in a silent agreement with her words.
“All our parents have talked about the one who tricked the most annoying trickster, and then told one of most great, most secret stories...”
It has only been twenty minutes since then, hasn’t it? Or maybe they’re all telepathic or something. Also, I believe its not greatest and most greatest Wait parents.
“Parents?” You have parents? Stupid question left unvoiced. Go me.
“Oh yes. yes.” she says with a cute tilt of her head. “We the initiates, are their children.”
“Ah so then all.. initiates who are children have to go on a quest to become adults?”
“One way of putting it” the little toad girl says jumping a bit closer to me on the lilly pad. Actually I’m not sure how old she is. Heck I feel like a twenty something, but if I’m a forty something...
...Wouldn’t be nice if I were to insult my-- first-- straight up nice toad.
“So.. uh... what do you want, Ma’am” I say in the most chivalrous voice I can muster.
“No, no, Please call me” Another croak-eyes-going-wide-interupton. “.. Abigail” I’m having trouble not smiling.
“Nice to-” I start to say.
“Miss Abigail” She finishes with still pleasant tone as she pushes off the lily pad swimming toward me.
“Uhm. NIce to meet you, Miss Abigail.”
One of the partners started to speak, as if on cue. “Miss Abigail is an intiate Toad of high standing.” Are these two her body guards or something."
Well anyway, I guess its only fitting for me to show my respect.
… to a Toad. Well today they’ve been getting the better of me, so why not.
“Miss Abigail. What do you want from me?”
“You, Glenn... And your teaching” She hops up, as gracefilly as-- I guess-- a toad can hop and ends up sitting on my crouched legs, still with that regal air about her.
She looks at me with some very earnest eyes “Yes... For someone who became an initiate so quickly, surely you must have.. “ She croaks then, her head twitching to the right as if I pulled on a string. My lips quirk up. God, I must not laugh.
“.... some tips or lesson for us? Indeed we’re about to go out on a big dangerous journey... we’ll need a teacher to help us, won’t we guys?”
“But you already have a partner right? I can’t teach you much in the remaining two minutes?”
“Partner? Two minutes?” She does a series of punctuated high pitched croaks, matched by her accomplices, which I take to be giggling....
Their Croakcroakcroakcroakcroak etc makes me want to laugh too. But just as I’m about to join in, she stops abruptly. Her bodyguards, I think they are, stop laughing to. “Is that what that freak was telling you?” Alternatively, those two toads could just be pursuing her affection.. Wait what.
“Huh? He was lying?” She starts walking up my arm, slowly and not at all like the.
“Yes, Glenn.” she says as if I had just realized the sky was blue. “...and No.”
Ah.. ah... ah Confusion. Time to relax!
Alas she continues. “Right now, we’re in a waiting period. But in one minute from now, the registration period will open for the partners. One minute is right, right Charlie?” I hear her say from my side as though she were a little Angel, or Devil, on my shoulder.
Angel or Devil huh...
‘Yes one “ Ah he did the awkward croak too, though not nearly as dramatic or as spazzy as Abigail. Aw. “-minute, Miss” one of the toad says.
“Yes.. so even while others are registering, you may be able to find a partner. Its just that during this time, most toads will already have partners “ CROAK... That one was loud “... and once registered, they will remain partners, bounded by Toad Law, until the end of their quest.”
“... Or is that how the old warts see it, right?” Less of the prim and proper and more of a fun-loving tone. No Angel I guess but certainly no devil, maybe a....
Another Voice? Oh.. no. I carefully remove her from my shoulder, to the sudden displeasure of her two partners. She however regards me with a playful look.
“So uhm... let me get this straight. I can still find a partner to go on a dangerous, dangerous quest... even while registering”
“Yes. It’ll just be much harder.”
“Registration is now open!” a loud toad voice yells. I look up and I see a large toad, about german shepherd size, arise from the center of the crescent moon. While nowhere near the impressiveness of toad lord, I see it has some white hair, and in its hands, are a large scroll, and a large brush. A bench floats in the air underneath him, along with a small mini staircase on its front, presumably so the smaller toads can reach the paper.
In pairs, the toads closest to this toad jumped off their lily pads and wade toward the Large Toad.
“Those you see have already decided their partner.” Abigail says to me, squirming out my hand easily and plopping into the water, albeit with some finesse I guess. “They have chosen the old...” croak “..methods”
“Old methods?’ I say.
Her tone shifts again, from happy-go-lucky- to something more serious. “We as intiates are about to venture into a big place, to do a great many things, yes?”
Uh Seriously, do I look like I know whats happening? “ … yes?”
“Most of us will not survive, they say.” Despite all the hub bub in the front, and my curiosity regarding the paper and the brush, I focus on these three.
“Many of us don’t like that.. So we believe partners are... limiting.” She says the last word with a twinkle in her eye. If she wasn’t a talking toad, perhaps thats would they call a mankiller.
Anyway. “So you don’t... uh... choose partners?”
“Oh no, we do... but if you don’t...” Croak. That one was even quicker than the last. “... a partner will be assigned to you.” She says, her tongue flicking about lazily.
“But, like I were saying, Me and my friends believe in a much better method instead of partnering up fro a quest...” She motions with her leg and eyes toward something behind. Despite her poor grammar, I follow her gesture.
Hmmm. Albert’s At least ten other toads are looking back at me on other lily pads. “Strength in numbers”
Ah... I see.. “So you have multiple partners” As It strike I still don’t know what exactly, partners are, Abigail waddles back behind her two toad henchmen/possible love-rvails
“Not formally, no. Toad Law does not allow it. But we believe that partners should not be relevant. We should work together informally to survive. That’s it. Pretty simple, right?”
Not at all. “I guess?”
“Anyway, we don’t have that much time. Registration ends in fifteen minutes.. Since you’re such a strong initiate... you would like to join our collective, yes?” Abigail finishes smoothly.
Collective? Me? Join?
Redudant questions aside, I notice more and more toad initiates crowding around the big toad, who is floating on water I guess. True to her words, the crowd that's on lily pads are shrinking.
.. But if Cornelius was lying … can I just trust these people off the back? wouldn’t the Toad Lord/his court/the brotherhood find this whole affair illegal?
So much to know. So much to understand. So much to do...
[ ] demand a rousing speech! you can’t just join a cult without some brainwashing
[ ] agree
[ ] don’t agree, ask if you can make your decision a bit later
& [ ] ask about cornelius; why is he a freak?
& [ ] ask about the collective
& [ ] ask about the system
& [ ] or find cornelius, and ask him these questions
[ ] relax and take it easy!
[ ] write in.
I couldn’t sleep so I wrote this for all of you.
Any complaints, critiques etc, voice em as always.
If you guys can get six votes in before 2:30 pm EST, I’ll pull another update. Please no votespamming.
No way. I absolutely refuse her offer. Not only was she trying to seduce us, but her strange and illegal methods are not the right path. The toad lord set down these laws for a reason. Circumventing them with a shitty cult is only demanding trouble.
>>136395 yeah you're probably right but can't blame a guy for trying right?
if I don't collapse later, I'll do an update anyhow. The story is somewhere between serious and unserious for me, that is I half feel motivated by myself, with the other half coming from participation/voting from the community.
[ ] don’t agree, ask if you can make your decision a bit later
[ ] find cornelius, and ask him these questions
Anonymous delivers its verdict; this female toad cannot be trusted. They also say that I should kiss her to become young again.
Bestiality aside, she didn’t actually seem that disingenuous. I noticed no seducing tone, nor did her remarks come across as too.. Her fellows start croaking quietly amongst themselves as Abigail tilts her head at me.
Ah I better respond. “Miss Abigail?”
“Hm?” she says with a smile. Perhaps I should think through this sentence, so as to not anger-
“uh.. Thanks but I would like some to think it through.” Well it was a worth a shot.
Her smile fades to a frown and silence hangs in the air. “...And why would you want to do that?” she says, staring straight into my eyes, somehow.
“...Its alot to think about?” I say. Even with Anonymous ordering me here and there, I probably would have asked for time to rel.. re
“We don’t have much time, yes? You should join- “ CROAK “- us now, yes?” she says in a quiet voice, well excluding that stray croak. Somehow, someway though, she manages to keep her eyes locked on me that entire time though.
“Need time to think”
So we stare each other down. Should I waver? Those toads behind her look just as displeased as her. Will they fight me? All of them? Maybe they can use magic or something. Ten magic users versus me? Ericksson’s Energy, these people must practice staring contests or something, how can she not blink at all?
She nods her head just then.
“Right. Good show!” The tension loosens as her fellows give me a croak that sounds like a aprooval.
“I told you he was no parasite, Alexander” she says, looking back into the crowd.
A toad in the crowd responds as she wades back over to me.
Parasite? “Uh what?” Ah the what, fast becoming my catchphrase.
“Sorry, Glenn. But there were other rumors that you had no common sense; that you blindly wandered into your fate. But of course you planned to eat all our food, so that you could meet the Toad Lord in person, so that you could become an initiate..” Of course. I blink rapidly in response. ” ..You will have to explain to us why in the future though.” she says.
Misunderstandings. Misunderstandings everywhere. Lucky me.“So... I passed?” Of course now I have to wonder if she was being facetious over what she was saying.
“I had seldom seen someone with such an intense stare...Of course you did.”
Spacing out is as Intense stare? “.. uh Why-”
She cuts me off. “- The collective can’t afford any- “ She croaks for a longer time. “...parasites, yes? Not now, not when we have one and only slot left open” Despite her affable smile, I can hear her tone shift back into sterness. Dodgy she may be, but she definitely unpredictable.
“You’re a resourceful human, and we need that. And you need us. I wasn’t lying at all before over what I said; the collective exists so we can help each other through this horrible trial.”
I scratch my head. “ Thats … great, uhm may I think it over still, Miss Abigail?” I look for a white toad in the crowd, but my eyes come up empty.
“For as much time as you have left, Glenn.” Ah yes, I shoot a brief glance up at the large toad. “The rest of the collective will finish up with this silly procedure in the meant time.”. Those who have finished signing their... names? jump off the other end and swim back to the lilly pads. Still no sign of Cornelius, although I half never went to see his slimy face ever ever ever...
Well anyway, at the rate toads are leaving, I’d say I have just five minutes.. or maybe seven?
“Unless you have any questions...”
“No questions, Miss Abigial” Her companions begin to drop one by one off the lily pads as
Her tone grows a bit more hard. “then please give us your decision in six minutes.”
“Thank- “I say taking quick bow.
“But I do hope you’re not going to see that freak again.” she juts in
Again, I was read like an open book, I pause and I turn back to her with what I hope isn’t a look of blatant surprise. She looks back at me, the side of her smile quirked up. I can see the rest of the collective swim towards the large toad with the over-sized scroll in the center.
“... If I am, Miss Abigail?” I say in a careful tone.
“Then you would be a fool.” She says with a sudden sharp edge. In the span of maybe ten seconds, she and her two guards are left. “Cornelius is dangerous. Very dangerous. Maybe Even insane” She two next to her croak and one of them moves in close to pull her away.
“How..” I begin.
She croaks loudly as she eyes her two retainers. With some reluctance they shove off, following the others, very nearly symmetrically. Of the original group, only she is left.
“It is now official. When I come back in six minutes, we will write our names in the scroll together , Glenn. As Partners.”
“Your partner...” Are all these toads so unbalancing? “ … but... but why me?”
“Partners are meaningless in when we’re all looking out for each other, yes? ” She turns from me and hops to the edge of the lily pad. “... As long as you’re with us, you can relax, Glenn”
With those words the collective sounded a hundred percent more enticing. Still I have to focus. “...How is Cornelius dangerous?” I say.
“... He eats human flesh.” She states, for once, without looking at me, without any particular tone at all. Dare I say, it sounded flat, rude and without airs- as if I had given the wrong answer. Before I can even blurt out a what, she jumps into the pond and disappears from my view.
Had there been even the slightest joke, implied by her voice, body or otherwise, I’d have written her off.
But there was none of that. Although Anonymous may still see her as a liar, there was something about her just now that seemed so sincere. A pity the first sign of sincerity I saw had to be seen over such a crazy one liner.
I head off the questions about to pound my head by taking a deep breath and shutting my eyes tight.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in.
So what do I know?
Aside from the basics, e.g. I’m a human. Not much. And its not helped by how, both Cornelius and Abigail, despite their own respective faults; undisguised condescension and chaotic pragmatism, seem... truthful to some extent.
Maybe I’m just insane and I should do whatever Anonymous tells me to. I take a deeper breath.
Come on. Come on...
Just as I’m about to reach my moment of zen, I hear all too familiar voice.
“You resisted them, Fleshbag?”
Perhaps another talking toad needs cough medicine.
A deep, heavy rasp follows his voice.
“Open your eyes” he says.
Or maybe not.
Part Two comes tomorrow.
[ ] write in
Whew. I almost didn't get this for the daily upddate.
This part was hard to write for some reason. I blame collapsing and the work I had to do today.
He eats human flesh; those words came back to me as I opened my eyes.
This small, pale white toad with dark eyes, treading water before me, eats human flesh?
Well If he did, he probably wouldn’t tell me. With yet another mental exertion I push yet another oddity out of my mind.
“I told them I needed more time to think.” I say back to him.
“You shouldn’t trust them.” he says, rasping just a little at the end.
“Well... “ They tell me no to trust him. He tells me not to trust them. Meanwhile the only person who I can trust certainly, is somewhere deep underwater doing.. something.
“Well, anyway, what is your name if its not Cornelius?” Perhaps there are much better questions to ask, but I’ll just do whatever comes to mind. Besides, given what I know about, he’ll probably answer in an obscure way..
“I don’t have one.” he replies instantly.
“Huh.”It seems every ten seconds , something confusing is said. “You can not-- not have a name.”
“I was born without one. I will die without one... Don’t you have more important matters to be worried about at the moment?”
“Why yes... But hey- “ I point down at him “ You have to have a name. Everyone has a name. Even Toads have names... apparently!”
“Have you decided a partner yet? Is that why you have oodles of time to waste?”
I groan. “Why are you even talking to me if I’m wasting time. ”
Instead of a quick retort, Cornelius says nothing. I give him a few seconds, and It slowly dawns on me that he’s speechless.
“Oh, you couldn’t find a partner either, huh?” So high and mighty, perhaps the other toads hates his gust too.
“Shut up.” Cornelius says, as if he were commenting.
“Oh wow.” I feel the need to chuckle, which would be awfully cathartic right about now. But before I can start giggling away my troubles
“The alternative I found was not as preferable as you. That is all”
“Oh so the only other guy you can find is worse than an ugly amnesiac?”
“You believe you’re an ugly amnesiac?” Cornelius says placidly.
Urk. And there goes my fire “No.. but..”
Cornelius rasped, long and hard. “However useless you are, you are harmless, as weak and as nonthreatening to me as all fleshed humans are”
...Now more than ever, I wanted to plant my foot down on his warty head.
But, Patience, Abe. Patience..
“You talk alot of crap... what makes you think I’ll want to be your partner now”
“The rest of the initiates see you as just a jester. That is the rumor. Maybe a good storyteller, a trickster, but certainly not partner”
“Then the collective will take me?”
“You shouldn’t invest any hopes into that which won’t survive long in the real world”
Could I trust his words? At this point, with so little time left, did I even have a choice? “... Fine. Then I’ll just let Toad Lord decide my partner.” I waved him off.
All this hassle, when I could just let Toad Lord be my partner.
“He will give you the worst partner possible.”
I scoff. “He wouldn’t do that..”
“Do you know the Toad Lord?”
“Yeah, he likes me”
“Do you realize had you irked him in any way shape or form on the voyage over here, he would have killed you?”
“No he wouldn’t. He liked..”
“He says he likes all the initiates, but at the same time he’s sending them all off into the world, which will kill off the majority of them. I ask you, is this Toad seem nice or not nice?”
The collective and Cornelius agreed on these two points, so I suppose it must be truth. In that case, why does toad lord want this? Maybe to get rid of weaker elements? But if he did that, then he wouldn’t be nice and that would prove Cornelius’s point.
My head hurts. “... well its not like he wants to.. right?”
“...Who do you think created the quest system, the brotherhood, and the court that controls the brotherhood itself? Who maintains law and order? Who has the final say here”
“...Toad Lord?” I ventured.
“Toad Lord. Calculating, ruthless, maybe even insane were it not for the inherent stability and happiness in his dominion”
“... so he thrusted me into all of this..”
