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161736 No. 161736
Hey there people. It’s nice to meet you all. This is my first time writing on THP, but I’ve been here for a while now. At least, I have by my standards. Anyway, I hope you enjoy what I’ve done. It’s loosely based off of a LARP system I played for some time.

-----

I am Agent Lupe, a mercenary for an organization known as the Wanderers. They try to cleanse the North-Lands of Orcs, bandits and the occasional apocalypse. Our last mission was to assassinate the Kaos Warlord known as Kharg-Denmar, which was going rather well, actually. Normally, warlords are protected by hordes of cultists, a regiment or two of elite warriors and sometimes a big ol’ demon. Being the cocky little bugger that he is, Denmar decided that his sleeping area was to be unguarded at all times when not in battle. This, of course, left him rather vulnerable.

Getting into the camp was relatively simple. All you had to do was pretend to be insane or shunned by the ruling nations and they let you in. Easy as pie. After that we had to wait out until night fall, because after all, no daytime murder ends well. Once the moon was up a small number of us who were actually good at the whole ‘stealth’ thing - which included me, the only professional assassin in the group - left to go and do said assassination.

Subtlety isn’t something rampaging lunatics don’t do well at. You may think that as they went up the chain of command, they would wise up and start to be a tad more discreet. If you did think that, you’d be wrong. So very, very wrong. Y’see, instead of a normal door made with wood and iron which a smart person would use, a certain madman chose one made with bones, most of them still covered in blood. I’m sure one of them had an axe lodged into it as well, but I digress. It wasn’t just the door that was made out of bones, but the walls and ceiling too, a feat which would have took many men and hours to accomplish. By this point in my life however, if it hadn’t of been like this, I would have been rather disappointed.

“WHY ISN’T THERE ANY MEAD HERE?!” came a shout from inside. It was a loud and angry voice, but there was a hint of confusion in it, barely noticeable. My musings about why it was there was quickly cut off by the door suddenly swinging open. First a hand appeared, then the rest of the arm which happened to be attached to a huge man, with black hair down to his lower back and the beginnings of a beard on his chin. He wore a suit of chainmail under a cloak and brown trousers, all bearing the tell-tale signs of combat. This had to be Denmar, as his entire body was covered in dirt and blood, much more than any of the other soldiers in the camp. Plus the fact that he had his name sewn onto his cloak, probably in case he forgot it himself, but that’s beside the point.

“OI, YOU WITH THE HOOD,” He shouted again. I could only assume that he was referring to me. “FIND OUT WHY I DON’T HAVE MEAD!”

“I believe that we’ve ran out, sir” I replied, doing my best to sound sincere. In truth, the camp had enough alcohol to last about 5 months, but I hoped he was too drunk already to realise this.

“WHAT? NONE AT ALL? SONOFFA...” Whatever he was going to finish with – probably ‘BITCH!” – was unceremoniously cut off by a dagger making itself home in his throat. It belonged to the group’s resident thief, a man by the name of Jazaar. Odd fellow, kept to himself most of the time. Has an annoying habit of looting the bodies during a fight. Greedy bastard...

Anyway, the target was dead and we were ready to leave. Of course, things never go well for us. We got 15 feet from the exit when a yell came from behind. Apparently, someone found the body far quicker than we expected, and us running from the camp at full speed didn’t do us any favours. A volley of arrows followed us out the gate whilst we, well, legged it really.

What happened next, I’m not quite sure on. I was running ahead of the group, putting as much armour and bodies between me and the angry mob as possible, when I did something very un-assassin like. I tripped on something. No idea what it was, but I tripped on it. This is where things get rather weird, really. This felt like a teleportation spell, a strong one too. I’ve been through the effects of this many times before, as it’s much quicker than finding another means of transport to traverse the continent. It has its own problems of course, like the possibility of letting a greater-demon into the real world or you ending up in the wrong place: I ended up on the other side of the planet from my target once because of an ambush during the ritual.

Anyways, this had all the hallmarks of a teleport. The only problem was who was doing it? Normally the caster needs to be able to see who they’re sending, but none of our mages were doing it and Kaos mages aren’t exactly known for such finesse. Either way, I was being sent somewhere.

“Uh, guys? I’m being taken out of here by someone.” Is what I would like to of said then, but all I managed was the first two words before I no longer happened to be there. As I’ve said before, I’ve been through these spells many times, but this one was different. For a start, I don’t normally want to empty my stomach over the landing zone. Speaking of the landing zone, this place looked like nothing I’ve ever seen. Thick forest spread for as far as I could see, letting the occasional ray of light through the canopy. A faint dirt trail winded away from my location, disappearing in the dense undergrowth.

Checking my belt, I made sure my dagger was still in the scabbard and my notepad was still attached to it with a strip of leather. I still have my tent too, for some reason. I must have had it with me when I was sent here. What to do now...

[] Follow the trail. Like a normal person
[] Head into the forest. It’s scavenging time.
[] Set up the tent, just in case.

-----
Feel free to leave criticism; my writing style tends to be very weird at times. Plus, advice is always a good thing.

>> No. 161750
[x] Follow the trail. Like a normal person


I don't really have any comments on your writing so far. No glaring errors or obvious faults.
Can't say much about the content, either. Not enough to go on yet.

I guess we'll just see if anyone else has any comments further down the line.
>> No. 161757
[x]Blame Jazaar for this. Kill stealing bastard.
[x]Follow the trail like a normal person.
>> No. 161784
[x] Follow the trail. Like a normal person

You're by yourself but you were just running from an angry mob so you might also want to be careful just in case someone was teleported with you.
>> No. 161813
Calling it here. It's been long enough. I'll have the update later on, I'm at college right now and don't have the basics I had set up. Also, eMacs are horrible.
>> No. 161830
File 134886720147.jpg - (32.67KB , 556x640 , 85tu3.jpg ) [iqdb]
161830
Well, as I promised earlier, Part 2 has arrived. I think I’ll manage to get an update in every three or four days, as circumstances permit.

-----

The path intrigued me. This place still had residual magic clinging to it from my uncomfortable arrival and I didn’t want to find out if I’d been followed. Stepping onto the dirt path, I could tell that it wasn’t frequently used. Effort had gone into making it clear enough to walk through but it was still hard to notice at some points. Thankfully, as an assassin my tracking skills are relatively decent, so I was able to keep to the path without any problems.

Damn, was this thing long. It didn’t help that everything looked the same, but that’s tree for you. It’s always puzzled me how a trail like this could be so extensive, as I must have been walking for at least 2 hours before I got into a clearing. In there, I could see what looked like a house. Or shed. Whatever. I slowly crept towards it, making the most of the small amount of shadows here. As I got closer, I could smell something burning, and then I could make out some faint black smoke rising from behind the building.

Naturally, I headed straight towards it. There generally happened to be people around fire, although whether they would help me or try to tear me apart remained to be answered. Still sneaking, I moved up besides the house and peered in, more out of habit then curiosity. Not seeing anything noteworthy, I began to head to the corner of the house to take a peek around it. Someone must have noticed me because as soon as a poked my head around, I got a face full of hat.

“Ohgodwhothehellareyou?” said the owner of the hat, apparently as confused as I was. It was undoubtedly a woman’s voice. Before I could even respond to her hastily asked question I found myself being prodded by a broom of some kind. Where she got it from I had no idea, but the thing was annoying, so I swatted it out of the way before speaking.

“My name is, uh, Lupe. I... think I’m a bit lost,” I say, before scratching the back of my head. “You mind telling me where the hell I am, miss?” Chivalry is good and all, but she didn’t seem like the kind of girl to be swayed by it. It was now that she had backed away a bit - pointing some weird device at me - that I could fully see what she looked like. She had blonde hair with a single braid in it, a black dress with an apron for some reason and of course, the big, silly looking hat. Seriously, you could probably get lost in that thing. Why is it so big? Whatever the case, she lowered the... thing that she was wielding and let out a deep breath.

“This is the Forest of Magic. You must be an outsider or something if you didn’t know that, or you’re just very dumb. I’m Marisa Kirisame, an ordinary magician.” Magician means spell caster; ergo she must be a mage capable of performing the transportation rite. I was already one step on the road back and I hadn’t even started yet. “So, why exactly are you here then? Lupe, was it?”

“Lupe is right. I honestly don’t know why I’m here. I was just running for my life away from a very angry mob of cultists and was suddenly transported here,” I made a mental note not to tell her why they were after me, too many questions. It then occurred to me that this Forest of Magic place wasn’t in any of the maps I’ve seen, and I’ve seen quite a lot. Slowly, a thought started to grow in my mind. “This isn’t anywhere in Urgom, is it?” I asked, hoping my fears wouldn’t be true. “Urgom? Never heard of that place. This is Gensokyo, the Land of Fantasy. It’s separated from the outside world by a powerful border. You really must be an outsider then”

Fuck.

Fucking fuck.

How the hell did I manage to leave the planet through teleportation magic? My mind was running in circles, roughly at a mile a second. Every ounce of me wanted to just keel over and just stop existing. I probably would have tried if Marisa wasn’t there. She didn’t need a random newcomer collapsing on her. She did look rather comfy to lie on though...

“Hey, Lupe? You said something about being transported here, right? Did you fall through a gap?” A gap? I had no idea what she was on about there. I was taken by magic, plain and simple. “Not that I’m aware. I was a target of magic.”

“Magic? Oh. Oh dear...”

Don’t say that don’t say that don’t say that. Alarm bells were ringing now. She was shuffling around uncomfortable, too. Not a good sign.

“I may or may not have accidentally brought you here.”

Well, the cause has been found. I was surprisingly calm during this moment of time, for some reason. I guess I was expecting it in some way. Still, how powerful of a magician could she be if she could cross realities with magic? Another mental note was added: ‘Don’t anger the ridiculously powerful mage’. I had to know how she did it, as our mages could do with that kind of spell.

“How exactly did you get me here then, Marisa?” I asked

“I was experimenting with some magic, trying to make a new spell. Something went wrong on a massive scale and stuff went boom. I also lost all the stuff I used to cast it in the explosion,” she explained. Now I knew why the fire was there. Also, my opinion on her strength just changed dramatically. She carried on shortly after. “I guess you were a side-effect of the mess.”

This is just perfect, trapped here for who knows how long. “I’ve never been called a side-effect before.” I say after a short while. In hindsight, I could have worded that much better. Only now did I realise that I hadn’t eaten in quite some time. Judging by the sound my stomach was making, Marisa probably did too. After sniggering a bit she invited me inside, though as soon as I got through the door I was suddenly kicked out by a blushing Marisa. Probably something to do with all the underwear that happened to be lying around. She probably doesn’t get many guests.

A minute or two later she lets me back in, though she’s doing her best not to make eye contact. It’s a good thing I decided not to tease her about it; she looked like she could snap at the mere mention of it. The room was much tidier now though, so she obviously put a lot of effort into hiding her junk. Or not, as everything that can hold stuff looks ready to burst. Does she even clean up normally? I highly doubt that she does.

By Gaia, I’ve found someone who lives like me.

That isn’t a good thing.

“Would you like a drink?” Marisa asks after pulling out a fragile-looking chair, complete with scorch marks on the legs. “That’d be great, thanks.” I reply, taking care not to break it.

Another few minutes pass before Marisa leaves what looks like a kitchen with two cups filled with fragrant tea. Setting one down next to me, she sits down and starts sipping her own drink. We stay like that for a short while, with us both just drinking our tea in silence. It’s her who eventually breaks it.

“So, what do you plan on doing now, Lupe?”

[] Look for something interesting
-[] Ask for directions
-[] Explore the forest some more
-[] Write-in

[] Stick around for a while longer
-[] Offer to help clean up
-[] Ask about this ‘Gensokyo’ place
-[] Write-in

[] Other

-----

I enjoyed writing this one. It took me a while to decide how I was going to do Marisa, but I eventually settled on this style. I just know that someone is going to hate the way I’ve portrayed her.
>> No. 161834
[x] Stick around for a while longer
-[x] Offer to help clean up
-[x] Ask about this ‘Gensokyo’ place
-[x] Ask her about herself and a little about her magic.

>>161830

You don't have to say it if this has story relevance for later but was Lupe the only person that encountered the teleportation magic? It seems to be implied the he was the only one who got caught in the magic due to he distance away from the rest and how instantly it happened.
>> No. 161837
[x] Stick around for a while longer
-[x] Offer to help clean up
-[x] Ask about this ‘Gensokyo’ place
-[x] Ask her about herself and a little about her magic.

The vote seems fine. Also, all this stuff about Kaos magic, cultist, demons and all, is this based on Warhammer Fantasy? No real reason for asking, I just wondered as I read, seemed familiar.
>> No. 161843
>>161834
As far as Lupe knows, he was the only person affected by the magical backlash. Enjoy the vagueness.

>>161837
The LARP system I was playing took inspiration from Warhammer Fantasy, as a lot of them do. The setting is perfect for people to cut and choose from for things like LARP, so long as it isn't exactly the same.

Also, the first time I posted this I completely forgot to put my name in.
>> No. 161848
[x] Stick around for a while longer
-[x] Offer to help clean up
-[x] Ask about this ‘Gensokyo’ place
-[x] Ask her about herself and a little about her magic.

I agree with this so far, and not to sound like I'm giving an asspat, but I do like your writing style. It's pretty easy on the eyes
>> No. 161850
[x] Stick around
-[x] Offer to help clean up
-[x] Ask about this ‘Gensokyo’ place
-[x] Ask her about herself and a little about her magic.

Seems legit
>> No. 161888
Called. Sticking around it is

I'm in a writing mood today and I highly doubt that there's going to be many more votes anyway. Four is a good number. Update tomorrow.
>> No. 161925
Okay, maybe the update wont be today, as I got on the laptop too late. I have most of it written up though, and I just started on the final stretch (the magic bit). You find out a bit more about Lupe and his companions in this next one as well.

Catch you all tomorrow then.
>> No. 161962
File 134929315371.png - (442.74KB , 1000x513 , kirisame_marisa__01_by_ehon_metal-d4sutut.png ) [iqdb]
161962
Right, part 3 has arrived! Bit late, I know, but it's here! With character development!

-----

“Well, what can I do? If you’d have me, I’d like to stay here for a while. After all, no point in me charging in blindly to a place I know nothing about,” I take another sip of tea before speaking again. “I’m not some half-wit berserker.” I assumed people knew about general roles of an adventuring party here, but judging from Marisa’s response, I would guess not. Or, she does know and she’s more shocked about me taking up space in her already cluttered house. Either or.

“Guess I can’t really object. I did bring you here so that probably makes you my guest for now.” She says after making a show of thinking about it for a short while. “I can free up some room somewhere for you to sleep later on. I think I have a spare futon lying around.” I have not heard of this futon thing she’s on about but I can only assume that it’s some kind of bed. The fact that she is scanning the room quite frantically means that my guess is as good as hers when it comes to finding the damn thing.

“If I may, we should probably tidy up a bit first. This room is worryingly similar to how I have my house. If that’s any indication, that spare futon may as well be lost in the abyss.” I’d be damned if I was going to let this mess slide. Only one person gets to live in a complete mess and that’s me. Marisa lets out a quick sigh and downs her tea before jumping up. “Right!” she shouts, full of an annoyingly infectious cheerfulness. “Let’s get to it then!”

Five minutes in, and we’ve already encountered a problem. I was collecting a bunch of dirty dishes up when out of nowhere, one of the shelves that looked beyond full burst open, sending women’s wear all over the place. It was a damn good thing I was on the other side of the room as I wasn’t exactly keen on having all that land on me. Sure, Marisa is a nice looking girl and all, but there are some things best left alone. Still, not turning around to take a sneaky look - while she panicked and grabbed everything she could see - was a hard task to accomplish.

Thankfully, nothing else happened to impede our efforts to clean up during the long hours we spent doing so. Eventually, we managed to get everything squared away neatly, even going so far as to find the mystical futon. Not gonna lie, it looked rather uncomfortable. Does everyone in Gensokyo sleep on one of those? Actually, I have no idea what the local culture is even like at all. All I’ve seen of the surrounding is trees, grass and dirt so far, with an emphasis on the trees. Why did it only just occur to me to ask relevant questions? More importantly, why do I keep asking myself questions instead of Marisa? Stop that, me. I mean it.

“Hey, Marisa,” I call out to her, trying to pry her attention away from whatever it is she’s doing in one of the back rooms. “Yeah, what is it?” she replies, followed by a badly stifled yawn. It must be getting late or something. Not important. “I was just wondering what it’s like in Gensokyo. Feel like filling me in?” I asked. There’s a brief silence after this, which I can only assume is a bad thing. Eventually, she walks back in and takes a seat opposite me. “There’s going to be a lot, isn’t there?” I already know the answer. Things like this are always long winded and take up a lot of time. “Oh, you bet” she finally says, a grin forming on her face.

She told me about the incidents that happen here, and how she and a friend called Reimu sort things out with this crazy danmaku thing. Non-lethal, she says. She decided to show me a bit too, and it stings like a bitch.

So there’s these things called youkai that look like humans but aren’t humans and they actually eat humans sometimes and oh man this is confusing. She even said something about vampires living in a mansion by a lake. Shitty vampires taking all the good spots again, I bet. Worse than Jazaar when it comes to things like that, they are.

Well, after that ad-hoc explanation of this new land, I can safely say that it’s as messed up as Urgom. As far as I can tell, everything I’ve learned over the years to do with fighting is wasted here, for this place operates on an annoyingly deathless way of dealing with things. Stabbing the shit out of people’s backs with sharp objects (which may or may not be coated in a very deadly magical poison) is no longer an option if I want to stay out of trouble.

Gensokyo sucks.

I just so happen to like stabbing things repeatedly. Very much so. And now I can’t do it anymore. Actually, I probably could if I just used my cloaking spell. Invisibility is a great thing to have these days, it would seem. Morbis and Jeb thought that the very idea of one of their future pack mates taking assassin training was hilarious and slightly degrading. Well, they’re dead and I’m not so the joke’s on them. The best bit is I didn’t even kill them! Sure, I led the greater demon towards the campsite and hid everyone else’s tents, but I didn’t kill them.

I’m going off topic again, aren’t I? Sorry.

“Are you alright, Lupe?” Marisa asks, snapping me out of my pondering.

“Huh? Oh, yes, I’m fine. I think,” I say. “I just got caught up thinking about things. Like this.” I quickly recite the required chant and suddenly I’m no longer visible. If Marisa still had a drink she’d be spitting it out in shock right now, I hoped. Not wanting to overdo it, I quickly cancel the spell and sit beside her. Her face right now is priceless.

“What the hell was that? I know that the kappa have some weird devices that can do that, but that was magic, right?” she asked, barely taking a breath between sentences.

“Yes, it was. Most assassins can do it, and I can also hold someone in place with shadows too for a short time. I can only do both a few times a day though, which is a shame. Means I have to choose my targets well. I guess they’re both just parlour tricks here though”

“I wouldn’t think so. You can’t use danmaku so you could use them to run away from fights.” I’m no stranger to the coward’s approach, but I was generally prevented from doing it by my supervisor. Werewolves shouldn’t run from fights, they said. Except I wasn’t a werewolf yet, so to hell with that. Now, I probably can’t even become one.

Did I mention that Gensokyo sucks? ‘Cause it does.

“What kind of stuff can you do then?” I asked, my curiosity getting the better of me. She said she was a magician, so obviously she can cast magic. I already know about danmaku, but I had no idea what else she was able to cast. Most likely something involving fire. Every mage I know can cast a fireball or imbue their weapon with fire. Wonder if Marisa is any different?

“Well, there’s danmaku, obviously,” Totally called it. “I can also shoot lasers with that device I pointed at you earlier, and I create potions too, sometimes.” She does alchemy? I must pursue this further. Later though. I have some experience with potion creating, but I happen to be an expert on poisons. I once managed to ‘accidentally’ make an incredibly potent and very contagious disease then ‘accidentally’ made it spread throughout a large number of green skins. It was just a coincidence that the local warboss owed me money. Pure and simple coincidence.

Anyway, Marisa couldn’t cast anything near what I expected her to (besides danmaku). I was about to ask her about her potion making skill when she jumped up and grabbed the broom from earlier. “Oh yeah, I can fly using this as well.” Well. That was unexpected. Not as much as what she said next though. “We should go see Reimu now, before it gets too dark. She’d probably want to know about an outsider arriving here. Follow me then!”

Who is Reimu and why is she important?

[] It’s too dark now. We can go tomorrow.
[] Sure, why not? She can’t be too bad.
[] Wouldn’t it be easier to bring her here?
>> No. 161970
[x] Sure, why not? She can’t be too bad.

Adventurer protocol, always go to meet the important NPC.
>> No. 161974
[x] Sure, why not? She can’t be too bad.

>>161843

I wasn't really asking if Lupe knows, but more about how you wrote the scene since although it was from Lupe's perspective the scene was set up in a general sense.

Lupe was far enough away from his group that when he tripped they didn't trip with him but was close enough so he would assume that calling them would help him and since no one vanished before his eyes while he was running ahead that means no one (other than maybe Jazaar since its noted that he real quiet and creepy) could have possible been caught in the spell before Lupe. Add that with the fact that no one was behind him while he was transported and the apparent time frame for the spell and other people falling in seems kind of farfetched with how you wrote it.
>> No. 161992
>>161974
Unless the accidental teleportation spell didn't just grab the fist person to stumble into it, and instead grabbed everyone nearby when it happened and, in classic "teleport mishap" style, it deposited everyone all over the place.

