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163501 No. 163501
>>162569

“You see, I’m actually a plastic surgeon. A door-to-door doctor, if you would.”

You can’t be serious. “I see your skeptical gazes but I assure you, I am one-hundred percent serious! Look here.” You flourish your arms and drag Yoshika in front of you. “See my latest work before your very eyes. Doesn’t it look like Yoshika has been given back ten years of her life?”

The zombie girl tilts her head in curiosity, looking back at you, before striking a pose. It takes all of your effort to avoid breaking out in laughter. Yoshika pulls up her sleeves and flashes her skin, flaunting her body like a professional model.

The little nun standing before you is captivated. Her cheeks are still slightly red with embarrassment, but she is no longer hiding her eyes with her hood. She is staring intently at Yoshika, observing your work with wonder.

The sailor girl behind her is only laughing harder. She drops the anchor she is carrying to the ground and uses it as support to keep herself upright.

The subtle rise of killing intent makes you shiver. When you glance over your shoulder, you find Byakuren has edged closer to you. As much as you want to say she looks calm, it would be a lie. You can tell that she’s trying to hide her embarrassed fury behind a mask of nonchalance.

The only direction to move is forward! It’s not like you can back up before things get out of hand, right? No, that would be impossible! “Hey, Byakuren, don’t stare at me like that. At least I’m trying to hide the fact that we’re…lov-”

In hindsight, this would have been funnier if the nun wasn’t standing right behind you, hand none too subtly clamped on your shoulder.

Okay, fun time over.

Of course, the universe would never let you get away scot-free. Just as you were about to let the joke drop, the thrice-damned sailor comes careening in, cannons blazing. “You’ve got a real winner right here, Byakuren! So, how long were you two at it after I left?”

With every slap on the back the sailor gives Byakuren, you feel the nun’s iron grip grow tighter on your shoulder. You brought this on yourself. “He’s a bit too scrawny for my tastes but I guess he’s larger where it counts, yeah?”

Damn, you’ve got to stop this now before your arm is torn off. “I’m actually just a traveling-”

“Ohoho, and he’s a white knight, quick to leap to your defense! He fits perfectly, with that whole dark ensemble but heart of gold bit you’ve got going on. Hey Mr. New Guy, Byakuren’s a delicate one, you hear me?”

“You’re misunderstanding. Byakuren is just letting me-”

“Into her port? I’m so proud of you, Byakuren!” The sailor girl wraps her arms around the head nun in a friendly hug. A bit too friendly, if you had to say. Byakuren looks completely non-appreciative.

“No, really, I’m a traveler getting a free-”

“Ride on her ship of the line? Letting her try out your thirty-six pounder? I hear she likes a bit of rough sailing. Maybe you should-”

“Minamitsu.” Thank the Lord on high, the devil has redirected her attention. Wait, no, she hasn’t. The grip on your shoulder is only tightening. Byakuren has two hands, after all – at least you aren’t the only one going down in flames for this.

The sailor girl’s lecherous grin has disappeared, barely controlled panic now running rampant across her face. Byakuren seems to spread fear in everyone when she wants to, especially the girl whose black hair is now caught in the same grip as your shoulder. “H-Hey, Byakuren, I didn’t mean all that. I was just kidding and…ah…”

---

Everybody is sitting down at the table together, early morning tea and a light breakfast starting the day. Hahaha, I like her! I really do. She can really, heh, put her foot down, when she has to.

You feel like you’ll be dealing with the jokes for awhile. Oh well, another memory to toss into the ‘Do Not Open’ bin. Oh come on, it wasn’t that bad.

Perhaps not, but you’ll remember that an irate nun dark magician older sister girl is not to be trifled with, especially when her pride and appearance is on the line.

Putting the events out to pasture, you dig back into your breakfast. “Thanks for the meal, Ichirin. This is way better than anything I’ve made myself.” The little nun’s culinary skill is far beyond whatever you’ve managed for yourself.

“It isn’t a problem.” Ichirin Kumoi is a quiet girl, very shy if her previous embarrassment is any indicator. She’s also quite affable. Ichirin accepted you immediately after Byakuren explained why you were sleeping in her room and she seems to get along quite well with Yoshika.

“Been awhile since you snuck in like that. Wish I could’ve been there.” Minamitsu Murasa is on the completely opposite spectrum. Boisterous, rude, and completely uncouth, any of the sailor girl’s manners must have been beaten into her by Byakuren.

“You do not. I can hardly think of a worse situation than if you were to be with us.”

“Afraid of what I might do to you? Oooh, the scary ghost is going to ravage me! He-pwaghahah,” Minamitsu coughs and splutters, banging on the table as she clears her throat. “Did you just throw a grain of rice into my mouth?”

“Perish the thought.” Byakuren is picking up some dangerous habits from your sister. You’re definitely not letting them meet up again. Don’t worry, you can’t keep that promise.

Minamitsu glares at Byakuren before chugging her tea down in one gulp. “Fine! So, Mr. Traveling Magician that isn’t involved with our pure head nun, why is our beloved leader personally showing you around?”

Before you can answer, Byakuren intercedes. “As I have already stated, Minamitsu, he was lost and in need of help.”

“Don’t try and bullshit us, Byakuren. We know you better than that. Right Ichirin?”

The little nun looks at you before glancing away. “He seems nice. That could be enough.”

Minamitsu snorts and crosses her arms. “But?”

“But it probably isn’t. You’re attracted to interesting people, after all.” You wonder about how close Byakuren is to these girls. They aren’t surprised that Byakuren was out all night and snuck back in. The older nun seems comfortable around them as well, despite the slight friction in personality.

“Yeah, so what’s so interesting about him?” With eyes closed, Byakuren ignores the question.

The sailor girl points at you with her ladle. “What’s special about you?”

They’re suspicious. They know something is wrong about you, about your situation. That’s never good.

You have to deal with the problem immediately. I swear if you’re thinking about breaking through the wall- “I’m a necromancer, actually, looking for a way to help my sister out. Modern medicine doesn’t work, so I’m trying other alternatives.”

…Did you just willingly give that information up? Yeah, you’re full of surprises.

Byakuren looks taken off-guard as well. “Were you not uncomfortable letting others know?”

“Yeah, but you, Ichirin, and Minamitsu are your close friends, right? I doubt there’s a problem in letting them know the truth.” Well, most of the truth, but it’s close enough. It’s more of a calculated risk, really. Besides, it wouldn’t do to create a rift between Byakuren and her allies – that way leads to nasty betrayals. And, you know, it’s polite to not destroy relationships. Nobody likes a home wrecker. Sure, that too.

“A real family man, huh? I can see why our savior is looking to blow your sail!” Minamitsu whimpers in pain when Byakuren quickly relocates herself and curls an arm around the sailor girl’s head.

“I was right,” Ichirn giggles. “You are a nice person.” The little nun reaches over and scratches Yoshika behind the ear. “You found a good master, Yoshika. I approve!”

The zombie giggles and hugs your arm tighter. “Master is nice~” Is that what they were talking about when you were pre-occupied? Huh, you should really figure out who and what your zombie companion knows sometime so you aren’t surprised by these relations.

The conversation is put on pause while everybody finishes their breakfast. By the time meals are finished and the dishes are cleaned, the sun has completely risen above the horizon. Horrible, monotonous early morning chanting has begun.

“Plan on monopolizing Byakuren’s time again?” Minamitsu pokes you with her elbow as she asks.

“Not at all. I’m very grateful for her help, but she if has something important to do, I don’t want to stop her.”

The head nun shrugs her shoulders as she stands. “A second day away from the temple might disgruntle some, but my presence in running the day to day affairs is not necessary.”

Well, no matter what, you still need to figure out what you actually want to do. You got a feel for the village and met one of the most important individuals in Gensokyo yesterday, but specific leads on the Necronomicon were unfortunately slim. Still, most of Gensokyo is unknown to you, which only means more unpleasant surprises at the worst of times if you don’t explore and learn.

[ ] Ask for Byakuren’s company
[ ] Let the nun work on her head nun stuff

[ ] Try and meet up with…
-[ ] Reimu
-[ ] Marisa
-[ ] Akyuu
-[ ] <Someone else>
[ ] Check out a different location like…
-[ ] Youkai Mountain
-[ ] Misty Lake
-[ ] Eientei
-[ ] <Somewhere else>
[ ] Scavenge for some supplies in the wilderness
[ ] <Write-in>

---

And here we go again. Sorry for the wait. One vote for your accompaniment and another for what to do, standard stuff. Inching towards the plot one step at a time!

Swing by the old thread if you wanted to see an answer to a question you left there or read my dumb commentary and enjoy the show.

>> No. 163503
Glad to see you're back on the road again, dear writefag! Is there another way we can refer to you? At this point I for one find calling you 'writefag' is somewhat condescending, given you've proven you can write a good quality CYOA. Or maybe you're already a celebrity here and I haven't lurked enough? As for the votes...

[X] Let the nun work on her head nun stuff
We already poked fun at her and spent 'quality' time with her NO, HIJIRI, I WAS JOKING, STO-!, and I don't tink she can help us more than she has already. Time to move on and search for clues about the Necronomicon elsewhere.

[X] Try and meet up with…
-[X] Reimu
-[X] And Marisa is she hasn't left the Hakurei Shrine.

I bet the miko must know something more about the damned book. And also I'm worried about what drunken Marisa could've done to her while we were at Byakuren's.
>> No. 163504
Okay, that was hilarious. Couldn't stop laughing.

[X] Let the nun work on her head nun stuff
[X] Try and meet up with…
-[x] Akyuu

We've had out fun with Byakuren. Maybe Akyuu will know something that could help. And if meeting her leads into meeting Keine, so much the better.
>> No. 163505
[X] Let the nun work on her head nun stuff
We already poked fun at her and spent 'quality' time with her NO, HIJIRI, I WAS JOKING, STO-!, and I don't tink she can help us more than she has already. Time to move on and search for clues about the Necronomicon elsewhere.

[X] Try and meet up with…
-[X] Reimu
-[X] And Marisa is she hasn't left the Hakurei Shrine.
>> No. 163506
[X] Let the nun work on her head nun stuff

[X] Try and meet up with...
[X] Akyuu

Akyuu has mad knowledge skills. She should be able to help us, in exchange for knowledge of the outside world. Right?
>> No. 163507
[x] Ask for Byakuren’s company
[x] Try and meet up with…
-[x] Akyuu

I'm not sure if he should try talking to Akyuu by himself as he has the habit of jamming his foot in his mouth.
>> No. 163510
[X] Try and meet up with…
-[X] Reimu

Unsure whether Byakuren's presence would be helpful. Let's just talk to Reimu
>> No. 163511
Hey look, Ichirin got some characterization! Does this mean there can be an Ichirin route?

[X] Let the head nun work on her head nun stuff

[X] Check out a different location like…
-[X] Misty Lake
[X] Scavenge for some supplies along the way, if possible.

Beat up fairies until you find out what you want to know. That's how the locals do it, and when in Rome...
>> No. 163512
[X] Let the head nun work on her head nun stuff
[X] Try and meet up with…
-[x] Akyuu
>> No. 163515
-[X] Let the nun work on her head nun stuff
-[X] Try and meet up with…
-[X] Reimu
-[X] And Marisa is she hasn't left the Hakurei Shrine.

Because having the Hakurei Maiden around is never a bad idea.
>> No. 163517
[X] Let the nun work on her head nun stuff

And then
-[X] Try and meet up with…
-[X] Reimu
I must say, I trust this Reimu more than most.
>> No. 163518
[ ] Let the nun work on her head nun stuff
[ ] Try and meet up with…
-[ ] Reimu

How are we doing in terms of reagents and catalysts? It would be nice to have an inventory check to see what supplies we have.
>> No. 163521
[X] Let the nun work on her head nun stuff
- [x] She needs to keep up her responsibilities after all. We shouldn't be an enabler and allow her to slack off too much after all.
[X] Try and meet up with…
-[x] Akyuu

What better person to meet than the person who's job is to chronicle the entire history of Gensokyo.
>> No. 163522
[X] Let the head nun work on her head nun stuff
[X] Try and meet up with…
-[X] Akyuu
For some reason, I've got a bad feeling about meeting Reimu.
>> No. 163523
[X] Let the head nun work on her head nun stuff
[X] Try and meet up with…
-[x] Akyuu

I'd like to see some more of Akyuu. Besides, she can probably give us some information on our goal.
>> No. 163527
[X] Let the nun work on her head nun stuff
[X] Try and meet up with…
-[X] Akyuu

Somehow visiting hung-over Reimu and Marisa doesn't sound like a good idea.
Story time with Akyuu~
>> No. 163548
[X] Let the nun work on her head nun stuff
[X] Try and meet up with…
-[X] Akyuu

[x] Inventory and reagents check?

This story is awesome, sadly our joke got out of control jus as planned (?) .
>> No. 163564
Let's hope that the MC won't shove his foot in his mouth with Akyuu.
>> No. 163579
>>163503
You could always call 'im ZAL5. That's what I've been doing. Mentally.

[N] Let the nun work on her head nun stuff
[N] Try and meet up with…
-[N] Akyuu
>> No. 163591
>>163579
I was using "Salsa" but okay.
>> No. 163622
>>163591
I call him ZAL, but Zalsa does sound better IMO.
>> No. 163624
>>163579
>>163591
>>163622
Wait, so no one's actually mentally calling him (factorial) Zalsa Jab P[i]g?
>> No. 163640
Trying to think who's our best bet for finding that book, but I really just want to have MC bulldoze his way into another terrible situation.

[X] The Reimu and Marisa twofer.
-[X] Sneak into the shrine in the early hours of the morning. Necromancers do it in the dark.
They will surely praise your politeness in sparing them a hangover headache.
>> No. 163641
>>163624
Mmmmmm, salsa factorials......
>> No. 163643
>>163501 Writefag, your new nickname is Factorial Salsa.
>> No. 163647
File 135537687042.jpg - (706.35KB , 800x1200 , a-way-with-dead-things.jpg ) [iqdb]
163647
“Thanks for the offer, Byakuren, but I don’t want to pull you away from something important.” You enjoy the nun's company, but you aren’t that selfish. Given how much she seems to care about her appearance, you can't just take her away from her duties because you feel like it. Look at you, growing up so fast. I still remember the days when it was ‘Me, me, me.’ Oh, how time flies.

Byakuren doesn’t look worried, but there’s a nervous hint to her eyes. “Are you quite sure? If you were planning on meeting others for the first time, would it not be best if I accompany you?”

“Oh man, you really are some precious cargo, aren't you?”

You ignore Minamitsu completely. “Nah, I think I'm just going to head over to the village and see if I can meet with Akyuu. She already offered to help, and I feel kind of bad for disappointing her.”

“I see. I did not expect for you to come to such an agreeable position so soon.” Glancing at Ichirin and Minamitsu, they don’t seem to notice any strange patterns in Byakuren’s speech, but you know what the nun is referring to. It hurts that she doesn’t believe in you.

Even though it’s true? We never agreed to this! What’s there to agree about? It’s not like you need a babysitter all the time. Like hell you don’t. That girl was basically nobility. You think you can meet her unattended? Oh please, it’s fine. Akyuu didn’t exactly seem like the ‘Off with your head’ type of person. She might not, but what about her family? With that many attendants? There’s no way-

Enough. You’ve already turned down Byakuren’s offer, it’d be silly to reconsider it now. Why doesn’t your sister go bug Yoshika or something? Hmph. Fine, be that way, you little brat.

“Yeah, surprised me too. I must be maturing, huh?” Your response isn’t too delayed, but Minamitsu is staring at you. It’s practically a glare. Well, maybe that’s because you ignored her joke.

Byakuren, in all her lady-like grace, snorts. “I somehow doubt that.” Everybody rises to their feet after Byakuren does so. “In any case, I wish you the best of luck. Keep a clam heart and mind when dealing with others. I shall have a proper room prepared for the two of you, should you wish to stay with us tonight.”

“Ah, thanks, Byakuren.”

The head nun brushes your head as she walks by you. “It is no problem. Take care.”

Ichirin follows right on Byakuren’s heels, dipping in a slight bow before leaving.

“Whew, all that physical contact. Man, she can’t get enough of you, can she?” You can feel your eye twitch when Minamitsu pokes you in the side with her anchor, apparently unwilling to let herself be ignored.

“Sure, sure.” You wave the sailor off and begin to wander the halls of the temple, eventually managing to find your way into the courtyard.

With Yoshika at your side, you boldly stride through the open ground and out of Myouren temple, nodding to the spear-armed guards at the gate. Beating down the path to the village, you take in the clean air and bright sunlight, the glories of a hopeful day.

Then you stop.

And you wait.

Until you can’t wait anymore.

Damn your human impatience. “Hey, Minamitsu?”

“Yeah?”

“Why are you following me?”

“Who says I’m following you?”

No. You aren’t playing this childish game. “Fine, I don’t mind. I thought you might have better things to do at the temple than to trail after me.”

“No sir, I’m my own skipper and sail where I please.” She tips her hat and leans towards you. “Investigating who’s caught our dearest Byakuren in his net is worth my time, I think.”

You blow a puff of air into the girl’s eye, driving her back. “Caught nothing. You’re making a pretty big deal over this. Any reason why?”

“I have to keep an eye on my crew, make sure no rats try to do her wrong.”

“What, I’m some sort of villain, now?”

“You might be a villain to all of womankind! Ahahaha!”

Pfh, hardly. You might come across an above-average number of women, but you’re the one that always happens to be running away. You don’t see that trend changing in this crazy place.

You all begin to continue down the path, exchanging a few barbs and jokes. Unfortunately, there’s something you absolutely need to check that forces you to break the amicable mood. “So, Minamitsu.”

“Yeah?”

“How long have you been dead?”

Your sister jams her way back into your mind, her lack of finesse telling. Oh what the fuck, you did not just- Relax, everything is under control. Being direct is the best way to handle the situation. The best way? More like the surest way to cause problems! There’s nothing to worry about. You aren’t out to get yourself killed. Fine, but I don’t think Yoshika can munch on a crazed ghost. Actually, I’ll go check – watch yourself, Mister.

Minamitsu is glaring at you again. You watch her eyes dart between you and Yoshika, the atmosphere tense. Her glare doesn’t seem insane, but it sets you on edge.

You take a deep breath and calm down, removing your hand from your jacket pocket. Reflexively preparing for a fight isn’t appropriate given the whole ‘friend of a friend’ status. Further, the last thing you need is to accidentally provoke Minamitsu into action.

Adopting as non-threatening of a stance as possible, you hug Yoshika a bit closer. Your zombie is growling again, her capability to pick up on possible threats better than what you might expect. You stand and wait.

It takes a few seconds, but the tension drains away as Minamitsu relaxes. The girl laughs and runs a hand through her bangs. “You’re the kind to meet the storm head-on, huh? By my reckoning, I’ve been cavorting around for some eleven-hundred years.”

Over a thousand years old; you certainly weren’t expecting that. You noticed Minamitsu’s true nature almost as soon as you saw her. Despite her opaque, full-bodied form and apparent mastery of human intricacies like breathing, it would take much more than perfect mimicry to fool you.

Considering you can’t sense any necromantic taint on her, she is a ‘naturally’ formed ghost, with all the baggage that it might entail. You doubted that Minamitsu was some uncontrollable specter after you saw her friendliness with Byakuren, but you had to check for yourself. If the dead don’t come to terms with their deaths after they regain their sanity, things can get…violent.

Having been cognizant for as long as she has, you aren’t surprised that she can control herself. That’s fine, then.

“Hand it over,” Minamitsu demands, her hand outstretched.

You blink, unsure of what to make of the sudden change. “What?”

“Your jacket. I want to see it.”

“Why would I give you my jacket?”

“You’re the one starting in on the personal questions. For my turn, I want to see your jacket.”

“That’s…fine. Here,” you grumble as you toss Minamitsu the bag with your jacket inside.

“You should be thankful I only asked for this instead of something more personal.” The sailor girl grins while she holds up your precious clothing. She flips it around and examines the black jacket from all sides, investigating every seam and pocket.

You really hope she doesn’t mess with your supplies. You keep a number of knick-knacks in your jacket for quick and easy access. A modest supply of finger and toe bones mostly, although you have a set of rat and rabbit bones in there, too. You also keep a number of magical jewelry in the pockets as well.

The jewelry isn’t special, mostly just basic rings and bracelets that store mana. If you find yourself in a pinch, slipping them on would give you a quick boost to your abilities, enough to put you on par with any other low-tier, no-talent magician out there.

It sucks being a normal human dealing with the supernatural. With a near zero aptitude for magic, you have managed to scrape by with material foci and as much knowledge as you can get your hands on.

The various bags tied around your waist, from modern pouches to old-school satchels, contain all your other supplies. Larger sets of bones, bone dust, common alchemical reagents and ritual supplies like nightshade and chalk, gemstones, and a host of other goodies stuffing the bags to the brim. Well, they would be full if you ever manage to restock your supplies. You blew a good half of your materials getting into Gensokyo. You aren’t in dire straits at the moment, but after any intensive ritual or serious battle you would be running low.

Still, your most important equipment remains within you, and that’s all that matters. Your own flesh and bones, augmented by countless hours of experimentation, should be enough to let you escape any tricky situation. And of course, you can’t forget your black onyx system. Quintuply redundant, centered on gemstones strewn throughout your body, the magical system is the crutch upon which any of your spontaneous magic rests. To think, the spell casting is just a side-effect. Years of experience, both your own and other magicians, comprises what you see as your most important possession.

“Oh wow, this looks good. It adds flair to my style!” You stir from your thoughts and look at the ghost prancing around with your jacket on. Minamitsu hugs herself, further wrapping your jacket around her body. “It’s comfortable too, even for me. I like it! Do you have any more clothes like this?”

You shake your head, clearing your vision of the alluringly ethereal young woman sashaying around in your clothes. “Who gave you permission to wear that?”

“I did. To the victor go the spoils!”

“You crazy girl, give that back to me.” You reach for Minamitsu, but the ghost slips away from your grasp.

“Nyeeh~” She distorts her features, sticking an inhumanely large tongue at you before fleeing down the road.

“Come back here!”

You jog after the laughing girl, a small grin of your own breaking out.

Your group reaches the gate of the village in short time. Yoshika has fished most of the hay out of your hair, and you have stuffed your jacket back into its bag and out of sight. Minamitsu looks a bit pissed, but that’s her fault for trying to cheat and go incorporeal while dealing with an experienced necromancer.

“Halt.” Oh, not these guys again. The two gate guards are the same two you met yesterday, the brutish one looking as dumb as ever and the other man looking grim-faced.

“Problem?” Minamitsu grins at the guards and hefts her anchor over her shoulder, resting it like a baseball bat.

The brutish guard snorts and waves his spear around. “We don’t allow murderers to walk our streets.”

Cold. Your skin crawls at the sudden temperature drop. That’s not good.

“What was that?” The strain in Minamitsu’s voice is noticeable, but a few angry words are the least of your concerns.

This damned guard doesn’t even have the smarts to be afraid. “You heard me. Get out of here, Monster, and go back to your puddles.”

“My…puddles, you say? So brave because you’re on dry land, huh?”

“Pfh, hardly. There’s nothing to worry about from a cowardly youkai like-” The guard doubles over, clutching his stomach and desperately gasping for air.

Hah, your hand doesn’t even hurt. You have to lower your opinion of the village’s security even more if the guards don’t use magical equipment when there are obvious dangers surrounding them.

Dear lord, you’re going to get us thrown out! They can’t throw you out if you’re still outside the gate. Damn it, you know what I mean. He had it coming to him, that smug bastard. “I really don’t think it’s smart to taunt the youkai, do you?”

The wheezing guard is glaring at you, the grim faced guard is glaring at you, and why the hell is Minamitsu glaring at you? Then, of course, your sister would be glaring at you if she could. You know it. At least Yoshika is giggling, the only one besides yourself happy with your little display.

Do I actually need to tell you to apologize? Yeah, probably. It’s his fault for calling out Minamitsu like that. You idiotic little- Fine, fine, you’ll do it.

You turn to the other guard, the one who had been making friendly with Byakuren. “Sorry about your partner. I doubt he broke something, but I hear insulting a woman to her face can cause some strange accidents.”

The man watches you for a second before sighing. He clanks over to his partner and helps the still recovering man stand. “Yeah. I’ll remind him to be friendlier. Just remember, if you cause trouble in the village, I won’t be the one bringing you down.”

A certain red-eyed shrine maiden’s annoyed face pops into mind. “I don’t plan on trouble.”

The guard nods once and motions you through the gate. “Thanks, Mister.” Minamitsu hauls you past the guards, hurrying into the village and leaving the incident behind.

You and your undead companions slow to the pace of the crowd ambling through the streets.

Raucous laughter accompanies slaps on your back. “Whew, you really decked him! You’re a bit trigger-happy, huh? You should find some shining armor for yourself, Mr. Knight.”

“Please, that bastard deserved it. Besides, if I didn’t do something, you were bound to smash him yourself.”

“Smash him? A rat’s words aren’t enough to irritate me.” Minamitsu’s bluster isn’t fooling you. Spirits can’t help but affect their surroundings – she was definitely angry before, just like how she is now. That guard really got to her.

“I don’t understand what went on in that guy’s head, anyway. Why dig into rumors when you’re bound to get yourself hurt? They should set him on garbage duty or something.”

“Yeah, rumors.”

You let the topic go. You don’t need to make Minamitsu uncomfortable when your basic understanding is good enough. The madness of death can cause all sorts of problems.

An arm curls around your shoulder while Minamitsu brushes up against your side. Yoshika growls at the ghost who is infringing on her self-designated position, but thankfully doesn’t bite.

“Thanks for the save, Mate. It’s nice to have an escort when you’re sailing in hostile waters.” Her sincere words delivered, the sailor girl jams her elbow into your side and breaks away. “Let’s go find that place you want to visit!”

You and Minamitsu take turns stumbling your way through the village, choosing roads and alleyways at random. Eventually, your sister manages to guilt you into asking for directions to the Hieda residence, which leads you to a fancy estate.

It’s practically a mansion, considering the other homes in the village. There is no gate at the entrance to the multi-storied complex, but there is a woman sitting at a desk in the shade near the front door.

You walk up to the woman and tap on her desk. “Hi there, is Akyuu home?” What are you, a child visiting their long-time friend? Hey, at least you asked instead of barging right in.

“Our lady is currently in a meting. If you wish to see her, I’m afraid you will have to wait.” The secretary firmly denies you.

Hassling the help rarely improves the situation, especially if their hands are tied. You thank the woman and turn back to Minamitsu.

“So what now?” That’s a good question. If you’re dead set on meeting with Akyuu, then you’ll have to play the waiting game. What’s there to do while you wait?

[ ] Sit around and shoot the breeze
[ ] Head outside the village and…
-[ ] Scavenge what materials you can
-[ ] Work on Yoshika some more
-[ ] Practice with your spell cards
[ ] Wander the village
[ ] <Write-in>

---

>Fame and Fortune
I also go by Your Majesty, Supreme Overlord, and That Guy Who Stole Your Dessert While You Weren't Looking

But no, I'm definitely no celebrity. Thanks for the vote of confidence (and your normal ones, too). I appreciate it!

>Ichirin Loving
Sure, why not? That could be fun. I don't try to discriminate against minority groups.

>Trust Reimu more than most
>Bad feelings about Reimu
Hurrah, I'm doing my job properly!

>Names
Oh man, I admit I laughed. Is this the kind of thing that we’re supposed to put to a vote?
>> No. 163648
Why did we not
[X] Ask how long we could expect to wait
And from there
[X] Wander the village
keeping the time in mind, of course.

I think heading out of the village and then back in a while later will just irritate the guards needlessly which is just what you guys want to do, isn't it?
>> No. 163649
[x] Head outside the village and…
-[x] Work on Yoshika some more

Might as well try to make productive use of the time waiting.
>> No. 163651
[X] Wander the village
>> No. 163652
[X] Ask how long we could expect to wait
[X] Wander the village

Seems good
>> No. 163654
>Keep a clam heart

[x] Wander the village
>> No. 163657
>>163654
Fwargahgahrahgahgrah
>> No. 163659
This ghost girl is awesome.We should totally hang out.

Well. Since we're playing the waiting game, is Marisa's shop in town?
>> No. 163660
[X] Ask how long we can be expected to wait.

Then

[x] Head outside the village and…
-[x] Work on Yoshika some more

Seems like most productive thing to do. Making Yoshika better.
>> No. 163662
[N] Wander the village
Because wandering.
>> No. 163663
[X] Ask how long we can expect to wait.

Then

[x] Head outside the village and…
-[x] Work on Yoshika some more

I want our zombie in top condition so we can rub it in Seiga's face when she inevitably appears.
>> No. 163664
[x] Head outside the village and…
-[x] Work on Yoshika some more

Making a zombie adorable and cuddly. Our pet project!
>> No. 163666
First,
[X] Ask how long we can expect to wait.

Then, if it's something reasonable like an hour
[X] Wander the village

Otherwise, or if we don't get an answer

[x] Head outside the village and…
-[x] Work on Yoshika some more

Also, questions.

