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176227 No. 176227
Okay, so your girls aren't actively trying to murder each other anymore, but they're primed and ready if one of them so much as twitches wrong. You need to divert their attention onto you fully somehow. "Because I had to eat the darkness before the darkness ate me." Not your first or brightest decision, but no one said that a given joke had to be good here. It just needs to get them off their murderous intent.

"...what." It is a single, unified response from all three girls as three equally concerning looks are leveled on you. Lyrica is glowering at you, like she can't believe what she's hearing. Merlin seems more offended by your terrible joke. Lunasa...Lunasa just looks upset.

"Alright, now I'll start from the beginning." You say, noting that Lunasa's upset look is far more painful than Lyrica's glowering. "To put a long story short, the resident Yuyuko decided to confront Kogasa and I when we first came in, and she sicced a normal Prismriver trio on us. The floor gave way under me during the fighting, and the Rumia you were trying to harm was down there."

"She did what most every wild mon does when presented with a shota and tried to rape me, and since Lyrica requested that I not use Repel ever and I wasn't sure if a ball could catch her on the first go, I decided to eat her out to get her to stop." You do briefly recall that Rumia tastes like coffee down there, and wonder if you can withhold that from Merlin at all. "Turns out that's all it took, and I was able to get her to come with me willingly after that."

"She's also saved my life twice over while I was exploring the house, so please, don't be hard on her." There's a certain amount of deja vu to be had in saying that, but still.

"If that's all it took, why does she smell like your cum?" Merlin asks, a tiny smirk playing out on her lips as her eyes narrow inquisitorially at you. Lyrica's glare intensifies, evolving a scowl to match her displeasure, Lunasa just looks even more upset now, lips quivering intensely.

"Because I wound up having sex with her after she was caught. She wandered in here, met that Yuyuko and got stuck in the house. I asked her if she wanted anything and..." You blush in embarrassment as you start to realize just how absurd that must sound to your girls. "Well, she wanted food or sex, and I defaulted to the latter option..."

Merlin looks decidedly smug in response to that, "Of course you did, darling."

"Why are you taking this like that!?" Lyrica snaps at her sister, "He went out and picked up some...some dark-type hussie!"

Rumia growls in response to that but Merlin just paps her on the head and soothes her by scrathing at her scalp, getting the dark-type mon to giggle and purr in pleasure, "Well, dear sister...that dark-type hussie is the only reason Zeke isn't dead or a broken little puddle of boy to hear him tell it. More over...it is our duty to support and respect his decisions, or at least these kind of decisions, as our trainer if I remember our lessons correctly."

"B-but...he didn't have to fuck her!" Lyrica presses on.

"You're entirely right, dear sister. We can talk with him about that afterwards, and maybe add some special emphasation on why fucking random touhoumon you just ate out is perhaps not the greatest idea he's ever had."

"...He has great ideas?" Lyrica gives you a sour look.

"He did recruit us, sister." Merlin reminds her, that smug smile getting a bit smugger.

"...I-I'm sorry Zeke. We...this wouldn't have happened if we'd done our jobs and been there to take care of you." Lunasa suddenly squeezes you tight and sniffles into your neck where she buries her face, "I-I won't blame you if you can't forgive us..."

You squeeze Lunasa's hand with you own as you speak to her. "Oi, none of that, Lunasa. We had no idea that this mansion was like this, and you already were doing your job in handling that Sakuya. I can't blame you for holing up somewhere safe considering that there's exactly two people in this mansion that can shut those ghosts down for a little while. Myself being one of them."

"G-g-g-g-ghosts..!?" Lyrica pipes up, "There's no g-g-ghosts here but ghost-types! Those things must be just...some kind of attack no one has heard about before!"

"Yes sister." Merlin responds while giving her sister an aside glance, "An attack that involves binding human spirits to this plane and setting them on intruders, and apparently is a threat even to locals."

"Don't you get smart with me!" Lyrica snaps at Merlin.

"I wouldn't dream of it." Her sister responds back, smile perfectly in place, "I wouldn't want you to get confused."

Lyrica just growls louder at that one.

"Girls..." You sigh and use your free hand to rub your temple as best you can. "I'm sorry Lyrica, but I've run into too much crap already to just dismiss it like that." You know Lyrica's going to be livid with you for a while at this rate, but at the same time you can't afford to be complacent about this, or pretend it's not happening. You then look to Merlin. "You're mostly right. Something is tying them down to this plane, but they're not guards. They're victims."

"That much was obvious with all the 'it hurts so much' and 'My eyes, my eyes' and 'Forgive meeeeee' they were going on about." Merlin agrees, crossing her arms under her bust as Lyrica just clicks her tongues and slumps agianst a wall, not looking at you.

Lunasa just sniffles into your neck a bit more, holding you tighter, "Well...what are we going to do then Zeke?"

"We should leave." Lyrica cuts in, "Just because you've got some way to stop them doesn't mean we'll survive here. This place is...more dangerous than the white tower. At least there it was just touhoumon that we could beat up or chase off. This place has something wrong with it, and we need to get out."

Rumia, no longer being pet by Merlin, is currently poking at a harp that has seen better days.

"There's two immediate things wrong with that." You respond to Lyrica while letting Lunasa continue to hug you. "One, I'm not leaving without SlKogasa. I'd be a failure as a trainer and if you dragged me out of here without her I'd never forgive you." You lay that one down immediately. "Two, I... got myself cursed picking up a doll while looking for items to help us out here. The resident Youmu told me that leaving would get rid of it, but knowing my luck it'd just make my life miserable if I didn't get rid of it first."

"...You picked up a doll in a spooky mansion? What if it had been a medicine doll, or an Alice variant's!?" Lyrica comes up off of the wall and gets in your face, "I can't...blame you for not knowing this was going to happen, but I can blame you for not thinking about that!"

She leans in closer, "And I didn't say we should abandon SlKogasa." Her eyes show how displeased she is with your apparent insult, "I would never abandon anyone like that."

"Sorry, Lyrica. On both counts. This place hasn't exactly been kind to any of us, and almost getting killed three times and Rumia almost getting killed once isn't exactly easy on the nerves." You say, noting that a lot of your bad decisions so far could be stress too.

"Plus I had no idea how you girls were holding up either, which didn't do me any favors." That last point is probably the biggest one though, seeing as there were ghosts fully capable of killing anyone they touch.

Lyrica's expression softens a bit before she hauls you off into a squeezing hug, "Oh Zeke, you idiot..." She mutters, "I heard that part of the house come crashing down and I didn't even know what to do. We've been trying ot find you too, but this place is...messed up, it doesn't make sense where some of the doors go. I've only seen things like this in the White Tower before, but this place doesn't...feel like the White Tower. It feels bad and different."

"Blood and flowers..." Rumia says softly from where she is, examining the harp.

"I know what you mean." You hug Lyrica back. "But..." Then you notice what Rumia said. "Wait, Rumia, are you smelling blood and flowers?"

Rumia turns to you and nods, "It smells like that again..." She confirms, looking around nervously and edging away from the wall.

"Now that you mention it, I can smell it too. I just thought it was faulty piping." Merlin glances around, picking up on how nervous you and the Rumia seem.

"We need to move. NOW. I'll explain on the way." You try to get your feet under you, but given that Lunasa is holding you so tight you're not sure you can.

You feel your vision flicker and go all 144p right as the door blurs and twists. Merlin grabs the handle and gives it a tug, "It's sealed shut by some kind of powerful force!" She informs you, backing away from the door as she glances about the room for the direction of the attack.

"Give it back..." The little girl hisses at you from all around.

"...Zeke, put us in our balls!" Lyrica orders you, "It's too cramped in here for you if we're all out!"

You already have all three of their balls out by the time she finishes the latter sentence. "Prismrivers, return!" You recall them as soon as possible, leaving Rumia out on purpose.

Once that's done, you pull out your Tablet and note that you're probably going to have to repel this ghost again. You were hoping that you could just keep running, bu alas.

Rumia draws closer to you, staying near but not close enough to get in the way of your shooting, "Should I be bait for you, Zeke?" She asks, completely willing to put herself in the line of mortal danger for you.

"No, not unless it's absolutely necessary." You say in response, getting the scanner active. "I really wish I could just give her the frigging doll already." You say in reference to the ghost that keeps haunting you.

You hear a tiny, malicious little bit of laughter from your pack as you search for the little girl's ghost. That damnable doll...

"Okay Zeke, I'll just try and figure out where she's coming from then!" Rumia declares, "....Uhm, but I think it's just one this time."

"That's good. This'll be simpler, at least." You keep an eye out yourself while wishing you could just go back in time and slap yourself for ever picking up that supid doll.

You can hear the quiet sound of wood creaking and groaning as the smell of blood and flowers grows strong enough that even you find it to be extremely noticeable. You don't see her in front of you though, or to your sides...

You look behind you then, hoping to catch sight of her and figure out where to move to get away from her.

She's standing right behind you, arms reaching out to grab you and take hold of you and no doubt ring the life from your bones!

Since she's no Touhoumon and can't be defeated by mere molesting, you jump backwards a bit to put some distance between the two of you. You could have taken a snapshot, but at the same time you're not sure if that qualified as an attack or not. Or she could have just pushed past the pain to grab you anyway. Given your luck so far it'd probably the worse of the two possibilities.

The girl grabs for you as you leap away, Rumia dashing away herself. Thankfully, she misses you and stumbles mid-air in her grab and falls to her knees. There she covers her face with her hands and sobs quietly for a moment as she starts to fade out, "It hurts so much...Dollie, where are you..?"

...You can still feel her presence, and the distortion on the door is still there as well

Oh great, so she can fade and reappear at will. It's probably going to take a couple more rounds of this to nail down her exact pattern, and in the meantime you have no way to give her back what's hers without possibly invoking a horrible, painful curse on yourself!

