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153646 No. 153646
[X] Check out what’s in the middle of the lake post haste. The others probably won’t notice. Maybe.

You’d love to help out the rabbit girl and thus get a potential social foothold in Eirin’s organisation, you really would. Just as equally you would like to help her gather her samples so you can get a good look at just what she and the good doctor are planning. You wouldn’t want someone like Eirin getting their hands on, for example, the transformative properties of Vitriol without you getting a good close look in first. Not that Vitriol showed up in your earlier examination of the lake of course, the stuff mostly appears to simply be poisonous acid of magical potency. This is still a fair bit more than you feel confident with giving to anyone else to do whatever analysis they can do in this world. And not just because the stuff is inextricably linked to yourself either.

Plus she doesn’t look half bad either. Let’s not pretend that this doesn’t motivate a large amount of your small term social goals. You have a lot of reasons to be talking to Reisen. You only have one reason to disregard her entirely.

You slowly slide down the bank on your belly, breaking the surface of the lake and diving into it without so much as a splash. The Misty Lake has truly been living up to its name today, allowing you to do this unobserved.
Unfortunately, that single opposing reason is a real convincing one.

The bottom of the lake is a dark and murky place that for you, appears perfectly illuminated. As expected, it is utterly devoid of life. It manages to be devoid of death too, any remains and corpses of the lake’s former animal population having already been completely dissolved. It is sterile and empty.

You drag yourself slowly and surely along the bottom with inhuman ease, open eyes darting in all directions. You breathe regularly, filling your lungs with acid and poison each time.
Surviving and indeed, thriving in such an environment is your right. The ocean is your mother, your lover. But just because you can do it doesn’t make it easy. Nothing else should be surviving in this filthy hole of caustic toxins. And yet something keeps making splashing around. Not even the splashes made of somebody dying and dissolving from immersion either. They were still going, their pacing regular.

It doesn’t take long before you see it, a large rectangular object floating on the surface in the centre of the lake. You kick off silently, gliding through the water until you reach the object in question.

You slowly emerge above the surface, just in time to dodge a hasty kick. The invader in the lake is a wooden boat, sized for about two or three people. It only has one occupant, who is currently attempting to knock your head off with an oar.
You get a glimpse of red hair. You’ve always liked redhe-oh right.

“Hey Komachi. It’s really nice to see you again! Even if the circumstances are entirely inexplicable!”

“Again? We’ve never met! Who are you and what are you doing here?”

“Oh. Oh. Right. One moment.”
You wriggle, shucking your disguise away. Your hair shortens and turns fully blonde again, your fingers lengthening and regaining their sixth as your body melts back into your true form. Your dress readies itself back into your more usual apparel as you grow back into your full two meter height. The eyes are the last things to change, the iris discolouring until it is the colour of tarnished silver, the pupils shrinking in on themselves until they disappear entirely.
You pull yourself up until your torso is leaning over the edge of the boat.
“What a terrible day for a meeting. How did the afterlife turn out for you?”

Regardless of how glib you can be about it, the sight of Komachi sitting there unharmed and corporeal makes you deeply relieved. As if you can drop a great burden that you hadn’t even realised you’d been worrying about until now.
She’s also looking at you quite strangely.

“What was that? Nue, this better not be some kind of joke!”

“No no it’s really me. I can prove it. You met me while I was travelling with a fairy named Daiyousei. I helped get a tree off of you after an accident with reaping. I supplied you with some drinks, we made disparaging comments about people in authority relative to us and indirectly got you fired. Good job on surviving that by the way.”

Her expression softens before the oar swings through the empty space you were formerly occupying. You emerge from the lake a second time, having ducked over the side.
“Hey! Who else could tell you that?”

“Oh Nash, I know it’s you now. This is for getting me fired!”

“Agh! I also got you [u]un-fired[/i], didn’t I? Ended up accidentally having disturbing flower adventures to do it, too!”

Komachi giggles, lowering her oar.
“I know and I’m grateful. I just wanted to get one more hit in. Come on board but don’t touch me until you’ve dried off and all of this terrible shit is off of you. The boat might be an invulnerable act of divinity but I’m not.”

You heave yourself over the side, making sure not to splash anything.
“But I can touch you once I’ve dried off?”

She laughs, making another halfhearted swing with the oar before dropping it back onto the floor of the boat.
“We’ll see about that. So you’re a shapeshifter? Eiki told me some things about you but I don’t remember that one.”

“It’s magic. I don’t have to explain anything.”
You waggle your fingers in a sagacious and mystical manner.

“Right. And you’re capable of taking a lot of human shapes?”

“I don’t like to brag but I can safely say that there is few limits to my powers in this regard. That was just an old comfortable standby shap-”

“And it’s a woman.”
She cuts you off, a smirk on her face. It’s going to be this discussion again, you just know it.

“There’s nothing wrong with that!”

“Not exactly. I’m just thinking of what it says about you.”

“It says nothing about me beyond that I am more than confident enough in my sexual identity to occasionally go around as someone of a different gender.”

She arches an eyebrow.
“Your sexual identity? As in, an identity that you use for sexual pur-”

“You know what it means! You’re just tickling the yeddim at this point.”

“Am I? That’s a helluva proposition for a simple country girl, mister!”
She does her best to look innocent and hurt. It even lasts a whole second before the expression dissolves into smirks.

You stare at her as frostily as you can.
“Old native saying. It means you are deliberately attempting to get a rise out of me. The Yeddim is a large hairy animal. And no, that is not a euphemism either.”

She giggles, you joining in a moment later. You lean back over the side of the boat, looking out the dense fog surrounding you on all sides. Komachi finishes laughing not too long after you do. You idly kick the side of the boat.
“Nice boat. How exactly did it get here?”

“Thanks. Never thought I’d actually be happy to be on it. And the Sanzu river is connected to every body of water in existence. All the oceans in the world are nothing but its tributaries and if you know the right passages, you can ride the currents from one to the other. And while these are pretty unusual circumstances for any definition, the boat was built to withstand worse. It’s a nice boat.”

“That it is.”
Connected to every body of water? That could actually be more than a little terrifying in its implications, depending on how far you qualified ‘existence’ to be. Something to chew over later.

“So Komachi, however did you escape the Yama’s wrath?”

“Well first of all, you guys kept me waiting forever. Hours of sitting and waiting in that uncomfortable little room. When she did finally show up, she told me she’d reconsidered it in light of her own transgressions. Whatever that means.”
The shinigami shrugs.
“I got stuck back to boat duties. Probationary boat duties. It’s been the hardest I’ve worked for decades! I don’t even get to drink much and I can’t take any time off at all! I only get to relax on my breaks now.”

“You get breaks? How many?”

“Only three a day.”

“Truly horrifying. So what brings you to these foul waters, Komachi? Aside from the surprising appearance of aforesaid foul waters, that is.”

“Believe it or not,” Komachi says, “I am actually here to find you.”

“I’m flattered but why here?”

“Shikieiki said that this looked like it’d draw you like a moth to a flame, possibly with similar consequences for when you get too close.”

“How…nice of her.”

“Yes and so I took the Sanzu currents here. It’s quite good that you showed up here really because with all this dead fog around, I wouldn’t have been able to spot you from the shore at all! But no, instead you found me, practically jumping into my lap.”

“Not entirely true. As you pointed out I’m still wet and covered in acid. There’ll be no lap-jumping quite yet, I’m afraid.”

“You do take an irritating amount of time to dry off, don’t you? Anyway, Shikieiki sent me to find you for one reason.”

“My entertaining and scintillating conversations?”

“The scythe. She was going to get that off of you later but when she returned from dealing with me, you and the fairy had already left the island she dumped you on. It’s a pretty important artefact and she’s got her panties in a twist about getting it back now.”

“Ah yes, the scythe. I don’t have that with me but rest assured, it is in a safe place.”
You totally just hid it under some bushes in the Forest when it became apparent that you couldn’t hide it and still walk into the village. It’s probably still there.

Komachi folds her arms and sighs.
“I figured. Well you’ll have to show me where it is now.”

“Can’t I just bring it to you later?”

“Eiki told me not to let you scurry off once I found you. If you’re unwilling to part with it, then she told me to use any means necessary.”

“Fine. I’ll bring it in a moment. But first, I have a proposal to make to you and by extension, Shikieiki. I know she must be as worried about whatever’s happening here as I am. Tell her that it’s likely to be linked to Yuuka and th…wait, what exactly does ‘any means necessary’ mean in this context anyway? You’re not planning to kill me and dump my corpse in the lake if I don’t, are you?”

“I could be.”
She leans in closer, though still not touching you. You can feel her breath on your skin.
“If you must resist, I might have to go to all sorts of ways to make you give it up.”

You flick a bead of acid off your fingers, causing her to flinch back.
“Somehow I don’t think that those are the ‘necessary means’ Shikieiki was talking about when she gave you that order. Also, congratulations. That was one of the flimsiest pretexts I’ve ever heard.”

“Thank you, I try. Now really, where’s the scythe?”

“I’m not sure if I’m at liberty to say that. I think I might be in the resisting mood today.”

“Any means necessary can also entail me hitting you over and over again until you cry like a little girl.”

“Harsh but fair.”

[ ]Just lead her to the scythe already and then get back to your plans for the village. Maybe she can be of help.

[ ] Bargain. She gets the scythe if she and Shikieiki actively help you in your newfound mission.

[ ] Bargain. She gets the scythe if you get the boat.

[ ] Oh hell no. This is your scythe now. Swim away.

[ ] Resist.

[ ] Write In.

>> No. 153647
First Thread
>>151258

Second Thread
>>151835

Third Thread
>152733

Server error ate this thread the first two times I tried to post it, which was irritating. I can only just hope that I didn't accidentally end up creating three threads or something.
>> No. 153648
>>153647

Proper linking this time.

Third Thread
>>152733
>> No. 153649
[X] Bargain. She gets the scythe if she and Shikieiki actively help you in your newfound mission.

Extorting assistance in your new quest! Fun for the whole Circle!
>> No. 153650
[X] Bargain.

It's just not right if he doesn't at least pretend to be reluctant to return it, especially if she straight out says that it's important enough to worry about. But, in the end, she can have it back.
Though I seem to remember someone mentioning "plotting marriage" as a way to reduce Limit, and that number has been increasing...
>> No. 153651
[x] Bargain. She gets the scythe if she and Shikieiki actively help you in your newfound mission.

They'll probably get caught in this anyway.
>> No. 153652
[x] Oh hell no. This is your scythe now. Swim away.

If we give Komachi the scythe, she'll be forced to work for hours and hours with only three breaks. By not giving her the scythe, we're doing her a favor! Really!
>> No. 153654
[x] Bargain. She gets the scythe, but only after she chases you for a while. Why, no, you would never provide her with a flimsy pretext to take time off work outside her break.
-[x] See if you can bait her into an easily escapable deathtrap that has no chance of actually injuring her. Gotta knock down that Limit score.
>> No. 153656
>>153654
Giving her an excuse to slack off work sounds like a nice gesture, but I think "plotting marriage" is a more viable option for reducing limit in this case rather than "easily escapable deathtrap".
We have the perfect opportunity (she needs to get the scythe back, and is under order from higher authority to "use any means necessary", not to mention she was totally flirting with him too).
If she takes it too badly, he might still be able to salvage their relationship by explaining how it's sort of a mental tic that causes him to act like that, or does explaining how his Limit works screw him over? I don't know Infernals that well.

And besides, those kinds of traps don't just appear, there's a lot of work that goes into making sure it's deadly enough to be an actual deathtrap while still having an obvious (enough) way of escaping it without being too obvious, so it removes the threat of actual death.
To use a classic example. Being strapped to a table with a laser sloooowly creeping closer has a good balance between death/escape because the threat of death is there, if you fall asleep or something, as the laser will actually reach you. Eventually.
But you still have enough time to figure out at least a dozen ways to get out of there before that happens.
Things like that takes time and planning.
The best he can do on such short notice is... I don't know? Rock the boat? Threaten to give her a hug?


...Though he should totally see if he can at least get to get to borrow that scythe some time. I mean, it would be perfect for such a deathtrap.
"And here, my dear [insert name here] is the very thing that will end your life. The scythe of a Shinigami, slowly swinging closer as the time runs out. Or maybe I should say 'as YOUR time runs out'?! [insert evil laugh here]".
>> No. 153658
[x] Bargain. She gets the scythe if she and Shikieiki actively help you in your newfound mission.
>> No. 153659
[X] Bargain. She gets the scythe if she and Shikieiki actively help you in your newfound mission.
-[x] If helping's out of the question, just give her the scythe.

It's quite possible there's no way for them to actively help, but even the minor bit of assistance when they're free would be cool.

Also I fucking love your Komachi.
>> No. 153660
[X] Bargain. She gets the scythe if she and Shikieiki actively help you in your newfound mission.
-[x] If helping's out of the question, just give her the scythe.

Works for me~!
>> No. 153661
Aww, we didn't get to help Reisen...?
Well, at least we turned into a guy again, I guess.
And meeting Komachi is pretty nice too!

We really should try and talk to Reisen, though, after this, because having her along will be important.
Huh, Nash thinks Reisen is hot, then?

[X] Bargaining, you say?
-[X] "Dear Komachi, just what would you be willing to do in exchange for getting this scythe of yours back?"

I desperately want her to be part of our group.
Shikieiki can come along as well, if she wants to (mostly since she was part of the group I wanted to set up in the first place - and she's got green hair.)

>>153650
If we take some steps towards marriage with anyone, we have a chance to reduce our Limit, yes.
We do not want Limit to hit 10, if we can at all avoid it.
>> No. 153662
>>153661
What happens when we hit 10 limit?
>> No. 153663
>>153662
Nash has the Kimberrian torment, so one of his positive intimacies turns negative. For example, if he likes his hat enough that it's important to him, that liking becomes hatred or disdain or something else that's negative. He can't build new positive intimacies for 5 days and he can't help the basis of the intimacy that has turned negative unless it saves his own life.

It's why GSPs with heavy Kimberrian investment should take Silent Wind charms that let you cut away your attachments at will - because otherwise you have a very, very good chance of turning yandere some point down the road.
>> No. 153664
[x] Bargen for marriage.
>> No. 153665
If marriage were our goal, one could argue that the best step toward it would be by simply upping her opinion of us by dealing with her in a fair way and just requesting help with repelling the Yozis. We don't necessarily need to go LOL MARRY ME.
>> No. 153666
[x] Bargain. She gets the scythe if she and Shikieiki actively help you in your newfound mission.
[x] Get to plotting that marriage
>> No. 153668
[x] Bargain. She gets the scythe BUT not only must she help you but she must go on an eternal break afterwards as your wife without her bosses knowing.

Gets her help, marriage and trolls the afterlife for urge satisfaction. Shikieiki said by any means necessary and she wouldn't be to unhappy about eternity off.
>> No. 153669
>>153665
Why not explain what Limit is? They could help deal with it.

By agreeing to marry.
>> No. 153670
>>153669
Getting married isn't the best option to reduce limit available to us. Keep in mind that the limit-reducing criteria is either pass a major hurdle in the path to getting married or getting married - meaning that getting married is an one-time limit reducer and that future reductions need more marriages.

Trolling Yuuka is a much easier method to reduce limit. All we need to do is build a intimacy towards her and then do things in line with the idea that she's our best enemy. Every time we provoke her and draw her attention to us, we reduce limit.

Alternatively, we can also reduce limit by going into the Forest of Magic and catching a fairy or bottom-tiered youkai. We pin them down and then start boasting about our dastardly plans. Every time we need to cut limit, we repeat this.
>> No. 153671
>>153665
Nothing says he has to go "LOL MARRY ME".
He's a Fiend, they excel at twisting words and manipulating others. Not to mention they know what "subtlety" means.
She flirted with him when she mentioned that she should "use any means necessary" in order to get her scythe back.
Have him call her out on it. And more.
For example, she could get the scythe back on the condition that she puts her money where her mouth is, for as long as she keeps the scythe.
It's only "fair". She gets to keep something permanently, so why should he get anything less when he's the one doing her a favor?
Using the fact that she was told to use any means necessary, not only as an excuse for the marriage, but also for an extended break for Komachi is also pretty good. She's just following orders, right?
(No way can they stretch it to an "infinite" break, but still.)

Either way, Nash isn't exactly stupid. He could easily find some way of making "but then you must marry me" sound perfectly reasonable until it's too late. (Or at least until his Limit goes down.)


Although, as I said before, I don't know Infernals that well. Does it have to be actual MARRIAGE, as in "blah blah blah I now pronounce you man and wife" or could it just be the relationship itself without going through the official motions?
Basically, would it work with more like a concubine rather than an actual wife? If so, it makes it a lot easier, because that means he can be a lot more subtle about it.
Also, how far does it have to go? Is plotting enough? Putting the plan in motion? Or does the limit only go down at the very moment she reluctantly says "I do"?
>> No. 153672
>>153662
What >>153663 said - we'll grow to hate someone (ok, or something, but it seems more likely it's going to end up being a person) that we used to like.
We also can't decide to like them again (unless we use magic), for 5 whole days, and we can't even offer to help them in anything at all, unless it's literally about saving our own life.

Given that we're trying to get a group together, filled with people we're going to end up liking (if we don't already, such as with Komachi)?

This wouldn't end well at all, for us.
>> No. 153673
>>153670
Marriage might not be the "best" method, but it's probably the most entertaining.
>> No. 153674
>>153671
No mention is made of concubinage in the text, it's either marriage or a big step towards marriage.
>> No. 153675
Would arranging an omai(sp?) be a big enough step?
Not that Nash knows what an omai is..
>> No. 153676
>>153670
Yes, a much better idea would be to convince her to, say, go on a couple of dates with us and such first, before we try and force anything like marriage on her.
Getting her to agree to go on a date almost has to count as a decent step towards said goal.

As long as we actually continue taking steps towards it, we can make sure we don't hit "10".
But the steps don't have to include immediately rushing towards marrying anyone or anything like that.
>> No. 153677
>>153675
Depends on the storyteller (DM equivalent), but if I were the storyteller, then yes, that is a reasonable interpretation.
>> No. 153707
>>153672
That sounds fun, actually. It completely wrecks our plans, sure, but I'll trade plans for sweet, sweet character-based conflict anyday.
>> No. 153752
>>153674
According to the Scroll of Swallowed Darkness, most places in Creation practice (or at least allow) group marriages. I would say that this is likely the consequence of Solars and Dragonbloods exploiting their social status and social magic to accumulate harems of mortal lovers in the First Age and the Shogunate; the Dragonblooded probably even moreso than the Solars, since they've got superhuman libidos.

It's entirely possible that Nashar is *already* a polygamist.
>> No. 153760
>>153752
Sleeping around? Sure - the Exalted are human and tend to do what humans do when granted lots of power.

Widespread polygamous marriages as a result of the Exalted? Not so sure - it's doubtful that the culture of the Exalted bothered much with multiple marriages. Lots of Solars in the First Age probably had harems consisting of mortals, minor deities, demons, and their Dragon-blooded lieutenants, but most wouldn't have bothered to have married them. As for the Dragon-blooded, while I think that the Shogunate may or may not have permitted polygamous marriages amongst the Exalted, the Realm certainly doesn't. They're too concerned with the purity of their bloodlines to do it. Male Dragon-blooded are encouraged to sire byblows on mortals, they're expected to marry a Dragon-blooded or Dynast partner chosen for them by their houses and likely intended to improve their children's breeding. Similarly, while female Dragon-blooded are just as entitled to 'sample the locals' as their male counterparts, they're expected to not let themselves be impregnated in the process so as to not produce children with diluted bloodlines.

Of course, this isn't to say that Nash isn't from a mortal or largely mortal culture that permits polygamous marriages and certainly no one in the Demon City would've cared because he's equal or near-equals to the Unquestionable.

It's still pretty insane to try to setup a polygamous marriage in Gensokyo though.
>> No. 153768
>>153752
Not sure the SoSD is the best source to use, as it was just a (surprisingly popular) April Fool's joke.
>> No. 153773
>>153768
More canon sources than SoSD more or less confirm it, though.

The Solars had very few limits and morals towards the end of the Golden Age due to their Curse, so it was a bit of "anything goes". (Fish, bananas, old pajamas, mutton, beef and trout.)
Even in the current age, they are larger than life in every way, which one has to assume includes (or at the very least does not exclude) sexually as well.

The Realm is pretty okay with having extra-marital relations (hetero- and homosexual relations are both fine, with mortals and other Exalts) as long as you have "done your duty to the Realm" by siring/bearing a decent number of children in marriage to keep the bloodline going. And that, even if you don't keep your affairs completely secret, you at least don't flaunt them (too much).
Obviously, quite a few bastard children come from this, and most are quietly hidden away in distant branches of the family, but occasionally one of them suddenly becomes a powerful Exalt and is welcomed into the main family. Usually with the excuse of having been in semi-exile until now for some transgression they committed as a small child but for which they are now forgiven, and they were totally our legitimate child all along, really. Fine breeding helps, but chance still plays a part in Terrestrial Exaltation.
While some of them may be quite obsessed with not diluting their bloodline, most Dragon Blooded still realize that a complete stagnation of their bloodline is not desirable either.

But actual polygamy, on the other hand, is pretty rare AFAIK.
The Solars were too corrupt and drunk with power in the final times of the Golden Age to care about such fine details as marriage. Their current lifestyle isn't exactly suited for having large families either, while the Dragon Blooded are too tangled in politics and plotting for it. Affairs are incredibly common, but actual marriages are too politically important.

Some mortal societies in Creation probably practice polygamy, but the Exalted generally do not.
>> No. 153775
This discussion got off track at some point.
>> No. 153778
File 133004267976.jpg - (893.16KB , 1800x1800 , rejection8064509.jpg ) [iqdb]
153778
Polygamy is not okay.
>> No. 153780
>>153773
Male Dragon-blooded are encouraged to sire bastards - if the children exalt, then it's more Dragons in the Host; if not, then it's more rankers for the legions and more peasants for the fields. Female Dragon-blooded are discouraged from bearing bastards because that's a serious drain on their time and their reproductive capabilities.

Blood is important to the Dragon-blooded though because good breeding greatly increases the chance of Exaltation. Any random peasant in Creation can become a Dragon-blooded because their blood has been diffused so much, but the child of two high-breeding Dragon-blooded have a multiple-magnitudes-higher chance of Exaltation. And even then their breeding is terrible in comparison to the original Dragon-blooded, whose children with one another Exalted without fail.

As for the problems of inbreeding - what problems? Dragon-blooded can cure that kind of thing in utero and if they actually brought to term a child with a bad enough disability, they likely wouldn't hesitate to commit infanticide. Besides, the Great Houses of the Realm actually do get new blood from both the outcaste Exaltations that you've mentioned and their Dynast cousins.

>>153778
Meh, polygamy between consenting parties is fine - it just doesn't work out very well. If it takes a lot of work to make a marriage work, think how much more work is needed to incorporate a third partner, or a fourth, and so on?

The only time when those complications can be ignored is if the setup is between people of unequal status.
>> No. 153781
>>153780
Yeah, I was pretty much just paraphrasing from memory, as it was at least a year or two since I read the Dragon Blooded books.
I'm surprised I still remember all this stuff.

>>153775
We're still tangentially on track, at least, so not completely off topic yet.
The topic was the viability of Nash having one or more Touhou wives and we're still on that, more or less.
Even though Dragon Blooded political marriage practices is kinda pushing it.

Either way, I'm still very much in favor of the "bargain scythe for a date"-plan.
>> No. 153782
>>153781
Fair enough, the only reason I wrote so much is because internal Dragon-blooded politics in the Realm is pretty fun and interesting.

I agree with this plan, it helps us reduce limit and doesn't bind us to anything in the future.
>> No. 153785
>>153778
But it's mechanically optimal! Besides, we answer to the laws of the Endless Desert (when we feel like it), not you.
>> No. 153791
Vote called.
>> No. 153795
> Polygamy is not okay.
How does Confucius feel about that? I cant remember..
>> No. 153816
Well almost none of the societies on earth that the settings in exalted are inspired by were monogamous.
On the other hand woman have more power then on earth(on average) so you would expect more monogamy and polyandry.

In gensokyo on the other hand, I imagine most youkai just don't mary. Most wild youkai are too pridefull and solitary, the powerful ones like yuuka or yukari might use their servants for sex, but thats secondary to the master/servant role.
Similarly, crow tengu are almost certanly promiscus given there distain for self control.
>> No. 153821
>>153816
I think the question of whether youkai marry depends on what kind of youkai it is and whether the youkai is interested in emulating human cultures. It's not too unreasonable to speculate that youkai naturally pick up some qualities of their pre-transcendence selves. For example, a swan that has become a youkai might be naturally inclined to monogamy. Alternatively, a youkai who wants to emulate humans or is at least willing to tolerate human customs in order to participate in human societies might also be susceptible to the idea of marriage. For example, the White Serpent was willing to pretend to be a human and get married to the scholar because she fell in love.

Multiple concurrent marriages with youkai is still difficult to sustain for all the reasons that the same is difficult for humans, barring extreme disparities in power between partners. Although I also think it's reasonable that certain youkai might be more amenable to the general idea than others.
>> No. 153833
>>153707
Main reason I don't want that, personally, is that then we can't really do anything to help them.
Like, anything at all, unless our lives depend on it.

That'd suck, especially if something bad happened to, say, Dai, since we could end up hating her at that point, if we're not careful to make sure we don't hit "10".