We only know what happened from Lupe's perspective, which is that he tripped and didn't land where he was expecting to. We have no idea what, if anything, happened to everyone else because Lupe didn't see anything and thus neither did we.
>> No. 161997
>>161992

The point is the "everyone nearby" being caught. With how it played out, there isn't a lot of people who could have been caught.

Lupe's not seeing everything isn't the point, it's what he did see and how it happened to him that is.
>> No. 162002
[x] Sure, why not? She can’t be too bad.
- See if you can ask her about her potions during the trip

>>161992

He's probably over analyzing the story, but he does raise a good point. But this discussion should probably wait until the next update since more information would only help sort things out.
>> No. 162028
>>161974

If any of the other Wanderers were affected, you'll find out later. Telling you if they have or haven't will ruin it.

Anyway, Lupe wouldn't be able to see anyone disappear in front of him as he always puts that extra effort into running away. 'I was running ahead of the group, putting as much armour and bodies between me and the angry mob as possible'.
>> No. 162045
>>162002
Actually, I'm not really analyzing anything. I just like seeing other's guesses for plot twists because I'm terrible at seeing them coming myself. That why I like playing devil's advocate for things like this and offering counterarguments to theories just to see where the chain of thoughts will lead.
>> No. 162104
Well, seeing as this isn't going anywhere else, I'm going to call it here. Evening stroll to Reimu it is.
>> No. 162188
Right, stuff is happening soon. I have the update nearly done so expect it later on today. I mean it this time, too.
>> No. 162194
File 134998698499.jpg - (107.76KB , 1215x810 , hakurei shrine.jpg ) [iqdb]
162194
Here it comes.

-----
It may be getting dark but in all honesty, I much prefer it that way. The night allows an assassin to perform at their greatest. Not that it helps much here, what with the no-stabbing rules. No use complaining, this place has been around for who knows who long, and that rule must’ve been in place since danmaku came along.

I should probably stop going on about that at some point.

“Well, I don’t see why not? If this Reimu is some sort of authority on outsiders, the sooner I get on her good side the better.” I say, making it sound like a joke. I was in fact, deadly serious. Only by getting along with the locals could I survive in a hostile land, and I intend to survive. Maybe even settle, if things go well. Which they won’t, of course, it’s me we’re talking about here.

“Well, let’s get going then! Follow me and keep up!” Wait, what does she mean by keep up? “Follow the most disturbed path if you fall behind!” She can’t, can she? No way. No. Effing. Way. I try to speak up, but before I can form a word, all I see is the sudden blur of motion, followed by a gust of wind. Surprisingly, the comically oversized hat of hers hasn’t stayed behind, as I would expect.

I stand there for a while, mouth opening and closing like a fish, before I start running after Marisa. Damn, she’s fast. I can barely see her in the distance, slowly shrinking as she get’s further away. It makes a nice change of pace though, as I don’t normally get to chase after other people. The fact that she was a cute girl only went part way into my endeavour to catch up to her. Getting lost would be a bad idea right now, especially as I have no idea what actually lives in the forest. Probably nasty stuff.

Five minutes late, I think I’ve lost her. Thankfully, there’s still a trail of broken branches and flying leaves as a result of her undoubtedly trying to break the sound barrier. Following it at a brisk pace wasn’t particularly difficult, but the running was beginning to take its toll. I reach a set of obscenely large stairs and decide to just sit down there. I was the only person I could see here so I wasn’t likely to get in anyone’s way, which was a good thing. Catching my breath and wiping my forehead, I began climbing the stairs.

Not my greatest idea. I was near the top sure, but I was also losing the will to live. Whoever made these was a massive dick. They most likely laughed at everyone who attempted the climb without a decent rest. Just as I reached the summit, I spotted a certain magician chatting with a bored looking woman in red. Dark hair, a large bow in it, lack of armpit cover on her outfit. Overall, not too bad looking. I call out to Marisa, who turns around and laughs.

“You’re quicker than I thought, it seems!” She turns to woman in red and points at me, “This is the guy I was talking about, the outsider,” she then turns back to me and points in towards the red woman, “This here is Reimu, the shrine maiden at Hakurei shrine. Not much to look at, but she gets the job done.” She finishes up with a burst of laughter, barely covering up a complaint from Reimu. They look like friends though, from the way they were talking earlier, so it was probably just a friendly joke. I walk over to the pair and introduce myself to Reimu.

“Nice to meet you. My name’s Lupe, part of the Wanderers. Hope we get along” I say actually being polite to this new person. Unlike Marisa, Reimu had an air of nobility surrounding her. Whether it was real or not, it never hurt to treat someone like her nicely. Plus, I mean what I say when I talk about her being easy on the eyes.

“Reimu Hakurei, Shrine Maiden of Paradise. Pleased to make your acquaintance,” Her response seems somewhat rehearsed, like she had to do it many times, or something. She carries on, regardless. “Marisa tells me that you’re an outsider that she accidentally brought to Gensokyo. Is that true?”
Interrogation already? This isn’t a good sign.

“As far as I’m aware, miss. She said she messed up a spell at roughly the same time I was dragged here, so it seems the most plausible answer. More plausible than the ‘gaps’ she mentioned anyway.” Can’t really go wrong with the truth. I doubt it will be a problem though, as she just stands there with a finger curled on her lips, most likely thinking about something important. Please don’t be a reason to punish me for something. Eventually though, she starts talking.

“Well, you’re going to be in Gensokyo for a while. Get to know the area you’re staying at first, then the route here, then the human village. Try to stay out of the areas further in, like the Scarlet Devil Mansion, or Youkai Mountain. I won’t stop you from exploring, but many dangerous creatures live out there and many of them eat defenceless humans like yourself. That should be all, I think.” Did she really just call me defenceless? It was tempting to turn invisible and sneak behind her the moment she said it, but I doubt that either she or Marisa would be too impressed with that.

Still, the thought of being eaten by the nasty stuff wasn’t a pleasant one to say the least. But, there was some comfort in the fact that I could probably get away with a bit of stabbing out in the woods, though saying that would be a bad idea, probably. Still, it turns out that there’s more than just the seemingly never-ending forest that Marisa lives in, so I’ll be doing plenty of exploring later on. That mansion is probably a bad idea, seeing as it’s probably got guards everywhere, so the mountain will be safest option. Knowing my luck however, it’s probably going to be swarming with powerful creatures.

“Thanks for the pointers,” I nod slightly to her and then turn to Marisa. “Will that be it then?” I ask, noticing the lack of light in the surrounding area. Reimu must’ve noticed it too, as she went and lit a few torches around the perimeter.

“I think that’s it. Though it’ll be a hassle to get back to my place now though” she says.

“So what do we do now then? It wouldn’t be very polite to crash here for the night,” As I say that, the shrine maiden just sighs, walking slowly towards us again. I know what that means. “That was your plan all along, wasn’t it?” I ask her blankly, not expecting an answer. Reimu starts talking before Marisa even gets the chance.

“She does this sometimes. With you two turning up this late it was pretty much expected. Isn’t that right, Marisa?” So this is a common occurrence after all. I expected as much. Still, I didn’t think it was a particularly nice thing to do, especially as I’ve only really just met the pair.

“Ehehehe~” Now in the spotlight, the just grins and rubs the back of her head, the same way you would expect a child to act. Damn it me, stop thinking about how cute she looks doing that! Mentally slapping myself, I turn back to the shrine maiden and just shrug. It seems like I’ll be spending the night here instead.

Ushering us both inside, Reimu makes a quick meal for us both which consisted of rice and a bit of bread, which I chow down on stupidly fast, completely disregarding the chance of indigestion? When we’re finished, she points me towards an empty room. Inside, I spot one of those futon things and make my way towards it. I set my dagger to the side of it and dump my clothes on the floor. Sleep comes quickly, which isn’t exactly a surprise.

[] Early start, around 6am, to get more of the day
[] Normal start, around 8am, out of habit.
[] Late start, around 11am, because today has been a long day and I’ll be damned if I don’t need to lie in.
>> No. 162195
[x] Early start, around 6am, to get more of the day

Might as well start early after all


>>162045

Didn't mean you (that's kind of why I said he was overanalyzing and not you were overanalyzing),I meant the person you where responding too.

If I'm not wrong his point seems to be that Lupe was either in the middle of the backlash, got caught at the tail end of the backlash or was caught at the head of the backlash. And out of the three choices only one would give a chance for other Wanderers to get caught too and due the info we get from Lupe POV that chance seemed unlikely.

It's a solid point to get from the information that we know (which was why I said he seemed to overanalyze this since this idea takes all we know into consideration seemingly) but more information may get us a better picture so I mentioned that we should wait.
>> No. 162295
Calling it here, due to lack of activity.

>>162195

Seeing as nobody else seems to be voting, enjoy the temporary position of Lupe's inner self.
>> No. 162309
File 135064928923.jpg - (472.12KB , 1024x768 , hakurei shrine 2.jpg ) [iqdb]
162309
This is only a short update, but I'll make up for it with the next one!

-----

My eyes slowly open. Judging from the faint darkness in the room and outside I can tell that the sun is still below the horizon, though only just. Give it an hour or two and it will be my first sunrise in Gensokyo. Raising my body slightly so I can get out of the surprisingly comfortable futon, I notice something in the air. Faint burning and the scent of food. Undoubtedly, either Reimu of Marisa were already awake and making breakfast. Judging by the state of Marisa’s house yesterday, it was probably the shrine maiden in the kitchen or equivalent.

Getting myself dressed, I leave my dagger where it is as I probably wouldn’t need it here. When I finish, there is a conveniently well timed knock at door. Well, probably on the wooden support actually, seeing as the door is made of paper. Gensokyo is a weird place.

“Lupe, are you awake?” comes a voice from the other side of the door. My previous assumption was correct as to who was already awake; the more feminine voice of Reimu was clear and quiet, probably so she didn’t accidentally wake me up.

“Yeah, I am,” I say after a yawn. Waking up early isn’t a habit I would want to keep if it feels like this every time. “I smell cooking. Is it breakfast already?” The thought of not having to cook for myself for once is a good one, especially as it is being done by an attractive woman. Not that I’d say that out loud, of course.

“If you want it. Marisa is still waking up, so she’ll be joining us shortly.” The response is quick and to the point. It is actually surprising that Marisa is at least partially awake, but I have no doubt that Reimu is to blame for that. Either way, I slide the door open and walk out, greeted by the shrine maiden in her full gear already. How early does she wake up, exactly?

Breakfast consists of eggs and rice, with a bit of meat every now and then. Overall a pretty simple dish, but filling nonetheless. Marisa stumbles in halfway through, half dressed and half awake, and takes a seat opposite me. Barely ten seconds later, her head is on the table with the obvious signs of sleep. I try my hardest to ignore her, not wanting to appear as a pervert. Some tasks are more difficult than they appear however, and I catch myself glancing at her several times. If anyone else noticed, they didn’t mention it, so I excused myself quickly when I finished. As I left, I could just catch Reimu giving Marisa a quick chide about politeness, but beyond that I have no clue on the conversation they had.

Keeping my thoughts to myself, I take a short stroll around Hakurei Shrine, speechless at the beauty of the surrounding area. It is then that I notice a figure standing at the front gate-thing. Said figure was a woman in white, slightly damaged robes that reveal the glint of metal armour underneath. Short brown hair hung from her head, obviously not tended to for a long while and she clutched a wooden staff covered in ivy. She was obviously exhausted from the climb and her head was hanging low, using her staff as a support. At first, I thought it was another local, but it soon dawned on me that this was another member of the Wanderers. Our head mage, Rose Dimata, stood before me. She looked up briefly and saw me just 100 metres away.

“Lupe?” Her voice was faint from fatigue. She smiled as she spoke, reminding me of the times we spent with each other. She was always a good friend of mine, ever since I was young. Her appearance hasn’t changed much since then, mainly because she was not just an Elf, but a Celestial of Gaia as well. That second bit only really happened because she gave up half of her life to save me from an otherwise incurable potion. Gaia took pity on her and granted her this gift, meaning that there were literally no repercussions for her sacrifice. After all, celestials will continue to live for as long as their god exists.

My brief moment of recollection was cut short however, as she collapsed moments after speaking. Running over to her, I called out to Reimu at once. Picking Rose up, I carried her back to the dining area, finding both the shrine maiden and the witch – who was now fully dressed – running towards me.

“Whoa, another outsider?” Marisa asks, still adjusting her clothes. Reimu doesn’t say anything and just points towards a door. I could only assume it was another guest room or something, as none of the rooms had labels. Inside, I found that it had an actual bed in it, along with what looked like simple herbs and other basic medicines. Quickly placing Rose on the bed, I turned back to the pair and gave them an explanation.

“This is Rose, a colleague of mine. How she got here I have no clue but she’s in no condition to answer questions. She’ll be much weaker here, away from Gaia’s presence,” It then dawns on me that Marisa is at least a practicing alchemist, and I turn to her. “Marisa, do you think you can make something to revitalise her?” I ask, hoping she is capable of that much.

“Uhh, maybe? It’ll take me a while though. She might just wake up normally by the time it’s finished though. It might not even work without my proper equipment.” Not what I wanted to hear.

[] Leave it. She’s a tough girl and has had much worse.
[] Make the potion regardless. Anything to help her is good.
>> No. 162353
[x] Make the potion regardless. Anything to help her is good.

Anything is better than nothing, I guess.
Also, a little jarring for me considering "Lupe" is a female name where I come from.
>> No. 162364
[x] Leave it. She’s a tough girl and has had much worse.

A good attitude.
>> No. 162367
[x] Make the potion.

I'm pretty sure making != using, we might as well have it regardless.
>> No. 162371
>>162353

Over here it isn't even a name. I took if from the Latin name for wolf, Canis Lupus. Technically, it's only a codename that he uses to hide his identity, not his actual name.
>> No. 162447
Called for making the potion. Update later today. Sorry for the delay in this, the laptop decided that it didn't want to connect to the internet.
>> No. 162454
File 135129921721.jpg - (432.88KB , 676x1000 , alchemy.jpg ) [iqdb]
162454
This was going to be posted much earlier. Blame Demetori for being too good.

-----

“There’s no harm in making it” I say, throwing a nervous glance at Rose’s unconscious self. “She has to have some information on this mess, I’m sure of it.” There’s no way she didn’t see me fall into the magical anomaly that brought us here. I was in front of the group by at least half a dozen metres.

“I’ll see what I can do, just don’t hold your breath Lupe. It’ll take a damn long time to mix” Marisa says, her voice clearly showing her reluctance. A simple potion like this shouldn’t be too hard for her to make, but with only basic alchemy gear at the shrine there’s only so much she can do. She grabs a handful of reagents and begins looking for mixing gear, eventually finding a mortar and pestle beneath a pile of books. I’m certain that her eyes just lit up when she saw one of them, slipping it into her dress so quick I barely even noticed. She must have had some practice, but that’s beside the point

Reimu decided that there was no reason for her to stay and left shortly after, leaving me and Marisa to chat idly about our alchemical abilities. It turns out that we’re on completely different sides of the spectrum on this, with her making enhancement and healing potions while I make poisons and well... more poisons. “You’ll have to show me your work at some point” She says to me. More of a demand than a request, if you ask me, but more time with her can hardly be a bad thing. She is the best looking person I’ve met in Gensokyo this far.

Anyway, minutes quickly turn to hours, though how many I’m not sure on. Enough to fall asleep in, at least, judging from the way Marisa is hunched over the work bench and my sudden awakening at the hands of a sudden falling feeling. A quick look outside tells me that it still isn’t midday, as the sun is still approaching its zenith. Walking back in, I head over to the sleeping witch and give her a gentle nudge.

“Oi, sleepy” I whisper to in her ear. Her only response is an incoherent mumble and a quick sneeze. Is it really that cold here? I stopped feeling the cold a long time ago because of my deep northern upbringing, but the weather here seems rather temperate. Or maybe I’m thinking too far ahead and some of the reagents went up her nose when she was sleeping. That seems much more plausible.

The potion looks finished though. Not wanting to ruin it, I quickly pour the mixture into a small glass bottle and give it a quick shake out of habit. Although tempting to drink it myself to get rid of the grogginess from waking up so early, I restrain myself and head over to the reason why I had the potion made, who stirs slightly as I move closer, still asleep after who knows how long of searching for a safe place. It was a good thing she made it to the shrine, as she was in no condition to defend herself from the creatures that lurk throughout Gensokyo.

Kneeling down by Rose’s head, I bring the bottle up to her lips and slowly pour the potion into her mouth. At first nothing seems to happen, but eventually her eyes start to open. It takes a short while but soon she appears to be fully awake but she hasn’t yet noticed me, apparently. Without warning, the top half of her body springs out of the futon, which very nearly causes her to head butt me, a move that would undoubtedly send her unconscious again. I jump back in time to dodge her, and she quickly turns to face me. Her eyes widen momentarily as she sees me and then I happen to be pounced on, the same way a predator incapacitates its prey, although there’s no biting or clawing here but instead a very, very tight hug.

“OhgodsLupeIthoughtI’dneverseeyouagainpleasedon’tdothattomeeagainhowcouldyou?” I manage to pry her off of me just long enough to see the tears pouring from her eyes, though unlike most one of hers is red and the other green. An odd condition, but it’s attractive in its own right. The gap between is quickly shortened as she pulls me in again, refusing to let go. Her outburst is a shock to say the least, seeing as before now she hasn’t shown anything like this to anyone. Does she really think like that, or is it just a side effect of the potion? Before an answer even begins to form in my mind, I am interrupted by a sudden feeling of warmth on my lips. I don’t even know what’s going on anymore. The mage quickly pulls away from me, a faint smile on her face. “You owe me that much at least”. In the end, I just sit there with my mouth opening and closing like a fish. The sound of scraping wood brings me to my senses however, and I turn around in time to see Marisa tumbling backwards off of the stool she was sleeping on.

“GAH!” She hits the floor with a loud thud. Once again, her hat manages to land directly on my face, which quickly falls onto my lap. While I expected her to bounce a little, I wasn’t expecting that her body would land in such a way that she bounced directly towards me. Normally I would brace myself for a collision, but that would most likely end up hurting Marisa quite a lot, so that’s out of the question. Instead, I’ll choose the other option and try to catch her. Can’t go wrong.

When she does land, rather than the cold wooden floor she was probably expecting, she ends up in my arms in a position that some people call a princess carry. By Urgomite standards, she is really light for a human mage. Normally they all tend to be overweight due to the lack of actual fighting they do, but I guess things are different here. Her head still manages to hit my chest however, and a red mark appears on her forehead. It might have hurt me a little, but all of my attention is on making sure that Marisa is fine.

“Hey, are you ok?” I ask her, not putting her down just yet. No point in risking her collapsing on us if she is hurt seriously.

“Owwww... Huh, Lupe?” So she can still talk straight, which is a good sign. She keeps rubbing her forehead, but that’s to be expected, really. Quickly realising the position she’s in, her entire face turns a similar shade of red and she leaps out of my arms, landing a good 3 feet away from me. She keeps her balance quite well, so I doubt that there’s any major damage done to her. She stands there for a while, face as red as humanly possible, before pointing to her oversized hat, which is currently making its home on my legs. “Can I uh... have that back, perhaps?”

“S-sure.” I reply, picking it up and handing it back to her. She wastes no time in returning it to its original position, a feat which I would probably never be able to replicate. That must have some serious sentimental value or something for her to keep this good care of it. It’s just a hat after all. “Are you okay? That looked like a nasty fall.” Not that I would know what falling over felt like. I’ve only done it once in the past 5 years, and that was only when I was brought to Gensokyo. I stand up myself now, and start brushing myself off.

“I think I’m fine. Head feels like it’s been through a nut cracker though.” She shoots a wide grin, to try and show that she’s ok. I can’t help but notice her wince slightly as she does so however, and she must have noticed my frown as she quickly changes the subject. “So you’re awake at last!” She’s obviously talking to Rose here, completely blanking me as her face returns to its normal shade. “I guess my potion worked then. The name’s Marisa, pleased to meet ya.” She extends her arm out towards my companion, who takes it after a moment of hesitation.

“Rose.” Is her only response, not making eye contact with either of us. Her face is bright red too, for some reason. Regardless, she ends the greeting quickly and uses Marisa to pull herself up. She looks like she’s about to fall right back down again because of the unexpected wieght, so I place a hand on her shoulder to steady her, as I don’t particularly want her falling over again, especially if it hurts more than she’s letting on. This earns me a thank you from her, as well as a smaller but much kinder smile than the one before. If it wasn’t for my emotions being dulled by my assassin training, I’m sure I would have fallen for her already. There must be quite a few people in the area who are after her affection, especially if that smile is a regular part of it. Before I can think any more on the matter, the door slides open, revealing a rather worried looking Reimu. She does seem to relax a bit once she sees that everyone’s fine though.

“I heard a crash in here. Is everyone alright?” she asks. So that’s why she’s here all of a sudden. Marisa didn’t seem to make that loud of a noise, at least to me.

“Everything’s fine now, Reimu. Marisa just had a misunderstanding with gravity, is all” I reply bluntly. The shrine maiden glances at Marisa, who just shoots that massive grin of hers right back at her.

