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170490 No. 170490
You wake as the first rays of a new 'morn break through the verdant green trees above you, lavishing you with a warmth much desirable after a night without a fire. Before you shake the cloak off your haggard body however, you begin what has been your morning ritual for the passed few days, straining your ears in an attempt to learn whether or not your perusers are nearby. A ritual that you started after your second night on the run when you awoke with the heel of one of the village watchmen at your head, not the most pleasant way to start the morning, but you've had worse.
Satisfied that there is nothing to be heard in this area of the forest other than your own breathing and the sound of insects, you pull yourself from the earth's cold embrace, grab your trusty flintlock pistol from your belt and wrap your muddied cloak around your shoulders.

Nary a week has passed since you were forced to leave your village on the grounds of sorcery, a most ridiculous notion. Certainly you had created a few salves and ointments over the years, but sorcery? Impossible.

You chuckle to yourself as you stretch, letting the moist forest air fill your lungs. How you pity the common souls in your village, never thinking, never living, just going through the motions. Yet it was you who was cast out, for merely trying to find a cure for the blighted whooping cough that had descended upon your village faster then a vulture to a corpse, sure you had to use a few of the good folk in town to test your medicine with varying results, but how can one progress without a little risk?

No, you thought, enough of that. The village is gone and you must forge your own path through this seemingly endless forest. You couldn't see properly through the darkness of last night, but ahead of you are two paths. One leading uphill and one leading down. The path uphill is muddied and will be difficult to climb, but the soaked earth may be a sign of a water-source nearby and god knows you could do with a drink.

The second path downhill is peppered with rocks, and seems to get steeper as the path goes on. Will you push your weary body in an attempt to descend the rocky path?

[] Follow the downwards path
[] Follow the upwards path
[] Make a mad dash through the trees ahead of you.

============================

Although I will try to spin an engaging tale for you all, I must admit that I am new to CYOAs and have only read a few in the past. With any luck, the tale of an englishman in Gensokyo will be an interesting one.

No. 170491
[X] Follow the upwards path

Better to try and get some water.
No. 170492
[X] Follow the upwards path

Hm. I will give this story a try.
No. 170493
[x] Follow the upwards path

We need to secure tea and a cup. Get a monocle and a walking cane.
No. 170494
[] Follow the upwards path
>Calling ones self TenPenny as a pseudonym
>Not calling ones self TenPence
Good Heavens, my fellow gentleman! For a moment there, I had thought you were surely American, having used such sullied variant of the Queen's English!

I am most certainly following this tale. It promises to be jolly fun, chap.
No. 170500
[x] Follow the upwards path

You decide to scale the muddied upwards path, hoping for something, anything to quench your perishing thirst.
After several minutes and as many ungainly attempts to scale the blasted hill you are able to stand triumphant, though caked in grime, as running before you is a small stream, scarcely half a meter wide and glistening in the morning sunlight.

Glorious crystal clear water!

Throwing caution to the wind, you replace your pistol into your belt and drink heartily from the small stream, allowing the spring water to rejuvenate your tired body. After your thirst is thoroughly sated, you notice something rather odd through the trees ahead of you behind the browns and greens of the forest, yet closer than the clear blue sky, is a swath of red, towering as high as a tree.
Curious, you step over the stream and push through the trees beyond, there branches snagging against your clothes in a pitiful attempt to stop you from reaching the land beyond.
Before you realise it, the trees are gone. The forest that you spent days struggling through is behind you at long last. No longer will your feet have to stumble and squelch through the muck and the dirt, although you do almost topple to your right when you exit the forest's clutches as the ground peeters away rather abruptly downhill.

Before you is what caught your eye moments ago, a tall painted piece of wood, standing proud at the top of the hill. Presumably it's acting as a gate, as the hill to your right is adorned with a set of stone steps.

Now you just feel silly for scrambling up that damnable hill.

Behind the gateway is a small building in a style that you have never seen before, and a woman dressed in a peculiar garb of red and white, wielding a broom and staring at your muddied figure with a look of bafflement.

"Hello there, ma'am!" you call out in an attempt to prove that you, despite your current appearance, are not indeed a ruffian nor a dolt.

Your greeting is met by a brief sigh by the woman.

"People normally use the stairs, you know." She replied, "I take it your an outsider then?"

What barbarous tongue! Certainly, you are not from these parts but is that a justification to single one out?
No, no, you thought, clearing your head. This woman clearly means no wrong, it is not wise to judge someone so hastily.

"Indeed, I suppose I am." You reply with a chuckle after a brief internal struggle. "I am from a village about four days walk from here." You state, indicating to the forest behind you. "Do you know of it?"

"Yep, defiantly an outsider." She says, paying you no heed as she turns to walk towards the building. "C'mon, this'll be easier to explain with some tea." She states as you stand there gormlessly.

While a cup of tea is certainly tempting, and it would be rude to turn down such an offer. Surely it is moreso to trail mud through one's house?

"I am humbled by your offer but I am caked in-"

"Just hurry up, don't worry about the mud." The woman interrupts. "This place's been torn to the ground before, I can deal with a little dirt."

"In that case, I will kindly take you up on your offer."


Over a brew of tea that has never before graced your palette, the woman introduces herself as a miss Reimu Hakurei of the aptly named Hakurei Shine and has informed you as to the nature of Gensokyo, where you have seemingly stumbled into.
A place where 'youkai' roam the land hunting humans, but also needing them to exist?
A place where magic is practiced in addition to technology?
What was that she just mentioned, "Spell Cards"? What on gods green earth is this woman talking about?

You find yourself failing to grasp the conversation, it sounds like the land that the woman is describing is something out of a fairytale, and besides all of that nonsensical rambling. What exactly is this a shrine to? You certainly don't know of any shrines like this within the church, an entirely different religion perhaps?

Preposterous! If there was a different religion in a place so close to the village, surely you would have heard of it. Though, if this miss Hakurei is to be believed, you may be further from home than you think.

"Hello?", The voice of the shrine maiden snaps you from your reverie.

"Ah, yes." You reply, unable to mask your confusion.


How do you respond to this barrage of information?

[] Deny the situation outright, leaving the shrine and whatever delusions this woman has.
[] Ask for proof, surely if she believes all of this she could show you?
[] Write In!

=======================

Bloody hell, turns out writing is quite a bit harder than I thought. I can scarsley believe it's taken me over an hour to write this out.

>>170494
I was tempted to use Tenpence, but alas, Tenpenny just has a better ring to it old boy. Plus, you don't call a single penny a pence, that would just sound daft!
No. 170501
[] Ask for proof, surely if she believes all of this she could show you?

An English man is one of rational mind! We must require proof if we are to believe her!
No. 170503
Pommy Bastard quest?

I'm in.

[x] Mentally deny these claims. However it would not be proper to say this out loud.
Accept the tea.
No. 170508
[x] Ask for proof, surely if she believes all of this she could show you?

Rationality, good sir! We must see the evidence with our own eyes!
No. 170510
[x] Mentally deny these claims. However it would not be proper to say this out loud.
No. 170522
[x] Ask for proof, surely if she believes all of this she could show you?