What exactly do we need to use magic?
I get that we do grave-robbing for necromantic components, and have some sort of capacitor in that onyx jewelry, but some details would be nice.

Like, do we need to recharge those jewels ourselves in some sort of ritual, or are they self-supporting? Can we reasonably expect to make it through an intense fight with the materials we have on us? What about ten such fights?

Do we need material reagents to perform emergency healing, or are we out of luck if we end up naked and bleeding to death in a ditch somewhere?

How interchangeable are they? I.e. do we need some specific things, like grave dust and bones, to use most magic at all, or does anything work in a pinch?

And since we evidently have a problem with holy powers, how exactly does that work?
Do the energies mutually annihilate? Cancel out?
Or are sacred things simply 'super effective' when used against us?
Does it apply to everything we do, or is stuff like our mind magic Priest-proof?
Can it affect the life-aspected magic we use, like healing?

Lastly, how about magic items and enchantments? It's suggested multiple times that we can do stuff that's at least semi-permanent (see: Yoshika), so what are the costs and limitations on that?

Can we enhance our own reflexes?

Can we invent new magic from scratch, and how fast?
Is experimentation inherently dangerous?
Do we know the theory behind our magic?

Can we, say, enhance the growth of plants? Animate dead wood?
Banish spirits? Seal them?
Summon them? Command without binding them?

Does our necromancy stretch to cover the original definition (divination by asking the dead)?

Can we make a familiar?

***

I'm asking because it's repeatedly mentioned that we're running low on things, and we haven't exactly made much progress towards our goal, so it would be best to learn our limitations ASAP, and actually start leveraging our abilities more.

Why spend a week going around Gensokyo and fruitlessly asking everyone about a book they might have not ever seen, when we could, hypothetically, spend the same time preparing a ritual to summon the spirit of 'the last dead person to lay hands on the original edition of Necronomicon in Gensoukyou' and get things moving?

Alternatively, since its doubtful that the owner of the book will just lend it to us, especialy when the word that we're asking about it gets around, we could spend time improving our personal power base before warning them (say, by asking about it in a house with paper walls)- gathering reagents, improving Yoshika, making some magic items, stuff like that.

Basically, right now, we are neither rushing towards our objective, nor playing a long game, and I've a feeling that it will bite us in the ass.

We've already made one powerful enemy, on our first day, no less. We will likely make more, presuming we haven't already (say, by being us - see: Yukari). And we're neither solving them or preparing to deal with them, nor moving quickly enough to pre-empt them.

About the only thing positive thing we've done so far is making friends, and I don't want to dump our crap on them when everything inevitably blows up in our face.

Speaking of which, maybe we could ask Byakuren or Reimu about who this Yukari is and how to appease her when we see them next? Because I don't want to wait for Surprise Super Happy Fun Times on that front.
>> No. 163667
[X] Ask how long we can expect to wait.
-[ ] Wander the village
-[ ] Work on Yoshika some more
>> No. 163674
>>163666
I like you. You're a thinker.
>> No. 163678
First,
[X] Ask how long we can expect to wait.

Then, if it's something reasonable like an hour
[X] Wander the village

Otherwise, or if we don't get an answer

[x] Head outside the village and…
-[x] Work on Yoshika some more

This sounds like a pretty sound plan of action.
>> No. 163681
Personally, my greatest worry right now is Yukari.

I can very much imagine her standing in front of a mirror and asking "Where's that asshole who gave me the greatest headache of them all?" the instant she manages to patch up the hole we made.
And then, wham! Hellfire, tentacles and barbed chains.

Thus, it would be best if she had, say, chocolates and an apology card waiting for her before it comes to that. Or whatever it take to calm her temper.
>> No. 163686
>>163666
>>163674
I'm sure a lot of people have the same questions, but Word of God infodumps are no fun. The author is clearly meting out the info intentionally. Patience.
>> No. 163688
>>163686
Well, >>163666 was likely a /tg/er on his way from voting in AWiY where such votes tend to happen often (if not too much)
>> No. 163689
>>163688
Heh. No.
It's just that there are clearly bits and pieces of knowledge scattered around the posts, but nothing specific you could plan around.

For example - our reagent dependency. We know why we use them, we know what some of them are, and that we are running low on them. That's all.
Now, let's say we'd like to restock. Is it urgent? We don't know. Is it trivial? Again, we don't know.
Or raising the dead - we can do it. We know that much.
And nothing more.
Can we divine the location of the book? No idea.
Can we ask the local spirits about it? Can't say.

And this goes for everything. When you think about it for a while, it gets.. frustrating.
I simply decided to write up every question I could think of, to get it over with and out of my mind.
Hopefully, even if we get nothing but the broadest, most basic answers, we can make a plan better than 'ask around, one person at a time'.

Don't get me wrong, we're getting a lot of character interaction this way - interaction I like - but we aren't accomplishing much else, and we have enemies around, doing who knows what, and that gnaws at me. I'd prefer to be proactive, rather than reactive.

Also, is it just me, or is everything moving unusually fast today?
>> No. 163697
[X] Ask how long we can expect to wait.
Then...
[X] Wander the village

What the hell, we have nothing better to do anyway.
>> No. 163698
[X] Ask how long we can expect to wait.
Then...
[X] Wander the village

Just let the writer decide how the magic works, too many specifics and we'll write ourselves into a corner.
>> No. 163723
>>163689
That's /tg/ type thinking, not such much the case on THP.

And I don't think there's any real enemies following him, just the ones he might make with the natives.
>> No. 163739
I’ve always seen two lines of thought in regards to CYOA’s – it’s a game, or it’s a story. Plot those two ideas and there will be works on this site everywhere in between the extremes.

These two ends of the spectrum are accompanied by two methodologies. 1) Casting the readers as the protagonist - hand them their character and tell them to save the world. 2) Letting the readers ride along with the protagonist – they influence the character on how to save the world.

I, personally, tend towards the story side of my silly little spectrum. Limited knowledge, in my opinion, helps to create more rewarding events within the story. I like to think there’s a strong idea of who you are, but a large number of specifics are unknown, irrelevant until they are needed and brought to light. The reader, although tagged with the pronoun of ‘you’, is still a distinct entity from the main character. Choices, in this manner, are possible thoughts or actions the main character might have and that the reader selects.

Of course, this naturally annoys those that want to know everything and act with all the knowledge they should have if they were the character. If ‘you’ are controlling this character, than ‘you’ would expect to know how high you can jump. Unfortunately, I believe that handing out the stat-sheet and the background text doesn’t offer me the same choices in developing the main character, which is why I won’t be doing it.

Now, with that all said, I don’t think I’m being unnecessarily cryptic. Another goal I’m trying to work on with this story is more subtlety in my writing, but I guess I’m doing a pretty poor job. In an ideal world, I would like for what I’ve written to be enough to give you everything you need after a bit of thinking.

Originally I was planning on answering every burning desire while being a dick and throwing in copious amounts of false information, but I decided to table the idea in lieu of giving some general hints.

>Divine the location of the book
That seems like a logical course of action, but if you could accomplish that, why wouldn’t you think of it in the first place? Or rather, if the solution could be that simple, why would the search take as long as it has? So, either you cannot contact the spirits in such a manner, or you’ve tried and it hasn’t worked. But, you obviously have some sort of dealing with spirits, as you have admitted experience when dealing with ghosts like Minamitsu.

>Now, let's say we'd like to restock. Is it urgent? We don't know. Is it trivial? Again, we don't know.
Well, it might seem like some sort of concern – you’ve mentioned a general estimation of your supplies and how long they could last. After waking up, gathering more was on your mind. Yet, if you thought there was a dire need for more supplies, why wouldn’t you prioritize it more? If it were truly important, you would probably think about it more and not put yourself in potential danger without being prepared.

>Basically, right now, we are neither rushing towards our objective, nor playing a long game, and I've a feeling that it will bite us in the ass.
Certainly, it isn’t as if you’re frantically rushing around Gensokyo turning over every rock, but you seem fine with it. Why is that? You’ve traveled for a long while and gained quite a bit of experience. Even in Gensokyo, you seem to have learned quite a bit. Thoughts on how to manipulate local laws, general estimations of some of the greatest powers you might expect to face, means to stealthily enter towns and temples, and the beginnings of friendships with powerful individuals. Sure, you haven’t gained the power to stand toe-to-toe with the darkest terrors of the night, but is that even possible? If you could power yourself up to such an extent, why haven’t you done so already? Why would you recognize your human frailty and admit to running away in a vast majority of your experiences?

I think I’ve said before that using meta-knowledge can be rewarding. If ‘you’ really think something is of importance, rallying the collective hive mind to support a write-in isn’t implausible. If ‘[x] Go prepare for the apocalypse’ was to win the vote, it’s my job as the author is to figure out how to make it work (or slap it down if it’s the stupidest idea in the world – even then I think I’d try to keep everything in-story as opposed to arbitrarily ignoring votes). If ‘you’ really dislike the path that is being taken, then ‘you’ can change it just as well.

For my authorial take on the story’s pacing: I don’t see any problems so far. I encouraged this flippant wandering around because it’s the beginning of the story and I needed to lay the foundations for my version of Gensokyo. Getting a feel for my characters and the general situation, how my Gensokyo ticks compared to others, is important in setting the scene for future events.

I’m not preaching how to think, how to read, or how to vote. I like to think that I haven’t thrown everybody to the wolves in regards to information and that a little bit of conjecture could figure out anything important. Maybe I’m wrong, and I’ve done a terrible job. I guess we’ll see. Let me know if the info dump is still wanted. I honestly think that it’ll just piss off my readers, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.

TL;DR – This is my story and you can go fuck yourself If you don’t want to read the wall, you aren’t missing much beyond my whining. If you just want me to hurry the fuck up with the update, that’s fine – I’ll try to hurry up.
>> No. 163749
>>163739
Personally, I don't think we need the infodump.
We are doing fine so far, aren't we?
>> No. 163755
>>163739
I have no problem with what you're doing; it's nice to see a story flesh out its world as opposed to plotplotplotplot and so forth.

That'd be like playing a Bioware game
>> No. 163757
>>163739
So far, I really like this story. As it is, I don't really think an info dump is needed either.
>> No. 163766
>>163739
Don't listen to that guy, he's been reading too many high-pressure CYOAs by sadistic authors and is terrified of failure. This one isn't like that and I really hope it stays that way. The level of subtlety is perfectly fine.
>> No. 163807
>>163766
Teruyo story what?
>> No. 163812
File 135598215946.jpg - (281.80KB , 850x1263 , how-meta-are-you.jpg ) [iqdb]
163812
“I cannot say how long our lady shall be occupied. I believe she is delving into matters of law with some of the magistrates. I doubt she will be available until noon, if not later.”

“Thanks, I’ll be back around then.” You wave goodbye to the secretary and begin walking down the street, Yoshika hanging off your arm and Minamitsu strolling alongside you. Without a particular stop in mind, you begin to visit wherever your eye takes you.

“Didn’t you already get to see the village with Byakuren?” Minamitsu asks. “Isn’t this just a waste of time?”

“It was just a quick tour, if anything. I didn’t get a chance to explore.”

“Sure, whatever floats your boat.”

Walking through the streets of the village isn’t a problem for you or Yoshika. Neither of you merit more than a curious glance. Unfortunately, it’s different for Minamitsu. You watch as villagers stare at her, mothers rushing their children away and stall keepers glaring from where they work. Wandering farmers cross the street, away from your path, and the guards none-too-subtly place a hand on their weapons.

“Are you bothered by the attention? We can go back and wait.”

Minamitsu snorts. “Hah, what a gentleman. A few odd looks don’t bother me.”

You wonder about that. The ghost was certainly bothered by the accusations from earlier. “If you just let the anchor go and changed clothes, nobody would recognize you.”

“Asking me to fly a different flag, huh? This is who I am. Why should I hide myself if they’re the ones with the problem?” Yeah, it bothers her. Recognizing the slightest fluctuations in temperature is one of many skills you’ve built up over the years thanks to your dealings with spirits.

“I get that.” And you do. Individuality, free will, is something you cherish. Ultimately, if appearance means that much to her, you won’t force her to change over something so trivial.

Hey, let’s go in there. What? Why? Isn’t that a clothing store? Yes! We need to pick up a normal wardrobe for you since we won’t be moving or self-destructing anytime soon.

Sighing, you turn and head towards the building with large windows and gaudy displays. Minamitsu follows after you. “A clothing store? I doubt they have your style in there.”

“Probably, but this is important if I’m going to be here for awhile. I can’t live with borrowed clothes forever.”

---

Aw, she’s adorable! It fits her well. You actually like that color; it helps to emphasize vitality in her. Though, you have to take care of all of her stitches to make it work.

Yoshika beams at your words, twirling around in the warm, pink sundress. The zombie girl strikes a dozen poses, enjoying her new role as an over-sized doll. Okay, I’ll get her in the next one.

The zombie stops gracefully on her feet and scampers back into the changing room under the direction of your sister.

You should have seen this coming. Even if you two could never afford dozens of outfits, your sister loved to play dress-up in the stores. It hasn’t happened recently, but this is the first time in a while that you can afford to mess around.

Luckily, this store only has functional menswear, all the outfits virtually the same except for tones of color. The suits and working clothes leave little creativity between them. The female section is a different matter entirely. From understated blouses to frilly, exotic dresses, it’s a candy land for your sister.

At least Yoshika seems to be enjoying herself. You can’t say whether it’s your attention or her genuinely liking trying on clothes, but she’s been giggling and laughing the entire time. You wonder if she was a model or something in her past life, considering how she prances around in style.

A grumble draws your attention to the side. Minamitsu is glaring at you again, as she is wont to do. You don’t even know what’s up with her anymore. She seemed content enough with browsing the store, but then she just started to stare at you. You haven’t even been doing anything other than judging the outfits your sister has picked out.

When she realizes you’re looking at her, she turns away and goes back to her other fixation. “Concentrating hard over there?” You call out.

“Eh? Not at all.” The sailor girl vigorously shakes her head and turns away from the clothes that fascinate her. It’s just some skinny jeans and a t-shirt, but it’s an outfit that has garnered her attention ever since she laid eyes on it.

“Nobody would blame you if you drop the sailor suit for a bit and wear something else.”

She stamps her foot and hotly replies to your words. “I told you I don’t care! Why would I care about these girly things? A captain of the sea doesn’t need cute clothing like this!”

“Uh-huh.” You rub your chin and glance back at the entire rack of clothes still untested. “Well, I think we’ll be here awhile. It’d be a waste of time to sit around doing nothing.”

“That’s,” Minamitsu pauses, “true. I walked in here; I should make it worth my time, at least.” That was simple.

The phantom girl grabs rubs her hands over the garments, her eyes closed as she feels the clothing. Nodding decisively, she rushes over to the changing room and disappears.

A second later she walks back out, her wardrobe changed at the speed of thought. Without her sailor suit and comically large anchor, you almost wouldn’t recognize her. The black-haired girl standing in place, twisting her hair around a finger, doesn’t seem much different from any modern teen walking the street.

“Looking good,” you comment.

Minamitsu looks down at her outfit, brushing at her fake clothes. “Really?”

You nod and appraise the dead girl with as critical an eye as you can. “Without your sailor suit on the paleness of your skin is more noticeable, but that can be beautiful in its own way. You might want to make the jeans a bit darker to highlight your shape more, too. If you’re trying to be less noticeable, a necklace like this would draw attention away from your face. Otherwise, you can try a choker like, uh, this one.”

“Ah, jewelry? Let me see that.” Minamitsu takes the accessory you offer her and runs her fingers along it before handing it back. A second later, an identical copy appears on her ghostly form. “Okay, so, like this?”

“Yeah, perfect.”

“Y-You think so?”

“Definitely. Have a look for yourself.” You pull open the drapes to a changing room and motion towards the mirror. Minamitsu walks over and stares at herself, shifting from foot to foot as she looks from different angles.

Look at you, Mr. Fashionista. Good job. Oh please. You were just parroting your sister’s fashion advice from over the years. It’d be hard not to absorb some of it considering how much she fusses over that kind of stuff. Shush, it’s good for you to know. Now, pay attention! How can you make this dress work?

Before turning back to Yoshika, you catch Minamitsu glaring at you. What? Come on, you were positively helpful this time!

“You’re full of surprises, aren’t you?” Her eyes soften as she smiles at you over her shoulder. “Thanks for this.”

The fashion show continues on for many more minutes, Minamitsu joining in on the fun. At the end of it all, you end up with two bags of clothing. A few extra shirts and pants for yourself, and a couple of skin-covering outfits for Yoshika. Minamitsu is sporting a scarf and, more importantly, not walking around with her signature anchor. Overall, it wsas a successful shopping trip.

After all the activity, grabbing some lunch isn’t out of the question. You lead your merry band over to one of the public benches. “So you two just sit tight over here, I’ll be right back with some food.”

Yoshika throws her hands up in celebration. “Eating~!”

“For a zombie, you’re a real glutton, you know that?”

“Food~” You laugh and rub the zombie on the head.

Leaving your dead companions with the bags, you head off towards the nearest stall of food on the other side of the street. “Four, please.”

It’s only a short wait before the cook holds your meal out. You reach over to grab the bag, only for another hand to try and take your food.

The woman narrows her red eyes – of course they’re red eyes, they can’t be some safe color like blue – at you. “Hey Buddy, this is my order.”

So she’s going to fight for this, huh? “Your order? Who orders this much for themselves?”

“Got a problem with it?” She pokes an accusing finger at you. “Besides, I could say the same to you.”

“Here you go.” The cook holds out a second bag, an identical order to yours, towards the woman.

“Oh,” the woman chokes up a bit and releases your food. “Sorry about that.” The white-haired girl nervously laughs.

There’s something wrong with her. It’s a pretty harsh first opinion, but you feel it in your gut. You can’t tell what’s triggering the feeling, though. It can’t be just the red eyes or ridiculously long white hair. The talisman covered pants are strange, but not alarming. Without applying your mage sight, you can’t figure out what is rubbing you the wrong way.

You shake your head free from the thoughts. Whatever is wrong, you don’t think it’s threatening, so you can ignore it for now. “It’s alright, easy mistake. Pretty protective of your food though, huh?”

The white-haired woman nods. “Missing a meal is the worst. You have to grab what you can, whenever you can. Starving to death is probably one of the worst ways to go.”

You can’t argue with that logic. “Yeah, I agree. Never travel somewhere with only salamanders to hunt, you’ll be miserable.”

The woman smirks and places a hand on her hip. “Been around the block, then?”

“I’ve been to a few places. You?”

“All over, myself. There’s a lot of crappy places in this world.”

“Yup.” Of course, there are plenty of absolutely swell places, but you haven’t had a chance to sample many of them. The best you’ve usually gotten is the beautiful yet deadly areas.

Having come to an understanding, the white-haired woman takes the initiative and gives you a slight bow. “Fujiwara no Mokou.”

Despite the rocky start, the two of you continue to chat easily while you slowly amble back to your companions. Mokou and you exchange a few stories, the common suffering that links you together. “Fire can’t be that distracting, can it?”

“Are you telling me you never set something aflame to get away?”

“Well, I have, but I don’t see how it would help when you’re the one running through the fire.”

Mokou laughs and tosses her hair. “Only the crazy ones would try and follow. Don’t that make sense?”

“Considering I’m pretty flammable myself? Not particularly.”

“Not as daring as you make yourself out to be, there.”

“Hey, I’m plenty daring. I’d like to see you take a dive off a mountain.”

“Done and done. It wasn’t too tough.”

“The jump isn’t the hard part-”

“It’s the landing that sucks.” The two of you laugh together. You’ll have to figure out how much meaning the joke has to Mokou compared to yourself one day.

When you make it back to your companions, you find them sprawled out on the ground. The two of them seem to be having fun as they roll around, Yoshika doing her best to pin down the wily phantom. Naturally, the ghost seems to be cheating, selectively becoming incorporeal so that Yoshika can never gain a grip. After another roll, the two of them catch sight of you.

Minamitsu appears on her feet. Literally, she transitions from playing on the ground to standing in an instant. She doesn’t make any effort to go through the illusion of standing or floating to her feet.

“Fujiwara.”

“Murasa.”

Well. This is a problem you didn’t expect. “Do, uh, you two know each other?”

“Yes.” Their answer is simultaneous, curt and no-nonsense.

Minamitsu and Mokou stare at each other, neither one taking any action. You stand in the middle of the tense situation and wait, unsure of what you can do when you have no clue what’s happening. One of your arms is chilly and, for some reason, the other is uncomfortably warm.

That can’t be good.

After a minute, Mokou turns her head a fraction of a degree towards you. “Nice meeting you. If you ever get lost in the bamboo forest, try and find my yakitori stand before you starve.”

Her parting words delivered, Mokou slowly steps backwards. After a dozen steps, she turns on a heel and quickly marches down the street. You don’t want to say she was running away so much as making a tactical retreat for the good of everybody.

That ended well enough. “I didn’t know you two had a problem.”

The anger is Minamitsu’s voice is evident. “Don’t trust the Fujiwara’s. They’ll run your ship afoul if you let them.”

“I’ll keep it in mind. Here’s your lunch.” Investigating the bad blood between the two is not something you need to be doing at the moment, especially if you want to stay on your ghostly companion’s good side.

Minamitsu nods and takes the food you offer her. She quietly thanks you and sits back down, digging into her meal.

Letting the incident lie, you begin to eat as well. Although Yoshika has her own utensils, you end up feeding her a good portion of your meal after a few seconds of pleading eyes, much to her delight. You can’t say no to the few things Yoshika wants.

“Aaah~” Yoshika holds her spoon in front of your face. “Master hungry~”

You chuckle and open your mouth, letting the zombie repay the food she has taken. This is hardly the most efficient way of eating, but food is meant to be enjoyed.

“Wow. I don’t even have anything to say for this.” Minamitsu laughs at you. Why did you even buy her anything? As much as you want to retaliate, you can’t do it while you’re eating. You’ll get her later, somehow.

After everybody finishes their meals, you figure out the time and decide to head back to the Hieda estate. Akyuu should be finished, if the secretary was accurate in her estimate.

Reaching Akyuu’s home only takes a few minutes of walking. Once there, the secretary graciously lets you inside. The interior is fancy, complete with shiny floors and walls covered in paintings or other decorations. Although smaller than Myouren Temple’s buildings, the Hieda estate is definitely higher class.

The lady servant drops you off in an office-like room, where Akyuu is seated behind a desk.

A quick knocks alerts the young archivist to your presence, and then she’s off. “Ah! Welcome, welcome! Thank you for visiting me, I’m so excited to see you! Here, sit, sit. Tea please!” Before you can even take a seat in the extra chairs, a servant bustles into the room with a tea set.

Rich people and their instant service, feh. It’s nice when you’re the one taking advantage of it, though.

There are enough chairs for everybody to have a seat. Across the desk, Akyuu stretches. “It’s so nice for those meetings to be over.”

When Akyuu first explained how she acted as the village’s record-keeper, you didn’t think it sounded like a big deal. After seeing that she tends to have hours-long meetings, you can appreciate the effort she puts in. “Don’t like the work?”

“I’m glad to help them, but it’s incredibly tedious. Long and boring work, taxing on my memory. I’d much rather talk! When am I going to get that interview, Ms. Murasa?”

“Eh? Did I promise something like that? How about another day?” The phantom brushes the question away.

“That’s fine, that’s fine. Now, how about you?” The bundle of energy that is Hieda no Akyuu doesn’t slow down in the slightest, the young girl eagerly scrounging around for pen and paper.

“You’re still excited to hear some of my stories, then?”

“I am! New stories are always so interesting to hear, I-” The purple-haired girl abruptly stops talking. Her eyes roll around, as if she is searching her memory. When she begins to speak again, her voice is subdued. “Uh, is there something you needed my help with? We should take care of your business first. I don’t want to take up your time.”

Well, you did come here for a reason, after all. The young archivist mentioned she had few magical tomes of her own, but she probably has good information on where you need to ask around. Akyuu seems nice enough but, in her position, you don’t know how much you can trust her.

How much are you willing to tell her?

[ ] Just library recommendations would be great
[ ] About the book?
-[ ] Among magical tomes, it’s pretty rare
-[ ] Few copies from the outside world remain
-[ ] The original was supposedly written around 730 AD
-[ ] It’s known mainly for its writing on the “Old Ones”
-[ ] The book’s author is Alhazred
-[ ] It’s known as the Necronomicon
[ ] <Write-in>

---

Winter break means no more exams, being alone, and writing more timely updates. Let’s get started!

>Marisa’s shop in town?
Is it? I wonder. But no, it’s not. She runs it out of her house in the forest.

>Questions
To clarify, I really like questions and comments from all my readers. Anybody who takes the time to respond to my writing is worth listening to. I feel like a wall of thoughts deserves a wall of answers, even if they aren’t as helpful as expected.

I’m glad you care enough to voice your concerns and I hope to leave you somewhat satisfied. After all, the last thing I want to do is to antagonize my readers…right? Right? I mean, it’s not like I’m trying to lull you into a false sense of security or something…

>Failure
Hah, not in my stories! I’ll drag you towards an ending whether you want it or not! Although, I guess if your goal isn’t abject depression, there could be something like failure at some point.
>> No. 163814
[X] About the book?

Here's my take on the options:
>-[X] Among magical tomes, it’s pretty rare
>-[X] Few copies from the outside world remain
Vague hints on what it could be, but most definitively won't get us to the Necromicon. On the other hand, finding books that have these two qualities might be useful. I suggest we mention them.

>-[ ] The book’s author is Alhazred
>-[ ] It’s known as the Necronomicon
We'd basically be straight-up asking for the book. I'd prefer to be more cautious about revealing our motives, especially since we don't know how Akyuu would react to necromancy. An outright enemy would be fairly problematic. Don't mention

And the last two...

>-[X] The original was supposedly written around 700's AD
>-[ ] It’s known mainly for its writing on the “Old Ones”
Unsure. Mentioning the subject matter would make it much more likely for Akyuu to find and recognize it, but she might fear us trying to summon the "Old Ones". I think it's safer to simply mention when the original was "supposedly" written. Akyuu has good memory and hopefully will be able to find it if she has it. If she looks like she will react badly, we can always claim we are looking for a different book and plead ignorance.
>> No. 163815
[x] About the book?
-[x] It’s known as the Necronomicon
>> No. 163819
-[X] Among magical tomes, it’s pretty rare
-[X] Few copies from the outside world remain
-[X] The original was supposedly written around 730 AD

I don't know how Akyu feels about necromancy, but considering she's got the whole reincarnation thing going on, I'm kinda worried that her opinion would be negative. Best not to tell her outright.
>> No. 163820
[ ] Just library recommendations would be great
[X] About the book?
-[X] Among magical tomes, it’s pretty rare
-[X] Few copies from the outside world remain
-[X] The original was supposedly written around 730 AD
Let's not give out too much information just yet...
>> No. 163829
[N] About the book?
-[N] Among magical tomes, it’s pretty rare
-[N] Few copies from the outside world remain
-[N] The original was supposedly written around 730 AD
>> No. 163830
[X] About the book?
-[X] Among magical tomes, it’s pretty rare
-[X] Few copies from the outside world remain
-[X] The original was supposedly written around 730 AD

I choose this option to go with the flow of anon, but I think we're already giving enough hints for Akyuu to figure out what we're searching for.
>> No. 163832
[ ] Just library recommendations would be great
[ ] About the book?
-[ ] Among magical tomes, it’s pretty rare
-[ ] Few copies from the outside world remain
>> No. 163838
>>163819
I'm not sure about that as wouldn't she be more upset about her friend Kosuzu having a copy in her store?
>> No. 163845
[x] About the book?
-[x] It’s known as the Necronomicon

If Akyuu knows where it is we can just pick it up easy and deal with any consequences
>> No. 163850
[ ] Just library recommendations would be great
[ ] About the book?
-[ ] It’s known as the Necronomicon

If we are going to try and find this book and we want other peoples help they are going to find out we're looking for the Necronomicon eventually. I'd much rather play it off as that were casually looking for the Necromonicon like its no big deal, then that our motives are some big mystery that is going to make every bored god like entity stick their noses in our business.

And yeah this could backfire in our collective faces massively, but were going to need to deal with this shitstorm eventually anyways, so why not plunge head first into it?
>> No. 163851
[X] About the book?
-[X] Among magical tomes, it’s pretty rare
-[X] Few copies from the outside world remain
-[X] The original was supposedly written around 730 AD
>> No. 163877
File 135641084725.jpg - (95.88KB , 766x750 , should-have-seen-that-coming.jpg ) [iqdb]
163877
Akyuu taps her pen on the desk. “You are looking for a magical tome, correct? I might know a specific title, but even a description could help me point you in the right direction.”

“A description?” You consider what you know of the Necronomicon and how much you’re willing to reveal to the girl in front of you. “It goes without saying that it’s a rare book. As far as I’ve searched, there isn’t a single intact copy remaining in the world outside of Gensokyo.”

“Oh, oh my, that isn’t right at all! Do people not have any respect for their books these days? It’s inconceivable! Meer neglect isn’t much better than purposeful burning.” The purple-haired archivist goes on a miniature rant while she scribbles furiously on a piece of paper.