“As expected. How is it that you can do all sorts of tricks on that broom of yours but lose all sense of balance on flat ground?” Whether this was rhetorical or not I’m not sure, but it just causes Marisa’s grin to get even wider, if that’s even possible. “I’m heading off to the Human Village to do some shopping shortly. You should come with me Lupe. Your friend too.” She gives a courteous nod to Rose, who returns it swiftly. “Give her the basics while I get things ready. Don’t burn the shrine down whilst we’re out, Marisa.” With that, she heads off to do whatever it is that has to be done before our departure.

Marisa is quick to fill in Rose on Gensokyo whilst I grab my dagger from under my pillow and attach it to my belt. It’s pretty much the same thing I was told so I zone out during it all. It doesn’t last long however and soon both Rose and I are ushered out of the room with Marisa saying something about alchemy practice. I walk on over to the stairs where I can see Reimu waiting for us, having already finished her tasks. Behind me, Rose is in awe of the surrounding beauty of the place, now that she has the chance to actually admire it. It must remind her of home slightly, with the stupidly tall trees in some areas on the thick canopy that lets only a small trickle of light through. Regardless, upon our arrival at the entrance to the shrine we begin our descent, which thankfully seems shorter on a full stomach.

The journey to the village is relatively uneventful, though I could make out several small humanoids in the forest, each a different colour. Other than that, I couldn’t make out much, but in the few chances I got to get a clearer view of them they seemed to have wings. They weren’t like Cainan’s so I doubt that they’re high ranking celestials. They’re too big to be fae though, leaving me in a strange situation. It’s not important now though, so the less the better.

The village is much bigger than the name would lead you to believe. It’s protected by a large wooden wall with what looks like stone foundations covered in ivy. Not going to hold up against a dedicated siege weapon, but it’ll definitely keep the foot soldiers and wild animals out. The gate is easy to pick out, flanked by two massive towers and with several guards stationed around it. Well, ‘guards’ isn’t really a great term for them, as they’re more like a collection of armed civilians. That might just be my professionalism speaking though.

Upon noticing Reimu, they call out a greeting to her which she responds with a simple hello. Once they realised that Rose and I were in tow, however, their mood changed dramatically. Some even brandished weapons. It takes me a lot of restraint to not just draw my own dagger and Rose must surely be feeling the same way. Thankfully, Reimu steps in between us and the guards.

“Calm down, they’re with me. They’re outsiders, and much better fighters than you all combined” She speaks with obvious authority, and the guards are quick to stand down. I don’t doubt that we’re as able as Reimu made us out to be, but she hasn’t seen us fight yet, so she’s probably just winging it here. We wander in to the oversized village, leaving the issue at the gate behind us, before Reimu suddenly turns to face us both. She hands me a basic map of the area with all the shops and other places of interest are, and poses a strange question. “Where to first then?”

[] Tailors
[] Blacksmith
[] Food stalls
[] Kappa stall
[] Let Reimu choose.
[] Write in
>> No. 162618
[X] Let Reimu choose.

No idea,let her choose.
>> No. 162622
>>162618

You have made this writefag very happy.

I was wondering if people wanted a character sheet for Lupe, so you know what we can and can't do. I can drag it out from my USB stick in time for the next update if it is wanted.
>> No. 162623
>>162622
sure,lets go!
>> No. 162624
[x] Kappa stall

Let´s see what the Kappa have to offer.
>> No. 162633
[x] Tailors .

if not [x] The kappa.

Dressing like locals for a change.
Also, posting a character sheet will bind you later when something unexpected pops out (or somebody will figure a way to win at everything everytime). Better leave us in the dark.
>> No. 162708
Called. To the Kappa stall!

>>162633
Thanks for adding the tie-break here. I got bored of waiting for new votes to come in, seeing as they never happen.
>> No. 162767
File 135284316231.jpg - (188.81KB , 700x985 , nitori.jpg ) [iqdb]
162767
Well, this was more fun to write than it should have been.

-----

“So, uh... What’s a Kappa?” I ask, seeing as I have no clue what the hell one of those things are. Some weird creature, no doubt, but that means little to me. Regardless, this is a chance for me to meet some more of the denizens of Gensokyo who aren’t boring old humans. Sure, we can learn magic and all sorts of other things but being the ‘master of none’ doesn’t suit me very well, thank you very much.

“You’ll find out soon enough. We’ll head there first.” Reimu says, turning in a seemingly random direction as she does so. Well, no point in arguing, so I urged Rose ahead of me and followed the shrine maiden towards wherever the hell it is she was going. I can’t help but notice the way that the crowd gives us a wide berth as we move through, but whether this is due out of respect for Reimu or just fear of me and Rose, I can’t be sure. Probably both come to think of it. I blame my hood.

It doesn’t take long until we reach a large, open area, relatively undisturbed despite the general hubbub going on not 2 metres behind me. At the centre of this space stands a nondescript market stall, with a box and pouch lay on it. What makes this stall so different from the others I just blatantly ignored was the hulking metal... thing behind it. It’s a rather long cylinder really, with a protrusion on the top of it. Mounted on it is a smaller, tube like contraption for which I can see no purpose other than decoration. The stall itself is unmanned, but someone was obviously here a moment or two ago judging from the way I can smell traces of food as we move closer towards it.

“Nitori? Are you in there” Reimu asks, banging on the metal construct. I back away from it reflexively as a metal hatch slams open on the top part of it, followed by a lot of clanging not to dissimilar from tumbling plate mail. Unlike that though, I can hear a barely muffled and very descriptive string of curses no doubt aimed at intimidating whatever it is that fell. I very nearly start climbing the thing when a head pops out of the hatch, followed by the rest of a body. Reimu looks as bored as ever as the small person clambers down to ground level. Only once they turn around do I see that the person in front of me, covered in black stains, is a female. A very blue one, at that. Blue dress, blue boots, even blue hair and eyes. The only differences I can see from this pattern are the green cap and bag, but even then it’s not much of a difference.

“Oh, Reimu, it’s you. Not every day you pop down here for a visit. Something broke at the shrine?” The girl I could only assume to be Nitori asked, blanking both Rose and I out completely. I can’t blame her for that though as most of our attention was on the contraption behind her. From what I can see, Reimu just shakes her head and points at me.

“Those two are outsiders, but not like the rest. No knowledge of anything that could live here at all. Don’t even know the term youkai. I’m just out shopping with them to give them a good grip on the town, but he asked what a Kappa was, so I brought them here.” Well, that sums it up nicely. The shrine maiden takes a look around following that brief summary, and her brow obviously furrows. Only upon looking around myself do I notice that a small group – five or so - of poorly armed militia are approaching the four of us, and it is drawing lots of attention. “What now?” Is all I manage to hear from her before she is drowned out by shouts from the mob.

“Hey, outsiders. You’re not wanted in this village. I suggest you leave right now.” Evidently, news of our arrival had spread fast, which generally means that idiots like these ones form an opinion on us straight away. The one who spoke was a large man, looking like he composed of nothing but muscle from what I could see, meaning he was probably a miner of lumberjack of some kind. The same could be said about the others with him, but none matched up to his stature. If I lived like a normal person it would have been quite intimidating having all these men stood here, but if I led a normal life I wouldn’t have faced down abominations straight from hell whose only purpose was to make people flee in terror. The leader let a large grin form on his face before continuing speaking. “You might be with the miko but that doesn’t mean we have to just let trash like you just wander in,” Okay, he’s getting on my nerves now. Silently, I draw my dagger, keeping it hidden beneath the folds of my cloak. “You’ll do well to keep yourselves busy being youkai chow.”

“I have no intention to end up as food, thank you. Now, if you would kindly run along we were helping Reimu with her shopping,” I reply, pausing for dramatic effect before carrying on “Do you really think I’d be scared out by a bunch of over-zealous fools like yourselves?” If he wasn’t annoyed now then he must have some serious self control. Judging from the way his face is flushing a deep red, I think it’s safe to say he doesn’t.

“Why you... Get them!” Seems like I read him perfectly. His shout draws most of the shopping crowd’s (who aren’t already engrossed) attention to us, and try to make it look as if they aren’t interested. The ad-hoc militia surges forwards with the single minded determination to get close, reminding me of Orcs slightly. Still, they close the distance between us pretty fast, one of them swinging a pickaxe at me. Jumping out of the way, I chant the spell for invisibility as quick as I can and charge at the leader of them. Confusion fills his face, as well as the faces of his subordinates, before I bring the flat of my blade down on his temple, hard and fast. It’s a neat little trick I picked up when I was young that stuck with me ever since. Normally I would have just slit his throat but that isn’t the best image to send to people right now.

The rest of his entourage just stare blankly as the collapsed body crumpling before me as I begin to become visible again. Letting him drop, I turn around and slowly walk towards Nitori’s stall whilst ignoring the looks I get from Reimu. Clearly she disagrees with my method but she can suck it up, because the rest of the miners are fleeing now. Good for them really, as I don’t really feel like holding back if they would be stupid enough to continue. If anything, I’d be doing the gene pool a favour by killing them off.

“Was that really necessary?” The shrine maiden asks me, though I hardly expect her to do anything about it. I just nod my head at her, which results in yet another scowl. She’s good at that.

“Serves him right for getting into a fight he couldn’t handle” I reply, barely masking my desire to go back and finish him off. Rose must be putting two and two together in her head, as she starts to walk over to the unconscious man and performs a basic healing spell on him. Leaping up, he stares at Rose blankly before his legs decide that he’d be better off somewhere else. Preferably, he should go as far away from me as humanly possible. Less things I have to deal with the better.

“Well, that’s sorted that out then.” Rose says, clapping her hands together to try and change the subject like she normally does “Where are we off to next?” It’s a good question, and I turn to Reimu, hoping for her input.

“Well, you two do stick out quite a bit. You should head to the tailors” To my surprise it was Nitori who answered her. I can feel her staring quite intently at me though, for some strange reason. “I’d like to borrow you first though. I want to study that invisibility of yours a bit. I have a device that can do that but nowhere near like what you did” Ah. So that’s what it is. I should probably just wander off now...

“You can keep him for a while” Rose chips in, rather unhelpfully. “I know his cloth sizes well enough to get him something decent. I’m sure he won’t mind~” Damn this woman to all 9 hells. With her like that there’s no way I can back out of being a test subject without losing face. It is with a solemn mood that I accept her invitation, if you could call it that. As Rose and Reimu walk away, I can’t help but glare at the pair of them as I can make out faint laughter between them.

The base of Youkai Mountain. Roughly the same time

Two men walked along the worn path, treading carefully in this foreign land. The leader was calm, carefully stepping forward as he forged a path towards their unknown destination. The man behind only came up to his shoulder, and stared at their surroundings with fear in his eyes.

“Damnit Zayon, this is getting us nowhere!” The shorter man called out. The man called Zayon stopped briefly, contemplating on his companion’s words before starting his walk again.

“If you have any better ideas Cainan, I’m more than happy to listen.” His response was delivered with an air of casualness surrounding it. Cainan hated this attitude of this, he had done since they had met, but he had built up a grudging respect for the battle mage during their time together. Zayon had made it clear to every group he worked with that he would make sure that everyone serving with them was never left behind, regardless if they were alive or not.

“I said before we got here that we should head downhill. No one in their right mind builds a town up a mountain as big as this, not unless their as stubborn as the Dwarves.” Cainan pointed out, quite rightly in his mind. During his current life and previous incarnations he had never seen a civilisation other than the Dwarves who could make a living at the top of these barren mountains, most being forced to leave due to the harsh climate, or other extraneous factors.

Zayon just shrugged at his partner’s response. He had decided to come this way on a whim, ignoring the complaining angel, but couldn’t shake the feeling that they were being watched by something in the distance. Whatever it is will find a nasty surprise, he thought, readying a spell to engage the phantom enemy with. He had felt its presence since they began their trek, but just disregarded it as a threat for the most part. It was only as they got closer the path leading up to the mountain did he feel it moving in on them, and had prepared for the worst.

“Ah, whatever. We’d only get lost on that path too. Where’s that damn assassin when you need him?” Cainan’s complaint brought back uncomfortable memories of their last interaction with the assassin in question. A fight had broken out between the two of them, only ending with the intervention of the werewolf assigned to keep an eye on Lupe.

“Lupe is a good man, Cainan. You shouldn’t let your religious views cloud your judgement of how you see him as a person.” Zayon had no faults with the assassin himself, but found his methods questionable to say the least. Lupe had once cut the muscles out of the arms and legs of one of the lower ranking troopers who he claimed tried to kill him, then left him stranded in the desert for several days before they found the body in time to revive him. Nevertheless, Cainan was right about Lupe’s tracking ability. It proved an invaluable asset on many occasions before and would most likely be just as useful for them now.

It was during this lapse of concentration the pair of them found that they were under attack. From what, they couldn’t be sure on, but the magic it was using was giving away its position. Unfortunately for them though, there was no opening for them to attack back through. Instead, Zayon was forced to resort to his only defensive spell in his arsenal. Chanting the required words whilst doing his best to dodge the incoming attacks, he fails to notice Cainan taking a large blue projectile to the chest, knocking the celestial of his feet. Finally finishing the chant, he causes a massive burst of energy and smoke to appear out of the ground. Barely keeping himself up, he starts running back the way they came, followed shortly by a now standing Cainan.

“Well, that was easier than I thought” The wolf tengu mumbled to herself before returning to her post. Momiji retreated from the scene quickly, figuring that it was best if she left before they discovered that it was just her defending this lonely path and came back for another go.

Nitori’s stall, market place of the Human Village.

“Oh great. More trouble.” I just finished the test Nitori had asked me to carry out, mainly consisting of casting invisibility whilst she took readings on yet another strange device of hers. The nearby explosion at the base of the mountain was a good reason for her to stop though. I can see a lot of smoke around there, but not the telltale orange glow of fire, so that is one plus. Forest fires are never fun, even when you cause them.

“That doesn’t look good” Nitori says, stating the obvious here. Pulling out what looks like two conjoined telescopes, she starts scanning the area where the blast came from. Without warning, she grabs my hand and leads me towards the village exit. Before I even form words she’s explaining what the hell she’s doing. “My home is just near there, as well as most of my friends. We have to hurry and see what this is about.” Well, it could be worse. I could always run into that bloody annoying angel again.

[] Head straight there. The others can catch up with us.
[] Find the others first. The more support we have the better.
>> No. 162783
[X] Head straight there. The others can catch up with us.

Clearly this is shenanigans. There is no time to get the others, or we might miss it.
>> No. 162806
[X] Head straight there. The others can catch up with us.

Well, as a casual reader, I'm interested in seeing how things will turn out if we blindly rush in.
>> No. 162807
[x] Find the others first. The more support we have the better.

We have a healer, we better get the healer.
>> No. 162846
Calling it here.

>>162806 In my experience, blindly charging in always works better. Mainly because there's no plan to mess up on.
>> No. 162848
>>162846
I'm with OP here.
If you don't know what you're doing, neither does any enemy!
>> No. 163048
Sorry for the delay guys all three of you ! Real life is being a pain, so I've had little chance to get writing. If things go well (which they seldom do) the update should be done by Sunday, at most.
>> No. 163102
File 135386535215.jpg - (746.84KB , 820x1058 , Kawashiro_Nitori_full_148055.jpg ) [iqdb]
163102
Finally got something done. Again, sorry for the delay.

-----

There’s no way that the other two missed whatever the hell it was up on that mountain. Reimu is probably heading there now ahead of us with Rose in tow, so there’s no real point in going to look for them first.

“Let’s go then. Nitori Kawashiro, was it?”

“Yep! Kappa engineer! I know a shortcut through the walls, over there” She points towards the western wall of the village “Keep up!” With a burst of speed she dashes over towards the wall, leaving me to catch up at a normal pace. What is it with everyone here being so damn fast?

The wall looks much worse on the inside, and I don’t know how the thing manages to stand up against the weather, let alone an invasion of some kind. The timbers are solid looking enough, but they don’t have anything supporting them, as well as no obvious fireproofing system. All it would take is a single flaming arrow to send the entire thing into an inferno. At least the stone foundation seems strong enough, even with the copious amounts of greenery clinging to it. Nitori is fumbling with something by the floor, and soon enough she disappears down a hole. If it’s a freaking sewer I’m going to kill her. I’ve been ambushed too many times in them and they tend to smell a bit, especially once someone casts Fireball.

Reaching the entrance she just opened, I can see that it’s surprisingly well kept for a secret back door. Normally they fall into disrepair because of a lack of use, but evidently this one is used quite a lot. Yet another lapse in security for this village. I can’t see Nitori though, so she’s probably ran on ahead already. Well, this better be a linear path, or I’m buggered.

The fall doesn’t hurt, but then I’m an assassin who has been made magically immune to injuries involving large drops. It’s a good 6 feet or so too, meaning that this must be a one way trip for the Kappa. What with her being up to my chest at most and I barely reach the gap above me.

“Come on Lupe, this way!” Nitori shouts, her voice echoing down the tunnel. Well, now I know where she is at least. It would help if there was some lights down here though. I start running off in the direction of her voice, trying to shake of the feeling of claustrophobia as I do so. Never was good with small spaces.

THUNK

Fuck, that hurt. That’s a horrible place to put a pipe. Now I’m going to have a bruise on my head for the next week. Damn Nitori...

It takes as good two minutes before I catch up with the Kappa. She’s standing by a ladder, which I can only assume is the way out of this damn tunnel. The hole above her looks higher up than the one on the other side of the wall, so we must have gone deeper into the ground on the way here, but it didn’t seem like much of an incline.

“This is then?” I ask, although it doesn’t look like there is anywhere else we can go.

“Yeah, it comes out just by the guard tower, underneath the parapet. It used to be used to smuggle goods in and out long ago, but that’s long since stopped.”

“And you’ve took to using it then?”

“Naturally!”

As if I didn’t expect anything else. It seems that a degree of eccentricity is required to be a denizen of Gensokyo. She starts climbing the ladder quickly, though I wait for her to clamber over the lip before following. It doesn’t take a genius to see that her dress isn’t designed for ladder climbing. Once she’s safely out of the way, I climb up as quickly as possible, to make the most of the time we’re given.

Outside is exactly the same as it was earlier, but things seem less cared for out here. The land is left to live as it pleases it would seem. Well, it should do really, according to the rules of Gaia, but I can’t help but think that this town is woefully underprepared for any kind of attack. The greenery would give assailants perfect cover from the guards along the walls and would be perfect for entering the village, if the attacker is good at climbing.

I need to stop pointing out flaws in this place.

Kinda hard to stop, really.

“We just need to follow this path and we’ll be at Youkai Mountain in no time!” Nitori says, giving me a welcome distraction from my musings. She’s pointing towards a simple dirt trail leading up to a mountain, which, judging by its name must have a large number of these so called ‘Youkai’ living on it. Whatever they are.

“How far is it from here then?”

“Not far. Just about an hour walk” Great, more walking. “What a mean face there, Lupe.” She giggles slightly and turns around, pointing towards something else. “We won’t be walking there, we’ll use that!” She claps her hands together in a rather theatrical gesture, and shortly after a large metal box materialises in front of us.

“Invisibility, eh? Also, what the hell is that thing?” Quite an important question, in my mind. It’s painted black, and has what looks like doors on the side.

“I found it lying around somewhere on the mountain so I brought it to my workshop. I call it ‘The Rhino’! Nifty, right?” Not the word I would use. The thing looks like it’s supposed to be pulled by horses, but if my short time with the Kappa I’m sure she’s done something crazy to it. Before I can even say any more about it, she’s opened it up and walked inside. Shortly after, a sound like a dying demon comes from the box (The Rhino is a silly name) along with a large amount of thick black smoke.

Yeah, I have no idea what’s going on now.

[] Ride it there. Whatever it is, we might save some time.
-[] Sit on the top. Fresh air will do me good after that tunnel
-[] Inside it. It looks safer in there if Nitori does something stupid.

[] Walk. I trust that thing as far as I can throw it.
-[] Leave Nitori in the box
-[] Drag her with you.
>> No. 163104
-[] Sit on the top. Fresh air will do me good after that tunnel

This promises adventure.
>> No. 163109
[] Ride it there. Whatever it is, we might save some time.
-[] Sit on the top. Fresh air will do me good after that tunnel

A Rhino you say? Nice nod to 40k.
>> No. 163114
>>163109
My references weren't wasted! Whoo!
>> No. 163118
[X] Ride it there. Whatever it is, we might save some time.
-[X] Sit on the top. Fresh air will do me good after that tunnel.

Kappa technology is always trustworthy!
>> No. 163250
Called here. Sitting on the tank it is.
>> No. 163442
Update will be tomorrow guys, even though I really want to get it done ASAP. I have a bit more to do on it before it's ready though.

While I'm here, a question. Why are you still here, despite the fact that I'm hardly the best writer on the site and have a sketchy update schedule at best? I'm surprised I've actually made it to part 9 to be honest, but that's the eternal pessimist in me.

Why am I so cynical of myself?
>> No. 163443
>>163442

>hardly the best

Ya don't need to be the best. We'll all agree that your story has sectors that could use improvement, but you're still willing to write it and you haven't actively antagonized us, so we'll keep an eye on you and throw you the occasional vote.

After all, this story can only get better. Unless you royally screw things up, heh.