As the as of yet unnamed main character is clearly an educated man of science, I believe the only proper answers to all these delusions of fairytale worlds and monsters is "codswallop!". But it would also be terribly rude to say as much over tea, so let's just phrase it a bit subtler.
No. 170526
[] Accept the tea
[] Mentally deny these claims, as it would not be proper to say such aloud.
[] Ask for proof, surely if she believes all of this she could show you?

============================

You graciously accept the tea, as a myriad of different thoughts swirl around your head.

Despite your attempts to be a gentleman towards the woman who has kindly you find it impossible to believe what she's saying.
Magic spell cards? Youkai? alternate dimensions? To be quite frank, it all sounds absurd to you. It simply isn't possible.

As you think to yourself, your hand finds it's way to the flintlock pistol on your belt when a single thought manages to rise above the rest. Many years ago, you thought, in a time before bullets and gunpowder were common to a man, the idea of a pistol would have been impossible. Could it be that this land simply has access to technology not found in England?

Absurd! You think, shaking your head at the ridiculous notion. You have only walked for a mere four days, it is impossible to exit the country in such a small amount of time. Furthermore, you are fairly sure that you didn't cross a bloody ocean in your trek through the forest. There is no way you could be in 'another land' in the first place.

"Ah, do you not drink green tea?" Miss Hakurei asked as you shook such notions out of your head.

"Green tea?"

After being wrenched from your thoughts, you noticed that the tea steaming within the small, handle-less cup was indeed green. How odd.

"Ah, no." You reply, catching yourself before any accidental offence were to occur. "I'm simply curious, I never knew tea came in a colour other than black."

As the last of the scalding and, surprisingly rather bitter, tea worked it's way down your throat you decided that it would hardly be proper to outright deny Miss Hakurei, as the vast spiel of information made it clear that, at the very least, least Miss Hakurei herself believes what she's saying. Therefore, you thought to yourself. One should ask for proof of these weird and wonderful things before deciding. Even if it is to merely entertain the whimsies of your hostess.

"Unlike your rather exceptional tea, Miss Hakurei. I'm afraid I'm finding this all a bit difficult to swallow." You begin, resting the warm cup on the shrine's low table. "I simply cannot fathom a world in which magic coexists with technology, monsters roam the land and disputes are solved by magical duels. However..." you falter slightly, trying not to offend the woman who has just kindly offered you tea and graciously overlooked your dishevelled state.
"I pride myself on being a man of reason, and if you can provide me with a definitive reason to accept all of this. I will gladly cast aside my own preconceived notions as to how this world works, and believe you."

"Ah, sure thing, lots of outsiders ask for proof." Reimu states simply, setting her cup aside and raising from the pillow on which she was sitting, which in and of it self is another oddity you wished to ask about.

You follow Reimu as she strides outside into the yard, curious as to how exactly she will prove all of this to you, you naturally follow.

As you are about to descend the small wooden steps into the yard however, you notice something rather odd. Miss Hakurei did not descend the steps. Rather, she simply lifted herself off the ground gracefully as she exited shelter of the small wooden building, turning to you as she ascends slowly through the air.

"Proof enough?" She asked with a small yawn.

You simply cannot answer.
There must be some trick to this, you thought as you gazed, mouth agape, at the woman who mere moments ago had been drinking tea with you.

Your mind raced as you searched for possibilities as to how this could have occurred, logically of course. She couldn't be being lifted by a thread, you thought. Not only did she not have the time to attach herself to anything, but there is nothing for her to be attached to, as Miss Hakurei is no longer within the confines of the building.
She couldn't be standing on anything, you thought to yourself. If there was, it would have to be transparent and even then, it would be revealed by the warm rays of the sun.

As you puzzle over the trick that was used, Miss Hakurei speaks again, seemingly determined to pull the rug of reality from beneath your feet.

"Not enough?" She asks with rhetoric as she lands in front of you, making you believe for a moment that nothing odd or unexplainable had ever transpired. Such notions are quickly denounced however, when Miss Hakurei raises her palm to the sky and, as if by magic. No, perhaps with magic. A small slip of paper is hovering above her palm, rotating slowly with the morning breeze.

Dumbfounded, you reach out your hand, uttering a rather meek "May I?" as you do so. When your hand touches the paper however, you are not greeted by the slightly rough texture that one would expect. As a matter of fact, you are not greeted at all. When your fingers come into contact with the paper, a sharp prickling sensation runs through your fingertips, causing your hand to recoil. Furthermore, the paper seems to break at your touch, scattering as though it were made of sand before being carried off on the wind to parts unknown.

"I- Well I don't know quite what to say." You admit. Though, as you do so, your mind starts to spin with the possibilities that this 'magic' could create. If she truly conjured that paper from nothingness, would it be possible to do so with other things as well? Would it be possible to create food, water, perhaps even medicinal items or weaponry? If this truly just occurred before your eyes, what would be the limit to what one could create. Would there even be a limit at all?.

As you are about to voice your new torrent of questions, Miss Hakurei beats you to the punch, so to speak.

"So, do you believe me or not?" She asks simply.

"Well, It would indeed be rather difficult not to at this stage." You agree with a sigh. "What exactly was that?" you ask. "Miss Hakurei, would it be possible to create anything with such a power? Surely there is a limit of some kind, else people would simply create whatever they pleased, no?"

Now, it seems, it is Miss Hakurei's turn to chuckle, as if she had heard these same questions before.

"Reimu's fine" She states, "you can drop the "Miss Hakurei", and that was my danmaku, it's usually used for duels though so I doubt you could create anything with danmaku, but you would probably be better off asking someone like Marisa or Patchouli that."

Marisa? Pathcouli?
You make a mental note to ask about them at a later time.

"So, what are you going to do now?" she asks suddenly.

"What exactly do you mean?" you enquire.

"Well you could stay here and drink my tea all day, or you could head out to the Human Village, that's what most outsiders do, or I could send you back across the border, which is probably the safest option."

"Safest?" you ask, unsure as to why there is the implication of danger.

"Well" she replied with a sigh. "To be honest, most outsider who come to Gensokyo wind up being killed by youkai."

That was a bit of news that you didn't quite expect. Certainly, She had mentioned that it was dangerous over tea, but you didn't expect it to be to that extent. While the offer to sample more of the strangely bitter tea is rather tempting, speaking to other denizens of this land could prove to be a wondrous boon. There are the villagers to consider, as well as the two people that Reimu mentioned. She did state that there was a risk of death, although if it is truly possible to create from nothing with magic, imagine what wonders you would be able to create if you took that knowledge with you!
Indeed, even if it is dangerous, you have never hesitated to progress due to risk before, and you would be damned if you are about to start now!


[] Head to the Human Village
[] Ask for directions to Patchouli
[] Ask for directions to Marisa
[] Write in


=======================

Well, that's it for update number three. I wasn't quite sure how to handle Reimu's info-dump from the last update, as I'm sure it would have been boring to read about the explanation of Gensokyo to our protagonist, but then again, it would have been useful to determine what exactly they know. Hopefully I've made it clearer over the passed update what the protagonist knows about as I'm trying to ensure that the off camera explanations doesn't become an infinite source of information later down the line.
No. 170528
[x] Ask about the technological progress in Gensokyo. Maybe she knows the way to the next workshop?

I am not sure if he knows about factories yet. Because progress is Nitori.
No. 170532
[X Ask for directions to Marisa
No. 170533
[x] Ask about the technological progress in Gensokyo. Maybe she knows the way to the next workshop?