“What are you writing?” You ask.

“This? Ah, just whatever you tell me. I have a long, long memory that isn’t always the most helpful. Seeing things in writing helps me to focus and remember.”

“Huh, okay. I didn’t think you looked that knowledgeable.”

Akyuu sets her pen down and levels you with her coldest stare. “Why is that?”

Crap. “Uhm, well…” Poor choice of words, all things considered. You glance around the room, stalling for time and looking for help in extracting yourself from the situation. When your eyes meet Minamitsu’s, you realize things are only going to get worse.

Just as you try to speak up and forestall the phantom, she shouts over you. “It’s because you look like a tyke, unfit to captain a paper boat!”

Akyuu slams her hands down on the table and pushes herself into the air. “I am not a tyke! I’m just a bit short, is all. How old do you think I am?”

“Twelve.” Damn it. The answer is out of your mouth the moment she asks.

“I’m eighteen!” The chronicler shouts.

That’s only a few years off from you. No, you refuse to believe that. The cute little kid glaring at you is almost half your height. From her high-pitched voice to the immature air surrounding all of her actions and mannerisms, there’s no way she can be that old.

On the other hand, if she were going to tell a lie, she would probably make it more convincing.

After debating with yourself for a few moments, you guess she can be telling the truth about her age. “That still doesn’t seem like a long life experience filled with memories.”

Akyuu sits back down and crosses her arms, a proud sense of superiority filling her voice. “You should know that my memory goes back over a thousand years. We Children of Miare pride ourselves on our record-keeping, our memories reincarnated into every generation to continue our duty.”

Reincarnation? That’s a plausible explanation, but now you’re really curious. You definitely wish you could take the time to validate her claims. How does her bloodline work, exactly? You’ve met a few different magical families, but a transfer of eidetic memory is a curiosity. Furthermore, reincarnation is always a messy buzzword. Nobody’s reincarnation ever works out exactly the same. You’re well acquainted with the sinister methods of transferring a personality down a family line, but the Hieda’s seem to be more benign. Perhaps they-

“This is interesting information, but do you have anything else to help me narrow down the search?” Akyuu idly circles the few bullet points of information you gave her, the previous traces of her outbursts gone.

Right, trying to find the book. It’s nice that she isn’t the type to hold grudges. Hopefully. “If rumor is to be believed, the original copy of the book should have been written in the seven hundreds.”

“Ah, that’s much more useful, but perhaps not as much as we would like. Do you mind if I ask a question?”

You hope this isn’t one of those traps that segue into throwing fire at your face. “Go ahead.”

“Is your book Asiatic in origin?”

That seems like a harmless question. Please, be a harmless question. “No, it should be from around the Middle East.”

“I see. Seven-hundreds, a rarity, magical, travel time, destructible…” Akyuu stares at what she has scribbled in front of her. The scribbles are single words and short phrases, reminding you of the tags in a search engine.

Gensokyo’s chronicler looks back to you after a minute and shakes her head. “I’m sorry, there are still many tomes that I have passing knowledge of that fit your description and can be found in Gensokyo.”

“That’s okay. I wasn’t expecting you to pinpoint it for me after I’ve been searching for so long.”

The purple-haired child, er, woman, points her pen at you. “But, I think I can still help! There are only a few places in Gensokyo that are likely to house your book.”

“Really?”

“Yes, yes! Naturally, those that were alive around the time your book was originally being disseminated should be most knowledgeable and are most likely to own a copy themselves, hopefully in good condition.”

“That makes sense. So, who should I go talk with?”

“Let’s see. In regards to time period, I would suggest those at Eientei. While it’s true they aren’t particularly magic-leaning, both Princess Houraisan and Doctor Yagokoro might remember pertinent information.”

Minamitsu pipes up from where she is sitting. “Those aliens, eh? I can’t say much for or against them. I don’t have much a reason to partake in their services, considering my condition. I guess I could try to reminisce with those immortals, but my plain old life wasn’t really comparable to a Princess’ and her retainers’.”

“Immortals.” That throws a wrench into things. Stuck-up, pretentious idiots that are massively selfish and, in general, complete dicks. You suppose you’ve only interacted with a small subset of immortals, but they’ve all been complete bastards. Then again, maybe it’s just because the ones you met were formerly heroes or monstrous creatures. “I’ll keep that in mind. Who’s next?”

“For subject matter, Ms. Knowledge would be the best bet. Her library, Voile, contains countless magical texts collected from over the years, but perhaps not from as far back as you need. She keeps all of her books in pristine condition as well! You can find her at the Scarlet Devil Mansion.”

“Ooh, we should go there,” Minamitsu gives her unwanted and mostly unhelpful opinion. “The Scarlets throw the best parties on this side of the Pacific! They might try to eat you but, again, I don’t have that problem.”

“The Scarlets?” You think back to Byakuren’s quick lectures on Gensokyo and try to recall specifics. “They’re vampires, right?”

“Well, yes, but don’t be afraid. The Scarlets are very nice girls. Oh, they might be able to help you as well. I think they are a few hundred years old themselves.”

A large, magical library is beyond tempting, but vampires are not creatures that you like to mess with. Ignoring the discrepancies between different types of vampires, none of those creatures tend to take kindly to your profession. In some respects, vampires are far worse than immortals. At least immortals aren’t out to dominate your mind, body, or soul every chance they get.

“Got it. Is that all?”

“Well. As far as extensive, aged collections go, the only other I know of would be the libraries found in Senkai. I believe that they have amassed a large storage of human knowledge. Some might be magical in nature, too”

Surprisingly, it’s Yoshika’s voice that interjects. “Ah, master~!”

Minamitsu is quick to follow up. “Tsk, those crazy hermits and their ridiculous personal space. Unless you’re looking to sink prematurely, I wouldn’t suggest checking out that sirens’ cove.”

“But master’s friends are nice. Everyone can play and eat together~” You give Yoshika a hug and think about it. Despite the warnings of your Buddhist-aligned friends, you’ve never met the Taoists before except for one, and in that case you gave her a reason to be angry. You might fundamentally hate Seiga’s behavior, but Yoshika still thinks highly of her former master.

Who knows? If you visit them politely, they might become your closest friends.

Or you might have to chop your way through a horde of angry religious fanatics. Which one of those options sounds more likely?

“Thanks for the help, Akyuu.”

“It isn’t a problem, not at all! Oh, I should also mention that there are a number of other places a magical tome could be. People like my friend Kosuzu happen to collect rare magical tomes as their hobby! Of course, as a human, she hasn’t had nearly as long to amass a collection as others but her store, Suzunaan, has a modest collection of magic books.”

“Most of these others are individual people?”

“That’s right. Other than Kosuzu, a magician like Ms. Kirisame might have your book. She’s, ah, collected hundreds of reference materials to learn from and keeps them at her home. Another person could be Mr. Morichika, who collects any of the objects that fall into Gensokyo from the Outside at his shop, Kourindou. I think he ends up throwing away his unsold inventory, but he might still have something rare to find.”

Akyuu has given you a few suggestions as well as a number of other possibilities. In truth, her advice is basically a more specific version of what Byakuren told you. It’s unfortunate that most old and rare magical tomes sound the same when you describe them in a vague manner.

The decision, then, is where to begin. There are upsides and downsides to all the places you might choose to visit, but you have to start somewhere.

[ ] Ask around…
-[ ] Eientei
-[ ] the Scarlet Devil Mansion
-[ ] Senkai
-[ ] Suzunaan
-[ ] Marisa’s home
-[ ] Kourindou
[ ] <Write-in>

---

Choose your destination. Some are more useful than others, but they should all be filled with fun and adventure! And plot and possibility of death and yadda yadda.

>>163850
I like your attitude! Just dive into the shark-infested water before the sharks mutate and grow legs to chase you on land, right?
>> No. 163880
[ ] Ask around…
-[ ] the Scarlet Devil Mansion

Is it a tradition now? When a SDM arc is possible, we always choose the SDM arc?
I'll be going with the SDM arc.
Meiling~
>> No. 163881
[ ] Ask around…
-[ ] Suzunaan
Play safe, grind levels, go to more dangerous places later.
>> No. 163882
[ ] Ask around--
[x] Suzunaan! Because it'll be the first time she's ever shown up in as story here! (That I am aware of)

Also because it's close by. Right in the Human Village, actually. So if it proves a bum lead, we can go visit Patchy and see how that turns out.
>> No. 163883
[x] Ask around…
-[x] Suzunaan

Why not.
>> No. 163885
[x] Ask around…
-[x] Suzunaan

>>163882
First time at her normal age as she appeared in that wriggle story in /forest/ as a little kid rather recently.
>> No. 163887
[x] Ask around…
-[x] Suzunaan

The most cautious route might be going to Kosuzu's store first (right here in the human village), then looking in the other store, because that's the sane place to go 'searching' something.
If we fail we go collecting materials to go to the vampires, because they at least can be dealt with given enough prep-time [that the MC knows of], then to the inmortals because they can't be dealt with, being deathless and what not.
And then when we're in everyone's else shit list we go to Marisa's and raid the taoists togheter
>> No. 163890
[X] Kourindou

I'd rather not head to one of the more dangerous places first. And Rinnosuke should be knowledgeable about things too, so if its not there (its probably not there) he might be able to help us out as well.
>> No. 163891
[X] Ask around…
-[X] Suzunaan
Safe places > Dangerous places
We can visit Kourindou afterwards, and decide after that.
>> No. 163892
[x] Ask around…
-[x] Suzunaan

There's also the fact it's just plain closer to where we are right now. :V
>> No. 163893
[X] Ask around...
-[X] Eientei
Whenever there is a tide, you must piss against it.
>> No. 163897
[N] Ask around…
-[N] Senkai
Bad end hunting~!
>> No. 163899
[x]Ask around...
--[X] Suzunaan

We are already in town, so this makes the most sense. We can get chased out of Eientei later.
>> No. 163940
File 135673201531.jpg - (291.67KB , 905x1280 , your-way-or-the-roman-way.jpg ) [iqdb]
163940
“Is your friend’s bookstore here in the village?”

“Suzunaan? You bet! Do you want to check there, first?”

“I think it’d be best to start out at the closest place, right? Besides, I’m curious to see what kind of books she has collected.” Not a lie. Those who collect rare books are always interesting and if they are friends with Akyuu, you can hope they aren’t some sort of paranoid wizard hoarding all the knowledge they can.

“Okay, that’s great. Excellent, even! If you would like to follow me, we can go see her right away. I need to return a few books anyway, so this is quite fortuitous.” Akyuu quickly rises to her feet and shuffles through the contents on her desk, grabbing a pair of books that look incredibly dull.

“Thanks, Akyuu. I feel bad about that story…”

“It’s fine, it’s fine. The anticipation will make it that much richer! Shall we go?”

You nod to the purple-haired girl and walk slightly ahead of her to pull open the door. You don’t see any of the servants following you out of the Hieda estate; perhaps they only accompany Akyuu when she’s on official business.

Letting Akyuu lead you down the streets, you fall in line with your ghostly companion. “My business can’t be that interesting. You still okay, Minamitsu?”

“Of course I am. Should I be excited that you’re worried about me?” The sailor girl bumps up against your shoulder and lowers her voice to a sultry tone.

You scoff and quickly swap places with Yoshika, using the zombie as a buffer zone. “Not at all. I just don’t want to explain to Byakuren if you disappear from boredom.”

“You sure know how to make a girl weak in the knees, huh?” Minamitsu spins away and slaps a hand to her heart.

“Phantoms are that fragile? Makes me glad to have a sturdy zombie for a companion.” You back up your compliments with a light pat on the head, your zombie growling in delight at the praise.

“Zombie?” Akyuu turns around and walks backwards, joining in on the conversation.

You blink and raise your arm, lifting both of Yoshika’s hands into the air at the same time. You have to praise the zombie for her clinginess – even though you’re taller than her, she just floats up into the air to maintain her grip on your arm. “Uh, this one. Didn’t you notice her, Akyuu?”

“Eeeh? That’s a zombie?” Akyuu draws a bit closer and closely examines Yoshika. “She isn’t your female servant or something?”

Well, you suppose she is, but you aren’t going to tell Akyuu that. “This is Yoshika Miyako. You’ve never met her before?”

“Yoshika Miyako? The jiang shi?”

Yoshika opens her mouth wide, displaying her beautiful and slightly more pointed than they should be teeth. “Yes~”

“Oh dear. Ah, ah, uhm,” Akyuu stammers and looks all around. She wobbles unsteadily before refocusing on Yoshika. “Nice to meet you Ms. Miyako.”

“Hello~”

You laugh to yourself while Akyuu awkwardly waits for Yoshika to say something else. Eventually, the chronicler comes to the realization that the pleasant greeting is all your zombie is going to offer.

“She isn’t exactly like what I heard about. Ah.” Akyuu turns back around and walks forward once more. You think you hear her mutter something along the lines of, “I’ll have to edit it as soon as I get back…”

“What was that?” You ask.

Akyuu jumps and turns her head. “Nothing! Nothing! Ah, er, that is…look, it’s Suzunaan! Hey, Kosuzu!” The purple-haired girl makes a break for it, leaving you and your undead companions scrambling to catch up.

“Huh? Oh, Akyuu!” Before you is a small shop, a plain wooden building that would draw little attention if not for the yellow tape covering the door. Two girls are sitting on the ground outside the building. You assume the orange-haired girl that leaps to her feet and hugs Akyuu is the chronicler’s friend, Kosuzu Motoori.

The other girl is someone you’re rather familiar with. “Hey Reimu.”

The Hakurei shrine maiden slowly rises to her feet and walks over to greet you. Her red eyes quickly pass over your small group, analyzing you all in a heartbeat. Then the moment passes and she gives you a small, welcoming smile.

Whew. You weren’t particularly worried, but Reimu’s thoughts are unpredictable. Who knows what she might have been thinking after a night of (completely innocent) drunken fun.

“What? A burglary?” Akyuu’s shout is filled with concern, drawing everybody over to listen.

“That’s right.” Kosuzu gives her tale without embellishment. “Someone broke in without us noticing while we were sleeping. I didn’t even realize until I went to find one of my books and saw it missing.”

“That’s terrible. Are you all okay? What did they take?”

“Yes, we’re fine. I wrote down all of the missing books.” Kosuzu’s voice warbles slightly as her eyes begin to tear up. You can hear the sadness in her voice as she continues, “Some of them were my favorites.”

Akyuu is quick to offer her friend a handkerchief and a comforting embrace. After a few seconds, Kosuzu manages to calm down.

The purple-haired chronicler steps over to the door of the building and places a hand on the yellow tape. You weren’t sure before but looking at it up close, it’s definitely police tape. It’s even got the ‘Do Not Cross’ repeated over and over. “Then, your shop is closed off for investigation.”

“That’s right. I reported the incident right after I found out. She showed up to investigate a little while ago and Ms. Reimu was nice enough to keep me company.” Kosuzu smiles at the shrine maiden and looks set to continue the conversation, until her eyes wander over to you. “Are they…?”

“Oh, oh! Where are my manners?” Akyuu hurriedly moves to introduce you and your undead friends to Kosuzu. The young owner of Suzunaan doesn’t have the same anxiousness around Minamitsu that other villagers had, and she laughs when Akyuu stumbles over Yoshika’s description.

After a few light words of condolences and thanks exchanged between you and Kosuzu, Akyuu moves on. “He was looking for a magical book and I suggested your store, but I didn’t know this had happened. I’m sorry.”

“No, it’s all right. I really love the books I have! It’s nice to find someone that can appreciate daemon books, too.”

“You don’t mind if I look at that list, do you?” You point towards the small leaflet of paper that Kosuzu is holding, the one she was waving around while speaking with Akyuu.

The young bookstore owner shakes her head and holds out the list. “Go ahead. I’m sorry if the one you were looking for is on it.”

You quickly scan the list of titles that were stolen, written down with any particular order that you can identify.

Galdrabok.
History of the Sidhe.
Tetrabiblos.
Grimoire of Armadel.
Fimbulvetr.
Charlie’s Manual.
And bingo.

Necronomicon.

The rest of the list doesn’t even matter. You try to crush your emotions and remain calm despite the great surprise. You want to jump and scream at this ridiculous chance of fate, but that would give away far too much. You’re painfully conscious of everybody watching you, especially Reimu. In fact, the shrine maiden is raising an eyebrow right now, definitely noticing something wrong with you.

Cooler. You have to play it cooler.

You hand the list back to Kosuzu. “Those are some interesting titles. Aren’t those books kind of dangerous to be keeping around?”

“Maybe, but Miss Reimu is here to help me if something goes wrong!” The sincere comment manages to make Reimu blush slightly.

The clattering of the door stops the conversation. A woman exits the shop and ducks underneath the police tap.

She has red hair, purple eyes, and a purple kimono that doesn’t help to conceal her sizeable chest. You can feel trouble oozing off of her. After quickly pulling the police tape down and throwing it to the side, she points a finger to the air and shouts. “I’ve finished my investigation! It pains me to say that-”

The strange woman’s red eyes take in the situation. Then her finger falls, pointing directly at you. “You’re suspicious!”

“What?” You would really like to retort, but you have no clue what’s happening.

“Where were you and what were you doing last night?”

“…Sleeping.”

“Don’t get smart with me!” The red-haired woman stomps closer to you. “Do you have anybody to corroborate your alibi?”

“My alibi? Of me sleeping?”

“Yes!” This woman certainly looks serious, but her stern countenance isn’t as intimidating as she probably hopes it is.

Minamitsu steps forward and pats you on the shoulder. “Don’t worry Officer, I can confirm that this guy was otherwise preoccupied with rather interesting activities late last night with an intimate other of the fairer sex that-”

“I was not!”

The red-haired woman jumps on your denial. “So you admit you have no alibi?”

Someone that isn’t Minamitsu, please help. “What? No, I do!”

“With these conflicting stories and claims, I have no choice but to place you as suspect number one!” Your brain hurts. Can you not deal with people anymore? Can you get the zombie to be your secretary? That’d be nice.

Luckily, these random accusations come to end on the back of the ever-benevolent Hakurei.

Reimu whacks the red-haired woman on the head with the back of her hand. “He’s innocent.”

Your accuser loses the heat in her voice. “Really?”

The shrine maiden glances over you with an appraising eye before nodding once. The red-haired woman accepts Reimu’s words without complaint and shrugs. “If you say so, Reimu. In that case, I’ve got nothing.”

The impromptu interrogation ends abruptly, leaving you scratching your head. “Can someone explain to me what just happened?”

“Kotohime. Daughter of the Captain of the Guard. Self-styled police officer.” Reimu’s introduction plus your own opinions let you form a simple appraisal of Kotohime – she’s a loon. Hopefully she’s a loon that is somewhat adequate at her chosen role in life.

“Nothing? You didn’t find anything Ms. Kotohime?” Kosuzu asks with slight trepidation.

“The perpetrator left little evidence to his identity. There are no traces of his that I can find. The door’s lock was forced open, but whether it was through mundane or magical means I cannot say – it wasn’t a very good lock to begin with.”

Suzunaan’s owner looks away for a moment. “Oops.”

“Unless someone tells me otherwise, I see no correlation between the stolen books, either. Did the thief steal the books for their subject matters or their possible price value?”

“The books don’t seem to be related. I can’t think of a way to combine all of these subjects into something useful.” You comment idly. You haven’t heard of all the books on the list, but you don’t see a correlation between a ‘book of evil,’ a book on mastery over winter, and a guide towards heavenly cooking,

Kotohime eyes you with suspicion once more. “Oh, I’m a magician. Hi, how are you?”

Gensokyo’s single police officer begins to get excited again. “Then is fits that the thief was choosing books at random. This criminal, unknown in appearance or motive, has pulled off a caper of epic proportions! This case is set to be one of my greatest-”

“M’am,” one of the village’s guards interrupts. Some no-face guy of medium build outfitted in mundane equipment that looks exhausted from jogging around in his armor. “A body has been found out in the fields by one of the farmers. “

“A victim? Let’s go investigate!” Kotohime is off in a flash, somehow achieving running speed despite her expensive outfit. Reimu trails after Kotohime from the air, floating along at her own lazy pace.

Minamitsu taps you on the shoulder. “Are we going to go see?”

“I think it might be important.” You begin to walk after Kotohime but stop when you notice some people aren’t following. “Are you girls staying here?”

Kosuzu nods in answer. “Yes, I should double-check my shelves, just in case.”

“I’ll help,” Akyuu offers, sticking by her friend. The purple-haired chronicler waves goodbye to you. “Make sure to come by and tell us what happens, okay? And keep thinking of stories you can tell me!”

You and your undead companions follow Gensokyo’s enforcers out of the village from a long distance away. Minamitsu uses the time to pester you. “You’re looking a bit giddy. Why’s that?

Are you? That’s a problem. You thought you managed to get your emotions under control. Just have to relax a bit more and not get excited. No matter how close you might be, you shouldn’t be celebrating yet.

“C’mon, tell me what it is. Was it one of the books that were taken?”

“Maybe.” The idea that the Necronomicon was so close definitely makes your heart race. What’s worse is the timing of events. As far as you know, nobody else should be aware of you or your goals. This theft has to be a coincidence. But what if it isn’t?

“Oh wait, I got it. It’s the corpse, isn’t it?”

“Possibly.” A dead man could mean anything. Is it related to the Necronomicon? There are plenty of people and beings that would kill for a complete copy of the tome. That includes you. Not someone innocent, of course, but there are a number of faces you wouldn’t miss encountering at night.

“I see, I see. Obviously a living and pure nun isn’t enough for you.”

Worse, you still aren’t sure of the situation in Gensokyo. The intricacies of the politics in the pocket world are an enigma. Other than not pissing off Reimu and knowing that the Buddhists and Taoists don’t get along, you’re pretty much running blind between giant powers all around you. A little faux-pass in any situation could be the end of- Wait a second. “What?”

“A pleasant and innocent young girl, zombified in her prime, can’t satisfy your desires either.”

You start to pay attention to what the phantom is saying. “Hold on, what are you-”

“Naturally, you need a new corpse. A dear, dead friend of the male variety that can hold you tight at night while you lie on the ground, enjoying the-”

“Better run, Phantom.”

Minamitsu glances at the glowing green sludge that is floating above your hand. “Oh, what the hell? Get that shit away from me!”

---

You and Minamitsu finally reach where Kotohime and Reimu are milling about. The two of you have managed to pick most of the ectoplasm off of your clothes, but it was a long and arduous process.

Naturally, Minamitsu had a bit more trouble, the substance bonding to her clothes and then her hands when she tried to move it. It was funny until she wised up and started wiping it onto you.

Having Yoshika eat all of the sticky goop was tempting, but you’re still unsure about the extent of her capabilities. It was harmless stuff, but there was no reason to take the chance when you were able to remove it yourself.

The guards, Kotohime, and Reimu are having a powwow underneath a lone tree, allowing you easy access to see the ‘body’ that was reported. The corpse is laying on the edge of a fallow crop field, the portion of wooden fence nearby shattered.

“Cripes, that’s almost as bad as a poor sod who gets keelhauled.”

The corpse definitely isn’t in a pretty condition. The man’s death was unpleasant to the extreme. His heart was pulled through his chest and then crushed, blood and flesh scattered all around. Other than the pain from having his rib cage split open and bent outwards while the veins connected to his heart were yanked away, the guy could have been choking on his own blood while losing all feeling in his extremities. Depending on how his heart was destroyed, it could have been instantaneous or a long, torturous affair as every sensitive nerve felt like fire.

This kind of death isn’t unknown to you. Hell, you could do this to someone if you really wanted to. You’ve got a few ways to remove a beating hard from a living body, this way being one of the more gruesome ones. Of course, you’ve almost done it to yourself. Miscasting a spell is a simple mistake any novice can make, and messing up a spell like this could easily be fatal for the caster.

Did the dead man lying before you steal the books from Kosuzu’s store? Did he try and use a spell from the Necronomicon but mispronounce a syllable and destroy himself? Was he a magician himself and have his spell reflected? Was the man employed by someone else and offed by a rival? An unsuspecting thief that got caught by something far out of his league?

In the end, the manner of death means almost nothing. For all you can tell from the corpse, he might have just been an unlucky villager on a stroll. It isn’t likely, but still a possibility.

“If you gentlemen would transport the body, we’ll take it to the lab for an autopsy!”

“What would you be doing, Lady Kotohime?”

“Huh? Oh, I’ll investigate around the village and search for clues! Care to join me, Reimu?”

“No. My way.”

“Following your intuition, again? I applaud your investigative sense, Reimu, it is something we can all admire!”

There’s a way you can get more information; a replay of events, a firsthand account of what occurred. Asking the dead man himself what occurred might tell you everything you need to know, but summoning the souls of the dead carries its own risks in attracting unwanted attention. If you go that route, you would need to take the rest of the day to prepare a suitable, concealed location for you to enact your summoning.

More to the point, you would need part of the corpse, like a finger bone or slice of flesh. Without an anchor, you could never summon the right spirit.

It might not be worth the risk. You personally dislike disrupting the dead if they’ve already moved on, and the dead man himself might not have the knowledge to answer all your questions. Tagging along with Kotohime’s questioning in the village or Reimu’s investigation might bear more fruit. Learning how Gensokyo’s enforcers act can be useful, and their methods might be much more comprehensive in what they can achieve than your own specialty.

None of them are paying attention to you at the moment while they talk to each other, their backs turned to the corpse. You have to decide what you want to do, quickly.

[ ] Prepare to question the dead man’s spirit tonight
[ ] Tag along with Reimu while she follows her intuition
[ ] Ask to assist Kotohime with her investigation
[ ] <Write-in>

---

I wonder if this vote will be competitive at all.

>>163881
How boring. Always start hardcore and jump into the fray!

>>163885
Negative Captain, I believe I’ve been beaten out by Winged Ikaros’ story further down the page. So my Kosuzu is, unfortunately, nothing special.

>>163897
How would it make you feel if I told you that taking the Senkai path was probably the least likely to kill you in the short term?
>> No. 163941
[X] Prepare to question the dead man’s spirit tonight.
-[X]If possible, in secrecy.

The best witness we can ever have is the victim himself. Let's do our thing. And pray we aren't seen.

Also, it's curious how Factorial Zalsa's and Winged Ikaros' stories have practically the same cast.
>> No. 163942
[ ] Tag along with Reimu while she follows her intuition

>How would it make you feel if I told you that taking the Senkai path was probably the least likely to kill you in the short term?
Positively giddy.
>> No. 163943
>>163942
Argh, forgot mah [N]!
>> No. 163944
[ ] Prepare to question the dead man’s spirit tonight

MUST KNOW.
>> No. 163945
[X] Prepare to question the dead man’s spirit tonight.
-[X]If possible, in secrecy.

I WANT TO KNOW
>> No. 163946
>>163940
Oh? I don't read that.

[X] Prepare to question the dead man’s spirit tonight.
-[X]If possible, in secrecy.


Some other things to look into: What Akyuu knows about Yoshika and just who'd want those books (I'm suspecting it's Seiga who wants a new zombie of her own or to draw us in)

That and we should really fix Yoshika up ASAP, at least so people aren't quite so creeped out by her.
>> No. 163949
If Seiga suspected we wanted the Necronomicon, though, why would she go through an intermediary? Her ability makes theft almost effortless, but she goes through the trouble of getting a thief in (with the risk of getting caught), and then killing him. And if she knows we're a necromancer, why would she leave any part of the body around so we could try to ask them what happened?

My money is on somebody else. Best way to find out is to go straight to the witness, after all.

[X] Prepare to question the dead man’s spirit tonight.
>> No. 163951
ya'll are thinking to much in the ways of a box givin to you! take the box apart and make it a goddamned rectangle!

[X]Get Minamitsu to reach out and contact the spirit. She's dead already, so according to the theories of astral projection, she should be able to tell you what may or may not have happened, hence answering any of your would be questions.
>> No. 163952
[X] Prepare to question the dead man’s spirit tonight
>> No. 163958
[x] Tag along with Reimu while she follows her intuition

I can't help but think it's a trap of some kind.
>> No. 163960
[x] Tag along with Reimu while she follows her intuition
>> No. 163963
[x] Tag along with Reimu while she follows her intuition.
-[X] Take a part of the corpse with you.

Maybe we'll learn something useful if we tag along with Reimu, and we can probably make the time to summon the ghost later if this doesn't work out.

Besides, it might be useful to have Reimu on our side if/when things go horribly wrong.
>> No. 163964
[X] Tag along with Reimu while she follows her intuition
>> No. 163967
[x] Tag along with Reimu while she follows her intuition

Reimu always catches her culprit.

Eventually, after lots of collateral damage.
>> No. 163968
[X] Tag along with Reimu while she follows her intuition
>> No. 163969
[x] Tag along with Reimu while she follows her intuition

Reimu is always in the right.
Anyways, why do we need to summon the soul, I thought that the energy of something like a murder would linger long enough to make us able to see the scene with some kind of spell, like the difference between ghost and spirit or something.
>> No. 163971
[x] Tag along with Reimu while she follows her intuition.
-[X] Take a part of the corpse with you.