Don't fall into the cynical-of-myself self-debasing broken shell of a writefag that others have. You don't need laurels and accolades to keep on writing - as long as you're not being actively told to get out, have faith, and keep on improving!
>> No. 163445
It's a fairly entertaining story and sporadic updates are mostly the norm as sad as it sounds. So, there's nothing to make us leave.
>> No. 163455
This site has a severe paucity of completed stories, and most of us are always looking for decent stories which are updated on a somewhat regular basis, even if it is sporadic. We'll probably hang on to you no matter wherever you take us although we'll crucify you if you decide to drop this story. Suwako knows that we have enough in-complete stories on this site already.

Just update whenever your schedule allows you to, and keep up the good work!
>> No. 163463
Well, that was unexpected. Except the three responses, of course. Anyway, here's the next part.

-----

Well whatever the hell it is, for some reason I can’t help but think that this isn’t anywhere near the end of the crazy things I’ll see here. Why not stick with the obviously crazy engineer, or whatever she called herself. It’s a silly word, engineer.

Still, her machine seems to have a hatch on the top, not too different from the one we jumped into earlier. If it opens up I should be able to get some air on the trip to the mountain. If this thing even moves, that is. In my experience massive boxes made of metal don’t just get up and move around, though I’ve been wrong before.

Getting into the thing is rather hard, seeing as there’s no handles or anything similar to them. There’s a ladder leading on to the top of it but that would mean I was beaten by a box, and I won’t stand for that. All I have to do is pry it open somehow. Maybe I could pull some sort of lever...

“Climb on top and let’s go already!” Nitori’s voice echoes from the inside, though where she is in it is a mystery. She said climb on top though. I guess I’m not bested by it if I’m being asked to sit on the top, so that’s a win for me. For now anyway. I will find out how to open the damned thing in time. The ladder up is spaced apart rather widely now that I think about it, looking like it’s designed for people much larger than me by at least 2 feet or so. Glad I don’t have to fight them any time soon.

“Never mind me, you just get this thing going where you need to.” With a massive puff of black smoke, the box lurches forwards, nearly making me let go of the ladder just as I reach the top. That was probably not the best thing I could have said to her right now. Damned literal mindedness. Shit like this has nearly killed me a ridiculous amount of times now, and I have no intention of having my life ended by the stupidity of others.

Of course, as far as things go right now Nitori is far more knowledgeable than me but that’s beside the point.

“We’ll be there in no time!”
“Great, just make sure you don’t hit anything on your way there.”
“Gotcha!”

I feel sorry for everything in our vicinity right now. This thing makes a stupid amount of noise, but I suppose that’s because it’s going quite fast, actually. Perhaps sitting on the top of this thing wasn’t as good an idea I thought it was. Good thing I keep my hair short now, as it would have been going crazy otherwise if I had it like it used to be.

Come to think of it, anything that gets in the way with all the noise doesn’t deserve to live.

That could have come out less cruel. Oh well.

From the looks of things, we’re going uphill at a steady pace, meaning we’re already close the mountain. I have to hand it to Nitori, this box of hers is a damn good transport, despite the fact that I haven’t actually been inside it yet. Hopefully I won’t actually have to seeing as travelling at high speeds cramped into a metal box doesn’t seem very appealing.

“-yon you bastard! Why didn’t you do anything else?” Says a voice from up ahead. They’re shouting pretty loud if I can hear them above this. It sounds kind of familiar too. Shielding my eyes from the dust, I take a closer look at the spectacle before me.

Two figures, on in white and the other in mud. Both are armed, but the white on has staff while the other has a sword on his scabbard. As we speed towards them, I can’t help but compare the two of them to Cai-

Oh crap.

“Nitori, we need to stop here!”
“Why?”
“Some friends of mine up ahead” Well, I wouldn’t say they’re actually friends, but that isn’t important right now. “I have a feeling that they might be involved in whatever it is that’s gone on with your home.”
“More outsiders? Gensokyo isn’t a holiday resort, y’know?”

Well, if I knew what a holiday resort was, I’d be able to answer that question. Instead I just nod, despite the fact that she can’t see me do so and hold on tight as the box slews to a halt not too far from the duo. The two of look bewildered by my appearance on this thing, and I can’t really blame them. Jumping of, I take a second to adjust my belt and walk over to them. A metallic clang behind me probably means that Nitori has joined me as well.

“L-Lupe? What the hell is going on here? I thought you and the others were dead!” Zayon asks, a look of stupefaction on his face. All I need now is something to capture this image and I’d be set.

“Well, lots of stuff. I arrived, met a witch, cleaned her house, went to meet a shrine maiden, slept at hers, had breakfast, found Rose, had a potion made, went to the human village, got in a fight, came here. That sum it up?”

“Yes actually, but you didn’t actually mention where the fuck we are!” That was Cainan, this time. He’s always been loud.

“Gensokyo. That’s all you need to know.”

Ignoring the looks I’m getting from him, I turn to face the little Kappa – who’s been doing a surprisingly good job of keeping quiet - and begin to wonder. What to do now we have a celestial and a battle mage?

[] Keep heading up the mountain. May as well finish off what we started.
[] Go back to the village. This is more than enough information on what went on.
[] Search this area. After all, if they were followed...
>> No. 163467
[x] Keep heading up the mountain. May as well finish off what we started.

Reimu will be heading there, and with her is Rose. Suspiciously big stairs there. I wonder if this assassin would be as much of a threat to the astartes as the ones of the assassinorum
>> No. 163468
[X] Keep heading up the mountain. May as well finish off what we started.

Because we haven't had enough shenanigans yet. Barely any at all, even.
>> No. 163477
>>163467

Your guess is as good as mine. Probably not though, seeing as the assassinorum killers are all high on combat drugs most of the time. Wont stop Lupe trying though
>> No. 163478
[X] Keep heading up the mountain. May as well finish off what we started.

Let's go up the mountain and terrorize meet some locals!
>> No. 163484
Called. Writing now.

I have free time for once.
>> No. 163574
File 135526711127.jpg - (194.02KB , 850x566 , youkai-mountain.jpg ) [iqdb]
163574
“Nitori, would you mind if they tagged along with us? I don’t think it’s a good idea to leave them wandering around out here” Knowing them they’ll end up causing a war if left to their own devices, but it’s probably best if I don’t tell her that.

“Sure thing! Just tell them not to be sick inside the transport.”
“Why would they be sick in there?”
“Oh, you know. Reasons.”

It’s hard to tell if she’s speaking from experience or not here, but I’m glad I rode outside on the way here. Just to be on the safe side, I’m going to stay out there.

Cainan, on the other hand...

“Right, you two!” I say as I turn around again, this time facing the pair. “Get yourselves inside that transport, or whatever it’s called. You’re coming with us for now.” A metallic clang from behind tells me that Nitori is climbing back in to the box and getting it ready to go, but while Zayon has started moving towards it, Cainan seems intent to stay where he is. “Coming?” I ask, trying not to let my annoyance slip through.

“Not until I get answers.”

Oh, great. Well, time to go to plan B. The plan where I get to stab him repeatedly until he complies. Normally he gets tired of trying to hit me back and just gives in, or at least he has done the past five or six times I’ve done so.

“Oh right, fine. I’ll come for now. But I will get answers eventually.” He says, much to my disdain. Stabbing him is fun. He probably noticed my stance change though, but I didn’t really go for subtlety. You’d think as an assassin it would be second nature, but hey. Shit happens.

“Well, glad you see it my way, Cainan.” Though I barely manage to conceal the fact that I’d much rather inflict grievous bodily harm on him. “Now, apparently being inside the transport isn’t very good to your stomach, so try not to be sick.”

“You were riding on top, why can’t I?
“Only room for one up there.”

It doesn’t look like he believes me. But he seems to give up on his plan of sitting next to me as it would require him actually sitting next to me for a prolonged amount of time, and I don’t think that he’d like that. He probably expected me to go sit inside the box and get thrown around like a ragdoll, but that sounds like an exceptionally bad idea. So, I wait for him to clamber into the hatch on the side which somehow opened itself before regaining my position hanging on to the top in one of the smaller holes there.

Eventually, we get moving again, continuing our ascent of the so-called ‘Youkai Mountain’. From the mumbling I can occasionally here from below, it seems that my erstwhile companions had already been here once and weren’t too happy about going back up.

It was totally them who caused that explosion earlier. Doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.

Now, if only the path wasn’t so bumpy, this would be almost relaxing. I doubt that anything around here was expecting something like this to be around though seeing as the village has even less technology than we do in Urgom. I mean, not once have I seen a single black-powder weapon while I’ve been in Gensokyo, which is a massive shame. My own is broken and I really want to get it fixed.

I could ask Nitori actually, but seeing as she’s already ferrying me around despite the fact that we’ve only just me really, I can’t ask her any more favours. I don’t even think she’ll have the means to do so. Still, never hurts to ask though so once this is all cleared up I’ll give it a shot.

That is, if we don’t get into even more trouble somewhere on the way, or never even finish what we started for whatever reason. Life can be like that sometimes, you just set out to do one thing and end up doing something entirely different.

Oh, we’ve stopped. Looking at the surroundings, it’s rather obvious why. A massive waterfall stands before us, looming over everything. How in the nine hells did I even manage to miss that on the way here, seeing as it’s, you know, a massive fucking waterfall.

There also seems to be a figure just flying around about halfway up, on patrol from the looks of it.

Wait, flying?

“Uh, Nitori? Is that normal?” I ask while pointing at the figure up above. Soon enough, she’s up in the hatch as well, looking up at the thing in the sky.

“Oh that? That’s Momiji, she guards this path up to the mountain.”
“So that’s the bitch that attacked us!”
“Hey, no calling my friend a bitch, outsider!”

Great. More trouble. Calmly sliding down inside the transport, I do my best to ignore the fact that not bumping into the Kappa is all but impossible, I glare at the celestial. As I’ve said before, if these were normal circumstances, I’d just beat him into unconsciousness, but there’s no room to manoeuvre in here and I doubt that Nitori would like bloodstains coating the inside of her toy.

“Watch what you say, Angel. Most people in Gensokyo are most likely far more powerful than anything we’ve faced before, especially the ones out here.” Though truth be told I have no idea how powerful the average youkai is, but scaring Cainan is always fun. “Getting into fights with them will only be bad for you, especially since you aren’t capable of danmaku right now.”

That look on their faces mean that they have no clue what I’m on about when I say danmaku. I don’t understand it myself, but I some basic knowledge of it thanks to Marisa.

“You’ll see it eventually.”

A tugging feeling from behind draws my attention away from the pair. Nitori is standing there, pointing at the girl called Momiji who now seems to be approaching us. I can only hope the angel doesn’t do anything stupid.

“You should talk to her Lupe. I mean, you seem to be in charge of this lot so it’s only natural, right?”
“Technically Nitori, no one is in command of the whole group, but I see what you’re getting at.”

So, weird flying guard woman is coming towards us. Now what?

[] All of us out.
[] Just me and Nitori.

[] Let Nitori do the introductions.
[] Do them myself.
[] Let her guess. It’s more fun that way.

-----

Writer's block is a bitch. It should hang it's head in shame because it knows how bad it is, yet does nothing about it.

Also, Momiji gets a part because there isn't enough of her on this site.
>> No. 163581
[X] Just me and Nitori.

We come in peace. Please do not mind the fact that the people you just drove away are coming with us.
>> No. 163743
Well, seeing as things on THP seem to be rather dead, I'm going to go and call it with one vote. I want to write something.
>> No. 163758
>>163743

It should become a lot more lively when winter break sets in, what with finals finishing up and all.
>> No. 163779
File 135576435926.jpg - (306.55KB , 600x600 , momiji.jpg ) [iqdb]
163779
Well, judging by Cainan’s reaction to her, it would be a better idea to leave the two in here. Especially Cainan, as he’d just start more trouble with her, which I don’t need. Random acts of violence are best done when my life isn’t in danger.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt to be nice to a girl when you meet them.

“You two stay in here and keep quiet.” That’s about all I can say to them really. That and a quick paralysis spell that I learned for exactly this reason. Silent casting is a fun thing, especially since only assassins seem to be able to do it.

“Woah, what did you do to ‘em?” asks Nitori. I guess she isn’t used to stuff like this happening. Turning to face her, it turns out she’s hanging down from outside and holding a hand out to me, which I take.

“Just something to keep them busy whilst we go talk to your friend.”

A friend who, on closer inspection now that she’s reached the ground, has ears and a tail. Wolf ones to be precise. Well, if there’s anyone I’d be taking a liking to on first impressions it’s going to be her. She’s about 100 metres away from us where she landed, wearing a white shirt with a black and red skirt on. Her hair is white too, with a peculiar hat perched atop it. Though the hat isn’t as concerning as the massive sword she’s carrying. In one hand, no less, what with the other taken by a medium sized shield with a leaf emblazoned on it for some reason. If she was a he, I’d be saying that he’s be compensating for something. But alas, fate isn’t that kind or funny.

“Hi Momiji~!” comes a call from the little Kappa by my side as she clambers down to the floor. The girl called Momiji gives her a wave but quickly turns to give me a glaring look. One that under normal circumstances would make me cast invisibility and proceed to vacate the area.

It’s how I stay alive these days, when many creatures seem to be able to kill you with that exact look.

“Who’s the human?” she asks, quite rightly, but pointing the sword at me isn’t exactly nice.

“He’s an outsider! He can do some cool things too! You remember my optical camouflage? He can do that himself!” replies Nitori, who seems to be oblivious to her friend’s wariness.

“You’re a magician?”
“No, just an assassin by trade.”
“An assassin? Why shouldn’t I just kill you now then?”
“You tell me.”

That seems to slow her down a bit. I guess people think that being an assassin I have to be here to kill someone, but for a start I only have to title because I have the skills to be one. You don’t have to have a hit list everywhere you go; I don’t even bother with most of the tasks that get sent to me in camp.

“Well... uh... ‘cause assassins are bad for people’s life expectancy?” she eventually stammers out. It’s not too far off the point, but not exactly right either. She’s lowered her guard a bit as well now, sheathing that massive sword of hers.

“He’s done nothing bad so far, Momiji.” Interjects Nitori, who steps forward a bit. “You can let him off for now, right?”

Please say yes please say yes please say yes...

“Oh alright, fine, no killing the outsider.” Almost as soon as she says that, she seems to remember something, judging by the way her eyes widen. Red eyes, that contrasts with her hair and top quite nicely. “There were some other outsiders here not too long ago as well. Weird clothes, kind of like yours.” I don’t think my clothes are weird. Obscure, yes, but not weird. “Did you see them on the way here?”

“Well, if you mean the two idiots who are currently incapacitated in the back of that thing,” I say pointing towards Nitori’s toy, “then yes, we have. They looked quite exhausted.”

“As they should be, running away from a fight that fast.” She replies.

“They ran away from you? Both of them?” Alright, Zayon might have ran seeing as he’s a squishy mage, but Cainan, Champion of Sol? The thought is too funny to bear.

“Yeah, after I hit the short one with a stray shot. Shouldn’t they have run?”

“They’re some of the strongest warriors in my land, who’ve killed Greater Daemons, Dragons and various other wyrd-spawned abominations. Cainan, the short guy, held off a Kaos invasion for three days straight with a tooth pick and a bar stool. So here I am being told that they both ran away from a woman with a big sword and a bit of magic.”

“He did something like that? But he’s so scrawny and thin...” Nitori’s comment doesn’t help

It’s hard to keep a straight face right now. The only thing that’s stopping me from bursting out laughing is the fact that it wouldn’t be very helpful. If she’s just a guard though, it means that whatever is beyond here is even more ridiculously powerful.

“I’ll take that as a no then.” She says eventually. She’s grinning now, so she must have noticed the faint smile forming on my face. Well, that breaks the wall. There’s no way I can stop smiling now.

“The name’s Lupe, by the way. Part of the command structure of the Wanderers.” I extend a hand to her, almost automatically. She takes it, and gives me a firm handshake.

“I’m Momiji Inubashiri, guardian of the path up Youkai Mountain. Pleased to meet you.” She backs away after she’s done, and without warning takes to the air. “I have the rest of my patrol to finish up. If you’re still up here after I’m done I’ll give you a quick tour if you’d like.”

“I’ll think about it. That is, if Nitori doesn’t have any more tests she’d like to do on me.”

“Hey, I only did one earlier!” She exclaims, almost pouting from the looks of it. She’s mumbling something though, but I can only make out ‘damn angel interrupting things’. Well, I guess he’s going to be taking the blame for everything here, too.

“Sure, sure. I’ll see if I have the time, Momiji.” Though I doubt that I’ll have anything else to do during that time.

“Right. I’ll see you later then. And Nitori? Try not to make rampaging death machines like that ‘Rhino’ of yours.”

“Kaaay~!”

I think some things are better left unanswered. So, Momiji flies off to carry on with her patrol and Nitori and I turn back towards the ‘Rhino’ (It’s still a silly name).

LUPE! I AM GOING TO MURDER YOU SO HARD EVEN A GHOUL WILL DO A DOUBLE TAKE OF YOUR CORPSE!

Oh good, Cainan’s awake. And making quite a bit of noise too, judging from the constant banging noise coming from inside. Looks like he hasn’t found a door handle yet, giving me time to plan something.

[] Flee from angry angel with pointy object.
[] Keep them locked up in there.
[] Repeated measures.
[] Borrow some Danmaku.
[] Write in?

-----

What's this? An update after just two days? Impossible!
>> No. 163785
[X] Try reasoning with them
- [X] If that fails, borrow some of Nitori's firepower for a non-lethal takedown.
I don't think we'd be able to keep them inside very long, and some danmaku experience'll make sure they won't be quite as eager to jump at other Gensokyo natives.
>> No. 163895
File 135653390160.jpg - (351.72KB , 528x800 , nitori 2.jpg ) [iqdb]
163895
Updates, ho!

-----

Well, someone’s grumpy. In retrospect, locking them up like that without restraining them was probably a bad idea. Especially because he’s going to try and kill me again for this.

YOU BETTER HOPE THAT I DON’T GET OUT OF HERE!” he shouts, scattering birds in all directions. Being inside a metal box causes some serious echo effects. It’s bound to be much worse inside it, of course. Poor Zayon, he must be going deaf in there.

“Look, just calm down and-“
“CALM DOWN? YOUR STUNTS NEARLY KILL ME EVERY TIME AND YOU EXPECT ME TO CALM DOWN?”

Just how this one nearly killed him I don’t know, but he has a point about all my previous ones. It’s surprising that he hasn’t figured out that they were supposed to do that.

“You’re not getting out of there until you calm down, Shorty!” Nitori says, sitting on one of the top hatches. I guess I missed her climbing it.

“SHORTY? YOU’RE ONE TO TALK, YOU LITTLE RAT”
“Hey, I’ll have you know that I’m average height for a Kappa. Outsiders like you are meant to be tall. All the other ones have been”

Others? How many people end up getting lost here? She does make a good point about his height though, he’s the shortest in the group, being only about five foot two. Even Rose is taller than him.

“Cainan, just be quiet for a minute and we’ll let you out.” I say, expecting him to go off on another tangent about how I keep trying to kill him.

Odd, he hasn’t said a thing. Has he suffocated or something in there? Maybe Zayon hit him over the head with that staff of his. I wouldn’t put it past him, though he’d just say the angel hit his head on the framework.

“Do we have to let him out? He’ll just shout some more when he’s out.” Well, she makes a good point. Wait, I have an idea!

“Well, if he does, could you use some of that danmaku stuff to keep him under control? They could use a lesson in it.” I’m a genius. From what they’ve said, Momiji got them with a bit earlier but that was just a stray shot. Probably. Hopefully.

“What, just let loose? I mean, I know it’s non-lethal, but he could still be hurt.”
“You say that like you don’t want to do it.”

Well, I would certainly hope she wants to. I mean, I would like nothing more than to cause infinite amounts of pain to the damned angel. But that’s just me and that demon that nearly possessed him.

We exorcised him by beating him over the head with a 10 foot pole. Fun times.

“Well, I could use something to practice on that reacts normally~”

Things are sorted then. All we need to do now is open the door and fill it with not-very-deadly magic should a certain angel not cooperate. I doubt that he’ll stay still and make himself an easy target though; he’d probably just lunge straight at me with that sword of his.

With a nod to Nitori, I take a step back from the transport to get some breathing room whilst she climbs inside. Moments later, the metal door swings open, clanging on the floor to make a ramp up to the inside. Standing in the doorway is Cainan, though the look on his face is completely at odds with what he was saying earlier. It’s about as impassive as those fancy portraits rich people get, where they do their best to hide the third chin.

Lupe...” He says, closing his eyes. His hand drops to his side and rests on the scabbard of his blade, which only means that he intends to use it. Presumably to cause me extreme discomfort. “This has gone on long enough.”

“What, the murder attempts or the being in charge?” Ha, witty one liner. That’ll piss him off.

Well, it does. He draws his sword and leaps at me, bellowing a war cry in that weird language those celestials have. I can make out his god’s name though; Sol. Lazy bastard did nothing to help against Kaos. Drawing my dagger, I barely manage to deflect his initial attack. Rolling under his guard isn’t an option right now, the ground will slow me down too much. I’ll have to resort to backing off slowly and watch for an opening.

A blur of motion catches my eye just past the angel. It looks like Nitori has just started flying now, hovering just above the transport. She starts saying something, but I can’t make it out from here. Seconds later, the area fills with danmaku. It seems to make some sort of pattern, but I should probably be putting more attention into avoiding being hit.