Still... "Rumia, any idea where she's coming from?" You decide to ask since the darkness mon's got a better sense of smell than you.

Rumia shakes her head, hair flying about, "No, the smells too strong and everything is groaning and it's all weebly woobly in my other sense so I can't tell where she is. But, uhm...she likes to pop up right in front of or behind you and stuff, so maybe that helps?"
"Thanks." You say to Rumia while trying to keep an eye on the two directions she mentioned. If she popped up behind you the last time, maybe she'd pop up in front of you this time?

"Uhm...I'll keep an eye out too." Rumia promises, staring at you helpfully with her eyes wide open as you see the air and space distort behind her.

"Behind you!" You shout as you spot the distortion, hoping that she can react in time to get away.

Rumia lunges away, the Little Girl swirling into existence and grabbing for her suddenly. Thankfully, it seems Rumia's superhuman reaction time and physical abilities make her better suited at dodging these attacks than you are yourself.

And to add insult to injury to the ghost girl, you take a picture of her mid-whiff while hoping the Makai that she can't retaliate like this.

Your tablet flares brightly and you catch an image of the girl turning her head, those miserable dead eyes locking onto yours before she's blasted back and away from you and sent sailing through the wall with a wailing cry on her lips. You...are definitely going to need to ask your mother about this whole thing after this. "Thank's Zekey." Rumia speaks up, looking around the area for wherever the thing might attack from next. Given she went for Rumia before after going for you...

...A malicious little giggle breaks your thoughts, and glancing down at the source you see the flap of your bag flutter...and that your shoelaces have been tied together!

"No problem, Rumia. And screw you, you vile little doll-inhabiting spirit." You say to your Rumia, then to the doll in question. You can't take the time to untie them, and unfortunately you're a touch too methodical to just slip them off either. End result is that you're now going to have to hop around and pray you don't need to move too much. You keep an eye out for the girl none the less, hoping that there's a pattern to her attacks that you can exploit.

"Behind you Zekey!" Rumia calls out to you and warning as she bursts towards you. You can already feel the chill of death behind you though and know those cold, clammy hands are reaching to take your life.

You aim your Tablet behind you and take a picture without a second thought, knowing that any real movement would just knock you over and let the girl steal your life without a fight.

Thanks to your tablets function though, you end up taking a rather dramatic and disconcerting selfie of yourself and the ghost directly behind you. Your face looks worn and tired and decidedly pale, and the ghost herself is wrapping her arms around your back as you take the picture and feel the chill cold seeping into you without fail. Thankfully, she is blasted away quickly from you, but even so. That simple embrace has left you haggard and shaking.

Rumia is immediately beside you, wrapping an arm around you and supporting you. Her warmth is a blessing.

"Thanks again..." You say, noting that a) you're going to delete that photo as soon as you get the chance, and b) you're going to deal with that doll as soon as you can. Or deal with your shoes, but given how this is a wood floor the damn doll would probably just wax it next.

You feel your vision shift and change as it goes from 144p back to a somewhat more satifying compression. The distortion on the door is no longer there as well. Is the girl gone...?

From upstairs, you hear a loud, thunderous crash and the sound of wood groaning under an immense strain. From directly above you, a voice calls out.
"Hello? Who's there?" Is that...Erika?

"Erika?" You ask, hopefully loud enough to be heard. Is she really...? Wait, of course! Youmu wants to keep her safe, so that'd mean she'd be on the same side of the house where there the ghosts are non-existent! Of course, now there's the problem of getting to her, but still...

"Zeke, is that you!? You really did come for me!" Erika sounds so ecstatic and excited, you can't help but feel your spirits raise, "Oh thank the heavens! It's just like in Dawn...almost."

"I'm not even sure what you're referencing, but I will say that this is... Well, I get the gist of what happened here. Feels like something out of a horror novel." You do have quite a lot of the parts now, but a few other pieces remain out of your hands for the moment.

"It was, but...now you're here to save me! It's like something out of one of my Gothic Novels!" Erika gushes, her voice coming from a specific part of the room above you...ah, there! You can see a small hole in the floor she's speaking through, "Are you okay? You haven't gotten hurt, have you?"

"Not badly. I got touched by a couple of the worse ghosts twice, but it's nothing I haven't been able to deal with. My girls are mostly accounted for too, so there's that." You're feeling better already, so it's not like you're lying. You hope. "I did have a feeling you needed my help, so yeah. Problem is that I don't know how I'm supposed to do that. I'm pretty sure I'm going to need the Youmu's help, but she's already told me to leave."

"O-oh...I..." Erika stutters, unsure, "Youmu just wants what's best for both of us, but..."

"...Zeke, if you can come up to my room, I might be able to help you help me. Do you...think you can make it up to the third floor? I heard Yuyuko fighting someone earlier. Maybe that's the ones who aren't accounted for?" She suggests and you feel a jolt of fear run through you. SlKogasa fighting Yuyuko on her own?

"I think I can manage that, though I will warn you that I've got one of those really warped wraiths following me around. I managed to get myself cursed, which is part of why that Youmu told me to leave. But between Yuyuko telling me that she'd just throw me to her servants if I failed to interest her and those roots another trainer noted, I can't leave. Bad things happen to heroes who run, right?" You say, deciding to give the poor girl some forewarning in case you have to cut and run, or worse come to worst pull some elaborate, half-cocked plan to deal with the ghost girl once and for all. "And thank you. Kogasa's the only one not with me right now, so we ought to meet up fairly soon. I'll get to you as soon as I can!"

"Please be safe, Zeke! I shall be waiting for your daring rescue!" Erika urges you, "A-and please don't worry about me, those other specters do not bother me in the least. Take care!"

"I will!" You say as you take hold of Rumia's hand and prepare to leave the room. At least, you planned to do that right up until you managed to trip over your own two feet because you didn't remember to untie your shoelaces and do them up properly.

Rumia catches you and sweeps you up into her arms, looking as if she dipped you down during an intimate dance together. "Are you okay Zekey?" she asks worriedly of you, "Did you get hit on your head or somethin'?"

You even blush as a result of her actions. "No, more like that doll tied my shoelaces together during that ghost attack and I completely forgot about doing them back up right." You admit, now blushing both because Rumia's quite pretty like this and because you were a doofus.

"...Oh okay!" Rumia responds after a moment of thought, "Sometimes I forget whether my shoes are tied or not too Zekey, it's okay!" She urges you as she helps you back up...and then helps herself to a kiss on your lips with the Prismriver's not there to intervene, "Sorry, I couldn't resist. You looked super cute when you're blushing." She admits with a grin.

That just made you blush more! "It's fine..." You then take a couple moments to squat down and undo that doll's dastardly work before you move on. You don't need to get distracted and trip every few moments, even if you wouldn't object to Rumia carting you around bridal-style as a result. "Okay, now I should be ready to go." You say as you finally set out to go visit Erika.

"Okay!" Rumia agrees with enthusiasm, "...where are we going again?"

"We're going back down to the basement again to take that trap door. Given how confusing this house is and that we've taken every other door there is, it'll be the one that leads down that goes up." You remember the Youmu's directions for getting up here and start looking for the stairwell you took originally, hoping that you can find it again... Only to remember that you were kinda focused on the notes at the time.

"What's up, Zekey?" Rumia asks you, bumping into you from behind, "...Did you forget where we were going too?"

"I know where we're going, I just wasn't paying attention to how we got here to begin with." You admit with yet more embarrassment.

"...Oh okay! I know the way up!" Rumia tells you as she grabs your hand and drags you off another direction, leading you down the winding corridors and blind turns of this nightmare of a house. She stops as suddenly as she began, right in front of a stairwell that leads both down towards a familiar part of the house and up towards the next floor. You hear another crashing sound from above as you reach this stairwell.

"Thanks again, Rumia!" You then start to lead her up the stairs as you both want to see Erika proper and find out what's trying it's level hardest to demolish the third floor of the mansion.

You head up the stairs, the wood creaking and groaning the whole time as you make your ascent. When you reach the top, glancing down the hallway both ways shows that one side, thankfully not the side leading towards Erika...you think anyways, has been rather battleworn and covered in a fine layer of rather ominously purple goo.
"Eeeewww...slime stuff." Rumia looks rather upset, "I hope they don't have a ghost slime. Ectoplasm's gross..."

"Slime...?" You don't dare touch it, but you remember how SlKogasa was generating a toxin to slip into MerKoishi during their fight... "Kogasa's still alive and kicking, it looks like. Hopefully we run into her soon, I'm still worried." Still, the coast is clear and considering that Youmu said that Yuyuko would treat you being here as fair game, you don't want to risk going down the contaminated hallway. More than that, that goo could be rather slick and you could slap yourself with Shinki knows how many status conditions, and you're not sure you could survive a Toxic. "Anyway, let's go." You proceed to lead Rumia toward Erika's room, hoping that there won't be any real resistance.

As you head towards Erika's room, you are suddenly grabbed by something from the ceiling. Cool, soft slime wraps around you and a pair of mismatched eyes meets your own, "Zeeeekeeeeeeey!" SlKogasa lets out a cry of pure joy as she mashes your face into her chest...which you promptly begin to sink into.

"Koga-mmph!" You can't complete your sentence since you're being faceplanted into her chest and being pulled inside her! You proceed to poke her to remind her that she should be a little more careful about that!

"Zeeeekeeeeeeeey~!" SlKogasa hugs you tighter still, though you do find yourself being given a supply of fresh air somehow.

"...H-hey, I want to hug Zekey too!" Rumia complains before you find her hugging you as well, leading to you being caught as the meat in a cuddle sandwich. On one side, the soft coolness of SlKogasa. On the other, the warm and firm body of Rumia. It is...a very relaxing feeling, filling you with more life than you'd realized you hadn't had.

Honestly, if you weren't in the middle of a haunted mansion which has almost naught but the tortured dead wandering its halls this would be the perfect time to take a nap. You wrap your arms around Kogasa and make a decidedly happy sound as both girls cuddle you.