I can get behind this.
No. 170534
[X] Ask for directions to Patchouli

One must always strive to improve oneself. Patchouli will hopefully be grac- gah I cant do that long damnit. I speaking American.

Hopefully she'll be willing to teach us. And Id love to see Remilia and our English gentleman interact. Probably be a very refreshing change of course for Remind and not having to deal with the common folk.

That is, if she doesn't suck us dry, non-sexually of course. Or sexually as I'd prefer!
No. 170537
I was trying to wait until the votes the count of three before updating, but alas, the date has changed and I must depart for the night. As a result I'm afraid that any expectations for or deliberations regarding to this tale will not be seen 'till the morrow.
No. 170541
>>170490
> English MC
> First post choice is between two paths or running into the forest

I do believe I have observed what you caused to transpire there.

>>170534
>Voters gonna vote for the SDM
No. 170542
>>170541
Oh, and so I don't get in trouble for not sageing (oops)...

[x] Ask for directions to Patchouli
No. 170543
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170543
>>170541

Hah, what can I say? I'm a faggot for Remi.
No. 170547
[x] Ask for directions to Marisa's

We're an alchemist! And an apothecary, apparently. While Patchouli has an /incredible/ library to peruse, Marisa is more likely to be familiar with our MC's particular brand of brewery.

Nearly everything she does is based on throwing ingredients in a pot and stirring until done, after all.
No. 170548
[x] Ask about the technological progress in Gensokyo. Maybe she knows the way to the next workshop?
No. 170549
[x] Ask about the technological progress in Gensokyo. Maybe she knows the way to the next workshop?
No. 170550
[x] Ask about the technological progress in Gensokyo. Maybe she knows the way to the next workshop?

...Kappa option?
No. 170551
[x] Ask about the technological progress in Gensokyo. Maybe she knows the way to the next workshop?
>...Kappa option?
ONLY OPTION!
No. 170553
Good morning, Good Evening wherever you may be. It would seem like the vote count has far exceeded three.

So please, wait warmly. Yes, wait and see just what will happen with our MC and Miss Nitori.
No. 170556
[x] Ask about the technological progress in Gensokyo. Maybe she knows the way to the next workshop?

========================

For what seems to be the hundredth time in the short while that you have shared with Miss Reimu you find your head once again filled with conflicting thoughts; do you go and visit the local villagers to see there opinion on the lands that you now share? Do you enquire as to who, or indeed what, Marisa and Patchouli are?
As Miss Reimu waits patiently for you to decide, an errant thought crosses your mind. One that questions whether or not you should even stay, chiding yourself with the fact that in this strange land there is naught with which you are familiar.
You attempt to discard the notion, but it still lingers in the back of your mind. Is this world truly so different from your own? You wonder in an attempt to contrast the depressing thought that threatens to engulf the others within your mind. Deciding that you simply aren't equipped with the information you require, you decide to ask Miss Reimu about something that you do know about, casting aside the thoughts of magic and monsters you instead ask:

"Miss Reimu, while I am certainly fascinated by the concept of magic, I feel that If I immerse myself with the subject before I experience more of Gensokyo, I will simply spend my days sitting and pondering the possibilities, practicalities and precautions that must come with it. Is there anywhere in this land where one could discuss and study, say, technology as opposed to the mystic arts?"

"Technology, huh?" Reimu asks, raising an eyebrow. "You could talk to Kanako, the god up on Youkai mountain, or you could try finding one of the Kappas."

Even when you ask about something within your realm of comfort, it seems that there must be a sprinkle of magic to go along with it.

"Kappa?" You ask, unfamiliar with the term. "I find myself rather unsure as to my abilities to scale a mountain, and even less so in conversing with a god." You add with a chuckle, entertaining the thought that one could truly speak walk up to and speak with a quite literal god.
Although, yesterday you would have never believed that someone could fly or create something from nothing. So perhaps it isn't as far-fetched a notion as it seems.

"They're youkai that live by the river at the base of the mountain." Reimu states, "They're shy though, so they might be hard to find."

Seeing your mouth hang agape at the fact that she just advised you to converse with the kappa after informing you; not only that youkai have a tendency to attack humans at night, but that 'outsiders' that are attacked rarely escape the ordeal, Reimu quickly adds:

"Ah don't worry, the Kappa are quite friendly with humans. C'mon, I'll walk you as far as the human village." Reimu states, spinning to face the wooden archway.

While you are well aware that Miss Reimu is escorting you for your own sake, begin escorted and protected is something that your pride as a gentleman simply will not allow.

"That's quite all right, Miss Reimu." You begin, stopping her before she can stride down the stone steps. "I have already imposed on you quite enough as it is. I have drank your tea, sullied your home with dirt and despite that you have been gracious enough to explain to me the nature of the place I'm in as well as both it's dangers and fascinations. I fear that if I allowed you to escort me I would be unable to aptly repay the kindnesses you have shown me today." You explain, tilting your head in thanks.

"Don't worry about it." Reimu interjects, "If you want to repay me that badly, just toss a few Yen in the donation box." she says with a laugh, turning and motioning to a small box in front of the shrine building.

"Yen?" you ask, briefly puzzled by the unfamiliar term. Before putting two and two together and realising that it must be a currency.

Reimu replies to your confusion with a sigh, larger than those she has shown before. "Just my luck, so I take it you aren't from Japan then." She says, moving to sit on the donation box. "You at least got something to protect yourself with?" The shrine maiden asks, "Fairies tend to prank people heading down the path from here."

"Indeed I do." You reply, removing the flintlock pistol from your belt, beneath your shirt. "Though I would prefer not to use it if at all possible."

Reimu looks at the long barrel of the weapon intently for a moment, before shrugging.

"Whatever it does, fairies come back even if you blow 'em up, don't worry about it."

Despite the shrine maiden's opinion on the Fae folk, you doubt that anyone, or anything for that matter, would take kindly to begin fired upon by a flintlock pistol.
Bidding the shrine maiden farewell, you set out down the stone steps of the shrine. The late morning sun is at your back, the sky is clear and it is time to explore the technologies of Gensokyo.


======================

I've decided to split this update into two for the sake of pacing, that and my dog needs to be walked and I fear that if I don't do so now I will continue to write, that I shall forget about the poor chap.
No. 170561
============================

You are not sure as to whether or not luck is on your side as you pass emerge from the forest path from the shrine. While you were fortunate enough to not run into any of the tricksters, you must admit that you were curious as to the nature of their pranks, though you mind that proverbs of cats are best welcomed if you are merely curious for curiosity's sake.

You are taken aback for a moment at what you behold as you exit the forested pathway.

You emerge from under another of those wooden archways and find yourself nestled in the bosom of a bustling village, in a stark contrast to the calm of the shrine. In front of you are men, women and children of all ages, talking and laughing merrily with one another. Your sides are lined with store-fronts, complete with merchants calling to nearby villagers in an attempt to peddle their wares. You briefly wonder how you didn't hear the clamour of the village from the path, were you that focused on watching for magical tricksters, or were you simply wrapped up with your thoughts?