Cainan isn’t so observant. He apparently failed to notice the massive surge of magic in the area and is hit by a large number of bullets. He still manages to stay on his feet, but is now turning around to face the new threat. Giving me the perfect chance to paralyze him again. So he stands resolutely against the tide of magic, which promptly proceeds to impact against him repeatedly. Mere seconds pass before he collapses on the floor, twitching slightly as my own magic loses its grip on him.

“Was that really necessary?” Zayon asks, clutching his head with one hand and leaning out of the transport with the other. It seems that Cainan’s shouting did have an effect on him afterall. “I’m sure he would have seen sense if you’d have just kept talking.”

“Yeah, but that’s no fun” replies Nitori. She has a point, but it’s best if I don’t point that out. Still, we now have an unconscious angel taking up room here.

“Help me drag him in.” I say to the Kappa, taking one of his legs and pulling. Nitori flies over and takes the other leg, and we drag him into the transport. Whether Zayon has any objections, he keeps them to himself, probably so he doesn’t end up in the same position as his partner.

“Well, now that that’s sorted, what should we do now?”

[] Head back to the village. Look for Reimu and Rose on the way back and let them know what happened here.
[] Go to Nitori’s home. She said it wasn’t too far from here and Momiji promised us a tour. Or something like that
[] Explore the surroundings. Who knows what we might find. Well, Nitori might but I don’t have a clue.
[] Write-in
>> No. 163896
[X] Head back to the village. Look for Reimu and Rose on the way back and let them know what happened here.
Gotta keep the team together. We can always go out and explore/visit with everyone.

...I hope I won't be a single voter this time...right guys? Guys? Guuuys?
I know it's Christmas time, but still.
>> No. 163898
[X] Explore the surroundings. Who knows what we might find. Well, Nitori might but I don’t have a clue.

We already have been to the Human Village, and I don't think that anything really exciting will happen there again, aside from the fact that the the residents would be wary of our friends.
>> No. 163904
[x] Explore the surroundings. Who knows what we might find. Well, Nitori might but I don’t have a clue.

Voting this to avoid a triple tie.
Momiji should know better to respect the metal boxes, they're awesome. Now, if nitori got a STC from the legio cibernetica.
>> No. 163934
Calling it now. Good to see the three back.

>>163904
Even worse, anything to do with the Legio Titanicus
>> No. 163936
File 135671213995.jpg - (392.87KB , 850x1487 , afkgsa1.jpg ) [iqdb]
163936
Well, accidentally made a new thread for this but that's sorted now. I wont need one of them for a long time.

-----

Well, this is as good a chance as any to take a good look around the surroundings. Not once has it been a bad idea to scout the area. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a dirty liar and should be ignored.

“A good look around the locale would be wise. You said this was close to your home, didn’t you?” I ask. Nitori is a native of this land, so she must have some knowledge of the layout around here.

“Yeah, it’s just up ahead. Behind that waterfall and left a bit. My workshop is in there too.” Well, at least we can find our way back. Losing a waterfall is a difficult task, so I doubt we’re going to get stuck somewhere.

“What’s up top then?”
“That’s where the Tengu live. I don’t go up there much myself, they don’t really like having visitors and they can be really arrogant.”

Okay. New word learnt today. I’ll keep an eye out for those Tengu later, they aren’t important right now. Looking around, the place we’ve stopped in is rather clear, with only the occasional tree blocking the sunlight. A few rocks are strewn around the place, probably dislodged by Nitori’s barrage from earlier.

It’s still pretty early, from the looks of things. The sun is nearly at the top of the sky, but isn’t quite there yet. Maybe in another hour or so. That gives us half a day to play with, and I intend to make the most of it.

“What should we do about Reimu and the other girl? They’ll probably be here soon, and knowing Reimu she’ll be ready to bust some skulls.” That doesn’t sound like the shrine maiden I met just yesterday. Still, she makes a valid point.

“Well, you could wait here for them. Cainan isn’t one to be left alone right now, and Zayon isn’t exactly good a scouting.” That elicits a chuckle from the mage, who knows too well what happened the last time he needed to be stealthy. “Besides, I prefer to do this stuff alone anyway. Means I don’t have to keep looking over my shoulder every minute or so to see if my partner is still there.”

“There’ll be no objection from me~. I don’t really want to leave my Rhino with that shorty anyway; he’ll end up breaking it with that thick skull of his.”

“His skull isn’t that bad. We’ve had to substitute him as a battering ram once.” Zayon says, keeping an eye on the angel. He speaks the truth though.

“Yeah, I remember that. We were being chased by a were-lion for at least an hour before we reached the maze exit.” Then we drugged Cainan and used him to beat the door down.

Leaving Zayon to recall some of our past exploits for Nitori, I cast invisibility on myself for good measure and slip off into the undergrowth. There isn’t so much a path here as such, just a noticeable lack of unbroken twigs in some areas. This is probably the hunting grounds for some local predator, or something like that. Stepping carefully over any suspicious looking mounds, I make my way over to another clearing beyond the bushes.

“Gahhh, where’d he go?”

A voice, just up ahead. Unmistakably a woman’s voice, but she sounds disappointed about something. Maybe she lost her friend in the woods.

“Stupid outsider making my job difficult.”

Outsider? I haven’t heard of any others being around here, so whoever it is she must be talking about us. How long exactly has she been trailing us?

“Maybe I’ll just go back to the village, see if anyone there’s seen him come back.”

Better question, why does she talk to herself so much? I know some people do sometimes but damn, it’s like she’s just thinking out loud. If she’s been trailing us for so long whilst doing this I have no clue how we didn’t notice her earlier.

“Geez, I never get anything interesting. All the outsiders I’ve heard about get scooped up instantly.”

I take a few more cautious steps forward, keeping my head low and moving slowly. Brushing past the edge of the bush, I make myself visible again.

“Boo.” I whisper behind her back, loud enough for her to hear me. It definitely gets her attention though.

“EEEEK!” She exclaims, before she suddenly reaches out for an object hidden in front of her. One which very quickly collides with my forehead. The blow knocks me back a pace, but I still stay standing though. I wince slightly as I rub my head, which hurts more than it should. I blame that pipe from earlier.

“Ah! It’s you! I was wondering where you went but apparently you’re here but how’d you get here without me noticing?” She’s talking pretty quickly, but I can still make out what she’s saying.

“Invisibility.” Is all I say before opening my eyes to get a good look at my assailant. An average size woman stands there, clutching an umbrella with what looks like a massive tongue and an eye. Clad in a light blue shirt and similar looking skirt, she also has the exact same colour for her hair. All of these clash with the deep purple of the umbrella, but whether that’s to put emphasis on it or her I have no clue. One thing that draws my attention is her eyes, her left one being red whilst the other is the same as the outfit.

“You can do that? I thought you’d just appeared there, like how you did when you arrived.”
“Wait, you saw me land here?”
“Yeah, just in the forest when I was taking a walk. I thought that I’ll actually be the first to meet a new outsider for once but then you found that Marisa’s house so I decided I’d just surprise you anyway but then I never got the chance because you left when I wasn’t paying attention and then I found you again earlier in the village but you went off with that engineer person in that thing so I followed you here to try and surprise you but you found me and-“
“Stop. Take a deep breath.”

She does so, nearly hyperventilating for a good minute or so before trying to continue. Before she can, I hold up a hand to stop her.

“Okay, who are you?” I ask, becoming very confused by the situation. Whoever this girl is, she’s a strange one, even by Gensokyo standards.

“Kogasa Tatara~” she says with a smile. “I’m supposed to surprise people but I’m not very good at it. That’s why I wanted to surprise you because you didn’t know me then but everyone in the village does.”

She doesn’t like stopping for breath much, does she?

“Lemme guess, you’re one of those youkai things?”
“Yep~”

Great.

[] Report back to Nitori. She’ll probably know more about this person.
[] Carry on. Minor distraction, resuming mission.

Also,
[] She can come with me for now.
[] She stays here.
>> No. 163938
[X] Carry on. Minor distraction, resuming mission.
[X] She can come with me for now.
>> No. 163957
[X] Carry on. Minor distraction, resuming mission.
[X] She can come with me for now.

New party member, get!
>> No. 163966
[X] Carry on. Minor distraction, resuming mission.
[X] She can come with me for now.

She's the perfect distraction to allow us to sneak up on someone (or something) undetected. Even if she tries to talk to Lupe, everyone knows her and will just assume she's talking to herself again.
>> No. 163976
[X] Carry on. Minor distraction, resuming mission.
[X] She can come with me for now.

Poor Kogasa.

>>163934
Now, that's a frightening thought.

I wonder if an Imperator-class would actually FIT inside the border. At least it would out-dakka most of the residents I guess.
>> No. 163977
[X] Carry on. Minor distraction, resuming mission.
[X] She can come with me for now.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this will turn out.
>> No. 164131
Well, going to call it he-

Wait...

1, 2, 3... 4... 5...

Well, that's new.
>> No. 164138
File 13573452124.jpg - (220.69KB , 720x780 , 5a878d109d60dca3e8a48d0263b5b9ff.jpg ) [iqdb]
164138
Well, here it is.

-----

Well, that’s just great. I’ve got my own stalker, it would seem. Still, she seems harmless enough so I doubt that it’s anything to go back for.

“Where you going now?” She asks, completely out of the blue. I’m not really sure on that myself, so I just shrug. She curls a finger on her lips at this, making it look like she’s being serious, but that umbrella of hers looks too silly for me to think she can be. “Can I come with you? I don’t get the chance to talk to outsiders normally.”

Well, even if I said no I’m sure she’d just keep following me anyway. Also, pissing her off wouldn’t be a very good idea either judging from the ridiculous power creep in this place. At least she doesn’t seem to be on the verge of losing it, despite the habit of talking to herself constantly, like she was doing earlier.

“Sure. Fine. Whatever. Just try not to get in my way when I’m sweeping.”
“Of course~”

This is just asking for trouble really. She has a weird charm about her though. Probably the eyes. I start exploring the area again, making mental notes on the path I’m heading down now.

“What’s your name then, mister?”
“Lupe”
“Where you from?”
“Urgom”
“You don’t talk much, do you?”
“Only when I’m focussed”
“What on?”

I sigh, starting to regret bringing Kogasa with me. Sure, she’s kinda cute but the cons seem to outweigh the pros right now.

“I’m searching the area around here to see what there is. Now, unless you have something useful to say, I ask that you keep quiet.”

That seems to work, but I feel bad about the way I said it. Odd, as normally it wouldn’t be a problem. A faint tugging on my sleeve ends that train of thought however, and I turn to see Kogasa holding out a piece of paper with a large amount of sketches on it, some of which seem familiar. I take it and examine it a bit more closely.

Oh, it’s just a map.

Wait, a map? Where’d she get this from? This is great, so much less work has to be done now. It’s taking all of my self control to prevent myself from leaping at her to give the girl a massive hug. Still, my lips form a smile and I study the map’s details as much as I can, all but blotting out the noise of the world.

A shadow looming above me manages to draw my attention away from the paper however, and I look up. A screen of purple is there, which I turns out to be Kogasa’s umbrella, seeing as there’s a tongue poking out of the side of it. I look towards her again and she seems to be studying the map almost as intensely as I was, for some reason.

“Thanks for this.” I say, barely hiding the glee in my voice at not having to do something tedious for once.

“No problem~” She says, eyes closed and with a massive smile.

“Now, if that’s the case, then I’m going to find the others. Feel free to join me, Kogasa.”

“Who are the others?” She asks, quite rightly. I would ask that too if I was just invited to follow someone I’ve only just met (though she had been following me for a while).

“Well, there are some of my people, from Urgom. There’s also Nitori with me, who I’m helping out a bit right now. Reimu is probably nearby with another one of my allies,” she looks like she’s wincing when I mention Reimu, but given her duty as trouble solver I can see why. “I think that guard from up the waterfall might make an appearance too, Momiji I think she’s called.” I don’t think I’m missing anyone important, so I just wait for Kogasa to respond.

She does this by nodding and walking off in the direction I came from. I pocket the map and catch up with her, keeping ahead of her slightly so as not to raise too much alarm when we appear.

The journey back seems shorter, but that’s because I’m not sneaking around and moving slowly. Eventually, we reach the clearing where Nitori had waited, finding that there was now a large metal pole embedded into the ground by the transport. There’s some weird tubes connecting the pole to what seems to be a small metal contraption about the size of an anvil. More of the Kappa’s toys, I would imagine.

“Oh, you’re back already Lupe?” Nitori jumps from the machine as she notices the noise I’m making, leaving the undergrowth. “With... company, it seems. You’re Kogasa, right?”

“Uh huh. You’re miss engineer person. How’d you know my name?” Well, this is going just swell.

“It’s Nitori. As for your name, you don’t need to visit the village much to know about the youkai with a strange umbrella that tries to surprise people.”

Right, this is just the right time for me to completely ignore what the women are saying and focus on the map. I know where this type of conversation is going and I don’t want to get dragged into a cat fight. I can see the waterfall just fine; the area has been coloured blue. It gets a little trickier with everything else. A large amount of scribbles seem to represent a large number of trees, while the thick lines probably mean a path of some sort. What the map lacks in detail however, it makes up for in size. It seems to cover nearly all of Youkai Mountain, the big ass forest Marisa lives in, Hakurei Shrine and the human village. There’s still room left over on the paper, so I can probably add to it myself when I explore some more.

Gentle prodding forces me to put the map down for a while to see what’s going on. Nitori has gone back to tinkering with that contraption of hers whilst Kogasa is sat by my side poking me repeatedly.

“What is it?” I ask her, trying to hide my annoyance at being interrupted.

“Miss engine- I mean Nitori wants to know what the plan is now.” She replies. She looks a little more guarded than before. Probably to do with that chat the two had.

“Why didn’t she ask me herself then?”
“She said something about making sure the communication relay being damaged so she needs to fix that before she does anything else so I guess that is more important to her.”

Still no pauses in her speech, but at least she answered my question.

[] We should probably wait for Reimu and Rose now. How has the pair now found us yet?
[] Onwards, up the mountain! Tengu or not, I want a look.
[] To the village. Perhaps something interesting has happened there.
[] One of the paths on the map ends in a flower. Wonder what that means?
>> No. 164140
Kogasa surprised Lupe by creating a map...I'm surprised.

>>[] Onwards, up the mountain! Tengu or not, I want a look.

I'm guessing that this will either introduce us to Aya, put us in the company of the Moriya Shrine, or less likely get us underground.

>>[] To the village. Perhaps something interesting has happened there.

Reasonably obvious plot hook right here.

>>[] One of the paths on the map ends in a flower. Wonder what that means?

Yuuka is fairly obvious, here. I look for it to be Medicine, though.

>>[] We should probably wait for Reimu and Rose now. How has the pair now<sic> found us yet?

Reimu and Rose have probably found someone else (Suika?).


I'm fairly sure that at most a quarter of the above is accurate. Still...

[X]We should probably wait for Reimu and Rose now. How has the pair not found us yet?
>> No. 164145
[X]We should probably wait for Reimu and Rose now. How has the pair not found us yet?

They should be here any moment now.
>> No. 164147
[X] We should probably wait for Reimu and Rose now. How has the pair now found us yet?
>> No. 164150
[X] We should probably wait for Reimu and Rose now. How has the pair now found us yet?

You know, all of these votes are strangely unanimous for some reason...
>> No. 164153
>>164140
>now<sic>
How the hell did I not notice that?

>>164150
Hive-mind
>> No. 164247
Well. Guess we're going to sit around and wait for the missing duo.

I should probably find some more Reimu images now...
>> No. 164367
File 135790159430.jpg - (192.24KB , 850x1201 , sample-b83a7bc50e91e3836af62c69105c51ca.jpg ) [iqdb]
164367
Well, this took longer than I hoped. Exams have been a pain and sapped me of my creativity. But now they're finished, here's an update.

---

Despite the fact that we’ve been gone for quite some time now, it seems that the shrine maiden still hasn’t turned up. Without her, there’s no Rose, and with no Rose there’s no free food and healing.

“We set up here for a while. I don’t really want to go anywhere with Reimu backing us up. She seems to be one of the major players here, so having her around can’t be too bad.” My explanation sounds convincing enough for Kogasa, so she smiles happily and goes over towards Zayon.

She then starts prodding him repeatedly with that umbrella of hers, much to his chagrin.

Still, despite being an assassin I can’t really feel comfortable waiting around in one place for long. Static defence is not my way of war; I like things fluid and quick. Thinking back to the time when I was still in training, I close my eyes and whistle a faint tune. Despite the fact that I’ve only been awake for a short time, it has been a long day and I can already feel myself falling asleep.

--- --- --- ---

You left him with Nitori for a just a short time, and you’ve lost him already. You shake your head as his companion follows behind you, seemingly awestruck at the surroundings. Sure, they were nice to look at when you first saw them, but they get rather tedious after flying past them ridiculous amount of times. You turn to query her, but as you do she nearly walks into you.

“Ah, sorry.” She says, backing away slightly.

“Doesn’t matter. I was just wondering why you were so interested in the scenery.” She seems a little startled at first, as if it wasn’t obvious why. It takes her a second to remember that she’s not in her homeland, anymore.

“It’s just that I’ve never seen land allowed to run wild like this before on such a scale. The only thing that could even come close is the Mirkwood, but that pales in comparison. As a follower of Gaia, nothing fills me with as much joy as the sight of nature unbounded.”

Well, it answers your question, but you can’t help but feel a little uncomfortable by her attitude towards the land. Almost as if she didn’t want anything about it to change, despite the ever growing needs of the village.

But that’s not her problem, so she shouldn’t get involved.

You decide to take a short break at the place you’ve stopped at, halting your search for the man called Lupe. Whatever his really name was, he didn’t tell you, but it’s not important right now. After all, you can’t berate a man about his name when his isn’t here. You try to recall the girl’s name, but you draw a blank repeatedly. She seems to do the same to you though, so at least this goes both ways.

Once you’ve found him, you’ll be able to palm her off onto him, so there’s no real reason in actually learning her name at this point. Once Yukari notices them they’ll be gone in a flash. You hope. Normally she brings people in from the Outside World through those damn gaps of hers, but these new ones had no contact with her, apparently.

Marisa says that they came about through a botched magic experiment, but something about that doesn’t seem right. Not once has one of her failures, many of which you’ve witnessed firsthand, have resulted in a direct breach of the border, even the more potent ones.

No, something far more sinister is at work, you believe. Whoever these people are, they have powerful enemies.

You rest for just over five minutes, enjoying the brief respite from the near constant walking you’ve done today. The girl just takes out a notepad of some kind and starts making some notes on it, but when you asked to see it they just turned out to be sketches of the landscape, albeit rather basic.

You carry on down the simple dirt road, the absurdly large waterfall of Youkai Mountain drawing closer by the minute. The explosion happened somewhere around here, and you can’t help but wonder if it’s more outsiders that have caused it.

A faint rustling noise from the bushes to your right draws your attention, but you dismiss it as just some dumb feral trying to hide. It seems that they getting smarter.

“So where exactly are we going?” The girl asks, even though you told her the basics earlier.

“That’s Youkai Mountain,” you say to her, pointing at the summit, “We’re just going to search around the base of it for now. Nitori shouldn’t have gone any further up as she doesn’t get on very well with the Tengu there.”

“Tengu?”
“A type of Youkai. Leave it at that.”

Eventually, you come across a small clearing in the woods. It has the telltale signs of a danmaku duel but there’s nothing to tell you who was here. A quick scan around reveals that there’s also some tracks heading further up the mountain. You examine those a bit closer and they aren’t like anything you’ve seen before. Two thick lines, around 3 feet wide each and spaced at around 9 feet in between. The gap doesn’t change, so you assume it’s a wagon of some kind. Fortunately, they seem to have arrows pointing toward what you think its destination is.

The girl is evidently as confused as you, staring at the tracks and mumbling something to quiet for you to hear. You take this opportunity to rest a bit more, now that it’s starting to heat up some more for some reason. Unsurprisingly, the girl just gawks at the surroundings some more, but you notice that every time her gaze wanders over the tracks she mouths something before looking away quickly. Her explanation can wait however, as it’s not something you’re particularly interested in. Most likely she’s condemning the one who damaged the land in such a way.

Still, they do warrant investigation. You jump up from the rock you were sat on and start following the arrows in the tracks. You have no idea why they’re there, but they’re helpful to you so there’s no use in complaining. The girl follows you slowly, giving the tracks a wide berth, but eventually has to move closer as the forest path slowly narrows. Not many people come this way, so you can’t blame whoever keeps the paths clear for leaving it unkempt.

Another clearing is ahead, and in it stands a large black box. The tracks lead towards that and you pull out some of your seals as you approach the opening. No one seems to be around right now, but there’s definitely evidence of people being here. Stepping into the clearing, you can make out a figure lay just in front of the box, hiding in the shade. You walk towards this person as quietly as you can before turning around the corner to see just who it is.

Lupe is lay there, asleep with that karakasa next to him. Whether the two actually managed to become friends you have no clue, but it’s more likely that she was just waiting for him to wake up and surprise him but fell asleep in the mean time.

“Lupe, what’s this?” You say, shaking him with your foot gently in an attempt to wake him up. One of his eyes slowly opens, darting around to take in the situation.

“Huh? Oh, it’s you Reimu. I got rather tired waiting for you to arrive, and yeah.” He replies, oblivious to the karakasa next to him. You point at her, and his head follows your finger towards her. “Oh yeah, her. I found her skulking around nearby. She said she was trying to surprise me or something before losing her chance. No idea why she’d want to do that though.”

