At last! After countless nights of research and enough failures to destroy your house thrice-over, your prototypes are finally ready. If you act carefully from here on out, you’ll finally be able to get the wealth you’ve dreamed of.
This product could change the face of Gensokyo and the very nature of human-youkai relations, but that doesn’t worry you too much. In fact, you kind of want to see what happens. Maybe it’s high time the humans stopped living in fear.
In any case, you won’t be able to do this alone. Now that you have a prototype, you need to find a powerful partner. In return for a share of the profits, they’ll at provide you with the necessary “materials” and protect you if any complications arise. You could get other types of assistance as well, but larger roles well give them more control. You’ll need to think carefully about that.
Due to the nature of your product, you shouldn’t expect any support from youkai. There are plenty of other partners to pursue, though. The princess in the bamboo forest, for example. She always seems to be looking for something exciting, and this would certainly qualify. You can say the same for that wandering celestial, as well. There’s also the saint who came back to life two months ago; nobody seems to know her very well, but she’s made it clear that she’s a champion of humanity. You might have just the thing she needs to establish herself.
You’ll make your final decision once you’ve reached the edge of the forest. For now, it’s time to enjoy the outdoors for the first time in a week.
You button up your jacket and examine yourself in the mirror. The business suit you bought from Kourindou seems very out-of-place here, but you like to think it’s appropriate. You seem to be an eccentric person in general, after all, and the slight tightness of the shirt and pants makes you feel well-kept and confident. Not willing to trust a briefcase with your precious prototypes, you stuff them into your jacket’s inner pocket and head outside.
The forest is not a welcoming sight. You can hardly tell that it’s daytime from down here. A thick and probably poisonous mist hangs in the air, and odd-numbered sets of multicolored eyes peer out from the shadows between gnarled, slightly-mobile trees. No human in their right mind would live in this place, but you’ve forced it to respect you. And once you’re through, it might respect the whole human race.
A calming through the forest would be nice, but you can’t have any of these eldritch beings vomiting on your suit. You walk over to a nearby clearing and cross your arms as you rise up above the canopy, putting on your best “serious business” face. Now, you need to leave before somebody --
“Whoa, get a look at you!”
Well, so much for that. You turn around without breaking your pose to see your ever-excitable neighbor, Marisa Kirisame, grinning as wide as ever. She’s sitting sideways on her broom, hovering just a few feet away. It’s strange how good she is at sneaking up on people.
“I haven’t seen you all week, Tadashi! What’d you come up with this time? Can I see? Can I have it?” She inches closer to you with each question until she’s practically breathing down your neck and pressing the tip of her hat into your face. If she didn’t do this all the time, you’d feel a bit awkward.
Why can’t she be bothering someone else today? Normally you could just distract her with danmaku, but you can’t risk her winning and finding out what you’re up to.
Although, now that you think about it, she could make a decent partner. Not so much for materials and protection, but she’s probably an excellent salesperson, and she has plenty of connections. And she’s going to try and reverse-engineer your product anyway, so maybe you should just get her on your side.
But, at the same time, she seems like the type to play by her own rules. She might quit all of a sudden if she gets bored, and then nothing would stop her from setting up her own shop across from yours. You aren’t particularly fond of her in general, either.
Well, looks like it’s time to make your first business decision.
[ ] Recruit Marisa.
-[ ] Have her come with you.
-[ ] Promise to show her later.
[ ] Don’t recruit Marisa. Give her a fake explanation and go on your way.
[x] Don’t recruit Marisa. Give her a fake explanation and go on your way.
Partnerships are serious commitments. You shouldn’t just hand them out as you please, especially not to people you don’t like. If she ends up disappointed, so be it.
This will be a good test for your speaking skills. First, you float backwards to restore your personal space. Marisa was never very good about that. Then you dust off your suit and hold out your hands, doing your best to match her brilliant smile. Try as you might, you can’t quite duplicate her charisma.
“Hello, Marisa! It’s nice to see you again. It’s… a little embarrassing to run into you now, though. I would have preferred for nobody to know about this.”
“Hmm?” Marisa starts closing in again, and you keep moving backwards to keep her at a distance There’s a sparkling excitement in her eyes now; nothing excites her more than being let in on a secret.
“You see, there’s a nice girl at the village who likes well-dressed men, and…”
“Hoho! Didn’t think you were the type, Tadashi! Hey, you gotta let me come along. I’m the best wingman there is, y’know. I can tell ‘er all about how great you are.” She catches up to you and elbows you repeatedly. You can only imagine how that would go.
You gently brush her arm aside. “Marisa! A confession is a solemn and life-changing act. You can’t just bring a ‘wingman’ along in case things go sour, and you certainly can’t treat it as a spectator sport,” you say with seemingly-fake annoyance.