In either case, you decide, it seems you have found yourself in the Human Village that Reimu mentioned. Since there was only one path from the shrine, it would seem that you have to pass through in order to reach the Youkai Mountain. With your thoughts in order and your destination determined, you scan the skyline and swiftly find a mountain-top protruding from behind the roof of what appears to be an tavern, with an open-front bar and a few patrons enjoying an early drink.

"Hello there!" you call, approaching the barman in an attempt to make your voice heard over the lively sounds of the village.

"Well well, there's a new face before noon!" The barman exclaims in response to your, perhaps overly enthusiastic greeting. "What can I get for you friend?"

"I'm afraid I don't have any of the local currency as of yet." you chuckle, recalling Reimu pouting as she sat on her donation box.

"Outsider, eh? Don't worry about it too much, you'll find yourself some coin soon enough." He says with a smile. "So, what are you here for then?"

"I was wondering what path I should take to reach the mountain behind your humble establishment."

As if you had said something either, let's just say less than prudent, or even something downright offensive. The conversations of the tavern's patrons die down at the mention of the mountain, and begin to eye you with a mixture of caution and curiosity.

"Now why would you wanna head off to the mountain so fast?" The barkeep asks, lowering his voice slightly. "Not sure if you know, being a fresh face an' all, but a bunch a' non-humans live up there. Tengus and the like. Not that I got anythin' against 'em or nothin', there's a few livin' here." He says, as though the fact that some 'non-humans' living in the village excuses the sudden display of his patrons. "Just curious as to why you're headn' up there, is all."

"Well sir" you begin, attempting to ignore the eyes of the patrons. "Before I wound up here I was a bit of an artisan, dabbling with gadgets and medicine alike, and I was told that the kappas would be good to talk to in that regard."

After your brief explanation, the patrons return to there conversations, seemingly satisfied and life returns to the bar.

"Sorry 'bout that." The barkeep says quietly once the patrons have returned to there drinks, "Youkai attacks may not happen all that much anymore, but it's still enough to put folks on edge."
He explains with a sad smile. "If your 'headin for the mountain, you'll wanna head out round the back of the building, there's a path heading up there. Not sure how far you'll get though, most folk get turned away by the guards just past the foot of the mountain."

You thank the barkeep for the information and leave, bearing in mind that the mountain may be a touchy subject around here.
While it rubs you the wrong way that someone would be described as 'non-human', you can understand why some of the villagers would be on edge considering what Reimu told you. Besides, you've not even seen a youkai yet, you remind yourself. You've got no idea what they look like or how they act, it wouldn't be wise to judge the tavern-goers so hastily.



You head along the path described to you and swiftly find yourself on a slight upwards incline. As you progress, the slope rapidly becomes steeper, rivalling that leading to the shrine but without a set of stairs to aid your ascent. It rapidly becomes clear that, while the path did in fact lead you to the mountain, you are straying from the path that you required. Moving upwards simply means that you are moving away from the mountain's base and therefore, away from the kappa's river.
Once a small sweat has broken on your brow you take a seat on the worn mountain path, it's clear that ascending won't get you where you need to go, but this is the only path that you know of.
Resting your back on the mountain wall, it becomes clear that you've climbed quite a bit higher than you thought, stretching out below you is the human village and passed that is the forest you travelled through. Thanks to your position above the treetops, you can even see the red of the shrine gate in the distance and make a mental note to ask what it is when you get the chance.

As you sit, pondering what to do, a slight wind blows down the mountain path and is followed by the sound of feet touching the earth.

"Why are you trespassing on the mountain?" A voice asks curtly from the path above you.

Looking up, your eyes are met by a woman clad in a crisp white dress with detached sleeves, similar to that of Reimu's attire, complete with crimson trims and matching sash and hat, perched upon a tousled head of white hair.

Alarmingly though, not only are her eyes a startling red, but she is also wielding a sword. Whose blade is pointing at your face. Not the most polite greeting to be sure, but despite the blade inches from your face you try not to drop your composure... at least on the outside.

"Well my dear" you say, rising to match the white-haired woman, meeting her blade with a nervous chuckle. "I was attempting to meet with the kappa at the base of the mountain, but it seems that the path I took has caused our paths to cross."

"and why, pray tell, do you wish to meet with the kappa?" She asks curtly, refusing to lower her sword.

"Well, I have recently found myself here in Gensokyo and found myself at a loss as to how to process the fact that magic exists and is used widely. As a result, I opted to surround myself with fellow tinkerers until I felt comfortable enough here to attempt to understand magic, without being overwhelmed. "If you don't mind my asking" You continue, "Would you kindly inform me as to why your sword is raised when I have done naught to offend ...at least to my knowledge."

The woman begrudginly sheaths her sword with a sigh.

"I am currently on patrol for the great lord Tenma." She explains "It is my duty to stop and report intruders on the mountain to Tenma."

"I see, well I apologise for the intrusion." You say, deciding to push your luck now that the sword is gone. "If you would be so kind as to help me find the kappa river, I would gladly get out of your hair. Miss..?"

"Inubashiri, Momiji Inubashiri." She states bluntly. "I could take you to the kappa village, but how do I know you're not going to steal their creations?" She asks.

Ah, now that was a question you didn't see coming. It never even occurred to you that the kappa technologies would be considered valuable, although... for them to be valuable in a world where magic and youkai are abundant, they must be amazing to behold.

"In all honesty Miss Inubashiri, I'm not sure how to answer." You reply truthfully. "It simply never occurred to me that that kappa technologies would be so highly regarded. I'm afraid that all I can do is give you my word, for whatever it's worth, that I simply wish to learn about these technologies that are new to me as because they may fall within an area of which I'm knowledgeable."

"Well..." Miss Inubashiri starts, taking the sun's position into account. "...I was finishing my patrol for the morning, and I was considering a game of shogi..." She ponders, her strict attitude from before disappearing. "Alright then, but I'll take you back after a few games to make sure that you haven't stolen anything."

"Thank you very much." You respond simply, tilting your head.

"C'mon then." Miss Inubashiri states, reaching out with her hand. "It'll be faster to fly there."

============================

[] Take her hand.
[] Don't take her hand.

============================

Not much happened this time, despite the length of the update. It even felt a bit stale to proof-read, and so I apologise if it seemed so to you. However, the next update should be a bit more exciting; we've practically got our hands on the kappa technology now and that give us an opportunity to flesh out our MC's goals and motivations to something more than mere idle curiosity.
In addition, I know that these choices haven't been particularly interesting, but this will be the last one required to help flesh out the MC before the plot actually gets underway.

Until then, everyone, I bid you farewell.
No. 170562
[x] Take her hand.

I see no reason why we should refuse her help.
No. 170563
[x] Take her hand

Spread your wings and fly away~
No. 170565
[x] Take her hand.

An entirely reasonable request.
No. 170594
[X] Take her hand.

Don't worry about "nothing happening" this update.
No story can have 100% action all the time.
In fact, I find the slightly slower pacing to fit the story and the protagonist quite well. He strikes me as more of a tortoise than a hare, figuratively speaking.
No. 170602
>>170594
Thanks for that, I found myself trying to write out something action orientated last night, but anything I came up with just felt contrived.
I think I'll try to focus on the interactions between the Englishman and Nitori instead.