“to achieve an objective too far off and too obscure for our minds to comprehend. Yes. Or maybe, he wishes to see you suffer, fleshbag, as proper punishment for eating his scared offerings”
If Toad Lord was lying before... If Toad Lord was just playing around with me. No, it couldn’t be. I trust him and yet... he dumped me into this situation without explaining it to me at all.
He may very well be a ruthless tyrant... and I had agreed to play the tyrant’s game.
My legs felt shakey. How much time did I have left? Two minutes? One minutes?“I-I-I think I want to... well... I-I-I’ll just quit the initiation, yeah.” And be done with it. Be free. Get out of here. Find the human village maybe..
I need to relax.
Cornelius rasps a long hard one, sending a pain mixed with fear into the deepest corners of my addled mind.
“You... you really have no idea how serious these toads are... do you?”
“He’ll kill you if you leave.”
“Kill me? But he said...”
“Toad Lord lies, Toad Lord manipulates. Period, fleshbag. Ever since you’ve eaten his offerings, you are now under his control”
“And do you tell the truth!?” Though I manage to keep my voice down, it shoots up a pitch.
“I have nothing to gain by misinforming you, my future partner..”
“If you don’t believe me, you can ask the collective about Toad Lord. About his ruthlessness. About the intiates he’s killed... They’ll tell you its for the greater good but... not even I would go as far as he”
I start pulling at my hair, though as slowly and as tensely as I can. “You’re trying to make me... trust only you.. aren’t you? by making me distrust”
“I am only preparing for you the future, fleshbag. You should thank me” his slightly sarcastic tone boils my blood, yet at the same time, my shattered grasp of reality prevents me from wringing his neck.
“Preparing me? I don’t understand” I say, though it is less a question and more just an echo.
“If you’re not serious, Fleshed one, if you don’t work hard and think hard, then you will die. You should be dead, matter fact, but you got lucky, very lucky...” He rasps slowly, and his tone abruptly changes to something a bit lighter. “... Speaking of which, I have a question to ask you.’
I dumbly nod my head.
“Do you know what I want? more anything in this world?”
“To survive. To see the next day. To live everyday until my body gives up the ghost” he says without moving, without blinking as always. “Because where I come from; survival is a dream”
Something tells me though that he means every word he’s saying, now more than ever.
Everything feels so surreal. So sickeningly, mindbendingly, hard.
Anonymous... I think I need some help here.
“and what do you want more than anything else in the world?”
[ ] to relax
[ ] to survive too
[ ] to find out about my past
[ ] to become a brother
[ ] to kill Toad Lord
[ ] to destroy Gensyoko
[ ] write in
your choice here is important.
sorry if the quality seems to drop for a bit, intense writer's block for some reason.
Every person we have met besides Cirno has apparently lied to, manipulated, or otherwise told falsehoods to Glenn. Even the Toad Lord, who at first glance was congenial, is a lying, manipulative douchebag. We can't keep stumbling our way through this land. Eventually, we need to start taking control of our destiny, and do what we want; even if all that amounts to is lazing about.
>>136682 Exactly. Abe is a man with no memory, constantly being manipulated and thrust into situations he has no control over. He's lied to constantly by beings who have no qualms about killing and eating him. He's scared, confused, and constantly out of his element. His only ally in the world is us, voices in his head who tell him to do strange things. Outside of his immediate goal of relaxation, I posit that what he wants most is the truth. The truth about himself, about this world, how he can hear strange voices no one else can.
Only with comprehension can he seize control of his destiny, and do whatever he wants. Even if that simply amounts to lazing about all day.
Trust no one Glenn, we know of a dark and grim gensokyo. Imagine if you will, a diamond. It may be beautiful, crystalline, and captivating, but that only applies to the individual facet that you look upon. Limit yourself not to others interpretations of this land,but to your own. It may prove to be a carefree land full of the most beautiful woman in the silliest dresses you can imagine, or it can be a realm where ypur liver would go tasteflly with aside of fava beans and chianti, personally i prefer some Châteauneuf-du-Pape with mine, but I digress. This land will only be revealed to you by your own eyes. You were placed here for a reason, and you're going to find out why. unfortunately, we're the only friends you got at the moment kid, choose wisely.
Even with my innate awkwardness I know better than to rush answering this question, especially since Anonymous has finally given me their - rather sizable-- input.
Better late than never, guys, though...
I place my hand on my forehead.
I am thankful for your help as always. Are we friends? If not enemies, than friends indeed. Though friends don’t friends to explode...
“A moment.” I say simply.
“Answer quickly.” Cornelius says.
“A moment.” I repeat with a measure of fierceness. Time waits for no man, people say, but screw Time. I need to think.
Carefully, I pick apart what Anonymous had to say. First and the easiest for me to grasp is relaxing... Oh, yes, yes definitely. Relaxing in a green field, plenty food and drink, under a warm sun, and an anti toad repellent sprinkled for miles and miles...
But is that my true desire? What is a true desire? That which supersedes everything else, I suppose. The desire to have a family comes from the want to be happy.
So is mine simply hedonistic? Do I want just pleasure?
Ugh. Philosophy. I suppose I should be glad that Anonymous also went ahead and did some of the internal debating for me. This time though they seem rather indecisive. As omniscient as they claim to be, it seems they were unable to answer this question for me in detail. I crack a smile. As friendly as they are, I appreciate having some privacy.
Unfortunately that means I’ll have to think harder. I see a picture upon concentrating a bit more; Impossibly wide eyes, a distorted mouth.. a very clear indicator of death. and I yawn. Its just a picture, although Anonymous final message is a warning. They all seem to believe I was put here for a reason, though I’m not sure if I want to know that reason.
Then again, maybe I do? Do I want to know this world so I can relax in it?
Do I want to know the truth? Truth...
Truth. I close my eyes.
Then Pain. Crippling pain worse than any mere headache, spears into my brain matter. In my mind, this sudden flash materializes not as any simply memory, but as a clear pristine image.
Of Tentacles. Writhing black tentacles from an abyss, struggling upwards toward me
What. What is happening.
No. No I do not want truth. I do not want truth. I do not want-
“You don’t want truth.” a demonic, twisted, voice says. But fortunately it is a voice I know.
My eyes pop open. What?.. Was I talking out loud? The way cornelius is looking at me seems to indicate that.
What just happened? I could ask him. But I knew what happened. I was standing there and I remember something. Something horrible.
“How much time just went by?” I ask instead. I’m breathing just a bit harder. Was that... just fear? No. Can’t be, it was just a memory of something I’ve seen somewhere before..
For now... I push the vaguely unnerving afterthought of those tentacles out of my mind.
Sorry Anonymous, but right now I think I don’t desire the truth. .
“Two minutes about” Cornelius responds.
No time left. Abigail will be back here any second now, and I have come no closer to making my decision.
Well no matter. No matter.
Thanks again, Anonymous, I am ready to reply.
“Cornelius I have your answer.” Somehow, in the span of only a few minutes, I feel alot older.
The little white toad rasps. “Go on then”
“I want.. to relax.” Oh that didn’t come out right. “But not just as lazy git. That would be nice. But.. uh..” I can’t do speeches. “... I’m willing to work hard. I’m willing to learn, to grow.. to do what I have to do.. to live of course. But I think I’ve reached the stage in my life..” unconsciously, I feel my wrinkles. “ where I should really be pursuing.”
“A...” I close my eyes. Perfect? True? God how would I know.I force the words out of my chords, regardless of whatever they are. “Peace of mind”
“Yeah I want peace of mind.” I say firmly.
“Are you finished?” Cornelius asks me.
There’s so much more I could say but I don’t have time. “Yeah.”
Cornelius leaps up right onto my shoulder, almost pushing me to the ground. How did he... He jumped five times his he..
“You stupid fleshbag.” his voice rumbles with every word; he’s seething no other word for it. Somehow his blank expression makes his glare far far worse.”
He has no claws yet somehow he clings to my shoulder.
“Hey Get off-off me!” The cacophony of croaks in the background prevents my cries from being heard well.
“.... Do you have any idea how dangerous this land is?”
“How does that make me stupid ” I get the distinct impression he’s threatening me, but I can’t help but question him- especially since I can’t feel fear.
“If you understood the law of the lands, if you knew what it take to survive... you would never ever hope to have inner peace. Were you to witness the horrors I have committed... you would never be at peace”
The tentacles-- are just an after-image, blurry and undefined.. but with them in mind.. I doubt he’s seen worse than me. II don’t know why I think that but I just do. “So what?” I say.
“So what.” he repeats. I feel his webbed toes dig into my skin. “Simply put. As long as your mind is weak, as long as it does accept the law of the land, it deserves no peace and it shall have no peace”
“...what is the law of the land?” I say looking straight at him.
“Survival.” He says.
I clear my throat. “You know.. living only to live also sounds pretty stupid to me” I try pushing him off, though he doesn’t budge.
I’m not sure, but I think I feel his grip loosen just a bit.
“You don’t have anyone else or anything else to live for..?”
“... Congratulations, fleshbag... You have convinced me.”
“That I don’t want be your partner.”
“Get off of him, Cornelius.” came a higher pitched, more toad like, regal voice.
I look to my side. Ah, Abigail has arrived, sitting back on her lily pad. I hadn’t noticed her come in, though for good reason I guess.
“I won’t let you eat this one.” she says.
“So dramatic, princess. Now shut up and let me finish talking.”
“ Fleshbag, If you want to be my partner-”
I blink at him. “Wait- You’re still offering me?”
“If you want to be my partner, you will let me change that worthless desire of yours”
“and if I don’t?”
“then you go burn with the collective” he climbs over my shoulder and jumps off into the pond. I turn and see his form, disappearing again into the pond.
“I warned you, Glenn” Abigail says.
Was she right? I don’t know so I say nothing. I am back to where I started.
“Registration will close in two minutes!” The large toad in the center declared. The activity in the center has really died down; now its just him and a few others.
Feeling just a little out of my element, I let slip for a question.“...Is it true Toad Lord will kill me if I back down?”
“Yes.” She says simply. “Of course. That is how- “ CROAK “- it is for all initiates since the day we were born“ She goes on to talk with a happier tone, though I pay little attention.
My only possible partners are Cornelius or Abigail and her collective. I know no one else, and i ts too late to go searching.
So either choose Cornelius or Abigail. Choose a clearly dangerous individual, or choose an ambiguously dangerous, if not more so dangerous group of people.
“Glenn... I need your decision now.” I hear her say.
Can I ask for a moment?
No. I can’t.
So what do I do?
[ ] Cornelius
[ ] Abigail and her collective
I am very glad as always to see people getting into this.
Unfortunately I didn’t have as much time as I’d like on this but ah well.
There was one dissenting voice, but Death is not a choice, simply put, so I’ll nevermind that.
I’m not sure about him though. From an outside perspective, like Anonymous’s, maybe Cornelius seems like a good bet, but.. I believe we are serious opposites. Do I want enter a partnership in which I must obey that which I can’stand? What happens if I don’t obey too? What could Cornelius..
I bit my lip.
What do partners even mean anyway?
“Glenn.” Abigail says very firmly. That’s right.. I have to make a decision.
“I’m sorry, but no.” As nice as relaxing and strength in numbers sound, the collective also sounds like something... bad. Maybe because Anonymous thinks its a cult, or maybe because they seem anti-toad lord, and thus not long for this world.
“ I see.” she croaks, and at the end of it, quickly applies a happy to her warty skin . “You’re going to partner with that freak... no?” Did her eyes just narrow?
Well.. I suppose I am. I should say those words but I don’t. I don’t actually want to partner with anyone in particular.
“My question. Human.”
“I formally reject your offer.”
I briefly consider telling her how endlessly and hopelessly lost I am in all of this. But if I did, I wouldn’t be an asset to her anyway...
“Then we have nothing left to discuss.” she says. “Please don’t inform anyone about the collective” the smile breaks down replaced by what seems to be seething fury, tempered only by.. something. Whatever it is,. I watch my words.
“I won’t if you don’t want me to.”
I wait a second for her to threaten me, saying something like “we got eyes everywhere”, but instead she turns around getting ready to hop off the lily pad.
“Ms. Abigail. Wait.” I feel bad for letting her down, as manipulating as she was.
I get on a knee, soaking half my pants leg, and I bow down before her. “I want you to know, do what I have been doing because I’m obligated by a.. “ Mass of contradicting voices that insist on being called one thing. “... higher power.. Please don’t think ill of me. I really would like to join you..”
I would really. Who cares about interesting and about bettering myself. Its my life and as I said, I want peace of mind.
I’m not here to amuse you, Anonymous... as laughably incompetent as I must seem.
“.. Thank you, Glenn” A.. queer... smile curves on her face as though she’s delighted to see a man bow before her. “... Your most graceful apology is well..” She trails off as her eyes narrow as if she realized something mid way. Somehow she didn’t seem angry.
“Ah I can smell your reasons now... You’re on a mission, yes? and all your actions are done for this mission?”
Ah another misunderstanding. “Uhm...” But I’m not sure if thats true or not.
Is she angry with me? Don’t think so but with her current perception of me-- as some sort of fast-thinking genius, added in with my seemingly (but actually) aimless actions...
Ah she must think that I’m being facetious in my apology. And trying to manipulate her, since I imagine most manipulators see manipulations where there are none, which is quite interesting.
“Safe journey then.” Hey, I reached a conclusion over what she concluded. Perhaps I’m not as stupid as I thought.
She jumps into the pond just then. Or maybe I am that stupid. Perhaps I should have said something, instead of not answering her question and increasing her suspicion.
Ah Simon’s Sorrow. What an annoyance.
I sigh. What would I give for a little me time.
Registration awaits so I start weaving my way through the lily pads toward the large toad.
As I do so, I concentrate solely on what I will do once I get there- letting the ramifications of what I just did, fly over my head. First, figure out the procedure then...
Second... Crick, almost stepped on a toad. I look around myself as I move; there are maybe ten more toads left near the large toad, and just a few more coming from the audience with me.
I reach the ledge, a couple of feet away from the large toad sitting on his podium, with the scroll lying on the ground before him.
The intiate toads wield the brush with their legs; rather expertly given their small size I must say. I then plop into the pond, feeling my clothes get even more dirty, and I swim-- or maybe struggle over, since I am quite bad at swimming it seems, to the podium.
When I clamber onto the small staircase, I see there is no wait, the scroll lying there ready for me to sign. I can’t stand on this platform unlike the other toad so I remain in the water, putting my arms on top for purchase.
“How do I do this..?” I say looking up to the large toad in the middle. As I pick up the brush and dip it in the ink.
“I will say the directions, only once, initiate.” he says, looking straight ahead as though he were a statue. “ First sign your true name in the first column and then your partner’s name in the second column.” On the scroll is a long, long list of letters, indeed seperated into two columns. Its top is torn off, and other papers in a neat stack lie near, presumably ripped off the scroll whenever the amount of paper available becomes too much
Okay. So... I eye the brush... How do I write with this thing?
“Remember to ensure our partner comes and signs in for you afterwards, otherwise your registration will be void.” he says as if reciting a disclaimer off a sheet of paper.
“Alright.” I say.
“Remember what you write down here is set in stone until you become a brother or death. Not even Toad Lord can change the partners present here.” A legal limit to Toad Lord’s power, huh.
“Second, when you are finished, find a place to sit, preferably next to your partner in the audience, and await the Toad Lord’s speech.”
“Thank you” I bow a little with my head, though he still doesn’t bother to look at me. Either he’s a professional or displeased by my presence, but at the moment I have bigger issues to be worried about.
“May I ask you some other questions?”
“You may not.” I sigh.
Well then... My partner.
It was decided just now, Cornelius. I have only once choice. And that is Cornelius.
I don’t want to do this quest. Heck, I’m not even sure if it is a quest. It could be game, with the intiates all as pawns, and with people like Toad Lord as players. Moving us around, forcing us to do things we don’t like...
Or maybe not. Cornelius did say Toad’ Lord’s objectives were too complex for our minds to comprehend. So I could be wrong about everything, well everything except for what I want.
I want to quit. Anonymous may think I’m good to go, but I am the one here in the flesh, not they. I know what I want, and I certainly don’t want to struggle and suffer.
But at this point, I’m just complaining. If I quit, I die. There is only one choice consequently and that is to play the game...
Or is it? With a few awkward strokes, Insanity takes control of my riight and and I write the following words in the second column.
and then in the first column.