The both of them continue to cuddle you tight, their own life and presence washing away the aches and pains you didn't know were there.

That or maybe SlKogasa is healing you while you're in her embrance, who knows.

A quiet, polite but decidedly pointed cough comes from behind you, and you find that the Youmu from before is standing there, giving you a look. She gestures towards an immaculately white door with beautiful engravings on it, "Milady requests your presence when you are 'done."

You somehow manage to look toward the Youmu when she announces her presence and nod in response. "Kogasa, if you would be so kind?" Well, you try to ask her anyway. You're not entirely sure you can be heard with your head where it is.

SlKogasa lets out an annoyed sound but releases you all the same. "Aww...." Rumia whinges as well, but she lets you go just as well. With a quiet thump you land on the ground, your body already protesting being removed from the soothing embrace of your two friends.

"Well, I meant for you to carry us in, but alright." You pet SlKogasa on the head before heading toward the door that the Youmu stands watch over. "May I go in?" She may have said that her mistress is waiting, but you still feel that it wouldn't be amiss to be polite at this point.

Youmu looks at you for a moment before reaching over and opening up the door, "It's what Milady wants." She states simply as she opens up the and reveals a perfectly beautiful room fit for a princess inside. Compared to the rest of the house, this rooms bright colors and warm feel are completely unaffected by the dreadful chill that infests these halls. Erika is inside, sitting in a chair next to several bookshelves all filled to the brim with texts.

No. 176228
"Ah, Zeke!" Erika's face brightens up with joy as she sees you enter, "It's so good to-ah...!" She attempts to rise up, but her knees buckle. Youmu slips past you and is in front of her in a flash, holding her lady steady and setting her back into her chair.

"I had warned you it was dangerous to push yourself Milady." Youmu informs her mildly, with perhaps a hint of chastisement and a large dollop of worry in her voice.

"Yes Youmu, you're right. I'm sorry to be worrying you even now of all times." Erika apologizes to her servant, smiling up at her ghostly protector.

"You need not apologize to me, Milady. It is my duty and honor to serve you however you wish it." Youmu responds, tucking an errant lock of her lady's hair out of the way.

Well, that answers were Youmu falls in the hierarchy. You opt not to break up the moment the Youmu is having with her mistress, though you are nervous about staying here too long. Just because Erika said that the ghosts didn't bother her doesn't mean you're home free.

"Youmu, could I ask you to keep watch and ensure my meeting with Ezekiel is not interrupted?" Erika asks her guardian.

Youmu rises up to her feet, "It shall be done, Milady." She gives her lady one last lingering look before turning on her heel and marching towards the door and past you. "Mind your manners." She reminds you in a quiet tone as she passes you, a warning expression on her face. At least she's emotive now.

"...My apologies for how she's treated you. Youmu is...very protective of me." Erika tells you, folding her hands in her lap, "I cannot even begin to express how happy I am that you've come here Zeke."

"Your Youmu is devoted, I can't fault her for that." You say with a smile, feeling relaxed for the first time since you've come to this place. "...Ah, one moment. Lyrica, Lunasa, Merlin!" You let your Prismrivers out of their respective balls now that you're in a relatively safe spot to do so. "Sorry, I figure my girls all have a stake in this conversation, and I can tell. You're practically radiating joy."

Lyrica stretches and cracks her neck uncouthly, "I hate being stuffed up like that..." She grumbles as she glances about the room. "Ah, it's you."

Merlin simply floats over to you and drags you into an embarassing and decidedly soft position with a hug, stuffing your face close to her bosom, "I don't like being left out of things like that, Zekey~." She teases you, squeezing you tighter.

Lunasa flutters over to SlKogasa and impacts into her friend with a small 'splat', hugging the Slime variant for all that she is worth.

"Yes, it's me. I don't suppose I can begin to apologize for putting your precious person in danger." Erika responds to Lyrica's hostility with cultured calmness.

"No, you can't." Lyrica cuts back immediately, "So don't bother trying."

"Sorry Merlin, I just didn't want you out where some wayward ghost could strangle you." You give your lusty ghost girl the straight, honest truth for doing what you did. "Anyway, Erika. You got me out here to help you, but I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do. I can't think for a second that the Yuyuko is the root of the problem, but it's inevitable that I'll have to face her anyway. Plus, am I correct in thinking that there's something even worse behind that giant door in the basement?"

"...There is." Erika nods, her expression grim and pained, "I...cannot remember it. I remember seeing it, but after that I feel only pain when I try to remember. I know there is something there though, something dreadfully powerful, a being that is near legendary in its strength...perhaps even truly a Legendary Being."

...A Legendary. You...you're honestly terrified at that possibility. People have heard of the Legendary Touhoumon of course. I mean, there's always talk of touhoumon that are far stronger than any others of their type, but some are completely and utterly unique and dreadfully powerful, capable of sweeping aside anything that would try to stop them. You would have no hope of stopping a legendary yourself.

"A legendary being..." You repeat almost dumbly as she states her guess on the matter. "Haha, that's my luck for me. I can't leave because I'm certain misfortune would befall me, and the final enemy here is a possible legendary being." The earlier feeling of calm is replaced by two things: One, a tinge of fear, and two, a number of possible scenarios running through your head as you try to figure out some clever way to deal with this unknown, but nothing comes to mind.

"That's correct. I am sorry for bringing you here into this as I have but...I have no other choice. It is getting closer and closer now and I can feel it. I had thought that perhaps going to visit the town as I always wished to would make a final hurrah, but meeting you..." She closes her eyes, "...You are everything like the heroes in my stories, but real. I am certain of that."

"That is what makes the request I have for you...all the more painful that it must be you." Erika admits.

"Which is?" You ask, not quite sure what this is leading up to, but feeling that it would be unpleasant all the same.

"...I need you to kill me." She tells you, opening her eyes and staring right into yours as she announces that.

CHOICES
[ ] What.
[ ] What?
[ ] What!
No. 176230
Oh wow, that waifuism. That whiteknight protag.
No. 176231
[x] okay.

no moral restrictions!
No. 176232
[X] What.
[X] What?
[X] What!
No. 176235
>>176227
To quote the Prismrivers:
[x] ...what.
No. 176241
[x] ...what.

It sounds "we had to destroy the village in order to save the village". Just replace village with "princess" and you get the idea. So much for rescuing her physically.
No. 176253
[X] Raise eyebrows
[X] Silently await explanation
[X] If explanation is not forthcoming, tell her “...Explain.”.
No. 176255
Thinking about the "Legendary Being", I wonder if we could use one of the special Touhouballs Zeke got from his dad to capture it. Assuming it is a Touhoumon that is.
No. 176260
[x] What.

You think being killed will solve this?

WHAT!

You think anyone would be happy about that?

WHAT!

You really think I would do that?

WHAT!

You must be the dumbest sunvabitch this side of the Touhouverse.
No. 176261
[X] What.
[X] What?
[X] What!?

Bah, we need to find another option, I can only expect Zeke to be extremely haunted by the decision if he went through with it
No. 176265
>>176230
As I said before, she's sheltered as shit. This was foreshadowed.

But at least she's realistic. I expected her to say something like 'Well, now defeat that legendary beast and that level 70 Yuyuko and free me! Come one, what are you waiting for?!'

Anyway, choices.

[x] What!
No. 176275
[x] What.
No. 176300
[X] What.
[X] What?
[X] What!

Obviously she's expecting Zeke to find another way. Kind of a dick move, though.
No. 176314
[X] What.

Flat what is best.

Hmm, a legendary Touhoumon called X?
Still, this seems mightily familiar. Maybe Erika is what's keeping X tied down to the mortal plane?
No. 176452
You really have no idea how to respond to that request. This whole scenario was wrong, with tortured souls of the dead roaming the halls, wild Touhoumon inhabiting what was once a human-inhabited mansion, a potentially unstoppable, for you anyway, horror lurking in the basement, and oh by the way the Yuyuko who seems to want to let things continue as they were. However, those were all things that... okay, most of those were things that could be dealt with. However, the very person who called you out here requesting that you kill her made you freeze in response.

At least for a moment. "What." Was all you could say to that, not fully understanding why Erika wanted to commit assisted suicide.

"I want you to kill me, please." Erika states again, her tone firming up as best as she can manage it but you catch a little quake in it all the same.

The entire room is silent, even Lyrica looking completely and utterly surprised at the current situation. It looks like they're stunned as well.

"Why would you want to die? I'm sorry if I'm upsetting you at this point, but..." You trail off as you remember how she felt in your arms, how cool and light and frail she was. How the Youmu warned her that she was fading. How the mere concept of ghosts was actually well and truly real. Is she...?

"I'm already well on my way to being dead, Zeke." Erika admits, her eyes sorry as she tries to put on a smile for you, "At this point, you wouldn't really be killing me. Just...putting me out of my misery. Every day it gets a little bit worse and I can feel myself fading away in the worst possible way, losing my memories and my ability to think and focus. The only reason I am here before you as I am now is because I am truly blessed with the friends I have. Youmu lent me her spirit body and molded it into a form for me to use."

...She can do that?

Suddenly it clicks. Youmu variants always have a ghost half to them, yet this Youmu didn't seem to have one! Why didn't you notice that? "I can't understand what that must be like, but I can try to help." You sigh and consider the alternatives. "I presume I'd have to face off against both the Yuyuko keeping things as they are, and the unknown mon in the basement to actually kill you."

Erika nods, expression pensive, "Yes, I am afraid that is the case. Yuyuko will not let you into the basement without a fight from her, and...my body is currently held by what lies beneath Mustermannor. I should be plainly visible and reached, I remember that much."

"Which brings me to my next question. Is it possible to secure your Youmu's help for this? I hold no illusion that I could deal with both on my own." Something, somewhere in your head switched off. You're not totally sure what it is, but while you're still scared of this place and disbelieving of Erika's request, it's not so bad that you can't act.