>>153782
Yep, that's why I suggested that up above - going on a date with the girl offers us some freedom, while still working towards the whole marriage deal.
>> No. 153847
>>153833
It's a problem with a simple solution - Nash can opt to pick up Sacred Kamilla's Inhalation and then Freedom Lets Go. He can then use Freedom Lets Go to cut out poisoned intimacies and rebuild them once the torment recedes.
>> No. 153858
>>153821
>barring extreme disparities in power between partners.
>PC is a god-king that will become an incarnation of cosmic principles
>> No. 153863
>>153858
I was thinking more along the lines of societal status, but yes, the Exalted are a lot better equipped to build, manage, and sustain a harem than most.
>> No. 153912
It took me far too long to do this.

[X] Bargain. She gets the scythe if she and Shikieiki actively help you in your newfound mission.

Might as well admit that you probably weren’t going to use that scythe for much anyway. Your Shade Knife might be lost but you still have your Vitriol-tainted throwing knife, which is a small armoury all to itself. Scythes aren’t really your weapon of choice, you’d probably be better off just wielding the knife in any hypothetical melees anyway. You had picked up and clung to the scythe not out of any desire for a weapon but from nothing more than hoarding instinct left over from your mortal life, telling you to hang on to unique items so you can sell them for a profit later.

And quite almost accidentally, that is the exact situation you’ve found yourself in.

“Alright Komachi,” you say. “As I said, the scythe is hidden away in a location only I know. I’ll gladly tell you where it is and give it to you. Regardless of how desirable it might be, there’ll be no resistance here.”

She grins, moving the oar through the water as she begins to slowly take you over to the far shore of the lake. Despite this, the cast of her eyes make her look almost disappointed.

But it won’t be for free.”

She stops rowing, the boat drifting forward on momentum and current alone. She looks back at you, arching an eyebrow.
“Oh? You’re not going to try to sell it to me are you?”

“Nothing as crude as money. I don’t even know what kind of currency the locals use yet. If I relinquish this scythe to you, I would like you to do something for me in return. “

The eyebrow rises higher. You immediately realise what her response is going to be and act to forestall it quickly.
“No, it’s not that. Or that. Or whatever you’re thinking. So don’t even say it.”

Komachi laughs, making another slow swing of the oar.
“Don’t think you have my measure so easily, Nash. You have no idea of what I could have been about to say.”

“I’m sure I don’t. Regardless, this may be the only condition for which I will relinquish the scythe’s location. I would very much appreciate the fine help of you and possibly Eiki for a certain endeavour of mine. Namely, this.”
You indicate the general totality of the lake you are sitting in.
“I believe it’s linked to the problem with Yuuka and I would like your he- what’s wrong?”

Komachi had twitched at the mention of Yuuka, going pale suddenly.
“Oh shit. I forgot.”

Well this didn’t sound good.
“Forgot what?”

“The Yama sent me down here not only to get the scythe and find out your location. She also told me to tell you! Fuck! How could I forget to tell you that! It should’ve been what I said right away! She could fire me again!”

“Tell me…what?”

She looks at you flatly.
“About Yuuka and her incarceration in the sealed mansion. Or more to the point, her current lack thereof.”

Oh hell no.
“She got out? Already? It’s only been a single night! What kind of seals did Shikieiki put on the border?”

“She put on perfectly fine ones actually. They should’ve sealed off Mugenkan for a year and a day. Yuuka wasn’t able to do nothing to them. But something did.”

“…And what is that something?”

“We don’t know. Something from the dream world subverted the boundary seals, turning them against themselves. The seals ended up sealing themselves away, removing them from existence altogether. “
In response to your look, she sighs and gives a small shrug.
“Dream world, dream logic. Anyway, Yuuka has escaped. We don’t even know if that was intentional or not. For all it could have been some ally of hers doing it to free her, it could also have just been some random dream youkai taking offense to the sealing.”

“So now we have to find her? Among all the other things we have to do? My hands are getting full already!”

Komachi laughs playfully.
“Ohohoho no. You don’t have to find her. Eiki’s taking care of the search herself. I’d be more worried about her finding you. Since the escape, we haven’t seen hide nor hair of her. She’s gone stealth somehow.”

“This sounds like something we should really be warning the public about!”

She looks nervous, her eyes looking away from you.
“Not exactly. You see, the Yama wishes for this to be kept a secret. She believes Yuuka’s insanity will focus entirely on targeting her foes to the exclusion of anything else, so there is little danger to the general public. Spreading information about this will only confuse and panic people. I’m only telling you because she’ll probably target you at some point.”

Hmph. No doubt also because Shikieiki didn’t want people looking too closely into how she got to the Garden of the Sun in the first place. Not after that little disaster in the village. How surprisingly callous of her.

“So let me get this straight. Yuuka is out there somewhere. We don’t know where she is, only that she’ll probably try to murder me at some point in the future. And we can’t tell anyone about her. “

Komachi nods.
“That is the best case scenario, yes. We’re hoping that whatever broke the seals didn’t follow her through. Eiki is trying to get those dreamer girls to get her a census so she can tell if anyone else has invaded but there’ll be fat chance of that.”

She gives you a crafty look.
“You know, the longer she spends at large, the more likely it is that she’ll do something terrible. So in the interests of drawing her out quickly, could you try to keep to that shape and be generally visible? That would be a big help.”

You stare at her stonily for half a minute.
“Fine. But I’ll need three favours now before I give you the scythe. If I’m going to be putting my life on the line like this, the value of this scythe just went up.”

“I totally should have remembered to tell you this after I got the scythe.”

“Yes. Now, the first favour is what I was attempting to say before. We all know that something is going terribly wrong. Yuuka, this godawful lake, Yuuka, my own unexplained appearance, Yuuka etcetera. Along with another interesting sign that I will not disclose until after you accept my offer. These phenomena are recognisable to me and I’m attempting to investigate. All I want is that I don’t do it alone. I’m investigating, you guys are investigating, it would be better if we did this together.”

The reaper nods slowly as she continues to work the oar.
“True. And it could get me time off work. Proper sanctioned time off this time, as well. What are the other two favours?”

“Oh I don’t have actually anything planned out for those two yet, since I just raised the price now. But they are both two favours that I can call on anytime for whatever I want, within reason.”

You sit back to observe her reaction. Komachi looks troubled for a moment before she shrugs.
“Yeah, alright. But only if you do what I asked to draw Yuuka out.”

“Deal. But I’m going to need something stronger than a promise for this. Do you swear to uphold the terms of this agreement? To swear on something important and binding? Because make no mistake, this is a serious and binding agreement.”

“I swear on the Yama’s judgement.”
She looks more amused than anything.

You take her hands in yours quickly, startling her with a suddenly iron grip.
“I swear by myself, the Damask Petalled Lotus, the Tarnished Ouroborous. And this contract is sealed.”

The last of your words fall flat and heavy into the air, each one feeling as if it had an actual physical presence. A spark of green kindles in your clasped hands, enveloping both yours and Komachi’s in a brief blaze of emerald fire. It disappears as quickly as it arrives, burning nothing.
A faint glow suffuses your features as your Caste Mark opens to bear witness to the oath. The shinigami looks at it sitting on your forehead for a moment before looking away.

“What was that about?”

“I am merely protecting my investments, as I should be if it’s for something as possibly dangerous as this could be. As long as you weren’t planning to renege on the deal, it makes no difference anyway.”

“I’m hurt that you don’t trust me. Isn’t my word enough?”

You grin, seeing her mock offense for what it is.
“Of course I don’t. How could I ever trust someone as terrible as you?”

She gasps in horror.
“How could you? And coming from you of all people!”

“Me of all people? Just what are you implying?”

“Why, I have never met a man more low or treacherous than yourself of course. A snake crawls on her belly because she has to, you do it because you actually enjoy it.”

“Fine words coming from a slothful drunkard! At least I actually [/i]do[/i] things. I imagine that you just stumble straight through your circumstances.”

“Hah! Isn’t that exactly just what you’ve been doing?”

You hold up a remonstrating finger.
“Not true. It simply looks like I do that. It is all just part of my master plan, which I must add, was developed with a consummate skill unmatched by mortals and gods alike!”

She snorts.
“Then this conflict might have been fated to happen from the very beginning. For you see, I am the true mastermind behind Gensokyo. All of this sloth is a mere act, meant to disguise the fact that I pull the strings. All the strings.”

“All the strings?”

“You would not be able to believe it if I told you. The number is beyond your puny comprehension, such is the number of strings.”

“Sure. More like you just lost count of them all and let them drift away during your morning nap.”

“I’m still not seeing how a wastrel like you can accuse me, a paragon of death, of being lazy or negligent in my duties. You are a far greater layabout than I am. In this matter alone, I bow to your superior skills. You are an unparalleled master of negligence and petty greedy sloth. When you die and cross the Sanzu, a thousand choirs would sing your name in recognition of this, all at the same time reviling you and damning you to the lowest pits of Hell for laziness unimaginable! Oh fool, oh scum! What would you do then, without even an empty grave to give you repose?”

You reply not with sentences as much as sutras, stringing together a Sidereal sutra on the spur of the moment.

“Once there was a slothful maiden…
who watched over the shores of death.
She would not grant passage to all…
nor would she be always found at her post.
A thousand ghosts would cry out…
but the maiden closed her ears.
Her superiors would cry out in despair…
as the maiden was a right lazy wench.”


Komachi laughs.
“I’m not sure if I should be flattered or offended.”

“Heh. Don’t make me break out the Elder Sutra. Makes me think of what kind of Sidereal art you could base off that.”

“I don’t have a clue what you just said. I’m afraid that it’s got a rather deep flaw in it.”

“Oh? You are clearly mistaken, madam. Like everything else begat by me, it is perfection in both form and function. “

“I’m hardly a maiden.”
A coy smile.

“I would have been surprised if you were.”

“What are you implying? I think you forget the balance of power here, Nash.”

“The balance that says you now owe me two magically enforced favours?”

“…Damn it. Don’t know what I was thinking, giving those to someone like you.”

“Are you saying that if there was no binding, you wouldn’t have kep-”

A soft impact informs you that the boat has finally made contact with the far shore of the lake. Komachi steps onto the shore with the grace of an expert, yourself marginally less so.

“It’s near the village. Though I do not know the way.”

The shinigami smiles and extends her hand. You take it, only managing to get a good grip before you both go rocketing into the sky.
“So! You can fly as well?”

Komachi laughs at you outright.
“This is Gensokyo. Everyone who’s anyone can fly here.”

This time you keep your eyes firmly on the ground, keeping track of the land below you and storing the information to memory. Well, mostly on the ground. The view is quite nice either way.

Landing on the outskirts of the Forest, you direct Komachi to a large shrub across the hill from the central gate into the town. You reach around inside it for a few moments before pulling out the shinigami’s scythe.

“You just threw it in a bush?”

You shrug.
“And yet here it is, completely safe. I clearly made the right decision.”

You pass it to her, Komachi nearly snatching it out of your hands. After a short inspection, she turns back to you.
“About that first favour…you realise I can’t speak on Shikieiki’s behalf right? All I can do is tell her what you said and see if she agrees. But even if she doesn’t, I’ll happily help you out all by myself. Even if I do have to use my break time to do it!”

“Thanks. I know that means a lot to you.”

“Damn straight it does. And never forget it.”

Having given the scythe a few practice swings and nodding in approval, she lifts off the ground. The sun has well and truly risen by now, framing her floating figure in molten gold. You nearly don’t say it.
“Hey Komachi. Wait a second.”

“Oh?”
She ceases her upward flight, settling down in the branches of a small tree, dislodging a rain of flowers as she does so. You catch a handful of them, plucking them out of the air.

“I think I might call in one of those two favours now actually.”

“…Do go on.”

“How about we meet up outside the main town gates tonight, at sunset. Not for anything to do with any of these disturbances either. Just us.”

She smiles, swinging her legs back up onto her branch.
“A date? Oh Nash, you didn’t need to use one of your favours to get that. Of course I will.”

“Oh.”
A tone of playful disappointment enters your voice as you answer her smile with one of your own.
“So can I have that not count as a fav-”

“Nope! Totally counts as one!”
Before anything else can be said, she leaps off the tree at high speed and goes zooming off into the sky.
You keep smiling long after she’s gone out of view. This could certainly be one way of keeping certain rebellious Coadjutors under control. Almost certainly the most pleasant one as well. You genuinely enjoy her company. Was it worth a favour though?

Yes. Yes it was. And if you really need more, you could just make your last favour be requiring her to swear a hundred more favours anyway. Feels a bit like cheating but you suppose that’s what you get when you’re foolish enough to happily make such ludicrously wide-ranging oaths.

You have a lot to do today and it’s only just begun. But what to do first?

[ ] Go to Keine’s house and see if she’s home yet. If she’s not, wait for her. Her assistance is nearly guaranteed now but you’ll need to make certain of it anyway.

[ ] Head back to the Misty Lake. See if you can find Daiyousei. You hope she isn’t hurt from the lake. Or from Yuuka. You should probably tell her about Yuuka.

[ ] Head back to the Misty Lake and enquire in the Scarlet Mansion. They might be willing to help, considering that it’s already had direct effect on them.

[ ] See if you can secure directions to this Bamboo Forest place. You really don’t want Eirin analyising her samples without you there. What if she finds Vitriol and misuses it with horrible consequences. Or more terrifyingly, what if she finds it and uses it right?

[ ] Mingle with the people of the village, check ramifications of yesterday first hand.

[ ] Something wrong with dreams? Take a nap.

[ ] Write In.
>> No. 153913
>>153912

Eugh.
This is why you don't post while you really need to be going somewhere else and so put it up without spellchecking it properly.

Herp meet derp and so on.
>> No. 153914
EvilYuuka is ALREADY out? Damnit. Damnit, damnit, damnit. I'd hoped that Shiki, being supposedly the most powerful person in Gensokyo would do better but...bugger. That ain't good.

So much to do, so little time. As far as I can work out, the first thing we need to do is warn Daiyousei of this rather worrying development. If we have time after that, then talk to Keine and/or Eirin.

The silver lining is that with Komachi, we have Distance Manipulation on our side, which might mean something very similar to teleportation. Well, that depends on how her ability works.
>> No. 153918
[x] See if you can secure directions to this Bamboo Forest place. You really don’t want Eirin analyising her samples without you there. What if she finds Vitriol and misuses it with horrible consequences. Or more terrifyingly, what if she finds it and uses it right?
>> No. 153922
[x] Head back to the Misty Lake. See if you can find Daiyousei. You hope she isn’t hurt from the lake. Or from Yuuka. You should probably tell her about Yuuka.

I'm worried about her. And maybe we'll get to meet her friends, that would be the best thing.
>> No. 153923
Heh. Eclipse Caste oaths! Somehow I think the punishment of Heaven for breaking one will be rather more direct than getting hit by a botch at the worst possible time in the future, though.

Also, uh oh. The borders of the seals got manipulated. Odds that gapbitch got subverted by whatever got Yuuka?

As for what to do next...
[X] See if you can secure directions to this Bamboo Forest place, from Kiene. You really don’t want Eirin analyising her samples without you there. What if she finds Vitriol and misuses it with horrible consequences. Or more terrifyingly, what if she finds it and uses it right?
>> No. 153927
[x] Head back to the Misty Lake and enquire in the Scarlet Mansion. They might be willing to help, considering that it’s already had direct effect on them.

I want all the help we can get.
>> No. 153928
[x] See if you can secure directions to this Bamboo Forest place. You really don’t want Eirin analyzing her samples without you there. What if she finds Vitriol and misuses it with horrible consequences. Or more terrifyingly, what if she finds it and uses it right?
>> No. 153929
Who do you think let out Yuuka?
>> No. 153930
>>153929
Not a clue, but we should probably brush up on our shaping defenses. I don't think either the Ebon Dragon or Kimberry has an easily-accessible and specially purposed shaping defense, so I guess that means Fond Remembrance of Adrain, go go go.
>> No. 153934
[x] See if you can secure directions to this Bamboo Forest place. You really don’t want Eirin analyising her samples without you there. What if she finds Vitriol and misuses it with horrible consequences. Or more terrifyingly, what if she finds it and uses it right?

Sorry Daiyosei, but all that'd happen to you is either a lot of respawns or becoming a flower and/or dream fairy. Also, we want to avoid the village as much as we can - Eiki will be pissed if we managed to let people know she was the motive force of the rampage.
>> No. 153936
File 133029113778.jpg - (36.35KB , 400x400 , cry25387128_p1.jpg ) [iqdb]
153936
>>153934
>all that'll happen to you is EXTREMELY BAD THINGS
Fuck, I hadn't even considered most of that.

I suppose staying in the form we were in makes it easier for her to find us as well as Yuuka. A small blessing.
>> No. 153937
[x] Head back to the Misty Lake. See if you can find Daiyousei. You hope she isn’t hurt from the lake. Or from Yuuka. You should probably tell her about Yuuka.

If we don't keep her with us, Daiyousei is totally gonna be captured and turned against us. We can visit the SDM after we find her. Keine we can visit after the date with Komachi. Our best bet with Eirin is probably to wait for her to realize she's found something big and then show up to explain it.
>> No. 153938
[x] Head back to the Misty Lake. See if you can find Daiyousei. You hope she isn’t hurt from the lake. Or from Yuuka. You should probably tell her about Yuuka.
>> No. 153939
Oh yeah, got a date with Komachi.
Seems she's pretty ok with that, as well!
All around, pretty good.

[x] See if you can secure directions to this Bamboo Forest place. You really don’t want Eirin analyising her samples without you there. What if she finds Vitriol and misuses it with horrible consequences. Or more terrifyingly, what if she finds it and uses it right?

We need to go and try to set up something there - getting Reisen to join our group, is definitely what we want.

Also, I don't want Eirin to have too much time alone with Vitriol.

...If we can go with 2 options though, yeah, I'd want to check up on Dai as well.

>>153914
Better to go heading to Eirin's place first, instead of Keine, IMO.
Don't want the super-genius scientist to find out too much about that, unless we're around.
>> No. 153941
>>153937
Well...
No, our best bet is not to wait for Eirin to find out what you can Vitriol for, before we go and meet her.

Our best bet is really to make sure we're around before that happens.
Especially since who knows what this woman would do with Vitriol, if we give her time to come up with something.


Either way, SDM is a good bit less important than getting in contact with Eientei, if for no other reason than that said group is the one with the actual Vitriol.

So, no matter what, Eientei should come before SDM.
>> No. 153942
[x] See if you can secure directions to this Bamboo Forest place. You really don’t want Eirin analyising her samples without you there. What if she finds Vitriol and misuses it with horrible consequences. Or more terrifyingly, what if she finds it and uses it right?

Eirin and extremely volatile chemicals, what's more interesting than that?
>> No. 153943
[x] See if you can secure directions to this Bamboo Forest place. You really don’t want Eirin analyising her samples without you there. What if she finds Vitriol and misuses it with horrible consequences. Or more terrifyingly, what if she finds it and uses it right?

And Drei, good sir? The Sutra of the Slothful Maiden was one hundred percent fucking pro.
>> No. 153944
>>153941
She might learn to purify vitriol and then use it to make tonics. While the usual uses of vitriol are to create things like poisons, scarier poisons, gunpowder substitutes, and flamethrower propellent, it's fundamentally a magical super-acid that purges weakness. If a thaumaturge using purified vitriol can make leather as durable as steel, I don't see why a doctor wouldn't be able to use it to make a tonic that improves heal.

Granted, your insides will probably end up looking pretty brassy, but it might be worth it.
>> No. 153945
>>153944
So she might make a potion to give a human a Lunarian lifespan? Purify the mortality right out of you? I can see Kaguya asking Eirin to find some suitable long-term subjects, so she can have minions she can keep over geological time periods.
>> No. 153948
>>153945
Not quite that drastic - vitriol is useful as hell, but it's not the panacea to all magi-technological problems without infrastructure and the knowledge to use that infrastructure. Granted, it's Eirin, so I suppose it could be possible, but it'd be more due to Eirin than to the vitriol.

On a hilarious and unrelated note, vitriol can also be used to brew delicious alcohol. First-circle demons use it to brew alchohol out of materials such as gold and silver, dreams and nightmares, and even other first-circle demons.
>> No. 153951
>>153930
Kimbery's got a charm that lets you shrug off Shaping effects by gaining mutations instead.
>> No. 153952
>>153944
There's canonically a potion that does this, in fact: Malfean Balm. The person applying it makes an (Intelligence + Medicine) test, and converts a number of boxes of Lethal damage into Bashing damage equal to the number of successes. You take a -1 internal penalty to all your actions until the wound's fully healed though, from the stiffness of the damaged flesh turning into brass. Even once it's healed, the scars have a brassy sheen, though that's purely cosmetic.
>> No. 153954
>>153952
Yup, I'm aware of Malfean balm, hence the reference to brassy insides.
>> No. 153956
[x] Head back to the Misty Lake. See if you can find Daiyousei. You hope she isn’t hurt from the lake. Or from Yuuka. You should probably tell her about Yuuka.

Yuuka knows about Daiyousei, so shes in the most danger at the moment.
>> No. 153989
[x] Head back to the Misty Lake. See if you can find Daiyousei. You hope she isn’t hurt from the lake. Or from Yuuka. You should probably tell her about Yuuka.
[X] Take her with us towards the Bamboo Forest.

>>153929
Dream World entity more powerful than Yuuka? I'd guess Gengetsu.
>> No. 153998
>>153989
It could be someone with a different skill set as opposed to someone who's out and out stronger than Yuuka.
>> No. 154003
>>153929
Given that the Misty Lake seems to have been replaced by Kimberry? I'm guessing Oramus.
>> No. 154013
>>153998
Yukari. Yuuka was freed by the manipulation of the ward's borders; Yukari is also a dream youkai, and thus possibly also subverted by the same force as Yuuka.

Hopefully her future self will be able to manipulate the border of Past and Present to bitchslap her back to normal before she does too much damage, though.
>> No. 154014
>>154013

Yuakri's a boundry youkai, not a dream youkai.
>> No. 154018
>>154013
>>153923
You seem to be under the impression border manipulation was involved. As far as I can tell, your belief comes from this sentence:
>Something from the dream world subverted the boundary seals, turning them against themselves.

While the word boundary is indeed in the sentence, it is used in the sense that they are seals on the boundary, not to refer to the boundaries of seals.

Unless I misread that.
>> No. 154022
>>154018

This is correct.
>> No. 154023
>>154018
My impression came more from how the seals were made to seal themselves away; that sounds like a classic case of boundary manipulation to me; she simple redefined what the boundary they marked contained. Even if it wasn't her that did it, it is trivially within her capacity to do so.
>> No. 154025
But such inside outness, is also exactly what was done to the Yotzi(sp?) to bind them.
And honestly Yukari's magic is usually both more subtle in intent and simpler in method.
She could just gap around/through the seals.
>> No. 154038
>>154025
We don't know how exactly Shikieiki sealed Yuuka inside her mansion but it doesn't really sound like the binding of the defeated Primordials. No binding was the same - all of the defeated Primordials swore the surrender oaths, but their exact imprisonment differed. Malfeas was incarnated and then turned inside out to become their prison, his sister Cecelyne was wound around him to serve as an infinitely reaching prison barrier, Szorney was only tossed in upside down so that his roots became his branches, while Oramus literally had his seven wings broken and wound over and around himself so that he could be contained in an in-between state of freedom and imprisonment that ensured he couldn't simply cross that boundary.
>> No. 154041
No no, I am saying what was done _to_ the seals is very much like what was done to the Y., suggesting that one of them freed Yuuka.
>> No. 154043
>>154041
I don't see the evidence of this at all - perhaps you could offer some evidence and support for your conclusion?
>> No. 154057
Well..if its not as obvious as I thought it was, then maybe I am seeing patterns that aren't there.

But the whole making the seals seal them selves thing, seems to _me_ very very similar to what was done to Cecelyne and Malfeas.

That's all, no complicated argument. Just a noticed similarity.
>> No. 154058
>>154057
(And to Oramus's prison as well)
>> No. 154059
>>154057
I personally don't really see much of a similarity, but if there was, wouldn't that imply that the First Age Exalted took care of the seals?
>> No. 154066
>>154057
Sealing seals in themselves? Both Oramus and Malfeas were imprisoned in themselves, but I'm not sure what that has to do with the manner of freeing others from imprisonment. Particularly when we've actually seen how some of the defeated Primordials react to their imprisonment and how some of them escape constraints.

Neither Malfeas nor Cecelyne would resolve constraints by having the seals seal themselves and while Oramus might - he is most likely too imprecise to do so while he remains bound in his seven broken wings.
>> No. 154187
Sorry about the delay guys, my writing has slowed down to a crawl. No doubt due to my return to worshipping at the altar of tertiary education, which is more than a little time-consuming.
But I said that I would never take much more than a week to update and while I probably will break that promise at some point down the line, that won't be today.
Eight days totally counts as sufficiently week-ish. I have graphs to prove it.

Anyway, the update. In which we take part of a hobo's hospitality.

[X] See if you can secure directions to this Bamboo Forest place. You really don’t want Eirin analysing her samples without you there. What if she finds Vitriol and misuses it with horrible consequences. Or more terrifyingly, what if she finds it and uses it right?