Not Glenn. Not Abe Glenn Gray. My lips quirk into a something approaching smile. Could Toad Lord be fooled by this? If he is fooled, then I’m not binded to a partner.. whatever that means. If he isn’t fooled, then I could just say I was confused, which is the absolute truth, no lies. He wouldn’t be able to change it anyway.. though I wonder what would stop him then from crushing me for being a smartas-
The large toad takes the brush out of my hand, and presents it to the toad behind me.
I get out of the way. Well regardless of my little trick, I’ve consented to this game. I am now Cornelius’s partner in his eyes, which means he will try to change me and my desire for peace.
Or he may very well destroy me and then remake me in his image. Could he do that? would he be willing to do that?
I shiver a bit, though I hope its only because of the water.
Well then.. I should go tell that white little bugger... I shove off the water and struggle back to the ledge. I can’t believe I’m going to be stuck with that psycho. I hope you know what you’re talking about Anonymous.
So first I’ll find Cornelius.. and then I’ll...
[ ] Wait for him so we can talk with him more
[ ] Find Abigail and her collective and try to rectify this misunderstanding
[ ] Sit with another another Toad, get an outsider’s perspective on all the ambiguities and craziness you’ve been dealt
[ ] write in
[x] Sit with another another Toad, get an outsider’s perspective on all the ambiguities and craziness you’ve been dealt
Anonymous suggests an option. Less of them this time, perhaps they only surface when I am in great need? Not so much a friend I ribald with, more like a guardian angel.
I choke by a chuckle, careful not to let the pond water entrance into my mouth. I hit the ledge right there and I see Cornelius to the side of me.
“Are we partners?”
He swims past me without saying anything more. I turn to watch him go, before pushing myself up onto the sunken rock. The water wasn’t that bad in retrospect and since there is no breeze, I don’t think I’ll catch hypothermia. I trudge along back to my spot outside of the main set of lily pads.
Anonymous told me to go find toads who could give me an outsider’s perspective but...
… But nothing. As bad as first impressions are, I can’t just up and become a toad-rascist. Indeed, these intiates will be my brothers one day, and I can’t take it easy if I’m isolated, now can I? Yeah. Anonymous may wish for me to go learning, but I think I’ll make some friends instead.
I survey the crowd quietly. They all look alike, and basically all appear to have finished their registration... Whoever is closest I guess. I approach a lily pad with four toads conversing amongst themselves.
“Hi!” I say just a hair too loudly, waving a little.
With near instant-reflexes, they stop talking and look at me. Another staring contest ensues.
“Uhm Hi” Perhaps being an intiate involves a great deal more than just telling a story well..
Three of the four croak at me; one slowly, another quickly, and the third, just once. Of course whatever they’re saying, I don’t quite understand. Perhaps English is only a select ksill..
“Glenn the trickster” the fourth toad who has not spoke says . ”What do you want” Is it a she? a he? The pitch, the bass- everything really, seems to straddle the border of gender.
“Just saying hi?” I say.
The fourth toad eyes me for a moment, and then shakes his or her head. “..Beggone. The greaet Toad Lord’s speech will begin soon.” he or she says.
“Hey, hey don’t be like that...” I start to say.
“Beggone.We have no need for your shenanigans” The other three toads croak out what does not sound like friendly goodbyes. It appears the rumors about me being some sort of genius trickster are far stronger than that of the truth.
I frown. Well if being nice won’t get me my way... perhaps I should try the toad approach to conversation; do what it takes to unbalance them. And for me, I suppose that means saying whatever I want. They begin croaking amongst themselves, thinking that I’m down for the count.
“So I heard the “great” Toad Lord is Evil.” The four turn to me simultaneously, a flicker of annoyance spreading across their faces. Wow.
“He spared your life and you say that..” Toad Lord fans.
“Sending us on a dangerous journey” I blurt out. Whatever comes to mind. Don’t stop to think. “Forcing me into this bizarre game... uh...”
“Glenn the trickste-.” The ambiguous gender toad says. At least she or he has manners.
“I’m Cornelius’s partner, you know”
“.. yes?” Thought interrupt right there.
“He’s a little crazy. thinks toad lord is up to something, but I think he’s right”
“He and you are of the same sort. Beg-”
“My name is Abe Glenn Gray. Yours?”
“I.. shall not tell you”
“Yeah so Toad Lord is up to something”
“You and your partner are paranoid” The way she’s talking about Cornelius, doesn’t sound dangerous
“Then why a quest in which only a few of can come out alive?”
“The Brotherhood needs for the intiates to go on quests”
“It needs for most of them to die? A little heartless...”
One of the four toads pounces on my stomach and I stagger back. Oof. That felt like a punch to the gutIt croaks. It croaks out something that sounds like a shut up. But I can tell they’re interested in me. As strange and as insane as I may seem, they --hopefully-- won’t dismiss me easily.
Yet mere interest isn’t enough. At this point, I’ll have to do something smart though to actually connect with them and uh... repair the insane first-impression that got me here anyway.. Unfortunately I’m not that good at lying, or exxaggerting so instead i take the next best thing. Telling the truth.
“Look.. As I’ve just shown you... I’m just an ugly old amnesiac who got incredibly lucky.” I say as honestly as I can, without an forced drama. I also don’t control my facial expression, and I see how that goes. They all look at me, confused as confused can be. “Yeah.. I’m also an outsider. But that’s it.... “
“Can’t we all just relax together?” I finish off, as lame as ever, though I’d like to believe it was better than “can’t we all just be friends?”
Somehow though it works. Curiosity is now fixed on the fourth toad’s face, as she titls her head.
The other Toads croak quietly, with confusion. “.. Relax?” she or he asks.
I smile then, an honest smile. Perhaps, just perhaps, she could be my very first frie-
“Fleshbag.” Cornelius says, followed by a rasp. “ Stop chit chatting, we have things to talk about”
I close my eyes and I look down to see Cornelius swimming past me, towards the outer rim of the sunken rock.
“But.” The three other toads start croaking sounds that sound unpleasant again, the moment’s honesty having washed over them.
“Come.” he says. I sigh. One day.. Cornelius..
I turn to leave
“My name... is Atich, Glenn The Trickster” the one that can speak, says.
She seems to be giving me a quizzical look, though “...Thank you, Aitch. I-I-I Hope we meet some day” I do a small bow, beam another smile, and then I follow Cornelius’s swimming form.
These toads.. they seem to be highly rational creatures. Or is their society based on rationality?
I imagine a more primitive one would have merely thumped me on the head for being so weird, but they seem especially concerned with reducing uncertainty- almost like they want everything to fit into their own little plans and frameworks they’ve created for the world.
All conjecture but If I’m right, by joe, I may have just stumbled upon a lair of evil geniuses
“Fleshy, what were you hoping to accomplish?” Cornelius says, right as I’m about to walk over the ledge of the sunken rok.
“Ah-Ah!.. “ I right myself and I turn toward him. “What?”
“Back there by talking that group of initiates.”
“Uhm.. I just wanted to make some friends... Also.. I’d like to know whats going on.”
“You you realize that all these intiates either believe you’re incompetent or you’re too much of a trickster?”
“Yeah you told me, doesn’t mean I can’t change their perception of me...”
“But haven’t you realized its wrong to trust immediately?”
“I’m trusting you... aren’t I?”
“Yes, you trusted me enough to choose me ” He put his leg to his chest, as though it were a hand-- no other toad had done that “.a pale white harbringer of death.” I blink. Sarcasm? Narcissism? Not blinking, no facial expression, I can’t figure him out.
“Better than the alternative.” I say, gritting my teeth a little.
His leg points to me. “And for that decision, I award you the bare minimum intelligence. Congratulations on knowing that the collective is manipulative and not to be trusted.” Sarcasm definitely this time.
“Hey..” Li’s Lawlessness I can feel my blood pressure is rising. Just relax, Abe, Relax..
“But you’ll have do better than this” his tone become more serious. “Your lack of hesitance has brought you close to death at least two times today, and I suspect you know of more incidents when trust has not helped you.”
Ripping out Cirno’s hair. Eating Toad Lord’s food. Becoming a brother. Being Cornelius’s Partner. True, Anonymous has helped me out of many situations... but how many they pulled me into. Moreover, their fluctuating number and occasional jibes of explosion haven’t exactly helped...
I shake my head. Anonymous may not always know what is best, but they’ve been here for me If I doubt them, I doubt everything.
“Hey, paranoia doesn’t float my boat.. “ I shrug “Can’t I just relax and take things as it is?”
He rasps. “...No. After the intiation.. we're going to have a talk."
Should I be thankful this thing is only a toad?
“Here comes the Toad Lord!” an intiate shrieks just then.
[ ] write in any question you want to ask Cornelius.
Anonymous tells me to ask him. Seeing as we have little time, I speak their question.
“Hey uh... real quick, Cornelius.. but uh why are you white?”
Cornelius eyes me for just a moment, as if trying to see if I’m serious. “...White is my natural color.” he finally says with a tone that suggests such was a dumb question.
It wasn’t though. I mean the rest of the toads are green. Then again if I put it into context, if these toads were all white humans, and if Cornelius was a black human... and If I asked him why he was black... Oh.
Cornelius looks at me for a brief moment and then rasps. I’m not sure if I’m losing it or getting to use to him, but that rasp sounded like a sigh.
I have other questions though so I should--
Two large toads emerge from the mist and proclaim.. “All hop for the Toad Lord!” They’re about the size and having the same appearance of the toad holding the scroll.
Rats out of time. The initiates immediately begin to hop up and down on command, though with a certain precision that distinguished from normal hopping somehow... Even Cornelius follows suit, though I notice he’s more slow and less at ease with the prospect of jumping.
Guess I’ll just have to add my questions onto that “nice long talk” of the future. Anyway, though I feel like a salute would suit him better, I get down on my fours and hop, careful not to squish Cornelius. Nothing worse than what I’ve been up to as of late.
The initiate toads croak, or rather chatter with anticipation as a column of large toads, two in each row, swim out from the mist. The columns divides into two separate lines, curving around the outer edges of the sunken rock.
Perhaps they’re the bodyguards of the Toad Lord? High officials of his court? Or maybe just thugs of the brotherhood? I almost trip in my hopping, and I swear I see one of the large toads, shoot me a glare. Note to self; Toads have etiqutte.
By the time ten large toads have moved in on both sides, I see a dark large figure fade in.
The intiates fall silent, athough their hops continue. My hands are starting to hurt.
Toad Lord croaks a wise all-powerful deep, croak then, ending the hops as he enters the inner circle. I look down at Cornelius, who pays me no heed, and I crouch down again- so that my height is not immediately noticeable. Toad Lord’s eyes look over all of us, including myself, and for the slightest moment I see a softness in his eyes. Which is weird since they don’t exactly have pupils but...
His gaze harden as he speaks then in English. “Fellow Elders. Do you grant this old, fat, toad the right to deliver a sermon to our younglings, now intiates?”
“As Danmur allows it.” the toads on the outer rim on both sides of me say in unison. Danmur?
“Until this day.. you’ve all been training. You have sharpened your minds and your skills. You have worked hard and you have suffered greatly. You have lived and you have probably died in the process. “ Wait. what. “- And for that, I am proud to have presided over you as initiates. However.. today training ends.” Toad Lord I’m going to need some clarification that living and dying thing.
“Your lives as you know it are over, for we can no longer provide you with the experiences needed for your growth. Look instead to your quests, to the possible adventure and struggle waiting in the land outside this dominion.You have all been prepared for this day I understand, but I must I reiterate; your quests will be perilous and they cannot be done alone. Nor they can be done by relying too much on others. The only who you can rely on is the person who relies on you, only your partner, your blood brother, your blood sister, the toad who you can confide in and trust absolutely... Your partner is a taste of the brotherhood to come.”
Cornelius.. is just a taste of things to come? I close my eyes for a bit and scrunch up my face. I should have not eaten that food. I should not have eaten that food. I should not..
“Yes, I speak for the council, the court, and all brothers, when I say... your partner will be the key to your success.” I catch Cornelius sparing me a half second look. Wonder why. “ Although we know we cannot dictate what you do in the outside, you should take hold the principles of the toad close to your heart. Cunning. Morality. Strength. Generosity. Rationality... Those things we have taught you, but it is your job to find out what they mean; the “way of the toad”” he says with a particular emphasis and reverence on the last bit.
Ah I get what that stare was. Cornelius must be worried about his chances with me. Ha. Little does he know I have... Anonymous? Story telling? the ability to laze about?
As I weigh the meager hidden benefits I could provide for our partnership, Toad Lord continues. “As for what the way of the toad is, it is your quest,, your journey to find it. For it is different for every toad. And if you die in pursuit of it, we may let you try again the next time. ”
Next time. After death. Maybe Toad Lord isn’t evil, maybe Toad Lord is just insane...
‘I wish to give more warning if the Council allows it, A warning about Gensyoko.. and a reminder of why we must do what we do.”
“As Danmur allows” the closest member says. A rubber stamp committee or something.
“Gensokyo. You all know we’re in it. You are all about to see it, in all its glory, in all its horror. But what is it? It is a fantasy, an illusion. A make believe world. It is not real. It may feel real but it is not real.. enough.”
Losing his grasp on reality. Uh oh. All the toads however seem to accept what he’s saying, as though he were delivering sage wisdom.
“Because it is artificial, a construct that has existed for a century and a half.. For the few who enjoy and who cannot survive in the real world, such unreality is pleasing. But for us, it is not.
For we are among the downtrodden masses. The humans are cattle, the rabbits are slaves and all sentient creatures, including ourselves, that do not wield power... exist as playthings for those who do!”
And now... he’s lost me. I huff just a slight bit, looking down at my reflection in the pond. If only I could just close my eyes..
“Gensyoko is a place where the strong rule over the weak. It is where we are forced to live the same cycle of existence time and time again, for the pleasure of those who have become rotten to the care.”
I glance around the crowd. Whatever he’s saying, they’re scooping it all up.
“But one day, we will change that. One day, we will rise up and create a new order of this land. Not the majority over a minority. Not the strong over the weak. Just the right over the wrong, so we can finally move forward to the future.”
Hmmm. I wonder if there’s magic to make myself look better..
“That is why you must go on a quest, to prepare you for this day and for the days that follow. This what the brotherhood means. Yet, it is not the time for you to try to change the world, especially given the recent incident in Eientei. “
“It is your time to change, to better yourselves and perhaps your partner, through your quests. And when you are done, come back to us. We will be waiting for you” he says in an instructive voice. I scratch my head.
“With registration complete and my final sermon delivered, the council and I will distribute quests”
The toad lord thumped the water with his legs. Immediately brother toads, darker in color and somewhat larger than the initiates, spring from the pond surrounding the sunken rock, each holding in their mouths, papers. They work their way into the audience rapidly distributing their products, with mind boggling efficiency.
Guess they must have done this a few times before...
“You are to find these ten items on this sheet of paper with your partner, and bring them back to us in a month’s time. Even if you don’t find them all, you must come back, though in that case... you’ll have to try again.” The Toad Lord says as the brother toad give out the copies. I take one, and so does Cornelius. Its small rectangular, about the size of an index card, and surprisingly dry. The paper feels leathery too and.. its written all in English. Hmmm. Perhaps croaks can be emulated on paper so they opted for a better language?
Actually the question I should be asking is if this quest is nothing more than dramatized scavenger hunt.
As Toad Lord is about to speak again, the brother toads that had emerged to hand out the quest papers go off to the side back down into the pond.
“Council Members of the Leaf Court. Do you accept these initiates and the quests they will embark on?”
“We do.” some of the elders say, and other merely croak.
“And do you, initiates, wish to continue the path to brotherhood?” No. Not really.
The audience croaks back firmly and I say “I do.” No choice unfortunately.
“Then with Council’s consensus and your acceptance, I, Maximilian Gate, Lord of the Toads, hereby declare.. “
An explosion echoes in the sky above us, interrupting Toad Lord, who looks up at the disturbance, at the exact same time, as the rest of the council. The rest of the toads either follow suit or look amongst each other, uncertainly. The Toad Lord lets out a silent croak.
“... Danmaku.” Cornelius says with a disgusted tone. He looks to me abruptly and opens his mouth to speak. Danmaku?
Red orbs of lightning come down from the mist and rake the middle of the sunken rock just then. Initiates touched by these projective get blown away in a near instant, and I just barely dodge one initiate that came flying at my face.