That stops Marisa in her tracks. She’s dealt with her share of confessions before, so she knows how it is. Romance might be the one thing she respects.
“You sure? I could have her throwin’--”
“I’m very sure.”
You’re treated to a few seconds of pouting.
“Oh, alright, do it alone. You gotta tell me how it goes, though!” And with that, she’s off to bother someone else, leaving a trail of multicolored stars in her wake. Never a dull moment for her.
Well, good to see that worked. It’ll probably cause you a few headaches later, but at least you’re free for now.
You’d best take some extra precautions to make sure she doesn’t follow you. To start You fly above the treeline in a random direction until you reach a thinner and less-magical part of the forest, then dip back below the canopy. Now you can circle around and… Oh my.
The ground and the trees here are absolutely crawling with insects. A mass of flies and bees suddenly swarms you, and you’re forced to shoo them away with a few bullets. Of course, that creates a little too much noise, and you’re soon face-to-face with their boss.
“Hey, hey! What do you think you’re doing?”
It’s the firefly youkai, Wriggle Nightbug. She lives on the other side of the forest, so you haven’t seen her in person. The frown on her round, boyish face and the limp cape fluttering behind her make her look more cute than threatening.
You cross your arms and give your “serious business” expression its first field test. “Hm? It was your insects that attacked me. I was forced to defend myself.”
“Well, of course they did! You came and disrupted the news team’s morning meeting!”
Oh, that’s right. She runs the Insects’ News service. A classic example of misunderstanding your target market. You’ll need to be sure you don’t make the same mistake.
“Well, don’t think you’re getting off easy now. I’ll show you what it means to mess with us!” And before you can object, a spellcard duel begins.
What a bother. If you get in a drawn-out fight here, you’ll probably damage your suit. You could certainly end this quickly with your prototypes, but you’d rather not waste any before you can show them to someone important.
Why can’t Gensokyo leave you alone?
[ ] Fight her normally.
[ ] Deploy the prototypes.
-[ ] Responsibly.
-[ ] Full power!
Gentlemen. I come to you, not as a leader, but as one of your peers. Why, we could stand here, and jaw for hours and hours. We could even engage in a fight. But no. No, these things are not sufficient.
We could even show a small slice of our power at this point. This is also not sufficient.
Comrades, an opportunity is given to use FULL POWER. It would be an affront to the Motherland to select anything else.
>>159714 Okay, I'm really, really tempted to vote for that, but logically, we shouldn't show our full power yet.
Think about it. If our secret gets out, that is us having these things that can beat youkai with easy, imagine what will happen. We'll probably get a "friendly" visit by Yukari and we certainly don't want that to happen. At least, not yet, not now when we're still weak.
After we're secured our potential support candidates (Eientei faction, Tenshi, and the Taoists), then we can go all out, doing whatever we're planning to do with these "prototypes" of ours.
That's why if we should keep our power down, to keep unwanted attention away from us.
>>159715 Look deep within yourself. In your heart, you know I am right. In your heart, you know there is only one path. It is the path of the People's Glorious Full Power.
Comrade, I will not force you to do what you know is right. I will only remind you of your responsibilities to our People, our Party, and our Chairman.
A sliver of power is as noticeable as full power without the benefits of GLORY. Full power is the only way. If you do not do this, they have already won, and the revolution is over, for we have lost hearts and minds.
The revolution ended before it began. Dear comrade, you are before your time in a world of capitalistic normals. In the future you may yet see the glory of full power. Yet that day shall not dawn soon. For when you rise to see the next update shining like the morning sun, it shall dawn in a flood of regular danmaku. Capitalism ho.
You put your sweat and tears into those prototypes. You can’t just waste them on the first youkai you see. You’ll just try to end this quickly. She doesn’t look that tough.
“Well, looks like I don’t have a choice. You started the duel yourself, though, so--”
Lamp Sign 「Firefly Phenomenon」
You shouldn’t have taken so long to decide. Now Wriggle gets to go first. She fires out a dizzying spiral of green and blue bullets, which stop in a circle around her and drift lazily in your direction. She also spawns quartets of familiars, but those go down easily.
Flashy. Predictable. Amateurish. You could handle this in your sleep.
Unfortunately, your arrogance gets the better of you, and you fail to destroy one of her familiars. A string of blue shots suddenly tears through the green ones, and you jerk away early enough that it just grazes you.
And burns off an elbow of your suit.
Your suit! Your beloved expensive pinstriped suit! And you knew this would happen, too!
One of your hands darts towards the prototypes, but you smack it away. You can’t let this sway you. A businessman keeps a cool mind at all times.