Daiyousei can probably take care of herself for a bit longer. You have dreadful implications to think about. From what you could tell earlier, the Misty Lake has undergone transubstantiation, altering from water to a lifeless cold pit of poison favoured by Kimbery. And as part of what may be her own investigation, Eirin has been gathering samples from it. Or at least you assume she has. You could hope that the Sage had no method to hold the highly corrosive fluid and went home disappointed. You could also hope that Yuuka has had a change of heart and isn’t planning your death somewhere in Gensokyo, doesn’t mean you’ll actually base your plans on it.

And it could be worse.
Just Eirin having access to the poison is bad enough because a comprehensive analysis of it is just asking for an eventual cliché plot where you’re blamed for all of this due to the same filth in the lake is also pumping through your veins, having replaced your blood decades ago. And to be fair, you really would be a prime suspect to anyone who knows the full implications. But luckily said full comprehension of the implications currently only exists within Keine and yourself.
And it better stay that way.

But if you’re feeling terrifically unlucky, then the situation could easily be worse. She could find traces of Vitriol.
Vitriol is a tricky stuff. Originally designed before the Titanomachy, it was an element designed by the King of Primordials, The Holy Tyrant. It was supposed to act as a passive catalyst that altered and purified all it touched. It never got incorporated into Creation or indeed existed anywhere until after the Primordial War when the Tyrant was mutilated and flipped inside out to create Malfeas, the infinite Demon City, an eternal prison to hold the rest of the surrendered Primordials and their soul hierarchies. It was in the newly-formed Hell when Vitriol finally appeared, Malfeas taking what control he could over himself to spitefully institute the element that he never could in Creation.

Unfortunately the Yozi were twisted bitter things and while their hatred towards the impossible fact of their loss never disappeared, it was strongest during those first few years when they clashed together in the sewn up living corpse of their King and the Exalted mined their soul hierarchies and forced the former creators of the universe to surrender every one of their lesser parts to servitude. Vitriol twisted along with them, tainted by their hatred into a powerful destructive fluid that lacked the beauty it was meant to be designed with. Despite this, it kept many of its intended properties as a catalyst that induces mutation and change.
One of its more simple applications is that with a few properly applied drops, you can render a mundane material completely indestructible, unable to be harmed save by those effects that explicitly destroy the indestructible. Used in more complex ways, it was capable of aiding the construction of elaborate artefacts of great power, both biological and mechanical.
And who the fuck knows what it could do if it reacts with all of the new strange magic here.

If the lake truly runs with the waters of Kimbery somehow, than there’s a chance that Vitriol came with it. It’s not uncommon to find solutions of the stuff diffused through her oceans. And you really don’t want Eirin getting her hands on the stuff.
You don’t trust her with what she already has. She’s an unknown variable, one with power. At least with Yuuka you know that she’ll probably attempt to kill you at some point down the line. You have no idea what Eirin wants to do.
Even if she didn’t have the samples, you’d probably end up trying to spy on her anyway.

So really, this is completely inevitable. You could say that this was fated to happen, in fact. That’s your story anyway and you’re sticking with it.

Keine’s house is still empty, though at least she’s locked the door this time. She must still be over by the Lake, doing whatever history-eating were hakuwhatevers do. You’re frankly a bit uneasy about all of this history stuff. What exactly are the limits to that? And when she said she reaches virtual omniscience, was she actually meaning omniscience? Omni gets used far too often for something it isn’t but if you could see and comprehend all of history, as it happens…
You’re going to be in a lot of trouble by the next full moon then. Not just the dead villagers either, which now that you’ve thought about it more, was completely not your fault. She’d also see the truth behind the Glories That Never Were that you popped on her to remove her sanity-corroding horror of the Crane, replacing it with the slightly less sanity-corroding love of the Crane. Love wouldn’t have been your first choice really but unfortunately the exact nature of good feelings they have for whatever they once hated is entirely out of your hands.
But seeing all of history would let her see see that the reality that Glories enacted upon her is false and nullify all effects it had, returning the original effects of Crane upon her, perhaps even stronger for its absence. If she can’t learn to live with the full manifestation of the Crane etched into her own mind, you might have to reapply Glories every month, spinning the wheel of fortune on what exact form her emotions take towards the Crane each and every time.
Provided you’re still here by next month, of course. Then she might be on her own. This makes you feel a little worried on her behalf. Keine has been a nice and useful person so far, you don’t want that to happen to her. But it has to since you’re eventually going to find a way to return to Creation sooner or later. And you’d obviously go back.
Of course.
Yes.
Lots of good things waiting for you back in Creation. Your empty house-manse lurking in the tips of the Bordermarches to maintain being properly outside of Fate, that nice Threshold trading village that you occasionally buy stuff from while disguised as well as being your only point of contact with any other sapient being, that guy with the huge sword and the name you can’t remember waiting to start a fight you could probably never win…
List goes on really. All kinds of reasons. You can’t wait.

At least everything will be made properly out of Essence like it’s supposed to be. A lot of your Essence has started to work wonky here and drain extra motes, probably because apart from you, this world is made up of alien mass that is everywhere, suffocatingly so. You don’t like to think about it much since all you get now is a mental image of a candle-flame floating in an ocean.

Oh right, Keine’s monthly problem.
She might also have a bone to pick with you for rearranging her mind like that when she asked for the pain to cease. She may not have wanted exactly what she had gotten. Few would, you imagine. That would only compound on the village marketplace incident. She might hate you, regardless of how much you get into her good graces in what time you have beforehand!
….But if you’re going to reapply Glories for her next month for the Crane, you could also slip in an additional use of it reorientating her views towards you as well. She wouldn’t care if you had killed a few villagers or a few hundred villagers then.

This would be immoral. And oath-breaking. You obviously would never do it, nor would you be tempted by it. You have put that stuff behind you. Repentance and hermitage and all that. You are a good person.
She did ask for the Charm on her mind really, because she asked you to relieve the mental stress. So the current one is no problem. And reapplying it every month for both the Crane and yourself would totally keep reducing her mental stress and stop her from doing things she’d regret. All it would be is an extension for the services she already asked for. It would make your life easier and she’d really be happier for it. So everyone wins.
So even if you would do this terrible thing that you would never do, you would be ethically ‘in the clear’ as you do so. Not that you are going to. Obviously.

That would be wrong.

Having made your way from Keine’s house to the gate, you look for a familiar face before finding it.

“Oh hello, Daisuke! You still on duty?”

The villager looks at you for a second before recognition flows over his face. He puts down his mug of tea and climbs down from his chair by the wall.
“For what it’s worth, yes. Are you here to reconsider that lumber offer I gave you?”

“Sadly no. I need information and my first choice for it is gone, which leaves you being the only person I really know in any degree whatsoever around here. You don’t mind providing a bit of information like you did before, did you?”

“Not at all. I’m not doing anything else right now, that’s for sure.”

“Excellent. I need to know the way to the Bamboo Forest of the Lost.”

“What? Why?”
You’ve startled him. No doubt that if he was still drinking from that mug, he would have done some kind of quasi-humorous spit-take of some kind.

“N-no reason.”
You scratch the back of your head, looking embarrassed.

“One cannot simply walk into the Bamboo Forest. It’s dangerous! For starters, you have to get through the Forest of Magic first before you even get close and once you’re there…the rabbits. There are so many rabbits. Why do you need to go?”

You flush red, looking down at the ground and fidgeting with your hands.
“It’s just that around here I met a girl just now. A-a really pretty one. She had, you know, the ears and the hair…”
You make vague motions while stammering out something that manages to be quite coherent.

“Met her? Here? Ah, you must mean Reisen. She comes around here to sell medicine, good stuff too. And you and her…?”

Reisen? That was the one who had been assisting Eirin, wasn’t it? Not bad. Imaginary fake you has pretty good taste.

“W-well, nothing like that. But she said she was going to be at the Bamboo Forest and…and…she and I just talked. She seemed really…really nice,” you finish lamely, staring firmly at the ground.

Daisuke chuckles in the knowing fashion of veterans confronted with the naïve earnestness of youth.

“The bunnygirl huh? Not bad, kid. Not bad. You work fast. I like that. I can see your reasons for wanting to go, particularly for the case of young love. But are you sure you can’t meet her some other time? She visits the village fairly regularly these days and you do have to go through a bit of the Forest of Magic to get there…”

“But right before earlier, didn’t you tell me that the Forest was mostly safe? That people went into it all the time after dark and everything?”

“Well yes, alright I suppose I said that. And it is daytime now. For the sake of love, I may be able to part with some directions.”

He gives you a crude sketch of a map and a long list of directions that you memorise immediately.

“Th-thank you,” you stammer as you start to hurry off the in the direction he specified.

“Wait! Are you really sure you want to do this? I just realised that seeing the medicine girl probably means talking with Eirin! You don’t want to do that. Are you sure that this is a viable relationship?”

You’re already disappearing over the hillside as the gatekeeper continues yelling out advice.
“Plenty of other fish in the sea really! The ears alone probably aren’t worth it! Oh, and the Forest of the Lost lives up to its name! Find the guide!”

You don’t give any indication of having heard him, walking out of view altogether. Yeah, you figured that something called the Forest of the Lost would be hard to navigate, perhaps even magically so. It won’t take long for you to figure it out.

******************

You can’t figure this out.

Making your way to the Bamboo Forest was surprisingly easy, with nothing of note impeding your journey. The Forest of the Lost on the other hand, is making you contemplate forest fires.

It all started off so easily, only for the paths to fork off into each other and curve off in weird and perhaps geometrically impossible pathways. You’re normally fine with a little mazing but this forest is starting to really shit you.
You could just fire up the old Essence and magic your way into finding a single right path that would lead you where you want to go. You’ve been holding back from doing so for now since you’d rather not attract attention, particularly not the kind that says ‘Wheee! Look at me, I have superpowers!”

So no, not quite yet. You can afford to spend a bit more time traipsing around trying to figure everything out mundanely before you break out the big stuff and potentially blow cover. This form is one Eirin doesn’t know so it’d be better if you could walk in without causing too much suspicion.

You continue on for a short time longer before a thick stench hits your nose as smoke rises above the canopies to your left. Now that you can’t miss.
A minute or so of blundering around through the bamboo later and you emerge in a large clearing, one with paths leading off of it in all directions. The ground is scorched black and a thick oppressive heat lies everywhere. You can already feel the moisture in your eyes evaporating.
The delicious smell of cooked meat fills the air.

A white haired woman stands alone in the middle of the clearing. The local fashions being nothing if not erratic, she’s wearing a pair of dark red trousers hung by suspenders over a brown discoloured shirt, most of the outfit being covered in what might be prayer strips of some kind.
Directly in front of her is the source of the cooking smell, a burned thing that you believe may have once been human in general shape but is now more of a crackling undistinguished mass of charcoal and boiling fat. A few strips of burned skin fly off with the breeze as the woman takes the cigarette out of her mouth, blowing a stream of smoke out of her mouth with the ease of one long-practiced.
She turns to face you, having obviously heard your approach. Rather than acting like someone would when they’re witnessed at what is very clearly a murder scene of some sort, she just nods her head.
“Oh hey. Sup? You lost?”

“Yeah. I hate to ask but do you happen to-”

“Know the way? Yes. You might say it’s my job. Where you heading?”

“I was looking for Eientei.”

Her eyebrows rise as she blows out another plume of smoke.
“You want to go there? Weird. Most people just end up here accidentally. Why do you want to go there?”

You don’t feel like your old story would work with someone who actually knows the people at Eientei so you tell something more close to the truth.
“I was looking for Eirin. Why have you just burned someone to death?”

“Because Eirin isn’t here. A little bird told me that and what do you know, it turned out to be true. This wouldn’t happen to have fucked up your travel plans, would it?”

“Actually no. It would be better for me really if Eirin was not around while I visited.”

She nods, moving the cigarette to the other side of her mouth but making no other movements aside from blowing out more smoke. You get a good look at the truth for a moment and smile appreciatively. Figures.
“If I asked why you didn’t want our most revered doctor around, would you tell me?”

“I don’t know, maybe. If I asked about your cigarette, would you tell me?”

“My cigarette? Is there something wrong with it?”
She blows out more smoke, this time through her nostrils.

“I’m just a bit puzzled on account of it being unlit. You’re just blowing smoke out of your mouth, it isn’t even tobacco smoke.”

She grins, a grin that reminds you less of a human smile and more of a simple baring of teeth.
“I hate cigarettes. I couldn’t actually smoke one if my life depended on it. Which it has, once. I just do it to maintain my image. And it makes a nice alibi too.”

“Alibi?”

“Yeah.”
She makes a motion at the burned vista around her before dropping her suddenly lit cigarette on top of what’s left of the corpse in an incredibly exaggerated and telegraphed clumsy motion. A roaring fire immediately starts up, far too quickly to have been the cigarette.
“Whoops, looks like I accidentally set fire to part of the forest. Again. My littering habit is just terrible.”

“Does anyone actually believe that?”

The woman shrugs, pulling out a pack from her pocket, dragging a new cigarette from it and clenching it unlit between her lips.
“I really don’t give a fuck.”

“Fair enough. Do you mind showing me the way?”

She shrugs before turning around to face an opposite pathway, motioning you to follow her.
“You must be new here. The Forest only looks daunting, it’s actually really easy to navigate once you get the hang of it.”

You nod as you follow the woman further into the forest. She’s telling the truth as far as you can tell but even if she was so supremely manipulative to fool your eyes, you’d still follow her anyway. You wouldn’t admit it but you find yourself fascinated by her.
You mean, look at the circumstances you met her in. What a delightfully curious position. You really need to know more. Certainly worth to stick around more.

“What’s your name?”

“Mokou. And how about you? Name and species?”
Mokou? You’ve heard that name before. She knows Keine? Though you’ve walked away from the clearing, much of the heat remains hanging in the air around you two.

“Nash, Nashar even. Human. So as much as I am enjoying your particularly verbose company, can you tell me what that back there was all about?”

Smoke flows through the air around you, filling your nostrils with the stench of cinders.
“The fire back there? It won’t bother us too much. I used to put them out when I left but why bother? …Or do you mean the corpse?”

Silence.

“You mean the corpse. Don’t worry about her, she’ll be fine. It’s more of a tradition these days than anything else.”

“…Do go on.”

“It’s the Lunar Princess, Kaguya. You know? Wait. You don’t know Kaguya Houraisan, the Princess of Eientei? Really? Wow. Long story short, it’s alright because she’ll just come back to life in a few more minutes. We drank Eirin’s immortality elixir, me and her, we’ll never die.”

“…Like fairies?”
The comparison you really wanted to make was about deities back in Creation, who could never usually die, reforming back in their Sanctum after death. Provided they weren’t slain with something that lets one kill truly immortal things forever, that is.

Mokou looks less than pleased at the comparison.
“Yes…like fairies. Anyway, she’s certainly killed me a whole bunch of times as well. So if I can lure her out when Eirin isn’t around and blast her into a greasy smear, than it’s well-deserved. We don’t fight as often as we used to, fuck I really don’t even care about what started it even more. But with us living so close together it’s inevitable.”

“You live around here?”

“Yeah. Kaguya has her fancy Eientei while I just generally…lurk in the woods.”

You look at her again more closely. She really is a fascinating person. You’re not sure why exactly but she is.

“So you sleep in the forest for the sole purpose of continuing to murder another girl endlessly?”

“More or less. I hold a grudge.”

“And you…don’t do anything else?”

“No! I’m not that pathetic. I guide people around the forest like we are right now and I also run a yakitori stand!”

“This stand…it wouldn’t happen to be near the forest, would it?”

“Of course. I sleep under it at nights.”

“So all of the things you do are either about killing or being killed by this princess or are adjusted so that they centre around your fixation? That’s pretty sad. I mean, really.”

“Hmph. Well if you put it like that, it does. But even the threat of me keeps Kaguya spending most of her life now locked up inside her mansion while I live the free life. That’s victory.”
She blows a magnificent smoke-ring, basking in her own inherent superiority.

“Yes I’m sure that the immortal princess in her mansion envies the murderous firehobo that prowls the forests outside.”

“You bet she does. She’s stuck where she is while I could theoretically go anywhere I want.”

“But in practice, you just hang around the forest.”

“Of course.”

You really don’t know what to say. You suppose you have to admire her dedication, if nothing else. Sitting around forever for the sole purpose of locking another person down, that takes some serious spite. She might have lost whatever anger she had at this princess but spite, pretty human spite always remains after feelings have died down.
This immortality potion also seems very interesting as well. Maybe you could accidentally acquire some while you’re at this Eientei place.

You walk for a few more minutes, getting in another turn in your mental Gateway game before something disturbing interrupts your thoughts.
“Hey Mokou, how often do these bamboo trees flower?”

“About once every centur- oh well there’s a sight.”

The forest is filled with bamboo flowers, new ones unfurling right before your eyes. You can see the progress of the flowering as a wave sweeping over the trees, each one suddenly overflowing with budding flowers. Mokou’s expression is unreadable.
“Well that’s suspicious. Kaguya?”

You doubt that it was this princess girl, regardless of whether if she is capable of such a feat or not. You look around, covering all the directions. No sign of Yuuka anywhere. Damnit.

[ ] Just keep walkin’. Ignore the flowers. If she wants to psyche you out, then let her actually come in person.

[ ] Tell Mokou about Yuuka.

[ ] Set the forest (and the flowers by extension) on fire.

[ ] Ask her what she wants, through the flowers.

[ ] Think of something else. Write In.
>> No. 154197
[x] Just keep walkin’. Ignore the flowers. If she wants to psyche you out, then let her actually come in person.
[x] Tell Mokou about Yuuka.
>> No. 154199
>>154198
You dropped that disguise back with Komachi unfortunately, as part of the deal to be bait.
>> No. 154200
[ ] Tell Mokou about Yuuka.
>> No. 154202
[X] Just keep walkin’. Ignore the flowers. If she wants to psyche you out, then let her actually come in person.
[X] Tell Mokou about Yuuka.
>> No. 154204
[X] Just keep walkin’. Ignore the flowers. If she wants to psyche you out, then let her actually come in person.
[X] Tell Mokou about Yuuka.

Well, Sakuya, Yuuka, Kaguya and Yukari are the ones who might have the ability to do this, but Yuuka is after us, so... yeah.
>> No. 154210
Excellent. Yuuka can't bother Daiyousei while she's bothering us. Or can she???

And I really, really like your Mokou.

[x] Tell Mokou about Yuuka.
>> No. 154214
[x] Just keep walkin’. Ignore the flowers. If she wants to psyche you out, then let her actually come in person.
[x] Tell Mokou about Yuuka.
>> No. 154239
[X] Just keep walkin’. Ignore the flowers. If she wants to psyche you out, then let her actually come in person.
[X] Tell Mokou about Yuuka.
>> No. 154254
Well, actually yes Yuuka can bother both of you at the same time. Fun stuff. So in response:

[x] Just keep walkin’. Ignore the flowers. If she wants to psyche you out, then let her actually come in person.
[x] Tell Mokou about Yuuka.
>> No. 154279
[x] Just keep walkin’. Ignore the flowers. If she wants to psyche you out, then let her actually come in person.
[x] Tell Mokou about Yuuka.
-[X] Make sure to spell it out in a way that Witness to Darkness won't ruin.

We need to make sure we don't tell nothing but the truth, here - we've still got Witness to Darkness, and that can screw us up, right about now.
>> No. 154282
>>154280
Witness to Darkness doesn't screw us over if we're revealing terrible truths.

"Oh, by the way? Yuuka's gone insane and started turning people into flowers. She's also coming after me since I destroyed a killed a bunch of them when the Yama crash-landed at the end of her drunken rampage. So, have fun fighting a murderous dream yokai!" *absconds with Bloodless Murk Evasion's teleportation*
>> No. 154284
>>154282
We, uh, don't do asterisks here. Just an FYI.
>> No. 154291
>>154284

On the contrary, sir, you will find that we do indeed use astericks here. As long as their use is grammatically sound, and they aren't being used for faggy RP shit.
>> No. 154293
I wish we didn't do pedantic derails around here.
>> No. 154304
>>154282
Well, that's the thing - I don't want to make Mokou angry, here, since it seems we need her to find out where we're going, to stop Eirin from doing whatever with the Vitriol, and try to see if we can get something out of the place.
Come to think of it, we should take the chance to talk to some more people there, while we're at it - Reisen, for instance.
>> No. 154305
>>154304
Nash could probably reveal enough to Eirin in order to convince her to send Reisen along on a research opportunity/spying mission/incident resolution. Manipulation is his specialty.
>> No. 154307
Vote called. Writing soon.
>> No. 154314
>>154304
We could probably use Cracked Cell Circumvention to automatically escape the twisty bit of the bamboo forest and arrive at the Eientei.
>> No. 154317
>>154314
Nah. CCC is used for escaping bindings/imprisonment. There's nothing actually keeping Nash in the Bamboo Forest, just keeping him from finding where he wants to get to.
>> No. 154321
>>154305
More or less what I was thinking, yeah.


I do think it would be a good idea to talk to Reisen first, before we get to that point, though.


Getting friendly with Reisen seems like a much better way to start this work, before we see about convincing Eirin to 'assign' the girl to our work, I think - could make her friendlier to us, at the start, which seems like a nice thing.
>> No. 154323
>>154321
Worming your way into someone's good graces before they have cause to suspect you? Very properly Fiendish of you.
>> No. 154359
File 133131282565.jpg - (153.52KB , 630x460 , Thispicisnotactuallyrelevant.jpg ) [iqdb]
154359
Slow writefag is slow and posting from three in the morning. Pic not really at all relevant, I just wanted a picture.

[x] Just keep walkin’. Ignore the flowers. If she wants to psyche you out, then let her actually come in person.
[x] Tell Mokou about Yuuka.

The flowers surround you now, blossoming on every tree. Some of them have become so overburdened and laden with flowers that full blooms are dropping whole from the branch as there is no room for them, each tree choked with flowers covering their every surface, even the places where flowers wouldn’t bloom at all. You and Mokou walk through a hallway of bamboo covered in wreaths of purple and red, flowers silently dropping around you.

Despite what Mokou might be suspicious of, you know only one reasonable culprit for this. You were supposed to act as bait to lure her out after all, though you admit that you didn’t expect her to react so early. To be frank, you had suspected that Yuuka might have gone after Daiyousei first. You had considered finding Daiyousei before and informing her of Yuuka’s escape and the hidden threat but in the end, your own curiosity of what Eirin could be doing overruled it.
And here it turns out that Yuuka’s has come straight for you instead. How she got your location, you don’t know. You hadn’t even appeared publicly yet.

This posits the fact that the angry flower youkai is around here somewhere and is almost certainly watching you. So this leaves only one question. What are you going to do about it?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Because really, fuck Yuuka. What exactly is the point of all this? Is she trying to scare you, letting you know that she’s out somewhere and is watching? Maybe that could have seriously startled you if you hadn’t met Komachi. But now you already know all of those things. All of this is empty bluster, a weird stalker attempt intended to creep you out or something.

If Yuuka wants to mess with you, she better come out and do it personally. Because you aren’t even going to give what is essentially just a bunch of hyperactive flowers the time of day. This is not worth a response.

You start walking again, continuing down the pathway. Mokou remains where she is for a moment, gawking at the display.
“Mokou. We don’t have all day.”

She quickly catches up to you, her red eyes narrowed.
“You know what this is.”
A statement, not a question.

You should probably tell Mokou about Yuuka. After all, if Yuuka is about to attack at some point then Mokou is in just as much danger than you. And if you just refuse outright to tell her, there is a very real possibility that she would just abandon you or deliberately guide you to a completely wrong place. Both options sound easy for someone with the vast reserves of spite that she must surely have.
But on the other hand, Shikieiki didn’t want information about Yuuka’s current condition disseminated amongst the public for reasons both understandable and selfish. To the point that part of your deal with Komachi involves you ‘not informing the public’. The sanctified deal that binds you somewhat just as much as it binds Komachi on her end of the bargain. You could probably wriggle out of the magical consequences of not following your side but if Komachi found out, she would be perfectly justified in declaring the oath null and void and you’d lose your magically enforced favours.

But really, you aren’t informing the public of anything. You are telling one person who’s social life has as its biggest event being serial murder. Sure, Mokou does actually talk to people but it can’t be that often, right? And you can ask her to not tell anyone.
Or do more than ask…

“I do. I can tell you, but only if you promise not to tell anyone.”

“Promise? Yeah I can do that.”

“That’s nice. Now, we just need to swear an oat-”

“No.”
Mokou stops in her tracks.
“I can promise but no oaths.”

“Why not? What’s the difference?”

“I don’t have to tell you anything.”

“You do if you want me to tell you about what’s causing this.”

“Alright, fine.”
She sighs, moving her cigarette from one corner of her mouth to the other.
“Because fuck you. Fuck you is why.”

Well. There’s clearly something she’s not telling you about this. Granted, you would say much the same thing but that’s only because you’re aware of the power of a Fiend oath. What does she have against them?
You briefly consider reactivating your Excellency to make your words much harder to resist, capable of running roughshod over nearly all nonmagical mental defences but decide against it. Weren’t you just thinking earlier about how you wanted to avoid using magic in this forest? You have no idea if anyone would be able to sense Essence permutations in a world without it. Eirin might know of your other form but this one should remain relatively unknown. And in that same case, swearing an Oath isn’t probably a good idea either.

“I don’t see the difference between a promise and an oath that you apparently do but fine. Do you promise not to tell anyone?”

She nods.
“You really don’t have to worry. I keep my promises.”

“It’s Yuuka Kazami.”
You catch a falling flower out of the air, tenderly cradling it between your hands for a moment before you let it fall to the ground.