Reimu is always right. But just in case, let us have a backup.
>> No. 163974
>>163967
That's not always an ideal solution and PoFV points out how haphazard it is. Far from an ideal route to handling things.
>> No. 163975
Whether you like it or not, we'll be following the lovely, infalliable Reimu in a comeback vote! Heh...

Vote called, please wait warmly.
>> No. 163979
>>163975
should have checked for votespam, it's suspicious.
>> No. 163984
>>163979
It's really not because Reimus intuition is kinda a huge character trait of hers.
>> No. 163986
>>163984

Of course, it's not completely infallible. After all, in Imperishable Night, her intuition led her to point over a hundred degrees away from Eientei.
>> No. 163990
>>163984
But do we ever see it actually work? I mean the other PCs somehow do with out.
>> No. 163991
>>163984
While she has a pretty good one (it allowed her to avoid a trap in a PC-98 game), her lazy manner has a way of her mainly wandering around until she found clues (very evident in PoFV)

Though if Reimu was serious about using her intuition, she'd likely skip a couple of stages compared to Marisa.
>> No. 164057
File 135718903790.png - (326.85KB , 900x693 , reimu-standard-operating-procedure.png ) [iqdb]
164057
Sighing, you step away from the body and wait. Tampering with a crime scene when you haven’t seen the extent of the local law enforcement’s capabilities is a stupid move. They’d probably notice a missing finger and if they trace it back to you, there would be some uncomfortable questions in store.

“Well boys, let’s go! We have a criminal to catch!” With a cheer, Kotohime marches about and directs the guardsmen around. The village men lay out a sheet on the ground and roll the remains onto it. The guards and their intrepid leader quickly stomp off back to the village, leaving your group and Reimu standing in an open field.

Reimu quickly takes to the air and waves goodbye.

“Wait!” You shout. The shrine maiden stops and turns around, floating back down to you.

Red eyes stare, lips curled in annoyance. You can’t help but be nervous underneath the glare of the shrine maiden. “A-Ah, I was wondering h-how you were going to investigate?”

“She beats people up.” Minamitsu swoops in with an answer that raises Reimu’s hackles. The twitch in Reimu’s eyes spells certain doom that you do not wish to be in the path of.

“I ask.” Reimu asserts herself, objecting to the slander against her practices.

“While beating people up. Or after you beat them up. Sometimes before, but you usually aren’t satisfied, so you beat them up anyway.” Every sentence is another dagger plunged into Reimu’s composure. Luckily, instead of getting angrier, the shrine maiden seems to deflate into embarrassment, her eyes finding sudden interest in the empty field around us.

Even without Reimu’s unspoken acknowledgement, you would have believed Minamitsu anyway. From your interactions, you can tell that Reimu is a rather direct person.

You like that about her. She clearly draws the line and hands out obvious yet fair punishments. Her methods are miles above any backroom politics or insidious poisons you’ve had to deal with.

“That sounds interesting. Mind if I watch you work?” The others gasp in surprise once they realize what you’ve asked.

Well, not Yoshika, but she reacts to only a few things.

Reimu points to herself in disbelief, her eyes wide with surprise.

“Well, yeah. I’m interested. You seem good at your job, so I think I could learn something by watching. Is that a problem?”

The shrine maiden stares for a second before bursting into action. You’re afraid her neck is going to snap off given how vigorously she’s shaking her head. She’s like a little girl, trying to contain her burst of excitement by jittering in place. Suddenly, the brunette lunges forward and takes your hand before- Whoa!

Holy crap that surprised you. A quick shake of your limbs confirms that you are indeed floating in the air.

Reimu is nodding in pride while Yoshika is clapping in joy and drifting in a lazy orbit around you.

You haven’t done a thing. This shouldn’t be happening. You can’t notice anything that would be keeping you in the air. There’s no reason for you to suddenly be floating under your own power. You get the feeling that checking for magic wouldn’t reveal much, either.

What the hell? Screw it, you’re checking.

With your eyes filled with magic, you spin around and check around. Nothing to your sides, above or be- Holy shit, less spinning, less spinning! Midair somersaults are not fun!

You tumble in place over and over, the world reversing every which way as you spin uncontrollably. How stop? Stop! Don’t spin! Ugh, you’re going to be sick. Yoshika, Minamitsu, Reimu, tree, grass, sky, Reimu, Yoshika- can’t tell, they’re all a blur now. This really sucks. Flailing your arms only makes it worse and you can’t do-

You suddenly jerk to a halt after Reimu grabs ahold of your shoulder and hauls you upright.

So dizzy.

“Ahahaha! Such grace!” Minamitsu’ mocking laughter grates on your nerves, but you can’t retaliate against the truth. Even if you wanted to, you can’t really tell which of the five phantoms in your vision is the real one.

You close your eyes and take deep breaths to shake off the effects the uncontrolled spinning.

“What did you do?” You glare at Reimu before looking back down at your own body. You have no idea why you’re floating and can’t figure out the first place to look. Any normal signs of magical flight are non-existent.

“Trade secret.” Reimu’s teasing words are going to haunt you for a long time. Another mystery of the Hakurei shrine maiden heaped onto the plate. “Ready?”

“What? No, not at all, I don’t- No, don’t go! Rei-aaah!”

You hate flying.

After your misbegotten attempts to follow Reimu into the sky, the shrine maiden swoos back down to steady and teach you. Through example and light taps with her wand, Reimu shows you the basics in controlling your supernatural flight. After twenty minutes of intensive instruction, you can reliably move through the air and stop your bouts of tumbling in place.

It’s difficult to describe the feeling. It’s nothing like ‘regular’ flight, if you compare it to when Yoshika was carrying you through the air. If you had to put it in words, you would say that you ‘are not falling’ rather than ‘flying.’

Flying is when lift can overcome gravity. You might move through the air, but gravity is still a factor. It isn’t when you float next to Reimu. Your gut is telling you that gravity should be dragging you down, but you can’t feel the slightest tug in any direction. You move where you want, with nothing to limit you. Or you would, if your control was better. As it stands, every shaky and unsteady jerk of movement stems from your mind and sense of balance thrown wildly off kilter.

Is this how Reimu flies? It’s…surreal. That’s a description coming from a kid turned necromancer.

When you regain your focus, you notice Reimu watching you with a smile; the nostalgic kind, filled with wonderful memories. It’s a beautiful, happy look, one that everybody deserves to wear if the world were perfect.

Then the moment ends. Reimu nods to you and flies up into the air. You follow after her and hold on to Yoshika’s hand for support. Training wheels, if you had to make a comparison. The zombie looked a bit sad before when you told her she wouldn’t have to carry you, but she’s all smiles now.

You notice something missing and glance back down. “Are you not coming, Minamitsu?”

The black-haired girl waves you off. “Nope. I should be heading back to the temple. Reimu’ll keep you safe. Don’t get yourself hurt, for our dear nun’s sake!”

“Yeah, I understand.” You lazily reply to the phantom as she flies off, back in the direction of Myouren temple. You can’t help but get the feeling that Minamitsu was running away, considering how little responsibility she cared about before.

Whatever. You aren’t going to dig into her excuses.

Reimu isn’t flying particularly fast, perhaps out of deference to your baby-like movement through the air. Actually, you think she just likes watching you flop around miserably if you ever let go of Yoshika’s hand. Maybe she’s a sadist. The red-eyes certainly give that kind of vibe.

“So, is this a permanent thing or what? The flight, I mean.” Better to get these questions out of the way before an accident happens.

The shrine maiden shakes her head and tosses a yin-yang orb that she pulled out of nowhere into the air. The spinning red-white orb stops abruptly some distance away before moving parallel to the ground in a slow orbit. Reimu sweeps her arm around, directing the orb as it picks up speed and begins whirling around in all directions, forming an invisible sphere around the shrine maiden. She points to you, then the orb, and then slams one hand down onto her other.

“It’s a leash, then.” A leash where, if you leave the comfort of Reimu’s company, you’re liable to go crashing down into the earth. Pretty straight forward message.

Reimu smiles and draws the yin-yang orb back. “Can be longer, if you’re good.”

After only another minute or so of flying, Reimu makes an abrupt dive and shoots towards the earth. No, not the earth – as you draw closer, you can see the gaggle of girls floating around closer to the ground.

And they aren’t just girls. They’re fairies.

Glorious. Go, go, Reimu! Stick it to those winged pests!

As happy as you are to see Reimu gunning after the fairies, they seem to be less enthusiastic. Although Reimu’s approach is silent, one of the fairies looks up by chance and notices the shrine maiden’s descent.

“Oh shit, it’s Reimu!” The seven fairies all spin wildly and gasp in horror upon seeing the Hakurei girl.

Then they start screaming. “Go, go, go!” The winged creatures buzz away as quickly as they can, stumbling into each other as they fly towards the safety of the nearby forest.

Unfortunately for them, Reimu is magnitudes faster. The slowest fairy, a cute little blonde one with a green dress, is snagged by the collar of her clothes. “H-Hey, d-don’t leave me with heeeeer! Nooooooo!”

Reimu holds the meter-tall fairy firmly by the shoulders, the little creature kicking its legs and flapping its wings to no avail. The shrine maiden barks out a few terse words. “The body. Spill it.”

“Waaaaah!” The fairy screams her head off, the high-pitched wail seriously grating on your ears. Yet Reimu is unflappable, her serious demeanor unaffected by the obviously distressed fairy. The shrine maiden shakes the fairy back and forth to try and wring out the information she wants.

The fairy cracks in short order. “R-R-Rumia! T-That b-blob of d-darkness! Her, her!” Reimu releases the fairy as soon as she gives up the name. The little creature wastes no time and flies, wailing all the while.

“That…is supposed to be intuition?” If anything, you would probably label it intimidation.

“Fairies always know something. They’re trouble.” Reimu wipes her hands and sets them on her hips, turning to you with eyes filled with suspicion. “Problem?”

“No, no, not at all. I was just expecting something…”

“What?” Reimu’s curt tone promises retribution for any offhand insults.

There really isn’t a good way to put it, now that you’ve started. “Uh, more refined?”

Oh shit evil glare - backup, backup! “That isn’t a bad thing! Go with works, right? I’m not the successful peacekeeper. What do I know?”

The Hakurei shrine maiden eyes you for a few seconds longer. “Fine. Watch.”

Command given, Reimu flies higher into the air, just above the tree line. She spreads her arms to her side and keeps her feet together. You follow her up and watch from a few meters away.

Reimu begins chanting – no, that’s not the right term. She recites. An incomprehensible stream of quiet whispers leave her mouth, hundreds of words per minute lumped together in a way you can’t decipher. Even after working magic into your ears, you can’t make out anything in the tidal wave of words. She seems to be pronouncing whatever is she’s saying clearly, but there’s too much for your mind to process.

“…ac-cess col-lect-ed ob-ser-va-tions…” The new voice breaks your concentration.

It’s Yoshika. Your zombie is slowly speaking, sounding out every syllable, but not speaking for your sister. She’s, well, you think she’s repeating after Reimu. You can’t imagine what else she would be saying with such focus. Yoshika is speaking far too slowly to keep up with Reimu, but the zombie is doing much better than you in any case.

Maybe that’s your sister getting off her lazy behind and helping. She’s picked through your memories in the past, so she should be able to parse the blather into something useful. Assuming your sister can access Yoshika’s memories, it would be much simpler than using yours.

At any rate, your attention is wasted on Reimu’s words. Time to focus somewhere else.

With your magically enhanced sight, you try and see what Reimu is doing, but it doesn’t make any sense. Normally, you can watch the flow of mana as a spell is being cast and infer what is occurring, but there’s no flow in sight. Much like whatever Reimu did to give you flight, things just are.

Red rectangles are spinning around Reimu. You’ve come to associate the patterns comprising the rectangles with the border. They appear and disappear seemingly at random, with no mana signature to speak of. Whatever Reimu is doing is not magic in the conventional sense that you’ve learned.

The shrine maiden raises an arm. Strings of red appear, stretched out far across the sky. Dozens of red lines that loop around themselves and span into the distance all extend from Reimu. She glances between all of the strings before reaching out and grabbing one.

In that instance, everything ends. The strangely-patterned shapes and lines disappear alongside Reimu’s words.

Then Reimu drifts off, as if all was normal. She’s flying in the direction of the string she had touched, towards the forest of bamboo in the distance.

You tug on Yoshika’s hand and get the zombie to fly alongside you. She’s still slowly enunciating words, her attention absorbed in Reimu’s previous litany. You’re struck by the strangest fear, that Yoshika will just stop moving, overwhelmed by too much information.

Hah, no, that won’t happen. You don’t want to draw Yoshika’s attention away from whatever she’s thinking about, but you’re positive something like that can’t happen. It’s a useless worry.

“Was that a trade secret, too?” You ask as you pull up alongside Reimu. She looks a bit tired with her skin glistening with a fine sheen of sweat, but the grin on her face speaks loudly.

“Yup.”

---

It only takes another few minutes for you all to enter the bamboo forest. Reimu drifts closer to you and taps you on the shoulder. “Stay close. Don’t get lost.”

With her warning given, the shrine maiden continues to weave her way through the bamboo. It’s strange, to see the bamboo growing in such amounts. As tall as any normal tree and much denser, it’s a miracle you can even force a path through the shoots.

Despite seeing nothing but bamboo all around, Reimu remains sure in her direction. There’s no hesitance as she flies towards her goal.

Passing through another wall of bamboo, you find yourself in a clearing. It’s small; enough to fit what looks like a three-room shack in the center. Off to the side is a food stall with a couple of seats, placed right next to the path that cuts through the bamboo forest.

There are two people sitting at the stall. Two rabbits, to be precise. You recognize the purple-haired Reisen slumped over the counter, but the shorter rabbit sitting next to her is not someone you’re familiar with.

The shorter, black-haired rabbit immediately swivels on her seat once you enter the clearing. Her eyes lock-on to the shrine maiden immediately. “Howdy Reimu, what’s going on?” the little Rabbit calls out.

You, Yoshika, and Reimu land on the ground and casually approach the stall.

“Reimu’s here?” The door to the shack opens and Mokou steps out. You weren’t expecting to see the white-haired woman again so soon. She walks over to stand next to the stall and waves at you. “Hey, it’s you. Guess you were pretty eager to see me again. You guys want to buy some yakitori?”

“Is it poisoned?” Always important to check.

The white-haired woman laughs. “What? No way, I only poison my food for special guests.”

Somehow, you don’t think she’s kidding about that.

“In that case, I-” Your response dies on your lips. Your sense of danger is telling you to get the fuck out.

Reimu steps in front of you. Mokou tries to offer her some food, but the shrine maiden completely ignores the proposition. Likewise, the little rabbit’s jokes go unheard. Reimu has eyes for only one person in the clearing.

The shine maiden’s question, despite the magnitude, is asked in her usual quiet and curt manner. “Reisen. Did you murder him?”

The question is like the torch to the stake. The salesbunny that was slumped on the counter jumps to her feet, her ears jolting straight upwards. Reisen spins and backs up against the counter. It only takes one glance to see that she’s out of it.

You really hate it, hate them. It would only take a few spells to clear them all away, you think. If you catch these girls by surprise, it’d be ridiculously simple to kill them. Hell, depending on how you do it, you could net yourself some of the strongest servants in the world. Your own personal army that you could use to sweep away those fools who would dare laugh at-

A pair of cold hands clamps themselves over your eyes. “Master, no looking.”

What? What were you just thinking? That was…

After muttering a few basic protection spells, you pry Yoshika’s hands away and take another look.

Reisen has lost it. The rabbit looks crazed. Her eyes are blazing red, the magic radiating from them obvious when you’re protected against it. She’s shaking like a leaf, her arms clamped to the side of her head as she stares at Reimu in desperation. You think she’s whispering to herself as well.

The shrine maiden isn’t succumbing to any madness. Reimu’s own red eyes are unclouded. Her quiet voice, instead of fired up with annoyance like you’d expect, is tinged with sadness. “Guilty, huh?”

Reimu begins walking forward again but only takes one step.

Mokou, instead of leaning against her food stall, plants herself in Reimu’s way. She stands in front of Reisen and folds her arms across her chest. “Go away, Reimu.”

The Hakurei shrine maiden shakes her head. Her gaze steels itself as she grips her wooden stick tighter, a Yin-Yang orb appearing in her other hand.

From your position off to the side, you can see behind Mokou easily. The other rabbit is shaking Reisen’s shoulder, but whatever the little rabbit is trying to get Reisen to do, it isn’t working. The purple-haired bunny stands against the counter with one hand on her head, the other curled against her chest in a gun-like shape.

“Damn it. Fine then,” Mokou spits on the ground. “Reimu, I challenge you to a spell card duel.”

All emotion has fled from Reimu’s voice, leaving nothing but cold business behind. “This is serious.”

Fire erupts around Mokou. Despite the sudden and intense heat, nobody flinches. “I’m serious. You think I’ll let you hurt Reisen for no reason?”

“One card,” Reimu responds.

Mokou’s retort is instantaneous. “Four. I want four.”

“No. No stalling.”

“Then we’ll be doing this the old-fashioned way.” Mokou laughs and twirls her fingers, the fires surrounding her dancing with her movement. “Can you afford to let that happen?”

Reimu’s face twitches in annoyance before returning to a neutral state. “Tch. Fine. Four cards.”

The negotiation finished, Mokou leaps into the air immediately. She draws a slip of paper out of her pocket and throws it upwards. “Forgiveness – Honest Man’s Death.”

You take a step back and watch the magic explode.

This is a real spell card duel.

You had seen Reimu’s spell card before. You experienced what it was like first hand, but watching the duel in front of you is an entirely different experience.

Burning wings have erupted behind Mokou, the white-haired woman throwing all of her anger into her attack. Streams of purely magical bullets mix in with the heated fireballs and lances of energy that she throws at Reimu. The waves of bullets sway back and forth, every component of her spell card a beauty to look at. More than just magic, Mokou’s feelings and emotions are readily felt. She’s putting everything she has into the offense to try and bring Reimu down. To your senses, the magical barrage is a statement of will, an elegant conveyance of emotions and beliefs.

Yet, it’s obvious it won’t be enough. So, painfully obvious.

Reimu moves through the storm with contemptuous ease. She starts out slowly, simple shifting back and forth in the air, before picking up speed. The shrine maiden starts to fly wildly, drawing large circles around Mokou.

Reimu is taunting Mokou, there’s no doubt. The fiery spell card isn’t enough to keep up with the shrine maiden. The magical bullets struggle to follow Reimu’s movements. The streams of magic are not enough to catch her. The shrine maiden dips through Mokou’s barrage without a care.

Mokou’s rage-filled look could kill any normal human. The spell intensifies, but the addition of a few extra bullets isn’t enough to catch Reimu.

“Luck sign – Unfortunate Accident!” Suddenly, another burst of magic fills the clearing. Streams of colorful tear-drop bullets fly from the edges of the clearing inward, throwing a wrench in the shrine maiden’s easy flight. The little bullets swirl around in a random-like pattern. It takes a moment for you to realize the swarms of small bullets are forming larger shapes, drawing four-leaf clovers and rabbit feet in the air.

You drag your eyes away from Reimu to look at the source of the new spell card. The other rabbit is standing in front of the food stall and looking up, her card held in her hand.

“Tewi!” You hear Reimu shout over the noise the magic is creating. Despite the surprise of a new pattern of bullets raining down on her, Reimu adapts quickly. The shrine maiden adjusts her movements accordingly, jinking in all directions to avoid the barrages. Unlike before, her weaving isn’t perfect. You can see the occasional bullet glance Reimu’s body, the shrine maiden’s face twisting in annoyance with every hit.

The rabbit girl, Tewi, shouts back up at Reimu through cupped hands. “Four cards, right? Just think of this as one of hers. You’ll allow it, won’t you, Reimu?”

The shrine maiden’s response is swift. Talismans, needles, and Yin-Yang orbs fly, all launched directly at Mokou and Tewi. The two of them grimace in pain as all of Reimu’s shots land with perfect aim.

Spell card duels are simple. One person declares, the other dodges. A spell card requires concentration to keep in place, taxing the wielder the longer it’s in effect. This creates a time limit for the duels. Whoever gives into the pain or runs out of cards first is the loser. Byakuren’s simple explanation of Gensokyo’s non-lethal combat doesn’t match up with the reality at all.

At the rate this is going, you wonder what will happen. The situation is one giant clusterfuck, the sky filled with an ungodly amount of colors and projectiles. You’re fine so far, but a number of the ‘non-lethal’ shots have strayed far too close for comfort.

You can’t just stand around. Somebody is in the right, somebody is in the wrong, and you’re caught between them. What do you really want to do? What’s best to do in this ridiculous situation?

[ ] Shit has hit the fan, time to leave…
-[ ] And maybe Reisen should, too.
[ ] This isn’t your fight. Keep your head down…
-[ ] And Reisen’s too.
[ ] Two-on-one isn’t enough to take Reimu. Support Mokou and Tewi…
-[ ] By proxy. Good luck, Yoshika!
-[ ] Yourself. You have to try out those spell cards eventually.
-[ ] Your own way. It shouldn’t be illegal…
[ ] Two-on-one hardly seems fair. Support Reimu…
-[ ] By proxy. Good luck, Yoshika!
-[ ] Yourself. You have to try out those spell cards eventually.
-[ ] Your own way. It shouldn’t be illegal…
[ ] <Write-in>

---

If you choose to fight, the sub-options aren’t mutually exclusive. Go all out or choose only one, as you wish.

And man, that’s some ugly formatting. I should have figured out how to make the vote choices prettier.

>>163958
Boom, exploding body! Hahaha, get’s ‘em every time.

>>163969
Let’s see, how to reply…Yes.

>>163979
To you, maybe, but my naïve and innocent soul is simply excited to see a plethora of voters voicing their opinions.

Honestly, I agree that it seems a bit strange, but it isn’t outside the realm of possibility. My super secret verification process tells me that all is well. If people really start to get antsy about vote-spamming or the votes spin wildly out of my expectations, then I’ll go and bother the power-on-high about it.
>> No. 164060
[X] This isn’t your fight. Keep your head down…
-[X] And Reisen’s too.
--[X] Try and take the chance to talk to Reisen. Perhaps you'll manage to get some information out of her?
>> No. 164064
[X] This isn’t your fight. Keep your head down…
-[X] And Reisen’s too.
--[X] Try and take the chance to talk to Reisen. Perhaps you'll manage to get some information out of her?

No rabbit, you'll stay whether you like it or not.
>> No. 164068
[x] This isn’t your fight. Keep your head down…
-[x] And Reisen’s too.
--[x] Try and take the chance to talk to Reisen. Perhaps you'll manage to get some information out of her?

Well, I think I know what happened. Better take the chance to do some actual investigation while everyone else is starting fights like drunken assholes preoccupied. Bunny needs a sympathetic ear.
>> No. 164069
[x] This isn’t your fight. Keep your head down…
-[x] And Reisen’s too.
--[x] Try and take the chance to talk to Reisen. Perhaps you'll manage to get some information out of her?

I feel that if we keep standing in the middle of the fence, it will come back to bite us in the ass when we're in need of help. But we'd want to hear the suspect's version before picking a side.
>> No. 164070
[x] Two-on-one hardly seems fair. Support Reimu…
-[x] Yourself. You have to try out those spell cards eventually.
-[x] Distract Tewi , ease the pressure for Reimu , don't play hero, going against Mokou spells early doom.

I wouldn't come too close to Reisen right now, seems like a bad Idea, and Mokou being defensive of her sounds suspicious too.
>> No. 164075
[x] Two-on-one hardly seems fair. Support Reimu…
-[x] Yourself. You have to try out those spell cards eventually.
-[x] Distract Tewi , ease the pressure for Reimu , don't play hero, going against Mokou spells early doom.

Let the professional deal with Reisen.
>> No. 164079
>>164070
Suspicious how? Like she helped Reisen kill the guy? Or like she's protecting a distraught friend from being hassled? Think for a second.
>> No. 164081
[x] This isn’t your fight. Keep your head down…
-[X] And Reisen's too.
--[x] Try and take the chance to talk to Reisen. Perhaps you'll manage to get some information out of her?
---[X] Have Yoshika provide overwatch just in case things turn ugly.

I'm all for helping out Reimu, but I highly doubt that the MC will be able to do much. He implicitly told us that his magical capabilities are practically nil, and unless he starts pulling miracles out of his ass, the MC wouldn't be able to do much against Mokou and Tewi. And we're already trying to curry favor with Reimu; why would we try to go against her?

Even though it's posssible that Reisen's the one being hassled here, since Reimu can be wrong, it doesn't hurt to be cautious. If Reisen resists against the MC and tries to escape, at least Yoshika would be able to help us subdue her.
>> No. 164082
[x] This isn’t your fight. Keep your head down…

We don't have any experience with flying or spellcard duels. We'll probably be more of a handicap to Reimu rather than any kind of help.

Not sure what to do about the Reisen thing though.
>> No. 164084
>>164081
Mokou and Tewi aren't exactly playing fair, ganging up on Reimu like that.
Since MC is tagging along, he might as well get some practice in and distract the rabbit for a bit.
He might be weak, but Tewi's not exactly a paragon of strength either, and it should buy Reimu some time to put Mokou out.

...ah well, looks like I'm pissing against the tide this time...
>> No. 164090
[N] This isn’t your fight. Keep your head down…
-[N] And Reisen’s too.
--[N] Try and take the chance to talk to Reisen. Perhaps you'll manage to get some information out of her?
>> No. 164102
Actually, Why don't we send out Yoshika? I mean, she has experience with this kind of thing. Like when she dodged freaking Fantasy Heaven while carrying us. So she'll be much more help than we could be. And it evens the scales a bit.
>> No. 164106
>>164102

Actually, it was Scattered Spirit「Fantasy Seal -Fader」

Still an amazing feat, of course.
>> No. 164107
[x] Two-on-one hardly seems fair. Support Reimu…
-[X] Yourself. You have to try out those spell cards eventually.

I wonder how zombie bullets would look...
>> No. 164110
[x] Two-on-one hardly seems fair. Support Reimu…
-[x] Yourself. You have to try out those spell cards eventually.
-[x] Distract Tewi , ease the pressure for Reimu , don't play hero, going against Mokou spells early doom.

We might also wanna check to see if Yoshika has any of her own spellcards hidden between her breasts.
>> No. 164112
[ ] This isn’t your fight. Keep your head down…
-[ ] And Reisen’s too.

I like this Reimu and this is the best choice.
>> No. 164116
[x] Two-on-one hardly seems fair. Support Reimu…
-[x] Yourself. You have to try out those spell cards eventually. '
What kind of man lets a woman get double teamed?
Actually, don' answer that.
>> No. 164119
[x] This isn’t your fight. Keep your head down…
-[x] And Reisen’s too.
--[x] Try and take the chance to talk to Reisen. Perhaps you'll manage to get some information out of her? As gently as one could.

Something happened and Reisen assumed the worse due to Reimu's habits (shoot first ask questions sometime later)
>> No. 164135
[X] Two-on-one hardly seems fair. Support Reimu…
-[X] Yourself. You have to try out those spell cards eventually.
>> No. 164136
Why can't Necro pull a Seiga and tag-team with Yoshika?

3v2 gogogo. :V
>> No. 164139
>>164136

Because then we'd use up 2 of her 4 spell cards. And well, Reimu's would probably be better than anything we could pull out. Yoshika might help though.
>> No. 164143
>>164136
His overall talent/power isn't that good as he relies on what he's learned and various trinkets.
>> No. 164149
[x] This isn’t your fight. Keep your head down…
-[X] And Reisen's too.
--[x] Try and take the chance to talk to Reisen. Perhaps you'll manage to get some information out of her?
---[X] Have Yoshika provide overwatch just in case things turn ugly.
>> No. 164151
[x] This isn’t your fight. Keep your head down…
-[X] And Reisen's too.
--[x] Try and take the chance to talk to Reisen. Perhaps you'll manage to get some information out of her?

The fact that Reisen just tried to Blast us with Lunatic eyes makes her pretty suspicious from the get go and nobody would hold it against us if the noob stayed out of the fight and garner nobodies wrath if he simply kept an eye on the person in question. If he diecided to simply talk with her and get some info, then hey, nobody can hurt us for it.

That is if she's still here, she might have bolted while everybody was distracted.
>> No. 164176
>write in

While they're fighting over who gets to talk to Reisen, let's go talk to Reisen. The duel can provide comedic background, and Yoshika can be the muscle.

She's looking pretty damn guilty at this point, but she was willing to off herself. I'm guessing she was ordered to do it, and then ordered to conceal the source.
>> No. 164190
File 135752651614.jpg - (183.46KB , 1000x1413 , good-luck-beating-reimu-fairly.jpg ) [iqdb]
164190
You pull Yoshika by the hand and make for the food stand. You’ll have to wait this storm of magic out, and you’d rather like some cover. You almost get nailed in the face several times, but basic reflexes and Yoshika’s attention keep you relatively unscathed as you run.

“Reisen, move over a bit, will you?” You shout to the bunny who is still standing in front of the counter, just underneath the lip of the food stand’s roof.

She jumps, her eyes rapidly switching from watching the battle above her to your approach. Reisen is still shaking all over as she clutches her head. You can see her extended finger wildly veer and- Oh shit!