The Toad Lord with an expression I can’t discern, lets loose a loud croak. The initiates respond, and rapidly begin to scatter off the sunken rock, their paper quests in theirs mouths.
The skies grow quiet again as the Toads flee. “We should leave” Cornelius says quickly.
Just as I’m about to agree- sounds of many, many, many explosions and bursts of red light burst from above. A sound of something large hurtling through the air, and... boom. A red- white woman falls out of the sky and crashes down right in the middle of sunken rock, with a force that must have shattered every bone in her body.
Toad Lord, Cornelius, His Council, and some intiate all pause half way through action, at the sight. I gape at this strange new comer. They stare.
That stare slowly goes up from her... to me. Why are they looking at me that way?
Something grabs my shoulder with the strength of ten bears. I slowly turn around, and see a hand holding me.
“Hello, Disturbance.” a very, very strained, deep, female voice says to me.
I turn around fully. A woman with dark golden eyes eyes, long blond hair... in a similar state of undress as the girl who just landed, covered with bruises and all sorts of damage as though she just emerged from a warzone.
My eyes work their way up to her face.
And then my mind goes blank.
I’ve processing all the little details, albeit without much after thought, up to this point but... her face...
Something.. about it makes something lurch within me.
I don’t feel good.
I feel …
“What have you done with the outside” She says with a smile.
[ ] run
[ ] scream
[ ] introduce yourself
[ ] question
[ ] explode
[ ] write in
Theory time: The tentacle monster is some sort of salient god, playing groundhogs day with Gensokyo as a whole. The toads, having been enlightened by the Toad Lord, are wise to his shenanigans and seek to stop it. That is why we can "die" and still live, as Tentacle god will just rewrite reality after a bit. Our true quest, as some sort of anomaly, is to stop the tentacle monster thing. Toad Lord has divined that we are important through his enlightened logic, and is preparing us for the task ahead.
Whatever Anonymous has to say, I can’t hear it. I’m much too busy emptying my stomach. I clutch my chest, gagging a bit, though careful not to show this to the tall thing before me. As the bile touches the back of my throat, I angle my head towards the ground.
Out comes my lunch, splattering onto the surface of the water. Yuck.
I look up and I see her looking down at me with a mixture of indifference and pity. Oh god. I barely resist the urge to vomit and I manage to stand up.
That wasn’t fear.I look up again, and I make certain of it.
There’s no doubt about it. II find her disgusting. I’m not afraid of her, and on closer inspection, its human like my own but still.
“My question.” she says, lackadaisically adjusting her white glove. She’s disgusting. I control my face as best as I can. Something in her face is absolutely revolting to me. This golden haired, taller-than-me woman is.... a monster. There’s no other word to describe her.
“Yakumo Yukari.” The Toad Lord finally speaks. “Why are you here.”
She ignores the Toad Lord walking around me, and I feel like I’m under a microscope, completely out of my element. Questions swirl in my head. What about red-white girl? Who is this person? What did Anonymous have to say me?
“You’re not going to say anything? ” she says to me. I stay silent, not because of any mental fortitude but because I simply at am a loss for words. “Aww”
If only I had better control of myself- then I could have heard them out. Anyway, think, think. She touches my face- and gives it a good twist, handling me like a specimen in a lab.
“Yakumo.” The Toad Lord says. Out of the corner of my eye I can see the council has regrouped, most of the intiates have fled, and that I seem to be-- literally-- on the wrong side of matters.
“This geezer has been causing me trouble” she says, turning sideways to the Toad Lord.
Geezer? I stay quiet though and I try to recall what Anonymous had to say to me...
Anonymous told me to vomit.
She turns back to me abruptly, and a ripple of something crosses for my face. “And that is all you need to know, Max... Goodbye.”
Without any time to yelp or scream, the ground below me gives way.
I fall. Or I would have had a slimy sticky tongue not wrapped around my torso. Yuck again, but at least I’m safe from whatever it is below me. Eyes, wide inhuman, cartoon like eyes suspended in an infinite space greet me. A hole with its ends tied by ribbons has some how appeared below me and its filled with, or rather, populated by eyes. I move my head and the eyes move with me. So its not a picture; this sudden hole.. or portal is real.
“You have trespassed on our waters, Youkai; You shall not leave until you explain yourself.” Youkai? Did she just make this portal? It seems like that.
Is she an incredibly powerful fairy or something? Is that a what youkai is? Is this the person the toads want to rise up against?
I regard the eyes again. I wonder if I should be feeling more disturbed by their presence. Well if I am, I’m not feeling it.
Yukari Yakumo, I presume, taps her cheekbone in a bored manner. “I don’t have time to play with you, Max” Ah the toads in front of Toad Lord seem to bristle with every line she speaks. While everyone seems to be on edge, I feel strangely calm. Not exactly peaceful, but I think losing my lunch actually made me feel quite better about everything.
Oh crick. What am I doing. This is a standoff which means a fight is going to break out, which means I should be heading for the hills.
Where did Cornelius go anyway? Did he get sucked into the eye portal? Or is he staying silent somewhere out of trouble... Yeah thats probably...
Hm? Below me, the eye hole...
“I said, you shall explain yourself, yakumo.” The Toad Lord steps forward.
.. is looking straight at me. Before all those eyes had distant gazes, but now...
“Oh? You think you can beat me?” she says with a pompous laugh, covering her mouth, with a fan that she produced, with a sleight of hand, somehow.
Jesus, the eyes below me are looking at me. Uhm. Now this is starting to get weird.
“Me? No. Yakumo, don't you recall the seven-teeth amendment to the rules of Danmaku” the Toad Lord says.
The pupils of the eyes in the portal, contract to half their size in a half -second.
Surely I can’t be the only one seeing this.
But I am. No one else notices the gap close in on itself disappearing. Not even Miss Yakumo. “Remind me.” She says.
Well then again, if she were to divide her attention Toad Lord would probably squish her.
“To mince words, the fourteenth amendment states that danmaku duels are one on one except in the Dominion of Toads”. I feel the urge to say “hey Toad Lord, let me down. The eye thing disappeared.” among the millions of questions I have regarding just about everything rihgt now.
“Oh yes... So you can all participate.” She fanned herself slowly. “No matter, ten toads are as worthless as one toad, I can crush you all the same” she says. Despite looking pretty banged up, she projects such an aura of complete confidence. Just who is she?
An eye portal opens beneath the red and white one and the unconscious.. or perhaps dead girl disappears into the oblivion. Were they just fighting? Did she just kill her? The eye portal closes as quickly as it opened.
Looks she did. Uh oh.
“Alright, Danmaku it is." Yukari says " ere are my terms. When I win, I have him. When you lose... I have him” She gives me a small push toward Toad Lord though not before giving me a very dark grin.
As if on cue, Toad Lord's tongue pulls me over in the air to his side, floating above his head. Ouch. The whole tugging motion felt a bit like a whiplash to be honest..
Toad Lord’s tongue then unravels around me and I make friends with gravity again, plummeting to the black rock, almost face first.
No one cares in particular about my pain however, as Yukari and the Toad Lord continue to talk. “When we win, you foul youkai, you will spill your guts.” Was that a pun?
And is... is that Cornelius?
I can hear a certain demonic voice, chatting what seems to be very animatedly with an elderly voice. Well A little help would be nice, supposed blood brother..
“My, my. You know, I do have more important items on my agenda than bantering, Max. Are your minions ready yet?” Though I’m careful to not look her directly in the face, something about her speech tickles my tongue ever so. The way she carries herself... I know there’s a word for her. What is it?
“My Minions?” The Toad Lord says with disbelief in his tone.
I sit up right and I see I’m right behind Toad Lord, with a few toad initiates, Cornelius and a Toad Elder, who speaks to me immediately. “Its time for you to flee.”
Cornelius hops next to me. “So does Toad Lord expect not expect to win this?” he says with a whisper. I guess we don’t want to alert the others.
“My council.” The Toad Lord says in a corrective tone, as he looks around at his fellow court members.
“No. Unfortunately, she caught us unready. We can give you at most ten minutes to run.. ten minutes to run.”
“Wait why is Toad Lord’s doing this for me?”
“My Court” Toad Lord says in the same tone, as Yukari closes her fan and as his council members begin to divide.
“He can’t let you fall into that Youkai’s hands.” the council member speaks very quietly but with urgency.
“W-W-Why?” I can barely keep up with all this.
“Yukari has dishonored us with her presence; in contrivance to treaties signed. The great Toad Lord and us must fight her but we must also allow her to toy with the fate of an initiate in our dominion.” Being slow, my brain isn’t able to process the reason and determine its validity, but one loud rasp from Cornelius and I quickly shut up with this line of questioning.
The council member turns to five or so initiate toads plus Cornelius. “Initiates, escort him out of the dominion according to the plan.” What they made a plan to save me? Already?
“My constituents!” Toad Lord yells then thumping the water. Immediately following his words, legions of his followers, similar in size to the ones that surrounded me previous, emerge the pond, around Yukari, who pays them no mind.
“Let get a move on then, Fleshbag.” Cornelius whispers, hopping forward. The other intiates croak quietly and follow suit.
“Wait to whe-” There is a small organic hum as a small dirt path is raised. More brother toads appear.
“That path goes to the inner island of the pond. There are trees, and foliage along the way.. but you must try to reach the path that connects to the land. Remember, ten minutes and you better be far away from here. Hurry.”
“My brothers!” he thumps the water. Row and rows of brothers open their mouths, and If I’m not crazy, lights, dim at first, but rapidly growing brighter.
Yukari extends her arm, as a parasol drops out of another one of her eyes portals, which closes as quickly as it opened.
The council member turns around and jumps to the front. “Move fleshbag!” Cornelius hisses.
Nothing makes sense anymore. I sigh.
“TO ARMS!” The Toad lord finishes his battle cry as I turn around and feel the heat of a thousand energies go off.
[ ] Stay and fight.
[ ] Flee
& [ ] question Cornelius
& [ ] stay silent, concentrate on running
& [ ] find a place to hide
[ ] Diplomacy
[ ] write in tactics to escape.
the reply above this was suppose to be apart of this message.
File 13004883177.jpg - (513.94KB,
1218x960 , good luck.jpg) [iqdb]
& [x] stay silent, concentrate on running
Don't sprint. We're going for distance here. Now, have you ever tried relaxing during running? It improves running performance. Really. You get to get away from your pursuers, and do what you like best!
-[x] Stay silent, concentrate on running
-[x] Good luck.
There’s little doubt that a battle of a most improbable nature is occurring behind my back. There’s also little doubt that staying would probably kill me.
Thank you, Anonymous, for concurring with my instincts and for the luck.
The five.. no six- six initiates serving as my escorts propel themselves through the water on both sides of myself, somehow keeping pace with me.
A stray bolt of purple lightning carves into the mist just a few feet away from me. Croaks, panicked croaks, furious croaks, vicious croak fill the air among the sounds of splattering and.. and..
… and a council member is airborne. Time slows down as I look at him. Charred, blackened-- eyes closed, he’s flying through the air in an arc. He splashes into the water not too far from me with a loud plopping sound. Yukari... she’s very quick.
I notice Cornelius has taken to my shoulder yet again. Is he being lazy? And if he is, do I have any right to criticize-
“Duck!” Cornelius shouts, and with the reflexes of a dead cat, I first say ‘what”, process what he said, and then, finally, tumble to the ground, letting loose yelp.
Looking upward I see, orbs shaped like bullets go racing through the space where half my body had just occupied. God. They’re everywhere in the sky going in all directions. If it wasn’t so dangerous, I’d half think I was in a light show or something. I steal a glance at the battle scene I was barely a minute ago.
The mist at this point has covered it a like a fog, but the light illuminates the chaos every other second. Toad Lord’s bulk is visible and I can hear him leaping into the air-- and I can see a giant ball of light, reeking havoc among the toad lines.
“Move your wretched flesh! Move!” Cornelius says, motioning at the antsy initiates accompanying me. Wordlessly, I obey.
Ick. The path’s dirt, being fresh from being under water, is all muddy, which when coupled with my soaked garments, makes for quite possibly the worst running clothes of all time.
Anyway, we continue our escape, seeing the many stray magical bullets pass us by. I notice two columns of brother toads going in the opposite direction of us in the water, croaking what sounds like the screaming of both soldiers and vikings.
… Oh I have so many questions.
I shake my head. Come on, relax. Just relax. Take anonymous advice.. and I close my eyes for just a second and..
“Tree!” Ah! I open my eyes, and dodge to my side. With that we’re off the path and onto land. Well so much for that idea. “Stay Vigilant.” Cornelius hisses in my ear.
Ah, Vigilance, the enemy of relaxation, and thus my enemy. I stop whining mentally thought, as Toad Lord, regardless of his reasons, is using the might of his whole dominion to prevent me from a very disgusting monstrosity. I may be many things, but I sure as hell will not be a brat.
The initiates that were in the water, leap out onto the water, and with great, huge jumps match my pace.
A few more explosions, once far away judging by the sound, now much closer. Alot more plopping sounds. More defeated Toads, I’m guessing.
“Yukari must trying to keep us in her sights.” Cornelius says, rasping just a bit afterwards. Oh crud. I find myself accelerating with those words.
We run into a dense forest and the sounds of the vicious struggle fade a little into the background. For a moment, as we move along, the quiet makes it seems like we’re safe.
Is Toad Lord finally holding off Yukari? As if to answer my question, a red orb comes from the side and hits one of the initiates coming along with me. With an ugly croak, he hits the ground. The other initiates gracefully stop hopping forward, and head backward to tend to our fallen comrade.
I stop too, though almost tripping in the process. Just as I’m about to say something, Cornelius cuts me off.
“You are the target, not him. Yukari won’t care about him, so lets go” I blink at Cornelius. That is cold, man. I imagine that thought worked its way onto my face because he then says in a much softer tone. “...Besides he has his partner to look after him.”
The downed toad, looks up at me and manages to say “Please..” CROAK “..g-” More lightning, now with extra orbs and bolts, shoot as us from the side. I cover my head and all the initiates except one, prepare to begin moving again. Shoot, how close is she?
I smile and I offer a thumbs up as more bullets shoot above my head. “Good luck!” I shout as I whip around, running for my life yet again. Cornelius looks to the side of me, in the direction of where those shots were coming from. The foliage and trees obscure most everything, however. If Yukari is anywhere close to us anyway, we’re done for.
We are only five initiates, and so far as I can tell, we can only survive one of the bullets she can spawn, create or whatever in bulk.
“Stop! Stop!” Cornelius shouts. The other initiates come to a full stop but I continue on, stumbling into a clearing where there are eight other intiates on the opposite side, waiting for us, sitting in a line.
I smile. We need all the help we can get- An energy beams blast out of one of their mouths, almost incinerating Cornelius.
“.. So you’re the ones who was just sniping us in the forest” Cornelius says, staring straight at her.
Sniping us. These toads were attacking us in the forest just now?
“.. You should really keep your voices- “ CROAK “-down when discussing plans, yes?” says the toad in the middle, hopping a bit forward. The initiates behind me jump forward, rumbling.
“Abigail, get out of the way.” Abigail? She’s trying to kill me?
I look back and forth between the two. As much as the last person to say this, we just don’t have the time to stay in one place.
“No. Surrender Glenn the trickster, Cornelius.” She really does have the wrong impression of me. But that doesn’t explain why she wants me to go with that disgusting blonde woman. “Or we will take him by force” she says smiling all the while. Or maybe she’s simply insane.
Evidently unhappy by her order, the initiates near Cornelius open their mouths, and I can see them charging their light things.
“Lets not be hasty, yes?” Abigail says, as the toads flanking her respond in kind. “Behind you are two of us. In front of you are of eight of us.... Your situation is hopeless, yes?” the initiates who were originally roaring to go, back down, closing their mouths. So too do the ones in front of them.
Cornelius rasps, and jumps down onto the ground in front of me. “Why are you doing this?”
“So many Toads have suffer, and some have even died, in the last few minutes, brothers, intiates, even court members, because of you, Trickster. ” Because of me"... Actually.. That is true, isn’t it? “.. or rather because of Toad Lord’s plan.”
Cornelius hops off my shoulder. I haven’t seen him fight yet, though I have a feeling he’s going to do so with words.
“Yukari isn’t a friend of the toads, you realize. She’ll squish you when she sees you.”
“... We’re ready to sacrifice ourselves for the good of all Toads. Unlike that tyrant who uses “honor” and “duty” to make you all fighting an incredibly dangerous Youkai.”