“The flower youkai? I’ve heard of her.”

“That’s the one. She’s gone a bit very insane or something. She’s tracking me, among others. I think she’s just trying to creep me out at this point though I expect a rather brutal attack down the line. Which is what we want, because we need to lure her out of hiding.”

Mokou raises one eyebrow as a reaction but nothing more.
“That’s a terrible explanation. And you don’t want people to know this?”

“For the obvious reasons, yes.”

“Whatever.”

“You don’t have to worry about the flowers, is all that I’m saying. They’ll be dealt with in due time.”

“I’m not worrying. Just curious.”

“Curiosity is a terrible reason for doing anything, Mokou. This doesn’t concern you that much.”

Around you, the bamboo trees suddenly give way and disappear, their body mass burnt to nothing by constant flowering. They leave only large bamboo-shaped columns of falling flowers which slowly fall away to the wind with nothing left to support them. They twist in a non-existent wind, a huge airborne swarm of flowers floating around and behind you. One of them twirls downwards towards Mokou, coming to a gentle rest upon her head.

Where it ignites immediately, burning to nothing but a faint scattering of ash. Mokou mutters something under her breath that you can’t make out.
The flower columns burst into flame, forming a procession of funeral pyres as the dry heat in the area grows to extreme levels, nearly beyond what a normal human could survive. You would be sweating but every drop of moisture is sucked away, evaporated by the airborne inferno.
The entire flying swarm of flowers shine brightly and briefly as sparks jump from one to the other, connecting them all in a constellation of fire that hangs in the air for a split second before disappearing.
Moments later, a thin rain of ash showers from the sky and covers the ground.

You let out a slow whistle.
“Not bad. I hope nobody was nearby though, since that’s about as noticeable as you can get.”

“…Meh. I don’t do subtle. And I draw the line at possessed flowers trying to grab me.”

“I gathered. I hope you realise that wherever she is, Yuuka must be incredibly pissed off now right? I might not even be her main target anymore.”
If anything, the immediate lack of an enraged Yuuka coming out of nowhere at the destruction of so many flowers clinches that she’s nowhere nearby.

Mokou shrugs again, appearing mostly unconcerned as she blows out a victorious plume of smoke over the site of her victory. The smoke smells of burning flesh and death.
“I’ll just tell her that I accidentally dropped my cigarette.”

With the matter resolved for now, both of you go back to navigating your way through the Bamboo Forest of the Lost. Mokou leads while you follow. She really is quite fascinating in a few different ways. You wouldn’t mind finding out about the exact nature of this immortality later for example, and the fact that she actually believed you when you told the truth regardless of your eyes makes you feel…something. Curious? Yes that’s probably it.
You can’t deny that the overriding emotion in your recent life has been curiosity, which is indubitably the best reason to do anything. There’s just been so much recently to be curious about, after all.

Mokou stops at a fork in the road.
“This’ll do. If you go left here, you’ll reach Eientei easily. Just make sure to evade the rabbit patrols while you’re off doing whatever illegitimate activities you came here for.”

“Thanks Mokou. It’s been fun. See you soon?”

“Hopefully later, never at all would be even better. I’ve been thinking and I’ve decided that I don’t think I like you very much. You’re an unpleasant snake.”

“Refreshingly blunt, as always. Is that why you refused the oath?”

“Yeah and you can stop looking at me like that all the time too, Nash. I’m not some curiosity that you can study and add to your collection, or whatever creepy reason you look at people like that for.”

Your face bears an expression of hurt and confusion that looks genuinely sincere. And it partially is. You’d never thought of other people in that way. Komachi isn’t something you want to own, she is an interesting business deal that you are attached to quite heavily and also an enjoyable way of possibly leaking Limit that you roped into quasi-servitude by not explaining the full terms of an oath and also a person who you genuinely like being around.
It is a bit unusual that she caught you looking. Not your fault if you’re fascinated with such an interesting specimen though.
“We really don’t understand each other Mokou. That much is clear. …And yet you trusted me about Yuuka.”

She shrugs, which you figure is probably her favourite way of expressing herself.
“Maybe I did. I still find your whole story very suspicious though. Might have to do some looking for myself. Provided that it takes place near the forest, that is.”

“Hmph. In that case, might I add that you’re a pretty suspicious one yourself? A wandering magic mass murdering vagrant? I don’t trust you at all Mokou. And I never really did. I just let you be my guide because it may have been a slightly better choice than making my own way. I’m not really sure if that was true. I hope you and Yuuka have fun with each other.”

She pulls another cigarette from her pocket, twirling it in her fingers.
“Look at all the fucks I give.”
It bursts into voracious fire, disappearing entirely.

“Yeah, I figured. Enjoy the rest of your endless empty murderhobo life.”

“Don’t worry, I will.”

With those words, you part. Despite whatever feelings Mokou may have had for you, the path she gave you was straight and true. Within minutes, you see the roofs of buildings over some of the shorter bamboo. You’ll just need to sneak in an-

“Wrong again? You might as well go back to pounding rice.”
A high-pitched female voice wafts its way down the pathway. You duck down into a handy piece of underbrush as a second voice replies.

“There was a fire somewhere out here, I saw it!”

Two young women come into view, each one holding a metal stick of some kind that you are not familiar with. Some kind of firedust weapon? Each of them has a pair of rabbit ears hanging from their head, much like Reisen did. Though while Reisen’s ears were relatively upright, these two have floppy ears hanging down.
A quick turn of the head back shows you that there is no visible sign of the fire Mokou started amongst the flowers, at least not from here anyway.

The taller rabbit girl laughs at the shorter one.
“Are you sure you weren’t just daydreaming again? Just like back when the princess an-”

“Alright alright alright!” the other girl yelps, her hands over her ears. “Stop reminding me of that!”

“Heh, fine. For now. If there was a fire though, it doesn’t even matter. The princess just left not even an hour ago to go meet up with. her. If you saw anything, it’s probably just some part of their battle or something.”

“Oh! Right. I didn’t think of that. I hope she wins this time.”

“So do I. I’ve got a whole bunch riding on her victory in the betting pool.”

“The pool? Reisen said not to do that anymore! She said Eirin’s put her foot down on betting over Kaguya’s fights.”

“Pfft. Reisen thinks what Reisen thinks. The only thing Eirin’s put down about all this is several hundred thousand yen on Mokou winning.”

“Kyaaa!”

As amusing as all of this is, you’re more interested by the fact that you have just found your way into Eientei. These two fools can lead the way.
Spending a relatively small amount of motes, you make your move.

The shorter girl turns away from her illegimate betting induced panic, her ears twitching. But it was nothing but a tiny rustle in an empty bush, so she turns back to her partner.

Unseen and unheard by anyone, her shadow laughs.


The girl and her partner return to their post, walking easily through the security cordons without being challenged. Boundary magics and wards that would have sensed a conventionally magically disguised intruder did not detect anything. After a few minutes they split up, the shorter girl heading back into the main areas of Eientei to see if she could get a bet of her own added to pool before Kaguya got back.
This would turn out to be in vain. Partially because the betting had shut down the moment the princess had left but mostly because she never reached the appropriate area.

The moment she was alone, your hand breaks the boundary of her shadow as you pull yourself out of it, having hitched a ride through the defences. Had the girl simply not seen or heard you, she would have gotten out of this situation a lot better.
But she had the bad luck to turn around as you crawled out of her shadow. Her eyes widen and her mouth opens in what is almost certainly a scream before you clamp your hand over her face. Lifting her easily in one six-fingered hand, you throw her as hard as you can at the ground.
There’s no sound of collision or breaking. Only what might have possibly been an incredibly soft splashing sound.

You look in all directions, getting a good look at the room you’re now in. You could see most of it from the shadow you hijacked but it always pays to get a second view. It’s a small room with only one doorway, the room being mostly filled with shelves containing a variety of things. A storeroom. You’re not entirely sure why she came here or what she wanted to get.
Once again, you feel oddly drained. Doing what you just did took more motes than it usually would have. You’re lucky that the rabbit girl was just as weak as she appeared though. That little trick you just did to her would not have worked on anyone who was significantly competent or powerful.

You look back over to the corner of the room where you threw the girl in order to check up on the progress of aforesaid trick. There’s one shadow there that’s deeper and darker looking than the others, a shadow of a person who does not appear to be present. The shadow is dark and glistening, looking almost liquid. It occasionally bulges and ripples, as if something inside of it was struggling.
You feel sorry for the rabbit girl imprisoned inside of her own shadow. The experience can be a strange one and while completely nonlethal can have a horror all of its own. But it’s not going to end here.

You reach down and grab the shadow from the floor, holding it in your hands and feeling it sag between your fingers. You quickly and efficiently roll it into a ball of pliant shadowstuff, moulding and kneading it like a lump of clay.

In the end you have a crude figure made of shadow nesting in the palm of your hand. It’s tiny, no taller than your pointer finger. Its features are completely blank but it is unmistakably humanoid. With your fingernail, you slice a gash down the bottom of where the face would be.

Tiny screams immediately fill the room for about a second before you remove the newly-created mouth, smoothing it out with your thumb.
“Keep it quiet, will you?”

You reopen the mouth. There are no more screams, instead only quiet sobbing that you have to hold the Foolish Shadow Doll (Custom Charm you invented yourself, fun for the whole family) to your ear to properly hear.
You sigh heavily.

“Look, lady. I’m not going to hurt you anymore than I already have. I’m a nice guy, really. But I couldn’t just let you tell everyone about me and this way, I get a guide that knows the way around the place which is a nice bonus that I hadn’t really been planning on doing. And by the end of the day, I’ll let you go. I promise. You may not like nor trust my promise but it’s the only chance you have.”
You neglect to mention that the Charm automatically negates when the sun goes down anyway.

You sigh again as your only response is an unintelligible tirade of cursing. You drop the shadow doll, letting it fall through the air and nearly hit the ground, catching it before it does so. Grabbing it by its two arms, you then shake it relentlessly until it stops shouting.
“It won’t be too hard, I swear. Anyway, my name’s Daisuke. What’s yours?”

You wait a few seconds for the crying to stop and a reply to come.
“Aiko. It’s Aiko.”

“Now we’re all properly acquainted with each other? See, isn’t that nice? You’ll be out of here in no time. Now, Aiko, you just need to tell me about some things Eirin did this morning. Do you mind?”

“I-I won’t betray them...”

“But if you don’t tell me, I won’t let you out ever. You can be a shadow doll for the rest of your life. I guess if that’s what you want...”
You deposit Aiko into your pocket, only to be interrupted by her screams.

“Okay! Okay! I will! Just please let me out! Please.”

As you noted before, being stuck inside one’s own shadow can be unpleasant in several unique and interesting ways. Nothing painful or anything like that but you understand that it has some particularly bad existential terrors and doubts if you’re stuck there alone with nobody to talk to. You’re exceedingly happy that she turned out to have little fortitude. Partially because she’ll tell you what you need to know but also because you really aren’t comfortable with what is coming dangerously close to torturing someone.
The old feelings for it come back disturbingly fast and you don’t like it.
“I’m glad we’re cooperating with each other. Now, what’s up with Eirin?”

Apparently Eirin returned this morning with Reisen in tow, the latter carrying several samples and a contrite look. They were then deposited in her lab before Eirin left again to parts unknown. Maybe back to the lake? Someplace even more suspicious?

The problematic bit being that the laboratory is locked and sealed. The only person currently in Eientei who could have a key to that lab in question is Reisen, who probably hasn’t had the chance to return said key to Eirin yet.

Aiko is more than willing to part with directions to anywhere you wish to go but she is unaware of Reisen’s exact location, though she has a few rough guesses where the rabbit might be.

[ ]Stealth your way through Aiko’s directions until you find Reisen and then attempt to steal the key without her noticing.

[ ]Stealth your way through Aiko’s directions until you find Reisen. Reveal yourself to her and talk her into giving the key to you. For certain values of ‘talk’.

[ ] Stealth your way through Aiko’s directions until you find Reisen. Surprise her, incapacitate her, find key. Hopefully it’s somewhere on her person.

[ ] Forget Reisen. That would just complicate things and make the mission take much longer, allowing for possible Eirin arrival. Follow Aiko’s directions and just stealth your way through to the laboratory and break in. You can be in and out quickly and then just ride the shadows until you’re back out again. They’ll never know who did it.

[ ] What you’re doing is wrong. Release Aiko from her shadow and just knock her out or something. After getting some good directions from her, of course.

[ ] What you’re doing is inefficient. You know you don’t like mind invasion and you never wanted to use it harmfully against others again but I’m sure that relaxing the rule would be fine here. Release Aiko and run roughshod over her mind until she helps you of her own free will.

[ ] Accidentally drop shadow doll, lose it permanently behind the shelves somewhere. Whoops.

[ ] Write-In
>> No. 154360
Yes, that is a custom technique, one of only two that the MC has. It's a gimmick and is pretty easily avoidable by anyone with actual power.
Nash made it just for style more than anything.
>> No. 154364
[x]Stealth your way through Aiko’s directions until you find Reisen. Reveal yourself to her and talk her into giving the key to you. For certain values of ‘talk’.

I'd expected Nash to waltz up to Eientei's front door to ring its doorbell. I cannot see any sense in infiltrating it.
>> No. 154366
>>154364
His goal is to get a good look at and possibly cease what they might be doing with the samples. He'd rather not be remembered if the worst comes to worst, since he likes his original form and needs to keep it on. (Aiko won't be remembering anything)

That said, I very nearly did have it just come up to Nash doing what you described. Me dithering over which way to take was what delayed this an extra day.
>> No. 154368
[x]Stealth your way through Aiko’s directions until you find Reisen and then attempt to steal the key without her noticing.

The fewer people know we were here, the better. If Aiko is the only one who knows we were mucking about in Eientei, the chances of anyone believing what she says on the subject will drop drastically. Also I'd rather not piss off a girl with mind control eyes.
>> No. 154370
>>154366
Fair enough, I tend to play Slayers over Fiends.

>>154368
Meh, Reisen is a problem because there's a reasonable chance that she can't be subdued without causing a fuss rather than because she can mind-fuck Nash.

I think it's reasonable to assume that Fiends are some of the Exalts most likely to stock up on mental/social defense charms.
>> No. 154372
[x] Forget Reisen. That would just complicate things and make the mission take much longer, allowing for possible Eirin arrival. Follow Aiko’s directions and just stealth your way through to the laboratory and break in. You can be in and out quickly and then just ride the shadows until you’re back out again. They’ll never know who did it.

Finding Reisen could take a while and trying to do this with Eirin here wouldn't be very fun.
>> No. 154373
[x] Forget Reisen. That would just complicate things and make the mission take much longer, allowing for possible Eirin arrival. Follow Aiko’s directions and just stealth your way through to the laboratory and break in. You can be in and out quickly and then just ride the shadows until you’re back out again. They’ll never know who did it.

I'm all for meeting Reisen, but I'd like to do it under better circumstances.

And as a Mokou fan, that update was bit of a rollercoaster. Curiosity really is the best motivation~
>> No. 154374
[x]Stealth your way through Aiko’s directions until you find Reisen and then attempt to steal the key without her noticing.

Shadow hide you.
>> No. 154380
>>154323
Of course, it will all be worth it; we're doing this to make sure we get Reisen along with our group, for when we prepare for this.

>>154359
...Damn, Nash, that was a dick move.
Couldn't we just have hit her with some "forget we were ever here" magic or something?
...Can we at least put some magic on later, so the poor girl won't get nightmares about what happened here?
I mean, jeez, that went a little too far.

Also, one of our goals for coming here, at least one of my goals, was to meet Reisen, and get her to like us, so she'll be more likely to join with us.
So that's what I'm going to be voting for.
A quick conversation, at the very least, would be bound to make Reisen more trusting of us, if we do it right (and we're a Fiend - we can be damn smooth talkers)

Also, guys, there is the little matter of how we're going to have an omniscient woman appearing in, what was it, 30ish days?
She'll know what happened here then, which Nash was worried about before, as well.
Do you all really want her to see us treating a poor little girl like Aiko like that?

[X]Stealth your way through Aiko’s directions until you find Reisen. Reveal yourself to her and talk her into giving the key to you. For certain values of ‘talk’.
-[X] Before that, though: what you’re doing is wrong. Release Aiko from her shadow and just knock her out or something. After getting some good directions from her, of course.
-[X] See about using some magic to forget the experience you just put her through.
>> No. 154382
[x]Stealth your way through Aiko’s directions until you find Reisen. Reveal yourself to her and talk her into giving the key to you. For certain values of ‘talk’.
-[X] Before that, though: what you’re doing is wrong. Release Aiko from her shadow and just knock her out or something. After getting some good directions from her, of course.
-[X] See about using some magic to forget the experience you just put her through.
>> No. 154389
[X]Stealth your way through Aiko’s directions until you find Reisen. Reveal yourself to her and talk her into giving the key to you. For certain values of ‘talk’.
-[X] Before that, though: what you’re doing is wrong. Release Aiko from her shadow and just knock her out or something. After getting some good directions from her, of course.
-[X] See about using some magic to forget the experience you just put her through.
>> No. 154390
[x]Stealth your way through Aiko’s directions until you find Reisen. Reveal yourself to her and talk her into giving the key to you. For certain values of ‘talk’.
-[X] Before that, though: what you’re doing is wrong. Release Aiko from her shadow and just knock her out or something. After getting some good directions from her, of course.
-[X] See about using some magic to make her forget the experience you just put her through.
>> No. 154397
[x] Forget Reisen. That would just complicate things and make the mission take much longer, allowing for possible Eirin arrival. Follow Aiko’s directions and just stealth your way through to the laboratory and break in. You can be in and out quickly and then just ride the shadows until you’re back out again. They’ll never know who did it.
>> No. 154404
>>154380

Why the heck would she bother with Nash when she could be going after all the rapists, murderers and jews?

[x]Stealth your way through Aiko’s directions until you find Reisen. Reveal yourself to her and talk her into giving the key to you. For certain values of ‘talk’.
>> No. 154405
[x] Forget Reisen. That would just complicate things and make the mission take much longer, allowing for possible Eirin arrival. Follow Aiko’s directions and just stealth your way through to the laboratory and break in. You can be in and out quickly and then just ride the shadows until you’re back out again. They’ll never know who did it.
>> No. 154423
[x] Forget Reisen. That would just complicate things and make the mission take much longer, allowing for possible Eirin arrival. Follow Aiko’s directions and just stealth your way through to the laboratory and break in. You can be in and out quickly and then just ride the shadows until you’re back out again. They’ll never know who did it.
>> No. 154434
Vote called.
>> No. 154439
>>154404
My worry would mostly be that she'd let others know.
I don't think I want what we did to spread...
Especially not to some of the characters we've gotten along with pretty well, thus far.


Still, nice to see you agreeing with me about needing to meet and have a talk with Reisen!
>> No. 154500
Not enough mustache twirling for an infernal
>> No. 154502
[X] Laboratory

As nice as meeting Reisen would be, you really can’t afford to take too much time on this. Eirin could make it back at any time and you’d rather not deal with that right now. Reisen might not even have the key with her at the time and you don’t know exactly where she is, while the location of the lab room is known and unlikely to change on a whim. Hopefully.
Going to Reisen would just take time for something that might turn out to be pointless anyway. Better to just stealth your way to the lab, break in and be gone before anyone knows.

You flick the doll’s head, making the thing bounce up and down on its shoulders like some First Age bobble-head figurine. Aiko ceases her directions to where Reisen might possibly be, which had degenerated into non-stop ramblings while you weren’t listening.

“Change of plan. Just tell me where this particular room is, no need for the rabbit girl.”

She remains silent, as if hesitating for a moment. You’re about to ask a second time, you would not ask a third, when she speaks up.
She’s muted and quiet, forcing you to once again hold the doll up to your ear to properly hear her. You listen closely, inscribing it all to memory. It’s a pretty complex set of directions from this particular storeroom so you ask her to repeat it once more.
By her next question, you can see that Aiko has figured out that you’re memorising the directions.

“So…that’s it? You can let me go now, right? Right?

“Alas poor Aiko, if only the world could be that merciful. I need you to come along with me for this I’m afraid, just in case somebody gave me sabotaged directions or something stupid like that. If such a thing were to go wrong, it would be nice to have you nearby.”

The doll falls silent.
“That’s about the shape of things, yeah. I’ll let you out when I’m done. And in light of this new information, you wouldn’t happen to have any important knowledge that you’ve been accidentally withholding, would you?”

After comprehending the situation, Aiko miraculously remembers something she had forgotten to tell you earlier. About something called ‘security cameras’. You have no idea what these things are but a quick questioning tells you that they are some kind of viewing device that remembers what it sees. You didn’t draw their notice before because you were lurking in a shadow, far from their gaze. But walking to the lab could expose you to them. You have stealth Charms but you have no idea if they can fool one of these Gensokyo ‘security footages’. Once they knew someone had broken in, they could simply ask the cameras if they saw anyone who was out of the ordinary.
That could be very problematic.

…For someone who was not you. You know that you promised to keep to your true form in public spaces but sneaking around a mansion/hospital/whoknowswhatelse is about as far from public as you can get. No need to be bait here.

You drop the doll into your coat pocket; Aiko’s protesting screams quickly becoming muffled. Your own image dissolves, shrinking down to something nearly half your size.
A few seconds later, you leave the storeroom and step back out into the corridor.

Aiko’s directions fresh in your mind, you navigate your way through the complex easily. You occasionally pass a few personnel but none give you so much as a second glance. Just a rather short rabbit girl with floppy ears in a standard dress who looked vaguely familiar, though most of them couldn’t place it.
It would probably only be after all of this when they would be checking their footage that they’d see that the girl with a passing resemblance to Aiko had left the storeroom that Aiko had never left and was not actually any rabbit that existed in Eientei. That should send them on some very interesting false leads.

You just hope Komachi never hears about this, it was bad enough the first time. The doll remains stuck inside your dress pocket, after a few knocks that convinced it to stop wriggling.

You come to a stop as your directions end outside a thick metal door with something unreadable printed on it. Getting on the tips of your toes and climbing halfway up, you peer through its frosted glass window.
Yeah, that matches the description. The door is locked, obviously.

Above the doorknob is some kind of metal pad, covered with illegible buttons. Some kind of code pad? You don’t have a clue how this kind of magitech works here. If you pushed enough motes into your Excellency perhaps you would be able to alter it so it opens for you even without any understanding of the process involved.
But that would be expensive and it’s not like you decided to simply break into the laboratory expecting something subtle.

Resting one of your feet on top of the doorknob, you put your other foot straight through the glass. It shatters and as you follow up on your movement and slide in through the hole, an alarm sounds. A loud piercing shriek that is interrupted periodically with the name and location of a room, presumably the one you are currently invading.
This is fine by you; you needed guards to get here anyway.

On the bench is that large black case that you saw Reisen carrying earlier. You flip the lid open as fast as you can, throwing out everything that you didn’t want until your fingers curl around the sides of some glass flasks.
Digging them out, you find five samples in total, each one filled with fluids from Misty Lake. You need to check them quickly.
You take a sip from each one, holding the acid in your mouth and letting it sink in. No. None of these contain any Vitriol whatsoever. Thank providence.

You can hear footsteps running down the corridor now. You pick up a shard of glass from the broken window. You can’t leave them absolutely sure of what you’re attempting to find so you can’t leave these flasks partially emptied like that. You need to replace the acid.

You hold the shard in your hand and squeeze[i], feeling a small amount of pain as it slices through your thickened skin. Holding your hand steady, a powerful stream of clear liquid gushes from the small wound. Good thing that it’s all so insanely pressurised you suppose.
The poisonous acid tops up each flask quickly back to their original levels with the exact same stuff that was found at the Lake.

You flip the heavily corroded and melting piece of glass into the air, catching it in your mouth and eating it as you place the flasks back into the case and instead pick up an armful of the expensive looking scientific equipment that was also stored in the case.
The first rabbit guard rounds the doorway, her metal stick hold out in front of her offensively just in time to see nothing.

She slowly walks into the room, swinging her odd weapon around with shaking hands. More rabbits quickly join her. You give them a wave but none of them see you, hanging upside down from the underside of the bench. It’s about the only really shadowed place in the entire room and is a place where you can hide superhumanly well.
It also helps that it’d be really hard for them to see you in this position anyway.

One of them walks close enough for their shadow to overlap with the darkness under the bench. You relax your legs, letting yourself down slowly and slide across the floor almost bonelessly. Like someone diving below the water’s surface, you sink straight into her unseen shadow and vanish altogether.

“Whoever it was has already gotten away! Look at all this missing equipment!”

“Why would you even do that?”

Aiko suddenly raises her voice to scream! Attempting to alert them of the thing inside their shadows? When did she get a backbone? It’s all completely in vain though, since you just erase her mouth.

More and more rabbits arrive on the scene only to find nothing but a group of befuddled guards and an empty crime scene. Eventually one of them came to whatever small amounts of sense they possessed and sounded the alarm, declaring the intruder to be somewhere on the grounds making their escape.
The girl whose shadow you’re riding leaves to her post just as Reisen shows up in the opposite direction. Shame you didn’t have to get the key, really.

As the guard passes the edge of the forest, you detach from her shadow and roll soundlessly into the bushes. Wriggling through the underbrush on all fours, you shed the rabbit girl guise and return to your true form as you begin making your way through the forest in a straight line. You’ll come out somewhere at least.