You dive for the ground, ungraciously avoiding the onrushing spray of bullets. That damn woman just shot at you! With her finger! That was completely uncalled for!

Get up off the dirt and stop her! What?

You look up just in time to see Yoshika collide with Reisen, the zombie barreling into the bunny at the speed of flight and sending them both tumbling over the counter. “Damn it! Yoshika, don’t eat her!”

Clambering to your feet, you close the distance to the stand while avoiding the stray projectiles landing around you. No good, no good, you’re too slow. The ten seconds it takes you is more than enough for the voracious zombie to devour a meal her size.

You hurdle the counter and land on the other side, magic flowing in preparation to save a life.

The sight that greets you is…well…

So adorable!

Yoshika is sitting with her back to the counter, her arms wrapped tight around Reisen’s body. The salesbunny is screaming and struggling with all her might but is unable to overcome the zombie’s strength. Her eyes are as useless as her trapped hands and legs.

Your zombie is also doing her damn best to follow your orders. Yoshika’s eyes are squeezed shut in concentration and her mouth is clamped down on her own upper arm. You can hear her grinding her teeth and sucking on her skin in a desperate attempt to avoid her hunger urges.

You really hope she doesn’t chew through her own arm or something.

Still, everything is stable for the moment. You can see the colorful duel in the air above you, but the countertop seems to be solid enough to block the majority of the stray barrages.

“Reisen!” You crawl over next to the rabbit girl to take better advantage of the counter’s protection.

Your voice doesn’t reach the girl at all. She’s still raving, desperate screams and grunts the only sounds she makes.

You grab the girl’s shoulders and shake her. “Hey, rabbit! Stop that!”

Reisen’s cries transform into wails. Her frenzied resistance breaks down and is replaced by uncontrolled shaking. Her entire body quivers in Yoshika’s grip, her head rapidly shaking from side to side.

We have an unstable girl here and the first thing you try is to shout at her? How else are you supposed to get her to hear- Comfort her!

You draw back from the rabbit and re-asses your approach. “Hey, Reisen?” Your voice is quieter this time, as soothing as you can make it.

Are you sure you know what you’re doing, now? Cautiously, you reach forward and try to shift Yoshika’s grip. The zombie glances at you for a second before she catches on and moves her arms to loosely wrap around Reisen’s stomach, allowing you to gently grip Reisen’s hands. “Hey, Reisen?”

No good. The hysterical girl is completely out of it. You feel like you could hold a knife to her throat and she wouldn’t care. You’re useless. Calm her down for pity’s sake. Just follow my instructions. You should-

“T’was grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace, my fears relieved.”

You can feel the shaking in Reisen’s hands slow. Not just in her hands, but the rest of her body, too.

“How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed.”

With the noise of the spell card duel tuned out, you can hear Reisen’s wails lessen. The rabbit girl’s insane gibberish and wracking sobs quiet to light hiccups.

“Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come.”

The slightest twinge of movement is noticeable. Reisen’s fingers curl slightly, cautiously returning your grip.

“‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”

You open your eyes and look at Reisen. The rabbit is looking directly at you, without any shaking of her head or tormented screams. She’s staring right at you, madness-inducing gaze bright as ever. Against the red glow, you can see the tears rolling down her cheeks.

“Hey, Reisen? What’s wrong?”

Reisen’s eyes wobble, and then fresh tears are sent streaming down her face. She cries and cries, a sad and pathetic elegy to her fears. “I-I-I-I din’t waaaaant to-!”

You kneel patiently and listen to Reisen as she cries. “H-H-He wash hurt s-so-so I-I t-tried t-to heeelp! B-But it d-didn’t, I-I-I c-couldn’t t-t-he blood and the st-stench and h-he-waaaah!”

Reisen grips your hands tighter and refuses to let go. You listen as carefully as you can and puzzle together Reisen’s story, all while trying to calm her down with the songs from your past.

From what you can figure out, Reisen was heading into the village to sell her wares, as per usual, when she spotted the dead man in the field. At the time, he was still very much alive and conscious, albeit horrifically injured.

Reisen falls into hysterics when she tries to describe the man’s wounds. It takes several minutes to calm her down to the point where she can continue.

From her screamed testimony, you know Reisen found the man with his chest torn open, but heart still beating. He was crying in pain, mind too far gone to do much more than groan. When the salesbunny cracked open the supplies she was meant to sell, the situation devolved. Whether he reacted poorly to the medication meant to stabilize his condition or there was some other sinister magic at play, his heart quite literally exploded in Reisen’s face.

That sent the rabbit scrambling back to whence she came, to wander the bamboo forest. “B-B-But I-I c-couldn’t go ba-back so soon ‘cause I-I h-had a job a-a-and m-ma-master would j-just make me f-f-forget it all agaaaain!”

From there, stumbling about in the bamboo forest, her friend Tewi found her. The little black-haired rabbit guided the distraught Reisen over to Mokou’s place to rest up, where they were until you and Reimu crashed the party.

Oh, speak of the devil.

You manage to unhook Reisen’s hands from your own and stand up. Stalking towards you is the victor of the spell card duel.

You spy Mokou collapsed on the ground some distance away, trying to rise to her feet but failing miserably. Tewi is faring better as she wobbles on her feet, dizzily swaying from side to side.

The Hakurei shrine maiden is not unscathed, though. Her skimpy clothing has become that much more revealing, fabric torn and burnt away from the duel. Her skin is marred with gashes and the beginnings of bruises.

Oh, she looks livid, too. The fire in her eyes and the anger contained in her snarl ranks pretty high on your ‘Most pissed off woman’ list.

Well, the monster is walking right at you. Great. “Good job, Reimu! I knew you’d beat them!”

You try to duck the Yin-Yang orb thrown at you, but end up getting smashed to the ground. It’s really painful, to say the least. It’s easier to just lie on your back then try to get up.

Your reflexes feel dull – whatever eyes Reisen has, prolonged exposure has apparently taken its toll. Your basic protections obviously weren’t strong enough. That’s what you get for underestimating her.

Well, it’s too late for regrets. Reimu hops over the counter and turns to face Reisen. The rabbit isn’t hysterically pointing her finger at anybody, but she’s broken. In her defeated state, she can’t put up any resistance to the shrine maiden. You can’t muster the energy to lift your head and look at Reisen, but you know that she’s in no state to fight.

Damn. Whether Reisen is innocent or not, everybody is getting their lumps today. For your manly pride, you can’t let the girls get it worse than you. “Hey, Reimu.”

The shrine maiden pauses and turns at the hip. She glares down at you.

“Are your panties supposed to be pink, or did you accidentally throw them in the wash with the rest of your clothes?”

The shrine maiden grabs a fist of your shirt and hauls you up with one arm. Don’t you feel special, owning one-hundred percent of Reimu’s attention. At least she looks pretty even when she’s bruised and furious.

Nice work, Hero.

This is rough business. You’d like to go back to skulking in dark corners, please.

Too late for that.

Well, there are worse ways to go.

---

The mood is fatigued while everybody rests at Mokou’s food stand. The white-haired owner is leaning against the wall after having set out some food and drinks. Everybody else is seated at the counter, with Yoshika sitting in your lap due to lack of chairs.

This was a loss for everybody, you think. Nobody came out unscathed. Even poor Yoshika, who had tried to attack Reimu after your little stunt, took a beating. She’s been sulking quite a bit, her pleased smile replaced by an unhappy frown. You’ll have to patch her up again to replace the burnt skin and various needle holes in her body.

Naturally, with everybody protecting Reisen taken out, Reimu had free-reign to question her suspect. When you managed to regain consciousness, Reisen was sitting dazed and beaten while Reimu was looking completely unsatisfied.

You were too afraid to bring the subject up, but the general mood seemed to be of acquittal. If Reimu wasn’t taking any drastic action, you suppose she thinks nobody in the clearing is a murderer. You aren’t too sure yourself. There are still way too many factors to consider. You try and think nicely of the generally pleasant residents of Gensokyo, but the paranoia that everybody around you is lying won’t leave you after years of mistrust.

No matter what you think, the end result is that everybody is nursing their injuries in a relatively calm state of mind, without any serious animosity.

“You’re usually pretty pleasant, Reimu. Why can’t you stay that way even when you’re working?” Tewi looks pretty good compared to everybody else. You get the feeling that despite her dramatics, she bowed out of the fight sooner than she had to and avoided the worst of it. Tricky little rabbit.

Reimu responds quietly. She isn’t angry anymore, but she isn’t relaxed, either. She looks contemplative while she nurses her cup of tea. “This is serious. Really serious.”

“Are deaths that uncommon in Gensokyo?” With all the absurd powers in the area, you would’ve thought the situation would be much more unstable. If the powers in Europe had half the ability of those in Gensokyo, you imagine somebody would be marching on a crusade to wipe out their ancestral enemies.

Tewi speaks through a mouth half-stuffed with food. “Ever since Reimu came into power, yeah. She keeps everybody in line pretty well.”

“So was Gensokyo more lawless before her time?”

“I wouldn’t say lawless, but we had different problems back then. When the Hakurei were at the height of their power, they didn’t care so much about good relations. They didn’t need to. That rankled more than a few people.”

The current balance of power is due to Reimu? Well, it’s probably more complicated than that, but the lone Hakurei shrine maiden is still a major factor. The teenaged girl impresses you more and more every time you hear of her.

After bumming around for another half hour, Reimu abruptly stands. “Going home.”

The shrine maiden’s declaration causes everybody else to rise. Tewi bats Reisen on the arm and gives her a little shove. “Go on home, Reisen. You need to rest.”

“Y-Yeah…” The purple-haired rabbit glances over her shoulder, still obviously nervous about going anywhere.

“Get out of here, all of you. Look at the mess I need to clean-up.” Mokou waves a hammer around. The spell card duel didn’t cause too much damage, but there are still some holes in the ground and in the house.

“What? You don’t want my help?” Tewi hops up onto the counter and draws close to Mokou.

“No, you damn rabbit. You’ll just try to shift the work onto those useless bunnies and make me take five times as much effort.”

“Fine, fine, I’ll leave.”

With everybody set to do their own things, what are you going to do? You’re a bit beat up, but still in pretty good condition. Any shakiness from Reisen’s eyes is long gone, and getting plastered by Reimu hasn’t had any long-term effects. There are plenty of things you want to get done and people you want to speak with, but you can’t be everywhere at once.

[ ] Accompany Reimu back to her shrine
[ ] Escort Reisen home to Eientei
[ ] Follow Tewi through the bamboo forest
[ ] Head back to Suzunaan to speak with Akyuu and Kosuzu
[ ] Help Mokou clean-up her home
[ ] Return to the temple early
[ ] Trek through wilderness and work on Yoshika
[ ] Try and figure out where Kotohime took the body
[ ] <Write-in>

---

If there’s something you want to get done, be it preparation or asking questions, feel free to specify as always.

>>164106
It’s about the only spell card from Reimu I can reliably clear. No horrible boxy curvy border crap with intricate patterns, just simple straight lines and twitch reflexes.

>>164107
Well, you’ll have to keep wondering. Maybe a long time; for a necromancer trying to hide his profession, creating a dozen zombie-themed spell cards doesn’t seem like the lowest profile move.

>>164110
She’s certainly got them stashed somewhere.

>>164136
Because my readers are a bunch of unmanly wimps! Or they’re smart and can think about things. Maybe a bit of both.

>>164176
Is this meant to be a vote, or a general comment on what others are voting for?

I’d appreciate boxes for sentences that are a vote. It makes sure that I don’t screw up whatever it is you want to do, or mix up your speculation with your action.
>> No. 164191
[] Help Mokou clean up.
>> No. 164192
>>164190
First,
[ ] Help Mokou clean-up her home
Then,
[ ] Try and figure out where Kotohime took the body
And,
[ ] Find the man's ghost and question him
Finally,
[ ] Head back to Suzunaan to speak with Akyuu and Kosuzu
>> No. 164193
[X] Help Mokou clean-up her home and
[X] Work on Yoshika
>> No. 164194
[ ] Help Mokou clean-up her home

It's mostly the characterization I read stories here. More characters then!
>> No. 164195
[X] Help Mokou clean-up her home and
[X] Explore, get materials and work on Yoshika

Those two are not mutually exclusive, right?
>> No. 164197
[X] Help Mokou clean-up her home and
[X] Work on Yoshika

Get some cleaning done.
>> No. 164198
First things first.
[X] Help Mokou clean up her home.

We will likely get another choice on what to do afterward.
>> No. 164204
[X] Help Mokou clean-up her home
[X] Trek through wilderness and work on Yoshika

Gotta be a good guest after this clusterfuck and moe zombie has helped us way too much for us to not return the favor.
>> No. 164216
[X] Help Mokou clean-up her home
[X] Trek through wilderness and work on Yoshika
[x] Then try to figure out where Kotohime took the body (sometime, if not today)

I wish there was something we could do for Reisen but other things call first. But boy Bitchy Reimu is bitchy; she could have at least ask what we were doing before throwing that orb at us.
>> No. 164219
[x] Escort Reisen home to Eientei
You might want to ask some questions and all that. Eyes on target
>> No. 164222
[X] Help Mokou clean-up her home
-[X] Repair Yoshika if you have time
--[X] If you still have time after that, search for Kotohime and the body.

Because Mokou and Moe Zombie.
>> No. 164224
In this order:
[X] Help Mokou clean-up her home
-[X] Trek through wilderness and work on Yoshika
--[X]Practice with your spellcards

We appear to have a short respite in between incidents, so it would be nice for us to get a little spell card experience so that we can know our abilities if we end up in a similar combat situation. This has to be our priority; the MC STILL hasn't developed any combat abilities, and I doubt that the incidents where he has to fight will show him much mercy.
>> No. 164225
[X] Help Mokou clean-up her home
-[X] Trek through wilderness and work on Yoshika
--[X]Practice with your spellcards

Mokou deserves the help, perhaps we can share more stories.
>> No. 164240
>>164224
not sure if the spell card thing would exactly help as he lacks power. And there's the fact he's keeping his profession underwraps, which would get in the way of visualizing spell cards.
>> No. 164241
[x] Follow Tewi through the bamboo forest

Bad end hunting?
>> No. 164250
>>164240

That may be true, but the MC may eventually be forced into a combat situation in which Yoshika is not be available to assist him. I'm not expecting him to be able to be a proficient fighter, but since we have this respite between incidents, we should take it instead of simply ignoring a training opportunity. After all, the predominant vote, helping Mokou clean up her house, should be merely one of the things that we can do in order to pass the time. If the MC doesn't have the time to practice his spell cards because something urgent occurs, then so be it, but we shouldn't waste this window of opportunity.
>> No. 164260
>>164250
We've been putting off fixing up Yoshika for a while and having her look less "dead"-ish would be helpful.

Though it reminds me why Seiga abandoned her.
>> No. 164262
>>164224
>spellcards
What's the point? Necroanon can't fly yet. Any danmaku comes his way hardcore, he's going down.

>>164241
Oi! You stole my line!
...I like that.

[N] Help Mokou clean-up her home
-[N] Trek through wilderness and work on Yoshika
>> No. 164281
>>164260
We already fixed up Yoshika's outsides, doing her insides would take an isolated place and a lot of time.

Hey, maybe Eintei would allow us to use one of their surgery rooms for helping resolve this situation? Failing that, I'm sure a hospital would like to have someone with our talents around.

[x]Escort Reisen to Eintei, then see if we can't use the facilities.
>> No. 164310
>>164281
The implication was that he could do it better with the right prep; what he did earlier was a quick patch up. Would you kindly not be distracted by the moon rabbit?
>> No. 164325
>>164310
I'm honestly not trying to nail the bunny.

I just think that if we're gonna perform surgery, then a surgery room would be the best place to do it in.

Also, we're dirt poor but have exceptional healing talents. There's a great place to get a job just over there.
>> No. 164380
>>164325
You. I like your line of thought about employment and useful facilities. And really, wouldn't skilled medical professionals have at least SOME value in making our sister a new body once we figure out a way to put her in one?

[x]Escort Reisen to Eintei, then see if we can't use the facilities.
>> No. 164384
>>164380
I don't think Eirin would appreciate someone working on a corpse in her place.
>> No. 164388
>>164384
Why? She's a professional..oh, the Shinto obsession with purity that the civilization she helped found takes to the next level...hm.

Will probobly deepens if she wants to get back at Seiga. For something and it she sees helping yoshika as helping or hurting Swigs.
>> No. 164401
>>164388
That or the whole thing catching her interest enough to allow it. I'm just hoping the trip amounts to more than just Moon Bunny time.
>> No. 164405
File 135811692672.jpg - (524.08KB , 562x800 , one-thousand-years-of-social-awkwardness.jpg ) [iqdb]
164405
You casually stroll over to the counter and lean over it. With a quick flick of your wrist, you snatch the hammer from Mokou’s hand and begin to saunter over to her home.

With the kind of power the spell cards put out, you were really expecting the shack to go up in flames or get reduced to rubble. A few tiny holes and a gutter knocked off its supports are pretty trivial. You suppose that the spell card system’s non-lethality helps reduce collateral damage as well. You can’t imagine patching things up would take very long.

“And you’re doing what?” Mokou asks with an eyebrow raised, her hands resting in her pants pockets.

“Helping you clean-up. I think I’m a bit more responsible than a rabbit.”

“Definitely not as sensible. The little rabbits know better than to interrupt Reimu’s work.” Mokou walks over and plucks the hammer from your hand. “I appreciate the help. I keep spare wood behind the house. Grab some for me, will you?”

As simply as that, the two of you begin to work. Reimu leaves without another word, Tewi disappears in an instant, and Reisen nervously walks down the path of the bamboo forest. You’re a bit worried about the bunny, but she’s competent enough. She’ll be fine between her eyes and her hand pistol.

You dump a pile of spare wood at Mokou’s feet. She thanks you, puts on a tool belt, and flies to the damage higher up. You send Yoshika up with her, the zombie capable of holding onto the handsaw and other things Mokou needs. “If I recall correctly, someone else here tried to interrupt Reimu’s work as well.”

“I’m guilty, can’t argue with that.” The repairs move along swiftly. Mokou is obviously experienced at repairing her home, alone. You laugh when she instinctively flies downwards to grab something that is being conveniently held by Yoshika.

Measure, cut, remove, cut, place, nail, paint, repeat. While Mokou and Yoshika tend to the house, you take care of the landscaping. Filling holes in the dirt with your hand-dandy collapsible shovel is your specialty, after all.

After an hour of work, everything is back into the state it was before the duel. Mokou’s shack is still shabby and the ground is still a patchwork of grass and overturned dirt. Excellent work, in your opinion.

You’re rewarded for your efforts with delicious grilled chicken and iced tea. Mokou stands behind the counter of her food stand while you relax in one of the chairs. Yoshika is still sitting in your lap, despite the available seating; it makes eating your own snack a hassle.

Mokou leans forward and refills your drink. “I have to say, you surprised me. Sure didn’t expect singing in that kind of situation.”

“You heard that?” That’s kind of embarrassing. You don’t have the voice to sing well.

“Of course. I was only half-focused on Reimu, and it’s not like you were singing a lullaby. I didn’t understand the words, but the song sounded like it should be happy. You made it pretty depressing. The kind of thing you sing when you march off to death.”

“My mentor liked to sing on the job. She wasn’t involved in the daintiest line of work.” Her songs were just another quirk. If she wasn’t knocking heads in or shouting her battle cries, she was singing Lordly songs as she marched through spooky woods. Her confident and comforting singing is something you relied on while you were young and inexperienced. You figured Reisen could use the boost as much as you once did.

Thinking about the rabbit girl, you really need some perspective on the issue. “What do you think about what happened?”

“About what? The squabble with Reimu or what happened with Reisen?”

“Both, if you don’t mind. I don’t know anybody here well-enough to make judgments.”

“Pretty fair-minded of you; you don’t see much of that in humans. Let’s see…” Mokou taps her hand idly against the counter while she talks through her thoughts. “I don’t think Reisen murdered the poor sap, whoever he was. She might be a moon-freak, but she’s got a kind heart. Sure, she’s done things in the past, but so has everybody else. I think she’s enjoying her life here more than anything else she’s done. Besides, she’s pretty shrewd herself. I can’t imagine she would kill a guy in a way that would lead Reimu to her doorstep unless it was an accident.”

Has she murdered people before? Please don’t ask her that.

You won’t. You aren’t going to dig into Mokou’s friend’s past. There’s a chance you’ll tick off the white-haired firebrand. Besides, with the honesty overflowing in Mokou’s tone, she makes it sound like whatever Reisen has done is from long, long ago.

However, there’s one thing you need to know. “So she’s actually, well, from the moon?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah. Kaguya and her merry band fled here to the Earth and have caused nothing but stinking trouble for us. What’s worse is that they keep attracting more lunatics. I swear, those jumpy moon rabbits have caused me too much agony with their crazy weapons.”

They’re aliens. The first kind of extraterrestrial life that humanity makes contact with is a rabbit? From the moon? How can they live in a place with no atmosphere? For that matter, why haven’t we- Keep your focus, Bro. I can’t believe you’re hung up on this when you’re slinging magic around like it’s nothing.

Fine. “Is that other rabbit, Tewi, from the moon too?”

“Nope. Tewi’s an Earth rabbit, an ancient one. I’ve known her since I’ve been out on my own. She cut a deal with Eirin, so her and her rabbits help out at Eientei. You can’t confuse the Earth ones from the moon ones. Our rabbits are mostly useless but fun to be around. The moon rabbits…well, even ignoring what some have been through, they’re all too uptight. Crazy animals, the lot of them.”

Mokou chows down on some of her own cooking before continuing. “Now, about Reimu. I don’t really put her at fault either. She’s solely responsible for far too much a girl her age. I can’t imagine the stress she deals with. If she could drop her duties without repercussion, I have no doubt she’d laze around and sip tea all day. She deserves it, too.”

You nod in agreement. “I can see that. Teenagers should be enjoying themselves, not falling into such serious situations.”

Mokou points a skewer at you and twirls it around. “Talking from experience again?”

“Maybe.” You ask all the questions you want but can’t answer them. How sad.

The white-haired woman raises her hands non-threateningly. “No need to be defensive. I agree with you, by the way. From experience.”

She’s a strange woman. Mokou looks rather young, maybe around your age despite her long white hair. Her little hints make you think she’s traveled quite a bit, yet she lives in the middle of a bamboo forest in rather shabby conditions. Her fire magic, especially those majestic burning wings, was a surprise.

And this queasy feeling you get from her. What is it? You glanced at her with your mage sight during her duel, but couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary. If something was majorly wrong with her, a magical barrage couldn’t mask it.

“I thought you were an upright guy, but I guess I was wrong.”

“Huh?” You heard her, but don’t understand.

You were staring at her. Is that all? You were staring at her breasts, to be specific. And they are very nice.

After a mental slap, you refocus on Mokou. “Oh. Sorry. I wasn’t looking at those.”

The way Mokou leans forward against the counter causes some interesting- Stop it. “Really? I can’t imagine what else a man would be looking at.”

“Well, it’s just…” You aren’t sure how to phrase it if you don’t understand what ‘it’ is.

“Hey, say whatever you want, I won’t get mad. I mean, sure there are things I could get mad about, but you probably won’t bring them up. I don’t have too many scruples or anything, which is a pretty big problem according to Keine because that apparently bothers some of the villagers but I don’t see why they have to worry about every little thing like the constant need for clothes or- Urk.”

The woman stops short and stumbles backward. She throws an arm over her face and steadies herself. “Are you okay?” You ask.

Mokou drops her arm and sticks her hand back into her pocket. She steps back up to the counter and coughs. “Y-Yeah. Uh, go ahead. What about me?”

“You’re weird.” Nicely put.

“Thanks, I appreciate it.” A flippant response, neither angry nor surprised.

You stare into Mokou’s red eyes. What is it about her? “Whenever I look at you, I can’t help but feel off.”

This is annoying you. Really, really annoying you.

Mokou fidgets and absently straightens her ridiculously long hair. Your eyes are probably filled with magic now, completely dark green in color. It would scare the hell out of any normal person, and tip off your activities to any supernatural individual.

You’re unashamedly looking at Mokou with your mage sight but still can’t place your finger on what is bothering you. I don’t even understand what’s wrong. I don’t notice anything special about her.

With how concentrated you are, it takes you a moment to realize that Mokous is mumbling. “Am I really that repulsive? Sure, I mean, I don’t exactly shower as much as I should and my home is bit run down, but I didn’t think it was that bad. I know Keine is always badgering me about it but-”

“No, you’re attractive. That’s not what I’m talking about.”

“W-W-Wha-” Mokou could be dying the way she’s spluttering. She manages to get control of herself eventually. “What are you trying to get at?”

You sigh and give up on analyzing Mokou. “I don’t know. I don’t think it’s the fire thing. How did you do that, anyway? I didn’t think you were a magician.”

Back on comfortable ground, Mokou lazily leans against the counter once more. “I’m not. Magic is for snobby court officials that always try and lord their superiority over you or the talented girls that could spin a man around their finger with charms or those insufferable kids who think they’re so much better because their parents shower them with praise or-” You lean away when Mokou drops her forehead to the counter.

Is she okay?

You think so.

Mokou stands up after a few seconds. “Ahem. I guess I figured out how to work with it after burning for a few years.”

“Would this be metaphorical burning and metaphorical years?”

“No and no.”

“Sorry, I don’t follow.”

“I was still young and naïve back then. And a little distraught, I guess. Maybe a lot distraught. Enough to throw myself into a forest fire. Multiple times. It didn’t do much for me.” A wistful smile filled with memories appears on Mokou’s face. The reason for it is completely nonsensical to you.

She must notice the look of absolute confusion on your face because she chuckles. “I’m immortal. Does that clear things up?”

Oh, an immortal. That fits.

Hey, don’t freak- Why the hell is she an immortal? Throwing herself into fire? She’s crazy! Wait, when she was joking about jumping off a mountain and dying and…crazy, crazy, crazy. Oh damn, she’s a crazy flying fire slinging red eye staring funny feeling inducing-

Calm down!

You’re calm. Perfectly calm.

Yeah, no. Get it together you dumb idiot.

Mokou isn’t that bad, you guess. For someone who’s apparently immortal, she is much more grounded in reality than you would expect. A pleasant lady, all things considered.

Immortality could explain the wrongness about her. You haven’t encountered this feeling before, but Mokou might have a very particular type of immortality. The few immortals you have met were the never-age and practically-invulnerable types. If Mokou is consistently confronting death, that’s the kind of thing you might be able to instinctively recognize. You should hang up your license if you couldn’t.

The fiery immortal nudges your glass of tea. “Hey, you still there?”

“Immortal, huh?” You let the idea sit on your tongue a moment longer before deciding it isn’t a big deal in this case. Mokou doesn’t exhibit any of the arrogance you’ve seen in others. “How old are you?”

“Isn’t it supposed to be rude to ask a woman’s age?”

It is.

You blink. “Maybe, but I usually ask anyway.”

Mokou laughs. “Yeah, I don’t see why people get hissy over it. It’s over a thousand years, but I’m too lazy to calculate it exactly. Now, about you.”

“Me?”

“You’re some kind of necromancer? Do you…’like’ corpses?”

Oh no! Stop right there you paranoid little pyscho!

You grunt under the weight of your sister’s mental pressure. When she decides to throw her power around, you can’t do much to stop it. Hell, you’ve had the sinking suspicion that she could simply take control of your body from you now that she’s had time to adjust and practice. You think she sticks to advice because she feels bad if she manipulates you directly. Good thing she loves you.

Still, muzzling your emotions was uncalled for. Was it? You were about to rant and rave about your oh so secret identity being ousted, weren’t you? I’m tired of dealing with it.

That…might be true.

Whatever, Mokou is nice enough. You let the issue drop and move on to the other worrying question the immortal had. “Do I what?”

“Well, you know.” After giving her the stare of ‘No I have no idea what you’re smoking,’ Mokou freely starts to talk. “I never had a chance to meet one before. A necromancer, that is. You seem like the right kind of sort, but I snuck a few books out of mom’s library and there were some really weird things there and, actually, now that I think about it that stuff was way too lewd for a kid like I was and honestly, the entire premise of the books were highly suspect to-”

Mokou turns her head and coughs. “Do you, uh, fool around with that girl?”

That’s it. You lose it and let the laughter overtake you.

“Hey, what’s so funny?”

“How are you over a thousand and still embarrassed by this?”

“I-I’m not embarrassed by anything as n-natural as that that! Er…”

“Sure, sure. Anyway, no, I don’t ‘fool around’ with Yoshika. She’s my sweet companion.” You wrap your arms around the zombie sitting on your lap. Yoshika practically purrs as she lightly grabs onto your hands. “How do you know about me, anyway? My style of magic?”

Mokou smirks. “I guessed. Correctly, it seems.”

Damn her. Damn you, for confirming her suspicions so easily.

“Sulking now? That’s what happens when you let a zombie hang off of you.”

“She doesn’t even look like one that much…” You grumble to yourself and ignore any of Mokou’s further verbal jabs. You let your attention drift to Yoshika. “You’ve done a lot for me, haven’t you? I should really put aside some time to give you a complete work over. At the very least patch up the damage Reimu did to you.”