"If I ask her to, she'll do it. Even she must admit now that you are my best hope for this to succeed and that....that it is far too late to pursue other options at this point or to wait for anything else." Erika states, folding her hands in her lap as primly as she can manage.

At this point there's two conflicting sides as to what you want to do here. On the one hand, you want to get this over with and break down properly when things are safe. On the other hand, you find yourself hugging her gently. She's been stuck like this for about thirty years, slowly dying and even losing herself. If you had any ability to do so, you'd save her, tear down anything and everything keeping this place acting like the Makaihole it is, and give her a chance at life. But now there's only one way out, and it's going to be hard on everyone involved.

At least you can give her that little bit of warmth before you send her off.

Erika freezes as you grab her up in your hug, and you are at once aware of just how chillingly cold she is. She's not as freezingly horrible as those murderous ghosts were, but she's still uncomfortably chilly even through your clothes. She gradually unfreezes and wraps her arms around your back in return, awkwardly embracing you as you hold her. "...I'm sorry to make you do this Zeke, but you...you're the only one I've found who could. I don't want anyone else to suffer for my sake anymore, so please...no matter what Zeke, you must survive and live."

"I was planning on living past this anyway, but giving myself another reason never hurt." You pull away from her after a short while, trying your hardest not to break down further. At least with the White Tower you were able to not realize the full consequences of your actions until after the fact. "I think it's time for me to go. I figured I way as well hug you before then, since the odds are good we won't have a chance afterward."

Erika just smiles at that, her own expression shaking slightly, "You're a good man Zeke, just like the heroes I always read about." She reaches up with her hands and gently takes hold of your face, pulling you down closer to her and pressing a very chaste kiss on your lips before letting you go. Erika giggles, touching her fingers to her lips, "I couldn't resist. I didn't really want to go into the afterlife without even giving up my first kiss after all."

And naturally, you weren't exactly expecting that but couldn't really stop her either. You're left blushing as you stand back up proper, while noting that this is probably going to be one more thing that Lyrica's going to be annoyed with you about when this is all said and done. It really doesn't help your case that Erika really is adorable... "Thanks, and I don't mind." That's all you can really say after you manage to recover enough to talk. "I guess this is it."

"I suppose it is, Zeke. I don't know how long I'll have after you...do the deed, but if I have the chance I will be there to properly thank you and say goodbye. Shall I call in Youmu then?" Erika asks, seemingly hesitating for a moment.

"Yes." Your response is simple, and tense at this point. There's no real reason to linger in the mansion more than you have.

"Alright then. Youmu!" Erika calls out for her guardian who immediately reappears, even before Erika finishes saying her name.

"You called, Milady?" Youmu asks, watching you neutrally from the corner of her eye.

"It's time, Youmu." Erika informs her servant, expression pained, "Thank you again for serving me as you have, and...I'm sorry to do this to you."

"I live to serve Milday, you have no reason to apologize to me." Youmu answers, her spine ridged and ramrod straight, "It has been a pleasure and an honor."

Erika smiles, lips shaking slightly as she does, "I see. Then I won't say anymore on it. Youmu, please escort Zeke to the Sacrificial Chamber, and use all of your strength to protect him. Ensure his safe arrival."

"Your will be done, Milday." Youmu bows at the waist before turning to you, "The specters are out in force. It would be best if you stored your associates until we've arrived. I will be the only escort you need."

Lyrica's expression doesn't seem to be exactly happy, but she's oddly quiet herself. Merlin is with her sister and SlKogasa, the group quietly conversing about something off on their own without you or their other sister, and Rumia is floating behind you while keeping an eye on the Youmu.

"Girls?" You try to get their attention so you can talk to them directly. Rumia would listen, the Prismrivers might relent, but SlKogasa... how would you even convince her? Would you convince her.

Rumia perks up at your voice, and Lyrica just sighs as if deeply aggrieved by you, "Yeah, yeah. Sure, whatever. Just make sure you don't do something extra stupid while we're in the balls."

Lunasa and Merlin both notice you calling out for them, and SlKogasa perks up excitedly as you speak up at her.

"It's time to go and Youmu's saying that the spirits are out in force. Rumia, Lyrica, Lunasa, Merlin... Return." You recall each of your girls, one after the other until you get to SlKogasa. You have a visibly pained expression considering that you want to keep her safe, but at the same time making her stay in a ball might aggravate her condition. "Kogasa, how do you want to go about this?"

SlKogasa is staring at you, eyes wide open and...she's positively vibrating with fear. She doesn't want to go back in the ball.

You go up to the poor slimegirl and hug her, knowing that this is a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' scenario for her. It's either be stuck in a ball, which would scare her immensely and possible make her data corruption worse because of emotional instability, or be stuck outside where the twisted dead can suck the life out of her. "I won't make you, but I don't want you to get caught by one of those..." Then you remembered something that caused your words to stop in your tracks. "That Shinki-damned doll is just going to cause problems if I try to do this under my own power."

SlKogasa shakes her head from side to side, slime spattering as she does so, "Nonononono." She repeats, terrified of getting put into the ball again. She surges up to you and you watch as her human form dissolves into slime. Much to your surprise she washes over you and slips into your clothes, surging up your pant legs and down your collar until...

...SlKogasa is seemingly gone, but you've got a nice, comforting slime wrap all around your body. "Ah...Warm Zekey~." SlKogasa sighs contently, her voice coming from beneath your clothes.

"I guess that solves that." You say, snapped out of your previous worry and once again sounding a touch surprised, but at this point you really shouldn't be. Having your resident slime girl act as underwear is by far the most normal thing that's come out of this scenario thus far. "Alright, Youmu. Please take care of me." Now you're ready to go.

"Of course." Youmu responds, giving one last look to her master. Erika smiles and nods, urging her onwards, to which Youmu merely turns and makes for the door, "Follow me and stay close. The incompetents may make one final try for you, but they won't do anything if you're close to me."

"Got it." You follow along behind Youmu closely, making sure that you don't lose track of her. You do note, however, that given Kogasa's shade of blue and her effectively functioning as a second skin for the most part that you feel sorta like an intergalactic bounty hunter.

Youmu leads you out from Erika room and shuts it tight behind her. She pulls a key out from seemingly nowhere and locks the door shut, all three locks on it. "There. Now we're ready to go." Youmu's voice is...decidedly tired, resigned and she has a rather hollow look to her, "Follow me."

You continue to follow Youmu wordlessly, feeling somewhat resigned yourself, but SlKogasa is providing a comforting presence that makes this more bearable than it would be otherwise. You're keeping close to the sword using mon even as you keep an eye out.

Youmu marches forward, eyes locked on what's ahead of her and not wavering as she takes each step one at a time. She's incredibly well together, given the circumstances and what's going on. "We're using a distortion door to our advantage. There's a door on the third floor that leads to a part of the basement."

"That beats having to go back the way I came." You say, not wanting to distract her from her end of things. There'd be time to talk after this was all said and done.

Youmu simply remains silent then, guiding you through the halls of the building, the twisting and winding corridors seeming less intimidating and confusing with her guiding presence with you. You find that she is guiding you to the sticky slimy corridor...or previously sticky and slimy corridor. It's quite clean, if battlescarred, now. You pass by a section of the wall that appears to be partially melted and wonder just what SlKogasa did to cause this kind of damage.

It helped further emphasize the sheer danger of slimes and why most people are scared of them, yet at the same time underscores just how careful SlKogasa is with you. She can cause this much damage, but she's safe for you to use as a bed... and for much lewder things.

SlKogasa seems to read your thoughts as her slime shifts about on you, rubbing your body in a comforting way as she squeezes you in a full body hug. "Zekey's safe..." She mumbles quietly to you, or perhaps to herself. Youmu still doesn't say anything, simply leading you on ahead and past more damage. Similar arreas of decay and destruction exist here and there along the hallway, and at one point it seems the floor was melted clear through. Glancing down the hole...you can see the second and first floors!

"You're correct. Your Slime performed capably, and has an impressive ability when it comes to three dimensional combat. Many touhoumon not of the flying type find it exceedingly difficult to fight like that." Youmu informs you, apparently capable of at least being intrigued about battle as most of her kind is, "However, do not expect her to be capable of doing it again, especially not when She is fighting seriously and without restraint."

"I wouldn't expect it. My Merlin already told me that that Yuyuko could sweep my entire party as-is, and the simple addition of a Rumia isn't going to change that. That's why I went to Erika to ask for help in the matter." Since the Youmu was going to pipe up like that, you may as well do some talking of your own. "Given how this is going, I pretty much expect whatever those women have been sacrificed to to be fully capable of fighting as well, and not too keen on my ending Erika's life."

Youmu stops midstep and you feel an overwhelming pressure of bone chilling intent of violence wash over you. One eye, full of emotions you can't even begin to describe, stares at you over her shoulder. One hand rests on the scabbard for one of her brutal swords, thumb on the hilt of it and about to push it out.

The pressure is there for only the briefest of instants before it fades away, Youmu looking away from you and back ahead of her, "...That is exceedingly capable of fighting, but you will have an easier time facing it than you would Yuyuko. It is a matter of Arena and the type of opponent." Her voice is flat, soft and sharp as you are certain her blades are.

You were rather nervous for a moment there when Youmu let off that killing intent, but at least she let up after a moment. Rather than go onto that line of discussion again, you opt to change gears. "Would it be rude to ask what that is, exactly? I got access to a bag that belonged to another trainer and read her log. Between her mentioning roots and the ghosts having branches sticking out of them, would I be wrong to assume that it's at least part Grass type?"

Youmu flinches again, this time not leaking killing intent, "Were I capable of telling you how to more readily kill That I would do so gladly. However, that is not something I can do. I can tell you though that it is a Grass/Ghost type." She seems...frustrated now, on top of her mood being soured from your choice words earlier.