Your nondescript energy bullets break the spell a few seconds later, and Wriggle gets a clear view of your dissatisfaction. She takes it as a sign that she’s winning. Poor girl.
You close your eyes and mentally reach for your repository of spellcards. A pair of bright blue ones clamor for your attention, but you ignore them and look further in.
It’s been so long, you can’t clearly remember what your old cards were like. The newer ones have crowded them out. This one in particular never got enough testing...
“Ha! Almost got you with that one! I won’t miss next time,” she gloats.
A perfect setup. You exhale loudly and slowly open your eyes.
“There won’t be a next time.”
Encirclement 「Pattern Theta」
A solid wall of bullets encircles Wriggle, ten meters in diameter. Well, it’s almost solid. There are a few gaps here and there, but they’re small enough that she doesn’t notice. The wall stays in place while a pair of explosive orbs runs along them, eventually flying at each other and crashing together in the middle. Wriggle easily avoids the impact, and a new, smaller circle forms around her.
“Hah, this isn’t so bad! Here, take this!” Wriggle holds out one hand fires a burst of beetle-shaped projectiles. You can’t help but smile as they pass right through you.
“What? Then, this is…”
“A survival card. One of my best.” Which is a little shameful to admit, really. Anyone with a decent amount of skill could beat it.
“Hmph.” Wriggle narrows her eyes and turns her attention back to the bullets. The circle’s diameter shrinks a little each time it reforms, until it’s only two meters across for the final one. Your card’s down to its last few seconds, loudly counting off the time to the final impact. Wriggle’s eyes dart quickly back and forth, tracking the circling orbs. Circling, circling, circling… There.
Wriggle succeeds in throwing herself out of the way, but she does so with a bit too much gusto and crashes right into the wall. The closely-packed bullets vaporize about half of her clothing, and she covers herself with a yelp as the duel ends.
“Agh! I’ll… I’ll remember this!” she shouts as she dives back under the trees. The spare magic dissipates in a cloud of colorful sparkles.
Theta works well against excitable opponents. You’ll make a note of that.
So, the victory is yours, but at what cost? You won’t be taken seriously with a hole in your suit. It needs to be fixed before you continue. Can’t take it to Alice’s, though, or you’ll run the risk of bumping into Marisa and losing your cover. There should be a competent tailor in the village.
This might not be such a bad thing. You aren’t sure how plausible it is, but you were thinking it would be nice to secure an endorsement from a well-respected human. You could pay a visit to Miss Kamishirasawa or Miss Akyuu while the tailor’s working. Even if you don’t tell them about your product, you can still feel out what they’d think of it.
The village is a strictly-enforced no-fly-zone, so you touch down at the gate and let yourself in. Your clothing draws a few glances, but you don’t really look any stranger than the youkai. As you head towards your tailor, you catch a glimpse of the red-white miko getting in a shouting match at the central market. You could probably have the same sort of conversation with her.
You can get your jacket fixed fairly quickly if you pay the right price. In the meantime, you can have a little chat with…
>>159750 The Revolution is never over, comrade! As long as but one of us draws breath, as long as one of our hearts beats in the rhythm of the Motherland, beats with love for our fellow man, the Revolution cannot die.
Comrade Reimu understands this. She understands the importance of our struggle, for the good of all. She understands how important it is to the People.
Keine and Reimu benefit from the status quo. Their positions as high ranking members of society depend on other humans being dependent on them for safety.
It is not in their best interests for humans to be able to defend themeselves. Akyuu can remember when Human-Youkai relations were alot worse and more importantly is one of the many humans not strong enough to defend herself.
The Hieda family has been an authority on youkai for over a millennium, and Akyuu can’t fight them on her own. Given her writings, she seems like she’d be the most likely one to support you.
But first, there’s the matter of your suit. After a few minutes of searching, you find a modest house that bears a sign that depicting a needle and thread. The interior is filled with various bolts of cloth, and you hear a loom busily clacking away in the back. A well-dressed and bespectacled middle-aged man stands at the counter with a businesslike smile.
The tailor’s brow furrows with concern when he sees the hole in your sleeve. You take off your jacket and set it on the counter to let him get a better look. Fortunately, the dress shirt you had on underneath is just a bit singed.
The tailor adjusts his glasses and leans in to examine it. “Hmm, this is a rather unique piece of clothing. An antique?”
“Indeed. Do you think you can fix this hole?”
“Well, this damage is rather extensive. To repair it completely, I would need to make a new sleeve. That would take several days.”
Augh. You can’t wait that long!
“I’m afraid this is an urgent problem. Could you simply patch it somehow?”
“If you so desire. I would recommend sewing a leather patch onto each elbow to make it seem deliberate.”