You’ve walked for at least ten minutes before a shaking in your coat reminds you of Aiko. Whoops. You pluck the shadow doll out of your pocket, it still mouthlessly attempting to make a sound.
“Never let it be said I don’t keep to my word. Out you go.”

Pinching each side of the doll, you unravel it in a single motion. The shadow resumes its proper shape, the outline of a girl that hangs from your fingertips and pools upon the ground. With a flick of the wrist, you turn the shadow inside out.
Aiko tumbles out of the shadow and lands heavily on the forest ground. Her shadow whips out of your hands and reattaches to the bottoms of her feet where it belongs.

For a while all is silent save for her panting. She wasn’t low on air or anything in there was she? Never happened before. Probably psychosomatic or what not.

She slowly gets to her feet, stumbling as she does so. You grab her around the shoulders, supporting her and keeping her from falling. Her face is deathly pale and her eyes are unfocussed glazed discs. She tries to turn to face you but you move with her, keeping her from getting a good look at you.

“Wha….What’s going on?”
Her voice is hoarse and raspy, probably from all that attempted screaming. You reach around her face and push her eyes closed, letting her fall to the ground. She’s tired and weak. Not only that but a prolonged period of being subjected to Foolish Shadow Doll scratches the mind, blurring the memories of what happened.
She won’t remember any of the details whatsoever and even the whole thing will seem like nothing but a bad nightmare. A nightmare that she could still tell others about and let them piece together part of the truth. She might even remember your face. That is unacceptable. You’re course to take is painfully clear and yet you find yourself shying away from it at the last moment.

You didn’t want to do this. You swore to yourself that you wouldn’t again. Not without permission. But she can’t remember much of anything anyway so it doesn’t matter, does it? You can do it this time. It’s a special case.
But damn if it doesn’t make you feel horrible. You can feel your insides curdling, your heart racing.

“I’m very sorry, Aiko. I really am. What I did to you was a terrible thing. And you probably won’t remember most of it. It’ll just be a blurred lingering memory of fear and imprisonment.”

She tries to feebly struggle but you still her movement, covering her mouth and denying her speech and agency as easily as if she had still been trapped inside of a malleable shadow doll.

“But I want them to go on a wild goose chase for this, seeking somebody who never existed. And I can’t leave any evidence behind of anything else. I know that the best way to get over these terrible things is to talk to people about them, to confide in those you trust. I’m so very sorry but I need you…I need you to [i]never
confide in those you love again. I need you to have disappeared in the same place the rabbit girl intruder had appeared and then mysteriously reappeared in the forest, with no memory of what had happened, unable to tell anyone the truth. Because you won’t tell them. Because between you and those who used to be your most trusted confidants, there is going to be an immense distance that you’ll never cross again for the rest of your life. Because Aiko and please forgive me…because this is going to be our little secret.”

Her eyes widen, as if her still hazy and barely awake mind can see what you have done to her. You go limp, letting her slide out of your arms. She gets to her feet, looking at you speechlessly. She wavers forward a step before collapsing unconscious.

She likely won’t remember much of her experience here once she wakes up, her mind bearing the permanent memory-scar from the Doll. But what little dreadful things she will remember of you and of the unique terrors that come from being bound in your own shadow, she will never speak of to anyone, no matter how much she wants to.
Whether it’s through speech or writing or any other form of message, the moment she will try to relate what she remembers to anyone, her mind will be frozen with an overpowering burden of shame and animal fear. Behind these mental chains, it will stay with her solely forever, something that she could never speak of, something that would emotionally punish her whenever she so much as tries to.
Her inability to say anything of what happened will be put down to the memory loss she is clearly experiencing.

“Thank you, Aiko” you say quietly. “Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you so much.”

You feel sick.

This stuff…all of the stuff you’ve been doing in Eientei isn’t you. It’s a glimpse of the you of past times, hiding behind self-rationalisation. It was easy to stay aloof and stick with your promises when you were alone in self-imposed exile, with human contact only occurring rarely. Is this what really surfaces the moment you hit any significant hardship?

But you’re a good person. You really are. You can’t fault yourself for using the tools you had been given, even if they were the tools you had voluntarily chosen long ago. Here you strayed over a line at some point and broke your promise against assaulting minds here, but all you have to do is just never do that again.
You know yourself. And what you do is good.

You feel something lift off your shoulders. Hah. You hadn’t even meant to do that when you were talking to Aiko. It just slipped out. You didn’t even think it would count, really.

++Limit: 4/10++

++Act of Villainy (Infernal Genius Declaration): Reveal the scope of your true plans to a captive enemy or prisoner.++

++Limit: 3/10++

The sun is at its zenith by the time you walk out of the forest proper. You can feel its oppressing heat everywhere. The shouts of the mobilising rabbits have long since faded. You have seen no flowers whatsoever.

You’ve reached the edge of the forest, bordering with the Forest of Magic. Judging by the shape and position of the mountains you’ve been rather lucky and have come out someplace not far from where you entered. You’re pretty sure you can reorientate yourself from what you know of the geography.
The day is still young (ish) and your mission is incomplete. You need something else to do. Hopefully something that makes you feel a bit cleaner.

[ ] Find Daiyousei. Tell her about Yuuka and of your intentions to gather a team. Spend time just chilling with her.

[ ] Keine will definitely be home by now. It occurs to you that the questions you came to her originally for are still pretty unanswered.

[ ] Head back to the village, but not to Keine. Just check the place out, get a feel for it and adjacent areas.

[ ] Poke the inhabitants of the Scarlet Devil Mansion. You still don’t know who they are and they could be helpful.

[ ] You feel a bit tired actually

[ ] Have a look around the Forest of Magic in general. Get a bit more familiar with the bugger.

[ ] Get a fresh perspective from an old friend. Maybe. If it even still works here.
>> No. 154503
Egads. Nasty taste is right. Must cleanse.

[x] Find Daiyousei. Tell her about Yuuka and of your intentions to gather a team. Spend time just chilling with her.

I bet she's pretty chill if you know what I mean.
>> No. 154504
[x] Find Daiyousei. Tell her about Yuuka and of your intentions to gather a team. Spend time just chilling with her.

Hopefully, it will keep his mind off what he did.
>> No. 154505
[X] Find Daiyousei. Tell her about Yuuka and of your intentions to gather a team. Spend time just chilling with her.
>> No. 154508
[x] Get a fresh perspective from an old friend. Maybe. If it even still works here.

I'm curious as to who that "old friend" would be.
>> No. 154510
[x] Get a fresh perspective from an old friend. Maybe. If it even still works here.
>> No. 154511
[X] Find Daiyousei. Tell her about Yuuka and of your intentions to gather a team. Spend time just chilling with her.
>> No. 154514
[x] Get a fresh perspective from an old friend. Maybe. If it even still works here.
>> No. 154516
...Well, that could have gone better.

So, yeah, I think we should definitely try and meet Dai again.

Either way...
There should still be a chance at getting Reisen along, I think.
Because it's either her or Eirin, and I do not want that genius hanging out and seeing everything we do, because god knows this will get complicated enough without having to try and hide stuff from that super-smart woman.


[X] Find Daiyousei. Tell her about Yuuka and of your intentions to gather a team. Spend time just chilling with her.
-[X] Consider visiting eientei under normal circumstances, to get an important part of said team recruited.
>> No. 154517
[x] Get a fresh perspective from an old friend. Maybe. If it even still works here.

My curiosity us piqued.
>> No. 154519
[x] Get a fresh perspective from an old friend. Maybe. If it even still works here.
>> No. 154520
[X] Find Daiyousei. Tell her about Yuuka and of your intentions to gather a team. Spend time just chilling with her.

Summoning can be done whenever, Daiyousei is in danger.

Also we ARE going to visit Keine after we meet Komachi, right?
>> No. 154522
[X] Find Daiyousei. Tell her about Yuuka and of your intentions to gather a team. Spend time just chilling with her.
>> No. 154523
[x] Find Daiyousei. Tell her about Yuuka and of your intentions to gather a team. Spend time just chilling with her.

Wow. Well I guess that's to be expected when most of your powers involve mindfuckery.

At least we lowered our limit.
>> No. 154525
[X] Find Daiyousei. Tell her about Yuuka and of your intentions to gather a team. Spend time just chilling with her.
[x] Get a fresh perspective from an old friend. Maybe. If it even still works here.

Go find Daiyousei, talk to her, have some fun, then head off near midnight to summon our friend (assuming that you're talking about summoning our friend from Malfeas. If you're not, then just call up our friend and see Daiyousei the next day.)
>> No. 154538
So, odds that Tewi's luck will cause her to figure out something is up with Aiko, and get someone that can do something about it to take a look at her?
>> No. 154542
[x] Get a fresh perspective from an old friend. Maybe. If it even still works here.
>> No. 154544
[X] Find Daiyousei. Tell her about Yuuka and of your intentions to gather a team. Spend time just chilling with her.
>> No. 154545
[X] Get a fresh perspective from an old friend. Maybe. If it even still works here.

Doesn't even matter who it is, that sounds deliciously fun and liable to give us insight into his background a bit.
>> No. 154547
[X] Find Daiyousei. Tell her about Yuuka and of your intentions to gather a team. Spend time just chilling with her.
>> No. 154566
[X] Get a fresh perspective from an old friend. Maybe. If it even still works here.

Lets see who he considers an old friend that he might be able to contact from Gensokyo.
>> No. 154605
Vote called
>> No. 154711
This took way too long. Uni is just kicking my ass right now.

[ ]Find Daiyousei. Tell her about Yuuka and of your intentions. Spend time just chilling with her.

You suppose that you should probably find Daiyousei. You have a lot to tell her that she needs to know. She doesn’t even know about Yuuka yet and she’s probably one of her main targets! You prioritised your own interest in Eientei over informing the diminutive lake fairy of the danger. But now your business there has concluded, you should probably seek her out. It’ll be nice to get back with a more familiar face.
She would have no idea what to do about your problems and that’s ideal, because you don’t want to think about them. You could just spend some time just relaxing and talking about nothing in particular. After warning her of the potential danger to life and limb of course.

Unfortunately, you don’t have much of an idea of where she is right now. She left at the human village but where did she go from there? Back to the lake? It’s possible, though her reaction to its transformed state probably wasn’t the best. But she claimed the lake to be her home ground so it’s best to check that out first.

You look out into the distance at a long mountain range, measuring it up against your own memories of what it looked like. The viewpoints aren’t too different, your entry point into the Bamboo Forest was only likely a few miles down. Which means that the village is over there and the lake is over there.
All of it of course, involves walking through the Forest of Magic.

This part of the Forest is far denser than the spot where you originally woke up, even more than the thicket that you and Daiyousei ran through in the early morning. The space between trees are choked by a seemingly endless sea of thorny undergrowth. Any free space still left over is taken up by mushrooms, which undoubtedly contribute to the thick air. And yes, their air here can be more accurately be described as a fog, held together by spore clouds and humidity. You’ve probably inhaled several hundred different kinds of plant already.
This isn’t what you would call a forest. You’re not sure what to call it at all really but “forest” doesn’t seem to do justice to this explosion of life that chokes out all else. Jungle? Still doesn’t feel right.

Yeah. You’re not going to be able to walk through this at all.
You take a few steps back away from it all, just enough space to let you build up into a proper run. Starting your sprint, you take a running leap into the wall of vegetation. Landing your feet squarely on a cluster of leaves, you take off, running over the undergrowth.
If a lot of the forest is this dense, you might be able to go a long way without touching the ground at all. But even with the power to ignore obstacles, this air is way too fucking choking. You can feel it go down your throat. No way are you going to keep running through this,

You slide your feet along onto a low-hanging vine, running up it to the tree that it was entangled around. A quick stint of vertical movement later and you’ve abandoned the forest floor entirely, running along the canopy like you did with Daiyousei right before you met Komachi.
This far above, the air is clear of the miasma that dominated the undergrowth. An expanse of green stretches all around you, every leaf but a stepping stone.

This kind of carefree running above the world is mentally relaxing, letting your thoughts unwind. Unfortunately that isn’t a state you feel comfortable in for any length of time so you go back to pondering Daiyousei’s location.
If she weren’t at the lake, what the hell would you do then?

You don’t actually know where she goes aside from the lake. You know that she doesn’t go very far from the forest but as you’ve been coming to appreciate, the Forest of Magic is quite big. If she’s not at the lake, she could be anywhe-

A green haired fairy flying fast in the opposite direction nearly smacks into your face. What follows is a short period of confusion as you suddenly bank to the side and spin around, the fairy doing the exact same thing in mid-air.
“Daiyousei?”

“You?”

“Me?”

Or you could just totally bump into her in the middle of nowhere right away. That works. You grab hold of a branch to arrest your sudden fall.
“I was just looking for you!”

“No fair, I was just looking for you!

The fairy zips around you in circles excitedly before calming down enough to speak again.
“There were just so many things happening!”

It’s an incredible co-incidence that you happened across Daiyousei without any struggle or effort whatsoever. Too incredible. And something about her manner is different. Was she this mobile and energetic before?
Daiyousei looks up at you, her eyes wide.
“Hang on. What’s your name, again?”

“Er…It’s Nash. I’m pretty sure I told you this at some point.”

She giggles embarrassedly.
“Yeah, you probably did. Sorry! I just died. I always get a little ‘fairy-ish’ after a resurrection. All light-headed and silly HO!”
She attempts to make a pose and nearly falls out of the air.
“It’ll wear off sooooon.”

Daiyousei died? In hindsight, it was probably foreseeable given what happened to the lake, Daiyousei being a lake fairy and all. That couldn’t have been pleasant. You nod in understanding.
“Yeah, I saw what happened to the Misty Lake too. That’s part of what I’m here to talk to you about actually.”

“The lake?”
She looks puzzled for a moment before making a derogatory snort.
“Oh that. That did kill me but it did that all the way back in the morning, right after I left you. I’m talking about what Yuuka did to me just before.”

Something cold runs down your spine. What Yuuka did to her? You don’t have to warn her about Yuuka it seems, because you’re already too late. What did she do? She couldn’t have just killed Daiyousei, she should have known that that was no revenge against a fairy. Was the flower spirit just insane enough to consider death an adequate punishment? Or did she do something else?
She was doing this while you were at Eientei. Daiyousei would have had no warning at all.

“What exactly happened Daiyousei?”

The fairy shrugs.
“I’m not really sure. The resurrection makes the exact details of what happened immediately before kinda…misty? Cloudy? Foggy? I think it’s foggy. All of that frying your brain that it does you know, it clears up in about an hour or so. I was flying around trying to tell people about the lake and then Yuuka surprised me out of NOWHERE. I couldn’t move at all, I was so terrified! She accused me of being one of the people who attacked her and said I was the first. Like I said, I don’t really remember what happened next but it hurt a lot.”

She keeps smiling, her voice not skipping a beat.
“I kept thinking I was going to die but it never happened. No matter how much I wanted to. But then she got really angry about something to do with fires and she accidentally killed me. She was holding my head and she just squeezed too hard. And then I wound up here. How was your day?”

“Daiyousei? …Are you alright?”
Regardless of being hopped up on some kind of resurrection high, it isn’t right that someone could keep talking about being tortured to death so cheerfully.

“Never better, Nash. A daisy always comes back, no matter how many times you stomp on it!”
You have no idea what a daisy is but you drop the topic. From all you can see, she’s telling the truth. Maybe it’s just a fairy thing. They’re not human after all and from what you’ve seen, some of the lesser ones might not even qualify as people. Inhuman reactions are probably to be expected at some point.

You answer her earlier question by relating a bare bones explanation of what you’ve been doing since you and Daiyousei last parted ways. As you go through talking about Keine and the Misty Lake, the fairy sinks lower in the air and takes on a more serious expression.
“Nice to see you back, Daiyousei.”

“Argh. Don’t even talk to me about it just now. It’s a little humiliating that you had to see me like that. So what do you want to do about the lake?”

“I have my suspicions. I think it’s related to whatever catalyst brought me here and changed the dream world.”

“Did what to the dream world? I don’t know if you can recall Nash, but I have some rather large gaps in my memory over that incident. Almost as if someone had knocked me unconscious, then woke me up while smashing me into people accidentally and then made me unconscious again. And once I’d woken up again, it was all very hectic and nobody explained anything and then Yuuka made me sleep again.”

“Yeah, you didn’t have the best luck in that little excursion, did you? If you stayed around in the village, I could have explained then.”

“I’m not obligated to follow you everywhere. I just wanted to take you to the village, not get sidetracked into a variety of head trauma! I think I deserved a little time away.”

‘And yet you came back, seeking me out.”

“Well the first thing I did when I finished delivering you to the village was go back to the Misty Lake and be dissolved. I figured that my day is just getting worse regardless of whether you’re around or not.”

“How sweet, Daiyousei.”
You give her the details of Shikieiki’s hypothesis and how it relates to the Lake and your own origins.
“And that’s when I decided that I needed to gather a group of people I could trust to help me.”

“Wait, hold up here. You aren’t a regular human from Outside?”

“No, not really. Didn’t you figure that out when I was running over the trees though, I remember us talking about that?”

“You shouldn’t focus so much on the past, Nash.”
Oh you fairy bitch. You must be still feeling off your game, you walked right into that one.
“And no, not really. Humans from Outside can do all kinds of crazy things. And why do you want me to help you anyway? I’m not powerful at all and I really don’t know much.”

“Yes. It’s true Daiyousei, you really don’t bring anything to the table.”

“Hey! You’re not supposed to agree with me!”

“But seriously, Daiyousei. You were the first person I met here. You helped me, even after I held a blade to your throat. Even after all of that Yuuka business, you still helped me find my way to the village. Why wouldn’t I want you around? You’re the nicest person I’ve met here.”

There’s silence for a moment before the fairy suddenly wraps her arms around you in a hug. You return the favour as best you can. What you don’t mention is that if she’s around you, then what happened with Yuuka doesn’t have to happen again.

“She has your sword.”

“Eh?”

“Yuuka. She has your weird black sword. She was carrying it around when I met her.”

“She does?”

“What was up with that, did you leave it behind in her mansion or something?”

“Yeah, you could say that. If I recall correctly, I misplaced my Shade Knife somewhere in the vicinity of Yuuka’s torso. She’s probably a little pissed about that.”

“I think she’s a little pissed by everything right now.”

“Could be. What was she doing with it?”

“Using it on me.”

“Oh.”
An awkward silence ensues. Daiyousei eventually breaks it.

“So what are we doing for the rest of the day?”

“Not much. I have a plan but it starts later tonight. Not early tonight though, because I have a date then.”

“Really? With who? Is it Eiki?”

“…With Komachi. Why did you think it was the Yama?

“I don’t know. I’ve only seen you interact with three other people and I figured Yuuka was probably out of the question. And you clearly have more chemistry with Shikieiki than you do with Komachi.”

“I’m fairly certain that she thinks I’m despicable.”

“She’s obviously just using that as an excuse to cover her true feelings for you! If she acts like that she doesn’t approve of you, then it means she likes you.”

“Just where are you getting all of this sudden romantic expertise, anyway?”

“The grumpy storekeeper let me read a bunch of his Outside manga once. I think I have a pretty good idea of how it all works.”

“I’m absolutely sure you’ve misinterpreted something vital. But the actual point is that I have a date in the evening.”

“The two of you together will just get drunk and in trouble again.”

“That’s what I’m hoping for.”

Later

The hateful sun is beginning to set. You have an appointment to keep. Daiyousei perks up as you leave, having become slothful from a few hours of meaningless talk.
“You going now?”

“Yeah.”

“Can I come?”

“What? No.”

[ ]Head straight for the agreed place and wait.

[ ]See if you can buy something nice from the village first.

[ ]Relent and let Daiyousei come along. Why not?
>> No. 154712
>“Never better, Nash. A daisy always comes back, no matter how many times you stomp on it!”
Comparing yourself to a flower, Daiyousei? Interesting choice. I'd say keep an eye on her, but since Nash doesn't know what daises are, that'd probably be metaknowledge. Let's just spoil Komachi instead.

[X]See if you can buy something nice from the village first.
>> No. 154713
The whole point of coming here was to recruit a team of teenagers with attitude right? We can't let her get away that easy.

[X]Relent and let Daiyousei come along. Why not?
-[X] Tell her to stay out of sight and take notes on what a real relationship is like.
>> No. 154715
[x] See if you can buy something nice from the village first.

Poor Daiyousei. That "daisy" bit is a bit worrying.
>> No. 154716
[x]See if you can buy something nice from the village first.
>> No. 154717
[X]Relent and let Daiyousei come along. Why not?
-[X] Tell her to stay out of sight and take notes on what a real relationship is like.

Wherever someone thinks relationships work like a bad manga, that someone is wrong. This story is on the internet. Someone is wrong on the Internet. So let's set the poor girl straight, hrm?
>> No. 154718
[X]Relent and let Daiyousei come along. Why not?
-[X] Tell her to stay out of sight and take notes on what a real relationship is like.

Wherever someone thinks relationships work like a bad manga, that someone is wrong. This story is on the internet. Someone is wrong on the Internet. So let's set the poor girl straight, hrm?
>> No. 154722
[x] See if you can buy something nice from the village first.
>> No. 154723
[X]Relent and let Daiyousei come along. Why not?
-[X] Tell her to stay out of sight and take notes on what a real relationship is like.
>> No. 154726
[X]Relent and let Daiyousei come along. Why not?
-[X] Tell her to stay out of sight and take notes on what a real relationship is like.

Because having her hiding and peeking around corners and watching their date is not like a bad manga too.
And then she decides to try and "help" them.
>> No. 154730
[X]Relent and let Daiyousei come along. Why not?
-[X] Tell her to stay out of sight and take notes on what a real relationship is like.
>> No. 154732
Komachi doesn't seem like the type who would be interested in "something from the village".
>> No. 154736
>>154713
[x] the above.
>> No. 154737
voting for:
[X]See if you can buy something nice from the village first.



>“Never better, Nash. A daisy always comes back, no matter how many times you stomp on it!”

Hunh. When Yuuka went all mindscrewy didn't Eiki start mumbling about being a flower? And Yuuka did something to Daiyousei, which she cant remember? Are we sure she didn't get herself dominated by Yuuka? Might want to check that out before anything else happens.
>> No. 154740
[X] Relent and let Daiyousei come along. Why not?

Yes, Daiyousei just can't wait to stalk a drunk Nash and Komachi all night. At least give her something to drink, the poor girl deserves it.
>> No. 154744
Hmm. It's a pity I can't think of any Infernal charms that remove magic from other people. Maybe we should summon a passion moray to suck out the flower-ness out of her tomorrow.

[X]See if you can buy something nice from the village first.

I'm sure Nash can get her something nice. Don't want Daiyousei coming along, though; the entire point of a date is to spend time *alone* with someone.
>> No. 154746
She just can't catch a break, can she?

[X]Head straight for the agreed place and wait.
>> No. 154753
...Yeah, you know what?
After this, I don't care what else we do, we're talking to Reisen, and having her check up on Dai.
Because something might be wrong with her, and Dai has been the nicest green haired girl we've met since we came to this place.
We're not letting anything bad happen to her.


[X] Relent and let Daiyousei come along. Why not?
-[X] Tell her to stay out of sight and take notes on what a real relationship is like.
[X] See if you can buy something nice from the village first, though.

A proper gentleman always gives the lady a gift when they go on a date.
Nash is a proper gentleman (going on a date with a hot redhead)
She's going to be given a gift, and this is going to be the best date ever.

(Also, despite it all, it amuses me that Dai thinks we'd be going on a date Eiki)
>> No. 154852
I already voted earlier, but I agree with the add-on that we should get Daiyousei checked up later.

Even if the daisy metaphor would be meta-knowledge (or it could just be a regular metaphor, too) she WAS attacked by Yuuka and we know she has a bad influence on people, so to speak.
Better safe than sorry either way.
>> No. 154856
+1 for the "get her to Reisen on the double" option. It's not metaknowledge, it's perfectly in-character concern for the girl who's just been targeted for death or worse by a vengeful individual who HAS to know that killing her wouldn't stick for long.
>> No. 154858
Maybe it was just a pun. 'Daisy' and 'Daiyousei' sound pretty similar if you say them slowly/quickly enough.
>> No. 154876
>>154858
"Dai" is pronounced as "Die", just as "Sei" ir pronounded as "Say". Her name is therefore going to be more along the lines of "Die-you-say" than "Daisy".
>> No. 154901
Hate mid-semester exams. Writing now.

And no, it wasn't a pun.
>> No. 154944
>>154876
And the "you" is pronounced like you'd pronounce "yo".
>> No. 154998
File 133345380759.jpg - (222.25KB , 600x848 , ThatSureIsAShinigami.jpg ) [iqdb]
154998
Drei, how are you SO SLOW? This'll probably speed up again after mid-semester but until then, TERRIBLE.

[X]Relent and let Daiyousei come along. Why not?

The sun is beginning to set. You have an appointment to keep. Daiyousei perks up as you leave, having become slothful from a few hours of meaningless talk.
“You going now?”

“Yeah.”

“Can I come?”

“What? No.”

The fairy looks up at you, mustering the strongest cute look she can. It breaks futilely against your indifference.
“Why not?”

“Because that’s not how things are done, Daiyousei. Not by me, anyway. It’s a private moment between two people, not two people and some random fairy with weird ideas. Besides, I just know that the whole thing will just segue into you trying to offer me help I do not want, failing to get my hints and ending up with us all in some kind of comic misadventure. And that’s fun, don’t get me wrong. I am all about comic misadventures. But not now.”