"I'm sorry if I'm being tactless here, I just can't think of a better way to phrase certain things." You say while storing that information away for later. Still, you have a type now and that's something to work with. Of course, it's not exactly ideal seeing as while every one of your party members has a direct type advantage against it, four-fifths of your party is also weak to it in turn, and that's not counting the fact that mons aren't restricted to moves of their type. Even SlKogasa doesn't have a clear-cut advantage against it, seeing as Ghost resists Poison, negating Grass' weakness to it. The only real hope you have is that you've got some way to cripple it.

"While your earlier statement was tactless indeed, and you should be thankful your neck is untouched...I am not responding the way I do to your questions because they're tactless alone. I am...bound by oaths and orders to not reveal certain information. Even telling you as much feels as if a railroad tie is being driven into my skull. Were I to tell you what That is, I would likely be driven braindead immediately."

...That's...those sorts of techniques used on touhoumon, they're like one hundred and eight differnt kinds of illegal, let alone immoral!

That kind of thing makes your Tablet look like jaywalking by comparison. "I won't pry any further then." There's also a hundred and eight questions to go along with that, starting with 'Who the Makai would do that to begin with', but if the Youmu can't talk about what's under the mansion, she probably can't talk about who put her under that oath to begin with. You can, however, hope that whoever did that to begin with doesn't exist on this mortal plane before, because even you have limits as to what you're willing to tolerate from others.

"Thank you." Youmu states simply before continuing on her way, "But should you have questions, ask them. I have felt worse pain than this by far, and your success is more important than any migraine." Youmu opens a door for you, and you're extremely disoriented to see yourself looking up at several barrels and a familiarish ceiling. Wait, that room can't be..?

"I know, but at the same time I need your help and I don't want to accidentally cripple you by asking more than I should." You have to take a moment to reorient yourself after that, but Youmu was right. This was faster. "My only real question at this point is who did this to you, but I'm not sure that's relevant."

"The Master of the Manor, and Erika's father." Youmu admits without any hesitation or restraint, "You're young, even for a human, so I suppose it's not surprising that you don't know. Things like this weren't uncommon where the Mustermann family was from. It was seen as the wise thing to do to keep a monster shackled with pain."

That would have elicited a spittake if you were drinking anything. "That's...! Touhouballs aren't that recent, and loyalty isn't that hard to build!" You can't even consider putting SlKogasa in her ball, causing your girls pain for the express purpose of ensuring that they'd do what you say is unthinkable.

"The technology for it isn't no, but do not forget that even in this land there are those who prefer a more firm hand in controlling their servants. Her father preferred a firmer hand than most, and it was not unusual in the Empire to use even harsher methods, though bomb collars were at least outlawed."

"Except for those grandfathered in, of course." Youmu adds on.

You're still following Youmu, but your left eye is twitching and your mouth is hanging open in utter disbelief. You look as though you either want to say something or make a large group of people regret living.

Youmu hops through the door and twists gracefully as gravity shifts and changes its orientation on her. Straddling the door, she holds out a hand for you to take, "You're disgusted and horrified to hear that." She notes disinterestedly.

"Pretty much." You take the Youmu's hand without hesitation, hoping this won't be too hard on you. "I mean, I can't even consider putting my Kogasa in her ball because she's scared of being trapped inside one and left alone again, let alone using pain or bomb collars. I get different people go about things different ways, but I don't necessarily have to agree with them or accept their actions."

She hauls you up with a single tug, but the sudden reorientation of gravity makes you lose your balance and stumble into Youmu, clinging to her body as your brain and inner ear try desperately to reorient themselves as their understanding of gravity is beaten like a red-headed step-child. Ah, she's soft.

"...You're soft, Ezekiel." Youmu tells you, "Perhaps too soft for your own good."

You're stuck clinging to her for a short while longer while you wait for your body to make sense of the change, but you're not so disoriented that you can't talk. "You think so?" You ask with open honesty. "I've been referred to as a reckless idiot, but too soft is a new one."

"Yes, I do." Youmu responds simply as you find yourself feeling wobbly right up until a brief larger moment of disorientation hits you as you feel SlKogasa shift and squirm on your body. Moments later though, you find yourself completely balanced again. Did she do something? "Did you stumble across the Sacrificial Chamber's entrance while here?"

"It was the first door I took. I was wondering what the large mechanism was for." You admit as you find yourself able to stand properly once again.

"That mechanism is old. Very old. It was here when we found this place." Youmu informs you as she turns and makes for the way to the Sacrificial Chamber, "It does not bear the hallmarks of having been made by the Nitori, either."

You follow along behind her, now that you have the ability to do so coherently. "That raises a few questions, but I'm not sure how many of them could actually be answered."

"Very few." Youmu responds, opening the door ahead of you. A chill wind blasts past you both, and the scent of blood and flowers is potent indeed. Youmu is unfazed, simply holding the door open for you after she enters herself.

You follow her through, noting that you didn't smell this here before...

But the smell itself is familiar to you, unfortunately. You're fairly certain you know what's coming, and you note the Youmu seems to have appeared that ancient antique Camera Obscura of hers that she had before. She keeps a steady on the dark path ahead of you, apparently unfazed by the scent and the sound of the stone and wood around you creaking under the stress.

You pull out your Tablet as well as a precaution. Youmu has superhuman reflexes, but you're not dead weight just yet.

You can hear it, the quiet whispers all around you, numerous voices weeping and speaking, each trying to be head over the other. "Give it back..." "It hurts so much...!" "I don't want to do this...!" "Father, why..!?"

The sheer, overwhelming pressure is horrific to bear, and your knees shake with the effort it takes to stand.

This, mind you, is with SlKogasa aiding you by acting like a second skin. You probably couldn't have continued to push forward if she weren't doing this. Still, that one that says 'Give it back' seems awfully familiar and you're hoping it's not that same ghost yet again.

You feel a chill run down your spine as SlKogasa moves your limbs without your go ahead, moving you forward suddenly in an awkward leap as the same ghost girl that's been harassing you lunges for you and misses. Youmu immediately snaps a picture of her, the bright white flash of her antique camera blinding you for a moment, even as you see more ghosts slip out of the walls. You spot the female trainer from before, the furthest back of the ghosts as she stares at you, her eyes lit up in a disconcerting display. Two more are here. One is a woman dressed in a style of clothing many years out of date, no doubt one of the travelers waylaid by the people who lived her and sacrificed to That. The other though is a woman dressed in the style of a servant or maid. Branches and roots grow all over the both of them, spreading across their body and bursting forth from their ectoplasmic skin in a disturbing display.

"Thanks Kogasa." Seems your goo girl has a better spacial sense than you, but you're not complaining. "You weren't kidding about the ghosts." You state as you train your Tablet's camera on one of the two worse-looking ghosts, trying to keep an eye on the trainer's ghost as well since you really don't like how she's looking at you.

The two ghosts ahead of you twitch in pain, but do not make a move for you yet, floating only slowly in your direction. The murderous little girl appears behind Youmu, lunging for her and attempting to wring the life from her body. Youmu though simply disappears and reappears behind the girl, taking her picture again while she's vulnerable and sending her sailing away with a wail of despair. Youmu is...really good at this.

Which means you're probably going to be mostly dead weight as while you have the arguably superior camera, you also just don't have the same capabilities the Youmu has. You're almost certain that the two are going to try and herd you and... wait, that little ghost girl follows a pattern, and since you and Youmu are the only two applicable targets that means she's probably going to target you next. While those two ghosts close the distance. And that... ghost of Samantha waits for you to get too close.

You're still waiting for the right time to hit any of them, you're just not sure how smart these two newcomers are.

You feel a chill approach your back, but a sudden onset of bright flashes behind you tells you that Youmu is apparently quite on the ball and focused on dealing with the little girl who's trying to eat your spine, or possibly your soul. That leaves you to deal with the two ahead of you and...

...To your surprise, you watch as Samantha's specter fades away, disappearing gradually until only those burning eyes of hers are what you could see. Eventually, even those are gone. That leaves you with the two ghosts that are moving towards you. The both of them let out pained whimpers and begin to move in faster, more erratic patterns that take them in and out of the walls and your ability to see them.

Behind you, there's another flash and a wail of despair from the Little Girl Ghost.

You can't even see Youmu anymore! She's moving around and taking the ghosts out in a flawless, practiced manner that utilizes her inherent speed and inhuman reflexes to do what you can't. Of course, since there are two perfectly acceptable targets floating around that haven't been taken out yet, you train your camera on them when you can, and take photos when the opportunity presents itself. You're nowhere near as good, but you're not useless either.

The both of them blur across the hallway, moving past and through each other. It's at that exact moment that you snap a picture, sending the both of them flying back as your tablet helpfully informs you that it's captured more of their anomalous energy signatures. The two flicker out of sight and are gone, the freezing cold sensation dissipating... slightly.

"She is obstinate." Youmu informs you, keeping an eye out behind you, "But gone, for now."

"Hopefully she stays gone long enough to finish this up." You pocket your Tablet for now since Youmu's given the okay, and ready yourself to keep going.

Youmu moves ahead of you again, arching down the corridor and moving at a steady pace as the chilled cold keeps trying to encroach on you. Somehow though, SlKogasa's cool body keeps you at a nice, comfortable temperature and no colder than that. It's something that you appreciate. "We're almost there. If you have any requests, speak them now."

You honestly can't think of anything Youmu could provide at the last minute like this. "I don't, but thank you for helping me get this far." You're pretty sure you were right on the money when you figured you wouldn't be able to do this on your own.

"...Then, I have a request. When the time comes, don't hesitate. Make it quick and decisive. You doom yourself if you make any other choice." Youmu states, her back to you so you cannot see her face, "Yuyuko is in the next room."

"I won't." You say in response. To that end you take the knife you found in Samantha's bag and put in a more readily accessible spot. You were going to need it soon. "You'll take her on, then the rest is up to me, right?"