“It’s what she does. She’s not very good at it though.” You say, though he hasn’t answered why she’s asleep next to him. It strikes you suddenly that there’s still someone missing. “Where’s Nitori gone?” You ask, scanning the area quickly, seeing no sign of the engineer.

“She’s just fixing a few things in there. Cainan broke a few things in his rage.” He says. You can only assume that he’s another one of the other members of his group. Without warning, the girl is at your side.

“Cainan’s here too?”
“Yeah, and Zayon.”

Another one? That’s just great. You hope that that’s the last of them, but some part of your mind is telling you that things are only going to get much worse from here on out. Regardless, you’ve found Lupe now, and that was what you set out to do. Normally you would have gone straight to that explosion on the mountain, but the girl was insistent on linking up with Lupe and Nitori before going up there.

“What caused the trouble earlier?” You ask him, hoping that he found out that much at least.

“Zayon and Cainan got into a fight with that Tengu guard, and Zayon decided it would be better to run away. One of his spells makes a magical smokescreen, basically. It’s normally pretty small, but I guess Gensokyo has some effect on our magic.”

With your query answered, the situation is over basically. There’s going to be more, that you can be sure of, but they’re a problem for later.

[] Head back to the village.
[] Head back to the shrine.
[] Somewhere else?
>> No. 164403
[X] Head back to the shrine.
Once an incident has been dealt with, it's time to go back to sitting at home and complain about being poor.
>> No. 164404
[x] Head back to the shrine.

Getting even more outsiders of unclear power into the village to cause even more trouble? Pass.
>> No. 164407
[X] Head back to the shrine.

As it appears that we have resolved this incident, I can say that we can head back and get to figuring out how to get back to our world.
>> No. 164457
Called here. To the shrine!

Getting drunk there may or may not happen as a result.
>> No. 164700
File 135911788912.jpg - (4.98KB , 400x224 , this bodes well.jpg ) [iqdb]
164700
This took way too long to write please don't kill me.

---

Well, judging from the reaction that the village had towards Lupe and Rose alone, heading back there with more outsiders may not be the best option. Instead, the only other place you can think of to go is your shrine, though these two new outsiders seem like trouble.

“We’re going back to the shrine. Come on.” As soon as you finish saying this, Lupe picks himself up off of the floor and dusts off slightly. The karakasa must have felt something, as she’s just starting to wake up herself now. Slowly, she also rises and yawns slightly, almost not realizing that she’s surrounded by people still.

“GAH!” she screams as she wakes up enough to notice you standing there impatiently. “Ah, Reimu, what are you doing here?” She looks nervous now, backing away from you slightly as she talks.

“I was looking for him,” you reply, pointing at the assassin. “He’s staying at my shrine for now, and we’re about to head back.”

Lupe is ignoring the two of us, intent on staring at the waterfall instead. A quick nudge brings him back and he immediately starts clambering onto the metal box... thing. He grabs something on there and opens a hatch.

“Oi Nitori! Reimu’s here so we’re going now. I’ll drop by your workshop at some point” He shouts in. He quickly jumps off of the edge and lands next to you, before immediately walking slowly down the path. The girl follows him, and before you can begin to follow, a loud thud comes from behind.

Turning around, the back of the box has appeared to have fallen off, making a ramp of sorts leading inside of it. Two figures emerge, though one is quite clearly unconscious, judging by the way he’s slumped over the others shoulder. The man carrying the other sees you and nods politely, before hurrying off towards his companions.

“What happened to him?” you ask, pointing at the one being carried. His friend turns slightly and points towards Nitori’s contraption.

“He got into a fight with that small girl in there. Well, it was supposed to be Lupe he was after for making him angry in the first place but she sided with him.” He sighs after he finishes, readjusting his hold on his friend as he does so. Once he’s finished, he carries on walking again to catch up with Lupe. Thinking back, you remember him saying that a man called Cainan got into a fight with them, so you assume that to be the unconscious one, leaving the tall man to be Zayon or something.

The karakasa has disappeared somewhere already, leaving you alone outside Nitori’s machine. Taking a deep breath, you slowly step into it, mindful of any of the spare equipment that seems to be randomly strewn about the place. Nitori is crouching by another weird machine inside there, tinkering with some of the pieces.

“Thanks for looking after them Nitori,” you say to her. You really do mean it as well. The last thing you need is dangerous outsiders roaming around Gensokyo’s wilderness, despite the fact that one of them is already incapable of protecting himself here.

Lupe, however...

“No problem Reimu! Glad to be of help.” Nitori replies, derailing your train of thought. “Just make sure that Lupe doesn’t forget visiting at some point. He owes me that much for the mess his friend made.”

So it seems that the short one was Cainan then. That helps matters slightly, now that you know most of their names. The girl’s name still hasn’t come back to you, but it doesn’t matter now. You can always just ask her later.

“Sure thing. Goodbye then.”
“Bye Reimu.”

-----

Well, that was eventful. Cainan is still knocked out, Zayon is carrying him and Rose is still being rather quiet. Sure, I’m just strolling along here but at least my mind’s clear now. Of course, it would be better if I wasn’t quite as tired still, but that’s beside the point.

Reimu has stayed behind for a minute to talk to Nitori, so I walk down the path towards the village slowly so that she can catch up. Sure, she’s probably able to fly like it’s nothing, but it’s the thought that counts in situations like this.

“Who was that woman, Lupe?” Zayon asks, finally breaking the silence. I turn to face him but still keep walking, seeing as it is rather unlikely that something’s going to get the jump on us.

“That’s Reimu Hakurei, shrine maiden of the Hakurei shrine. She’s rather important around here, for whatever reason. Most people seem scared of her.” True, I don’t actually know a whole lot about her role here, but she dealt with the guards pretty easily.

“She said something about resolving incidents back when we were in the village.” Rose cuts in, though rather unhelpfully.

“’Incident resolving’? That sounds uncannily familiar to our work” I reply. I wonder what kind of incidents could occur here though. There’s no reason for anything to go wrong here, other than the wild youkai things trying to eat people. That still seems pretty simple though.

I’ll ask Reimu later.

Speaking of Reimu, she seems to be flying towards us now. Totally called it.

“Hey Reimu! Glad you could join us!” I shout to her, though getting no response from the flying shrine maiden. Instead, she just carries on going past us and towards the village. “Well, she’s in a hurry.”

She probably has something important to do now, so it isn’t really a problem. The path back to the shrine isn’t too far away, but it does involve heading by the village, if I remember it right. Oh well, it’s not like we’re going to walk in for a while and I think it might be a good idea to bring Marisa up to speed.

Reaching the village is an easy task, the path leading straight towards it. Something seems to have happened though as the gates are closed and the guards are doubled. A woman is shouting at someone from behind the wall, but it’s difficult to make out from here. The guards throw us some wary glances as we walk by, which I ignore completely of course. I think something has the village spooked pretty badly if things are like this.

Finding the path back to the shrine is also relatively simple. The stairs are as menacing as ever, though I don’t envy Zayon as he seems intent on taking Cainan up on his shoulders. Mages weren’t meant for that kind of work, really.

Slowly ascending, I turn around to get a panoramic view of the area once again. I pull out Kogasa’s map and begin checking for the landmarks on there. The flower turns out to be an absurdly large sunflower field, which looks like quite a relaxing place in all honesty. It’s quite a shame that I didn’t get to have a look around there whilst we were out.

Eventually, after much swearing and sitting down to wait for Zayon, we reach the shrine. Marisa is standing there, looking rather worried about something.

“Lupe, finally you’re back. Where’s Reimu? And who are these guys?” Well, that was quick.

“Reimu’s back at the village, doing something there. And these two are more of my companions.”
“There’s still more huh? Anyway, something’s gone down at the village. There was a lot of smoke earlier and unless Mokou finally lost it I’m not sure what’s happened.”

Mokou. Hmm, odd name. Maybe she’s a fire mage of sorts if she’s related to smoke.

Either way, that explains why the guards were there, sort of.

[] Head back down to the village and see what’s happened myself.
[] Stay here and wait for Reimu to come back with information.
[] Suggest that Marisa goes down to check.
>> No. 164701
[X] Stay here and wait for Reimu to come back with information.

It's nice to see that you're still writing here. A lot of authors are taking their time around this thread to update, so it's good to see somebody adding to their story.

Anyways, I feel that there's absolutely no need for Lupe to go around wrecking havoc trying to find out what happened in the village. Better to sit back and watch the situation rather then barge in and be a pest, in my opinion.
>> No. 164708
[X] Stay here and wait for Reimu to come back with information.

While it would be amusing to see Zayon's face when we reach the top only to turn around and go down again.. I think it's best to just wait here for now.
>> No. 164916
File 135971898692.png - (703.97KB , 661x800 , 0ed19ec69bdac9c827afd84878bf1937.png ) [iqdb]
164916
Oh hey look, an update. This is the part where plot happens for once

-----

Well, considering that we only just made it up here and the rest of the day’s events, I think we deserve a bit of a break.

“Zayon, take Cainan into that room over there,” I say, pointing at the room where I slept last night. “Try not to make a mess in there. Reimu won’t be too happy of you did.”

He probably doesn’t want to piss the shrine maiden off, as he carries the angel over there very carefully. The sliding door confuses him a bit, it seems, but he eventually figures it out. Once inside I can’t see a thing but Zayon returns shortly after entering. He walks up to Marisa slowly, but she’s still staring in the general direction of the village, so he coughs gently to get her attention.

“Are there any more spare rooms in here, miss?”
“Huh? Oh, yeah, there’s a load of them. The shrine is where most parties take place, so the rooms are mainly for those too drunk to get home. Just look around the place and grab an empty one.”

Reimu holds parties here? That doesn’t seem much like the girl I know. Who would she invite, when most people here seem to be scared of her?

Once finished, Marisa goes back to staring into the distance. It’s surprising that she hasn’t already bolted to go have a look at what’s causing the trouble, really. She strikes me as the person who would leap into action the moment she detected trouble.

Zayon looks around for a short time before wandering off to look for a free room. He reaches the first door quickly, but I’m losing interest in his search already. Rose seems to be helping him as well however, so I don’t think anything too bad will happen. That leaves me with nothing to do except sit around doing nothing.

I’m good at that.

Finding a nice bit of shade under one of the trees, I lie down and close my eyes. Sure, I may have already slept a lot today but there’s always room for more, I feel. Plus, it helps keep my mind clear of unneeded clutter.

My rest doesn’t last long however, as something seems to be poking my cheek. I didn’t see Marisa follow me over, but that leaves very few to be the perpetrator.

“Yes?” I say, keeping my voice low and eyes closed. The poking stops as soon as I speak, but it seems that whatever was doing it is still there, as I can’t hear any footsteps at all. Unless of course it can fly too, which would be just great.

“Are you dead?” an unfamiliar voice asks, undoubtedly female. Odd question, really. The dead don’t normally talk and the ones that do are either stupid or ridiculously egotistical. Vampires generally count as both.

“Last I checked I wasn’t. Why do you want to know?” The voice doesn’t reply straight away, probably trying to think of a good reason for bothering me.

“It’s my job to collect the dead to regulate the temperature underground. If you’re not dead, then I’ll leave you alone. Try not to bleed too much; a dry body burns too fast.” Once she’s finished speaking, a rustling sound tells me that she’s gone back to wherever she came in from. She’s a weird one, at any rate. Collecting the dead to regulate temperature? Sounds like a load of rubbish to me.

Though this being one messed up place to begin with, I can’t see any reason why she would be lying.

Sighing, I open my eyes and stand up. There’s a faint smell of blood in the air, probably from that girl and her less than pleasant duty. I turn around to see where she went but I’m greeted with nothing out of the ordinary. A few of the leaves seem to be disturbed however and I’m sure that I’ll be able to follow the scent, but it isn’t important. Just a girl doing her job.

She did have a point about dry bodies burning quicker though, which means there’s lots of fire involved somewhere along the line.

Speaking of fire, the smoke from the village rings a bell. I doubt that the two are related however, as she said something about being underground. Regardless, I’m not going to be able to rest after this so instead I head over the staircase down to the village. Marisa is still there, and it seems that Reimu is back now. She’s showing Marisa something, but it’s hard to make out from here. Definitely metallic though.

I walk over to the pair, and Reimu is quick to pass the thing to me. Upon closer inspection it looks like...

Like one of the helmets favoured by the Kaos champions.

“Shit.” Is all I’m able to say at this point.

“Friend of yours?” Reimu asks, obviously connecting dots in her head. My mouth dries, taking my hope for a simple time here with it.

“This is from one of our enemies. A servant of the Dark Gods.” Any other explanation I could give is cut short by a massive thunderclap and a faint buzzing noise. The helmet disappears, and another, louder buzzing starts.

“What the hell is going on?” Marisa shouts, struggling to be heard over the noise. I have only one suggestion, but it isn’t exactly a good one.

“Warpcraft!” I shout back to her. She has no idea what I mean, of course, but there’s no time to fill her in.

As abrupt as it had begun, the buzzing subsides, leaving the three of us standing on the stairs. A slamming noise from the direction of the shrine follows and Zayon runs out of the room he had commandeered, his staff ready. Rose is with him, although she’s trying a wake Cainan up as quick as she can.

“What in Sol’s name has happened?” Zayon asks, marching over to us. I glance up to the sky to make sure nothing subtly wrong is there before walking over to him.

“Reimu found a piece of Kaos armour down in the village. No clue how. But just now some powerful sorcerer took the helmet back.” His expression turns sour as I give him the details, but that can wait. I turn back to Reimu again. “What happened down at the village?” I ask.

“Keine said that a beast with that strange armour had attacked the village. It killed five of the guards before they brought it down, apparently.” She looks worried by this turn of events. I don’t, but I most certainly am on the inside. “They locked it up in the jail there, with around 20 men keeping an eye on it.”

“Going by what just happened, I doubt that he’s still there.” Zayon says. “Lupe, we must search for this madman. The phenomenon that brought us here may have taken him and others here as well.” Oh great, search and destroy. Sure, I’m an assassin who is supposed to excel at missions such as these, but that doesn’t change how tedious they are.

“I’m going back to the village,” Reimu begins. “I need to tell Keine and Kotohime about this as soon as I can. Marisa, go find Alice. She should be able to help look for this... thing.”

“On it!” Marisa replies. Almost immediately, that broom of hers flies into her outstretched hand. She barely even climbs on before shooting off towards the forest, towards this Alice’s house.

“Lupe, you should do whatever it is that you’re supposed to do in times like this.” Reimu says to me. “Just don’t cause much trouble. I don’t need any of the youkai to try something now.”

Choices, choices. What should I do? That Kaos champion has ruined a perfectly peaceful day.

[] Go with Reimu. The people she’s going to see should probably be told what they’re facing.
[] Follow Marisa. She may be a competent magician, but she’s not going to be prepared for a fight like this
[] Search the area with the Zayon. We have to be sure there’s nothing hiding out there.
[] Search around the waterfall. Even if he’s not there, Nitori and Momiji should be warned about him.
[] Anywhere else he might be hiding?
>> No. 164918
[X] Go with Reimu. The people she’s going to see should probably be told what they’re facing.

If it's important that they be told as soon as possible, shouldn't someone who knows what this is all about be the one to tell them?
All Reimu could tell them is that more shit has hit the fan than they'd previously thought. Lupe could at least tell them something useful.
>> No. 164919
[X] Go with Reimu. The people she’s going to see should probably be told what they’re facing.

We're facing potentially massive civilian casualties if the Kaos attack the Human Village. Marisa, Nitori, and Momiji can handle themselves; they all know how to fight, and the residents of the Youkai mountain can band together to meet this new threat. However, the humans in the village are the largest collective of defenseless people, which makes them the biggest target to the Kaos.
>> No. 164925
[X] Go with Reimu. The people she’s going to see should probably be told what they’re facing.
>> No. 164994
Called now, because I have free time for once. Tagging along with Reimu it is.
>> No. 165051
“I’m coming with you. Those people you’re going to see are somewhat important right?” She nods as I ask this, quite obviously in a hurry. “You’re not going to be able to tell them anywhere near what I’m able to.”

Without a word, she takes to the air. Cheat. She hovers in place for a moment before leaving, though she’s going rather slowly. I imagine that it’s so I can keep up with her. Still, we are in a hurry though, so I should probably get going. I turn to Rose and Zayon.

“You two guard the shrine. Leave Cainan for now, let him rest it out.” I say to them, beginning to walk away. “Anything goes wrong, head straight for the village.”

“Is that wise? Leaving the shrine, I mean.” Zayon raises a fair point. We still don’t know what creatures lurk around these forests. From the looks of it, they appear human but still seem different in a way. How dangerous they are, I don’t know, but if Kaos does attack here I doubt that they’ll want to get in the way.

I’m getting sidetracked again. The village is a much more defensible position, despite its failing wall and probably underwhelming guard force. They did good to only lose five men, though.

“Just do it.” I turn around and start jogging, catching up with Reimu shortly after. Despite it all she looks rather calm. Incident resolving, huh? Guess this counts as one.

Despite the all too obvious risks of running down stairs, I manage to keep up with the shrine maiden as we head towards the village. Time has gone by faster than I thought; the sun seems pretty close the horizon now. Reimu must have noticed this too, as she’s sped up a little. It’s almost like she didn’t want to be outside of the village after dark.

Now we’re at the bottom. Things still seem relatively calm right now, but it probably won’t last too long. I can’t help but feel like I’m being watched, however. The sudden feeling of paranoia would normally send me diving for cover but it just feels strange here. Whatever it is doesn’t seem hostile, but it isn’t friendly either. Maybe it’s that girl with the morbid job from before?

It isn’t the immediate problem, so I just shake my head and keep on jogging. The gate looms closer, lit by a pair of braziers sticking out of the top. Fortunately, someone had the common sense to make the section they were on out of stone. One of the guards notices us and perks up, but stands down once he realizes Reimu. He still glares at me though. The shrine maiden lands just inches from the gate and just stands there. A gentle tapping noise from the floor tells me that she’s quite impatient right now.

“Hold on a sec!” A voice shouts from inside. It sounds rather familiar, though I’m not sure why. Reimu just keeps tapping her foot however. It sounds faster this time, as well. A metallic sliding noise comes from behind the door, and shortly after the gate slowly creaks open. Most likely an automated one done with clockwork, but I could be wrong.

It isn’t even open properly and Reimu is already waltzing in. I should probably follow her, but the gate won’t be open enough to let me in even if I did. All I can do is wait for it to open a bit more. Slowly, it does so and I manage to squeeze in through the gap.

A woman with long and dark red hair is standing there, tall and proud. She’s wearing a purple robe thing over a white robe thing with a red sash, and it’s hard to make out most of her body underneath them. She’s not saying anything as Reimu approaches her, and instead focuses her attention on me.

She has red eyes. Seems to be a common trait here.

“Who’s this shady looking guy?” she asks, to no one in particular. Reimu goes to answer but I cut her off.

“I’m an outsider. Name’s Lupe.” I say, wanting to keep things simple. I step closer to her and extend a hand. “You are?”

“I’m Kotohime.” She replies, grasping my hand. She has a surprisingly firm grip, and she’s obviously trying to test me by squeezing my hand. Of course, that would work on a lesser man but I just further tighten my grip until she decides to call it a draw and pulls her hand back. “I’m in charge of this rabble here.” She points to the men outside, who are all very busy trying to make it look like they’re not listening to us.

“So you’re the commander here?” Truth be told I expected some fat old man with a curly moustache, but that never happens. A damn shame too.

“There’s no one else here to whip them into shape.” She turns to Reimu now, taking on a more serious tone. “He the guy you told me about?” She asks her.

“He is. I didn’t expect him to come here with me, but he felt that you and Keine should know what is going on. Speaking of whom...” Well, she’s noticed something. I can’t see past the two of them but I can hear footsteps approaching us. This can only be that Keine person she’s on about. “Find anything?” Reimu asks her, still blocking my line of sight.

“Not a thing. There’s no trace of that creature even being held there.” Probably-Keine replies. As she draws closer, I can start to see her. And damn, that is one weird hat. It has to be ceremonial. The woman herself has silvery hair, which looks pretty long. The hat and the rest of her clothes are blue and white, with a red bow on both. She stops suddenly, and stares at me “Ah, a newcomer.” She coughs into her hand before straightening her dress. “I am Keine Kamishirasawa, school teacher and village guardian,” she bows, for some inexplicable reason, “pleased to make your acquaintance.”

“I’m Lupe.” I reply, nodding my head to her. “Now that everyone seems to be gathered now, shall I begin Reimu?”

“Not yet.” She replies, and starts walking towards one of the many doors behind Kotohime. “We don’t want to distress the masses.” She opens one of the doors and gestures for us to follow.

We enter into a well lit room, with a window facing out towards the gate. Reimu is closing the curtains whilst Kotohime locks the door behind us. A table sits in the middle of the room, with a book sitting on it, written in some weird writing.

“Now you can start.” Reimu says once she’s certain no one is eavesdropping.

“Right. Well, that thing that attacked the village earlier was most likely a Kaos warrior-“

“A what now?” Kotohime interrupts, though I can’t blame her.

“A Kaos warrior. They’re fanatical servants of the Gods of Kaos, intent on pillaging, murder and a host of other things. The Gods themselves aren’t really allies, and as such their soldiers tend to fight amongst themselves to try and improve their God’s standing.” Keine is listening intently, making notes in that weird scrawl. I’ll let her finish before carrying on again.