“But what am I going to do? Don’t I need to stay around the village?”

“…True. Alright, fine.”
You do owe her for the Yuuka thing, after all.
“Just stick to the background, don’t talk much and please don’t hang around the entire night. But you can follow me for the start of it. And no advice.

“Aye, aye captain!”
She gives a little mock salute. You might be starting to regret this decision already. The sun sets below the horizon as you and Daiyousei make your way to the place you agreed to meet tonight, a little outside the village’s wall outside the gates.
The forest outside takes on a silent beauty in the growing twilight, a silent dark beauty.

“Wait, why do you want to meet her here? This is ugly.”

“It’s scenic, Daiyousei. What’s wrong with it?”

“It’s empty and gloomy, that’s what it is. What kind of girl likes this kind of scenery?”

“A shinigami girl presumably. Not that it matters, it’s not like we’re going to spend all night here. This is just a meeting place.”

The fairy sniffs.
“Well you should have at least got her something. Couldn’t you have bought her something from these humans?”

“Didn’t really have time for that now, did we? Besides, I’m not sure if she’d like it that much. And giving her flowers is rather unacceptable, considering the circumstances.”

“But isn’t bringing gifts what you’re supposed to do on these things?”

“Only sometimes. It always depends on the situation, Daiyousei. There are no hard and fast rules for these things.”

A dark shape drops down from the sky, a long scythe in hand. Her red hair flashing in fading sunlight, Komachi makes her entrance.
“Nash! How are you?”

For a moment you don’t say anything, preferring to just drink in the sight before you. You move forward towards her slowly.
“In such a short time apart, I’d forgotten how beautiful you were. I was a fool to ever let you go.”

“Err…”
Komachi didn’t appear to have been expecting that, nor your sudden advance.

“So simple, so elegant, so breathtaking. I think I’m in love.”

“…That’s very nice and I’m flattered but seriously this isn’t like you at all… and you’re talking to the scythe aren’t you.”

You walk past her, plucking the scythe out of her hands and holding it close, running your hands down it.
“Such beautiful curves. Let’s never be apart again. Oh hey Komachi, didn’t see you there. How are you?”

She gives a playful snort before ripping the weapon out of your hands, prodding you with the back end of it as she does so.
“I should have known better to expect sudden romance from the black-hearted likes of you. You gave it back, you can’t have it.”

“A man can dream, can’t he? But I suppose I’ll have to settle for the girl instead.”

“Like any girl would go for you, you vile monster.”

“Why would I even want you, you lazy drunkard?”

“Hypocritical asshole.”

“Foolish whore.”

The two of you glare at each other blisteringly for a moment before you both break into laughter. She grins and you return the look.
“It’s nice to see you again Komachi.”

“You too, Nash.”

Daiyousei looks extremely confused. Komachi notices her for what looks to be the first time here.
“Isn’t that the fairy from yesterday? What’s she doing here?”

“Daiyousei? She wanted to come along.”

“And you let her?”

“Why not? Isn’t curiosity by itself a good enough reason? That said, you should probably find something else to do, Dai. This is just going to get awkward.”

The fairy finally manages to get a word in edgewise.
“But you said-”

“People say a lot of things. That doesn’t mean you get to intrude where you like.”
Komachi interrupts her before she even gets a proper sentence off.
“What does a fairy want with these things anyway? They’re not for your kind.”

Daiyousei’s face reddens in either anger or humiliation, probably both.
“I just wanted to-”

“Could it be?” the shinigami girl opens her eyes in mock horror as if struck by some terrible revelation.
“Jealousy? Is that it? Have you yourself been secretly carrying a torch for this mysterious stranger?”

Daiyousei’s next attempted sentence doesn’t even need to be interrupted this time. It just dies completely before she even begins to say it, her composure dissolving in surprise from the sudden hard left turn the conversation was taking.
Komachi capitalises on this in order to press her advantage.

“Is that why you were guiding him? Because you wanted him? What kind of sinful fairy harbours such feelings of forbidden lust in her heart? ”

“Who….wha….whi…”
Daiyousei’s brain appears to have a slipped a gear. Komachi grabs you by the arm and starts to shout, drawing the attention of nearby villagers.

“Don’t fear Nash! I will protect you from this deceitful girl’s seductive wiles!”

“Wauuuuuuuugggghhhhhh!”
Already flushing red from the sudden attention from the villagers, Daiyousei breaks down into a scream and flees the scene, flying into the village. Komachi giggles at your side. You sigh.

“That was a bit mean-spirited, wasn’t it?”

“Was it? Come on Nash, I was just having a little bit of fun. She’s only a fairy, after all. And you’re hardly one to tell me off for it. I almost thought you were going to join in, it seemed like your thing.”

“I probably would have, no lie. But she’s been going through some tough times lately. Should have left her alone.”

Komachi shrugs, drawing your attention back to better things.
“Oh well. At least now we’re alone and I’ve got you all to myself.”

“Should I be afraid?”


Two hours later

“…”

“…”

“So how’s Shiki doing?”

“Apart from the Yuuka thing, business as usual. Or so I suppose. I’ve barely seen her today, she’s locked herself away with her work for some reason.”

“They must be weighing on her. I don’t envy her, having to see them again after that.”

“Who?”

“Nobody important. Just some ordinary people.”

You lie on the hillside, the sky above you filled with unfamiliar stars you cannot recognise. The darkness is nothing to your sight, so you see the vista of Gensokyo as it is under a slight veil of shadowy purple hue.
Komachi lies next to you, her hand in yours. For both of you, just the simple pleasure of relaxing contentedly on the ground is beautiful.

Two conjured bottles of wine lie empty in the grass at your feet. You take a sip from the third before passing it back to Komachi.

“Hey Komachi, what do you call these constellations in Gensokyo?”

“That’s easy. That one over there is the Ship… that one there next to it is the Reaper…er…that squiggly one is ….the Graveyard?”

“You have no idea about any of them, do you?”

“Not a clue. Why would I? Never really bothered learning the stars. They keep doing their thing and I do mine and never do those two paths cross.”

“Don’t you know any of them? What about that big bright one?”

“Oh? Ah, everyone knows that one. It’s not a star, it’s a planet?”

“A planet? What the hell is a planet?”

“…You’re shitting me. I thought you were reasonably smart.”

“There is not shitting of your personage taking place here, Komachi. I genuinely have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“A planet…a planet is a big ball in space like the Earth.”

“And ‘the Earth’ is what?”

“Earth is the name of the world.”

“Ah. There’s no reason for me not to know that, is there?”

“Not really, Nash. Where are you really from?”

“Like I said, I’m from Outside. Just more Outside than you thought I meant. I’m not really sure how to describe it. I’m from another place, but that place isn’t somewhere you can reach. It’s a separate…everything, with different stuff.”

“…A universe?”

“That’s the word, I’m still new to this stuff. If I must be honest with you, it’s a very different place in some incredibly fundamental ways and yet is very similar with this one in a bunch of superficialities. You don’t seem very surprised.”

“This isn’t the first time this happened. Gensokyo’s a magnet for a lot of weird stuff and we have a certain someone who I’m pretty sure goes around actively causing them.”

She sucks in her breath as if she just realised something.
“Now there’s an idea. Whatever’s causing these problems is related to you and you being here. And you being here…this wouldn’t be the first time she’s done it.”

“Who?”

“It’s a youkai named Yukari. Blonde woman, purple dress, did you happen to see her beforehand at all?”
She passes the bottle back to you.

“Never, though you do describe my previous alternate shape pretty well.”
Which is actually pretty worrying. Why would the two of you look similar?

“Holy shit, I do. I thought you looked familiar. Are you sure you aren’t Yukari’s younger brother or something? …Or Yukari herself? But if you were Yukari going around spreading trouble, Eiki would have recognised you no matter what.”

“I’m grateful that the basic tenets of my identity are now no longer questionable. Thank you Komachi. But even if I was this person and I was just messing with you all for fun, which to be fair, sounds like something that I’d love to do, why would I leave such a huge clue?”

You pass the bottle back to her as she laughs. You can worry about this in a bit. Right now, you just want to relax in the night air with her. It can wait.

“This has been a nice evening, Nash.”

“Has it?”
You squeeze her hand in yours. She tried to entwine your fingers together before but the combination of six and five just proved too uncomfortable.

“Yeah. That little restaurant in the village, I had no idea it was there. Surprisingly modern!”

“If you say so. I just had it recommended to me by a gatekeeper I know.”

“It was nice. And now this…It’s not at all what I was expecting from you.”

“What? Did you think I would lure you into my lair and just ravish you on the spot or something? Or was that you were hoping for?”

She snorts, passing the bottle back to you.
“Only one person will be doing the ravishing in this relationship mister and it won’t be you.”

“Relationship? Is that what we’re calling this now?”

You move to pass the bottle back to her only for Komachi to roll over, crossing the small distance between the two of you rapidly and depositing her on top of you. The smell of crushed grass is replaced by perfume as suddenly hurried hands tug your shirt open. You start to return the favour before she kisses you.
You drop the bottle.

After a few seconds she pulls away for air but you pursue her, kissing her back. Her lips taste like old blood and poison, filled with the dry aroma of bones and death. Something of it must have shown in your face as she pulls away, an odd expression on her face.
You smile.
“Don’t worry about it.”

She sighs, a quiet breath that fades into a small laugh.
“You’re really not making this easy yourself, you know. Looking into each other’s eyes is supposed to be romantic, not slightly creepy.”

“What’s wrong with my eyes?”

“Just the way they have no pupils. I dunno. Eyes are supposed to be expressive but yours are like someone just dropped two old silver coins in there.”

“Oh gee, thanks. Do you want to spoil the mood any further?”

“No. I like coins.”

You kiss her again, pulling off her vest and reaching further before stopping suddenly. You push her off you, clambering to your feet unsteadily.

“What the hell was that?”

“Were those trees like that yesterday?”

“I don’t know, I haven’t been here before. But that is weird.”

The two of you are in the large hilly landscape between the village and the imposing mountain. You and Daiyousei passed through this exact area before when the two of you were travelling back from the island.
The Forest of Magic borders here, as it does with a large portion of the area. The trees in the distance are mostly normal…save for a copse of trees separate from the rest of the forest on top of the hill.

They look perfectly identical to the other trees in the Forest, save that each one is upside down. Their canopy is formed from intricate root systems, their branches growing down into the ground. The moonlight gleams off their bark and for a tiny moment, the trees almost look silver.

“Yeah, it’s probably some random forest youkai’s idea of a prank or- what’s wrong Nash?”

Damn it. Just damn it. It’s not stopping. At all. You couldn’t have asked for a more sudden reminder of your problem. How the shit are they even doing this? What do they want with this place? They would just be exchanging one kind of prison for another.
And just how many of these little signs are you missing?

Regardless of what it all means, it’s chucked you off your mood. There is little that can spoil one’s drive more than a reminder of an incursion of Demon Kings from another reality, even if it is one as relatively passive as Szoreny, the Silver Forest.

Komachi picks up on your thoughts, following them to a similar conclusion.
“It’s another one of those signs, isn’t it? I didn’t realise they’d be everywhere like this. If this is Yukari’s fault somehow, Shiki is going to chuck a fit.”

“Yeah. It’s time anyway. Daiyousei should still be around somewhere and everyone else is at the village. I think it’s time I got this team thing going. Sorry Komachi, it’s been fun.”

“Hmph. We’ll have to meet some other time, when weird shit stops crawling out of the walls.”

“Yeah.”

++Limit: 2/10++

++Act of Villainy (Exquisite Bride Obsession): Make an important stride in developing a bond of unity with the target++

++Limit: 0/10++

Yes, you can select more than one, provided they aren’t mutually incompatible.

[ ] Go do that team thing already. We’ve been waiting since the start of Part 2.

[ ] You should find Daiyousei (again). She's been going through a lot and even though it makes no sense to prioritise her over all of the far more useful people, you should at least apologise.

[ ] You can’t get rid of an entire lake but you can burn that set of trees down. It might even be helpful. Or make things worse somehow. Either way.

[ ] You need a different perspective on this matter. Drag Keine out here and consult her.

[ ] You need a different perspective on this matter. Get Komachi to get Eiki to come out here and consult her.

[ ] You need a different perspective on this matter. Drag an old friend out here and consult her him it(?), if you can do that.

[ ] Disregard team plan entirely, seek out this Yukari person immediately.

[ ] FAE TRICKS

[ ]Write-In.
>> No. 155000
File 13334609926.jpg - (236.40KB , 578x800 , 25449474.jpg ) [iqdb]
155000
[x] You should find Daiyousei (again). She's been going through a lot and even though it makes no sense to prioritise her over all of the far more useful people, you should at least apologise.

Out of all the things I could vote for, this is obviously the most important. Poor Dai-chan...
>> No. 155001
Oh my, Komachi is rather aggressive when it comes to romance.
I like!
Here's to hoping for more dates with the redheaded beauty!

Anyway, let's go and grab Dai, and tell her we're sorry for how she was treated.
And then we really need to set up the team thing, because yeah, letting Yuuka run wild is not a good idea.

So, that's my vote; find Dai, bring her to Eientei to check out that she's alright, and then let's finish building up our team so we can handle this.

[X] You should find Daiyousei (again). She's been going through a lot and even though it makes no sense to prioritise her over all of the far more useful people, you should at least apologise.
-[X] Start with the Team-building already; As soon as you find her, take her to Eientei and meet up with Reisen, to convince the rabbit girl to join you in this.
>> No. 155002
Yes, let's go have a nice chat with Eirin about that break-in. That'll be fun.
>> No. 155003
>>155000
It occurs to me that a fair bit of the story can be summed up as 'Meanwhile, something unfortunate happens to Daiyousei'.

Poor girl. It may have been better if she just never involved herself in your shenanigans at all.
>> No. 155004
File 133346720318.jpg - (599.21KB , 800x1164 , 24278969.jpg ) [iqdb]
155004
>>155003
Challenge accepted! I'll make meeting Nash the best thing that ever happened to her or die trying!
>> No. 155006
[x] You need a different perspective on this matter. Drag Keine out here and consult her.

Keine will probably be a useful ally. Failing that, she is on good terms with Mokou, and could ask her to help us while she protects the village.
>> No. 155008
[X] You should find Daiyousei (again). She's been going through a lot and even though it makes no sense to prioritise her over all of the far more useful people, you should at least apologise.
-[X] Start with the Team-building already; As soon as you find her, take her to Eientei and meet up with Reisen, to convince the rabbit girl to join you in this.
>> No. 155016
One of Szoreny's big themes is competition between worthy enemies. It's why he does the whole "forest of mirrors" thing; by storing the infinitely-reflecting images of his cherished opponents he keeps momentos of them forever in his mind; by assuming their form, he levels the playing field for their competition. It's also why he's in an homosexual relationship with Isidoros; Szoreny sees an honorable opponent he can never truly defeat, and Isidoros sees the most true reflection of his own immensity that could ever exist.

So, there is only one course of action.
[X]Write-In: Enter forest, grab Szoreny's attention somehow, and challenge him to a spell-card duel.
>> No. 155021
[x] You should find Daiyousei (again). She's been going through a lot and even though it makes no sense to prioritise her over all of the far more useful people, you should at least apologise.
[x] You need a different perspective on this matter. Drag Keine out here and consult her.
>> No. 155243
[X] You should find Daiyousei (again). She's been going through a lot and even though it makes no sense to prioritise her over all of the far more useful people, you should at least apologise.
-[X] Start with the Team-building already; As soon as you find her, take her to Eientei and meet up with Reisen, to convince the rabbit girl to join you in this.

We should work on forming a team, hopefully we won't run into Akio again. That was 200% "feelsbadman.jpg" with the sliver lining of reducing limit.

What's Nash's Willpower at? And I wonder which bride he's obbessing on: Komachi or her weapon.

This is a nice story and I feel bad about brushing it off. And I do like how things are going in the side areas.
>> No. 155688
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155688
Heeeeeeeeeeey. You dead? Your spirit crushed by responsibility?
>> No. 156557
Meanwhile, a Daiyousei related update isn't being written.
>> No. 159126
>>155688

Partially crushed by responsibility, mostly crushed by a combination of depression, Australian plant-life and neurotoxin. It seemed like it would be hilarious at the time, it really did.

I'll get round to writing soon. Not that anyone is likely to actually see this post before the update is posted since I'll be saging it due to lack of actual content. But I figure that it's the thought that counts.
>> No. 159131
>>159126
Hooraying so hard right now.
>> No. 159163
Curious about something: The trees and the lake aren't the actual Yozi themselves, right? They have to be symptoms, maybe changing the landscape before actually making the jump?

Because if the actual Yozi were here, right now, there would be so much shit flying around it wouldn't be funny.
>> No. 159298
File 134147859890.jpg - (95.04KB , 850x637 , ThatSureIsAnUpdate.jpg ) [iqdb]
159298
I'm sure that none of you are interested in all the tales of why I was incapacitated for a few months which I assure you, was as hilarious as it was painful. This isn't a fucking blog.
But hey, updated. First update that has to be done in two posts too. I guess that’s a milestone.


[X] You should find Daiyousei (again). She's been going through a lot and even though it makes no sense to prioritise her over all of the far more useful people, you should at least apologise.
-[X] Start with the Team-building already

“I still can’t believe those can be real.”

You frown as you look up at the twisted trees. You probably would have noticed them when you came round here this morning, which means that they’ve sprung up in the intervening time since then. That’s uncomfortably quick.
Are they another portent? When will they stop? Will they stop? Or will they just keep on happening until everything is altered to what they want it to be?

Regardless, you know that it means you can’t ignore the problem. If you do, the vision in the book might come about in a blink of an eye. That would be irritating, considering that you just got here.
“Hey, Komachi. You’re still coming with me as part of the group to deal with this, right?”

She brushes her hair out of her eyes.
“The Yama didn’t have anything against it, as long as I did it in my free time.”

“Yes…All of this, this was on your free time, wasn’t it?”

“No, this is actually just me skiving off work again. I completely failed to learn any lesson whatsoever from my near-dissolution. Of course I’m on break! Don’t you trust me?”
“No need to snap at me. I was just making sure my investment was safe. All that business with Eiki was difficult, you know.”

“I’ve already thanked you for that once. Don’t try to squeeze anything else out of it. Also, investment?”
She has her hands on her hips, though she’s clearly still just taking it as a joke.

“Well if you have a better term for what you are to me, young lady, I’d like to hear it!”

“You’re such a romantic.”

“Only to those who I know will appreciate it.”
And that’s true, more or less. You’d have a whole different kind of talk if you thought for a minute that she was the kind of girl who’d get offended rather than just taking the insult and coming back with another later.
Komachi laughs.

“And ‘young lady’? I’ve walked this vale of sins for nearly three hundred years. That makes me what, ten times your age?”

“I’m not some pale inexperienced stripling of thirty that I may appear to be. I am seventy-six, thank you very much. That officially lets me refer to anyone I want as young, regardless of how old they actually are compared to myself.”
You can’t help but feel that you’re forgetting something. That you got too carried away in actually being so close to another person after so long and something has just slipped your mind.

‘So what, I’m still four times older than you? T-”

“It shows.”

She scoffs.
“Pfft. You’re an asshole, you know that right?”

“Well first off, so are you and secondly, of course! I am an insufferably smug jerk, a dick, a self-interested arse of titanic proportions. And yet aren’t I just so darn loveable?”

Komachi snorts and…Oh shit. How did you forget her?
“I have to go. You and I might both be jerks but there’s someone who isn’t. Someone that probably deserves better.”

“Wait, what?”
Komachi trails behind you for a moment, confused.
“What’s this? Kind of came out of absolutely nowhere!”

“There’s something I have to do, is all.”

“You just enjoy being cryptic for no real reason don’t you?”

“It is one of the few joys I have left. Don’t ruin it.”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

You get yourself ready for a search but once again, you seem to find the little fairy easily. In fact, you nearly trip over her when you first enter the village marketplace. Daiyousei is sitting in the corner behind one of the stalls, looking over the scene.

It’s not an entirely happy sight. While the stalls that were knocked down and destroyed have since been moved or replaced, an awful lot of scorch marks litter the corner of the marketplace.
Particularly near the burned out shell of what was once a small house.
“Fifteen villagers were confirmed to be injured and two dead.”
Keine’s voice litters the back of your mind as you and Daiyousei look over the ruined house, standing like a memorial to the senseless dead. The people give it a wide birth and the usual noise of people is muted and low.

Two dead
You didn’t mean for this to happen. You wouldn’t do something like this. Not now. You’re a good person, you changed. You had a whole oath about not doing it. No. This is not your fault. This is Shikieiki’s fault. Her responsibility, not yours.
You don’t have to shoulder this burden.

Daiyousei turns around to look at you with a solemn expression on her face. This wasn’t what she needed to see after she fled Komachi.
“You knew about this, didn’t you? You knew about this and you didn’t care. You just kept going on with…with everything else!”
Her voice is shaking with both sad anger and a deep desperation to believe that you didn’t, that all of this was untrue.

You decide not to burden her further. She can see the connection to what you and her did with this but doesn’t want to believe it’s so. Telling her the truth would only make her feel worse and given your own particular manner of speaking truth, it would probably make her despise you.
“This? No. I didn’t. Keine only just told me about it earlier today. It’s a tragedy. And I see what you’re thinking Daiyousei and let me tell you something right now, you are wrong. We didn’t do this. Our little accidental rampage bruised a few people but nothing serious. As I said, I was talking to Miss Kamishirasawa earlier. She told me what happened here. Arson.”

“Y-you mean it wasn’t…us?”

“No. No. The little fire we started only burned for a small time in the haypile. Someone took advantage of the confusion we caused to burn a house down. Nobody knows who, nobody knows why.”
You put your arm around her.
“And don’t feel bad that it was our debacle that let them do that, don’t ever think of blaming yourself Daiyousei. Some people…some people are just monsters and there is nothing we can do to change that. I wish there was.”

There is silence for a moment before the fairy collapses against you, choking out a sob. A single look at her painfully guileless face tells you everything you need to know. She takes your words on faith because of course, she wants to believe. The lie should be easy to uphold, provided that you can get Keine to back you up. Any conflicting opinions could be dismissed as wrong after that.
“I’m sorry you had to find out about this. This kind of thing…isn’t really the province or place for fairies, is it?”
Death is not for them.

The silence stretches further. You really don’t need Daiyousei dwelling on this, you decide. She might not say it but it’s abundantly clear that she’s been taking on a lot of stress these past two days. Everyone has their Limit of how much they can take before even the smallest thing could push them over the edge.
You would bet that fairies certainly aren’t accustomed to death. Here, the lie might be almost as harmful as the truth if she lets herself focus on it.

“…”

“…”

“Do you know their names?”
She finally speaks.

“Of who?”

“These people. The ones who died. Do you know their names?”

Of course not. And you have no desire to ever learn.

“No. I have no idea who they were. Miss Kamishirasawa probably knows. I imagine that all of these people do too.”
You make a vague sweeping motion to include the villagers moving through the marketplace.
“If it helps you, their names will likely live on long after today. I’ve been told by some that that is a kind of immortality.”

“Do you know if they even had names?”

“Er. I assume they did. People generally have names.”

“Really? I don’t.”

“Pretty sure you do. It’s Daiyousei. Unless you’ve been lying to me in a rather improbable fashion.”

“That’s not a name, that’s a title. ‘Great Fairy’ is all it means. I’m more of a Daiyousei than the Daiyousei. There’s a whole bunch of us all called that! I think I need to be more powerful to get an actual name. I thought humans were the same.”

Well, she’s already been fortunately distracted from the overall situation by this little conversation derail. From what you understand of Gensokyo, this isn’t unusual. Fairies will be fairies you suppose, even if she is smarter than most.
“No, humans generally get names at birth. I’m not sure how it works here but where I come from, they get it from their parents.”

“Mmm. Nash. So you would have gotten that name from your mother or something right?”

“Well, not my mother. The simple elegance and beauty that is my name came entirely from my father. But you have the general gist of it down.”

“Wait, so fathers choose the names?”

“No. Well maybe, not like that. There’s no set of mystical rules or guidelines that we defer to when it comes to naming children. I’m pretty sure it’s more of a shared project usually. It’s just that my mother wasn’t really around to name me.”

She looks confused for a moment before her expression turns horrified.
“Oh my goodness! I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to remind you of her de-”

“What? No. Damnit. It wasn’t some melodramatic thing like that.”
People always like to assume the worst, don’t they? You really don’t need the conversation to redirect its way back to death again.
“No tragic family past here, I’m afraid. When I said she wasn’t around, that was exactly what I meant. My father met her on one of his trips and that was that. He wasn’t really the type for committed relationships.”

Having explained the matter to your satisfaction, you find that Daiyousei is still looking at you quizzically.
“Aren’t you going to tell me more? That wasn’t a very good explanation!”

“I think it served its purpose.”

“Oh no it didn’t! If I’m being open to you, couldn’t you be the same? I don’t really know anything about you.”

“That’s just my natural aura of mystique. It’s entirely beyond my control.”
She does have a point though. Considering all you’ve put her through, Daiyousei deserves at least this small thing. And sheer raw curiosity is certainly a motivation you can sympathise with.
“But seriously, if you really want to know, it’s not something that could have happened if my father hadn’t travelled so much. He was a freelance priest, I guess you could call him.”

“A freelance priest? What?”