"I will deal with Yuyuko, you must open up the gate by turning the mechanism in the center of the room." Youmu informs you as she stares at the rapidly approaching door that is all that's between you and Yuyuko...and whatever lies beyond her, "Don't worry about Yuyuko attacking you. Just focus on getting that gate open and getting inside of it."

"Got it." You don't feel the need to say much more about this, seeing as the two of you have already spoken on the matter. That and making any promises at this stage was liable to cause you problems later. Retirony, you think it's called. "Ready if you are."
No. 176453
Youmu doesn't speak up, instead merely pushing open the heavy door to the sacrificial chamber. The interior is much the same, save for an overpowering scent of blood and flowers. However, this is different from the scent the ghosts gave off. It smells... fresher, somehow. There's less of a decay under-scent to it.

You're not going to make a dash for the mechanism just yet, you want to know that Yuyuko's not just going to bind you up with rope the moment you get out of Youmu's reach. Still, even though the scent is fresher, it's unsettling.

There's a single butterfly with beautiful chromatic wings fluttering around the room. It is soon joined by another, and another, and another again. This continues until a massive swarm of butterflies all bunch together. They suddenly disperse, revealing the Yuyuko who is smiling placidly at the both of you. Her eyes roll over you and then slide onto Youmu as her smile gets just a bit wider, "Why Youmu, just what do you think you're doing?"

"I'm putting an end to this madness, as I was ordered to by my master." Youmu answers simply, her expression and voice completely neutral of any trace of positive or negative emotion.

"Youmu, our master isn't here and he placed me in charge." The Yuyuko's smile widens into a disconcerting grin as a vicious, maddened gleam fills her eyes, "Until he gets back, I'm the master, and you have to do what I say, remember?"

"Your wit has surely grown even duller over the years then I had thought it had. I serve Milady and no one else, as I always have." With a quiet, lethal sound of steel on fabric, Youmu draws her blades and readies herself, "Stand in the way of completing my orders, and I will break you Yuyuko."

Yuyuko's face twitches and distorts unpleasantly as a horrific wave of pressure crashes over you both. SlKogasa tightens up around your body, supporting you and keeping you upright as Youmu seems utterly unfazed by the murderous intent washing off Yuyuko, "You...You...You stupid little fool! You dare go against the orders the Master of the House gave!? You say you're loyal to your master, yet you're helping her killer claim her life!"

"Milady's life was over long ago." Youmu responds back to the Yuyuko again, the two of them focusing on each other and seemingly ignoring you, "I have served her loyally and will continue to do so, even when ordered to act as her second."

You have to give the Youmu credit. She really knows how to set the stage for what's likely to be her last battle with this Yuyuko, and you get the feeling her conviction is going to lead to her winning here. Still, you don't want to butt into this just yet, and are looking for a good spot to make a break for the mechanism.

Yuyuko's expression slips into one of seething fury at Youmu and the both of you, "Then die here with the him, knowing you've failed utterly! I'll follow the Real Master's orders, even until the end of time!"

Yuyuko raises a hand and countless ropes come pouring out of the shadows of the room, all rushing for both of you with the obvious intent to kill you. You feel SlKogasa shift in preparation to defend you, but the very moment you blink every one of the ropes is diced up by a spinning disk that moves faster than the eye can see. Youmu suddenly appears in front of you, putting herself between you and the Yuyuko who has a shocked expression on her face, "What... but that's impossible, my ropes can't be cut!"

"Wrong! I am Slasher Youmu, the sword of Erika!" Youmu calls right back out to Youmu, her voice finally full of an emotion. Her roar is full of a burning passion, loyalty and a deep fury that outmatches what the Yuyuko showed before herself, "In the service of Milady, there is nothing I cannot cut!"

"Impossible! You lost your swords and now you use brutish replacements! Without your Roukanken and Hakurouken, you shouldn't be able to cut my Bind!" Yuyuko is frozen in shock at this apparently unexpected realization, and with the Youmu between you and her... you've got access to the mechanism!

"It was never my swords that made me into who I was or defined what I could do." Youmu responds back to her opponent, the both of them ignoring you as they focus on each other, "My soul remains unchanged, even if the steel I use has."

You waste no more time, taking the opportunity to start moving toward the mechanism while letting your girls out. "Everyone out! We need to get that door open!" You know you alone couldn't get that mechanism to move, but between you and your girls it should be possible.

You do have a lot of respect for SlYoumu now. Defying that sort of limitation on sheer devotion alone...

Your girls apparently heard your order and the moment they solidify out of their balls they all rush towards the mechanism and grab hold of it, each of them pushing on it from one of the handholds. You grab one yourself, and you feel an amazing surge of power through you as SlKogasa seems to help you push it yourself rather than splitting off and pushing a separate handhold. Between all of you, the mechanism slowly and surely is wound open.

"No, I won't let you!" Yuyuko tries to stop you, but Youmu disappears in a whirlwind of steel and cuts down every dark shot of sinister energy she fires at you as she closes the distance and forces her opponent back with a brutally aimed slash meant to bisect her, "Youmu, why are you doing this? Do you want Erika to die!?"

"I want her to be happy." Youmu responds back, the melancholy in her voice making it fairly obvious just how she feels about what's going on and what will be coming after this, "No matter what the cost to me!"

"Are you trying to say you're better than me? That you're more loyal!?" Yuyuko explodes with power, knocking Youmu back and sending her skidding across the floor even as she lands on her feet, "I was holding back in the hopes that you might see the error of your ways, but now it's obvious that you've been corrupted beyond repair." Yuyuko snaps open her fan, a butterfly with chilling skull wing pattern grinning at you on the back of it, "Goodbye Youmu, I'll ensure that Erika rests peacefully once you're gone."

Youmu shifts her stance, holding her blades in a perfect striking position as she remains completely an utterly still. She doesn't leak anything from her body, no killer intent or powerful aura. Youmu holds herself like a true warrior and has absolute control, making her a complete opposite to the horrifyingly powerful monster across from her whose pressure is washing over Youmu, odd specters with wailing faces forming in her aura and letting out their cries of despair.

With a crash, the door the mechanism controls is fully opened, the heavy stone thing groaning under the strain of being held open by the machinery. You've got a sudden feeling that once you go through this door it's going to shut behind you.

Still, it's not like you have much choice at this point. "Alright, let's move!" You give the order to your girls as you move toward the door, making sure the knife is where you need it before you wind up needing it. Youmu's given you the chance. You'll not squander it because of complacency.

You and your girls make it through to the other side of the door with time to spare, and the door crashes shut behind you. There isn't any going back now, just you and what's on this side of the door...

-----

Which fight to watch first?
[ ] A battle between devout servants. (SlshYoumu vs. RSMYuyuko)
[ ] The Rogue's brave stand against *. (Zeke vs. ???)
No. 176454
[X] A battle between devout servants. (SlshYoumu vs. RSMYuyuko)

You keep the final fight for last, of course.
No. 176455
[X] A battle between devout servants. (SlshYoumu vs. RSMYuyuko)

I agree, this makes the story flow better.
No. 176456
[X] A battle between devout servants. (SlshYoumu vs. RSMYuyuko)

Calling her SlYoumu confused me for a moment, there!
No. 176458
[X] A battle between devout servants. (SlshYoumu vs. RSMYuyuko)

Nothing stronger than A Youmu's devotion.
No. 176459
[X] A battle between devout servants. (SlshYoumu vs. RSMYuyuko)
No. 176462
[x] The Rogue's brave stand against *.

Erika's Youmu has a better chance of surviving if this one gets watched first, I think.
No. 176463
Guy who posted >>176459:
Youmu mentions an "Empire", what is this empire? It sounds like a rather harsh place considering she mentions bomb collars as a control mechanism for Touhoumon.

She also mentions how Erika's father desired a "firmer hand" then most over his Touhoumon, to the point of using an illegal technique on them. Just how terrible of a person was he? He probably wouldn't have thought much of Zeke, right?

What info is there on the Mustermann family?

The Yuyuko what is her relation to the Mustermann family? Was she Erika's father's Touhoumon?
No. 176464
[ ] A battle between devout servants. (SlshYoumu vs. RSMYuyuko)

SHit is getting very real, I like it!
No. 176466
[X] A battle between devout servants. (SlshYoumu vs. RSMYuyuko)

The Kusabe must be defeated before you can reach the Hellish Abyss.
No. 176468
[X] A battle between devout servants. (SlshYoumu vs. RSMYuyuko)

Well, that does explain how Erija seems alive yet at the same time feels ghostly

>>176463

I'd put this under the category of "Stuff Zeke might want to investigate about once all the shit is over"
No. 176471
>>176468
I would think the author would be the one explaining. These are more out-universe questions I would say.
No. 176473
>>176466
It really doesn't matter as it's a order choice, not that anyone's paying attention to that part.
No. 176477
[X] A battle between devout servants. (SlshYoumu vs. RSMYuyuko)


Like >>176455 said, the story flows better this way.