“Excellent. Can you do it in thirty minutes?” you ask, casually sliding an advance payment across the table. He glances down to examine it.
“I appreciate it.”
You would have liked to keep the money, but some sacrifices are necessary. You pull the prototypes out of your jacket and stuff them down your shirt for safekeeping.
Now, you’ll go pay a visit to the Hieda house. It’s in the nice part of town, about five minutes away.
Akyuu’s manor towers over the surrounding residences. Tradition seems to be built into its very walls; it’s had many additions and remodelings over the centuries, but each change has flowed seamlessly into the last, all following a single vision and adding to the manor’s grandeur each time.
The gate has been left open. Akyuu’s always working on the latest edition of the Gensokyo Chronicle, so she encourages people to come in and give her new material. A servant girl welcomes you at the entrance, and you’re shown to Akyuu’s chamber in short order.
Akyuu herself kneels behind a short writing desk, with her rich yellow robe wrapped closely around her. She seems small and frail even for a twelve-year-old, and the bright colors of her clothes and hair don’t quite mask the paleness of her skin. The only lively parts of her are her eyes, glimmering with knowledge, and the hand that makes her pen dance across the scroll in front of her. Her concentration is so tense that you’re forced to knock on the wall to make your presence known.
Akyuu looks up with a start. “Ah! Good morning, Mister…?”
“That’s right. Tadashi Yanai, from the Forest of Magic.” She recovers with a bow and a smile. “I apologize for not recognizing you. How is your home? Are the youkai any more aggressive than usual?”
“Oh, not especially. I was attacked by Wriggle Nightbug on the way here, but I hear she’s known to pick fights.”
“I beat her, by the way.”
“I see. I’ll make a note of it.” Akyuu slowly stands up, turns around, and selects a scroll from the hundreds piled up around her. It contains a large grid with dozens of youkai’s names written along the columns.
“Wriggle Nightbug, repulsed.” She adds a tally mark to a crowded cell and returns the scroll to the top of the pile. The process takes an entire minute.
“So, what did you come to discuss?” she finally asks.
“I had a question about the relationship between humans and youkai.”
“Oh? It seems as though you could learn about that just by looking around outside.”
“Well, this is a hypothetical question.” You feel compelled to lean towards her until you can hear her weak, gentle breathing. “What if the villagers and the youkai could fight on even ground? Do you think we would be better off if they did?”
You notice a slight pause in Akyuu’s breathing. Without looking away from you, she sets a small blank scroll on the desk before her.
“Well, as you know, humans and youkai currently live in an era of unprecedented coexistence. The leaders of each group work carefully to maintain the balance, and any change to the situation would need to be carefully considered.” Her pen works at a dazzling speed as she speaks, but the characters don’t seem to match what she’s saying.
“As to your specific question, I believe that that sort of power is easily abused, especially by those who have never held it before. If wielded irresponsibly, the consequences could be tragic.”
Before you can say anything back, she rolls the scroll up and hands it to you.
“You may refer back to this later. It was nice speaking to you.”
Taking the hint, you thank her and make your way out of the manor. As you’re walking back towards the tailor, you check the scroll out of curiosity.
My ancestors lived in a time when the youkai were ruthless, sadistic predators. The fear was all-consuming. Times have changed now, but this peace only comes at the youkai’s whim. The only punishment for a youkai who kills a human is a loss of standing, but humans who band together to kill youkai frequently lose their lives. The fear remains under a thin layer of calm.
It also bears noting that any serious change to the current situation would involve the empowerment of humans.
However, youkai have a right to live as well, and some youkai desire friendship with humans. The question is how to balance the rights and wants of all youkai with the rights and wants of all humans. As long as one side is stronger, that balance is especially difficult to maintain.
Tread carefully. They are always watching.
Trying not to look too suspicious, you roll the scroll back up and hold it tightly as you walk.
The tailor was true to his word. He smiles at you as you step in and presents you with your restored jacket. It’s… well, it’s not good as new by any stretch, but it certainly looks better than it did. The leather patches seem rather tacky, but you’ll have to live with it. You thank the tailor, make your payment, discreetly put the prototypes back in their place, and head out.
You’re back in shape for business now. Reimu seems to have left, and Keine will be busy teaching now. You might as well resume your original quest.
You’d best remember that you’ll only be able to have one partner. Their services would merit at least 30% of the profits, and you’ll have to hand out more if you need specific assistance from them or from others. Not to mention that several partners probably wouldn’t get along with each other. If you don’t keep a decent portion of the income for yourself, you’ll be stuck in the middle class forever.
With that in mind, you’ll set off for…
[ ] The bamboo forest.
[ ] The sky.
[ ] The mausoleum.