As compensation for the increasingly large time between updates, here are why some of the smaller choices mattered for those that are interested:
Follow the downwards path: would have lead to the Englishman slipping on the rocks and cracking his skull - Bad End
Make a mad dash: would have lead to the shrine, but the Englishman wouldn't have been so reserved in response to Reimu's escort, due to his clothes not carrying mud into the shrine, allowing for more interaction between the two characters, provided that you didn't choose to deny her explanation.
Deny the situation outright: would have lead to the Englishman leaving the shrine and getting attacked by some Youkai on the way to the human village - Bad End
Asking about Marisa would have lead to the Englishman being characterised as more of an apothecary than a tinkerer
Asking about Patchouli would have lead to the Englishman being characterised as more of a tinkerer than an apothecary, I wasn't quite sure as to how this one would work out, so I am grateful for the Nitori write ins
These by no means mean that we won't see Marisa and Patchouli though, there is already a reason for the Englishman to go to the Scarlet Devil Mansion that he is unaware of, even if you as readers, are.

Stay tuned, dear readers, and expect a proper update in a few hours
No. 170605
[x] Take her hand

============================
"Won't the extra weight be a problem?" You ask as you grasp Miss Inubashiri's hand.

"I'm a Tengu, not a fairy." she replies curtly, before you can open your mouth to apologise however, you are whisked into the air like a leaf on the wind.

Far below you, the human village disappears from your vision as you circle around the side of the mountain, to be replaced briefly by a portion of the seemingly endless forest that covers most of the land, before Momiji dips down sharply, causing the rest of your body to whip after your arm painfully.
In the brief moment it took to wince at the pain of having your arm almost torn forlornly from your socket you have been pulled through the tree tops to a small river, scarcely wider than the one you scrambled ungainly to drink from. From this low altitude, it is almost possible to touch the clear waters as it ripples at your passing. As you observe, awed by the simple spectacle,the river rapidly widens until it expands beyond the bounds of your vision. Beyond the sound of the wind rushing past you, a distant roar encroaches from ahead. Turning your gaze upwards, you see the land before you vanish as the river drops off over a cliff face.

Once the land has disappeared from under you, A small village is revealed from it's position below the cliff-face. Upon sighting her destination, the Tengu begins to descend, revealing houses similar to those in the Human Village, largely wooden with tiled roofs of various shades of blue and black. Although each dwelling seems to have it's own characteristic; one roof is partially covered by curious glass panels that reflect the dazzling noon sun while another is adorned with a metal dish, seemingly attempting to reach the sky. Rather alarmingly, what looks like smoke seems to be rising from one of the further buildings, but you were pulled to the ground by the descending Momiji before you could get a proper look.

"Here we are." Momiji states simply as you land, releasing your hand as your feet touch the earth. "Are you alright?" she asks, a measure of concern in her voice. "You were awfully quite on the way over."

"I'm fine, really." You reply, resisting the urge to reach for your aching shoulder. "I was simply awed by the view from the air."

"Well that's the Genbu Ravine." Momiji states, indicating to the waterfall you just flew over, "I never quite get used to seeing it."

You turn to face the falls and are shocked for a moment, the cliff-face is one not of just rock, but of steel as a swath of pipes runs across it's face.

You approach the wall to inspect the pipework, careful not to fall into the water. There appears to be two different types of pipe you note to yourself; one leading from the rock to the water, and another leading from the rock to the sky. Since the pipes that stretch into the sky are simply to tall to reach, you decide to inspect the nearest pipe that descends below the water's surface. Fortunately, it isn't too far from the shoreline, allowing you to observe a fallen leaf on the water's surface being pulled under the water and into the pipe by an unseen force.

Just as you are about to bend to inspect the nature of the inlet further, a small, shrill whistle fills the air. As you turn to face the sound, it becomes apparent that it is being caused by steam billowing from one of the outlet pipes, just like a kettle.

As that thought jumps though your mind, you realise just what the contraption is.

"It transfers water!" you exclaim, turning to Miss Inubarshiri once again who is looking at you strangely. Although, in retrospect, you did just begin crouching at the water's edge for reasons unbeknownst to her.

Unable to contain your excitement, you approach the baffled Tengu.

"This is marvellous!" You astound. "If my suspicions as to where these pipes lead are correct, then one pipe will enter each household, providing them with clean water from the river while the other will remove any excess steam from using that same water as a power source! This would allow for one to utilise there own house as a workshop without fear of damaging the building due to steam!"

"Y-yea..." Momiji stammers, "could you let go of my shoulders please?"

"Ah! My sincerest apologies." you state dumbly, moving your hands, as indeed, it would seem that in your excited explanation, you did indeed grasp her by the shoulders. "I simply got excited, if I had something like this before I came here, I wouldn't have had to battle with my landlord over water damages." You chuckle.

"I'm surprised!" comes a voice from behind you. You turn to find a short, blue haired girl emerging from a small cave behind the waterfall. "You managed to understand it just by looking at it?" She asks, moving through the water as if it wasn't even there.

"Not at all my dear." You state with a chuckle. "I was lucky enough to see a leaf enter one of the pipes, which allowed me to classify the pipes as inlets and outlets, then I was once again fortunate enough to see another releasing steam." You explain. "I take it my assumption as to where the pipes lead was correct then?"

Your question is met by an enthusiastic nod as the girl exits the water, which seems to simply fall off of her blue dress rather than cling to it. How curious.

"Ah, Momiji!" She exclaims, noticing the befuddled Tengu behind you. "Come for a game of Shogi?" she asks, "O- oh." She stammers briefly, her head snapping back to you. "And who are you?" she quizzes, as if just noticing you.

"He's a human, Nitori" Miss Inubashiri swiftly interjects, "but don't worry, he seems to be interested in kappa technology."

"Is that so?" the blue haired girl stammers, her earlier enthusiasm evaporating like steam.

"Indeed." You answer, trying to reassure the girl. "I myself am quite interested in the technologies that Gensokyo has to offer, and was told that the kappa are some of the most experienced to talk to on the matter."

"Well then why d- don't you both come in for tea?" Nitori asks, bustling past the both of you, colossal green bag in tow.

"Don't worry about it too much." Momiji says in a low voice. "The kappa tend run from humans on site, you were quite lucky you managed to get her talking about that wall." She chuckles before following the bobbing green backpack into the village.

Rather unsure how to process the abrupt change in Miss Nitori's demeanour, you simply follow Miss Inubashiri's example and head into the village.


After briefly introducing you to Miss Kawashiro, whose surname you learned during the exchange, Miss Inubashiri departs in for her game with one of the other kappa living in the village, leaving you and Miss Nitori alone. Unfortunately, Miss Nitori seems reluctant to strike up a conversation, leaving you both in an uncanny silence as you drink the steaming green tea.

Miss Kawashio's house is far more organised than you would have imagined, if you compared it to the clamour of your workshop at the very least. The living area is similar to that of the shrine, a small wooden table surrounded by cushions with very little else in the small room. While you are quite dissapointed at the lack of clutter strewn around the room that you were, admittedly, rather depending on to act as conversation starters, you assume that Miss Kawashio's workspace must simply be somewhere else. After all, you suppose, it would be rather unseemly to bring guests into one's workplace.

"So, my dear." You say as you set your cup down on the low table, in an attempt to dispel the silence between you. "I've heard that many of the kappa are engineers, and judging from the pipework at the base of the ravine, it would appear that I am not misinformed."