“You need anything special for that? I’ve got quite a few tools,” Mokou offers.

“No, I have everything I’d need.”

“Need a place to work, then? Like a bed or something?”

“A clean place to work is best, yeah.”

The immortal nods and hops over the counter. She waves for you to follow her as she walks back to the door of her house. “Come on in then.”

“Hold on. I can’t just do that.”

“Sure you can, I don’t see the problem. I can clean up a little mess. Or is something else wrong?”

This might be the best chance you get. You don’t want to work outside, do you?

No, you don’t. Working outside is fine for quick and dirty procedures, but Yoshika deserves more than that.

Don’t tell me this is a trust thing again.

It might be. You only met Mokou earlier today and spent barely any time with her. Why would she offer her home up so easily?

She’s nice. She’s thankful for your help, both to her and her friend. You’ll be able to work in a safe and clean environment; I don’t see how you can pass up on the opportunity.

Yoshika hops off your lap and allows you to stand. The two of you follow Mokou into her house. “Thanks.”

“No problem. I’m curious to see what you do, too, if you don’t mind me watching?”

“If you aren’t disgusted then it’s fine.”

The interior of Mokou’s home matches with the outside. The floors and walls aren’t dirty, but they aren’t pristine either. The furniture, from the chairs to the cabinets, looks weathered from age. It actually feels more comfortable than you’d expect. The well-loved home couldn’t be sinister if it tried.

Mokou leads you past the kitchen and bathroom to the final room of the house. Mokou’s bedroom is much the same as the rest. You wonder how long she has inhabited this little section of the bamboo forest.

With little prompting, Yoshika lies down on the bed and lets her arms relax at her sides. Mokou drags a chair from her kitchen and sits in the doorway to watch. You alternate between standing and kneeling while you work.

A general inspection shows that Reimu didn’t cause much damage to Yoshika while you were out. A few sealing charms that left behind burn marks are the most obvious injury. The zombie also took a handful of needles to the base of her neck. The holes aren’t bad but considering their position, Yoshika can only dress in collared clothes if you don’t fix them. Everything else still seems to be fine, though. Your work from the previous morning is still holding strong. Any of the undamaged areas of Yoshika’s skin are fine, your magic enhancements keeping the texture and luster in good order.

Mokou’s hesitant voice from behind distracts you. “O-On second thought, y-you sure you don’t want privacy?”

“No! This isn’t inappropriate, damn it!” You’re just running your hands over Yoshika’s body to-

You let out a breath and continue with your work. It isn’t a problem to cover-up the minor injuries Yoshika received. Sealing together her skin then throwing on those anti-rot and coloring enhancements takes little effort. The question becomes, should you take the time to do more?

You aren’t disillusioned to your situation. After everything is said and done, Yoshika is your most reliable ally in Gensokyo. She has a strong attachment, and is capable of all sorts of useful things from flight to keeping watch during the night. The more time you spend on her, the more you could make her better; not just making her look like a living young woman, but adding to her strength or her magical abilities as well. The possibilities are virtually limitless.

On the other hand, you can’t expect her to help you forever. There are plenty of situations where Yoshika might not be able to aid you. She might even leave you of her own accord, although you don’t see that happening given her present mentality.

The chance, though, makes you consider yourself. You’re an experienced necromancer that, overall, seems to be completely unsuited to Gensokyo’s climate. Under the table dealings, if executed poorly, would just bring Reimu down on your head. The spell card system is a powerful negotiating tool, perhaps the only one that carries little risk. You can’t dismiss it like you had when Byakuren first helped you make your spell cards. If you’re going to be successful on your own then you need to be ready to duel and win.

The final fact on your mind at the moment is Reisen and your personal search. The situation isn’t really resolved in the slightest. Sure, you can continue to investigate another day, perhaps check-in on what Reimu or Kotohime discover, but that’s far too passive for your liking. There’s a prime opportunity to pursue a first-hand witness, right now. The bunny wasn’t exactly hopping to get home. You might even catch her if she’s still meandering around. Besides, the more you hear about Eientei, the more you grow curious. The immortals there might not even be that bad considering Mokou’s personality. A lunar doctor and princess – what kind of useful things might they have? Your imagination is going wild at the prospect of alien technology.

Thinking about firsthand witnesses, the dead man is still on your mind as well. An autopsy cannot last that long. If you can figure out where the body is stored, summoning the dead man’s spirit for questioning is still a possibility. Your preparations would be delayed, but you can still make it before tomorrow’s sun rise if you work efficiently.

[ ] Give Yoshika some tender love and care…
-[ ] In Mokou’s home
-[ ] Somewhere secluded
[ ] Get practicing with those spell cards…
-[ ] And ask Mokou for help
-[ ] In private, without prying eyes
[ ] Go after Reisen…
-[ ] Slowly; there’s no need to rush
-[ ] Quickly; you want to catch her while she’s alone
[ ] Look for the dead man’s corpse and…
-[ ] Prepare to summon his spirit before morning
-[ ] Keep something of his, but don’t work through the night
[ ] <Write-in>

---

If you have any specific work in mind for Yoshika, I’m willing to take ideas. Laser eyes, super strength, fire hands, something else, whatever. Even if you don’t vote for the option, you can throw your idea into the mix.

Yes, this is purposefully vague. Yes, I’ll be altering any suggestions or using my own to make them fit. Yes, there is a reason I’m asking. No, I won’t tell you the purpose of this message.

Of course, don’t let this distract you from the other vote options. As always, interesting times are waiting on every path.

>>164195
If the options don’t seem mutually exclusive then there’s probably some leeway, but expect time to be a limiting factor. In this case, it’s mutually exclusive between the votes.

>Spell card duels
Everybody is making fair points here. I realize I’ve been more than my share of vague on this matter, so I’ll throw a few facts into the mix.
1) Spell card duels are less magically intensive and more skill based/willpower intensive in nature. The system is meant to be an equalizing force, after all.
2) A human can visualize more than just their profession to create a spell card. You won’t necessarily nuke your cover by launching a thousand disembodied heads if you get into a duel.
3) A lack of a flight is a pretty big disadvantage if you’re dueling honestly, but there are plenty of ways to capitalize on your opponent without it.
>> No. 164406
[x] Give Yoshika some tender love and care…
-[x] In Mokou’s home
[x] Get practicing with those spell cards…
-[x] And ask Mokou for help

I think we can trust Mokou. Personality-wise, she seems an awful lot like us. Anyway, I'd like us to work on Yoshika to the best of our ability, then see if Mokou can help us with our combat ability with any time that remains.

On the subject of spell-cards, didn't Seiga have a couple where she basically summoned Yoshika to assist? Maybe we can do the same. For the time being, Yoshika is our primary defense in Gensokyo.

And I just plain like the little zombie/xiang shi
>> No. 164408
[x] Give Yoshika some tender love and care…
-[x] In Mokou’s home
[x] Get practicing with those spell cards…
-[x] And ask Mokou for help

If I'm correct, all we need is a few hours for the MC to develop and gauge his ability with spell cards. After that, he can probably leave that aside for a while until things get a lot more deadly later on.
>> No. 164409
To be specific, you only have time for one of the offered options before nightfall. I'll take the first one you voted for, so change it if you need to.

>>164406
Not just the spell cards, Yoshika was with Seiga during the entire duel.
>> No. 164410
>>164409

Derp. My mistake. >>164406 here. Just the first option, then. I can't help it, I just love our little zombie companion.
>> No. 164411
[N] Give Yoshika some tender love and care…
-[N] In Mokou’s home
Doubling do~wn!
>> No. 164412
[x] Give Yoshika some tender love and care…
-[x] In Mokou’s home

I figure the main goals besides making her look more living is fixing the joint issue. Though some added strength wouldn't be bad.
>> No. 164413
[x] Give Yoshika some tender love and care…
-[x] In Mokou’s home
--[x] Make sure to shield from any outside interference from other necromancers, like her previous master, you'd like her will to remain her own.
--[x] Super speed (she already has super strength)
>> No. 164415
[ ] Give Yoshika some tender love and care…
-[ ] In Mokou’s home

I must!
>> No. 164417
[X] Give Yoshika some tender love and care…
-[X] In Mokou’s home.
--[X] Ask Mokou for some quick tips on danmaku before you leave.
---[X] If she's not a magician, how exactly does she fly?

I think there should be time for some quick words, even if we don't have a full training session?
>> No. 164418
[x] Give Yoshika some tender love and care…
-[x] In Mokou’s home
--[x] Make sure to shield from any outside interference from other necromancers, like her previous master, you'd like her will to remain her own.
--[x] Super speed (she already has super strength)

I was thinking of Heat-Beam eyes but this will probably work better.
>> No. 164419
[ ] ZOMBIEPORNOOO!
-[ ] ...at an immortal's hou-*shot*
Sorry, couldn't help it.

[X] Give Yoshika some tender love and care…
-[X] In Mokou’s home
--[X] Mokou said she just "learned" how to deal with fire. Maybe she can share some secrets with us for Yoshika?
[X] Get practicing with those spell cards…
-[X] And ask Mokou for help
>> No. 164420
[ ] Give Yoshika some tender love and care…
-[ ] In Mokou’s home
>> No. 164421
[x] Give Yoshika some tender love and care…
-[x] In Mokou’s home
-- [x] Ask Yoshika if she has any specific suggestions

Remember how happy she was when her arms worked again? She might have some good ideas.
>> No. 164422
>>164419
You win an internet, good sir.

[x] Give Yoshika some tender love and care…
-[x] In Mokou’s home
--[x] Make sure to shield from any outside interference from other necromancers, like her previous master, you'd like her will to remain her own.
--[x] Super speed (she already has super strength)

Because Seiga might screw us up at any moment if we don't take the necessary measures.
>> No. 164423
Just a suggestion, but would giving Yoshika passive regeneration be possible?
Gensokyo is quite magic-saturated, so casting a persistent self-maintaining enchantment would presumably be possible.
And giving her the ability to self-repair would both cut down on the work we'd need to do to maintain her in the future, as well as keep her going after we inevitably, well, leave.

Sage for already voted.
>> No. 164436
>>164412 here and if you need my suggestions in vote form,

[x] Making her look more alive (less attention)
[x] Fixing the limbs (so she can bend them)
[x] Finding a way to help regenerate some (even if she has to eat a bunch junk)
[x] Finding a way to prevent another zombie-theft.

The last one I doubt we need as Seiga seems to have abandoned her, hence her rather bad shape at first.
>> No. 164455
[X] Go after Reisen…
-[X] Slowly; there’s no need to rush

Come on, we have the single available eyewitness available, and we're not going to try for it?
No, we need to go and meet her - plus, we were nice to her, so it's likely she will at least be willing to talk.

But if we run in there, she'll get scared, so it seems smarter to go slower on this (just like we did when we helped calm her down whihc, by the way, was incredibly impressive)

Not sure about the rest - can we maybe reduce the hunger our zombie feels?
That, along with making her long more alive, seems like a good option, if we want to be sneaky (and we really want to be sneaky right now).
>> No. 164459
>>164455
I have to agree.

[X] Go after Reisen…
-[X] Slowly; there’s no need to rush
>> No. 164460
Have I mentioned how much I love this story? It's given me hope for this site. Carry on.
>> No. 164461
>>164455
>>164459
If you're talking about going slowly, why not fix up Yoshika and see if Mokou can't take us there?
>> No. 164473
>>164461
Wouldn't there be trouble if we brought Mokou along?
She's not exactly Miss Popular, around the place we're visiting, after all...
>> No. 164475
[x] Give Yoshika some tender love and care…
-[x] In Mokou’s home
[x] Get practicing with those spell cards…
-[x] And ask Mokou for help

We're right here, might as well get it all done. And she asked to watch.

Let's do something stereotypically necromancer-y. Yoshika doesn't use most of her organs anymore, get rid of the useless ones and put in a sack full of corpse-wasps that fly out of her mouth and sting the shit out of anything she targets.
>> No. 164518
>>164473
She has in canon guided people there and bringing back lost rabbits. Basically while her and Kaguya have their thing, Mokou's relations with the other residents is pretty civil.
>> No. 164549
[x] Give Yoshika some tender love and care…
-[x] In Mokou’s home

Why? Cuz when we are a necromancer we obviously should pay much attention to our beloved jiang shi! To make her look more like a human being the talisman she have in her face would be a good idea to remove so people can see her whole face. I don't know how dangerous this idea can be for our zombie if we don't find another way to keep her alive without it so maybe it is a stupid idea. And maybe we could make her poison nails stronger? If we can make a stronger poison that is.
>> No. 164550
[x] Give Yoshika some tender love and care…
-[x] In Mokou’s home
>> No. 164556
>>164518
Well ok.
Long as we go after Reisen, I'm fine with this.

(Seriously, only connection we have with the whole case.
And I still like that he managed to calm her down, I'm seriously impressed)
>> No. 164586
File 135873792594.jpg - (585.02KB , 877x1447 , even-if-it-looks-alive-thats-not-okay.jpg ) [iqdb]
164586
Shrugging, you begin to rifle through your things and grab what you need to work. Spare bones transform in your hands, transforming into the instruments you need. Scalpels, needles, and whatever else you might want, as good if not better than any modern medical tools.

What to do with this zombie? A question for the ages. You have plenty of inspiration from other monstrosities. Elegant blades hidden within the body, limbs primed to explode in an acidic trap, or even multi-limbed multi-legged juggernaut behemoths that could crush a main battle tank given the time. You’ve learned that insectoid surprises are particularly horrifying and effective.

Yoshika grins at you.

Well, the basics are probably fine. Yoshika seems to have everything going for her already.

Undead are a strange lot and vary wildly. Zombies, ghasts, skeletons, wraiths, and all the other variations have different properties. Hell, even the categorical names change based on who you’re talking with. You’ve been calling Yoshika a zombie, she was created as a jiang shi, but she doesn’t particularly fit in either category.

Yoshika is surprisingly strong and fast as it stands. You cut into her arm, through her skin and dead flesh to get at the bone, in order to investigate further.

Whoever this Seiga Kaku is, at least she was competent enough when first turning Yoshika into what she is now. The zombie has strong magic weaved throughout her body. Her internal structures are well-reinforced to superhuman standards. Any halfwit with a hammer won’t be shattering her ribcage any time soon. As far as zombies go, Yoshika is not the standard shuffling variety. Even if you hadn’t picked her up, you imagine she would have been capable of roaming the Earth for many years. Sure, her flesh was decaying and her bones would slowly be worn down by the elements, but it would take a good while.

That doesn’t mean she’s perfect. Dexterity is the largest issue you can make out. Sure, Yoshika isn’t stiff as a board, but you don’t see her doing flips and rolls anytime soon. You can do better than letting her bend her joints a bit.

Mokou obligingly provides you a bowl, water, and a rag. You hum a tune while you sift through your materials and pull out the necessary ingredients to crush and stir into the bowl. They’re mostly herbs of dubious quality and drops of a few different chemicals. Throw in a bit of magic to get an excellent relaxant and preservative solution, completely unfit for human consumption.

Dipping the rag into the liquid, you wring out the excess and lightly wash Yoshika’s body. You cast part of your mind into Yoshika’s and work slowly, carefully scrubbing every portion of the zombie’s body. It’s dull work, but your concentration doesn’t waver.

You begin to half-notice something, a humming of thoughts that is foreign to you. A pair of metaphorical eyes watch you work, curiously inspecting your progress. Those same eyes, real ones, also watch.

Yoshika is so well-mannered; you find it hard to believe. She is respectfully keeping her distance while you work. She isn’t trying to inspect your mind at all – she’s actively avoiding reading your surface thoughts. At the same time, she isn’t pushing you away. If you weren’t concentrating on improving her body, all of her mind would be laid bare before you.

That’s…disturbing, in some way. Trust, respect, defenselessness, submission, conditioning, what is it?

She’s simple-minded, but she isn’t. What was that?

Yoshika. She’s a sweet girl. Did you know that she holds a conversation in her mind rather well?

Does she? More than what you get when you talk to her?

Yes. Not in her regular thoughts, though, but deeper down. She might consciously think how she talks, but I think she’s much more articulate and knowledgeable than she lets on.

What does that mean? And you don’t know what to think of your sister rooting around in someone else’s mind.

Hey, she gave me consent. I know you care about that kind of thing. Anyway, I can’t say what it really means. I’m digging slowly. She’s smart, though, on some level or another.

You don’t doubt that. Yoshika has surprised you before, even if it was nothing more than her intuitive sense.

Despite all the mental activity, you keep working on Yoshika’s body without pause. Once you finish your efforts to give Yoshika more mobility, you have the zombie stretch.

Yoshika sits up in bed and wiggles her fingers and toes before arching her back. She bends and bridges and, uh, wow.

What are you surprised about? Didn’t you want this result? Well, yes, but you didn’t think it’d be so effective after one treatment.

The zombie bends around on the bed like a gymnast, contorting her spine and limbs in ways you definitely never could. Everything looks good, from both your perspective outside and inside. Yoshika’s skin isn’t tearing, and you can’t feel anything ripping or snapping inside her body either.

“What are you having her do on my bed?”

You glance back at Mokou, who is standing just behind you. Back to Yoshika, who is still stretching, her body jutting out at angles that draw the eye. Her nakedness probably isn’t helping.

“She’s stretching. Did you leave sometime?”

“I was strange at first, but then you just kept at it for so long it got boring. Sorry about wandering off, my attention isn’t the best. As far as things I’ve seen goes, this is a bit weird.”

After watching Yoshika with a critical eye, you identify the next thing you want to work on. “That’s fine. Things are about to get weirder.”

Yoshika’s appearance is still a problem. You tried your best before, but the fact of the matter is her flesh is old. The scarred skin has suffered while Yoshika stomped around outside before you arrived in Gensokyo. Worse would be the stitches that had to stay in to keep her body together.

Before, you worked around her problems. Now? You can afford to do better.

You strip off the shirt Byakuren provided and throw on your black jacket. After Mokou lays down some towels on the floor at your request, she sits back down to watch you take off your pants.

“Wait, w-what are you d-doing?”

You shrug and sit down on the towels. “Yoshika needs some new skin so that I can take out those unsightly stitches.”

“S-So you’re undressing because?”

“Material collection.”

“Material-” Mokou cuts herself off with a gasp. Her mouth gapes as she points a shaking finger down at you.

The bone scalpel in your hand might have something to do with it. Your other hand, covered in dark green magic and a purple paste, might alarm her.

Who’re you kidding? It’s the swathe of skin you just sliced off your thigh that’s probably bothering her.

You continue with your work diligently, lightly coating your skin with the numbing, necrotizing paste and then taking the scalpel to it. You flay the skin off of one thigh, think about Yoshika’s condition, and then get to work on the other.

“Stop it!” Mokou shouts and glares down at you. “Are you dumb? Doesn’t that hurt?”

“No, and not particularly. Magical anesthetic is lovely – I barely feel the blade. It’ll be worse for me later, though.”

Your host does her best to quash the sound of disgust in her voice. “How can you do that to yourself?”

“Are you really asking me that, Ms. I Jump Into Fire Repeatedly? I just told you, I need more skin to fix Yoshika properly.”

“Can’t you use, like, animal skin or something?”

“I could, but it’s not as good a material to work with. Yoshika’s a human, so she should have human skin, not chicken skin or whatever.” That isn’t just your preference, either. On a whole, you understand human parts more than animal parts. For intricate work like this, you would only work with what you know best.

“That’s messed up. I mean, really messed up, and I’m the immortal one here. You should be worrying when the immortal who has tried dozens of different ways of dying is concerned because that really says something about you. Actually what I meant is…wait, that’s exactly what I mean. You’re insane!”

“Probably, but the greatest art takes some pain.” You finish and start to apply bandages to your thighs. Coated with a different kind of numbing agent mixed with a regenerative poultice, your legs will be stinging like hell through the night – running on them isn’t advisable either.

I still can’t believe you just did that. It’s not like you had a convenient dead guy waiting around so you could plunder his flesh.

So barbaric. No cadaver willing to donate their bodily tissues, same thing. At least you aren’t passing out from the pain because you didn’t use enough anesthetic.

Or necrotizing your entire leg because of a too much poison. Yeah. If anything, you’re proud of how much you’ve improved.

“Master hurt?” Your zombie peers at you over the edge of the bed.

You smile at the girl and rub her head. “Nah. I’ll be fine. Let’s fix you up, okay?”

Yoshika nods and crawls back into a lying position.

While your flesh grafts are dying and drying, you want to check something. One of Yoshika’s peculiar capabilities has been bugging you more than anything.

You shakily stand on your knees and start to open Yoshika up around the stomach. Unlike a normal human, she is missing most of her organs. No intestines or anything else you might expect. In their place is a large stomach, filling up her lower abdomen.

The size of the stomach is unique, but not nearly as interesting as the magic enchantments it is imbued with. Familiar patterns and runes, strung together in ways you’ve seen and haven’t. What a strange mystery.

Given Yoshika’s hunger and a tendency to eat, a number of ideas jump to mind. If those runes are meant to convert and this pattern contains, then those strings leading upwards would be connectors and that glyph is of deconstruction…

So, it’s mana generator?

That’s the theory that jumps out at you. Everything Yoshika eats has to go somewhere. It isn’t ludicrous to imagine her abnormal stomach is breaking down physical substances into mana to fuel her body. That would explain how she can wander around alone without any noticeable power connections to her former master. It’s another sign that Yoshika was given great things and cared for, once upon a time.

The dull throb of pain in your legs warns you to hurry up.

The problem of working with dead skin is that the skin is, well, dead. There aren’t any living cells to reproduce, to heal on their own. You can’t just slap a skin graft on and let the new flesh integrate naturally. On the other hand, dead skin also has no chance for rejection when implanted. It’s easier to work with, on a whole.

Dabbling a bit of magic glue onto your expertly cut slices of skin allows you to replace all of Yoshika’s stiches without a problem. More magical manipulation melds the skin together.

Then it becomes a matter of aesthetics. Altering flesh tones to a uniform color, retracing false veins, and smoothing together the textures. Then it’s rewashing her new skin, throwing on anti-rot and general resilience enchantments, adding a number of small, barely noticeable changes, and you’re finished for today.

The end product is one naked girl lying on the bed, looking healthier than ever. She’s a pale beauty, flawless skin unmarred by stitches or scars. Her movements are fluid and her chest lightly rises and falls as if breathing.

You’re confident that only the supernatural could know she’s dead. Even then, they better have superb senses or some kind of magic to notice the slight disparity in your work.

“Wow.” Mokou’s concise comment sounds like a compliment to you.

Damn, time to get off your legs. You gingerly rise and seat yourself on the edge of the bed. “What do you think, Yoshika?”

The newly rejuvenated zombie looks down at her body, arching and craning her neck to check everything. She traces her new skin with her fingers, quiet as a lamb. She moves with unexpected grace, adapting to the capabilities of her body like she never lost them.

You honestly expected her to be more exuberant, to jump you or something. Instead she seems thoughtful, contemplative even.

You partition your mind and push it towards Yoshika. Just as before, the zombie lets you in without resistance.

You send Yoshika a thought, forcefully enough to make sure she doesn’t ignore it.

The reply is consent, transmitted the instant of your inquiry.

You mentally dig in and listen, paying attention to Yoshika’s stream of conscious thought.

…aster gives lots for me but master only has one me, not like master taking care of a dozen when master was busy with…

Your head hurts already. Brushing past the surface thoughts, you sift around in Yoshika’ underlying emotions and feelings, her subconscious thoughts. Oh, hey Bro. You were curious, huh?

Yeah, you wanted to know what was going on with her. Fair enough, but I would’ve told you. I don’t think you’ll get much from this.

Maybe, but you want to ‘see’ for yourself, at any rate.

A person’s deeper thoughts are a jumble of everything that their mind thinks of; all of the tiny stimuli the senses perceive, the ever-shifting connections between present time and memories, the thoughts about what words to think. Trying to pick out one continuous thread of useful information is stupidly difficult.

Your sister is right. You aren’t experienced enough at this mind mumbo jumbo. It could take a person many hours to correctly sort out these deeper thoughts – that’s why your sister is away for extended periods. You’ll let her figure things out and report back when she has something. Good choice. Go get some rest, you’ll need it.

Before you exit, you think you ‘hear’ something. A fleeting thought that is drowned out by the stream right after you notice it.

…a servant humble, given a new lease to life, eager to protect…

…individual, fly free and far as you please, nowhere should you be…

Wait, where did-

Damn. You lose that thought against the chaff. What is going on in Yoshika’s head?

Whatever.

You withdraw your mind from Yoshika’s and relax. The only other major concern, given Yoshika’s great condition, would be her mind. There’s always the possibility of somebody crashing their way into Yoshika’s mind and subverting her to their will.

But you’ll leave it alone for now. There are only so many protections you know of, but your sister is probably the best one. With the way she’s occupying Yoshika’s mind most of the time these days, you trust her to toss aside any unwanted compulsions. You can always take the time to build up Yoshika’s mental defenses, but you don’t want to go on a three hour dive to start them at the moment. You’re tired and done with anything that takes hyper concentration for the day.

“How do I clean this stuff anyway?” Mokou is picking up the items you borrowed. She licks the relaxant mixture still in the bowl- What?

“Ew, this tastes horrible.”

“That’s not soup.”

Mokou shrugs and carries the items away. “Is this stuff going to stain my towels?”

“It shouldn’t. Give it a wash and it should all come out. But uh, if it doesn’t, I can go buy you some new ones.”

“It’s fine, these are old anyway.” Mokou quickly sets the used items down in her kitchen and returns. “So uh, are you planning on running around with no pants? Not to say there’s anything wrong with that, I’ve done my fair share of pantless- er, yeah, so are you?”

“Until my legs heal.” They should be fine by morning. You could always have your skin regenerate more quickly, but then you risk the chances of something going wrong. It’s a small risk, but an unnecessary one outside of dire circumstances. You’d like to avoid leg cancer if you can.

“Okay, cool. And, uh, her?”

The two of you look at Yoshika, who is still examining herself. She’s cupping her- You didn’t even modify those at all why is she- “Yoshika, did you want to put on some clothes?”

The zombie looks up at you and smiles. “Okay~”

While the zombie girl is changing, you continue to converse with Mokou. “Thanks for letting me work here.”

“No problem. That was pretty interesting, even if it took a long time. I’m glad you stuck around to help with my home. You got somewhere you planning on going next?”

“Well, I’d like to,” you pause and glance out the window. Although the bamboo is as thick as ever, you can see the orange glow of the setting sun. The day is already over.

Huh. You must’ve been working on Yoshika for a few hours straight. That tends to happen when you get absorbed in something.

I hope you’re not thinking of working through the night, now.

What’s wrong with that?

You have plenty of time during the day? There isn’t any rush? You have a comfortable and safe room waiting for you?

All fair points, but there are also things you still need to do. Save it. Rest.

Why are you being pestered about this? Aren’t there zombie thoughts that need deciphering? You’ll regret it if you run around all night.

[ ] Pay a midnight visit to Eientei…
-[ ] Secretly; this is a sneaking mission
-[ ] Openly; you hope they’re available 24/7
[ ] Fly back to Myouren temple…
-[ ] And ask Mokou to accompany you
[ ] Try to stay at Mokou’s home for the night
[ ] <Write-in>

---

Well, I pretty much expected this. I just didn’t want to write it into the last update because there was some dissent in the vote. I tried to give you non-necrophiles a chance; better luck next time.

As for those crazy and wacky ideas – keep them in mind. I assume everybody will want to upgrade some decidedly lethal abilities at some point.

>>164460
Aw, shucks, thanks for the compliment. I’ll try my best. Make sure to check other stories (especially on non-/th/ boards) out too if you haven’t already; there’s a bunch of new ones cropping up.
>> No. 164588
>>164586
You know, for all her bitching, Mokou could've at least had the decency to donate some of her own skin and flesh. She regenerates faster and better, after all. :V

Walking on healing legs doesn't quite sound like a good idea. If we're gonna visit Eientei, I hope it's via Yoshika Express.
That said, we should do it soon. Maybe they can cure our legs too. :V
[X] Pay a midnight visit to Eientei…
-[X] Openly; you hope they’re available 24/7
>> No. 164589
So did we totally skin Yoshika and re-skin her with the flesh off our thighs? I guess we had to stretch and grow it first?

That's... pretty weird. But in an awesome way.

[ ] Pay a midnight visit to Eientei…
-[ ] Openly; you hope they’re available 24/7

We have giant bleeding wounds. Let's see if we can get ourselves admitted, and then use the chance to bum some reagents and drugs, and maybe chat Reisen up some more, figure out anything she didn't mention.

Then crash at Mokou's.
>> No. 164590
>>164588
I don't think any sane person is going to offer up a live donation like that in circumstances like this. Besides, there might be some complications with that idea...

And yes. You'll be carried around like a little girl unless you specify not to.

>>164589
I need to work on my descriptions; unfortunate I haven't read scenes like it before. No, you just used your skin to fill in any holes where she had stitches, then magiced/chemicaled it all together. A complete re-skinning is not impossible, but a bit more intensive. Plus that's creepy.