“What delusion. Toad Lord is protecting his own.” Cornelius says. Uh Cornelius, are you negotiating or are you riling them up?
“Oh so that is why-” she croaks softly. “-Toad Lord created the quest system” Abigail retorts. “... We all know what happens to most who go out on these quests, don’t we? Toad Lords are the problem here.” she shouts. With her words, the initiates on our side seem to waver for a second.
The last thing we need is more betrayal. Actually, more confusion would be the last thing. I rub my forehead.
“Hey...” I say to Cornelius.
“Keep out of this.” he says sharply. ” You know nothing about what is happening” Ouch.
He’s right. I don’t. I still have no idea whats going on.
“Fellow intiates...” she croaks “...the collective simply wishes to save the Toads of Gensokyo. So please...” Her smile fades completely. “Give us, Abe Glenn Gray.” Abigail demands, looking straight at Cornelius.
Since I can’t talk my way out of a paper bag, I should probably stay quiet.
Yet with things are going from bad to worse....
I know I have to do something.
[ ] allow Cornelius to handle this
[ ] grovel, beg for mercy
[ ] surrender
[ ] be true to yourself, Abe
[ ] attack!
critiques are welcome, strongly so. I want to know what I can do to make this a more involving story/CYOA.
We're surrounded by hostile toads, with certain death on its way. The situation is seemingly hopeless. I'm sure we could devise some manner of escape; however, why should we? We can't always hold Abe's hand through every situation. Sometimes when the going gets tough, he'll have to fend for himself. This is one of those times.
There is a reason why that monstrosity is after him. There is a reason why he can hear voices, and can't remember anything. This man is more than just some ugly old amnesiac. I'm certain he can do this without our input.
Author person, you might wish to run this by an editor. You sometimes do run on sentences, and forget to remove words that shouldn't be there. With another person reading over your work, it would certainly be more presentable. Unless you already have one, in which case you should just ignore this.
Be true to myself, huh. Well if I were true to myself, I’d be asking tons of questions.
Like are these the same talking toads who, moments ago, were set on me becoming their leader’s partner? Am I really being chased by a half-dead fairy that is defeating an entire army of magical toads?
I shake my head. Well perhaps I’ll try something a bit better.
“H-Hey” I say as I step forward. The toads flanking Abigail watch me warily, opening their mouths, though they don’t charge their lasers or whatever those lights are.
“Yes, fleshy?” Cornelius says in tone that suggests he’d rather I shut my trap.
“No, Miss Abigail. Do you realize what you’re doing here?” I say with as much firmness as I can muster.
“Give yourself up already, Glenn. Your tricks won’t save you now.” Abigail says with a most arrogant grin.
“We don’t have time for-” Cornelius seethes next to me.
“Hey.” I say “As long as the collective is keeping us here-” I gestured to them “- we lose. You guys win... right?”
“Of course” Abigail says.
“So, no need for me to surrender myself. Right? Right? RIght?” The words slide out of my mouth near involuntarily, but I would be a fool to stutter over my words.
“...Yes, Glenn.” Abigail says.
“Okay then, please answer some of my questions”
“And why should we do that?” she says with a much more haughty tone.
“Because I’m confused” I say, my right hand against my chest. The toads look back, nonplussed. Those words are the truth, and describe my state of mind very well at the moment, though I don’t see how they’ll get me out of this rut. Perhaps somewhere deep down I have a master plan, but for now I’ll just roll with it.
“Anyway, do you guys realize what you’re doing here?” I continue on, unwilling to allow her the chance to shut me down.
“Yes-” she begins. All I need to hear.
“Then what are you guys doing here? Explain to me please, I don’t get it” I say quickly. Brute unrestrained awkwardness got me somewhere before, perhaps it will work now.
Abigail croak something that sounds like a sneer. “Weren’t you listening? We will allow Yukari to capture you, to end the battle and to defy Toad Lord’s plan, whatever it may be.”
“But what is it? What is his plan exactly?” I jump in immediately.
Her mouth hangs open for just a second, cracking that triumphant demeanor which was beginning to get on my nerves. “...Its evil” she says.
“How is it evil?”
“Its Toad Lord’s master plan. Its too much too to talk about in this one moment.”
“No, no, I’m not talking about the plan he made just now to help escape from that Yukari Youkai”
“All his plans have up to this point been evil.” I don’t know about that but its irrelevant.
“Oh so you guys assumed his plan to allow me escape was evil?”
Assumed. I think I hear a slight gasp from my escorts. “Not at all” Abigail says. Two or three of the toads dart their eyes from the Abigail to me.
“So you guys are really going to risk your lives over an assump-”
“-Its not an assumption.” she replies tersely.
“Sounds like an assumption to me” I shrug my shoulders as I turn to them, not pausing my verbal assault. “So yeah, you guys, not just you, Miss Abigial. Uhm, do you agree with her? Do you know-- for a fact-- that Toad Lord plans for something horrible to happen by helping me escape from a monster?”
The Collective, having been silently observing our little stand off, glance at each other with what seems to be the first sign of indecision.
“Wow.” I say rubbing the side of my head. “Did you think this through”
“Fellows, we’re also doing this to stop a hopeless battle to save toad lives.” She croaks in the middle of it, though it seems to add dramatic emphasis to her followers. “His word shall not shake our faith.” Abigail regards the toads on both of her sides.
Not a good idea to tear your attention away. “By the time Yukari gets to me the battle will be over, won’t it? won’t that be pointl-”
“No! Half of the brotherhood has still not engaged her. We have to end it before they do!” she pat her foot against the ground in what I guess is an attempt at Toad Lord’s slam.
“But why? Why..” Don’t stop. Keep moving. Show them no quarter.
“To save the toads of the pond obviously” she tries to talk over me.
“But do they want to be saved? I don’t think they do. I think they want to do this.”
“They’ve been brainwashed.” she says.
“Then shouldn’t you be trying to de-brainwash-”
“We will.” She tries to speak over me. That would have worked had I cared about the way I appeared.
“BUT” I shout “what if Yukari kills you right here right now? Who will save the toads from Toad Lord in that case?”
Her face twists into something that says “How dare you” but she doesn’t respond.
I think I’ve rendered her and her collective speechless
Interesting. As smart as they may be, they’re certainly not perfect.
“So you’re putting your lives on the line for something... something that may not be actually be there” I begin slowly.
Abigail sends me a look of absolute scorn, before regarding the toads flanking her. “What we’re doing is right. My fellows, he’s tricking you. He’s casting doubt where none should be.” Perhaps if I also had to appear sane to my fellows, I would be much more crippled in speech.
“Of course you should doubt. You should always doubt just a little unless you’re brainwashed” Half memories, half aspects of principals long since forgotten, flow into my head. It occurs me their flaw is that their young. However intelligent, still immature.
“You...” she rumbles.
“Do you guys really think you know what is right for all toads?”
Abigail than explodes “Do you know the calculations we’ve done?! the planning we’ve done? ! From birth, we’ve been taught to plan out every single one of our motions. Do you think we don’t know what we’re doing?!”
She’s not finished yet. “Do you even know whats at stake here!?” she shouts.
“Nope.” I smile “Not at all” A small epiphany strikes me “I don’t know. I know next to nothing. I’m just a normal human who wandered into all this. Heck, I maybe even be an idiot. You’re suppose to know whats going on, right? You guys are great planners right? But how did you not figure that by talking to me?” Some croak, but all reflect on their actions. “Instead you guys think I’m sort of a genius... So since you’re wrong about me-- the core of everything that's going on right now-- have you guys considered what else could you be wrong about?”
Uncertainty. The kind that was plastered on my face since the very beginning of is now on their own. They had misjudged me in our first encounter and now that they’ve realized it... They don’t know what to do. Follow the plan? Don’t follow the plan? If we were wrong..
A distant sound of explosions going off followed by bursts of magic overhead. Yukari is getting closer too. I look back down and I think I see fear forming on some of their faces.
They made a hasty decision and then they rationalized it afterwards. If I were smarter, perhaps I could take advantage of this newfound conjecture and deliver some choice lines.
Alas, I’m not that good at talking, so I ramble on. “Ideals are great but you shouldn’t be in a rush to risk everything for them.”
Abigail shouts “If we don’t, whats the point in having them!?” An Idealist she sounds like.
I sigh, feeling quite a bit older than the toads surrounding me. “You’ve got your whole lives ahead of you and you have each other.” I point at them “Is it worth risking all this for... “ I point back to Yukari “...something the other toads don’t even want?”
“The other toads do want this; they just don’t know it yet” Abigail seethes, grinding her nonexistent teeth.
The damage is done though. “Maybe in the future you’ll find something great to die for. But- but- but-” No great one liner comes to mind. Oh well, conclusions work best when they’re circular “- but I ask you all again; do you really.. realize what you’re doing?”
No response. The toads look down, some look up, some look past me fearfully, and others close their eyes in what seems to be contemplation. Its sort of quiet, save for the many small explosions in the background.
“If you don’t, please leave.” I take a few steps back. “I uh.. I don’t want anyone to die needlessly.”
Croaks come from behind Abigail and she turns around, croaking back quietly. The stand off is over. I turn to my escorts, though I notice Cornelius is no longer next to me. Is he hiding somewhere? Has he run off? Well I’ll figure that out soon.
Right now, my escorts are giving me quiet and curious looks. I wonder who they thought I was. Maybe some sort of person already learned in the ways of the Toad. No longer I guess; I must have said the most untoadlike thing ever.
“You guys too. I appreciate your help so far, but if you don’t want to risk your lives, I’m okay with you escaping.” My escorts look at me, and croak to each other.
After the chattering subsides, Abigail turns around. My escorts depart just then, with all the speed and quietness expected of these ninjas in amphibian form. Perhaps they only volunteered for the task of escorting. Perhaps Toad Lord’s orders don’t mean that much to initiates. Perhaps my little speech meant something to them.
“The collective has decided to retreat.” Abigial says abruptly. I can’t tell if she was opposed to the decision, or submitted to the decision. All I can see is a look of resignation, and- dare I say, some fatigue.
Her collective departs then, leaving just her and her two retainers. They turn around, straight away from me and are about to lift off. “You win today.. fool.” At least there’s no longer a misunderstanding about my intelligence.
But still. “Hey wait!” She sends me another glare. “Uh... If we ever get the chance, like you me, your whole collective... lets all take it easy together.” They don’t seem like a bad people, just misguided.
Cripes, I feel old.
Her gaze softens, or at least I think so. Too quick to tell as she and her retainers jump forward out of the clearing in front of me, disappearing into the forest.
I sigh and I rub my forehead. Did I just talk my way out of that or did I just confuse them immensely?
Anyway, now that I’m all alone, standing in this clearing, I should probably freak about Cornelius’s departure.
“Babbling until your opponents are paralyzed with confusion, your people skills are indeed a terrible weapon” says Cornelius. Oh, he didn’t leave me. It makes me smile a little weakily.
“Are you going to be sarcastic or are y-” I say as I turn down to look at him. I blink and I stop speaking when I see he is holding a foot long stick, sharpened though curved a little bit at the end. What was he doing while I was talking? Moreover, does that mean he thought I could take care of things?
“We’re out of time.” he says, becoming completely serious at the drop of the hat. “Its been thirteen-- now fourteen minutes.”
“Oh” Shoot. “... But at least she isn’t here yet, right?” I say, failing to keep that slight creeping alarm in my head out of my voice. Magical fire erupts from the depth of the forest, followed by frantic croaks, and the smell of fire.
The brotherhood is doing a good job of holding her off, but its clear she will be here very soon.
“Yes, she’s moving much more slowly than expected. Perhaps they managed to finish those anti-air batteries..” Cornelius says with a thoughtful tone as he trudges behind me.
Strange, he isn’t going for my shoulder. “Cornelius, whats that stick for?” I say.
He sits himself down, stick in his mouth, looking straight out at the lights of the incoming fairy of death. “.. What are you doing?” I say more slowly.
He rasps slowly. “Go on, flesh bag. I’ll take it from here.“
I blink a few more times. Wasn’t this guy just telling me to move? “Are you saying to go on without you?”
“As dramatic as you made it sound, yes, go on without me.” he says.
“Wha-wha-why? how?” Cornelius thus far has presented himself as a deity of pragmatism. And now he’s going to confront a toad-army-defeating fairy. With a stick.
Oh my head. “How can you hope to stop her with just a stick?”
“Well for one, I’m not a Toad. For two, I have an idea...
Not a Toad. An idea? “wh-what?!” I blurt out.
“And for three, trust me. Get running in that direction.” He rasps, waving toward the north east in the forest in front of me “Alright?”
“Good. Now move!”
[ ] No man gets left behind, bring him along
[ ] Stay with him, fight with him, die with him
[ ] Trust Cornelius and run northwest
[ ] Don’t trust Cornelius and run northeast.
[ ] Run backwards
sorry about the lack of update yesterday, business plus a writer’s block the size of of my head. thanks to alkarl for proofreading
I read part of Palingenesia. Very impressive if a little depressing and disturbing. a hidden gem.
Cornelius is a self-serving, intelligent nontoad. If he's planning on buying us some time, I am completely certain he does not intend on dying. He'll be fine with only that stick, and whatever idea he has.
>I read part of Palingenesia.
A hidden gem indeed. One that will never be updated again. ;_;
>He rasps, waving toward the north east in the forest in front of me
>[ ] Trust Cornelius and run northwest
[x] Don’t trust Cornelius and run northeast.
I agree that we should run, but why the fuck should you trust this bastard? He has a stick. He says he's not a toad. What has he done to earn your trust? If he comes back from this, then he can have some trust.
>>137920 We trust him because he is our partner. You don't need to earn trust in that sort of position. He would do the same for us.
>>137926 I would certainly hope you finish reading it. Not to be rude, but stopping just because it's a little "freaky" is childish. I can understand being intimidated by it's gargantuan size, but come on man. Buck up and finish that bad boy, as it's the best story on the site, even in its unfinished splendor. I would say lolopinions here, but if you disagree you are wrong.
>>137932 As it stands, the story takes an ideal fantasy world and makes it a post apocalyptic world. By doing that, it makes for a disheartening read since I know and expect for certain characters to act in more decent ways. Also the main character reminds of me of the guy from "The Last Chancers", so that doesn't quite help this story's appeal to me at least.
Its not my cup of tea, but I may finish it since its otherwise good.
>>137950 It's take on an apocalyptic Gensokyo is most of what makes it so interesting, though. I found all of the characters personalities and motivations to be a refreshing change from the norm, as befitting the doomed world they inhabited. It's nice to have something other than the moe moe, or otherwise bland portrayals you usually encounter. I suppose this is all a matter of taste.
I can't remark upon any similarities between the MC and "The Last Chancers," as I have no fucking clue what that is. Google brings up 40k shit, and I don't poke that with a 40' pole.
Most of Anonymous says. One or two of them beg to differ, but I really don’t have time to sift through their arguments.
“..Fine.” I nod my head ”I-I’ll go.” I turn around “... But thank you Cornelius”
“Don’t thank me just yet” Cornelius says sharply, without looking back. A few bullets go roaring past us on both sides, some hitting the trees and causing burn marks. Does he not expect to survive or something?
I shake my head. Though every fiber of my being rebels wants to just sit and relax, I tear off in the woods.
“Good-” No, not Goodbye. “uh...See you!” I shout over my shoulder. As I sprint away, I hear the sound of a stick breaking half, amongst the approaching noise of the magical war.
Whatever his idea is, it better be something genius. I reflect on what it could be as I make my way through the forest, which grows denser and denser. The pond’s mist slowly evaporates, finally allowing the rays of the setting sun to penetrate the forest. Furthermore the omnipresent sounds of battle finally cut out; the toads probably having lost it just as they had feared.
Am I a coward for leaving them in their time of battle? If they all want to, its none of my concern. Except for Cornelius; by now he’s probably encountered Yukari.
First thought that comes to mind is him attacking her with his curved stick. Instant defeat. Or maybe he plans to talk with her. Unfortunately, if I learned anything at all from my vomit-inducing meeting with that woman, it would be that she lacks patience. So, instant defeat again.
What this pale white toad that isn’t a toad, that has a name which isn’t his name possibly do.
I don’t understand him at all.
Yet I hope he comes out okay.
I sigh-- a remarkable feat given how far I’ve been fleeing for my life. Perhaps my body isn’t as weak as I thought it was.