"Ah, Yes!" Miss Kawashiro replies hastily, seemingly thankful that the silence has between you has been cast aside. "I'm glad it went well, it was a pretty big project. Though not as big as the dam we were making for Lady Kanako." She explains.

"I'm sorry, but who is Lady Kanako?" You ask, surprised at her title. "I've been in Gensokyo for less than a day, so I must admit that I am rather unsure as to who most of the big names are."

"Oh, I see." Miss Kawashiro remarks. "She's one of the gods up on top of the mountain. If you don't mind me asking, why did you come here on your first day? Most outsiders either stay at the Hakurei Shrine or the Human Village."

After briefly explaining your situation to Miss Kawashiro, she is rather surprised to hear that you have tinkered with mechanics in the past. Pleased in the knowledge that the two of you share a common interest, she asks about what you've been working on recently.

"Recently I've been studying medicine, in an attempt to stop a bout of whooping cough that was spreading through my village." You explain. "So alas, I'm afraid I have been away from my workshop for a few months."

Seeing Miss Kawashio's face fall, you quickly think of something to keep the conversation going. "I did recently receive this from London however." You add hastily, placing your pistol on the table." It was intended for chivalry, but I was enamoured by the craftsmanship and simply had to purchase one."

Miss Kawashiro looks at the largely wooden pistol briefly before raising her head with a confused expression.

"Well... it certainly looks well made." Miss Kawashiro states. "but why is it made of wood?" she asks.

"What do you mean?" You ask, for apparently it is now your turn to be confused. Most rifles are largely comprised of wood, save for the barrel and hammer of course.

"It's just that all of the weapons that have came from the outside world are metal." She states, picking up the pistol to test it's weight. Her confusion escalating as she rotates the weapon, staring at the bottom of the grip.

"How old is this? I can't even see where you would load it."

"Not even five years, my dear." You say, mirroring Miss Nitori's confusion. "If memory serves, it was designed by a colonel of the British Army in Sixty.

"Sixty? As in nineteen sixty? The year?" Nitori asks, her confusion is apparently increasing exponentially, but you cannot help laugh at such a notion.

"Nineteen sixty?" You ask with a hearty laugh. "Of course not girl! How could I have a weapon from almost two hundred years in the future?!"

"..."

After your laughter dies down, you finally notice that Miss Kawashio is looking at you with an expression of concern.

"Ah, my apologies ma'am." You state, embarrassed by your outburst. "...But surely you jest?"

"What year do you think it is?" She asks suddenly.

"Year? why it's seventeen sixty four." You state, confused as to the sudden shift in the conversation's direction.

"..."

Miss Kawashio simply stares at you, eyes peering at your face.

"Miss Kawashiro...?" You ask, rather jarred by her sudden silence.

"It's Twenty-Thirteen." She states, raising an eyebrow.

"Excuse me?"

"The year, it's the year two thousand and thirteen, not seventeen seventy four." she states.

============================

[] "Preposterous! What do you mean it's 2013?"
[] "Are you certain girl? Perhaps you misread the date?"
[] "Ma'am, I may be new here however I certainly do not appreciate such blatant attempts to misinform me."
[] Write in!
No. 170608
[x] Er... pardon? I may have misread the date at some point, but I doubt I was so in error! But then again... I find it unlikely that you would make such an error either, so... I, I'm sorry, but are you CERTAIN?
No. 170614
[X] I may have misread the date at some point, but I doubt I was so in error! Are you CERTAIN?

(Basically same as >>170608, just a bit shorter.)

A random thought. He may know of the miracle of The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus and draw parallels to that to understand and cope with his situation.
A short summary of it is something like: a group of christians trying to flee from persecution hid in a cave, fell asleep, and woke up again 200 years later.

(I was actually looking for the date of publishing of "Rip van Winkle" which is a story that could have filled the same role, but it hadn't been released, or even written yet, in 1774. Then wiki magic led me to Ephesus instead, which was a lot better anyway.)
No. 170615
[x] Er... pardon? I may have misread the date at some point, but I doubt I was so in error! But then again... I find it unlikely that you would make such an error either, so... I, I'm sorry, but are you CERTAIN?
No. 170616
[x] I may have misread the date at some point, but I doubt I was so in error!
No. 170621
[x] "Er... pardon? I may have misread the date at some point, but I doubt I was so in error! But then again... I find it unlikely that you would make such an error either, so... I, I'm sorry, but are you certain?"
-[x] The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus

>>170605
>"Year? why it's seventeen sixty four."
>"The year, it's the year two thousand and thirteen, not seventeen seventy four."
...Which one is it?
No. 170622
[x] I may have misread the date at some point, but I doubt I was so in error!
No. 170678
>>170621
1764 is the Englishman.
2013 is Nitori.

He has slipped across time as well as space to end up in Gensokyo.
No. 170722
[x] "Er... pardon? I may have misread the date at some point, but I doubt I was so in error! But then again... I find it unlikely that you would make such an error either, so... I, I'm sorry, but are you CERTAIN?"
============================

After a brief silence you still find yourself failing to comprehend what's going on. "Er... pardon?" You ask, "I may have misread the date at some point, but I doubt I was so in error!"
No, you think to yourself. You are certain of the date when you left, if it was perhaps a years difference you could have conceded this to the simple misreading of a calender, but over two hundred? There is no way anyone would make such an err. "Then again..." you voice your thoughts in resignation. "I find it unlikely that one would make such an error either, so... I, I'm sorry, but are you certain?" You ask, running your fingers through your hair in disbelief.

Miss Kawashiro simply nods, alarmed by your outburst.

"I must apologise." You say with a sigh, "I thought I would be able to simply flow with the tides of this land, having being able to accept magic and youkai when the proof was presented to me. This on the other hand..."
You pause for a moment, pressing against the rim of your nose in a vain attempt to regain your composure.
Think now, there must be an explanation for this. Could it take time to cross the border? Perhaps. Though Miss Kawashio mentioned that she had seen other things from the outside world, presumably from the current time.
Could the travel time vary from person to person? No, that simply doesn't make sense, there are no external factors that you know of that have made your crossing into this land different from any other.
You sigh again upon realising that you simply don't know enough about the border or magic in general to come to a conclusion.

"Hmm." Miss Kawashiro starts. "So, your not from this time?" she asks.

"It would appear so." You reply as a tired smile finds it's way to your face. "I am certain that the year was seventeen seventy four when I left my village, so if what you are saying is true then I certainly must be."

"Well, isn't that just a good reason to come see the workshop?" Miss Kawashiro asks, rising from her pillow.

You can simply stare with a look of bafflement written across your face, alarmed at how the conversation has shifted yet again.

"Come on, worrying about it won't solve anything." Miss Kawashiro continues. "Wouldn't it be better not to think about it for now?"

With that, you finally realise that Miss Kawashiro, this kind kappa, is simply trying to cheer you up.

"Indeed Miss Kawashiro" you say, rising with a smile. "It would certainly be an honour to see your workshop."