The celestial would make an interesting partner. You’ve heard stories of her causing disasters and starting fights all over Gensokyo just to entertain herself. She’d almost certainly demand some of your profits, but it seems like she would happily help you out if she saw the excitement your product could create.
Unfortunately, you aren’t exactly sure how to find her. She comes by the shrine and the village from time to time, but you can’t just sit around and wait for her. You figure you’ll start by just heading for the sky and seeing what happens.
Since there’s no particular spot you’re aiming for, you lift off as soon as you clear the village limits. Several of the villagers below pause their work to take in the sight of a stern-faced businessman rising into the sky.
That’s right. Someday soon, they’ll always be watching you no matter what you’re doing, and their eyes will be filled with envy.
But for now, you’ll keep going up.
Eventually, you reach the abode of the clouds. There aren’t too many around today, so the sky is mostly taken up by an endless sea of intense dark blue. Gensokyo spreads out on the ground far below you, nothing more than a jumble of mountains and forests and valleys with the extra-jumbled village near the middle.
The air’s much thinner up here, and the air is cold and cruel. Fortunately, magicians of ages past devised a spell to ward against the effects of high altitudes, and you hardly notice a difference.
So, you’re here. No celestials in sight. Might as well check out the clouds, you guess. You’ve never seen them up close before. Their dark contours seem clear from a distance, but you find that they blur and swirl and fade together when you get close. Such delicate transience. And over there… A woman?
Indeed. A young woman with short violet hair is somehow cuddled up against a cloud. You come closer and discover that she’s fast asleep and snoring quietly. If you didn’t know any better, you’d say the cloud was a big, fluffy pillow. As you watch, she closes her mouth around a piece and starts chewing on it.
A black cap with two long pink ribbons lies perilously on the back of her head, and she’s deeply entangled in a pink shawl with red trim. Aside from that, she’s dressed in a modest pink blouse and a long black skirt. She seems to be a youkai, but at the same time she doesn’t; even when she’s asleep, she projects an unusual atmosphere of grace and maturity.
By the way, it’s kind of creepy to watch strangers sleep. Your’re debating whether or not to wake her when she opens her eyes on her own.
“Mm? Who’s… Wah!” She suddenly jolts upright, and the sudden motion throws off her hat.
No youkai is whole without her hat.
You dive under the cloud and race towards the hat as it tumbles downwards with its ribbons flapping in the breeze. It’s not especially aerodynamic, so you catch up and snag it in less than a minute. When you return to the womoan, she’s patting her clothes into place and rearranging her shawl with an excessively panicked look on her face. You look away and offer her the hat, which she gingerly accepts.
“Thank you,” she says, a bit shakily. You turn your head back and smile at her.
“No problem at all.”
The woman smiles back and calms herself with a few more breaths. Finally regaining some of her bearing, she looks you over and takes obvious notice of your suit. You cringe mentally when her eyes pause on your new elbow-pads.
“Well, I’m sorry to inconvenience you like that. I am Iku Nagae, messenger of the Dragon Palace. Is there any way I can help you?” Her tone is suddenly polite and refined, just like the bow she gives you.
“It’s really alright, Miss Nagae. And it’s nice to meet you.” You hold out your hand until she shakes it. Her hands are very… lively. Like something’s dancing about just under her skin. “My name is Tadashi Yanai. I was trying to find…”
Iku’s polite smile fades for a moment. Something tells you that she might not like how this sentence ends.
[ ] “… a certain celestial.”
[ ] “… Actually, I was trying to find you.”
[ ] Write-in.
Now this is an interesting divergence. Iku or Tenshi? I get the feeling Iku is going to deny us if we outright ask for Tenshi though. Soooooo charm time.
[x] “… Actually, I was trying to find you.”
-[x] "I was hoping for your advice for an endeavor with a certain celestial."
-[x] "A-and before you get any ideas, no she isn't in trouble for anything, I just want to talk to her."
No, you shouldn’t change plans mid-sentence. You can try to manage her reaction, though.
“… A certain celestial.”
Iku starts winding up for an unhappy sigh. Maybe she thinks you lost your home in an earthquake? You quickly interrupt her.
“A-and before you get in any ideas, she isn’t in trouble for anything. I just want to talk to her.”
The sigh comes out as a simple loud breath. Iku’s eyes widen with curiousity, but she still seems disappointed.
“I suppose you are referring to Tenshi Hinanawi, Eldest Daughter of the Hinanawi clan?” she asks, in the same tone as before.
That sounds right. You nod cautiously.
“Very well. Please come with me.” Iku scans the skies for a moment. You can’t see anything noteworthy, but she picks a direction and flies off with apparent certainty, beckoning for you to follow.