I imagine it like a movie, we see Zeke and the girls open the door, run inside and it slams shut behind them with the camera still outside. Cut to the SlshYoumu/BSMYuyuko battle.
Once that's done, it cuts back to either the moment the door closes, but the camera is now inside, or to Zeke noting that battle noise has died down.
Depending on how long you want the dark hallway and the battle to be.
No. 176479
>>176463

I'm not sure how much of that I can honestly answer, but I can say that the Yuyuko did in fact belong to Erika's father. Beyond that... Well, it's going to get brought up in-story so there's no need to worry about that.
No. 176481
SLDT since you're here, if Zeke had been captured by any of the servants of the mansion, like say the Gh!Sakuya or Mystia, would the human ghosts still have attacked him?
No. 176482
>>176481

Most likely. The ghosts attempt to attack anyone, and are fully capable of killing even ghost Touhoumon. There are, however, places the ghosts can't or won't go, so Zeke would have been stored in one of those places out of harm's way, yet still within easy reach.
No. 176484
>>176482
The ghosts were created, or enslaved by the Yuyuko right? Were they under her control?
No. 176486
[X] The Rogue's brave stand
No. 176490
[x] A battle between devout servants. (SlshYoumu vs. RSMYuyuko)
No. 176567
[X] The Rogue's brave stand

come on, our MC's battle can't possibly be as epic as Youmu's. The best fight goes last.
No. 176573
[x] A battle between devout servants. (SlshYoumu vs. RSMYuyuko)

I normally don't vote, but when I do, it's to whore out on pacing or story flow.
No. 176822
The two servants remain standing still, watching each other without the slightest twitch of movement as the stone doors grind shut behind the boy who would put an end to this curse. Even as the doors slam shut tight with a loud boom, the fight doesn't kick off just yet.

Yuyuko moves her hand slowly and softly, fanning herself as she stares coldly at her fellow servant and long time companion, "Do you really think that he can stop 'That' Youmu? We both know that all you've done is send him to his death."

The accusation in Yuyuko's statement and her reproving tone don't affect Youmu who simply stares flatly back at her opposite yet near mirror foe, "The Mistress has chosen to put her belief in him, so I shall as well. If she believes that he can put a stop to this madness, then I believe that he can. I would have thought you would understand having faith in your master, Yuyuko."

Youmu moves, blurring away from that spot as the stone she was standing on and even the very air itself is cursed into oblivion by Yuyuko's spite, her ire rising to critical levels as she glowers at Youmu with maddened fury, "My loyalty and faithfulness were never in question, unlike yourself!"

Youmu ducked under a cursed wave that ripped through the stone behind her and took a step forward, immediately covering all the distance between Yuyuko and herself and delivering a viciously aimed blow from one of her blades meant to gut the other mon. Yuyuko flickered and phased out to avoid the attack just in time, a single gesture sending a wave of shadowy, grasping hands shaped from her ghostly power at Youmu.

Youmu flickers back, cutting down the ghostly attacks with a snicker-snack of her blade, taking care of every one Yuyuko sends for her as she calculates her next avenue of attack. "That was cruel of you, Youmu. Trying to gut me like that after all those years we spent together. Did those nights mean nothing to you?”

Youmu doesn't rise to the barb, simply moving and making use of the mechanism of cover as she blitzes closer to Yuyuko again bobbing and weaving around the attacks as she covers the distance she needs to. "Youmu..." Yuyuko frowns disappointedly at her opponent, "Just one touch will be enough to kill you. I'll make it quick, in respect for your service and our fond memories together." Yuyuko moves with shocking speed as she reaches for Youmu and grabs her throat...

...Only for her hand to go right through!

"An after image?" Yuyuko sputters out, stunned for a moment at the sudden change of circumstances as Youmu twists into the air above her and swings her blaces, cutting deep into the spectral manifestation on Yuyuko's back and into her. Yuyuko surprises her shriek and phases out, teleporting away and reappearing on the opposite side of the room, "Youmu, that was..."

Youmu simply brings her blades back up into a combat stance, "I've spent all these past years constantly fighting against monsters both wild and trained and the wraiths that haunt this place. You may have been stronger than me thirty years ago, but you aren't now."

Yuyuko stares at the Youmu standing across from her as if she'd just declared she was Once and Future King. She bore an expression usually reserved for minders of mentally ill patients, mothers of small children and co-authos of particularly flighty writers. It is an expression that speaks of such sheer incredulity at what they've heard that somehow, despite all efforts and expectations the person opposite them managed to say something so utterly unexpected that they're completely and absolutely stunned.

After a moment pause, Yuyuko snaps her fan shut and taps it against her chin thoughtfully before reopening it, “Let's test that then, shall we?” She responds again in her faux light and friendly tone. But Youmu can hear it, the first traces of creeping concern bleeding into her voice as she realizes that she'll have to take her opponent more seriously than she originally tended to by far. With an idle wave of her hand she sends an orb of screaming darkness wailing towards Youmu, who twists out of the way and kicks off of the ground to cover distance between the two.

Yuyuko's smile widens just a bit as Youmu charges towards the second Shadow Ball she'd hidden in the 'shadow' of the first, amused that one of the oldest tricks in the book completely fails to work as her lips twist into a frown as Youmu swings both blades as one at the shadowy ball, cleaving it in half as she covers the remaining distance between herself and the Yuyuko and swings with both blades in a blow intended to scissor cut the Yuyuko in two. Yuyuko herself simply faded out again, flickering away from the blow and rematerializing across the room.

As she opened her mouth to taunt Youmu though, something very, very unexpected happened. She felt pain. A pain in her sides. That shouldn't be there. The Yuyuko runs a hand down her sides to find a tear in her clothing, her immaculate outfit damaged in a spot that would show her once picture perfect porcelain skin she saved and showed only to someone special. Once picture perfect, because she now felt a wound there.

Youmu simply readopted her stance, eyes unwavering in their determination for her to hold her ground and accomplish her mission. She knows that no matter how it might look, attacking Yuyuko now would spell death for her, if she were to try it. Even after all her training and preparation for a situation where she would be called upon to slay her fellow servant, even she could not deny that Yuyuko was the most lethal being in the house save for what lay in the caverns deep below. Just one touch from her could prove lethal, even to Youmu.

Especially now that Yuyuko seemed to be sinking into a state of shocked fury, and quickly changing into murderous fury. “I won't kill you.” Yuyuko states as she moves in a disconcertingly jerky and unreadable way, “Death is too good for a traitor like you. I'll devour you and your essence and torture you for eternity!” Yuyuko snarls out as countless grasping, ghostly hands reach out from behind her and surge towards Youmu in a single massive wave.

Youmu doesn't panic and doesn't flee from the attack. She's seen Yuyuko use this sort of attack pattern countless times before when she deigned to deal with an interloper or sacrifice herself. The only way to survive this attack...was to charge straight in! Her world blurs as she moves past the perception of human limits and covers the distance between herself and Yuyuko within the blink of an eye, her own swords blurring maelstroms of steel as they cut through the constructs Yuyuko attempts to attack her with. As she appears in front of the Yuyuko though to deliver her cut...

“Caught you.” Yuyuko's smile widens and becomines positively predatory as she swings her own arms forward and grasps for Youmu with shocking speed and accuracy as she grabs the smaller mon by her arms and draws her in for a Kiss of Death.

...Or at least, she planned to before she realized the Youmu she was dealing with was an after image with a shocking twist to it, “Afterimages with mass...?” Yuyuko is stunned out of her murderous rampage long enough to be shocked by this sudden revelation, “Youmu, what are you-?”
Youmu doesn't say anything as she blurs into sight behind Yuyuko once more, both arms swinging her cruel, butchering weapons towards Yuyuko with the intention of bisecting her and delivering a blow lethal even to a touhoumon if she could manage it.

The Yuyuko twists as she absorbs the blow, gritting her teeth and suppressing a cry of pain as she turns and looks Youmu square in the eyes. Youmu only feels annoyance at herself for having flubbed her attack so direly before Yuyuko slams a fist into her face, wreathed in screaming, ghostly energies and sends the smaller mon hurtling across the room and slamming into the far wall.

Youmu attempted to quickly get to her feet, but she felt a strong hand grasp around her collar and send her hurtling across the room again and slamming into a stone wall...followed promptly by a clawed hand slamming viciously into her stomach and digging the blow into her gut.

It is a matter of pride for Youmu she lets out nothing more than a surpressed grunt at the pain of those long talons digging into her. She can't help but rebuke herself for not ending this fight faster or acting in a more decisive manner. She's let Yuyuko bring out her true self.

Yuyuko digs her nails a bit deeper into Youmu's stomach, leaning in closer to her with her eyes wide and shaky and a manically wide grimace-like mockery of a smile stretched out over her face, “Youmu~? Hey Youmu~? What if I eat you before I eat you? Doesn't that sound like fun?” Yuyuko leans in closer running her tongue along Youmu's neck and then nipping at it with her teeth, drowing blood from the smaller mon as Youmu readies herself for her final attack. If she can deploy an explosion now while Yuyuko's distracted, then...

What happens next comes as a surprise to both ghost mon. Perhaps they didn't notice the change in the atmosphere because they were already used to it due to the amount of ghost-type energy the both of them were putting out in their fight against each other. Perhaps they didn't notice the scent of flowers and blood clearly through the lingering remains of the scene that were still in the room. Whatever the case, Yuyuko had no warning when a vengeful ghost of a female trainer, a woman Yuyuko herself captured for sacrifice after dealing with her friends, reared up behind her and wrapped her arms viciously tight around the large and powerful monster.

Yuyuko's mouth opened up in a wide open scream of agony as the ghost's monstrous, deadly grip born from being a vengeful spirit of a sacrificial victim tears into her even as she struggles to get the deadly thing off. Youmu is left free as Yuyuko flails away desperately and falls to the ground on her knees, clutching her stomach with one free hand as one of her swords clatters uselessly to the ground beside her. The wounds aren't deep enough to be fatal, but she can admit that the feelings coming from the spot are debilitating. With a slight grimace Youmu produces a tin of herbal medicine, specifically blended for touhoumon, and applies it to herself as she grits her teeth a bit tighter to resist complaining at the sensation and smell. The whole while she watches as the wraith struggles with the specter of this mansion's dark history.

“Get off get off get off get off...!” Yuyuko screeches furiously, struggling to remove the wraith attached to her, “How dare you-! I'll devour you too, you waste of a sacrifice!” Yuyuko rages at the thing, attacking it...but to no avail as all her blows simply pass through the ghost that strangles her harder, fingers digging into the Yuyuko's skin.