Miss Kawashio's workshop is as you would have imagined it, a seemingly hodgepodge array of items strewn threw one of the rooms at the back of the house. Although, as with your own, it would seem that there is indeed a method to the madness as Miss Kawashiro seems to be knowledgeable of where everything is, bringing out various things from gadgets to toys to guns and explains their workings to you as you examine them, occasionally dismantling some of the simpler devices to reinforce Miss Kawashiro's explanations. Fixing them afterwards, of course. Or at least, what little you can.

After an indiscernible amount of time has passed, Miss Inubashiri comes for you, having finished her business in the village. Even though you feel disappointed at the inability to examine more of Miss Kawashiro's treasure trove of a workshop and rather shameful for needing miss Inubashiri to collect you like a mother and a lost child, you soon depart from the kappa ravine and find yourself once again awed at the sight of the land from the air, bathed in the cool orange night of the eve.

After flying you to one of the entrances to the human village, you bid Miss Inubashiri a good evening and thank her for kindly allowing you to fly with her. With a brief, "Don't let it become a habit.", she ascends once again and disappears into the clouds towards the mountain.

As you walk through the village, filled with the sounds of drunken laughter from the bars, you realise that you neither have a place to stay nor the means to purchase one. You rifle through your pockets in the vain hope that there would be some sort of coin there, even if it is not one native to this land. But, alas there is nothing.
Taking your hands from your pockets, one of them brushes against your weapon when a thought strikes you. What good would this pistol do you any way? From what Miss Kawashio has shown you it's clear that flintlock is a vastly inferior mechanism to whatever was being used in modern weaponry. In addition, you only have the round that is currently loaded but you doubt that it would do much good if you encountered a monster in the forest.
You could try to sell it for some of the local money to get a room for the night, or you could be conservative and attempt to lodge at the Hakurei Shrine, though it would be rather uncouth to ask for residence after all that Reimu has done for you today. There is also the matter of the current year to see to, although you decide that that can wait until you have a suitable place to sleep for the night.
After pondering for some time as the sun descends upon the land, you decide to:

============================
[] Sell your weapon, spend the night at an inn.
[] Sell your weapon, make a donation to the shrine and ask for lodging.
[] Keep your weapon, ask at the shrine for lodging.
[] Keep your weapon, sleep under the forest canopy.
============================

A rather short update after a long delay, thought I was attempting to condense my writing a bit while still conveying a good amount of information to the story.
As for the reasons behind the delay; I spent the time I would have been writing yesterday deciding exactly how the Englishman managed to find his way into Gensokyo, with any luck it shouldn't feel too contrived though that will be seen at a later date.

In addition, the seven sleepers may be explained to the Englishman, depending on what choice is made, as I simply couldn't think of a reason for him to have that knowledge prior to now seeing as all we know about him so far is that he has dabbled as an apothecary and an engineer, neither of which seem that they would have led him to the knowledge of a third century phenomenon in Greece.
No. 170723
[X] Sell your weapon, spend the night at an inn.

Considering it's an "antique" and in pristine condition, we could probably pawn it off to Rinnosuke at a decent price.
And we can't really impose on Reimu's hospitality any more than we already have.


Yeah, it was just a random thought. I was thinking that since it's considered a Christian miracle, it could have been something he heard at a sermon in church.
Although he does seems like a rationality over religion kind of person. Especially since he accepted at face value that there's a literal god randomly hanging around on the mountain.
Which sounds like another reason for why people would have been wary of him. I don't know for sure, but pre-industrial revolution, wasn't the church pretty big in England? (Actually, isn't it still a pretty big thing since, as far as I know, Britain is one of the few western countries where the church is still a part of the government, so to speak? No separation between church and state like in many other european countries.)
No. 170724
[x] Keep your weapon, ask at the shrine for lodging.

He is a man who suddenly got thrown into another world. The weapon is probably one of the few things that reminds him of home. It would be bad to suddenly sell it off to somewhere. He is new and Reimu if he tells his story he will get a room for the night at the shrine. He won't get thrown out and can do some work around the shrine.
No. 170725
>>170723
I must admit, I never even thought of the influence that the church might have had on the Englishman, though I'm not sure what you mean by people being wary of him, are you referring to the inhabitants of Gensokyo or the Outside World?

With regards to the church in England today, while the Church of England is still the official state religion, and still holds a bit of sway in the house of lords, it's mostly just a bygone bit of formality.

Although, just in general I probably won't be able to write accurately about how much of a sway the church has/had over England without a bit of research, largely due to the fact that I'm actually scottish
No. 170729
[X] Sell your weapon, make a donation to the shrine and ask for lodging.

Now here's a good way to thank Reimu.
No. 170745
>>170725
I was referring to him being seen as suspicious by the people of his village, since they accused him of sorcery and all that. If he was doing strange things AND was regularly seen, errr, not seen at church then it's torches and pitchfork time because clearly no Godfearing man would hide his work from the Lord.

Eh, I'm not even from the British isles Swede here so I just wikipedia'd everything.
No. 170746
[x] Keep your weapon, ask at the shrine for lodging.
No. 170748
>>170745
All the real wackos went off to America.
No. 170761
I'd vote, but I'm currently lacking some crucial information as to how to go about our merry way. Specifically, roughly what time of day is it supposed to be right now, and do we have an estimate of how far away the shrine is from the village? We wouldn't want to go about lolly-gagging our time away, now would we?

Aside from the normal amount of grammatical errors I read (a standard for any Touhou story), I'd say you're doing a swell job, TP.
No. 170797
>>170761
It's currently early evening. I did try to convey that through "the sun descends upon the land" but in hindsight, that only really tells us that it's currently some time after noon.

Thanks for the mention of grammar though. I must admit that I've neglected it during the proof-reading.
No. 170812
>>170797

Roi'ht, thanks fer that, govna.

[X] Sell your weapon, spend the night at an inn.

We have an outdated weapon with a single shot remaining, and no idea if we'd be able to find the proper ammunition to reload it with. We also seem to be in the process of building a friendship with Nitori. Surely we could combine minds to develop a working means of firepower far more technically advanced over our current option (and by that, I mean DANMAKU GUN!!!).

That, and I feel the soft embrace of a fluffy pillow is more enjoyable than sleeping against the outside wall of a building or a tree trunk.
No. 170815
>working means of firepower far more technically advanced over our current option

And now I am imagining us creating a portable GAU-8 Avenger Danmaku Gatling Cannon.

With optional A-10.
No. 170866
Apologies for the large gap between updates, the time I would have spent writing over the past few days went into Dangan Ronpa.
The votes may be at a tie, but I don't want to delay this update further. Please wait warmly.
No. 170882
[X] Sell your weapon, spend the night at an inn.
=============================

After weighing your options, you decide with some reluctance to sell your weapon and spend the night at the inn. The only other place that could provide lodging, to your knowledge, would be the shrine and you certainly do not wish to burden Miss Hakurei further. As you approach the rear of the tavern, billowing laughter and cries of "cheers!" escapes the building. As you enter you see that the tavern is full of patrons, talking loudly amongst themselves and drinking from small saucers. Approaching the bar you recognise the face of the barkeep, beaming at you.

"Welcome back!" he enthusiastically shouts over the din of his patrons. "Did you find who you were lookin' for?"

"Indeed I did, you have my thanks for your help earlier."

"No problem, no problem at all." The barkeep states, waving his hand dismissively. "So, what can I get ya'?"

You chuckle slightly. "I'm afraid I still don't have any money friend."