“Every now and then, a warlord appears with the charisma or strength to unite the warring factions and points them in the direction of everything else. Most recently, this was a certain madman called Kharg-Denmar, who we recently assassinated in our world before ending up here. The one that attacked you wore the armour of one of his champions, most likely one of the weaker ones if he still looked human.”

Keine nods and continues, whilst Kotohime simply sits there with her arms crossed. Reimu doesn’t even seem to be paying attention, but I don’t blame her. Mission debriefs are never interesting.

“That doesn’t explain why they’re in Gensokyo.” Kotohime says, her expression getting rather sour.

“Unfortunately, I don’t know why or how they got here. Probably the same way as my group: misfired magic.” I wish I knew more, but information seems pretty hard to come across. At least in Urgom I could go and visit one of the High Priests who claimed to know everything, but here I have no such luxury.

“What else is there, then?” Keine asks, still writing some notes in that strange language.

“Not much else, I’m afraid. The champions are fierce fighters who specialize in different things. The one that attacked here was probably just a straight up berserker, which is the most common type. There are two others though; mages and assassins.” I can’t help but grimace as I recall the last, rarest type of champion. I’ve worked with one before and he didn’t hesitate to turn on me once our mission was over.

Sneaky bastard tried to beat me at my own game.

“Berserkers, mages and assassins. Sounds like a bad mix. How many are there?” This time it’s Reimu talking, finally deciding to have some input.

“When we set out to eliminate Denmar, he had at most 10 of each commanding his army. I don’t know how many are here, but chances are there’ll be more than the one you found. There’s definitely a mage here too. That’s what caused the prisoner to disappear.”

“So you’re saying that we could be facing anywhere up 30 of these freaks.” She says dryly, and I can’t really fault her for it. Kaos worshipping loonies don’t make for the best of company, even in some of their more lucid moments.

“Yes, though some of them far worse than others. I know that a few of them have demonic mutations, such as wings or other such stuff.” One of them has a cannon built melded into its left arm too, but that’s not something I’d like to think on. Thankfully, it can only use it to cast magic now, for some reason.

Reimu paces around the room for a while, clearly lost in thought. She doesn’t get very far before she has to turn around however, as the room is quite small.

“We should search for the one that escaped first. If word gets out that he’s loose then we’ll have too much to deal with here to go search for the others.” She finally says, though it seems suspiciously aimed towards me. “Kotohime, tell the guards to carry on as normal, but look out for anything that you think could be one of them and report it to me as soon as you can.”

“What, and just leave them to do as they please?” the guard commander says, almost shouting at Reimu. “These bastards have already killed my men and I’m not going to let them get away with it.” Well, she’s a lot more considerate to her soldiers than any of the officers I’ve met before. It must be a shock to suddenly lose men when they’ve been a non-lethal lot normally. That doesn’t mean she should go chasing after rampaging lunatics after only just learning of them.

“You’ll do no good if you charge after them blindly.” I say to her calmly, trying to keep relatively quiet still. “You’ve lost men, and I sympathise, but they only just managed to deal with one. What would happen if you walked in on a whole unit of them? How many would die then?”

She’s getting angry now, but seems to get the idea. Losing more soldiers would severely hinder the village’s defence if push comes to shove. This is the most likely place for them to attack anyway, and anyone who could help guard it should be here.

“We should probably warn the youkai of this threat soon.” Keine says, finally closing that book of hers. “They could be just as vulnerable as the village if these Kaos warriors have amassed a large force.” She seems rather calm, despite the fact that an invasion could be just around the corner.

A knock at the door distracts us for a moment, enough to ease some of the tension. Of course, it could just be a message saying that an armada could be right outside the gates but that would at least give us a real threat. Keine walks over and opens it, letting a nervous looking guard in to the room. He gives Kotohime a sloppy salute before standing to attention.

“Sorry to disturb you, ma’am, but some of the men have reported strange sounds coming from the direction of the mountain.” He says, shaking slightly. It’s probably to do with the fact that the most important people in the village are assembled in a hushed meeting with an outsider after the village was attacked. Or something else, but my first answer seems the most plausible to me.

“Very well.” Kotohime replies, nodding slightly at the man. “You are dismissed.”

The guard salutes again and leaves at a hurried pace.

“Well, we might just have a lead.” I say, loosening my dagger in its scabbard.

“We just might.” Reimu agrees. She pulls out a strange slip of paper covered in that weird writing out from somewhere and heads towards the door. I follow her, and eventually Keine does too. I would ask why, but she flies off before I get the chance. She’s not heading towards the mountain, at any rate.

The gate opens for us as we approach, drawing the attention of a few people passing by. None of them have the obvious marks of a Kaos worshipper, but they’ve been proven to be good at hiding their beliefs before.

That doesn’t matter now anyway, as we already have a target to go find. But it could be more dangerous than we think, actually. It might be prudent to go and collect the others from the shrine, or even go and find Marisa and that friend of hers. Hell, it might even be better to do this by myself and have Reimu head back.

[] Lone wolf. Reimu would be better off here, and I can sneak much easier alone.
[] Co-op. Reimu should come with me on this. It is her job after all.
[] Find Marisa. She should be close by and her friend might be useful too.
[] Wanderer support. They’re reliable and effective, and they’ll be bored now.
[] A different approach? (Write-in)
>> No. 165052
[X] Wanderer support. They’re reliable and effective, and they’ll be bored now.
-[X] Ask Reimu if she can support you from afar, or at least observe the situation from the air.

Well, it's best to come with friends, and Reimu can provide an element of support the warriors of Kaos probably won't expect.
>> No. 165054
[X] Wanderer support. They’re reliable and effective, and they’ll be bored now.
>> No. 165094
[x] Wanderer support. They’re reliable and effective, and they’ll be bored now.

Since they're the only one else around here with first hand experience with these things, it's probably a good idea to bring them along.
Reimu can do well enough on her own anyway, simply by being used to dealing with thing like aliens stealing the moon or nuclear ravens planning to conquer the world and whatnot.
>> No. 165158
Not much else to do but call it, seeing as it's pretty unanimous. Again.
>> No. 165263
File 136140771545.jpg - (39.76KB , 610x645 , Star_of_Chaos.jpg ) [iqdb]
165263
Getting everyone else might just be the best idea here. They have experience at fighting Kaos soldiers, taking it up to four people who know what they’re doing and one who doesn’t, rather than one of each. Strength in numbers, as they say somewhere.

Except that it never normally works with my regular line of work, but whatever.

“Reimu, wait up.” I say to the shrine maiden as we begin walking. She stops and turns around, giving me a strange look, like I’ve said something extremely stupid. “We should go get the others from the shrine. They’ll be bored if they sit there doing nothing all day.”

“Alright, fine. I’m going on ahead anyway. Don’t take too long.” Well, that was surprisingly easy. Letting her leave and do her own thing here might not be a great idea, but I can’t see her charging in blindly into a mass of axe wielding lunatics, so she should be alright. Of course, there’s always a chance that something will go horribly wrong, which happens all too often in these situations.

Reimu flies off as I turn and head towards the shrine. It isn’t too far away, just rather high up, so it shouldn’t be a problem to get there in a hurry. If I run I’ll be there in no time. I set off at a good pace, not quite at my fleeing speed, but pretty close to it. Running away is a vital skill to have.

Ok, stairs. I can take two at a time quite easily, possibly even three if I pushed myself. Four is definitely out and one is too slow. Two it is. At least now I have adrenaline flowing to help climb these damn things, otherwise this would be a massive pain.

Strange noise approaching from the left. Stop, duck and draw dagger. Scanning the area reveals nothing, but there’s definitely something heading towards me. It’s quite fast too from the sounds of it. I’ll cast Invisibility on myself and take a few steps back. Keeping as quiet as possible, I walk towards the other side of the stairway to the approaching noise.

The thing approaches at a steady rate, drawing closer to my position. Still no clue what it is, but there’s quite a lot of Kaos I haven’t seen yet, which is probably a good thing come to think of it. Regardless, one of their newest abominations might be charging towards me right now so this is hardly the time for internal relief.

It draws ever closer, but there’s still no sign of it arriving any time soon. Maybe it just makes a lot of noise? I haven’t a clue on what I may or may not be fighting here, which isn’t a good sign. I still think that I’m going to kick its arse if it tries to kill me, of course, but knowing what exactly it is can be helpful. Sometimes.

The sound is nearly on top of me now, and I can make out rustling in the brush. Any second now and I’ll know what it is that’s making a beeline right past me.

Oh, it’s just a berserker.

Wait. Fuck. Not too much of a problem alone, but they tend to not want to stay down when stabbed multiple times through the everything.

General armaments of twin axes and some heavy plate armour. The armour is scarred by something, but I can’t tell what exactly it is. Several impact points, but nothing has penetrated, so it can’t be arrows. Maybe it’s that danmaku stuff. But then what would be around to shoot it?

Moot point, he’s heading right towards me. Switching my dagger to a forward grip, I plunge it deep into his helmet as he approaches. It comes straight off, but it seems than I’ve missed the majority of his face, but it’s damaged nonetheless. The look of shock quickly turns into one of pure rage as I become visible again and he screams something incoherent before leaping at me, both axes raised. I would roll but on stairs that’s probably not the wisest thing to do, so I jump back a bit, dodging the swing. Both weapons bounce harmlessly off of the stonework, not even leaving a scratch mark somehow. Perhaps I’ve found a Kaos warrior with self-control?

Before he has a chance to recover, I begin to cast to Paralysis spell to hold him in place. This should give me the chance to beat him down but you never know. I manage to cast it just in time for the berserker to start swinging again with only one weapon, probably intending to decapitate me. Such a shame for him that I’m faster and smart enough to know that I could just duck under it. Granted that he could have anticipated that and swung the second axe underarm in a vertical motion but planning ahead isn’t a berserker’s strong suit.

I use the time I have to cut his throat, spraying the stairway with a large fountain of arterial blood as I do so. Not taking any chances, I stab at any other exposed or otherwise weak areas on his armour. Judging by the way the spell ends much earlier than normal I assume that he’s dead, as that is what normally happens for some reason. The body falls to the floor and begins sliding down the stairs, leaving a rather large red stain on the floor as he goes. He’s started bouncing down them now as well now that he’s gained a bit of speed.

This is surprisingly fun to watch.

Aaaaand he’s gone too far away for me to see. Oh well. Now, the question is how did he get all the way over here and why was he seemingly running away from something? I could go check where he came from, but I still need to go get the others. But if I go get them now, the trail could go cold in the time it takes to fetch them.

To hell with it, these things don’t solve themselves.

There’s something else heading this way from the direction the berserker came from. Not as quick as it, but still pretty fast to say it hasn’t got the demonically enhanced genes. I can’t make out what exactly ‘it’ is, but the rustling is once again getting closer to me. Once again, I make myself invisible and take a few steps back, going down a few steps too. The thing takes this time to burst though the undergrowth.

This thing turns out to be a girl pushing a wooden wheelbarrow. She’s wearing a dark green and black dress, which isn’t really the best thing to be wearing in the forest, and her hair is red with two braids in it, along with black ribbons. The things that get my attention, however, are the two cat ears sitting on her head. Which is quite odd considering that she has a normal pair of ears on the side of her head, albeit rather pointy. Her eyes are also a deep red colour, the same as her hair.

“Huh, where’d he go?” She says to herself. Is that the chick who asked if I was dead? She sounds awfully familiar. She’s sniffing the air now, for some reason, and she ends up looking right at me. “Oh, it’s you again.” Wait, what? Did she just sniff me out? “Have you seen some weird guy in strange armour come this way?” She asks me, completely ignoring the fact that I’m still completely invisible.

“Uh, yeah. Just follow the trail of his blood.” I reply, while doing my best not to freak out at the fact that she just sniffed me out. That’s never happened before. “He’s kinda dead though.”

“He is? Damn, I was after him myself.” So this is who he was running from. Right, that makes a bit more sense now. It’s still strange that a berserker of all people would be fleeing from a fight. “Oh, my name’s Rin Kaenbyou, by the way. Figured I may as well introduce myself seeing as we’ve met twice already.”

“I’m Lupe, assassin for the Wanderers.” I extend my still invisible hand to her, which she takes with ease. “Pleased to meet you, Rin.” I may as well drop the stealth now, so I cast off the spell. Rin doesn’t even flinch as I do so, and instead turns to look at the bloodstain on the stairwell.

“Reimu won’t be too happy with you for making a mess on her stairs, y’know?” She doesn’t seem too happy about a lot of things, but it will be best if I don’t say as much. I don’t know of this girl’s relationship with Reimu, so it’s best if I keep quiet.

“It’s only a little blood. It’s not that hard to clean up.” I reply. Then I remember what she said earlier, about that morbid little job of hers. “You said you collected dead bodies, so you should know how to clean up after them better than most.”

“True, but I only need to clean up if I make a mess of taking the corpse. That doesn’t happen anymore.” She grins at me, showing of some pretty sharp teeth as she does so. Despite that, it’s still a pretty cute thing to do.

“So what were you chasing that berserker for?” I ask her, bringing things somewhat back on topic.

“Oh, that guy in the armour? I found him walking around in circles mumbling some stuff so I went to ask if he was lost. He just suddenly attacked me and ran when I hit him with a spell card.” She looks back down at the pool of blood, drawing up her own conclusions in her head. “I guess the spell card rules don’t apply for outsiders, huh?”

“Not when the outsider in question is an axe wielding lunatic bent laying waste to civilisation.” I know that it was probably a rhetorical question, but it brings her up to speed on the current situation. Sort of. “There’s still a lot more of them here, probably. This is only the first confirmed kill.”

“You’ve got your work cut out for you then?”
“I do this stuff for a living. All that’s changed now is the location and sheer ridiculousness of the people here.”
“We’re not that powerful here. Only a few of us hit the ridiculous mark.”

I find that hard to believe. Everyone I’ve met so far seems to be on par with us in the Wanderers and we’re one of the most powerful groups in Urgom.

“Well, it’ll be nice to see how interesting things get with you lot around, Lupe.” She says, doing something with that wheelbarrow to make it disappear somewhere. “Mind if I join you for a bit? It’s been pretty boring recently with no other incidents happening.”

Well, that’s an interesting choice. Have cute cat-eared corpse collector follow me around or not?

Yeah, easy choice.

“Sure, if you want to. Don’t blame me for Kaos-induced loss of limbs.”
“I’d like to see them try it.”

I’m forgetting something important here. I’m sure I am.

Oh right yes, go collect the others from the shrine to go and support Reimu. Right. Best go do that now. I set of up the stairs, indicating for Rin to follow me.

“What you going to the shrine for?” She asks, but not arguing about our direction.

“I have some allies up there. I’m going to fetch them so we can help Reimu deal with a possible problem.”
“Is that wise? I mean, she could be in trouble now and you wouldn’t be able to do anything.”

That... is a very good point that I should have thought of earlier. We’re still only about halfway up too. Damn you hindsight!

[] Go straight to Reimu now.
[] Keep going to get the others.
>> No. 165269
[x] Keep going to get the others.

Sure, Reimu in trouble, the universally feared policing force of a pocket dimension filled with retardly overpowered individuals who has probably beaten everyone personally.
Besides, the shrine is closer than where we are going, I think.
>> No. 165271
[X] Keep going to get the others.

We are not going to waste all of our effort by running around Gensokyo trying to help our allies. Reimu is easily capable of fending for herself, and if she's attacked by something that can defeat her, then having Lupe rush to her aid all by his lonesome will probably lead to him being defeated as well. Besides, it's better to stick with friends, especially comrades who are experienced in fighting the warriors of Kaos.
>> No. 165275
[x] Keep going to get the others.

Sidetrack denied. Or maybe reaffirmed, since getting the others was sort of a sidetrack to begin with? Double sidetrack? And the entire Gensokyo adventure is, technically, a sidetrack from their regular work, so...

This is getting confusing. Let's just stick to what we were doing. Full speed ahead, going back to the shrine.
>> No. 165685
File 136339680418.jpg - (618.26KB , 750x925 , 43837-Rin-Kaenbyou.jpg ) [iqdb]
165685
Well, that's what happens when you drop a laptop. Have an update, and I'll have an extra bit written before the next one, too.

---

This is no time to be distracted again. Heading back to the shrine to pick up the others is probably still the best course of action currently.

“We’ll keep heading for the shrine. Reimu should be all right for a while longer still. ‘Sides, once we get the others from up ahead, there won’t be any trouble cleaning things up.”

Rin doesn’t object in any way, and just starts bounding up the stairs at a steady pace. I start running too, cleaning my dagger as I do so. No point leaving it covered in blood, especially not Kaos warrior blood. If he follows the God of Plague then there’s no telling what filth might infest his blood. The less contact I have with it, the better.

“So what brings you to Gensokyo?” Rin asks from just up ahead.

“I’m not here by choice. Marisa messed something up and accidentally brought this mess here, I believe.” Unless of course there’s something that no one’s telling me, but that isn’t the point. Marisa seems like a strong enough mage to be able cock something up like that.

“Tch. Sounds like something she would do.”
“What, bringing a horde of axe-wielding maniacs into this plane?”
“No, failing something.”

Seems to be a bit of bad blood between the two. Well, no time to pry on a woman’s squabble. Wanderers need to be found and put to good use.

The shrine slowly looms closer, the gate casting a large shadow on the stairway. Eventually the shrine itself comes into view, and we get past the gate. Unsurprisingly, no one is there right now.

“I thought you said you had friends here?” the new girl says, almost mockingly.

“They’re here somewhere. I think. They were told to stay here, anyway.” I reply, taking stock the surroundings. Doesn’t seem to be any combat damage around here, so that’s one possibility that I can discard. Unless of course a group of assassins got here, but that would be unlikely.

I say that whilst standing next to a two-tailed cat girl in a land made of crazy things.

“Well, no ones home~” she says, in an almost singsong voice. She walks on past me towards the main shrine building and takes a look around the place herself. “I don’t normally come to this place.”

“Why not?” She seems to have a good understanding of the area, so how can she not come here frequently?

“Short answer is Reimu. Leave it there.”

Well, that’s simple enough. What on earth happened between the two of them? They seem like nice girls. Violent, sure, but nice otherwise.

Best not to ask really.

“Will do. Any signs of the others?” I ask, changing the subject as quick as I can.

“Not a thing. Guess they left without you.”

Great, that’s just what I need right now. More missing troops in the middle of a Kaos incursion. I still haven’t found the rest of the command team yet, and I’ve already managed to lose those I’ve only really just found.

This is why I don’t do administration tasks.

“Right, we’ll leave it then. Let’s just go and help Reimu in whatever mess she’s found herself in.”

“I think it would be better to leave her to it.” She says, voice practically dripping with venom.

“It’s not very good for a guest to just abandon their host. She’s provided food and shelter for me, so I would rather like to keep that up.”

She has her back to me, but she’s bound to be scowling or something at having to help Reimu. For whatever reason the dispute was about.

“You don’t have to come, y’know.”

“What, and leave you all alone~? Perish the thought.”

Well, apparently I am a good enough reason for Rin to help Reimu. Somehow. I guess she’s the kind of person who likes adventures enough to drop prejudices and other such stuff. A useful skill to have, really.

“Right then, off we go!” she shouts, running past me at stupidly fast speed. At least with her it’s justifiable, because she seems to be at least part cat. I guess speed is a big thing here, regardless of who you are. Then, without warning, she stops, turns around and runs back towards me.

“What are you-” is all I manage to say before I’m suddenly pushed into a wooden wheelbarrow, which smells faintly of blood.

“It’ll be faster this way. You’re lucky, normally only dead people get to ride like this.” I’m not sure how I feel about this, having the same treatment as a corpse, but there’s no use complaining. We’re already half way down the steps, and it’s strangely comfortable in here. I’m going to just assume that there’s some kind of magical enchantment on this thing to stop bodies falling out. If this is a normal speed, I’m sure it would be necessary.

“Right then. She should be by the mountain.”

“Kay~!”

Despite my natural pessimism, this is going rather well. Sure, there are no Wanderers to help because they’re a bunch of damn idiots who go off at every opportunity leaving me in the dark, but Rin is help enough. I doubt that any of the others would be able to get us there at such speed.

The village goes past us in a blink of an eye, the guards no doubt reaching for whatever weapons are available as we zoom past. Not that it would do them much good if they did, as we’ve already made it a few hundred metres away before I’ve even finished this thought.

“Slow down a bit, would you? I’ve done enough high speed travel for one day already.” Nitori already did enough damage. I don’t need two people doing it to me. Humans aren’t made for such speeds.

“Huh? Sure thing!” As Rin finishes speaking, one of her ears perks up suddenly. She must either be excited, or she’s heard something, or both. “There’s fighting up ahead” She warns.

Straining my ears, I can barely make out the sounds of clanging metal further ahead. None of the guards came out this way, and there’s no chance that Cainan managed to get here before us. It has to be Kaos.

“Stop just over there!” I shout, pointing at a damaged tree stump just ahead of us. She slams her feet into the floor and we grind to a halt not too far from it. “We need a plan, here. If they’re fighting Reimu then we have a chance to sneak in.”

“Why not just leap in and take ‘em like that?”
“I’m an assassin. It’s my job to be subtle.”
“I’m not, though~”

Don’t you dare. Don’t even think about it. Don’t even think about thinking of it.