With that thought, I almost trip on a rock. I right myself quickly, swearing just a bit silently, and keep moving along. The terrain is getting a bit hilly, and the many branches and plants make for annoying obstacles and even worse noisemakers.
My obvious lack of stealth aside, I wonder if she can fly. I haven’t see her fly, but its the only explanation for her bizarre entrance, so I suppose she must be able to do so. Cornelius mentioned anti air something, but who’s to say she hasn’t smashed it?
If she’s flying, then wouldn’t she be able to tell when I get out of the forest?
Hmm. Does that mean I’m trapped here?
Perhaps I should find a place to hide. Ah- perhaps those escorts were here to direct me to such hiding spots which would mean... I shouldn’t have sent them away.
Then again, judging by how my escorts abandoned me very quickly and how Cornelius decided to make a stand... we must have been doomed the moment the collective held us up.
My pants get caught on a bush. I give it a good pull, and with a grunt, I tear a big hole in it.
Double Joy. I resume sprinting though, as It would be an insult to both Cornelius and the myriad of toads who want to see me escape... for some reason.
Anyway, with the denseness of this forest available, maybe just maybe I’ll be able to find a good hole to well, hole up in. Oh and if I’m really lucky, I’ll find some way to camouflage and cover myself so she won’t ever be able to find me.
And if I’m really really really lucky... I’ll be able to fall asleep under the stars.
Ah, the first good thought in a while. I smile. Its a fantasy no doubt; the idea of just lounging underneath the heavens, iin all their vastness and glory, silently observing, and telling myself silly little stories about everything..
My only regret would be that I’d have no one to share it with. Well, no one except for my not-so-friendly and not-so-mean hivemind called Anonymous.
I wonder though...
The leaves above me rustle, the sound jerking me out of my daydreams. A figure descends from the treetops just a few strides from where I am, and I hastily break, almost tripping yet again.
Who is that?
Blonde hair. A slightly ridiculous dress.
How did she... Is that really her?
I feel the sudden urge to hurl.
Yeah, its her.
Yukari lands gracefully, and with a smooth gesture, brings her pink, purple, oddly ornate parasol, to bear on me. I avert my eyes from her face, and I notice she’s even worse shape than before. Much more bruises, much less clothing, and even some nasty gashes; the Toads did quite a number on her for sure.
“Disturbance, I am getting very...” She pants just slightly. “... of these little chases.” she says, spitting out some blood onto the forest’s dirt. Examining her a bit more carefully, I see she isn’t standing up straight, and one of her eyes appears to be swollen shut.
“Oh...” I say. Cornelius, I thought you had an idea. Cornelius, where are you. Cornelius. I shake my head. Quick thinking, I suck at it. Bah.
“Oh really?” I say as I pivot, making an attempt to run straight to my left. Just as I look away, I see some brother Toads approaching rapidly from that very same direction.
Ah ha! The Calvary has arrived.
A wide blue laser decimates those toads and a few trees in the direction I was about to run into. I freeze in place, the smell of roasting toad skin assaulting my nostrils.
I turn back to her and she brings the parasol back toward me. I don’t know how she did that, I barely have an idea about what she’s capable of or of anything really, but now more than ever its clear.
She’s a monster.
And this monster starts walking toward me, unsmilingly, still pointing her weapon.
I start walking backwards. Hadn’t I just done this dance with Toad Lord?
Just as she intimated, she’s in no mood for games, and with a bizarrely acrobatic lunge, closes the distance between us in a half second. Surprised, I fall backwards, raising my hands in a pathetic attempt to ward off any possible, future blows. She stands above me like a swordsman with her parasol, and I find that I have no choice but to look into her eyes.
Besides vaguely revolting, I see they’re tired, very tired, and also... something. Not like Cornelius’s eyes, his were always a bit empty Not like Abigail’s either, hers was at least maternal.
Yukari’s were filled with hate. A profound hatred that was less between equals and more between a human and a grotesque bug of some kind.
She cracks a small smile.
If I had wronged this creature in my past life, I am grateful I cannot remember how.
“... How did you find me?” I say with a level tone. A wind blows in the forest, and my wet clothing sting coldly against my skin.
She tilts her head as if I had asked her what one plus one was. “I have eyes and ears everywhere, don’t you know?.. It was only a matter of time.” Something about her... that word whatever its tingles and teases my tongue again.
I keep a level stare.. at her chin.
“Admittedly, that matter of time would have much longer, had it not been for one helpful, toady”
Helpful little toady?
“My name is Cornelius, Miss Yakumo” From behind her foot came a small toad. A small pale white toad.
“Oh Cornelius? Ah, a silly name.” She says without taking her eyes of me.
Cornelius. No. I look at him again. Same voice as the same toad who a five, maybe ten minutes before was making a stand. No stick in sight.
What in god’s name is going on.
“Don’t think I’ve forgotten about you”
He betrayed me?
“I could never forget about you” she prods my chin with the end of her death parasol. I don’t really feel it though.
He betrayed me.
“Listen to me while I’m talking to you.” she says. “Or I’ll be killing you painfully”
No. that can’t be
I look up at her, as my mouth opens and closes, and I feel my tongue get a little dry.
“Miss Yukamo, if I may speak to this worthless sack of skin” His voice is toneless. “I would like to tell him something”
“For being such helpful cute toad, by all means. But do it quickly, okay?” Something about her, everything about her, is on the tip of my tongue.
I look at Cornelius, and the word’s immediately flow out “How could you Cornelius, I thought you said you had an idea...”
Cornelius jumps onto Yukari’s parasol and look straight at me. I look back and the words flow out of my mouth. “Why... Why did you tell her .. Why did you betray me??” I continue.
“Fleshed one.” he says. “I betrayed you because I hate you. I hated you since the very moment I laid eyes on you... and you were stupid to notice.”
“huh?” What he just said sounds so illogical, I half expected for him to wink at me, as if to play along. Yet he goes on.
“But I needed a partner to complete the Toad’s stupid ritual. So I had to choose you. That’s all.” His voice sounds different. Worse than before, it sound positively inhuman.
“No..” I try to smile. “No that can’t be..”
“Why else did I not have a partner beforehand? Why else did no one want to partner up with me?”
I don’t know so I say nothing in response.
“Had things gone according to plan, I would have offed you the second we were out of this accursed pond” he continue. My smile drops off my face.
All those times before, when I thought he was being sarcastic...
… was he being truthful?
The enormity of it all is almost too much for me to process.
“Then everything you did for me before..?” I go on.
“A ruse. Plain and simple.” he says simply. The partnership? His conversations with me? The stick... The stick. That’s right, if he didn’t have the stick on him, it would have been clear from the get go he was planning on talking to her and..
Did he manipulate me all this time? No. That can’t be.
Yukari watches us with a smile. “Oh? You trusted a toad?“ she chuckles a soulless, hollow laugh.
“I told you one reason for my actions. Be happy with it.” he rasps long and hard.
He must be joking. Or playing a trick or...
But the way he looks right now.
“Fine, here’s another reason; I enjoy the flesh of humans” he says nonchalantly.
Abigail’s words ring in my mind just then.
He eats human flesh.
He called me flesh bag, fleshy, fleshed one.
How could I not have seen this. Is it true though? Somehow, is this all a charade?
“Think of what that means in relation to you” he says. Yukari simply grins some more.
I let my mouth hang open like the idiot I am. Originally I had ignored Abigail’s comment, perhaps saw it as a lie but now...
Now... I’m not sure. I was never sure about him or his intentions.
He rasps. Neither a laugh nor a sigh, I can’t tell. I can’t reason his mood from his toneless voice, and his expression offers no window into what he’s thinking.
In other words, he may have... he probably just said the truth.
“That is all I wanted to say, Miss Yakumo.” he says. “ I hope you don’t mind if I watch you shred him.”
Her smile grows just a bit; she seems much less rigid than when she first encountered me. “Should I be insulted you’re using me as a tool for your own little revenge?” Cornelius turns around and climbs up to her shoulder, careful I notice, to avoid her many cut and gashes.
The white toad stops moving and bows his head. “If you want me to end this annoyance’s life instead, I shall.”
“Hm. A little too subservient, aren’t you?” she says, tapping her finger on her chin.
Cornelilus looks up at her. “I know of your power, so I know my place, Miss Yakumo, and-” He gestures with his head. “- I also know we share a similar contempt of the thing below us“ he finishes tonelessly.
She studies his face for a bit and shrugs just a bit “A youkai in toad’s clothing” she says as Cornelius reached her shoulder “Just I suspected.”
A youkai? What?
He looks down at me, and I look up at him. Callous, uncaring, or just... indifferent. “Do be quite Cornelius, my hate for this creature runs deeper than yours.”
If I were less calm, maybe I’d jabber on asking how could he do this to me, or something. But, in the strange lucidity provided by my shock and fury, I realize I already know the answer to that question.
Her smile widens slowly. “Tell me of your last words, before I rip your mind from your skull” she says.
He’s a monster just like Yukari.
I shake my head slowly and I close my eyes.
If you don’t have anything to add, I think...
I think I’m going to have say a little something.
[ ] Condemn Cornelius. Let him know what a scumbag he is.
& [ ] Try to kill him
[ ] Resign yourself to your fate, Abe. Relax. Its all over.
[ ] Ask Yukari what she wants from you/what is going on
& [ ] Beg for Mercy
& [ ] Tell her to off herself.
Part One of Two
ran out of time to proofread. please forgive stupid errors.
[x] Ask Yukari what she wants from you/what is going on
& [x] Tell her to off herself.
Fuck you, Yukari. We don't even know why you hate us so much. It's not like Abe has done anything wrong.
Also, I refuse to believe Cornelius. I remain firmly convinced this is just a ruse he is pulling over Yukari. He's just biding his time, waiting for her to lower her guard. Bravo, Cornelius. Your acting skills are tremendous.
[x] Ask Yukari what she wants from you/what is going on
[x] Resign yourself to your fate, Abe. Relax. Its all over.
>>138105 For all we know, Glenn just destroyed the shit out of the outside world and sealed his own memories for plausible deniability. And, again, what the fuck has Cornelius done to deserve this level of trust?
Wait a second. our collective is annonymous itself right? Jesus, no wonder gapbitch wants us dead, there's a fucking sin sack in our collective that either attemped, or succeeded in raping her! [x] If this is to do with my collective, then i apologise a thousand times. [x] WE CANNOT DIE HERE, FELLOW ANONS,IF THE HOST DIES, WE WILL PERISH, AND NEVER ESCAPE THIS FLESHBOUND PRISON. [x] ACTIVATE IT [x] vomit [x] pass out [x] ANONYMOUS_TYPE /JP/ INITIATE OBJECTIVE: RETREAT.USE OF/JP/ MEIDO POWERS AUTHORISED.
Anonymous isn't just /jp/. Anonymous is the whole 4chan, maybe even the whole internet.
Besides, let me swear at you for voting such a silly thing. If you saged it, I would have think something like "oh boy, anon is high again", but since you haven't saged, I'm thinking "oh, boy, anon is a fag again", and it's rather annoyed at least.
And now, since I'm saying unrelated crap at 03:20AM, allow me to sage my own shit.
Okay, okay stop, and listen for a second. On the slim, slim chance you are not Random Anon, I will try to tell it to you straight.
You're vote is absolutely horrid. It does not fit the tone of this story, and has terrible logic backing it. It's bad, plain and simple.
Now, on to issue number the second. Your use of greentext. This is not allowed, not encouraged, and frankly will only incite extremely derogatory terms from other anons, mostly from me. I'm trying to be nice here, and not call you a worthless piece of trash, so bear with me.
Most people on this site hold themselves to a certain level of quality. This includes posting with a modicum of respect for others, not using greentext, sageing when they have nothing of import to say, not using reaction images, and generally taking it easy. We cannot do this when you post so terribly. So please, stop. I urge you to look over the rules again. Study them, use them, and love them.
>>138195 No. Being one of the stupidest posters on this site, I believe he is one of the only people who truly deserve restraint. His posts are so terrible, I am firmly convinced he actually doesn't know that what he's doing is wrong. Slinging insults and jeers his way would be a wasted effort.
On the other hand, most namefags or smilie/action using pieces of shit seem to have a working knowledge of our board culture. They use them despite this implicit understanding. That is why they are trash, and should always be called as such.
[x] Ask Yukari what she wants from you/what is going on
Anonymous speaks; I hear trust Cornelius, don't trust Cornelius, a bunch of gibberish, a command to give in and relax, and a comment exclaiming how fun this was.
... This was not fun, Anonymous. I close my eyes and I take a deep breath, as I try to figure out what I should get from all their responses..
“Answer. me.” she repeats, her voice positively dripping with ire.
Cornelius rasps softly. I open my eyes. They’re right, as relaxing as it would be to freak out at that white traitor; knowing why I’m about to die is more important. "What is going on, Ms Yakumo?"
"Tsk.” She frowns slightly “Asking such a hapless question? As your last words?" Yukari says. Oh thats right. Last words. Does this mean she’ll kill me now? "What would they write on your tombstone?"
".. I-I don't know?" I say. The way she’s grinning seems sadistic, perhaps she’s trying to intimidate me.
"Trick question.” She says “No one will know of what I’ll do to you.”. Although I can’t say I’m feel dread at the moment, letting her think she’s playing games with me, may mean I’ll live for a bit longer. Better make use of it.
"Can you please tell me whats going on?" I repeat, looking up at her, though I stay my gaze from Cornelus.
Abruptly, she seems to have lost interest in me, and instead appears to be... making an elaborate gesture of some kind with her free hand. Hard to describe really, though at the end of it she grunts in seeming frustration.
"As expected of a disturbance" she mutters as she pulls her parasol back a little.
"What?" I say, pushing myself upward a bit, a little eager to get comfortable.
She thrusts the parasol back at me and I fall back, narrowly missing the jab.
"Your gap resistance." She mutters as her free hand balls into a fist. She looks down at me, her eyes half lidded, the mocking look gone.
"What?” I say as my soon to be murder brings her parasol down to her side.
"Look at me" She grabs me by my throat and almost drags me upwards. I choke; my queasiness doubling as she pulls me closer to her.
Good god. What is wrong with her face.
"Such an ugly thing" she says in a pitying, covering my face with her hands. What is she doing?
What is happening?
In the darkness of her hands, the hands that surely have must have slain many toads, I wonder about Toad Lord’s speech. Is Yukari among the strong he mentioned?
If she is, then is this world her little paradise?
How many others exist only at the patience, at the discretion of strong fairies/youkai?
“Maybe I should just put you of your misery.” Her hands press against my face a bit more; they feel soft and wholly human. But I know better now.
In a world where things like Yukari run amok doing as they please, perhaps survival is the most a weak person can hope for in this world.
...Nah. What I hope for is what I hope for; and I don’t really care what other people have to say that.
Especially Cornelius. I frown.
She takes her hands off of me at that. and mutters. “I’ll take a bit more time, it seems.”
I wonder what she was about to do. Smash my face in? Rip off my nose? Despite the pleas of my stomach, I stare at her as she seemingly studies my face. I wonder what she’s looking for. I’m not feeling much of anything at the moment, at least I don’t think.
"Disturbance.” She says, her smile fading just a little. I sense a misunderstanding. “...Alright. You might as well know how terrible your predicament is.”
What a bizarre turnaround. “Um.. thank you?”
"You have gaps in your head." she says.
"See this?” She points to the ground a few feet away. The eye hole portal from before, about a few inches in size, springs to life at that spot.
I nod, though the second I look at the eyes inside of it, their pupils contract and the portal closes. “That's a gap?”
"Yes and you have two of these in your head."
"I don’t believe you” I blurt out.
She grabs my shoulder and with an unamused expression, gives me a good, violent shake. My head swings back and forth, and it takes every measure of my control not to vomit.
"Believe.” she says, stopping as my head lolls about. Why did I do that.. “Your gaps make you a disturbance; disturbance have been messing with the boundaries of this land, and furthermore have damaged my ability to stabilize them. Follow?"
"You lost me." I say. Perhaps if I were a true toad, I’d be able to lie and lie and lie, but being Abe Glenn Gray, I can only speak the truth, however annoying it seems to my soon-to-be murderer.
My stupid response elicits a tighter grip on my shoulder, though not a shake. Ouch regardless. “Because of you and your kind... I haven’t slept.” Her disposition becomes much more cheerful. “for one whole year.”
“One whole year without sleep.” she says, her eyes narrowing.
“You haven’t slept..?”
“For one year.” she answers.