Seems like the didn’t like hearing about Tenshi, but you can’t just give up on a potential contact. You fly closer and try to strike up a conversation.
“Are you a friend of hers?”
Iku thinks for a bit without changing her speed. “I suppose not. We both spend much of our time in Gensokyo, though, so we see a lot of each other. And it often falls to me to look after her.” An idea strikes her. She turns her head and examines you until you blush.
“I do not believe the Eldest Daughter has any friends. Finding one could greatly decrease her mischief.” The look in her eyes seems to say, “I would appreciate that.”
The two of you are heading towards Youkai Mountain. The peak is almost at your level, its rounded top rising majestically above the clouds. Waterfalls flow down its verdant sides, and a large building sits next to a lake near its peak. That would be the Moriya Shrine, home to the youkai’s new goddesses. You’ll need to be careful here; this place could soon become very dangerous for you.
Just outside the shrine’s gate, you see the constantly-shifting multicolored swirl of a spellcard duel. Iku leads you over, looking thoroughly uninterested in the fight.
“The Eldest Daughter is having her morning exercise. Please be patient.”
The current spellcard breaks, and the bullets disappear before you have a chance to analyze them. In the calm that follows, you get a brief glance at the participants. Unfortunately, they’re so far away that you can only tell that they’re both girls, one with green hair and one with a black hat.
The green-haired girl declares a new spellcard. There’s a familiar thundering sound, and its name flashes across the battlefield.
Divine Virtue 「Bumper Crop Rice Shower」
She holds something up and starts firing red bullets in five directions, creating a sort of star shape. None of them are aimed right at her opponent, but four of those streams bounce back off of the boundary and rain down in chaotic, colorful showers. The sight makes you sweat a little; this card would be a match for your prototypes at full power. As they are now, at least. And her barrier is superb, holding up well against a constant barrage of large grey projectiles.
You and Iku finally reach the duel’s boundary. Now you can make out the participants though the thick cloud of danmaku.
The current card belongs to a young woman dressed in a white-and-blue variation of the Hakurei maiden’s clothes. She must be Sanae Kochiya, the Moriya shrine maiden. You’ve seen her in the village a few times, going about her business with a serene smile and surrounded by divine grace. The earth rises to meet her, the wind is at her back, the sun shines warm on her face, and the rain falls softly at her feet. She exterminates troublesome youkai, but the youkai are her source of faith. An interesting paradox, but you doubt she’ll react well to your product.
On the other side, you have the Eldest Daughter herself. She looks about the same age as Sanae. Her hat, adorned with a few green and pink objects, stays securely on her head as she flies about and fires an endless stream of heavy-looking shimenawa-covered rocks at her opponent. She seem to be as light and graceful as an angel as she dances around the hail of bullets, her long blue hair whipping back and forth around her.
A well-placed stone smashes Sanae’s barrier to pieces, knocking the miko off her feet. As the remaining bullets fade away, Tenshi glances around for the first time and sees you and Iku standing nearby. A radiant smile lights up her beautiful face, making her red eyes almost sparkle.
“Oho, an audience! I’ll need to put a quick end to this.” Her voice isn’t terribly high-pitched, but it’s definitely girly.
Sanae picks herself up with a loud, tired sigh. When she finally opens her eyes, she’s shocked to see Tenshi running right at her with a shining card in one hand and a strange fiery sword in the other.
Non-Perception 「Sword of Rapture」
The card disappears, and Tenshi brings her empty hand to the hilt. The flame solidifies into a glowing red blade as she swings the sword forwards with all her might. Time seems to stop as a terrible slicing sound fills the air, followed a moment later by a terrible shriek. The duel ends with a thundering roar as the impact throws Sanae off the mountain and far out of sight.
That was a spellcard? She formed the bullets right on her sword. You didn’t think that was possible.
Tenshi spins around to face you as she follows through with the strike. Before the spin finishes, she sheathes her sword, crosses her arms, and plants her other foot on the ground with a triumphant smile. You decide to give her some measured applause, and she takes several theatrical bows in response. Afterwards, she crosses her arms and smiles again. The smile seems a bit more arrogant this time.
Now that the fight’s over, you can get a better look at her. She’s a bit shorter than you, with pale, flawless skin and lively red eyes. Her silky blue hair spills out messily from under her peach-adorned hat, with some of it clinging to the shoulders of her white-and-blue dress.
Iku steps forward and clears her throat, making Tenshi acknowledge her for the first time.
“Eldest Daughter, allow me to introduce Tadashi Yanai,” she says. You didn’t think it was possible for anyone to sound so polite.
“It’s a pleasure.” You bow a little deeper than you normally would. It goes over well.