The barkeep's smile wavers slightly at this. "I get that yer new and all, but I'm afraid I can't go givin' out drinks fer free." He says apologetically.

"Ah. No, no." You state with a smile. "I was wondering if there was somewhere around here willing to buy something from the outside world."

"You'll want the Kourindou then. That place's got a bunch o' stuff from the outside." He explains, giving you directions to the store.

"You have my thanks sir." You say, tipping your head. "Before I depart though I must ask, where can a man buy a room for the night?"

At this, the barkeep's face regains it's luster. "We've got some rooms upstairs." He says simply.


As you exit the inn, you are greeted by the cool orange evening as the sun disappears behind the buildings. You pass through the village centre, searching for the path that the innkeeper spoke of, when you come across a statue surrounded by clamouring locals. From your vantage you can only see the statue's head over those of the villagers. A cold grey bestial head stands tall over their heads and the crimson gems socketed in the monster's eyes gaze emptily at the sun.

Pushing the thoughts of the strange statue aside, you continue on through the village and after a brief trek you arrive at your destination. A small shop tucked away in the wood aside the village. The shop itself is a far cry from those you saw near the village centre; it's door is closed and the building itself is surrounded by numerous bric-a-bracks including a single wheel adorned with a leather seat, a rather eerie animal that does not move nor make a sound and a stark white container, slightly taller than the steps to the shop door.
After a moment of hesitation at the disarray spread before you, you enter the store.

The store is worse.

Piled high across the walls is an astounding display of miscellaneous items, most of them you don't even recognise. There is only a small path visible through various small piles of clutter, ending in a small counter and a white-haired man, sipping lazily from a cup and reading a book.

After eyeing you weaving your way through the stacks, the man greets you.

"Hello there, I don't believe we've met." He states, setting his book aside as his yellow eyes peer over at you through his spectacles. "Welcome to the Kourindou, how may I help?"

"Indeed..." You start, though your words catch in your throat when you see more nonsensical items behind the man. "Would you be willing to purchase an item from me good sir?"

"Of course!" The shopkeep exclaims, "What do you have?"

You place your pistol on the desk, only to have it immediately snatched up by the shopkeep who stares at it intently from each conveyable angle before setting it back.

"Ten thousand yen?" The man asks, his eyes swivelling back to you.

"Excuse me?" You ask, baffled by the colossal figure.

"Hmm..." The man ponders briefly. "I'm not entirely sure I could go much higher..."

"No, no." You say before he can state another terrifyingly large sum. "How much would that be worth in silver pennies?" You ask. "I'm afraid I simply don't have a reference for your offer."

"I've not heard of a silver penny before..." The man states, scratching his chin in thought.

"Then..." You start, before realising you could simply ask the man what you need to know. "How long could I stay in the inn for with that?"

"The inn?" The man asks. "I'm not entirely sure about there prices, but it should last you about a week." He states after some thought.

"Very well." You state, "I should be able to find some work in a week."

The man looks at you quizzically for a moment. "I'm surprised." He states, "Most outsiders just stay at the shrine for a while."

You find yourself rather stunned at that remark, is it really that obvious that you're foreign to this land? Certainly the innkeep would have known, you asked him for directions, but how does this man know?

"What gave it away?" You ask as the man pulls some papers from beneath the counter.

"Mostly the dirt." He says with a chuckle, handing you the papers.

With a small cringe at the reminder that you are indeed filthy, you gingerly accept what's being handed to you. Upon inspection, it isn't dissimilar to a banknote, although it would appear to be printed rather than handwritten. Each of the two notes is emblazoned with the number five thousand.

After briefly thanking you for your patronage, the man disappears into the back of the store with the gun, leaving you to exit on your own.


Upon returning to the village, you notice that the crowd around the statue has been dispersed and replaced by a tall, white-haired woman clad in an ocean-blue dress and quite possibly the most elaborate hat you have ever seen. It even resembles a building

The woman is simply staring at the statue, biting her lip in thought and quite obviously concerned about something.

"Excuse me ma'am." You call as curiosity takes control of your tongue.

"Yes?" She asks, turning to you as she snaps out of thought.

"Is something the matter? I couldn't help but notice a crowd here earlier."

"Maybe." She says with a sigh, "The dragon's eyes are red."

"Indeed..." You say, puzzled by the woman's sudden observation. As you turn to the statue which is quite unlike any dragon you have heard described. "Are they not supposed to be?" You ask, your confusion betrayed on your face.

"Ah!" The woman's head snaps up with realisation. "You must be an outsider." She says, dropping her fist into her palm. "I'm Kiene Kamishirasawa, the guardian of this village." She states.

"A pleasure to meet you Miss Kamishirasawa." You state, trying not to mispronounce the evidently foreign name of who would appear to be one of, if not the, most important people in the village. "Although, if I may ask. What gave it away this time? Besides my muddied attire." You ask, recalling the shopkeep's words.

"Everyone around here knows what that means." She explains, gesturing to the statue. "The dragon's eyes change colour depending on the weather."

"So, what does red mean?" You ask, forcing yourself not to get lost in thoughts of exactly how a statue can be attuned to the weather. Those can come later.

"That something's going to happen." Miss Kamishirasawa replies with a sigh.

"Something? That seems rather ominous, does it not?" You ask in jest.

"Yea." She replies simply, either she isn't the type to joke or this isn't an appropriate time. "Well, Reimu will sort it out if something does happen." She says, dispelling whatever thoughts she was mulling over. "I had better be off." She says to you. "I've got classes in the morning."

"You're a teacher?" Your ever curious tongue asks.

"Yea." She says with yet another sigh, this time accompanied with a small smile of resignation. "I teach history, though not many people show up."

Your spirits soar with that explanation, this could be an opportunity to gain concrete information as to the years you have missed, if you have indeed missed them.

"Would you be able to tell me what happened between seventeen sixty four and now?!" You exclaim.

"Huh?" Miss Kamishirasawa stammers, taken aback by your sudden outburst. "S-sure, but it's going to take a while and I would have to find some books. Can you wait until tomorrow?"

"Certainly!" You state ecstatically, thanking the teacher profusely.


After arranging to meet Miss Kamishirasawa in the morning you head back to the inn to purchase a room. The room only costs twelve hundred Yen, giving leaving you with enough to last just over a week. It seems that the other shopkeep was right on the money.
As you lay on the low mattress that the innkeeper called a futon, the thoughts that you had been holding back flood into your head.

Is it really twenty thirteen?
What other technologies do the Kappa have?
How does magic work, is it possible to learn it?
If you do, what will you do with that knowledge? Is it possible to return to England as things stand?
How does a bloody statue react to the weather? Is it a result of the Kappa technology? Magic? Both?

As the unanswered questions dance in your head, your fatigue finally catches up to you and you fall into a light but restful slumber.

============================
Lot's of dialogue in this update, although now we've got some actual questions to explore rather than simply wandering around.
Expect the next update, and some proper choices, tomorrow.

For those of you who are wondering why I opted to sell the weapon rather than stay at the shrine, despite the equal vote count. This way we could meet Keine and therefore gain an opportunity to learn about the Sleepers during Keine's upcoming history lesson.
No. 170908
>>170882
Eh, if there's a tie, it's the author's decision how to break it.
I'd be fine with it either way.