Also, to be clear, your legs are not a fatal injury of any sort and will heal up perfectly fine in less than twelve hours, or probably fine in less time if you apply yourself. You can get them proper medical treatment if you want, of course.
>> No. 164591
[ ] Try to stay at Mokou’s home for the night
>> No. 164592
[x] Try to stay at Mokou’s home for the night.
-[x] Try asking Mokou to send a message to the temple.

I'm not sure if the MC should be moving period with how his legs are, otherwise I'd be more for going back to the temple and planning tomorrow's trip.

That and I can't blame a zombie for checking out herself now that she could actually bend her limbs.
>> No. 164593
[x] Fly back to Myouren temple…
-[x] And ask Mokou to accompany you

Threading safely for now, his reagents are low, he is exhausted and his leg is as good as busted seriously, a little sarcoma won't kill you in one day . And while Yoshika is top condition let's not risk more for today. We'll get that bunny tomorrow.
Maybe bone blades or plates, something to catch an enemy by surprise.
>> No. 164594
[x] Fly back to Myouren temple…

We should probably let Byakuren know about the theft of the Necronomicon and the dude with the exploding heart and their probable connection. One of the Greater Powers of Gensokyo needs to know this.

Well, we could also tell Reimu, but she'll probably just blame us and kick our ass again.

Speaking of Reimu, we should probably talk to her soon. She was so happy to have someone willingly following her.
>> No. 164595
[X] Try to stay at Mokou’s home for the night

Hold up there partner, trying to leave when we have large gashes on our thighs is just asking for an infection later. Lets take it easy for now. Mokou has been accommodating so far, I doubt she would feel comfortable about letting us leave with such wounds and would probably be more then happy to lend assistance.
>> No. 164596
[X] Try to stay at Mokou’s home for the night

Necromancers need their sleep. Please wait warmly...
>> No. 164601
[x] sleep!
>> No. 164602
[X] Pay a midnight visit to Eientei…
-[X] Openly; you hope they’re available 24/7

I feel it would be a good excuse, open wounds, might even be interesting to see if we can learn a thing or two.
>> No. 164603
[X] Pay a midnight visit to Eientei…
-[X] Openly; you hope they’re available 24/7
-[X] Thank Mokou again.

We have a perfectly good excuse.
>> No. 164607
[X] Try to stay at Mokou’s home for the night.

Passing out for a while sounds good, what with all the skin is flayed off of our thighs dear god that stings.
>> No. 164608
[X] Pay a midnight visit to Eientei…
-[X] Openly; you hope they’re available 24/7
>> No. 164610
[X] Pay a midnight visit to Eientei…
-[X] Openly; you hope they’re available 24/7

We have a magnificent excuse! And besides, I think we've impinged on Mokou's hospitality for long enough. It'd be impolite to stay the night after spending so long taking up her space to work on Yoshika.

We can definitely come back and visit some other time, though- when we're not freeloading as much.

(It's not like a Necromancer needs much sleep, anyway. Also, watching to see if any sparks fly between Mokou and the Princess would be fun. Dohohoho.)
>> No. 164612
But if we let Eirin, Reisen, or any other expert in healthcare, they'd immediatly know that our "injury" in our thig is way too clean to be just "a kitchen accident". This might raise unwanted suspicions unless we're able to come up with an excuse for why do we have a missing bacon-shaped sheet of skin.
>> No. 164613
[X] Try to stay at Mokou’s home for the night

Thou shalt not move on open wounds.

Besides, he said we'd be healed by morning, didn't he? (Call me out if I'm wrong.) Let's not aggravate things.
>> No. 164615
Nothing about letting Byakuren know about the stay over? She's grown rather attached to the MC and all and might overreact if she assumes the worse.
>> No. 164628
>>164612
We got jumped by a cruel, semisentient wild youkai and barely escaped with our lives before he could finish flaying us.
>> No. 164629
[x] Fly back to Myouren temple…
-[x] And ask Mokou to accompany you

I think Yoshika's reaction has been hinted at by the author. The more she gets repaired, the more of herself she regains, to the point that she may wish to do her own thing. At this point, I think we should start regarding Yoshika more as a person than as a pet or servant, and start ASKING for her help on things. The loyalty of a friend, in other words.

Basically, we ask her to help us, at least until we accomplish our mission. Perhaps our sister can shed more light on things.
>> No. 164631
>>164612
Tragic accident involving a slime girl.

>>164590
Guess I'm too used to the idea of Mokou being kinda blasé about receiving injury.
(Personally if I had Mokou's powers I'd spend every thursday doing organ donations.)
>> No. 164632
>>164631
That's very generous of you.
I would have just set up private barbecues.
Mokou has the best set of powers ever in that regard.
>> No. 164634
>>164629
This and also something similar is how a Yoshika romance is even possible: Basically her original personality coming back enough to handle things as opposed to whatever autopilot she does or our sister.
>> No. 164636
[x] Try to stay at Mokou’s home for the night.

Let's not be hasty now. Rest our legs before they get infected or something nasty
>> No. 164639
[x] Try to stay at Mokou’s home for the night.
Honestly, I just want more Mokou.
>> No. 164642
we have 8 for [x] Try to stay at Mokou’s home for the night.

6 for [X] Pay a midnight visit to Eientei…
-[X] Openly; you hope they’re available 24/7

and 3 for [x] Fly back to Myouren temple…
-[x] And ask Mokou to accompany you

one of which just says to fly back.

Just for the record.
>> No. 164643
Votes not called just yet.
[X] Pay a midnight visit to Eientei…
-[X] Openly; you hope they’re available 24/7
>> No. 164644
[X] Try to stay at Mokou’s home for the night.

Can Necroanon fly? I can't see trying to get, well, anywhere in Gensoukyo at night with no flying and two bum legs, unless Yoshika plans to go into airlifting.
>> No. 164653
>>164644
>unless Yoshika plans to go into airlifting.
She's done it twice already.

>Yoshika easily scoops you up and takes to the air after Reimu. Being carried like this should be embarrassing, but you can’t bring yourself to care. It’s convenient and comfortable.
>> No. 164733
File 135926365054.jpg - (280.85KB , 600x847 , because-you-fuckers-kept-mentioning-her.jpg ) [iqdb]
164733
Rest.

But-

No. No midnight investigations. No picking fights. No whatever else is going on in your mind.

Fine. You don’t really feel like heading out anyway.

“Hey Mokou, can I stay here for the night?”

“Eh?” The immortal jumps, her eyes wide as she quickly looks around. “Here? In my house? I don’t mind but is that really okay with you? It isn’t the tidiest of places and the people I escort are always telling me it’s way too cramped to be comfortable and-”

“I don’t mind. I can sit in a corner in the kitchen or whatever works best.”

“R-Really? This place is okay?”

“It’s a lot better than outside, I think.”

Mokou claps her hands once. “It isn’t a problem then! I don’t really have people staying over so I only have the bed but you can have that. I’ll just lay some blankets on the ground for myself or-”

“No, no, stop right there,” you interrupt the immortal before her tangent can develop. “I’m already intruding so you can have the bed. I was serious about sleeping in a corner.”

“I can’t do that! I’m the host, right? I’m supposed to treat my guests well, aren’t I?”

“You could say that.”

“I’d never hear the end of it if I let a guest sleep on the floor. I’ll figure out where I should sleep. Oh! You’re probably hungry again after all that work. Let me go make some dinner.”

You know, I was imagining going back to that room you were promised at the temple.

Travelling back to Myouren Temple wouldn’t be difficult, but you’d rather not while you aren’t in prime condition. Infection or further injury might not be much of an issue if you’re careful, but there’s no reason to risk it. Besides, someone might start asking questions about your legs.

Fair enough, I guess.

You follow Mokou into her kitchen and sit down on the chair she had been using to watch you work. Yoshika stands behind you, leaning against the back of your head. The immortal’s little shack doesn’t have much room. The kitchen is the same size as her bedroom. She has a stove, an oven, and enough storage for all her ingredients and cookware.

The immortal is a practiced cook, quick and efficient. Before you know it, she has piles of diced vegetables and cut meats arrayed on the countertop. Fires of different color and intensity ignite on the stove and disappear just as quickly as Mokou switches her attention around, tossing different ingredients into different pans.

“Why do you have this kitchen along with the stuff at your stand?”

“Well I already had the kitchen by the time I picked up the grill and stuff, so I just set it out there to keep this and that separate. Although, it might make a good excuse to redecorate if I were to combine them. If I expand the house, there’s no reason I couldn’t move everything inside as long as I was careful and didn’t flare too much while cooking, ‘cause you know it’s hard to stop some fire if I let them out of control, although that hasn’t happened ever since-”

One of the pans lights on fire. Mokou squeaks and throws a lid on it before backing away from the stovetop. “That’s a good idea.”

You laugh. It’s probably rude to laugh at her, but you can’t help it.

“What’s so funny?” Mokou asks.

“You.” Yoshika bats you on the head disapprovingly. No doubt that was your sister’s chastisement.

Despite your comment, Mokou doesn’t look particularly angry. She seems more confused, if anything.

“I didn’t expect your personality,” you try to clarify.

“What’s wrong with my personality?” It’s a simple, inquisitive question.

You blink and try again. “Nothing, you’re just less cool than I first thought.”

There’s no reaction from the immortal. No laughs at your joke or any hints of anger at your statements, just a curious search for truth. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

She really is a bit special compared to ‘normal’ humans. “Do you talk with other people a lot?”

Mokou shrugs and steps back up to the stove. “Not really. I’ve been trying pretty hard recently, but it’s hard to kick a few hundred years of habit. Even way back when, it’s not like I spent a lot of time with other kids, given how all my siblings were busy being perfect and I wasn’t allowed to meet anyone else. I try not to say too much because Keine says I tend to say some pretty unacceptable things while I’m…rambling…uh….”

The immortal trails off when she consciously curbs her speech. You try your best to reassure her. “Don’t worry, I get it. You’re just used to thinking aloud, right?”

“Yeah, exactly! It’s not like being quiet is helpful, unless you’re hunting something, but then you don’t really need to be thinking.”

“A person needs to hear their own voice once in a while.” Especially when the voice in their head isn’t theirs any longer but instead a never-ending stream of nagging.

Besides, you also talk to corpses, sometimes not even animated ones. You aren’t going to have problems with a woman who is too used to being alone.

“That’s right. Whew, I’m glad you don’t think I’m crazy. I’ve been really worried about it.”

“Hah, I can tell.”

“Why can you understand me but still deal-”

The stovetop flames suddenly go out. The white-haired immortal turns and stoops low. When she stands back up, she holds a small girl by the back of her shirt.

It’s a rabbit, actually. A small rabbit girl with blue hairs and ears, clad in a pink sleeveless shirt and matching shorts. Strangely, she has a bowl-shaped helmet on her head, two holes cut through the metal for her ears.

“Hey! What are you doing you little rodent?” Mokou glares at the rabbit girl dangling in front of her.

The blue-haired bunny blinks and raises what looks like a handheld radio to her ear. Then she starts to flail and scream. “Ah! She got me! Paw-Two, Paw-Two, requesting backup! Awkward Phoenix is alert!”

“What are you blabbering about you rabbit?”

“Waaah! Paw-Two, where are you? I need immediate evac!” Mokou continues to yell at the rabbit while the little girl screams her head off.

You take the chance to glance around the room. As expected, you spot the other intruder crawling along the floor, right up against the wall, edging closer towards the food Mokou has set aside on the countertop.

You tap Yoshika on the shoulder and point at the crawling rabbit. The zombie smiles and then pounces.

In an instant the second rabbit, a blonde-haired one dressed the same as her companion, is struggling in Yoshika’s grip. The zombie holds the rabbit tight against her chest. “Eep! Paw-One, Pale Harlot got me! Package lost, mission failure! Abort! Abort!”

You don’t really like this rabbit. You’re tempted to stomp over and thrash the dumb bunny, but you restrain yourself, and not just because your legs are a mess. “Who are you calling a harlot?”

The blonde rabbit takes one peek at you before screaming even louder. “Ah! Idiot Womanizer is targeting me! Paw-One, I’m outnumbered! I need backup!”

“I’m trying, Paw-Two! Escape maneuvers thwarted! Awkward Phoenix is sh-sh-shaking me!”

“Shut up you annoying pests! Stop yelling when you can see each other!” Mokou roars in annoyance. The she reaches out with her other hand and snatches the radio from the blue-haired rabbit’s grip. “And what is this?”

The rabbit reaches for the device, but can’t go anywhere while dangling from Mokou’s grip. “Hey, give that back!”

From what you can see, the hand-held radio looks almost alien. It’s all smooth lines and strange green-purple coloring. “This tech is way beyond the crummy stuff you lot usually use. Did you take this from one of the lunatics?”

“I stole it fair and square!”

“Nooooo! Don’t eat meeeeee!” The desperate cry brings everybody’s attention to the rabbit Yoshika is holding. The stupid bunny is fine, there’s no reason for her to be screaming.

Yoshika might be nibbling on her ear a bit, but you doubt your zombie will hurt her. If she does? Well, the bunny had it coming.

“Hey, let her go you harlot! Skank! Whore!”

“Quit it! Stop shouting and sit down! Sheesh,” Mokou drops the blue-haired rabbit on her ass. When the bunny tries to stand and leap to her friend’s defense, Mokou steps on her. They’re children sized, only coming up to Mokou’s waist. The blue-haired one can’t do anything but sit on the ground like she was told.

Noisy intruder subdued, Mokou reignites the stovetop and returns to cooking. “I told you dumb bunnies to knock if you wanted some food. How did you even get in here?”

“A window was open. I guess we got a bit lucky?”

“Noooooo! I’m not taaaaasty!”

You sigh and lean back against your chair. “These aren’t unwelcome guests, then?”

Mokou shakes her head. “Not yet they aren’t. They’re more trouble than they’re worth, but the rabbits are the only ones who regularly visit me. Sometimes they’re helpful. They usually come around at meal times for food, but they like to play around here, too. ”

“You’ve got the best cooking!” The blue-hair offers from her seat on the floor. “Way better than that junk Tewi tries to feed us.”

“I’ll tell her you said that.”

“What? No! I thought we had a good thing going on?”

“I’ll think about it if you sit quietly and stop raising such a ruckus! I’ve got other guests today, if you haven’t seen them.”

“Heeeeeeelp!”

You rub your eyes and talk to the blonde rabbit in a stage whisper. “You know, she only likes to eat loud, noisy rabbits.”

“Rabbit~” Yoshika groans helpfully.

The bunny stiffens, all of her panicked flailing ceasing. “Aaaah…” She whimpers slightly while being held in Yoshika’s arms, but otherwise keeps her mouth shut. Yoshika doesn’t stop teasing the rabbit’s ears with her mouth. The blonde bunny simple suffers in terrified silence.

With both of the noisy intruder thankfully quiet, Mokou can finish cooking in peace.

“Where’d you two even get those nicknames anyway? They’re pretty insulting.” You ask the bunnies.

Naturally, only the blue-haired one is fit to respond. “Tewi warned us about you two before we came by.”

The black-haired rabbit from before? You’ll remember that. Although, if she got those impressions of Yoshika and you, that’s probably your fault…

“Did she?” Mokou turns around form the countertop. She has two paper bags in her hands. “I’ll have to have a word with her sometime soon. Here you go.”

“Thanks Firebird!” The blue-haired rabbit leaps from her seat, springing into the air and grabbing one of the paper bags before hopping out of the kitchen.

You nod to Yoshika, who loosens her grip and allows the blonde bunny to grab her share of the offered food. You think you see tears in her eyes as she scampers away.

Mokou cups her hands and shouts. “Hey! You tell Tewi that she can check up on me herself if she’s worried!”

“Roger that!” The reply is rather faint; the rabbits are already out of the house.

You and Mokou wait around dumbly for a few seconds, until the smell of food urges everybody back into motion. “Sorry ‘bout that. Let’s eat.”

The meal is nice. It isn’t five-star cuisine, but the simple bowls of rice and accompaniments are made with care. The three of you eat while lounging around the kitchen. You have the privilege of using the only chair in the house, while Mokou and Yoshika hop up and sit on the countertop. The lack of furniture in Mokou’s home isn’t an annoyance; it helps add to the laidback and cozy feeling you get from the place.

After you all finish eating, the sun has gone down completely. The bamboo forest is illuminated by the moon and bright stars, along with the occasional flicker of Mokou’s fire. You help the immortal clean the dishes and head to bed.

Despite your best efforts, Mokou manages to get you to use her bed. She takes a pile of blankets and a pillow over to her kitchen and lays out on the floor, seemingly content. Like you, she’s happy enough to not be outside in the cold or rain.

Yoshika curls up against you while you lie on the mattress. You let the events of the day mask the pain in your legs. Not a fruitless day at all. The Necronomicon is, without a doubt, somewhere here in Gensokyo. The confirmation sends shivers down your spine. It’s a boyish excitement that would keep a guy up all night.

Luckily, you’re pretty tired. The pain and the excitement isn’t enough to keep you awake. Quickly enough, you feel yourself drift off to sleep…

…and awaken. It’s still dark. Glancing through the bedroom window, you can’t see the moon thanks to the tall bamboo. By your estimate, several hours have passed, more than enough for you to feel well-rested. The sun should be up soon.

Those are all minor details, though, compared to the immortal standing over you. “You haven’t been up to anything, have you?”

“Uh, sleeping.”

“Right. Okay then. You should have a look at this.” Mokou doesn’t sound worried, but there’s an edge to her voice. It’s enough to cause all of your grogginess to disappear.

You sit up and get out of the bed, Yoshika helping you to stand. The zombie’s eyes flicked open as soon as you started moving. “Master hurt?”

“Not at all, Yoshika. I’m better already.” And you are. Your legs are still somewhat sore, but if you were to look you imagine they’re mostly healed.

Cutting off the bandages is a secondary concern, though. You swear when Mokou points out what she woke you for.

Standing at the window and looking at the ground, you can see the zombies arrayed outside of the house. Five of them are in your immediate vision, standing in a circular position that leads you to believe they’re surrounding the house. The jiang-shi outside are Yoshika’s former ilk, no doubt about it. Although they’re different genders and have on different clothes, the cursed seals plastered across their faces are uniform.

Those talismans that their master uses to control them, from undeath to redeath, are terrible. Inelegant and abhorrent by your standards, you can’t help but imagine the twisting vortex of power contained within them, enough to crush your mind like a bug. Control, enforcement, and a trap all bottled in multi-purpose talisman – you recognize their efficiency, if nothing else.

“Shit.” This is a horrid start to a new day. You do not approve.

“Should I go out and burn ‘em? It’s been awhile since we’ve had a nice forest fire.”

“Do you know what those are?”

“Jiang-shi, right? Those nasty things have been wandering around Gensokyo for a while, now. They used to be a problem before the village put a closer watch on them.” Mokou cracks her knuckles and grins. “If they’ve come for me, I wouldn’t want to disappoint them.”

It sounds like a good idea to you. Wait. Why’s that one closer? What is it holding?

Your sister points it out to you. One of the zombies isn’t standing in line with the others. It’s in front of the others by a meter or so and is holding something in its stiff, outstretched arms. It looks like a piece of paper and a white towel. A substitute for a flag?

A truce to parley, maybe? What does Yoshika’s former master want? I wouldn’t trust it. I don’t think the bitch would negotiate fairly. After that stunt she pulled before, I’m fine with calling this a trap and ignoring it.

That’s a possibility. You don’t know what the zombies are here for, but walking out into the open to chat just puts you in the unfavorable position if there are less-than-honorable intentions afoot.

You can’t make a clear distinction on what is best. You’re positive that if you were to start a fight on your terms, you could pull through well enough. Talking seems practical, but would put you in an unfavorable combat position. There are, according to Mokou’s count, a dozen jiang-shi surrounding the house. Theoretically, they all have the same capability as Yoshika if they are in their prime. With that many, a careless mistake is enough to turn you into a snack bar. Fleeing is just as valid a tactic – especially if they’re here for you. You don’t exactly want to cause Mokou more trouble.

Fight, talk, or run. At least you have all three options, this time.

[ ] Take the initiative, start the deal on your own terms.
-[ ] Direct
-[ ] Cannibalization
-[ ] Scorched Earth
[ ] Meet with the dead
-[ ] A controller
-[ ] A friend
-[ ] An anomaly
[ ] Time for another magnificent tactical withdraw
-[ ] Lure them away
-[ ] Everybody abandon base
[ ] <Write-on>

---

To be clear, the first two votes’ suboptions are for whom in the group to involve; you can mix and match. Last vote is with or without your fiery friend.

>Bone blades or plates
These are probably the most ‘normal’ modifications you have available; after all, that’s how you fight when you have to.

>Need not sleep
Screw you guys, sleep is the most glorious thing in the world. I’d trade places with a bear just so I could sleep through the winter.

>Slime girl
Why doesn’t Touhou have one of these? I need to rectify that mistake.

>Organ donor business
I don’t think Mokou is particularly concerned about injuring herself, but handing her organs out isn’t the best idea.

>Fire starting
I’d get a job with some forestry agency or rural fire department. Nothing says fun like setting trees on fire and getting paid for it. Until you have to deal with a wildfire – I guess the immunity comes in handy, then.

>Romance
LOVE WILL ALWAYS FIND A WAY!

>>164642
My thanks, good Sir, although I’d like to point out that you did not mention the lovely vote of ‘[x] sleep!’
>> No. 164734
[ ] Meet with the dead
-[ ] A controller
-[ ] A friend
-[ ] An anomaly

I don't know what those sub options do so I'll pick all of them!
>> No. 164737
[X] Meet with the dead
-[X] A controller
[X] Pale Harlot and Awkward Phoenix Yoshika and Mokou are on standby in case things go pear-shaped.

Pretty sure the sub-options for both the first two choices are (in order) MC, Yoshika and Mokou respectively.


>I’d trade places with a bear just so I could sleep through the winter.

Meanwhile, in Factorial Salsa's house:
>*ring ring*
>"Could you go pick that up, dear?"
>"RAAAAAAAAWR!"
>*click*
>"Hey man, me and the guys were thinking of going to see a movie Sunday. You wanna come with?"
>"RAAAAAAAAAAAWR?"
>"Well, we're thinking of having lunch first, though, but I remember you saying you had something to do in the morning..."
>"RAWR RAWR RAAAAWR."
>"Oh, awesome. Message you later on where we're meeting up, then, but for now it looks like we'll be meeting at the usual cafe at around twelve."
>"RAAAAAWR. RAAWR RAAAWR."
>"Same to you too, bro. Talk to you later."
>*click*
>> No. 164745
[X] Take the initiative, start the deal on your own terms.
-[X] Direct
-[X] Cannibalization

We'll show this Seiga biatch that we can defend ourselves just find; we don't need to involve Mokou in this.

I just hope we're beary prebeared for this unbearable bear of a battle.
>> No. 164754
Heh - we're never going to head to eientei, are we?
Also, seems Tewi has gotten it into her head that we're a womanizer - not that I can blame her, really, given what she's seen.
>> No. 164755
[x] Ask Yoshika for input. Listen to your sister if you can't understand the answer. Explain the situation if there's any need.
[x] If Yoshika doesn't have an opinion...
-[x] Meet with the dead
--[x] An anomaly
>> No. 164761
[X] Ask Yoshika for input about what her master would do. Listen to your sister if you can't understand the answer. Explain the situation if there's any need.
-[X] Ask Mokou about what the jiangshi are capable of, and what she thinks Seiga would do based on what she heard about the hermit.
--[X] If the responses aren't favorable, then ask Mokou for the nearest safe place (Eientei), and request that she covers you if things go to hell with the negotiations and you are forced to attack through the jiangshi perimeter in a fighting retreat.
---[X] Tell Yoshika to force back any jiangshi that comes close to us using any method in her disposal, like danmaku.

I really doubt that Seiga has come for negotiation; she tried to brutally take over our mind when we tried to take Yoshika, and it's probable that she is looking for vengeance over that. This is intended to coincide with the 'meet with the dead' options, as having a plan when things go south is better then simply trying to duke it out with a dozen jiangshi.

In my opinion, there is no guarantee that we can win this skirmish on our terms; our goal, if we fight, is to eliminate or push back all 12 jiangshi. Seiga's goal would be to have just one of those jiangshi butcher the MC. The odds aren't good; it's 6:1 in terms of potential fighters against our favor, and if it goes any lower, then we are pretty much doomed as one or two jiangshi slaughter the MC.

I cannot emphasize how horribly lopsided this situation is; if we sally out of Mokou's home to fight the jiangshi, then all it will take is a single bite for them to turn the MC into one of them, according to my knowledge. Additionally, we will not be fighting on spell card principles; it will be a destroy-or-be-killed situation. In this case, it is obvious that Seiga's jiangshi have a marked advantage; no matter how powerful Mokou and Yoshika are, it is 12 vs. 2, and only one of the jiangshi need to get through to the MC. Additionally, we don't know if there are additional jiangshi waiting just out of sight to overwhelm us if we stand and fight; just because there are 12 jiangshi surrounding us doesn't mean that there aren't more waiting nearby. This situation is like a severely lopsided 'protect the helpless human' scenario in a video game in that 1. we will die if the jiangshi get close enough, 2. Seiga may try to take over our mind again and prevent us from moving at the very least while a jiangshi approaches us, 3. the jiangshi can withstand inhuman levels of damage and still be able to fight, and since they're being controlled, they are not afraid of death or sacrificing themselves so that one of their number can get through, and 4. Seiga may have sent more then a dozen jiangshi, and Mokou and Yoshika probably can't keep them all away from us.

Our only hope is to flee towards the nearest safe place and pray that the jiangshi doesn't overtake us as we flee. Although Eientei's residents won't appreciate us bringing a dozen walking corpses to their residence, we should hope that they'll still give us sanctuary.

I'm fully aware that this is a cowardly move, but I'm calculating that the jiangshi will do anything to get near the MC and overtake his mind/bite him so that Seiga will have direct control over him. We don't know if there are more jiangshi waiting nearby, but the best we can hope is to break out of a single point so that we'll only have to deal with one or two jiangshi rather then all of them at once. If we can get to Eientei, we'll also have the assistance of the earth rabbits and the Lunarians, who should aid us on the principles of hospitality and protecting their territory from invaders.
>> No. 164765
[X] Ask Yoshika for input about what her master would do. Listen to your sister if you can't understand the answer. Explain the situation if there's any need.
-[X] Ask Mokou about what the jiangshi are capable of, and what she thinks Seiga would do based on what she heard about the hermit.
--[X] If the responses aren't favorable, then ask Mokou for the nearest safe place (Eientei), and request that she covers you if things go to hell with the negotiations and you are forced to attack through the jiangshi perimeter in a fighting retreat.
---[X] Tell Yoshika to force back any jiangshi that comes close to us using any method in her disposal, like danmaku.

This one means we talk and then we leg it in case anything goes wrong, right?

>>164733
>bone blades and plates
I was thinking something like a bone full plate that grows and hides at will. Or something like splatterhouse's berseker mode.
>> No. 164767
>>164765

As >>164761, the general idea of my vote is that we try to initiate negotiations from a distance while staying on our guard, then bug out in the direction where the jiangshi are least concentrated in a fighting retreat if things go south. This way, we'll actually have a plan in case Seiga issues an ultimatum that we can't accept. After all, it's a far better plan then fighting to the death and relying on a deus ex machina to save the MC in case Seiga's jiangshi attack and overwhelm Mokou and Yoshika.
>> No. 164800
[X] Ask Yoshika for input about what her master would do. Listen to your sister if you can't understand the answer. Explain the situation if there's any need.
-[X] Ask Mokou about what the jiangshi are capable of, and what she thinks Seiga would do based on what she heard about the hermit.
--[X] If the responses aren't favorable, then ask Mokou for the nearest safe place (Eientei), and request that she covers you if things go to hell with the negotiations and you are forced to attack through the jiangshi perimeter in a fighting retreat.
---[X] Tell Yoshika to force back any jiangshi that comes close to us using any method in her disposal, like danmaku.

This seems like a measured enough approach. Props to anon for making such deep analysis
>> No. 164933
File 13597765878.jpg - (114.88KB , 400x400 , totally-not-crazy.jpg ) [iqdb]
164933
This isn’t the kind of situation where you can recklessly decide what to do. You aren’t the only one in danger, here.

That’s surprisingly responsible of you.

“Yoshika, what do you think?”

The zombie looks at you and blinks. “Think?”

“About this. What would your former Master want? Should we go out and meet with them?”

“Master? Master…” Yoshika pauses to consider her words. You can see Mokou growing antsy while you wait in silence. Your zombie will figure out her words eventually. Of course, it would help to have somebody else listening to her thoughts. Yeah, yeah.

“Master does what master wants. Master really likes herself. Master likes her friends.” The zombie girl peeks out the window and continues. “Master is honest! Master does what master says she will, just like master does! We did what master said we should. We were on our own, but if we’re all here, then master said we should be! Not me, but them. After Master helped me, I can’t hear master’s orders anymore. I wish master and Master would be friends, too!”

You smile and rub Yoshika’s back. You probably shouldn’t have expected anything objective out of her. She continues to have highest opinions of this Seiga Kaku, despite whatever happened in the past.