“See you in there!” she shouts as she leaps through the foliage, letting of some kind of magic projectile as she does so. Danmaku, I should say. Although this is hardly the time to contemplate on the proper terms for such things, as my companion has just gone and slapped Kaos in the face.

Not good. Need a plan.

[] Use the confusion to sneak in through the bushes.
[] Steadily walk through behind her, keeping an eye on her flanks.
[] Follow her lead and charge in with reckless abandon.
[] Write-in?
>> No. 165688
[X] Steadily walk through behind her, keeping an eye on her flanks.
>> No. 165691
File 136346080918.jpg - (167.86KB , 850x600 , momiji 3.jpg ) [iqdb]
165691
Extra stuffs, as promised. And hey, it is plot relevant too!

---

Things weren’t this busy before. You can clearly remember that little fact. Of course, none of the humans will tell you what’s going on, only sell you their goods and tell you to get going. One of the shopkeepers even refused to sell you anything, ‘due to the impending incident’. Whatever that is, he didn’t say, but you don’t really care at this point.

Strolling out of the next shop on the list, you look out towards the gate. The number of guards is still ridiculously huge, despite the fact that there’s not any dangerous youkai on the loose currently, but they seem nervous about something. And if they’re nervous, the villagers themselves are terrified.

You’re not sure if those outsiders have anything to do with this, but it’s worth asking them about. Even if they don’t know what’s going on either, they seem like competent enough soldiers to help out back at the mountain. Having someone like them training recruits would make things much more effective. Danmaku doesn’t solve everything, as some people say.

As some of the villagers walk past, trying to both glare at you and avoid eye contact at the same time, you can pick up some of their conversation.

“-kai aren’t the issue here, it’s that new lot...” One says, a large man with bruises on his face.

“You’re just annoyed ‘cause you got your ass handed to ya,” the other says, a slightly smaller man with greying temples. “There’s no way they could spook the guards like that.”

Their voices get lost in the gentle murmur of the market place. Opinions on the outsiders seem relatively mixed so far, no one knowing quite what to think of the matter. Here, that is. You know them enough to trust the assassin, at least, and Nitori doesn’t seem to mind them either. You decide to go visit the little kappa, feeling that you deserve the break after all this shopping.

Her stall still seems cluttered, but that became a permanent feature once she started bringing large amounts of wares with her. She doesn’t notice you approach, fixated on one of the machines she’s constantly tinkering with, so you clear your throat to catch her attention. She looks up from her device and smiles at you.

“Ah, hi Momiji!” She says, putting her tools on the table. “What can I do for you?”

“Nothing much, I just felt like popping by whilst running some errands.” You reply, trying not to get straight to the point. “How’s business?” Probably no different from normal, but it will help start to conversation.

“Eh, same old. No one really trusts my genius yet.” She complains, spinning around in her chair. It’s one of the same ones Aya bought not too long ago, yet she managed to break it almost immediately, as she was spinning on it too much. You remember her explanation at the clinic to be quite humorous.

“You should do something to show people what they can do.”

“Have done already. All that happened was that people complained about not feeling involved enough.” She sighs and looks up, staring at the sky. “Even when we do get outsiders who can help with the tech, no one buys anything.” Finally, she gets to the point, somewhat.

“Speaking of outsiders, where are Lupe and the others?” You ask her, scanning around to make sure that they’re not right in front of you whilst you didn’t realize it. Nitori just shrugs her shoulders at this, and points towards Hakurei shrine.

“Reimu came to collect them. Like she’s their mother or something.”

They’re probably staying at the shrine then. It seems to be the standard place for new people to stay, really. Every other outsider you’ve heard of has stayed there for a night or two, at least. It makes them easier to find though, which isn’t a bad thing.

A chiming sound from the village clock tower tells you that things are starting to get late. Shops start to close soon, so you figure it would be best to finish Hatate’s list quickly before heading back. Waving good bye to Nitori, you carry on shopping for basics whilst the sun slowly descends.

Finally having bought the last item on her list, you steadily start to make your way back towards the gate, but a loud whooshing noise beyond it causes you to speed up. The guards ignore you as you approach, instead debating whether to call in whatever it was that went by.

“We should just leave it Ryouichi. There’s no way we could deal with something moving that fast.”
“You’re probably right. It’s heading to the mountain anyway. Let the damn tengu deal with it.”

The guard obviously doesn’t know you’re right behind him, but if this thing is heading towards the mountain, then it would be best if you caught up with it. Failing that, just trailing behind it would be fine so long as you didn’t lose scent of the path.

You take to the skies as soon as you get out of the gate, sniffing at the air to get a good fix on the object. There’s a mix of scents travelling the mountain path, barely discernable. On is unfamiliar to you, though the others are worrying. One is the obvious scent of blood.

The other is Lupe.
>> No. 165694
[X] Use the confusion to sneak in through the bushes.

Let's use our assassin skills while Rin uses her powers as a terrifying cat from hell to claim the corpses of the Kaos, shall we?
>> No. 165718
[X] Use the confusion to sneak in through the bushes.

This is what we're good at, so let's do that.

Besides you never, EVER, want to go toe to toe with a Chao-sorry Kaos warrior if you can help it.
>> No. 165722
[x] Use the confusion to sneak attack in through the bushes.

One does not simply jump into a danmaku battle.
>> No. 166644
Well, that took some time. Not having access to a computer for two weeks really is a problem.

Calling it here for sneaky times. Update will exist around midweek.
>> No. 166670
You know that I said midweek? I lied.

---

“Why don’t they just give up already?” Reimu shouts, sounding exhausted. She must have been fighting them all for a long time now, by herself, which would tire anyone out. She hasn’t noticed me sneak in through the back though, so either she’s talking to Orin or being rhetorical. Probably rhetorical.

Keeping hidden and cloaking myself, I slowly make my way towards the largest concentration bodies that have just been left where they fell. Normally it would be difficult work but those two seem to be attracting a lot of attention, letting me examine the fallen. They all seem unconscious at a glance, their armour dented in several places where they’ve been hit. Not dead though, meaning that there’s a good chance that one of them could come around and ruin someone’s day. Not if I can help it.

Drawing my dagger, I edge closer to the bodies and begin slicing throats. On most it’s easy, seeing as they lack any sort of effective armour. Two of them have some sort of mutated carapace armour covering their necks, which prove to be impossible to cut through. Which is very annoying, to say the least. Instead, I opt for just repeatedly stabbing the one closest to me in the face. Even with that armour, they won’t be able survive that.

The other one rolls over and jumps up.

The sound of fighting is rapidly diminishing, and a quick glance tells me that the Kaos warriors are being pushed back. Both girls haven’t noticed the now awake berserker, and he hasn’t noticed them yet either, judging by the way he’s looking around, almost fast enough to seem like he’ll snap his own neck from the force of it. He stops abruptly, staring straight at me and the blood covered dagger in my hand.

What a time to forget that invisibility stops working when you attack.

With a bestial roar, the berserker charges at me as fast as his legs will carry him, which is pretty damn fast. I barely manage to roll out of the way, but I still get hit by the axe he swung at me. Thankfully, it only caught me on my off-hand, but a flare of pain still surges through me as I get up. Holding my dagger in a reverse grip, I cast paralysis on him but nothing seems to happen. He turns around and continues his charge, intent on using his whole body as a weapon to crush me. Which he probably could, with all that armour.

I sidestep fully this time, blocking the downwards swing of the axe and launch a punch to his temple. He dodges the strike and throws one of his own, which hits me in the thigh. Another burst of pain courses through me and I try to sweep his legs. I manage to catch the joint in his armour behind the right knee and he stumbles a bit, giving me time enough to jump back before he can retaliate.

He swings his axe at me again, more out of sheer rage that an actual attempt to harm me, and lets out another roar. This kind of fighting is not my specialty, and he knows it. He’s obviously one of the more important members of this force, wearing much better armour and having a far more sinister looking weapon than the rest. I haven’t been able to get a very good look at it before but now I can see it, I don’t really want to get hit properly by it. Covered in all sorts of runes that make my eyes hurt, I recognise one of them as the symbol of the dragon-slayer weapons, meaning that it makes a mockery of even the best armour available. Really don’t want to get hit now, as they have a tendency to cut straight through the human body with ridiculous ease.


Out of nowhere, he is hit by something from behind, pushing him towards me. He spins round to react to this new threat but realises his mistake quickly. Before he can turn back around, I leap at him and force the dagger into the back of his helmet, piercing it and his skull as I do so. Despite this, he still manages to swing a backhanded strike, which catches me in the temple. He collapses with blood and other important things leaking out of the back of his head, whilst I simply black out and fall backwards. The one problem with being an assassin is that we’re not exactly tough.

---
Lupe falls down onto the ground with a thud, and you rush to his side. Orin is still chasing after a few more stragglers, leaving a trail of broken leaves and collapsed bodies. It was fortunate that you managed to get here as quick as you did, as it didn’t seem likely that Lupe had much of a chance to beat this thing on his own.

Placing a finger on his neck, you can still feel a pulse, although it is very faint. He’s surprisingly fragile, going down in a few hits, but he doesn’t seem the type for a straight up fight anyway. His left hand is bleeding quite a lot, so you clean it up a bit. Lacking any sort of medical equipment, you tear off a piece of fabric from his sleeve to form a makeshift bandage. He won’t mind at all, you think.

Still, now that you’ve finished fighting the effects of the wounds you’ve sustained yourself are starting to take their toll. That Lunarian doctor said it’s to do with something called adrenaline, but you don’t exactly care about the reasons why. What matters now is getting back to somewhere safe to treat these wounds.

“Hey, you ok Reimu?” Orin asks whilst stepping out of the bushes ahead of you. She seems a little injured herself, but nothing major.

“Good enough to keep walking. Lupe isn’t though.” You state, standing up and lifting the assassin with you. “We need to get back to the village or shrine for healing.” Orin looks around the area all of a sudden, before turning back to you.

“This is pretty close to the Underground entrance. It’ll be quicker to go there for help.” She says, summoning that wheelbarrow of hers. Although she has a point about it being closer than the village, many of the youkai there aren’t known to be very friendly to visitors.

[] Go Underground.
[] Go to the village.
[] Go to the shrine.
>> No. 166725
[x] Go Underground.

Why not? It's closer anyway and we're escorted by a local.
>> No. 166726
[X] Go Underground.

Maybe we can find some help from the Underground's residents.

Gondor calls for aid!
>> No. 166740
[x] Go to the village.
>> No. 166807
Well, going to call it here. Underground seems like a perfectly safe place, right?
>> No. 167175
As much as you want to take him back to the village, it’s probably going to take too long to get there. Your shrine especially so. As much as it pains you to say it, the Underground is the easiest place to go to right now.

“Right, lead the way then.” You say to the kasha, who nods and begins walking away. “Right. Don’t help carry him or anything.” Without help, you lift Lupe up and start carrying him in the way Rin went. He’s not really heavy, but that was expected, really, his body isn’t built for strength but agility.

The walk towards the entry point is hardly uneventful, with the fighting with some of the other Kaos warriors getting more common. Rin deals with them easily enough and you beat away any of those that get past her, but it definitely seems that Lupe’s estimate of around 30 of them was very wrong.

“Right! Here we are!” Rin exclaims as we walk in front of a large boulder. “There’s a ladder just in that hatch that goes straight to the palace.”

“What hatch?” you ask, looking around the area and seeing nothing of the sort near here.

“This one!” she shouts, pushing the boulder with ridiculous ease. A fake boulder then. Beneath it is that hatch she was talking about, a lot like the ones that Nitori uses in her crazy machines. She opens it up and leaps in, once again not bothering to help you with Lupe. If it wasn’t her idea to come here, you would think that she didn’t really care.

The difficult part of all of this was getting Lupe into the hatch along with yourself. It appears to have been made for one person at a time to climb up, with no room to manoeuvre. You place Lupe on your shoulders and slowly climb down, following the gradually diminishing red dot below you.

It’s a slow climb with the assassin on your shoulders, but you manage to get to the bottom nonetheless. Rin is stretching just by a large metal door, which quite handily says ‘Exit’ in the centre. A lit torch fills the room with warm light, flickering gently in the wind from outside the hatch. Which you remember not closing.

“The hatch isn’t shut, by the way.”

“Eh, it’ll shut itself soon enough.”

You should have expected something like that, really. The Underground denizens have been closely linked to the kappa recently, trading all kinds of goods.

Rin opens the door gently and wanders in, despite the seeming lack of any light source from inside. You follow her in slowly, making sure to keep a good hold on Lupe in the ever-growing darkness.

“Stupid thing!” Rin shouts out suddenly, from somewhere to your left. “Damn generator has broke again. Sorry, but I guess you’re walking in the dark.” Seems like this is a regular occurrence down here. You think it might be a good idea to go back and grab the torch, but Rin is already on her way, so you just follow the sounds of her footsteps.

Eventually you start to pick things out in the darkness, just a few items lying about. One of them conveniently lay just in front of your foot, sending a quick burst of pain up your leg as you walk into it. Something clicks somewhere, and the hallway is immediately bathed in light.

This aids your walk immensely, no longer having to rely on your night vision to get you through. The object you walked into turned out to be a wooden crate of some kind, but you just ignore it and carry on walking. Rin is just up ahead, making her way towards some bronze doors further down the corridor. She stops by them and turns to face you, waiting for the two of you to make it.

“Guest rooms are just through here,” she says as you get a little closer to her. “Just lay him in one of the beds in there. I’ll go tell Satori you two are staying here. She’ll want to see you at some point, anyway.” She turns away and walks off, leaving you by the door.

You open it up to see a large, well furnished room, with a ridiculous amount of space in there. At the opposite end of the room are some beds, four in total, lined up against the wall. You immediately head straight towards these and drop Lupe onto the far left one, making sure he isn’t bleeding from anywhere as you do. Content that he isn’t going to die in his sleep, you take a look through the rest of the room, which seems about as big as Marisa’s house alone. Nothing seems out of the ordinary here, but everything has an expensive feel to it, so much so that you don’t want to touch anything for fear of breaking it.

An extra door in the corner of the room catches your eye, and you move over to it. There are no markings on it, leaving no hints about its purpose. You reach for the handle and slowly open it, and as you do you are hit by a wall of warm air. The door leads into an extra corridor filled with towel cabinets and drying baskets.

It’s the hot springs. How could you have not realised this already? There was bound to be one connected to the guest rooms in a place this big. Still, you feel like relaxing for a while after today’s events. You feel you’ve earned one. Lupe is still unconscious though, and you don’t know how long it will be before he wakes up. The last thing you need is him getting lost whilst you’re in here, or even worse, walking in on you. That’s if he wakes up before you’re finished though...

[] Go in anyway. It hasn’t been that long since he was knocked out.
[] Wait for him to wake up. He’ll cause some trouble alone.
>> No. 167181
[X] Go in anyway. It hasn't been that long since he was knocked out.

Since when has the possibility of somebody walking in on them prevented someone from taking a bath?
>> No. 167233
[x] Go in anyway. It hasn’t been that long since he was knocked out.

I smell shenaninanigans.
>> No. 167244
[X] Go in anyway. It hasn’t been that long since he was knocked out.

Going with whatever shows up hasn't hurt us too badly yet.
>> No. 167460
>>167233
There will be, just not what you're probably expecting.

On that note, calling it here.
>> No. 167628
File 136776050819.png - (151.55KB , 640x640 , Palace_Room.png ) [iqdb]
167628
My head hurts. Not surprising really, but it won’t stop me complaining about it. It doesn’t smell like we’re outside any more either, as I can pick up faint whiffs of incense or something similar. Opening my eyes, I can see the reason why. I’m lay on a large bed at the end of one of the most lavish rooms I’ve been in to date. I have no clue how I got here and there’s no sign of my companions in the room.

I’m no stranger to strange awakenings, but this one is rising to the top very quickly. At least this time I’m not missing my boots.

I get off the bed, ignoring the faint nausea caused by the sudden movement. Can’t let something like that get in the way of whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing right now. Which in this case would be finding out where in the many hells I am. A quick glance tells me that there are only two doors in this room, one on the opposite side of the room and the other fairly close by to the beds. There doesn’t appear to be any windows or secret passages either, which is quite a shame really. Perhaps this is a fancy prison cell, of some kind.

I head towards the furthest door from the beds, ignoring the other one for the time being. Searching each individual room for loot comes after securing the area. Seeing as I have no idea how big this area is, that might take a while. I listen to see if there’s any noise on the other side before opening up and walking out into a dimly lit corridor. It has strange murals on the floor every now and then, which faintly resemble birds of some kind, along with red and black chequered flooring.

Strange place.

I turn left and head towards what seems to be a brighter light from that direction, whilst a quick glance to the right side only seems to get darker and darker. Naturally, that place is more appealing to me, but shadows don’t tend to give directions very often. The ones that do are a bunch of dicks that need to stop speaking in riddles.

The light is definitely brighter over in this direction, and it turns out to be some strange device fitted into the ceiling. It did lead me into a crossroads though, so its use as a light source has been outweighed by its ability to get me lost. I head right this time, hoping that eventually I’d manage to find someone who actually can get me out of here, or at least tell me where here is.

This corridor also ends with one of those light-things along with another crossroad. This one only goes left or right though, so I guess it’s more of a fork. I go left again, and unsurprisingly there’s another fork.

This continues on for another half an hour or so before I reach a large wooden door. There’s metal clanking coming from behind it, and there’s more of that language that everyone here can somehow understand written just below eye level. I’m sure if I had a native here with me, they could tell me that this room was probably going to, but alas, the only ones that were with me seem to have disappeared.

So, I grab the handle and open the door ever so slightly, getting a look inside. It’s filled with strange machines and tubes that have some strange purpose, with a funny looking symbol on them. A yellow and black circle, split into six. I have no clue what it means but that has been a frequent occurrence in Gensokyo, so I continue to open the door.

Things are even stranger when I see a winged figure looking at something on the wall. Judging from the noticeably large chest, it’s obviously a woman working here. She doesn’t seem to notice my intrusion, meaning that whatever she’s doing is probably taking all of her concentration. Which then means that it might be somewhat important and I probably shouldn’t interrupt her.

I go to close the door, but just as I start, something starts prodding my shoulder. I turn to look at it, which may or may not have been a good idea. It’s a small winged creature that looks a bit like one of the myriad of fae creatures that live in the forests of Urgom. This one was very pale though, and smelled slightly of decay. Undead fae. Brilliant.

As soon as it has my attention, it flutters of towards the winged woman inside the room. I instantly start leaving again, but the creature waves me in, for some reason. It doesn’t seem hostile, so I begin to follow it, albeit hesitantly. It stars prodding the winged woman the same way it did to me, but it is ignored. Evidently upset by this, the fae starts tugging on her sleeves, which also achieves very little. So, in order to actually get something done, I clear my throat loudly.

“Huh?” The woman says, now distracted from whatever it was she was doing. She turns to face me, but there’s still quite a distance between us so it’s hard to make out details. The little fae is trying to communicate with her through hand gestures, but is ignored once again. “A human? What are you doing here?”

“Well, truthfully, I don’t know-” I begin.

“You don’t know? You need to leave now, before you get hurt.” She interrupts, clearly not very happy about me being here. The little fae is acting rather frantically now, trying to get the woman’s attention.

“I don’t know where here is.” I say, finishing my previous point. “I woke up in one of the beds here earlier.”

That fae is looking very annoyed now. Almost as soon as I finish speaking, it flies up to the woman’s face and starts poking her forehead. This gets her attention, sure enough. For why it wants it, I have no clue. It starts making some gestures again, and finishes up with pointing at me.

“Ah, right. Thank you.” She says to the fae, which flies off somewhere else now that it’s done. “She says that you’re Orin’s guest, and that you’re rather lost.” How she got that from a few hand gestures, I don’t know, but ok. “I am Utsuho Reiuji, and you are?”

“My name’s Lupe. Where exactly am I right now?” I ask, hoping for at least some clarification.

“Well, this is the reactor room. Didn’t you see the sign outside?” Not very helpful, Utsuho.

“No, I mean, where exactly in Gensokyo am I? Last I remember was being in the forest.” Please give a useful answer this time.

“Ah, right, sorry. You’re in the Palace of the Earth Spirits, in the Underground.” Well, that makes some sense, sort of. Doesn’t explain how I got here though. Regardless, I have a location now, so it’s time to move on.

[] Ask if she knows where Reimu and Rin are.
[] Try to get some more information on this Palace.
[] Ask if she can take you to whoever runs the place.
[] Write-in.
>> No. 167679
[X] Ask if she knows where Reimu and Rin are.
[X] Try to get some more information on this Palace.

Why not both?
>> No. 167698
[X] Ask if she knows where Reimu and Rin are.
[X] Try to get some more information on this Palace.
[X] Inform her about the Chaos invasion and ask her to take precautions against them.

We might as well spread the alarm, since we're down here already.
>> No. 167705
[x] Ask if she knows where Reimu and Rin are.
[x] Try to get some more information on this Palace.
[x] Inform her about the Chaos invasion and ask her to take precautions against them.

This'll do.
>> No. 167914
Called, writing soon. Update will exist around Sunday, thanks to a bunch of exam prep.
>> No. 168603
Well, maybe not Sunday then. My laptop decided that it doesn't like me any more and crashed, taking the update with it. I'll have this fixed ASAP, but unfortunately exams take precedence so I can't give a date. This isn't going to and stop things completely however, and I plan to make this update at least four times as big as the current ones. I have a lot of work to do.