“Well, it’s a pleasure to meet you too! Come on, let’s go someplace nicer.” Tenshi snaps her fingers, and an enormous one of her stones falls from the sky. You can’t help but jump back as it crashes into the ground a foot away from you, but Tenshi and Iku don’t even flinch.
Tenshi climbs on to the stone’s flat top and eagerly pats the spot next to her. You clamber on and sit down at her side, a little closer to her than you’d like. Her dress feels soft and comfortable, and the bit of her arm that’s pressed against yours is nice and smooth as well.
The stone rumbles to life and flies off into the sky. It’s only big enough for two, and Iku doesn’t seem interested in coming along, so you’re alone with Tenshi. The excitement is plain on her face; this must be a rare occasion for her.
You should get to know Tenshi before you tell her your idea. Is there anything specific you should discuss?
[ ] Her looks.
[ ] Her spellcard.
[ ] Iku.
[ ] Her relation to Moriya.
[ ] Her views on humans and youkai.
[ ] Write-in.
[X] Her spellcard
--Compliment her technique
[X] Her views on humans and youkai.
I'm just going to go out and say that I really hope this leads to the MC and Tenshi teaming up to recklessly shake up the status quo in Gensokyo, because that would be rad as hell. Plus not enough stories are Tenshi-centric around here anyway.
There was a tie, so both options win.
Also, take heed: There will be no second run.
Tenshi’s stone hurtles down the side of the mountain. Its smooth top offers little in the way of handholds; Tenshi enjoys the ride with her hands in her lap, but you prefer to dig yours into a pair of small crevices on the side. She seems amused.
The stone reaches the foot of the mountain and starts cruising over the sea of trees. Now that the roar of the rushing air has subsided, you can finally strike up a conversation. Bowing deeply worked well, so you’ll keep working the flattery for now.
“It’s an honor to finally speak with you, Miss Hananawi. Your reputation precedes you.”
Tenshi’s eyes turn away from the rolling landscape and glimmer as she smirks. “Oh? And what reputation might that be?”
A lunatic who fights everyone in sight and destroys property for her own satisfaction.
“A mysterious girl of impossible strength and beauty, who strikes with the ferocity of thunder and the speed of lightning.”
You sense some relief mixed into Tenshi’s satisfaction. Your rehearsal of that line paid off. She doesn’t say anything in return, however, so you’re forced to keep talking.
“And you certainly live up to it. If I understand correctly, I just witnessed your triumph over a goddess.”
Tenshi’s smile shifts over to a smirk. “Oh, her? She’s nothing. The two of us fight every time I come down, and I always win!” She says it so forcefully that you’re almost certain she’s lying. It’s flattering that she’s trying to make herself look good for you, though.
“I should have fought someone stronger. Then I really would’ve impressed you!” The stone suddenly swerves as if to seek out a new opponent, but it proves to be a passing fancy. Instead, Tenshi sets it down atop a small, grassy hill at the forest’s edge.
You dismount with a fair amount of relief. You’re tempted to lie down on the wonderfully unmoving ground, but you can’t bear the thought of staining. You cross your arms and lean against a nearby tree instead, and Tenshi mimics your position nearby.
“By the way, that was a very interesting spellcard you used. I’ve never seen one that consisted of a single strike.”
Tenshi raises her eyebrows. “Truly? Well, I suppose a commoner wouldn’t know.” You feel a prickle of dissatisfaction, but decide to let it slide.
“ ‘Interruptive spellcards,’ a secret addition to the spellcard rules. If you greatly reduce a spell’s power, you can declare it at any time in a duel if you don’t already have a card in play. They’re very useful when you’re investigating an incident and you want to win duels as fast as possible. Reimu likes to keep it a secret, though.” Her casual mention of the shrine maiden’s name suggests fair amount of familiarity. You doubt they met at a tea party.
“But you just told me.”
“It’s fine.” Tenshi waves her hand dismissively, not aware of the magnitude of what she’s just done. This information opens up an entirely new line of possibilities.
Not wanting to draw any suspicion, you quickly change the subject to the first thing you can think of.
“Your clothing is immaculate, Tenshi. I’ve never seen anything so flawless in Gensokyo.” Your eyes sweep over her, trying to find something noteworthy to mention. Their search is brief. “And that… peach is very unique.”
“Ah, this?” Tenshi jerks her head up, seemingly trying to look at it through her hat. “It’s one of Heaven’s treasures. Whoever eats it will gain eternal life.”
The last sentence gives you pause. Immortality? Is that something you desire?
“That seems like a dangerous thing to carry around.”
“Hm, you think you can take it from me? And even if you eat it, you can still be killed…” A menacing grin spreads over her face as she strokes the hilt of her sword. Then she breaks out into giggles.