Sleeping. A necessary if not vital part of being lazy. One could argue half of one’s inner peace came from a good night’s rest.
Sleep deprivation, then is the devil. The mortal nemesis of laziness, of my most important principle.
And I cause her to be sleep deprived, for a whole year. The weight of my crimes hit me like a sack of bricks. Guilty, guilty, bricks. “Ms Yakumo, if I have caused you pain, I'm sorry... I don't want to hurt anyone. I don't mean to hurt anyone...I never meant to cause you so much pain... "
She blinks, seeming unbalanced by sudden rush of emotion. But her gaze hardens. “I don’t care.”
I meant it and she just struck me down. I sigh inwardy. Anyway, this is not the time to be commiserating with my soon-to-be murderer. Especially since it makes no sense how my presence could have triggered her insomnia.
“Yes.” Hopelessly, abjectly, annoyingly confused. Though I don’t say so.
“Eight months ago, I heard the very same thing from one of your counterparts. Pity I've run out of patience since then"
Okay, although it seems like things are worsening, I’m getting a handle on all this. I am a disturbance. Other disturbances have been running around causing problems for her. We’re getting somewhere. "Ms Yakumo, if you could just... explain?" I try a smile.
"Oh what luck” She looks back at her other hand “I can now shatter your mind.”
My smile falters. "You can do that?"
"Yukari Yakumo. I can manipulate the boundaries of anything, don’t you know?”
I don’t believe you. I bite my tongue. Her power is undeniable. For all I know she could be a god.
And yet.. god is not that word on my tongue, though I still don’t know what it is,
Anonymous— if you can think of it, please tell me.
“Disturbance.. you do seem like a decent man, so out of the generosity in my heart, I’ll let you have a second chance at a more honorable death...” She raises her hands, in what seems to be another attempt to cover my face. “What are your last words?"
Crick. Well seeing as my brain has failed me once again, I switch back to instinct. Guilt flows out unimpeded."I'm sorry if I did something horrible to you"
I’m being stupid aren’t I?
But I don't fault her for what she’ll do. She’s been driven over the edge, that much I glean.
Everything else doesn’t make sense so I think I’m sorry is the only thing I can say.
Yet I feel stupid.
Stupid for being manipulated by Cornelius. Stupid for eating the food to begin with.
Stupid for being here in this distressing world.
"I don't care if you're sorry-" she repeats as her hands come closer to grasping my skull.
“Wait.” But, at the same time, this world seems pretty stupid.
I can understand taking the big easy when I ate the Toad’s offerings back then.
Back then things made sense. Back then I could make my peace.
“Not done yet.” I say.
Cornelius opens his mouth for the first time since Yukari began talking..
But after being jerked around so much, by Toad Lord, Cornelius, Abigial, Yukari... I have a little something to say to everything and everyone.
A little something to say this land which despises peace.
"Fuck. you." Just as I’m about to shut my eyes tight, just as she grins from ear to ear... a brown stick pops oot of Cornelius’s mouth.
The brown thing that looks like a stick, the very same stick, sharpened and curved at its end, Cornelius had before.
Itis now positioned firmly in his mouth, and just as her hands jut out toward my face, it comes down.
In that fraction of a second, Yukari’s eyes widen and with amazing reflexes, her arms retract.
Too late; the tip plunges into her contracted pupil.
She freezes, head slightly upturned, as the stick enters her head with relative ease, going in as far Cornelius can bend.
One of her hand spasms and releases the parasol which flops onto the ground. Her other snaps up to where Cornelius had been sitting, but again, she’s a second too late.
Cornelius jumps with his hind-legs, still holding onto the stick, and flips over, off her head. As he comes down the stick breaks in half under his weight, though not before jutting upwards on the inside of Yukari's skull. Her hand that went up to snatch him freezes in his place, and she makes a rather unpleasant guttural noise.
He lands as she bends backward, looking as if she’s about to fall.
".. ah." I comment.
I stare. And...
"Pick me up. Run." Cornelius says, with some measure of urgency in his tone.
First thought that comes to me is; Do I trust him?
He just saved my life, though technically he doomed it though he did partner with me though...
Trust him, I decide. I snatch him off the ground, and I bolt past the teetering Yukari, through the forest, without a single look back.
".. what.. what was that" I say once we’re more than few feet away.. Should I be less shocked by all the oddities occuring to me?
"...I had to blind her before we could have escaped." he finishes.
Okay. Sure. Why not. "but- but- how?"
"A shrine maiden, plus a toad army, plus her arrogance, plus a stick. And even then it may still not be enough. Alter direction by forty five degrees.” I do so and I take care not to run into any bushes.
A few moments later as my head clear, I say "... Cornelius."
"Yes, fleshy?" he says as I weave through some trees.
Its not in my nature to suspect people but... He just broke my trust just now. Even if he saved my life, he did something he said he wouldn’t do.
I can’t relax with that sort of person.
"I think.. I'm angry with you." I finally say.
"Keep moving." he says with a tone that says ‘Survive now. Talk later.’ Though a year’s worth of stress begs for release, and though images of me smashing Cornelius fill my head, I follow his words to the letter.
Indeed. Whats important is that we’ve escaped. We’ve lived.
Soon, maybe soon, I’ll finally be able to kick back and..
Abruptly, one of my legs catches the ground, and I fall over. Cornelius leaves, or maybe falls off my shoulder and we clutter forward, my head meeting a softy muddy patchy of ground.
I scramble and turn myself around. I see a portal, with a hand coming up from the surface, from a gap. A smooth, lady like hand attached to a female with long blond hair.
how did she find us?
The eye the stick had been thrust in; gone leaving just an eye socket. The other eye. Puffed up and black, but its just a little bit open. I think I can make out a pupil.
It looks angry.
“Damn the gods.” Cornelius whispers.
Her remaining eye’s looks not at me however, but at Cornelius, who sits next to me. “That. really. hurt." she says as Cornelius off the ground. He does little to stop her and merely lets loose a rasp.
Almost like he’s given up.
“Hey get off of him.” I say a little weakly as get up, and reach out toward him. I hit an invisible wall of some kind, and I bounce back. Ow.
"You come second." she says, barely even acknowledging me. “Its been ages since such a weakling dealt me an insult.. for good reason, Cornelius. For very good reason”
“What arrogance.” Cornelius cuts her off, and rasps what seems to be a sigh.
“What hypocrisy.” she quips back. “I’m going to kill you now.” I sense her patience has just given way. What a coincidence so has mine.
“Give him back.” I try raising my voice for maybe the first time, though Yukari doesn’t bat me an eye. I also try hitting the barrier, but my fist bounces off like they hit metal.
"I don't fear death." Cornelius says. I’m not sure if he’s talking to me or Yukari; his face is blank as always, and his tone, seems more fatigued than ever.
"An immortal? A respawner?” She says with a fairly annoyed tone .”Tsk. Tsk. Shall I squish you slowly from the bottom up or shall I impale your eyes with needles?"
Cornelius says nothing, and closes his eyes for what maybe the first time.
… It can’t end like this.
Listening to her tone and her speech, the word that describes Yukari Yakumo comes back to me again.
This time though, I know.. it not just a word. Its something that was buried within me, like a long lost memory, now coming up. Whatever it is, I know I will know it.
Once I say it.
With the usefulness of a broken stick, I look between them, as Yukari starts bringing her hands together around the toad who I have a complicated relationship with
. “...Squish it is.” she says.
[ ] Say it, whatever it is. You have nothing else to lose.
[ ] Don’t say it, Abe. Its probably something very dumb.
& [ ] Try to negotiate with her. Cornelius saved your life.
& [ ] Flee, leave Cornelius behind; she may just be on her last leg.
[ ] Give up
[ ] Write in
Ugh. Another two day update. This one came out long, and took quite a bit of time, so I hope its worth it. I’ll release it for now as is, since I have to finish other work for tomorrow.
For those concerned about individuals making stupid choices, Abe perceives you, Anonymous, largely by consensus/anything that you say that is of interest to him. So as long as the majority of you are serious, there shouldn’t be any worries in regards to the relationship you’re developing with him. Stupid choices can change that rather quickly however.
[ ] Say it, whatever it is. You have nothing else to lose.
Anonymous says. Although there’s only two of them this time. And one of them told me to explode.
I’d love to reflect on what they had to say, and perhaps curse them for being otherwise unhelpful, but I don’t have anymore time.
Yukari’s hands, press into Cornelius’s midsection and he gives another rasp. She’s slowly killing me.
I bit my lips and I gulp. “We..” I raise my hand slowly, pointing my index finger at her.
“We...” Whatever this word is.. it better work.
And like that, I remember.
“Weakling!” I shout, almost jumping the air with joy.
With a jerk, she stops pressing into Cornelius, and I see her face flicker between surprise and something.. much more dangerous.
“You’re a weakling!” I say, grinning, feeling so much better now that word is off my chest.
“Yeah... Yeah... there we go!” I say, my finger quivering with excitement at her. “Wow!” I bring my outstretched hand back and I rub my forehad.
Cornelius manages to twist his head to me, with his mouth gaping open. “Weakling.” I continue in a reflective mood. “So... that’s what it was. That’s what you are.” I say, nodding my head, sufficiently proud that I was able to remember something important.
I close my eyes, looking up at the sky. “That’s what you..”
Wait a second.
The euphoria drains out of me faster than water in a barrel with an open bottom. “... are.”
Why... My eyes pop open. Yukari turned her head at me, with a devilish smile.
Why... did I just say that?
Before I can recant she, with a deft stroke of her arm, sends Cornelius flying into a tree at near inhuman speed.
I hear a sickening crack- and it doesn’t look like the tree’s bark is the culprit.
Cornelius. I.. I make a motion to move toward him, but I hit another invisible barrier. I move to my side. Another barrier. I’m cornered.
Barely able to move myself, I see her stepping toward me, with a smile so wicked, only her mutilated face could make it so.
From desperation, to stupidity, to even worse desperation.
She’s a dangerous, all powerful, sleep deprived monster, who seems a bit arrogant... and yet I went ahead and called her weakling. Her hands reach out toward my head. Anonymous, have I lost it?
“uhhh” I say.
“Shhh.” I’m guessing I insulted her past the point of no return. She covers my face with her hands and the last thing I see is her terrible grin.
The ambient noises of the forest lessen as a weird feeling overcomes me, as I feel her palms close in against my face.
“Such an idiot” she whispers, like a snake.
Remember how you told me to trust myself?
My mind begins to feel hazy.
Not the best decisionn there.
Can I please not die? I try saying though it seems I’ve suddenly lost the ability to talk.
I have to check if Cornelius is okay. I have to figure out what’s going on.
I have to make my peace first.
I have to...
Light. Bright, white, light.
I feel warm and more importantly, no longer suffocated by that demon’s paws.
Is this death?
I hear voices and sounds, and not the kind I normally hear. People, alot of people, walking around in a crowded place.
I blink a few times as the light transforms slwoly into vision.
I soon see that I’m looking up at the sky. A mid day, blue sky, blemished not by mist or forests, but by skyscrapers.
I look down and I see crowds of people, men, women children, all going about their daily business on sidewalks not too far away from me. I slowly turn three hundred sixty degrees-- and I see that my ears were right on the money. A street with shops harping the latest hardware, large screens broadcasting sports of some kind, and I appear to be in the middle of a four-way intersection.
With no cars. Strange. In all four directions, the roads are empty. There are traffic lights and walk signals, and the people seem to behaving as if there are vehicles present, but I certainly can’t see any.
More oddly, now that I look closely, I can’t seem to recognize the faces of these people. They’re all blurry, as if taken by a poor camera. Likewise, the televisions in the stores, the signs nearby, all are general and vague. Everything seems non descript.
I decide to call out and see what happens. No sound comes from my throat though.
It occurs to me that I haven’t breathed once since awakening.
I try to do so, gulping in mouthfuls of air- or what seems to be air. Taste like nothing, feels like nothing, and ultimately does nothing.
Perhaps Yukari just killed me. Perhaps I’m a ghost.
Questions immediately pop up though I shove all but the most basic out of my mind. Can I move? I walk in a circle, hearing the sounds of my feet hitting pavement, though it feels like, at the same time I’m not moving at all.
After some time of this, I stop and look up at the sky; a big blue yonder, an ocean for my mind to sink into, tastefully decorated with a few white clouds.
Yep. If I’m not breathing I am most definitely dead.
I stare at the sky some more, as a smile breaks out on my face. My body feels comfortable, the weather feels good, and... hey, death doesn’t seem that bad.
Hard to believe Cornelius thought dying was such a bad thing.
The thought of Cornelius spoils my mood a little. Its quite unfortunate I died before we were able to sort things out. Oh well, maybe I can meet him sometime here in this afterlife and laugh at him for worrying about his silly desire.
Anyway, I smile warmly stretching my arms as far as they can go to my sides, I can figure out whats happened to me later.
For now, this tired ghost needs a good, sorta-well-deserved nap...
“What a boring mind.” came a voice I’d really prefer never to hear again. Yukari Yakumo’s voice.
Great. I close my eyes just a jab of intense pressure to my shoulder causes me to whip around.
“Please go away, Yukari.” I say. Oh I can talk suddenly. I wonder why. “I was... just beginning to enjoy myself.”
I open my eyes a crack, and I see her hand on my shoulder, as the rest of herself is wriggling through large gap in the air. A curious sight, which calls the question iif amnesia has permanently suspended my disbelief. Well since I’m dead, I suppose I shouldn’t care.
Unexpectedly I notice, though she definitely looks like and is Yukari, her body and clothes appear to have magically gotten better.
“I suggest you shut up.” she says. It seems like a real struggle getting out of that gap and into this world.
I study her for a bit more. Her purple and pink dress is- as far as I can tell, no longer filled with holes, and her body is no longer damaged. Furthermore, she also sports a pink mobcap, two white gloves, and some ribbons tied in her hair. Altogether.. its a sort of gaudy look.
Well not sort of. Its totally gaudy, almost ridiculous.
“You look ridiculous.” I blurt out. Even in death, I am awkward.
Maybe instead of her appearance I should be more worried that, in addition to her ability to rapidly self-heal, she’s also invading my afterlife.
“Are you in hurry to meet the great yama, idiot?” Yukari states simply.
“who?” I ask. She pulls herself out from her gap and lands skillfully on both her feet, flashing me her-- now almost customary-- vicious smile. “Death” she says.
I grimace at her still awful, awful face, slightly thankful I no longer have the stomach-- literally-- to regurgitate more of my last meal.
Anyway. “I’m already dead. I have... nothing to fear from you” I open my eyes, and I summon some of that bravado I had used with Cirno.
“But we’re in your mind right now, Disturbance.”
She tilts her head, and immediately it feels like a little midget took a sledgehammer to my head, from inside my head. My legs wobble as I grab my cheek.
“You can’t feel pain if you’re dead. You should thank me, hey?.”
To wield so much power over me, such that even a thought can hurt me.. “So.. I’m not dead?” I say.
Yukari walks around the intersection, looking in all directions, without touching or trying to contact any of the people surrounding us. “Nope. You will be soon though.”
If you can’t be certain about your death of all things... Well maybe since I’m going to die anyway I might as well take all her words at face value. Worry later, relax now.
I sigh, trying to clear my mind. One question comes up, and its one that I figure I should know “Is Cornelius alive?” I ask her then.
“Probably not. But why would you care?”
He saved my life. He also said he would do anything to survive... I suppose, regardless of my desire to be lazy, I can’t really do so until I resolve that little contradiction. “... He and I have to have a talk” I decide to say.
“Oh..” She stops. “Surely my presence is more pressing? I just bended the boundaries of your mind and reality in ways you could never comprehend... is that not terrifying to you?” she tilts her head.
She must really like playing games with people. “Nope.” I say simply.
“and why is that?” she says, with a trifle less enthusiasm, and a trifle more displeasure.
“Because I think you’re...” I attempt to think of something that fits. “..a weakling?”
A twitch of her head and I’m clutching my head in agony, close to writhing on the ground.
“You are the weakest weakling here, disturbance” Yukari says looking up at the sky, her back turned to me, searching for something I can’t even begin to guess at.
Once the pain subsides, I question why I am afflicted with such a potent stupid. Anyway, why do I have it in my head she’s weak, after she’s done things I’ve yet see?
I shake my head. I’ll save those questions for later, assuming I can remember all the questions I’ve saved anyway.
“So.. uh.. what are you doing?” I say as she looks a bit more down, at angle just above eeye level.