“You know. He sold his services to the highest bidder. And he was good, too. He wasn’t very suave or persuasive but he just had a way with spirits. Minor gods would call on him all the time and pay him to organise and spread their cults. Regular people would hire him if they needed someone to negotiate or talk with some new god or elemental that had just moved in or to placate an old one or if they just wanted some thaumaturgy done even. It was a pretty lucrative business.”

“That’s weird. What’s the point of even having a priest if they aren’t devoted to you?”

“It seemed to work. Most of the time that is. Sometimes he’d have to do other jobs when the economy of faith was sluggish. He also worked a bit for the Guild, which was a…big merchant organisation. A really big one.”

“And what did they sell?”

“Everything. He normally just did a bit of godbothering on their account but when he needed the extra jade, he also sometimes worked as a voyageur. Someone who is paid to travel to all kinds of far and hard to reach places to harvest things the Guild needed. It was this travelling that lead to…well, me. He spent a year away searching through the edges of Creation for a certain job once. Completely off the grid. It wouldn’t have been the first time he’d taken a long-term assignment so nobody was really worried.
And once the year was past, he returned with his objective. And with a baby boy.”

“Which was you.”

“Well it sure wasn’t my evil twin brother or anything. No doubt fathered on some frontier town who-…woman. He was never much for romance. It’s actually a little surprising that he even felt obligated enough to raise me. I guess even he wanted a legacy in the end.”
Not that he ever got one. Or at least, certainly not in the manner he would have wanted. It feels a little old to be talking about something as familiar as him in a land as foreign as this one, in a time so far beyond his.
“All in the past anyway. It’s not healthy to worry about the past. I’m absolutely certain I’ve said that to you at least twice already. I think we’ve dallied enough here, Daiyousei. The others will be getting impatient.”

“I guess.”

“Oh come on! You have to come too. You are a very important part of the team, Daiyousei. I dare say we would all be very lost without you. Let’s go. Now, one thing. You’re not going to tell anyone about this little talk, are you? I like my secrets the way they should be, small and needlessly kept.”
She grins and shakes her head as you take her hand and pull her up, walking her out of the marketplace.
“How ‘bout this. After we finish up here, I’ll teach you a very special way to put one’s mind at complete ease. And only you will know. There’s a little game called Gateway that…”

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The meeting is at Keine’s house. It doesn’t have to be at a bigger location since you must admit that the initial group of ‘investigators’ is rather small. Granted that there wasn’t a whole lot of people that Shikieiki would have let you trust with the information about Yuuka but you’ve been part of Yozi cults secretly taking place in a tiny Threshold village with a total population of twenty people that had bigger memberships than this.
Alright so it had turned out that everyone in the village had all actually been part of that cult and was hiding it from everyone else but hilarious party icebreaker aside, there’s five of you.
And the fifth member isn’t even here.

“Eiki couldn’t make it,” said your favourite shinigami. She and Keine were sitting at a table inside, the house’s interior having been restored miraculously from the wreck it had been.

“I didn’t think she would be able to. I’m sure she’s very busy,” you reply. You take a seat opposite Komachi, Daiyousei sitting next to you. Komachi arcs her eyebrow at the fairy’s inclusion but says nothing.
Keine is clearly nervous, her hands fidgeting under the table.

“I’m sorry but I thought that Damas-”

“I’m right here, Keine. Current circumstances dictated I appear this way. The name’s Nashar when I’m like this but you can just call me Nash. Sorry about the trouble.”

You fish the copy of the Crane out of your pockets and pass it to her as proof. She looks confused for a moment before her expression changes to one of comprehension. She looks decidedly less nervous.
“Ah yes, of course. …Loom-Snarling Deception, right?”

“Yes, that’s correct. How astute of you.”
How the fuck did she know that? You’re willing to believe that reading the entirety of some strange offshoot version of the Crane would give one insight into Malfeas and to a lesser extent, Infernals. But to the point of knowing the exact names of techniques? Something’s not quite right.

“Whatever,” Komachi says. “So…what do we actually do? Now that we’re all apparently here?”

“Well,” you say. “How about we go over and make sure everyone is on the right track?”

The next ten minutes are spent going over the appearance of Yuuka and her apparently only recent psychosis, the transformation of the Misty Lake and the upside down trees. None of it is new to you and it reveals nothing that you haven’t thought about already. At least the changes seem to just be ‘superficial’ so to speak. The acid lake is just a lake full of poisonous acid, not an actual extension of Kimbery herself and neither are the altered trees actually part of Szoreny.
It’s less of an active intrusion so far and more like some kind of twisted and aggressive terraforming. But you don’t understand how that would help the Yozi escape. What’s their plan here?

“Well that is all very well and interesting but…Komachi, do you remember when we met back at the lake? I said that there was another sign I hadn’t told anyone about. Miss Kamishirasawa?”

The schoolteacher nods at you and unceremoniously drops her copy of the Broken Winged Crane on the table.
Daiyousei looks at it for a few seconds, trying to draw meaning out of it.
“…It’s a book.”

“Yes. That’s the problem.”

“Oh. I see. Yes. Books are very problematic.”
She’s doing her best.

“This book is another one of these signs. Keine saw it in history last full moon and wrote it down. It’s reverberating backwards and through time and talks a lot about the things we’ve seen.”

Komachi picks the book up before anyone can stop her.
“Do you mind if I take this?”

“Pardon?”

“If I didn’t bring a clue like this back to the Yama, she would flay me alive. I’m not even being figurative!”

“It’s the only copy, I’m not sure if I want to part with it.”
You’re not exactly sure how much you want Komachi (and Shikieiki by extension) to know about the Yozi. It’s bad enough that Keine apparently knows all there is to know. Do you really want all of them getting all up in your secrets? Not that you’re afraid that they might rethink their opinions of you. No.

“Actually,” Keine says. “It’s not the only copy. I made a second one today. So she can take one.”

“You…did, did you?”

“Of course I did! What else would I do?”
She’s perfectly happy about the whole thing, cheerful even. Sometimes you succeed and sometimes you fail. Sometimes you succeed too goddamn much. You’re going to have to have a talk with her.

“Excellent. I’ll give it back to you at some point. Shiki will probably really want to see this. Bye!”
Komachi doesn’t even bother flying away; instead she just vanishes into nothingness right in front of you. With the Crane. Parts of you are screaming inside that you shouldn’t let this happen but really, what could you do? Attempting to keep the book away from them will just make you look even more suspicious. In the spirit of investigation, there’s no way you could deny this book to them and not have Eiki see through it. And then they would probably just end up with it anyway later and you’d be in the same situation, only with added mistrust.
And why shouldn’t you let them have it? This is their world that’s under threat here, not yours. You wouldn’t withhold potentially apocalyptic information just to make things more comfortable for yourself, would you?

“Is she supposed to be able to do that?” Daiyousei asks. Keine shrugs but otherwise doesn’t find it too surprising.

“Well I was going to discuss strategy to catch Yuuka but considering that both of those who were helping me with that are gone…oh fuck it. This meeting is adjourned. We can always just get more organised later. Oh Keine! Have they caught those bastards that started those fires yet?”
You can practically feel Daiyousei’s ears prick up.

“Not yet, more’s the pity. I’m beginning to wonder if we ever will.”

“Ouch. I’m sorry. That really sucks.”
And bam, deal sealed. Having handily reinforced the lie, you need to talk to Keine alone.
“Daiyousei, you don’t mind going on ahead, will you? Miss Kamishirasawa and I have some things to discuss alone.”

“Go ahead where? And why do you need to oh. OH.”
She blushes bright pink.
“But I thought you and Komachi…”

“No. NO. Not that kind of talk! Why the hell would that be your first conclusion? Just get out of here. Shoo! I’ll talk to you later! Shoo!”

Daiyousei giggles her way out of the house, leaving you and Keine alone. Keine noticeably relaxes further. She’d been on edge for the entire aborted ‘meeting’.
“So how have you been, Damask?”

“Good thanks. You?”

“Great! I have a question for you. You said Yuuka attempted to scare you away in the Bamboo Forest. What were you doing there?”

“…I had to be sure. Do you know just what Eirin could have done with Vitriol? Who am I kidding, of course you do! Just did a little creative interpretation of her test samples. No need for the rest of the group to know about that, incidentally.”

Keine pales.
“You what! Don’t you know who Eirin is? Do you have any idea what you’re doing?

“Don’t question me, Keine. I can take that from the others but not from you. I was wary of Eirin, don’t worry. If I did it right, and trust me I did, they should be off on a wild goose-chase right now that has nothing to do with me. How’s the Scarlet Mansion girl?”

“Meiling? Oh, she’ll be fine. Eirin’s good at what she does. I think the interest of the Mansion is inevitable given that the transformation is on their doorstep.”

“Meh. They’re just one more variable in a bloody ocean of variables where nothing that is actually concrete exists. And while we are woefully understaffed, having more helpers risks the circle growing too large and too untrustworthy. For now just lie low and act normal, I’ll deal with these ‘vampire’ things when they come. Speaking of which, you’ve been making more Crane copies. I can’t help but point out that that’s kind of contrary to this ‘keep it secret, keep it safe’ business.”

“In hindsight it wasn’t the best decision. But Damask, you have to understand! Writing the Crane, those words, that vision…it’s been some of the happiest times of my life.”
She’s gone all moon-eyed, her face slack with wonder. This is the first time in a long while that you’ve had to talk to someone with such a treasured memory. You feel an old urge rising.

“Right. And I understand that. But we need to keep it secret. Just because you enjoy it doesn’t mean everyone else will.”
You keep your face and voice neutral but your insides feel like they are slowly curdling and pickling inside of you as you try to force back the mad need. You’ve already done it to her before. You don’t need to do it again. You don’t. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.

It would be so easy. You’ve already done it once. You need to do it. This isn’t you. You’re better than this. You can just stop.

++ Limit: 0/10 ++

++Memory Poison Mastery: This Charm allows greater attunement to the Ebon Dragon, allowing greater power to defile the sanctity of memories. The catch to this power is slavery. Whenever you hear someone speak of a treasured memory, you must twist it or defile it in some way. To refrain is to act against your core nature.++

++Limit 1/10++

Ugh. You feel like you’re going to be sick. You were going to talk to Keine further, ask her about the Crane and her weirdly specific knowledge but you suddenly can’t stomach being around her right now.
Things have been getting far too serious lately. You need to unwind.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The air is thick with tension as your enemy considers their move. You pause, your breath catching as you consider the situation in front of you. So many have already hurt and suffered and died. Surely they wouldn’t…

“I move the Green Dog to cover your Yeddim piece!”
Daiyousei slides the Dog of Unbroken Earth piece across the board dramatically, slamming it down on top of yours with an awful finality. With an air of sorrow for your fallen soldier, you solemnly place the Yeddim to the side with all the other dead or captured pieces.

“Good move, you’re picking this up surprisingly fast! But then again, I suppose this is a game for immortals. Unfortunately, you’ve left yourself open. Again.”
You move your Dynast from the other side of the board, destroying the Dog. Daiyousei attempts to make another move but you stop her.
“Game’s over. With the Dynast moved, my Siaka challenges your Line directly.”

The fairy looks at the board for a few seconds before realisation dawns.
“Oh.”

“Don’t worry. You’re picking it up amazingly quickly. This stuff usually takes ages to learn. With this progress, you could be playing actual Gateway in a day or so!”

“Wait, you told me this was Gatewhatever?”

“In a sense. This is the Fledgling Dragon variant of Gateway. It’s much quicker and simple than the regular game, so it’s good for teaching the basics. Plus it only uses one board which was easier for me.”
You’d crafted the single board and pieces with a handy use of Corrosive Pattern Infliction, repurposing the book you’d taken from Keine when you first discovered her house for a better purpose. ‘Proper’ Gateway would have required you to make at least two more boards and easily three times many more pieces.

“That sounds kinda stupidly complex.”

“Oh it is. That’s why there are so many variants of the game. Regular Gateway was developed for immortals after all, so it takes pride in being complex and looooooonnnggg. The best thing about Fledgling Dragon is you can actually get a game done in less than a day. Pass me back the Siaka piece, please.”

“I don’t even know what half these pieces are! What’s a ‘Siaka’ anyway?”

“What, you don’t have them here? But you have so many similar…alright. They’re a type of shark, you have sharks here?”

“Yes.”

“Weird. Siaka are really big sharks that live in deeper waters. They eat whales. Don’t be disappointed about that capture because in my experience, Siaka excel at getting to places they don’t belong. I found one in my hotel room once. Long story.”

“Uh…huh. So do we have another game?”

“Nah, I think that’s enough for the night. It’s getting late. I don’t know about you fairies but for my august personage, sleep is still desirable.”
Well, less sleep and more rest but that’s just quibbling over semantics.

After Daiyousei leaves to do whatever fairies do at night, you break the crude game board into several pieces and shovel them into your mouth. The individual pieces soon follow. Keeping a board somewhere would have been a hassle and it’s not like you just can’t make more easily. And you felt somewhat hungry, which is always a good reason to start eating your surroundings.

As for where you’re staying tonight…well, you did see a nice looking river in the Forest when you and Dai were travelling over it. It shouldn’t be too far from here.

It isn’t. And just like you’d surmised from your glance before, it’s just deep enough. You jump in and sit down on the riverbed, your head just barely underwater. Still a bit more shallow then you’d like but good enough.
Resting here for a few hours should do the trick. Sleeping is for losers and people who can’t do aquatic immersion trances.

This way you have a few more hours to continue your own mental Gateway game before-
>> No. 159299
The skies are white. Perfect and empty, blank as paper. An endless slope continues in both directions, stretching further both upward and downward further than the eye can see. Looking at it for too long is disconcerting as both directions are infinite. The balcony you are standing on has an array of telescopic devices however, for people who would do just that. Your ears are filled with an incredible rumbling noise, the groan of demonic machinery and of course, the ever-present music.

You are in Hell.

Not just any part of Hell either. This is Qaf, the Heaven-Violating Spear. A secluded Yozi, you stand on his main jouten body, an infinite mountain that has neither base or summit. Just an endless slope where distance has no meaning, where space travelled is decided by wisdom and acceptance of Qaf’s teachings rather than physical speed.
The skies are white here because Qaf is wrapped away from the rest of Malfeas in his own private dimension of Elsewhere, lest his ever-growing size pierce the boundaries of Hell and allow the Yozi to escape.

Well, you aren’t exactly standing on the slopes of Qaf. Not directly, that is. You’re standing on a balcony extruding from the giant construction of bronze and brass machinery that is currently scaling the endless mountain.
Around this palace-sized construction is a huge valley hundreds of miles across. The valley travels with it, climbing Qaf at the same speed.

This is the Engine Rising To The Wounded Sky, a Manse created long ago when the Yozi Isidoros had attempted to scale Qaf to his non-existent end. This couldn’t be done but it is not the nature of the Black Boar to fail so even when he left Qaf, his final hoofprint continued to slide ceaselessly upwards the slope.
It was only natural that later someone managed to build a Manse inside Isidoros’ immense travelling hoofprint, connected to the Essence that the Yozi had left behind. Like the hoofprint, it travels forever upwards and is favoured by many demon scholars and aesthetics who flock to Qaf for his distant promise of enlightenment.

You’ve only been here once, when you were meeting Vra…ah, of course. That makes perfect sense. You don’t know how it happened but it has.
How curious.

A few seconds pass before you are joined in your private balcony. A large six-legged lizard takes a place next to you. A blue fez sits uneasily on the demon’s head.
“Nashar.”

“Vrastiras, nice to see you again. What’s with the fez?”

“I think it adds a bit of distinction I otherwise lacked. I’m starting a cult you know, down near Chiaroscuro. Need something that distinguishes me from any other Amphelisia.”

“It makes you look like a loon, just so you know.”
Vrastiras is (was) your personal assistant and demonic familiar. A First Circle Demon known as an Amphelisia, or ‘Teakettle Courier’, he’s (at least, you think it’s a he) unusually intelligent for his type. When you were new it was him who taught you the basics of Sorcery and how to make it in Hell. He was one of your best friends, or certainly the most reptilian one.

“As always, I am …honoured by you deigning to give me fashion advice, oh great one. Seriously though, what do you want? I was busy here.”

“I sympathise. It must be very busy studying and theorising about something that isn’t possible and can’t actually happen. I need you to take this to Yahahautl.”
You pull out a jade chakram from your coat, passing it to the demon for inspection.

“An Infinite Jade Chakram? Where did you get this?”

“There’s a former Immaculate who won’t be needing it anymore. Not since he went insane. It’s all the news in that part of the Realm you know, the tragic tale about how he slaughtered his entire family. Even the children. Very sad story.”

“Nice work. How did the real Immaculate react to this?”

“Surprisingly badly. He won’t be bothering me again. Anyway, I did manage to nab this off him before I stole his shape and it’s pretty damn cool. I want to see if Yahahautl can like, taint it with some Vitriol or something and reforge it into throwing knife or something for me. Not that I don’t like chakrams but you know me and knives.”

Vrastiras heaves out a long-suffering sigh.
“And that’s it? You just want me to find him so you can have a weapon forged? Yes, that sounds like a purpose for the one of the few First Circle Scholars in all of existence, I’ll get right on it.”

“Hey. If it wasn’t for me, Orabilis would have already thrown you into the sky for daring to be that much. I think you can take some time out of your busy schedule for this. It ain’t like this manse is going anywhere.”
You take a small moment to reconsider what you said.
“Well alright, it is going somewhere. But my point still stands.”

Vrastiras sighs again (he’s good at that) before starting to shamble off the balcony. You stop him with a raised hand.
“Oh wait. Don’t forget, Yahahautl thinks that I’m doing a deep undercover Yu-Shan thing right now. Tell him that I got it from a god related to the Order.”

“I thought that he thought you were on a meditative journey.”

“No, that’s Extli that thinks that.”

“Alright and…seriously? Why are these lies necessary again?”

“It was more convenient. Now I have to make sure they keep holding.”

“And you don’t see anything unsustainable about this? At all?”

“Hey, lying is like 95% of what I do. And relax, I’ve thought everything out.”

The old demon harrumphs.
“Which is why you needed me in the first place. You might be smart but you don’t have a damn fucking single grain of common sense anywhere. Nobody can think and prepare for everything.”

“I can! I just don’t do it often because it would spoil the surprise.”
A low groan is your only response.
“Oh don’t be like that, Vras. I just need you to find him. I’m going to be busy for the next few days. Do you remember that Solar we met last month. The one with the pretentious as fuck name?”

“I don’t see how someone titled the ‘Damask Petalled Lotus” amongst other things can judge.”

“Those titles were bestowed upon me by others, I didn’t get to pick them. They are a bit bleh though. Maybe I should change them to something a bit more concise. Maybe a title that goes in front of the name, like Duke or Baron. Baron Nashar? That sounds stupid. But we’re missing the point. I’m going to be busy for a few days dealing with this guy. Not that I don’t appreciate a good bit of competition but the way he’s been getting up in our plans? It’s getting more than a little tiring.”

“What are you going to do about him? If I recall right, he beat the shit out of you. Easily. Even after you ambushed him. And he didn’t even have his weapon. I’m not going to lie, it was pretty amusing.”

“Yeah you can shut up. I’m going to deal with him in other ways.”

“Which are?”

“Just found out he has a daughter in Nexus. Tried to hide it, can see why. She’s a lovely girl. I figure I can discourage him.”

Vrastiras nods, padding back through the door with the Chakram in his mouth.

You spend some time standing alone. You don’t know how much. After all, it’s not like time actually matters here. Not where you really are.
The door opens behind you. Someone steps out behind you.

“At least you picked some good scenery for it,” you say. “Nice big blank vistas.”
The person behind you says nothing.
“My biggest problem is the conversation. It’s a little bit stale. Because, you see, I’ve already had it once before. This happened decades ago. Different time, different people. If I were to hazard a guess, I’d say this was a memory conjured up in a dream. Seen it before. It’s a little bit odd since I was never actually sleeping in the first place but I’m willing to bet for a dream spirit as powerful as yourself, you could find a way to do it to a trance too.
At least, that’s what I figured it was when I started here. Be a dear and tell me if I’m getting close, will you?”

“Yes. That’s more or less correct,” Yuuka says.

[ ] “You sound calmer than I expected you to be. What happened to all that flower rage?”

[ ] “I’m a busy man, what with all the stopping you in the real world business. Just tell me what you want.”

[ ] “Man, I’m still tired from all that flower-stomping I’ve been doing. Bugger off, will you?”

[ ] Tell her to get out. Now.

[ ] “What did you do to Daiyousei?”

[ ] DREAM FIGHTING

[ ] Writefag losing touch of reality and whatever meagre skill he ever possessed. Remind him to shape up with a superior Write In option.
>> No. 159301
>>155243

Couldn't it be both?

>>159131

I guess people...still had this thread on their watchlist or something? Awesome.
I don't actually know how watching threads work so I just assume it's magic.

>>159163

No.
>> No. 159302
>>159298

Pffh. Why did I pick that picture. Ugh.
>> No. 159303
[x] “You sound calmer than I expected you to be. What happened to all that flower rage?”

As much as I'd like to find out what was done (as to help undo the lingering effects), this is a rare chance to find out more about Yuuka's nature. The first option sounds more polite, a plus when dealing with normal Yuuka.
>> No. 159309
[x] “You sound calmer than I expected you to be. What happened to all that flower rage?”

Glad to see you're alive! Don't know so much about Exalted but I live to see the day Nash's web of lies crashes down around him. Uh, and some other stuff too. I like this story.

Funny thing is, I didn't even know there was a thread watch option until someone pointed it out the other day.
>> No. 159317
File 134149923277.png - (236.29KB , 1000x800 , 27560036.png ) [iqdb]
159317
>I'm sure that none of you are interested in all the tales of why I was incapacitated for a few months which I assure you, was as hilarious as it was painful
I'll bite. What's the story here?

>“Oh come on! You have to come too. You are a very important part of the team, Daiyousei. I dare say we would all be very lost without you. Let’s go.
I approve of these lies. Good update, will read again.
>Memory Poison Mastery
Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Perhaps we should caution people against speaking favorably of their time with Nash. Just a thought. That would be some heartbreaking shit right there.


[x] “You sound calmer than I expected you to be. What happened to all that flower rage?”
[x] “What did you do to Daiyousei?”

Multi-votan because while Daiyousei is important, she's not only topic of interest important.
>> No. 159323
[x] “You sound calmer than I expected you to be. What happened to all that flower rage?”
[x] “What did you do to Daiyousei?”
>> No. 159338
[x] “You sound calmer than I expected you to be. What happened to all that flower rage?”
[x] “What did you do to Daiyousei?”
>> No. 159344
Holy shit this is back hooray.

Also I think we may have fucked up with the Keine thing. We probably should fix that at the next available opportunity, because it pretty clearly isn't working as intended. Given the choice, regular Keine would probably want us to make her normal again if she was copying extra books of evil lore and presumably hastening the encroachment of the Yozis into Gensokyo.

[x] “You sound calmer than I expected you to be. What happened to all that flower rage?”
[x] “What did you do to Daiyousei?”
>> No. 159348
[x] “You sound calmer than I expected you to be. What happened to all that flower rage?”

I imagine that she got a good look at Hell and is suddenly worried that there's a lot about us she doesn't know. Especially if she's picking up on our knowledge of the place.

Also: YAY ITS UPDATING AGAIN.
>> No. 159353
[X] “You sound calmer than I expected you to be. What happened to all that flower rage?”

Your LoL references amuse me. But so long as Yuuka is civil we should at least hear her out. Even if he is in range for that 'turn souls into flowers' aura, thats what shaping defenses are for.
>> No. 159355
File 134153683422.jpg - (94.68KB , 717x347 , Baron Nashor.jpg ) [iqdb]
159355
[x] “You sound calmer than I expected you to be. What happened to all that flower rage?”
[x] “What did you do to Daiyousei?”

Bandwagonan gaems.
>> No. 159357
>>159344
did we really get a choice with what to do with Keine's seeming addiction to copying that book?
>> No. 159359
>>159357
We chose to sooth her pain via mindrape. And now she's back to feeling pain via involuntary mindrape. It's like we did nothing at all, except worse, maybe.
>> No. 159363
[x] “You sound calmer than I expected you to be. What happened to all that flower rage?”
[x] “What did you do to Daiyousei?”
>> No. 159374
>>159317

There's a type of Australian native plant that has leaves covered with many thin hollow tubes that stick into people who touch them. Said tubes are filled with neurotoxin.
I jumped into a whole grove of them when drunk. It totally seemed funny at the time, right up until I got them all over my body.
The secondary effects lasted for quite some time with that much.

But the important thing is that I can move my hands painlessly again which means I can type which means I can write this story more.
Blog over, this discussion is concluded.

>>159353
>>159355

When people voted that the MC be called Nashar, a LoL reference became inevitable. It was only a question of when.
Sadly for Yuuka, Nash doesnt give a global buff if you beat on him long enough.

>>159344

What Keine would have probably wanted ceased to matter the moment he decided what she wanted for her.
>> No. 159377
[X] “You sound calmer than I expected you to be. What happened to all that flower rage?”
[X] “What did you do to Daiyousei?”
>> No. 159393
>>159374
Queensland?
>> No. 159417
>>159374
>What Keine would have probably wanted ceased to matter the moment he decided what she wanted for her.

I disagree with this. First, permission was obtained, so that would be "she gave him permission to decide what she wanted for her." Second, I doubt Keine would have agreed if she knew she was going to start making copies of the evil book. Third, glories that never were has the player of the affected person decide the context of their new intimacy, so Keine (as in-story there's no DM) decided what she wanted herself. If we decided what she wanted, she wouldn't be making copies of the evil book and acting like a giddy schoolgirl about it.