You meet her laughter with an embarrassed smile. This is a good chance to collect your thoughts.
What have you learned so far? She enjoys flaunting her power and loves to confirm her superiority, but she’s also hungry for your approval. From that, you would guess that she’s struggling with feelings of inferiority, which would mean…
“Well, you must be rich and successful to have all these wonderful things.” You indicate the hat and her sword and the stone. “I’m very fond of successful women.”
Tenshi freezes mid-giggle, and there’s a flash of panic in her eyes. You do your best to act like you don’t see it.
“O-o-of course! Rich and successful, that’s me!” She smirks and puffs out her chest, emphasizing the less-than-successful mounds under her shirt.
You guessed right. Given that she’s the Eldest Daughter, this is probably all from her parents. If you exploit that, you can convince her to join you. But, is that the best idea?
[ ] Yes.
[ ] No.
[ ] You should explore your other options.
Hum... tough call, she wouldn't really be much of a problem at first... but the fact that she would seek out approval can be something of a problem in the long run. Hasty decisions, bad calls... I think we might want to
[X] You should explore your other options.
Plus, shouldn't we exchange business cards? what kind of businessman are we if we don't exchange business cards?
Tenshi is pretty much a mixed bag of both good and bad. Her revealing secret information from Reimu (just to basically impress upon you her superior knowledge)is probably something you don't want to occur to you with your prototypes (until they are fully done anyway)and her bad reputation (and her seemingly own knowledge and feelings of it)may hurt you if you get into a partnership with her (it may also help for protection, but its Gensokyo so not by much). But she also seems to have taking a liking to you (meaning you would have a good working relationship), wanting to impress you (meaning that she sees you as someone valuable) and even though she shouldn't have told you about the Interruptive spell card it shows that she is quite knowledgeable about things in Gensokyo that you do not (meaning she can help you with your project).
To be honest Tadashi would probably be better served getting her as an assistant/employee rather than a full time partner since the interaction between them seem to be more akin to a boss discussing things with a worker to build up good a good relationship with them so they can try their best and work for you more effectively.
[x] other options
Tenshi is needed because he has the knowledge, but at the same time we wouldn't want her to leak everything about our prototype. How about Iku though? She seems like she would be just as knowledgable, but with the self control we're looking for. Keep Tenshi as an employee?
Tenshi seems like a bit of a wildcard. She has the spirit and knowledge you’re looking for, but you can’t say you like her carelessness with secret information. You’d best explore your other options before settling on a partner.
But, you can’t just get away now that you’ve decided that. First, you’re forced have to stay here while Tenshi spends half-hour describing her family’s wealth in exacting detail. You keep listening with the most realistic smile you can manage, responding with polite surprise whenever she reveals yet another impossibly minor task that they pay someone to do.
It’s saddening. The way she’s wracking her brains for more things to say makes it clear that she wants you to stay, but it never occurs to her to ask about you. Is this how she talks to everyone?
Ten minutes later, she finally falls silent. Part of you just wants to finally take off, but you feel compelled to stay a bit longer. Even if you don’t need her as a partner, you can at least give her some help.
“You’re lucky to be the Eldest Daughter, Tenshi. I was much further down in my family.”
Tenshi’s head tilts with curiosity. Seems this is relevant enough to interest her.
“My father preferred to keep me out of the way, so I was forced to work as a servant in my own home, and I had to endure constant lectures from those who considered themselves my superiors.”
Tenshi’s hand practically slams into her mouth, and a faint blush creeps across her face. The thought that she’d been boring you, of all people, must be terribly embarrassing, as well as the fact that she wanted the approval of someone who was once a servant. You switch to a gentle smile.
“But, that might not have been so bad. I was able to meet a wide variety of people who I never would have talked with otherwise, and they all had something to teach me. I found that I could learn something interesting from anyone if I listened for long enough. And because of that, I can almost speak to you as an equal.”
“That’s right. Just imagine what it could do for someone like you. If you think you need it, that is.” You stand up and chuckle as you pat her on the shoulder. “It was very nice meeting you, Tenshi. There’s nobody else quite like you, and I learned a lot from you as well.” To put it lightly.
You slowly turn around, fully expecting Tenshi to stop you. She does.
“Hey, I’ll see you again, right? I still have a lot to show you! And, maybe, to learn from you too.”
Ah, she wants to redeem herself. When you see the out-of-place nervousness on her face, you can’t keep yourself from nodding. She breaks into a grin, and her red eyes follow you closely as you rise up and out of her sight.
Perhaps she’ll become your partner after all. But not before you’ve continued your search.
[ ] Perhaps you can find your way back to Iku?
[ ] You’ll pursue someone different.
-[ ] The princess.
-[ ] The saint.