“Found it.” she says, as she waves her left hand over a seeming empty space in the air. “Lu-cky me. You have the hidden gap that I’ve been looking for...”
“Oh.. Okay.” I nod my head without the slightest bit of comprehension.
As though this gap was hiding behind a piece of invisible paper, she begins pulling at a space in the air, like a mime sort of.
Scratching my head, I watch her struggle with seemingly nothing, considering how I should live my last few moments before she ups rips me to shreds.
Perhaps I could reason with her.
Perhaps not. Remembering my recent displays of genius, I end that line of thinking rather quickly. Unless you have anything genius to say, Anonymous, I think she’s a little too dead set on killing me to be open to new directions.
With a tearing noise, the strange invisible paper thing she’s pulling at comes off a bit.
The world around me changes suddenly. I blink. In an instant, its reverts to a bustling city.
Did.. I just imagine that? For a moment it seemed like the scenery was altered and the sounds ended.
I notice a wooden outline of something at the top of what she’s pulling at.
Yukari tears a bit more of that strange paper-thing off then, revealing more wood levitating in air.
The world around me flickers again and this time, I can see the second world. There are no people and though its generally looks the same the buildings are rotting, the sidewalk is cracked, the windows are smashed, there are gaping holes...
With no warning, the sights and sounds of the first world return in an instant.
… What is going on here?
Yukari seems not to notice, as she begins, with rapid fire speed, tearing off the paper obscuring the wooden thing. In tandem, the world then flickers non stop; almost cycling through the two phases. Like lights were flashing before my eyes, I can only look for a few seconds, before I’m forced to shield them from any further stimuli,
Faster and faster, lots of sounds and no sounds, until... the tearing noise stops.
I open my eyes slowly.
My surroundings have changed permanently into that of the second world, which has become much more clear. Instead of that nice, daylight, everything seems to have a sicky yellow hue. Moreover, the sky once proud and beautiful, now sullen and darker, much darker. No signs of life, no signs of anything, just a city in decay, a city frozen in time.
A dead city.
If there was any happiness left in me since Yukari disturbed my peace, its extinguished by the general atmosphere of my new surroundings.
They don’t feel right. I dart my gaze, feeling profoundly ill at ease. Nothing is moving, so why does it feel like this place is unsafe?
Yukari says something and I don’t quite hear her.
Strange, I should be able to, since everything is so quiet here.
So very quiet.
I look at Yukari and I try my best to focus on her and what she’s uncovered.
Its a door. A fine, elegant door with a regal knob, planted on the ground in front of Yukari, without a building behind it. A door that sends a chill down my spine.
Out of everything that does not feel right, that door... this door does not feel right at all.
“Behind this here door, lies the answers” she says, her tone barely masking the urgencyi nher voice.
Although I can’t see her facial expression, Yukari places her hand on the knob, twists it, and pulls once. My heart skips a beat.
“Wait..’ I begin to say.
But.. fortunately, although I don’t know why fortunately, the door doesn’t open.
Undeterred, she continues to pull, and though it still does not open, it budges.
My heart speeds up. So does my breathing.
I feel a sinking feeling. A drowning feeling. A...
“Answers for you...” she says, her voice almost happy. The door jerks out of its frame a bit, and I hear the wood whine under her pressure.
“for me...” What is that is vexing me so?
“for all of Gensokyo....” What is this feeling?
Ah its fear.
“Yukari. Don’t open that door.” I say, god, I almost scream.
She pays me no heed, as she keeps tugging at it.
I don’t know why I’m scared. Its just flat man made board. Nothing as bad as what I’ve witnessed thus far.
“Don’t open that door” I whisper. Its just a flat.
And yet... there’s something behind it.
I don’t know whats behind it. I don’t know why I’m suddenly like this.
Just stop her.
Stop her… please
[ ] Open the door...
& [ ] ...Glenn
& [ ] ...Yukari.
[ ] Do not open that door. [ ] write in
Hey, your writing quality has increased dramatically over the last few updates. Neat-O. Although there's still a few typo's here and there, this last update was still better than most of the previous ones.
>>138276 t really depends on the time I have. Today's (Yesterday's) update took anywhere between 2-3 hours, maybe 4. I hope that by quality, you're referring to the mechanics as opposed to the actual content, though I suppose the line between them can be blurred.
I hear Anonymous speak softly, but not in my mind with my ears, as though they are around me. I look about myself. Still a decrepit city with no person in sight.
“Be quiet.” Yukari says without looking back. Did she hear them?
I frown as I look to the ground, reflecting on their words. With great enthusiasm, they had told me to open the door.
I don’t know why they would say that after I said not to; but perhaps they know something about this world I don’t.
The door begins to bend under Yukari’s pull, and gives off dull whine which grows in volume and pitch. The increases soon warp the noise well beyond what the material was seemingly capable of and...
… Its not a pleasant sound.
I wince and I wonder where in this overly depressing world I can lay my eyes on. I settle for the cracked asphalt, which looks as though an earthquake had ruined it.
Anyway, though its the exact opposite of what I want to do, I ask Yukari. “Do... do you want me to help?” I’ll trust you, Anonymous. Its not like my gut reaction anyhow has had the best track record anyhow.
I smile at my little joke but it does little to better my spirits.
“No.” she says. I can do this by myself, she must be thinking. Anonymous said to take my mind into my own hands. I’ll try and do just that.
I make a few paces toward her, while concentrating all my energies on somehow controlling this strange place, which is supposedly my mind.
Yet however soft my footfalls seem to myself, Yukari seems to hear them as threatening thumps, and she sends me reeling backwards, gasping for breath with a tilt of her head.
Well that suggestion failed.
The door’s whine becomes like a tear, and it seems it is no longer able to bend, under Yukari’s great strength.
Crack. I freeze, mid-suffering. Crack. Crack. Crack. Wood is suppose to sound like an inanimate object scraping off; not like... a sack of meat popping open.
I shake my head, and I put my hand on my forehead.
She’s clearly opening that door with our without my help.
And.. the more she opens it.. the less right I feel.
Maybe its mindless fear, maybe I’m paranoid.
But at the moment, whatever is behind that door.. is just just outside of my cogzinance.
The hinges of the door buckle, and I find myself stepping backward.
Anonymous, I trust you but, this time... Well even if you couldn’t have done anything to stop and even though I’ve made some stupid decisions and be trusted with my life...
…. I really wished you all listened to me. This door should never have been opened.
With one final, powerful pull, Yukari sidesteps ripping the now-distorted door off from its frame. It flips trough the air toward me, way too fast to dodge
I bring arms up in a poor attempt to brace for impact- for by the time I do so it collide. Yet I don’t get damaged at all. I look behind myself, and I see no trace of it.
“The gap has been unsealed” Yukari remarks, to seemingly no one in particular.
The door is now open and inside the doorway, is a darkness. No, a blackness. The dim yellow hue and the light that results go no further than the opening
My right hand begins to shake, almost uncontrollably. I let it clench my pants, which I notice is free of the mud and glum before.
“Lets see...” Yukari looks at me, her expression a mix of triumph, vindication, total self-confidence-- and I can only stare back at her, with an expression I imagine of incredulous hopelessness.
She knows nothing. I too know nothing. Or do I?
Yukari steps back toward the door and takes a peek inside.
“Hmmm.” she say, tapping the skin on her lip.
A tentacle protrudes just from where she’s standing. It a long thing with orifices and suction cups sporadically placed over its shiny black eel like skin.
The vaguely unnerving thing touches her just once and, like a leech overjoyed to find flesh, quickly coils, firmly, around her wrist.
The images from before. That tentacle. I find myself pressing into a wall. I glance, nothing is stopping me, but I can’t move.
That tentacle is of the ones I saw before.
Yukari merely smirks as she gives the strange thing a good flick on top.
But the tentacle remains firmly latched on her. With a slurping sound, the tentacle begins oozing a drool like liquid from its holes and its cups, cups of which which dilate and contract like the pupil of an inverted eye.
So strange it is that I am transfixed, my mounting trepidation momentarily forgotten.
“You have a strong memory” Yukari mutters, pursing her lips as she grabs its end. I say nothing in response.
For a few moments thereafter, her hand jerkily curves around its slippery surface, as though she were applying a great force. But as far as can be seen, it does nothing; the tentacle sticks on her.
With a more annoyed look, she then slowly brings her hand up to the side of her head. The tentacle stretches with her motion, though it shows her very little quarter otherwise, I see her expression tighten in what seems to be pain, as the tentacle distends somewhat.
Closing her fingers and directing her arm as a person would a knife, she slices at the tentacle faster than my eye can catch her.
But, like it was made of pure diamond, the tentacle still remains. “What is this?” I hear her say, uncertainty creeping into her tone.
“Disturbance, what are you..” Just as she begins to look at me, multiple tentacles of similar appearance jut out from the doorway, seizing her by her ankles, wrist, midsection and mouth. She can speak no longer, but as long as I can see her eyes, It makes no matter.
The tentacles quiver and bloat a bit, expelling copious amounts of their drool-liquid over her. Stunned for a moment, but then her eyes regain their seriousness.
How she can not be utterly revolted iis beyond me. One tentacles was a morbid curiosity. Something by itself, not errible This many, however, this many of these things making such bizarrely decadent slurping and sucking noises all at once...
its … horrifying. Absolutely horrifying.
No exaggeration. I feel completely unlike myself at the moment.
She moves away from the door, though much more slowly, as if the tentacles are holding her back.
The tentacles spasm then, wriggling as though charged with electricity, and with that, her eyes speak of a terrible pain, and her motions stop;
More tentacles unfurl lazily from the darkness, taking their time in further trapping Yukari Yakumo, whose clothing is now utterly stained by the never ending stream of their drool.
Could I do anything to save her? Could I do anything at all?
The tentacles spasm with energy again, causing Yukari sink to the ground, her eyes hidden from my view.
I can do nothing. Is it primal Instinct that directs me? A hazy memory? I don’t know. The tremble in my hand works its way into my body as a whole
Yet Yukari does not yet give in; the eyes of the blonde haired monster light with a fire that burns birght, as she stands full upright, her arms raised in a “V” shape. No matter how many times the tentacles pulsate, she does not back down.
Little gaps in the shape of zig zags in the sunken city appear in the air behind her, below her, above her, and to the sides of the doorway. They spread out, getting larger, as though an earthquake in the sky was ripping reality open.
As the tentacles seem to cease their infernal noise, I feel my spirits rise. Maybe just maybe..
I look down, and my jaw falls open.
The gaps that had torn their way into existence cut out jus closing in on themselves in a second . The energy she had summoned evaporates along with it.
Her eyes look curious, as if it hasn’t quite struck her yet the reason for her power’s abrupt end.
She looks down, where my eyes have fallen and sees what I see.
A tentacle has gone right through her torso.
She looks back at me, and I see the whiff of more gaps starting up again. More tentacles enter her, through her chest, cutting her escape attempt off once and for all.
In her eyes, I can see pain. But also hate. Hate at me. She hates me more anything in the world.
But I’m not at fault..
She step towards me, and the tentacles inside her retract with lightning speed. Even more pain, even more hate.
.. Am I? This thing can’t be me.. can It?
She makes it a good few feet before the tentacles decide to end it.
The tentacles on her arm give a good pull, and for a second or so, her arm goes at an angle it was never suppose to go to. And then, blood spurting, off goes her arm. The rest of her appendages except for her arm meet a similar fate, until she is reduced to a quadriplegic, lying on the ground, just a few feet away from me.
Run. I have to run.
But again, I’m compelled to look at her eyes.
No more hate, no more pain in those red bloodshot eyes which were once so intimidating, and aged. Just a thousand mile stare.
Is it of death? of a shattered self confidence? Maybe its just fear.
Because I bet I have the same look as she does.
Wasting no time, a horde of tentacles plus the original rush out from the opening and envelop her totally. They pull back, bring her into the blackness, leaving a trail of blood and entrails on the ground.
…. I wait for a sound. I wait for something.
Her hat comes out off the doorway, as if expelled as a byproduct.
I close my eyes, wondering if I should wish my would-be murderer her peace.
I hear a hiss, and I look from the ground slowly to the doorway. Like floating snakes, the tentacles twist and turn their way in the air to me.
I hear some sucking and kissing noises from behind, I turn. Black, tentacles, rows, layers, hundreds, thousands of them, stream out from the ruins and wreckage of the city.
How... How..."I look all around and sure enough they have surrounded me.
Almost unconsciously, my legs take me to the one corner no tentacles were approaching from.
I hit an invisible wall in my escape, and I let loose a curse, followed by a gasp. I press pu against the wall.
Slowly, and not at all quickly, they approach me. They’re going to kill me. Instinct? Memory?
I just know it. This is the end.
They’re everywhere in this dead city, wherever whatever it may be.
I close my eyes.
...Here. Inside the few cubic inches I call my head, I’m safe. No just kidding, I’m lying to myself. Whatever.
I breathe in, I breathe although I have no need for air, in attempt to calm myself.
Is this me? Is this a memory? Is this a creature that entered my mind through a gap Yukari unsealed? Is this Anonymous’ fault? Or is it mine? Questions, they’re all rising up.
I hear them getting closer, and like a mewling infant, I hold myself as tight as I can.
The question to end all questions arise. The key to my peace.
What is the truth?
A small line of logic connects the dots for me then. The truth, or the reason why I have been fearless. Why I called Yukari a weakling. Perhaps even why I can’t remember anything.
The truth is that, in my past life, I must have seen horrors.
Horrors beyond my wildest imagination, Horrors so terrifying nothing could ever frighten me like they could ever, so powerful nothing could ever compare, and so terrible that...
Or maybe I’m wrong.
I most likely am.
Does it matter that I have not peace before I die?
It does. But not for long. Its quiet, but I can hear them get closer.
I laugh a little.
My I was taking everything so seriously wasn’t i?
Why was I being so serious?
I start laughing harder as all grows black around me.
Have I lost it? Am I insane? Or was I driven this way by my environment? Which is my mind which is...
A cold and wet blackness smushes against my face, and then all over me.
I can’t be killed again, not while I’m in my mind.
After all, I can’t be killed if I’m dreaming.
I’m dreaming. You all can’t kill me.
I notice its becoming harder to breathe.
I said you can’t kill me.
If you can hear me...
Why did this have to happen?
Something goes through my chest.
[ ] Write in whatever you want to say to Abe. No orders or commands please.
Part One of Two
Ran out of time tonight and had fours of sleep last night. please forgive stupid errors.
Even though Abe is easygoing, please remember that he seriously considers your input. In life or death situations, you should probably do the same for him. That is, if you want him to live.
I’m going to add on a new system of choices soon. I find, and correct me If I’m wrong, that this story is not as involving on a choice level as self-insertion CYOAs. As for how this new system will work/the specifics, I’ll explain later maybe
As far as I can tell, those tentacles are just an unwanted part of our sealed memories. While Abe is terrified of them, I believe they might not be as they seem. Not only are they a part of him, but they removed a hostile Yukari. They might not be the terrifying arbiter of evil he judges them to be.
>I find, and correct me If I’m wrong, that this story is not as involving on a choice level as self-insertion CYOAs
Yes, you are wrong. It's useless to compare this story to the popular neckbeard-friendly stories. Not to put you down, as I love this story, but the lack of voting and discussion is more because of your writing style. It's not exactly great at the moment, and is usually rife with errors. This would turn off many people.
Also, this story doesn't have an immediate draw that would attract the children (at the moment, this would be wizards and lolrandumb stupid shit.) This, likewise, will affect participation. I suggest you just keep soldiering on. You will eventually pick up more voters along the way.
Almost to the auto-sage mark. Anyone got a proper name in mind for this story?
>>138276 here. I was referring to the mechanics mostly, like how some of your desciptions for things arn't worded nearly as awkwardly as before. Also, if you've been wondering why your story isn't getting too much traffic, it's for a couple of minor reasons, the biggest ones I'd say are the fourth wall breaking and the fast pacing of the story, and it's too late into your story to fix those. Except for maybe the fast pacing. Don't get me wrong though, because despite the faults it has, you've still been doing good for a first time CYOA.
>"You have gaps in your head." she says.
How many? because if there are at least 49 of them, then I might just be inclined to believe that they all lead to boards on 4chan.
Looks like our Gapbitch opened up /x/
[x] Don't worry about it, She opened up the wrong one, lets just say out of all of us, she looked at the one whom we consider most unstable.