TL;DR: We got permission, said permission was based on the premise that help wouldn't fuck shit up, and it wasn't us who decided what Keine's new intimacy was.
>> No. 159452
>>159374

>neurotoxin

Every time I read that word, I read it in GLaDOS's voice. It's terrifying, actually.
>> No. 159453
>>159374
Ahh, Australia. It figures that in a country where everything in the wilderness is trying to kill you, the people are one of the most laid-back groups in the First World. I have to wonder, though: were the last words you spoke before you jumped into the bushes "Hey guys, watch this!" or "Eh, she'll be right, mate"?

Now, on-topic...
[x] “You sound calmer than I expected you to be. What happened to all that flower rage?”
[x] “What did you do to Daiyousei?”
>> No. 159476
Thank fuck you're back.

[x] “You sound calmer than I expected you to be. What happened to all that flower rage?”
[x] “What did you do to Daiyousei?”

>>159453 is onto something. What WERE your last words?
>> No. 159482
Stop needling the guy.
>> No. 159484
>>159482

Needle needle needle.
>> No. 159487
File 134178061080.jpg - (45.89KB , 500x355 , cactuar_cosplay.jpg ) [iqdb]
159487
>>159482
>> No. 159494
>>159482
Dohoho
>> No. 159495
[X] DREAM FIGHTING

Let's see some action.
>> No. 159539
File 134189426561.png - (27.70KB , 360x320 , funnier than the cactus.png ) [iqdb]
159539
>>159482
>> No. 159548
>>159417

Yeah, I sounded a bit more judgemental there than I meant to. The course Nash took was definately better than just leaving it there to fester.

>>159453

I have it on good authority that it was something along the lines of "Hey! Hey! Watch this!"

I'll have the update up shortly, just getting a new computer since I just gave the old one away.
>> No. 159611
By 'shortly', I obviously meant three days. Obviously.
I wrote this mostly when I was on cold meds. It seems like a good idea right now and I'm going to post while my judgement is still clouded. Probably appropriate for this scene anyway.

[x] “You sound calmer than I expected you to be. What happened to all that flower rage?”
[x] “What did you do to Daiyousei?”

You laugh, turning around to face Yuuka. She’s dressed differently than before, the red coat and dress traded in for a set of purple pyjamas and a floppy cap covered in stars. Her umbrella is nowhere to be seen. She’s still smiling as you remember her but a look of dull somnolence covers her face. She walks over, leaning over the balcony next to you. The bronze floor cracks under her step, pushed apart as little buds begin forcing themselves up wherever she treads.
You don’t move an inch, keeping yourself still and relaxed.
“I’m actually glad that was you, Yuuka. Would have made me look quite silly if it had turned out to be someone else.”

She shrugs, stifling back a yawn. She’s only partially successful.
“You were right, though. I’m Yuuka Kazami, which means I get to go wherever I want. Even if, strictly speaking, you’re not really dreaming.”

“I have to admit, you seem a lot calmer than I expected you to be. What happened to all that…flower rage?”
She’s too calm, almost. It’s a little unnerving.

“Different flowers bloom in the night. You have a strange subconscious, warlock.”

There she goes, calling you that again. What does she know? The last time you asked her about it, her response was to ask why you called her Yuuka. And that first line about the night…damnit, you know that you’ve heard that somewhere before. You know you have. When you first met her maybe? You can’t quite remember.
“Is that why you’re being so much more civil? My subconscious?”

“Partially.”

“Why?”
You sweep your arms wide, taking in the vistas of Hell.
“Surprise you, huh?”

Yuuka sneezes, the motion of it knocking her cap askew and causing it to cover one of her eyes. She doesn’t bother fixing or adjusting it.
“No. You’re not as original as you think you are. I’ve seen most of this before.”

What.
“You have?”

“I got a pretty good look a few days ago, before you even showed up in my Garden. Didn’t the Yama tell you about dream youkai?”

“She said that you don’t always behave like regular youkai. That you can change. That the dream world reflects the ‘real’ Gensokyo more than most would ever know or see.”

“That visible changes in the Dream can show up due to an underlying corruption in the real that had yet to show its true face.”
She finishes it for you. You notice that she’s slowly starting to inch closer. The flowers at her feet are in full bloom, filling the air with a heady scent.
“Youkai come from a lot of places, warlock. Some are born from objects or from belief and some have always been there. I was a dream once, nothing more than a fleeting moment of mortal sleep. Dreams are mutable. Dreams can change. Dreams can transform into nightmares. The dream of Gensokyo is already changing and I changed with it. I saw all of this when I saw the new truth of the world slipping in and I grew to fit it.”
She stops, looking confused for a moment.
“Or at least, partially transformed. I split off.”

“You what?”

“If you take a cutting from a plant and bury it somewhere else, the same plant grows again. The me in the dream and the me in the real world are different now. We used to be the same but we’re not. I’m still walking around scheming in the waking world, at least for a given value of ‘I’. The me in the real is much more afflicted and changed. Because real me took the brunt of it, dream me is much less altered. I think. This is a bit of a lifestyle change.”

“So you’re trying to tell me that while you are Yuuka, you are a different Yuuka than the one who attacked me, Daiyousei and Shikieiki? One in the dream world while the other is in the real world.”
You study her carefully, trying to see a hint of deceit or manipulation in her absurd story.

“For a given value of different, sure. I still see her and I don’t know if she sees me. She’s stronger and has my mansion, I’m just a little dream wisp left over from the ripping. …You can stop looking at me like that too. I know what you’re trying to do and it won’t work. Even with your eyes, we’re in a dream and dreams are places where lies are true. You won’t be able to tell if I’m telling the truth or not. You’ll just have to trust me.”
She yawns again, sagging against the balcony.

“Trust you. You.”

“It might be hard. I understand. It’s my very nature to be made of lies after all. But the point remains that I saw all of this before when I changed. It was a big change, ripping me apart with the stress. I spoke to the dragon and it spoke back.”

“And you’re Yuuka before the change?”

“Maybe. I’m still changed, just not as much and different. I’m an echo left behind and in a very big sense, I’m still the other me and she’s still me. And I’m just really very tired, too much of me is gone.”
She suddenly leans against you and you get a good idea of just how thin those ridiculous pyjamas are. You go to shove her away before something strikes you, a small gem in her incoherent rambling.

“What dragon?”

She looks up at you blearily.
“Did I say something about dragons? I don’t remember saying that.”

“I’m pretty sure you did.”

“You must be mistaken. Why would I say anything about dragons?”

“The dragon spoke to me, you said. What dragon?”

‘Did you know that some people worship dragons here? They have a statue-”
She’s cut off by you grabbing her around the shoulders and shaking her.

“What dragon?”

Her eyes open fully and she actually looks awake. And more than a little pissed off.
“There was no dragon. It doesn’t exist. Get your hands off of me.”

You let her go with a sound of disgust. She quickly returns to her previously sleepy state.
“This was an interesting memory for you, wasn’t it?”
She jumps to another non sequitur.

“You could say so. It’s a little odd that you picked this one, isn’t it? Considering that you could say that it was what I did here that eventually led to me coming to Gensokyo in the first place.”
Well that and Stupid McPretentiousName’s immense ability to hold and pursue a grudge.

“Did it? Did it really?”
Yuuka’s grinning. A slow and languid baring of teeth.

“Yeah, even if it was a bit indirect. What’s with the look?”

“Nothing. Nothing at all.”
Being unable to pick up any sort of bead on her honesty is starting to really shit you. She’s just baiting you around now. You remember something from your first encounter.

“ ‘Different flowers bloom in the night’. That’s what you said as an excuse to get us all into Mugenkan when the sun was setting.”

“Yes. Sometimes I’m a little afraid of me. It’s not always fun.”

There’s silence for a while as you try thinking about just what to do in this situation. You don’t think you’ve ever been in one quite like this before. She’s starting to move slowly closer again.
It feels predatory.
“I’m flattered Yuuka but I don’t think we’re right for each other. Dream relationships just never last.”

She laughs, finally readjusting her cap.
“Depends on the dream, doesn’t it?”
She goes back to leaning on the balcony, covering it with ivy as she does so.
“I have to say though, you’re taking this all in stride pretty well. Much better than the fairy did.”

A chill runs through. You had forgotten. How had you forgotten?
“About that. What did you do with Daiyousei?”

“Not much. I’m new to this whole ‘sadism’ thing really. I’m nowhere near as much as an expert in it as you are. As I said, you have a very interesting subconscious.”

The scenery jerks to the side suddenly and dissolves, reforming into a small well-furnished room. There are no windows looking outside but you know exactly where this is. Yuuka leans back against the chair, careful not to touch the thing occupying it.
“It’ll be a while before I ever approach mastery like this little scene, I think. But even so, I think I did good work with the fairy. After a bit, it’s not much different from pruning a garden. She screamed a lot.”

You stab her in the face, your knife making it into your hands faster than thought. Red blood leaks out profusely. Interesting. The last time you met her, she hadn’t bled. She staggers back soundlessly, the blood on the ground blooming into a bed of bright red roses.
You reach forward to do it again.
“Don’t ever touch her again! And don’t ever bring this memory up! Who do you think you are?”

She ducks under the knife, stepping close and kissing you. To say it takes you by surprise is an understatement. She’s still bleeding a lot. So much blood. The two of you stand there for a close moment, a foreground not at all fitting the desecrated background that both of you are in.
You almost don’t want it to end.

You push her away, dropping the bloody knife as you do so.
“Stabbing you won’t change anything, this is just a dream! And can we get a fucking change of scenery? This isn’t me.”

“Isn’t it?”
Both of you are back on the balcony, which is strewn with petals.
“I think you’re right, Nash. This wouldn’t work out between us. Still, I was bored and it was worth a try.”

“Yeah well I’m kind of with someone already. And even if I wasn’t, the insane dream flower monster would not be on the top of my list. No offense.”

“None taken.”

[ ]You’ve had enough of this cryptic bullshittery. Leave the dream. Who knows what’s happening to your actual body in the real world.

[ ] This isn’t over! DREAM FIGHTING

[ ] You’ve got to get a straight answer about well…about anything out of Yuuka. By any means necessary.

[ ] Wait, why did Yuuka even come here in the first place? What does she want?

[ ] Give In

[ ] FAE TRICKS

[ ] Write In
>> No. 159613
[x] Wait, why did Yuuka even come here in the first place? What does she want?
[x] Use Golden Years Tarnished Black on Daiyousei torture.

or whatever the appropriate charm is.
No. You are not allowed to enjoy torturing Daiyousei. Cease enjoying immediately.
>> No. 159614
[x] Get laid.

Well, We're here, we aren't queer, might as well!
>> No. 159615
[x] You’ve had enough of this cryptic bullshittery. Leave the dream. Who knows what’s happening to your actual body in the real world.

She's stalling.
>> No. 159616
[x] Wait, why did Yuuka even come here in the first place? What does she want?
>> No. 159617
[x] Wait, why did Yuuka even come here in the first place? What does she want?
>> No. 159618
[X] Wait, why did Yuuka even come here in the first place? What does she want?
>> No. 159620
[x] Wait, why did Yuuka even come here in the first place? What does she want?
[x] Use Golden Years Tarnished Black on Daiyousei torture.
>> No. 159621
[x] Wait, why did Yuuka even come here in the first place? What does she want?

>>159615
Even if Nash is being set up, he should have some kind of charm that will alert him to imminent danger.
>> No. 159622
[x] You’ve had enough of this cryptic bullshittery. Leave the dream. Who knows what’s happening to your actual body in the real world.

I'm not sure if we'd ever get a straight answer and we have things to do in the waking world, such as comforting a fairy.
>> No. 159623
[x] Wait, why did Yuuka even come here in the first place? What does she want?
[x] Use Golden Years Tarnished Black on Daiyousei torture.

Its nice to destroy a happy memory that disgusts us. Even if Yuuka is stalling, I'm assuming that Nash's 'no you can't surprise me' charm will give enough warning to stop direct attacks on him.
>> No. 159625
[X] DREAM FIGHTING GODDAMMIT
>> No. 159628
[x]leave dream, real body, etc.

She's probably doing sexy things and we;re not enjoying them.

OR nothing is happening and we'll lose character development time.

If Yuuka talked to Ebon Dragon, I really want to know what was said. Maybe he taught her to be cruel and evil? I'd hate for a thing as powerful as Yuuka to become an Akuma. That would be horrifying.
>> No. 159631
[x] Use Golden Years Tarnished Black on Daiyousei torture, whatever else you do.
>> No. 159640
[X]"Different flowers bloom in the night." She talked to a dragon, then turned evil. OH FUCK, THE EBON DRAGON IS ESCAPING.
>> No. 159649
While she may have spoken with the Ebon Dragon, I'm doubtful that he broke free. He could simply have social combatted her to corrupt her.
>> No. 159658
[X] DREAM FIGHTING

While the Ebon Dragon fits, I wonder if it might be too obvious to be true. There's more than one draconic Yozi and Oramus sounds like he'd fit right in the dream described by Yuuka.
>> No. 159666
Votes called.
>> No. 159788
I was browsing the exalted wiki and came upon an ebon dragon charm: Want becomes need.

It's golden years tarnished black, but it makes the target addicted to the selected memory.

Keine *needed* to write another copy of the broken-winged crane, because she loved the feeling of it. Did we accidentally get Keine hooked on writing?
>> No. 159834
>>159788
Without going over the charms and story again, I don't believe so. I think Want Becomes Need leaves the intimacy as negative, but also creates a need on the part of the target for that intimacy anyways. So for example, a GSP could use it to create a loathing on the part of the target for cigarettes, but also cause the target to start craving cigarettes.

I think what happened was that Nash changed her memory of what happened to be a positive intimacy but didn't specify it well enough. Meaning that Keine ended with an intimacy where rewriting the BWC apparently made her feel good.

Keep in mind that I could be entirely wrong about all of this because I haven't re-read either the charms or the story.
>> No. 159867
Daiyousei torture? Did I miss something?

Also, lol at the land shark.
>> No. 159868
>>159867
Sage, idiot.
>> No. 159870
>>159834
Yeah, but you can combine Want Becomes Need with Glories That Never Were to make addictive positive intimacies, though that's not what we did in that particular case. She just did it because she remembered really liking it.

It's a really good trick to mindfuck someone into becoming your sex slave, though, especially if you Combo it with Fervor-Driven Antagonism Technique so you can choose the context of the intimacy.
>> No. 159878
>>159870
In other words, we were sloppy the first time around and unintended consequences popped up.
>> No. 159885
>>159867
Yuuka entered our mindscape and communicated with a dragon. Said dragon did "something" to her that caused her to radically change, creating this tiny fragment of what she once was. The new Yuuka went off and practiced her newfound sadistic tendencies on Daiyousei.

Considering we're the Ebon Dragon's exalted (though we ditched him), the likeliest explanation is that she made contact with our memory of the Ebon Dragon, and through Yozi realityhax made contact with the REAL Ebon Dragon, and he mindfucked her into pure evil.

Because he's the motherfucking Ebon Dragon.

Dealing with wicked Yuuka is going to be a pain in the ass.
>> No. 159887
And "what she once was" has decided it likes this sadism thing too. That's why I want to disabuse it of the notion.
>> No. 159899
>>159878
Not really. Fervor-Driven Antagonism Technique can only create intimacies towards yourself, and we were trying to fix the traumatic memories writing the Broken-Winged Crane caused.
>> No. 159902
...Holy fuck, you're back.
And I see I missed voting on the last one, dammit.

You know, I kind of think we should add some Intimacies towards Yuuka, or at least this dream-self of her.
If something has happened to her (we don't know, but assuming the worst is our best bet right now), this dream-self is out best option for fixing it up.
And having her get a positive Intimacy towards us would be pretty damn helpful in future dealings.
...Plus, you know, I'd rather have a friendly face to deal with whenever we rest.

Anyone got any trouble with that?

(Plus, we're starting to get Limit again, we need to be careful about that)
>> No. 160040
File 134366382469.jpg - (7.80KB , 259x194 , a good friend.jpg ) [iqdb]
160040
If I was any slower, I think I'd start actually removing updates. And yes, I am the laziest fuck when it comes to pictures.

[x] Wait, why did Yuuka even come here in the first place? What does she want?

You pace from one side of the balcony to the other, keeping an eye on Yuuka the entire time. She’s still bleeding by quite a bit, the left side of her face slick with blood. She doesn’t bleed in the real world but she does when you’re dreaming? When you think about it, that’s kind of messed up.
“Are you going to do something about that?”

She wipes it out of her eyes but does nothing else.
“Why should I? Nothing’s real here.”
It doesn’t stop. Blood starts to pool on the ground, filling the air with a thick cloying floral fragrance.

“Hmph. As entertaining as all of this is, what are you even doing here? I can only assume that it isn’t solely to bask in my genial presence and make cryptic remarks.”

“Do I need a reason?”

“I should hope so. Whether you’re trying to just get more information or if you’re tying up while something happens to my body in the real world. I can’t imagine you’d put this much effort into intruding into a place that isn’t even truly a dream for no reason?”

“Effort?”
She laughs, a short confident chuckle.
“No. Getting in here was easy. I told you before. I’m Yuuka Kazami. This means I get to go as I please. You’re just like the Yama, underestimating me. Thinking that dinky little seal could have held me. I didn’t have any help there, I broke it myself.”

“Really? Because Shikieiki sure looked like she had your measure back in Mugenkan. She beat you up and made it look easy.”
Is that a flash of irritation you see? It shows for only a moment before being replaced by that same sleepy expression.
“Which reminds me, could I have my Knife back? I seem to recall leaving it in your care.”

“No. The sword is mine now, in every sense of the word. And as for the Yama…that was then. My power has, you could say, grown seven-fold since then. I have feasted on the forbidden banquet of unreal thought in Mugetsu’s court and she could do naught to stop me. I am no longer just spawned from the nightmares of mere mortals, warlock. I am the sleeping dread of titans.”

You suppose that the speech is meant to establish an atmosphere of tension but any attempt at that is broken immediately as she breaks off into a huge yawn right after.

“Well, I hope that’s working out for you. That said, I can’t help but notice that you keep identifying the waking Yuuka as yourself.”

“Did I?”
Her face doesn’t change this time. That goddamn dopey smile.

“You did it when you talked about Daiyousei too. I thought you and her were separate?”

“We are.”

You look at her carefully. Witness to Darkness still can’t tell if she’s lying or not. There’s no indicators either way, your eyes can’t see what they usually do. Whether this is because Yuuka is right about lies being true in the Dream or some other bullshit reason is immaterial.
But you would truly be a sad pathetic thing if you couldn’t tell such a barefaced lie without Charms. There was a time after all, fifty years ago, when you had to make do without.
What is she really here for? You consider attempt trying to work the information out of her subtly but given that she’s either completely batfuck insane or just utterly perpendicular to the world as you know it, that probably wouldn’t work. You have no cues to work on with her.
You make a note to yourself that getting cues on Yuuka should be a matter of some priority, right up there with all of the other problems you’ve been juggling.
Instead you just settle for sighing heavily and looking at her condescendingly.
“I don’t need to hear your self-aggrandizement or your thoughts on what you did to Daiyousei. However, so far I have been exceedingly patient and good-natured about this whole business. I think you could repay that by respecting me enough to at least try to give me a proper lie.”

She laughs. Not just a quiet smug chuckle but a full belly-laugh, her arms clutching her sides. She’s still bleeding and this action sends sprays of blood further across the balcony. You catch a drop before it hits you in the face.
“I guess so. I’m here to warn you.”

“Go on.”

“What do you know about Reimu Hakurei?”

“Absolutely nothing. Should I?”

“You might not know about her but she knows about you. Or she will soon at any rate. She’s a mortal troubleshooter, a problem solver. A very good one, one of the greatest danmaku fighters in all Gensokyo.”

“I fail to see how this is bad news. I have a problem that needs solving, this lady sounds ideal. I’m sure she can help me.”

More laughter.
“The shrine maiden is a very…direct young lady. And you’re a very suspicious person and the representatives of both the Scarlet Devil Mansion and Eientei know of your presence at the Misty Lake. She’ll eventually latch onto you, she always had an uncanny sense when it came to finding culprits. And when that happens, you will find your plans reorganised. Painfully so.”

Hmph. You find it incredibly doubtful that a mortal of any kind could threaten you in a feasible fashion. But then again, this world has surprised you before. If this woman can compete with the likes of Yuuka and the Yama then you might have a problem. That is, of course, if Yuuka is telling the truth.
“Then why warn me about her? You’re not exactly my friend. Ah, no wait let me guess. This is some kind of ‘Only I will destroy you’ business, isn’t it? How cliché.”

She doesn’t respond and though her expression doesn’t change, her sleepy smile somehow transitions to a smug one. You throw up your arms and turn your back to her, again looking out over the endless mountain. Well this has been irritating and cryptic to the point where all sense had just up and buggered off. You did get what might have been a clue on the source of her corruption and who might just be behind all of this, even though you still fervently hope that this has nothing at all to do with the Ebon Dragon.
But really you’re done here and oh wait.
“Hey you. What’s a daisy?”

For a moment silence is your only answer. But then she steps in behind you, pressing something into your hands. It’s a white flower with a yellow centre. Quite pretty you suppose, in a plain sort of way.

You have to stop yourself from pulling out your knife.

“How was it?” you say. Her expression isn’t changing. Neither is yours. You bite back the sudden hatred.

“Hard to get used to but enjoyable. I can see why you-”

Yes. Oh yes. That’ll do it. You feel the urge rising up in you, something foul crawling up your throat. But you’re not denying it this time, so it feels wonderful. You’ll take that memory and a small portion of your Essence automatically spends itself suddenly, halting you as the proverbial alarm bells in your head start suddenly ringing.
Something is just about to attack you. Not here, where nothing matters. In the real world, or as real as this corpse-world made of inert dead matter can be. No way of knowing what it is but there can only be one possibility.
“Is this it? You were trying to stall me? I should have known.”

You’ll have to finish this later, as much as it galls you.
“Wait wh-”

You finish your Charm and cut the flower youkai off.
“Under Article 49q Subsection etceterawhatever of the Green Sun Concords, you can just fuck right off now!”
The dream shatters as your pretend law briefly becomes true, eradicating mental influence. Everything falls away and you snap your eyes open.
You’re back awake again and while annoying, you have managed to get some benefits of rest.

++Willpower restored to 8/10++

You’re still exactly as you left yourself, sitting down underwater in the middle of a river. And something is behind you and is about to grab you right now.

[ ] Jump away from Yuuka.

[ ] Push it away non-violently.

[ ] Counterattack immediately.

[ ] Just don’t move and make yourself invulnerable for the duration of the attack. Laugh at the futility.

[ ] Explode into acid monster form. Surprise the hell out of her.

[ ] Don’t do anything FOOLISHNESS

[ ] Write In
>> No. 160041
[x] Just don’t move and make yourself invulnerable for the duration of the attack. Laugh at the futility.

Does this warning register hostile intentions? This seems like a good balance between caution and not possibly hurting someone innocent, anyway.
>> No. 160042
[x] Just don’t move and make yourself invulnerable for the duration of the attack. Laugh at the futility.

I'm hoping that this means using Kimbery's perfect defense rather than Cecelyne's perfect defense because Cecelyne's has holes like doorways.
>> No. 160045
>FOOLISHNESS
Thanks for the clarification. Also, holy fuck. I stopped reading this in the first thread, how the fuck did we got here and what the hell is an exalted? No wait, White Wolf's? I don't read that, but I can try.

[x] Jump away from Yuuka.

You got yourself a reader. Too bad about the monthly updates though.
>> No. 160046
[X] Just don’t move and make yourself invulnerable for the duration of the attack. Laugh at the futility.

I've been suspecting that Yuuka hadn't met with the Ebon Dragon, she encountered Oramus. The sevenfold line seems to support that. Although, I suppose that she could have encountered the dragon from the Touhou side of things. The 'sleepy dread of titans' bit seems to support the idea that she has been influenced by a primordial, probably a Yozi.
>> No. 160063
[x] Just don’t move and make yourself invulnerable for the duration of the attack. Laugh at the futility.
>> No. 160064
Dear gods, I can't wait for him to meet Reimu. I am going to laugh long and loud.

Don't get me wrong, I love Infernanon. But "mere mortal" cracks me up.
>> No. 160065
If I'm understanding Exalted terminology correctly, Fantasy Heaven is a perfect defense, right?
>> No. 160066
>>160065
Yes, except it outclasses Exalted Perfect Defenses by a significant margin.
>> No. 160067
>>160066
In what ways? Some people reading this don't know about Exalted, you know.
>> No. 160069
>>160067

In Exalted, every perfect defense has one of a set of four specific Flaws that can be abused to force the people using them into a disadvantageous situation, and can generally only be powered for about half a minute. Fantasy Heaven lasts longer, and does not have any of the Four Flaws.
>> No. 160070
>>160069
Solar perfects have one of the Four Flaws. Infernals have a unique flaw for each Yozi.

[X] Jump away from Yuuka.
>> No. 160074
[X] Jump away from Yuuka.
>> No. 160221
I really shouldn't have done an update when we were only a few posts away from the autosage limit.
Hurr Durr etcetera.

>>160045
>Monthly updates

This hurts because it's true. Ouch.

>>160064

It would be interesting, wouldn't it?

New Thread Here
>>160219