Well, her thoughts aren’t much more helpful. Little Yoshika didn’t see or hear much of this bitch’s dealings. But…

But what?

Her happiest memories are easiest to see. Being visited while on guard duty, being fed dainty snacks, being given gifts of new clothes…I can’t keep calling this Seiga a bitch when I see scenes like that.

Something to keep in mind, then. Luckily, your emotions can continue to burn brightly. “Mokou? Do you know anything about Seiga Kaku?”

“Nothing useful. Keine complained to me a few times about some supposed thefts by that hermit, but I’ve got nothing. We’ve barely talked. Maybe if I paid more attention back then…As far as this situation goes, I can’t say waking up to an encirclement of jiang-shi is favorable. If I woke up to a pack of wolves like this, I’d just burn ‘em. Or get eaten.”

“The jiang-shi are dangerous, then?”

“Not for me. Can’t drain my life, and I can’t be turned into one of them by a little bite. All they’ll get is a mouthful of fire.” Mokou pumps her arm, but her excitement droops after a second. “Well, that isn’t so true, I guess. They aren’t like wolves. When a wolf eats me, it’s pretty much done for. I guess a jiang-shi wouldn’t have that problem; not immediately, anyway. If searing their stomachs doesn’t kill them or incapacitate them, then I would have to wait until I reform to burn them from the outside, but with so many of them around it would only take a few bloody mouthfuls to put me down again, so I’d have to suffer through quite a few deaths before I can start to thin their numbers.”

You have precautions for a dangerous bite, monstrous strength, and super speed. A nebulous ‘life drain’ and zombification are riskier. Is the life drain cellular? Exhaustion based? If it’s a soul based drain then you’re fine; the black onyx system implanted in your body will do its primary job and keep your soul right where it should be. The other forms of life drain can be blocked with a few spells once you realize what’s happening.

Zombification should likewise be preventable. It turns out that necromancers love to try and enslave each other, so you have practice warding it off. However, this Seiga Kaku might have some fancy zombification infection you’ve never dealt with before. No matter what, you’re positive you can take a few bites before joining the walking dead in the worst case.

Well, you’ve got a responsibility here. “Mokou, I’m going to go out and see what they want. Can you keep watch from here?”

“You really sure about that? Even I know this isn’t something a sane person would walk into.”

“I think so. Come haul my ass into the fire if I start to get eaten.” Mokou walks you to the door of her house and waves you goodbye. The immortal flies up to perch on the roof of the building, leaving Yoshika and you to approach the white-towel bearing jiang-shi.

“Yoshika, you’ll keep me safe, right?”

“Eh?” The zombie is latched to your arm as usual. “Yes!”

Usually, her terse answers would be enough, but you have to make sure in this situation. “Do you understand what I mean?”

“Yes. Nobody bites master but me!” Her grin is all teeth; sharpened teeth.

“Uh.” You appreciate her sentiment, at least.

Yoshika notices your uncomfortable silences and corrects herself. “Not me?”

“I’d prefer not.”

“Okay~”

Plan worked out, you stop a meter away from the jiang-shi. It’s a man, as tall as you. He wears the garb of an average peasant, not some colorful and fancy outfit like Yoshika. He’s in a noticeably worse state than Yoshika was. Through the tears in his ragged clothing, you can only see rotting flesh.

Despite his wretched condition, there’s life in his eyes. You greet the man and ask him a simple question. “Hey. What do you lot want?”

“Ungh.” The jiang-shi raises his arm holding the piece of paper.

You edge forward and take the letter. The jiang-shi doesn’t react.

There are only a few words on the piece of paper, carefully written in ink. You read the words aloud. “Care to talk? Come inside this one’s mind. No tricks, I promise.”

You crumple the paper and throw it over your shoulder. You were half-expecting the paper to explode, but it doesn’t. “That sounds like a terrible idea. Keep my body safe, Yoshika.”

And keep my mind safe, please. I’m not letting the bitch trash your brain, don’t worry.

If you want to negotiate, there’s no choice. You grab the jiang-shi’s hand and cast your mind into its body.

If your sister wasn’t here, you would never agree to something like this. Other than letting Seiga have another go at destroying your mind if she wanted, mixing thoughts with a stranger is too intimate. Sure, Byakuren tromped around in your mind, but at least you got to know her a bit.

You can immediately feel Seiga trying to poke into your mind, trying to read your thoughts, emotions, and memories. Yet, every one of her feelers is swatted away by your sister. There seems to be nothing to fear while under your sister’s protection.

Unfortunately, Seiga is competent in mind magic as well. You won’t be getting any reads into her with your capability. As much as you would like to know more about your enemy, you can’t have your sister invade Seiga’s mind. Anything more than defense would give hints of your sister’s existence to Seiga.

In the end, normal negotiations can take place. You can compare the mind-speak to two people standing on opposite ends of a bridge. The two of you are launching helicopters and boats to survey the other side, but they’re all being intercepted by heat-seeking missiles. Only a single messenger huffing it across the bridge remains unmolested.

“Hello. I feel confident in declaring this our first meeting.”

“What do you want, Seiga Kaku?”

“Oh my, you already know my name? And yet I know not yours.”

You tell her, just so she won’t keep complaining about it. “I’ll ask again. What do you want?”

“Many things. Shall I list them for you?” You do your best to throw a mental lance into her annoying brain, but it’s easily blocked. “My, you are an angry one. No teasing, then. How is my cute former underling faring?”

“After you tried to destroy her?”

“Now, I did not. That would have been something of a side effect.”

“A side effect of killing me, pfh. I still don’t see why you care.”

“How unseemly. I simple inquired as to her well-being. Are you not the one who implied you could do better for her?”

“I have. You’ve seen her through your servant’s eyes, haven’t you? I don’t cut-off people because I feel like it.”

“Such implications from you. I would most certainly keep my underlings if I could. I so hate to give up what is mine.” Hatred. Anger. Annoyance. Despite your sister’s filtering, you can feel those intense emotions for a moment before they dissipate. “But my, I’m ecstatic you did indeed care for her. You are most certainly the perfect candidate!”

“Start making sense, Seiga, or I’m leaving.”

“Fetter not, this shall only take a second longer. As you have proven yourself a capable individual, I thought to myself, who better to inherit my things I cannot keep?”

“What are you-”

“After all, an individual such as you knows so much more than one like I. There shall be no interference from me in your new custody over my precious underlings. Do keep them well, won’t you?”

“You’re…giving these jiang-shi to me.”

“All twelve of them, yes. I do so hope that this doesn’t inconvenience you in any manner. I thought long and hard about what to do after our first meeting. Among all the responses I could give you, I thought this the most appropriate. Perhaps I shall leave you with parting advice? Take care around…everyone, ahahaha.”

Seiga withdraws from her jiang-shi’s mind. You and your sister surge forward into the zombie’s mind, trying to catch traces of Seiga’s presence.

You’re looking for mental contamination. If two minds are joined and separated, things tend to get left behind - traces of thoughts and emotions, depending on the skill of the magic user.

Yet, combing the zombie’s mind for clues, you turn up empty. Seiga cleaned up quite well. Yeah, she did. I got something, but…

What is it? You need to know all the information you can get to better prepare.

Well…it’s kind of…

Your sister lets the thought she managed to salvage slip into your consciousness. You ‘hear’ the thought in Seiga’s cultured tone. “Although, I must say, a passionate man has his charms…”

...I told you, this isn’t really, well, helpful. I’m pretty sure this was her last thought before leaving.

Yeah. Fuck that. Better not to think about it.

The two of you withdraw from the jiang-shi’s mind and back into your body. It was a faithful talk, at least. Glancing around, you can see nobody has moved in the few seconds that Seiga and you exchanged thoughts.

You groan and rub the bridge of your nose. “You’re shitting me.”

What’s wrong? She didn’t try to explode us; isn’t that a good thing?

Theoretically, yes, but this stinks of the lowest blow Seiga could deal you.

Why?

Think about it. If she just wanted to kill you, Reimu would be around to stomp her. Plus, you could put up a good fight yourself. With Gensokyo’s unique power structure, any direct action would be far from ideal in hurting an enemy.

This, though. You’re trying to keep your profession hidden as to not arouse suspicion. What the hell are you going to do with twelve more zombies? Keep them? Where would you put them? Or would you have them follow you?

It’s appealing, no doubt about it. Having thirteen powerful zombies that don’t put a drain on your mana to control is highly appealing. That kind of force would cause any necromancer in the world to be cautious. Unfortunately, the jiang-shi are in as bad or worse conditions than Yoshika originally was.

Do you invest the resources to maintain them? You have to, if you’re a better person than Seiga. But to maintain thirteen zombies to your standards would take more resources than you have on you, and ridiculous amounts of time. You’ve spent at least a quarter of a day on Yoshika already, but she was in rather good condition compared to her peers and you didn’t need to gather more materials. You don’t doubt that the bitch was counting on your scruples working against you.

So perhaps you just get rid of them? Of course, that’s easier said than done. If they were just animated corpses, controlled like puppets by your magic then you wouldn’t mind taking them apart, but…

“Hey, all of you, gather around!” You yell at the jiang-shi surrounding the house.

They all make their way over, most of them floating just above the ground, although the ones with some dexterity shuffle over. They stand in a loose circle around you, an arm’s distance away.

Creepy. “Take those seals off of your faces and toss them to the ground.” The ones that can, do. You have Yoshika yank the seals off of the other jiang-shi.

Isn’t it dangerous to remove their control? Quite probably, but you’d rather not have Seiga swooping back in and having them eat you when your back is turned.

None of the jiang-shi make any drastic moves after being freed from the seals. In fact, they’re all focused on Yoshika.

The zombie girl is grinning and laughing, patting the other jiang-shi on the shoulders or pulling them into awkward hugs. She’s talking with them, too. Some just grunt and moan in response, but others are capable of holding a conversation.

“Look good.”

“I am! Master is nice~”

“Unh.”

“Oh, you had squirrel? Lucky~”

It doesn’t bode well. You turn to the closest jiang-shi and ask, “May I enter your mind?”

“Mhm.” The jaing-shi inclines its head in asset. This one isn’t so bad overall, but he’s missing his arm at the elbow…oh, him. Despite what happened to his arm, he has a small smile on his face while he watches Yoshika.

You dip into his mind just to confirm.

Yeah. It’s safe to say they’re all people. They all have souls, just like Yoshika. They might have been living then turned into jiang-shi, dead then dragged back to their bodies, or maybe even wandering spirits shoved into bodies. No matter what, they’re people, not just moving corpses.

You could just send them off to the afterlife. What’s a bit of murder to somebody already dead, right? Some might call it a mercy. It’s not like you haven’t killed people before. Why not be a good Christian and let the dead rest? There are trade-offs to every idea, though. Depending on where the jiang-shi’s souls came from, you might attract some unwanted attention with the authorities if you send them off.

“Hey!” A blazing heat erupts behind you.

“Don’t fire, Mokou!” You cringe at your choice of words and figure out what to say. “They’re, uh, mine now.”

“Huh?” The immortal lets her fire dissipate. She lands on the ground next to you, watching the jiang-shi standing nearby curiously.

“Seiga let them be my responsibility.”

That bitch.

What are you going to do with these undead? Can you trust Seiga’s words? And what are you going to do in general? A new day, full of possibility and difficulty awaits you.

[ ] Accept them
-[ ] Let them follow you
-[ ] Hide them in the ground
-[ ] Keep them…
--[ ] Around Mokou’s home
--[ ] Near Myouren Temple’s cemetery
[ ] Reject them
-[ ] Let them wander Gensokyo as they’ve been doing
-[ ] Send them off, as appropriately as possible
[ ] <Write-in>

[ ] Need more sleep
-[ ] Back inside
-[ ] Trudge back to Myouren Temple
[ ] Go visit…
-[ ] Akyuu
-[ ] Byakuren
-[ ] Reimu
-[ ] Reisen
-[ ] Seiga
-[ ] Tewi
[ ] Fix up the jiang-shi…
-[ ] As best as you can with what you have
-[ ] But comb the wilderness for more materials first
[ ] <Write-in>

---

Choose what to do about your new acquisitions and then what to do with your time, if you would.

Obviously, if you’re choosing to get rid of the jiang-shi, don’t vote to fix them up afterwards (unless you want them to look pretty when they die again, I guess). As far as write-in’s go, I’ll speak up if something is impossible or there’s too large of a misunderstanding.

If the big vote is scaring people off, I’ll trim it down for next time – it’s not like my options are nuanced enough for every possibility, anyway.

>Write-in
That was a rather well thought out and accurate assessment of one of the possibilities. Bravo, Sir.

>Getting to Eientei
Guess not. Maybe this time around, huh? Keep trying to rally the voters!
>> No. 164934
[x] Accept them
-[x] Keep them…
--[x] Near Myouren Temple’s cemetery [for now]

[x] Go visit.
-[x] Byakuren.
--[x] Let her know about the Jiang Shi.
-[x] Reisen.

This shouldn't be mutually exclusive, I mean, if the zombies will be around Myouren then we should notify before they think the taoists are doing something.
Maybe we could make a case about this people being given a second life and have them join the temple or something as guards or staff if dexterity allows.
After setting things with the temple we could go to the rabbit and get her testimony. Maybe we could actually get a lead into the search.

After that we should make a note of taking care of getting materials and fixing the zombies, a dozen or so of competent sentient undead is a handy thing to have.
>> No. 164936
[x]Accept them
-[x]Keep them
--[x]Around the Myouren Temple cemetary

[x]Go visit
-[x]Byakuren

[x]Fix up the Jiang-Shi
-[x]But get what materials you can first.

I just have this feeling that fixing the Jiang-Shi will come back to help us later. I'd advocate doing our best at it.

I wonder if the number thirteen is significant...
>> No. 164937
[ ] Reject them
-[ ] Send them off, as appropriately as possible

[ ] Need more sleep
-[ ] Back inside

I care not for a zombie army, I have Yoshika!
More importantly, I still don't trust Seiga.

Suggestion, maybe tone down the "idiot womanizer" trope. I do love it and it's always fun to read but nearly every female having an attraction to MC is a bit to much. Just my two cents.

Mokou~
>> No. 164938
>>164933
Hurm. If we fix up the new zombies, we spend time not investigating. This is probably totally a coincidence, and we shouldn't waste time telling Reimu that Seiga is now a possible suspect for burdening us during our investigation of who stole the dangerous necromantic texts.

No, wait, we should.
[x] Fix up the jiang-shi…
-[x] As best as you can with what you have
[x] Send Yoshika and Sister to deliver a message of warning to Reimu that Seiga is a likely suspect for interfering with our end of the investigation.
>> No. 164939
164936 here.

[x] Send Yoshika and Sister to deliver a message of warning to Reimu that Seiga is a likely suspect for interfering with our end of the investigation.

I'd like to add this to my vote. It seems like a fairly good idea.
>> No. 164940
[X] Reject them
-[X] Send them off, as appropriately as possible
[x] Send Yoshika and Sister to deliver a message of warning to Reimu that Seiga is a likely suspect for interfering with our end of the investigation.
>> No. 164941
>>164937
I think Seiga's remarks were more a teasing tone than anything of real attraction value.

[x] Accept them
-[x] Keep them…
--[x] Near Myouren Temple’s cemetery [for now]
--[x] Make a note to gather more materials if possible to do some fixing up. That or get to know them as to tell which ones are safest to send off.

I think they should be improved/fixed, but not to Yoshika's level right away.

That and as nice sending them off would be, it might invite big time trouble i.e. Higan and Shikieiki. If we were to do

[x] Go visit.
-[x] Byakuren.
--[x] Let her know about the Jiang Shi.
[x] Send Yoshika and Sister to deliver a message of warning to Reimu that Seiga is a likely suspect for interfering with our end of the investigation.
>> No. 164942
>>164937
I'm always surprised by the varied responses of people to the same stimuli. He's anything but a womanizer.

Anyway,

[x] Accept them
-[x] Keep them…
--[x] Near Myouren Temple’s cemetery [for now]
[x] Go visit.
-[x] Byakuren.
--[x] Let her know about the Jiang Shi.
[x] Tell Reimu that seiga is likely suspect for interfering with our end of the investigation and the true meaning of her gift.

Manipulating human lives for her purposes... a bitch indeed.
>> No. 164943
>>164937 here. Adding this in.
[x] Stay at Mokou's
[x] Send Yoshika and Sister to deliver a message of warning to Reimu that Seiga is a likely suspect for interfering with our end of the investigation.
>>164942
Just using the bunny's words.
>> No. 164950
>>164943
Said little bunny is prone to trolling.
>> No. 164954
[x] Accept them
-[x] Keep them…
--[x] Near Myouren Temple’s cemetery [Guard Duty]
[x] Go visit.
-[x] Byakuren.
--[x] Let her know about the Jiang Shi.
--[x] Don't forget the Necronomicon and the Exploding Heart Guy.
[x] Tell Reimu that seiga is likely suspect for interfering with our end of the investigation and the true meaning of her gift.
>> No. 164955
[X] Accept them
-[X] Keep them…
--[X] Near Myouren Temple’s cemetery
[X] Need more sleep
-[X] Back inside

Emergency undead squad? Fuck yeah! And we should sleep more before our body decides to call it quits.
>> No. 164962
[X] Ask the Jiang Shi what they want to happen to them in their minds.
-[X] Send them to the Myouren Cemetery for the time being.
[X] Head to the Myouren temple.
-[X] Tell Byakuren that we have a dozen additional Jiang Shi on our hands.
--[X] Ask for advice on what to do, and try to learn the consequences of sending them off in Gensokyo.

As much as I would like to free our hands of a dozen temporarily detrimental servants immediately, it would be best to learn what should happen to them.

It'll take several days or even weeks to fix them all up, and I think that since they're in worse condition then Yoshika when we found here, they probably won't be as effective in battle as her.

Sending them off, on the other hand, may attract the ire of the Bureau of Right and Wrong, which may in turn bring upon the vengeance of a Shinigami to reap our collective heads for violating the natural order. We should ask Byrakuren how should we send away the dozen souls on our hands in the best way possible, since she can probably draw something from her teachings to this situation and allow us to make a moral choice.
>> No. 164963
[X] Accept them
-[X] Keep them…
--[X] Near Myouren Temple’s cemetery.
[X] Go visit.
-[X] Byakuren.
--[X] Let her know about the Jiang Shi.
>> No. 164964
[X] Ask the Jiang Shi what they want to happen to them in their minds.
-[X] Send them to the Myouren Cemetery for the time being.
[X] Head to the Myouren temple.
-[X] Tell Byakuren that we have a dozen additional Jiang Shi on our hands.
--[X] Ask for advice on what to do, and try to learn the consequences of sending them off in Gensokyo.
>> No. 164965
[X] Ask the Jiang Shi what they want to happen to them in their minds.
-[X] Send them to the Myouren Cemetery for the time being.
[X] Head to the Myouren temple.
-[X] Tell Byakuren that we have a dozen additional Jiang Shi on our hands.
--[X] Ask for advice on what to do, and try to learn the consequences of sending them off in Gensokyo.

This seems like a decent plan of action.
>> No. 164970
[X] Ask the Jiang Shi what they want to happen to them in their minds.
-[X] Send them to the Myouren Cemetery for the time being.
[X] Head to the Myouren temple.
-[X] Tell Byakuren that we have a dozen additional Jiang Shi on our hands.
--[X] Ask for advice on what to do, and try to learn the consequences of sending them off in Gensokyo.

Sounds good. But if we keep them... does that mean our fighting style is controlling a whole bunch of Jiang Shi?
>> No. 164971
>>164970

What would probably happen is that we'll have a miniature army of decayed corpses on call in the Myouren cemetery, waiting for our orders. Assuming that we are forced to keep them, I'd assume that we can summon our Jiang Shi at our darkest hour and have them sacrifice their bodies for the cause while we regroup. Of course, if Seiga still has a grip on their souls, which may be possible, our cavalry may betray us.

Either way, their decayed nature means that they will probably be far from as competent as Yoshika in combat, so we can't fully rely on them in a pinch.
>> No. 164972
Well, this certainly took an interesting turn.


[x] Accept them
-[x] Ask the Jiangshi what they want to have happen to them.
-[x] Keep them…
--[x] Near Myouren Temple’s cemetery [for now]
[x] Go visit.
-[x] Byakuren.
--[x] Let her know about the Jiang Shi.
[x] Let Reimu know about the possible interference, though it's still a bit... Tenuous. We don't know what Seiga's real intentions were, after all.

Oh, and, this: Even if we can't necessarily use the zombies as soldiers, it might be a good idea to have them work as whatever trade they used to perform, if it's useful. I'd imagine that having some well-maintained Jiangshi around the temple could be a decent way of repaying Byakuren for our room.

And if we need raw materials, we might actually be able to find 'em relatively easily if we head to a certain Scarlet Mansion, or attempt to improvise and use some more exotic materials.

Or-- Or, and this is a big if. Maybe we could see about... /Combining/ zombies. The ones who want to be sent to the next life can have that release- the ones who stay can be repaired using parts cannibalized from the passed-on ones.

It's a bit gruesome, but it's efficient.
>> No. 164982
[x] Write In

Keep the ones that are in moderate to good repair, we can fix them up with the the least amount of effort. Send the rest on to their afterlives.

[x]Fix them up, but search for materials first. I'd prefer to not skin our entire body.

[x] Go see Byakuren

See what the religious person thinks about all this.
>> No. 164992
Seconding >>164972, especially the bit about sending on the jiangshi that don't want to stay in this world. It's the best choice on both moral and practical grounds.
>> No. 164995
>>164992
I thought this was a given considering his personality. If it isn't, writefag, count another vote towards this remark.
>> No. 164997
>>164992
Just be aware of the massive risk of provoking Higan when doing so.
>> No. 164999
>>164997

I'm pretty sure we'd be in deeper trouble if we didn't at least send off the ones that're ready to go on to their next lives. If we were to just kill off all of them, then there might be a number of unregistered ghosts on the loose, especially since the ones who would be cut loose may not in fact have access to their original bodies anymore.

This is actually a problem, as, IIRC, a soul or body or something taken away from the river before being hauled over turns into an Onryo, and that's no good. It may be a good idea to spare enough of their bodies to allow passage across the river, but we aught to still be able to use what we can for repair-work.

I mean, it's worse if we kept a bunch of unruly spirits around- spirits who didn't want to be here anymore. It'd also be bad if we didn't resolve the issues of the spirits who want to continue dwelling in this world- they're alive, their needs and karmas need to be fulfilled, or they may turn into something awful.

Basically, this has may anger the Yama in the short term, but it also ends up likely the best course of action in the long run. This is of course provided she actually finds our MC as 'Black.' But she may equally find him as 'White,' or trending towards one way or another. She seems like the type who really really wants you to do good in life, and realizes that you need to be alive to do it.
>> No. 165004
>>164997
Wouldn't Higan prefer that souls trapped in undead bodies be returned to the cycle of reincarnation? Although that could be even worse, since we've got one we want to keep.

Hopefully they're neutral about when and how people die, just concerned with what happens after.
>> No. 165007
File 136011140446.jpg - (90.56KB , 500x650 , a-link-to-the-past-wait-wrong-reference.jpg ) [iqdb]
165007
“I can’t wear that!”

“Oh? Why not?”

“It’s…it’s stupid looking!”

“Hm? Are you insulting His most holy garments, worn by His ever faithful servants?”

“Yeah, I am. You might be fine with it, but I’m not wearing that thing. I don’t even go to church!”

“Well, tough luck. If you’re sticking with me, then you’re going to wear these and you’re going to like them.”

“Who even said I’m staying with you? Thanks for not killing me, but I’m not sticking around in this stuffy monastery.”

“Truly?”

“W-What’s with that look?”

“Nothing. I won’t force you to stay if you don’t want to.”

“I-I see. That’s good. I’ll be going, then. Here’s your money back.”

“Keep it. It is a gift given in good cheer and well wishes. May your fortune shine under His benevolence.”

“O-Okay. Thanks for not killing me, and uh, everything else. Cya.”

“…There were ninety and nine that safely lay, in the shelter of the fold. But one was out on the hills away, far off from the gates of gold. Away on the mountains wild and bare. Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.”

“…yeah, it is beautiful…”

“Hm? Oh, you’re still here. What’s wrong? Weren’t you leaving?”

“No, I was…just thinking about it. I might have been acting a bit stupid, myself. It would be rude of me to just blow off your help after what you’ve done for me. Uh, sorry for acting like a child.”

“Is that all?”

“W-What d-do you mean?”

“Nothing, nothing. Here.”

“You’re kidding me.”

“Nope! I already told you, these clothes or off you go.”

“But it’s so…white…”

“…”

“Fine, fine, I’ll wear the thing. But you better believe I’m ditching it as soon as I can.”

---

And it’s almost auto-sage. Commence the thread-killing!

>Thirteen
Maaaaaaybe.

>Trope and archetypes - Romance
Fair enough, I see your point. I’m not out to write a romantic comedy. I admit to keeping the ‘attraction’ vibe (teasing, playfulness, whatever you might call it) going, partly to scope out Anon’s predilections and partly because (as has been noted) it is fun to write.

That being said, I wouldn’t overestimate how much of a manly stud you are in getting all the bitches. The number of women in Gensokyo who would die for you currently numbers, well, zero. Depending on your definition of die, of course.

>Fighting style changing
Not if the choice is left to me. Avoiding a fight, using dirty nasty tricks when necessary, taking a bone-sword to your problems if force to has been your modus operandi in the past.

Votes, of course, can change that. Fill those zombies up with virulent diseases and send in the walking bombs to Gensokyo’s major population centers in order to kick of the zombie apocalypse for all I care.

>Choosing which jiang-shi to send off
Yeah, if people were to only vote for that option, I would have included discretion as to what the jiang-shi wanted. >>164995 was right in regards to the personality assessment, in this case.

>Afterlife games
Good speculation all around, but no comment from me, here. It’s a story about a necromancer, for goodness sake. If you somehow manage to avoid the dead police for all of it I’ll…I’ll…do something unpleasant.


As always, if there are questions you want answered, I encourage you to ask. Alternatively, if there are comments you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them. Keep on discussing here if you wish, or voting if you like.

If not, then you get the joy of waiting around for my fat ass to get the next update written, proofed, and ready to go. It’ll probably be at the end of the week as usual, despite my wishes.

Thanks for keeping up with the story!

TL;DR – Random snippet, killing the thread, comments, critiques, questions and answers time! Next thread == continuation of story.
>> No. 165027
File 136028596686.jpg - (267.29KB , 850x601 , sample_4476414018a4d7dc7ab74a8d055c7c8c.jpg ) [iqdb]
165027
Question: If the MC's sister was able to defend against Seiga's mind attacks this time, why was it so close during the first encounter?
>> No. 165028
>>165027

Because she was actually trying the first time around, and used a trap seal for good measure. This time, it was no more than curiosity, and she wasn't trying to mind-rape Necroanon.
>> No. 165031
>>165027

Yeah, >>165028 covered the gist of it. In addition, the first time was essentially a sneak attack, completely unexpected in scope. This second time, everybody was more prepared for the other party's capabilities.
>> No. 165064
I'm not too familiar with spellcards: are they all danmaku, or can Necroanon have spellcards that power up his zombies? Call 'em Cryptkeeper and Necropotence, maybe.
>> No. 165123
File 136079979595.jpg - (191.88KB , 960x768 , Care to make a deal.jpg ) [iqdb]
165123
I wonder how far necranon's power could develop, what his maximum limit really is. Particularly after seeing all the discussion about how Higan might react.

Pic related.
>> No. 165127
>>165123
Dunno if his power could grow here or not as he noted himself to be lacking power, but made up for it with tools and cleverness. That and his sister's spirit.
>> No. 165193
>>165123
>Hi, konban wa! Would you like your beloved xxx back?
Necroanon is not going to be building any akuma. Not while I'm around to... piss ineffectually against... the tide... dammit.
>> No. 165204
>>165064
In my little corner of the Touhou-verse, spell cards are purely danmaku firing goodness. If you activate your spell card, expect bullets. The spell cards are ultimately tools of the spell card duels, regulated and enforced to standards set by Reimu and agreed to by the major powers.

Now, that isn’t to say you can’t power up your zombies. If you can maintain concentration on the spell card while working other spells, more power to you. That is how most youkai gain their unfair advantage in duels, after all. All manners of flight or Medicine dousing the area in poison are some examples. Byakuren’s magical self-enhancements are another, closer in line to what you’re getting at.

Remember that, as far as this story is concerned, none of the girls have gotten really serious in the games. You can only get so serious within the confines of a spell card duel. The major limiting rule is the ‘Non-lethal’ clause.

What are the hard limits to the rules? How immediately lethal is illegally lethal? Well, you’ll have to find that out for yourself. Or ask someone. Or wait until it becomes irrelevant and I decide to lay out all the constraints.

>Human limits
With a puny human body and meager magical talent, you aren’t going very far. The fact of the matter is, there’s only so much raw power you can unleash in an average human body, and even the greatest tricks won’t stop the ridiculously overpowered.

Oh, the possibilities…

>>165203