You did this....” The wraith hisses at Yuyuko, its eyes glowing with a baleful light, “You killed them...!” It snarls at the Ghost who finally manages to modify herself enough to grip the wraith and attempt to wrest her off of her, “You killed them!

Yuyuko hurls the beast off of her, but it's too late now for her to stop Youmu. The lightning swordsman has already healed herself with the use of the Herbal Medicine and has regained full use of her body and her flexibility, and is already in range to strike. Both of her blades glow with an awesome power running through them as Youmu lets out a cry of fury, a voice full of all her love, her hate and all of her sorrow. Though the scream is wordless, it conveys more to Yuyuko than a thousand words ever could.

Two swords wielded by a master whose devotion was second to none cut through the Yuyuko in an X-Slash that is surely a mortal blow with how the two of them were fighting. Youmu's blades, charged with her energy as they were, seem to dislodge the wraith attacking Yuyuko which floats away from the two, eyes glowing bright before the wraith fades away, the eyes disappearing last. Now alone and unsupported, Yuyuko crumbles to her knees and stares at the floor in front of her, “Youmu, you...” The Yuyuko speaks weakly, a quiet dribbling sound filling the stone room they're both standing within.

Youmu simply approaches the last distance between her and her old fellow, who has far too many terms she could be described with to fit them all in here. “Youmu...?” Yuyuko asks, her voice sounding confused, as if waking from a long dream, “...Where is Master Mustermann?”

“...Close your eyes, and I'll send you to him.” Youmu promises the Yuyuko, not a hitch or hint of hesitation in her voice even as the Yuyuko smiles contently and closes her eyes. Youmu reaches within the hidden volumes of her clothing and withdraws a familiar beautiful sheathed sword with a spectral white tassel hanging from the hilt. She may not be fit to wield them in a fight anymore, but this is...

Youmu draws the blade wordlessly and holds it high over her head as she readies herself for the final moment.

And then brings the blade down, thus ending a decades long relationship with a whisper of steel through the air.

Youmu can only stare down at the remnants of her handiwork here. Countless thoughts, feelings and emotions run through her as she cleans and then sheathes the blade before returning it to from whence it came, her expression unreadable to anyone watching. Not that there is anyone watching. If there were, they would not see her cry or weep or shed a single tear for the events here this day. Because she did what she had to do.

Youmu's head tilts up, looking to the door that leads back out into the rest of the house as she hears the air be disturbed by the rapid approach of more than one person. Youmu readies herself for whatever new arrivals may come as she lends a thought to the boy down below, offering a prayer up to whatever might be listening that his too soft nature doesn't get him killed, or worse.

---

Sorry about the wait folks, holidays generally slow things way down.
No. 176824
1. An early Christmas present! Will we get to see Zeke's part soon? Has it already been written and is just waiting to be posted?

2. It's called a "Kiss of Death", but we see the Yuyuko in the /at post use it on Zeke and all that happens is he cums in an instant. Is it typically more a killer for touhoumons or humans?

3. Considering she had some control over the ghosts, couldn't Yuyuko have prevented herself from getting attacked near the end by it?

4. Regarding the bad ends for Zeke, will we get to see any /at/ continuations on some of them? Like for instance the Yuyuko one in >>/at/31577? I have an idea I pitched for another /at/ thread that could be fun to see with Zeke (>>/at/33460).
No. 176844
>>176824

1.) Zeke's part is getting worked on, but it's not ready to go yet.

2.) It's actually a lethal technique that drains the life out of the victim. It just so happens to also have a unique, pleasurable feel to it so the victim doesn't fight back. In the /at/ scenario the Yuyuko there knows how to exploit the latter property without killing her victim, but not all users of this technique are so restrained.

3.) The answer is actually a bit different than what you think it would be. The specters that surround RSMYuyuko are less actual spirits and more a manifestation of her own power. Not unlike creating phantasmal limbs, really. The actual wraiths haunting the mansion are just as lethal to her as anyone else, and aren't affiliated with her in a positive light. In fact, as you saw, some really aren't happy with her.

4.) It's a possibility, though Nob says that doujin you linked to would be an excellent bribe to get him to work on the idea proper.
No. 176845
>>176844
The doujin is a Nahabaru doujin involving Yuyuko and Youmu. I think it's on Exhentai, and possibly E-hentai as well since I've seen a cache of it where the comment below was dated "October 15, 2013. Even so with the E-hentai version it was "pining for the fjords".

Regarding signing up for E-hentai, and then Exhentai, are they free or do you have to pay some sort of monthly fee after you sign up?

Since Nob is looking for the doujin, here was the name I saw on E-hentai:

(Air Reitaisai 8) [Nahabaru (Mae)] Gensoukyou Koushinki Okuchinomikon (Touhou Project)
No. 176846
>>176845
e-hentai is completely free and I can imagine why it's ex only: someone tagged it lolicon in reference to youmu if not just being a dick.
No. 176847
Well I'm getting sick of attempting to find ways to get me on Exhentai that work. I've given a name for doujin, from E-hentai, I think Nob can search from there.
No. 176848
>>176847
Have you tried deleting your cookies, logging into e-hentai, and then logging into ex-hentai?
No. 176849
>>176848
That doesn't always work. Sometimes, you need to use a third-party plug-in. The one that I use allowed me to manually overwrite the ex-hentai cookie that gave me the sadpanda and insert the cookies that the ex-forums gave me because the ex cookie apparently overrode the forum cookies.
No. 176851
>>176849
I've tried downloading them, but they seem to require another program already downloaded for them to work. I use Firefox by the way.

>>176848
Doesn't work for me.
No. 176852
Yes! Youmu epic. I knew this fight would be grand.

So Youmu wins, with the help of the ghost trainer. Good for her!

I'm a little surprised/concerned at the Yuyuko's waking up part though.
No. 176853
>>176852
Her "waking up"?
No. 176858
>>176853
After the mortal blow was stuck Yuyuko acted as if she woke up from something. I suspect she was influenced/possessed by whatever Zeke's about to deal with and the battle, Yuyuko got to pass on as herself.
No. 176867
>>176858
I wonder if the reason she was "woken up" was due to Hakurouken being used on her?
No. 176868
>>176844
Considering I can't get onto Exhentai, would Nob be able to find the doujin on Exhentai with the info I mentioned in >>176845?

I can't remember if the doujin had an English translation.
No. 176887
>>176867
Likely. But I wager that it's just temporary-otherwise Youmu'd have used it before. We just don't see Yuyuko going back to the 'possessed' state because, well, she died.

That's probably the reason why only our MC can deal with the 'thing' below: only mons influenced by the balls' indoctrination and/or with a strong bond to another can resist it.
Youmu remained sane because she was loyal to our undead friend, whereas Yuyuko was loyal to no-one because the person she considers her master passed away long ago.
No. 176893
>>176887
Not so sure about that as I suspect before now, Youmu was mainly keeping things in order and not so much trying to take down Yuyuko.
No. 177083
Out of all the things you could possibly be doing right now, marching toward some unknown entity of high power and a near-total type advantage over your team is not one of them. Especially when you have no way to get out if things go bad. If you screw up here, you're hosed. The only plus side in all this is that your girls are just as good type-wise against this thing as it is them, save for Rumia who has a clear advantage, but again that's running off the vain hope that it's not packing anything else. Since it's also Grass type, you're pretty sure it's packing something else.

You sigh as you keep walking forward, noting that SlKogasa's presence on your person has been what is likely the best help any of your girls could offer you at this point, as she can not only help you evade blows, but her being on you like this is comforting. You wish you could grant your girls the same comfort, but... well, that'd be kinda awkward. "I hate winging it in a life or death scenario like this." You grumble while looking over each of your girls, feeling much more worried about them than you are yourself.

SlKogasa is, of course, still somehow seeming to mold herself around your body as an incredibly dense near solid yet very flexible materials that's keeping you warm and feeling much safer than you would otherwise. You can feel something shifting over where your heart is. Did she put her core there..?

Rumia is hovering close to you, eyes wide open and glancing about this way and that to take in your environs as you travel, and to keep aware of any threats to you and your safety as she seems to act as your guard due to her nature making her the one most likely able to deal with an attack by the apparent monster that lies below. She notices your attention on her and gives you a reassuring, toothy grin that soothes your concerns for her. Then again, Rumia might just not realize what you're dealing with.

The Prismrivers take up positions further ahead of you, traveling as a tight group and keeping a watch on the path ahead to prevent any ambushes from getting the drop on you from that front at least. All three of them regularly glance back at you to make sure that you're safe, and you suspect that at least one of them is watching you at all times just to be sure...

...The path you are on quickly ceases to be as well carved as it was before, devolving into what is little more than seemingly occasionally traveled cavern. Candles are placed here and there on well worn and irregular holes in the wall, their flames burning a bright and eerie blue that provides you with the means to see but little comfort. In the distance you can hear the faint, quiet sounds of air moving, and a slight breeze seems to move through the caves, carrying a strong scent of flowers and a stronger still scent of iron...or perhaps blood.

Something tells you that all that vigilance might not be as necessary as your girls might think. After all, you get the feeling that the only monster here is the one directly ahead. You're definitely nervous, filled with anticipation, and more than a little bit of a desire to just get this over with. You double-check to make sure your knife is at the ready, because you're pretty sure you're not going to get too many chances to do your job here.

Also, you're not saying anything that could even be remotely considered to be a death flag. You know better.

"Hey Zekey?" Rumia speaks up beside you as the path ahead curves to the right and grows steeper, rough and naturally worn steps providing you with your only hope of not tumbling down into the darkness below to your death, "Once this is over with, let's get a fruit salad together."

You facepalm. That was... what, two, three death flags in one breath? You really hope that you're just being paranoid and that those don't actually exist. "It's a little early to be planning anything." You're trying not to shoot down her hopes, but at the same time...

"Oh, and then I can show you the picture of my sisters and I have!" She sounds excited, "They're gonna be soooo jealous when I tell them about it when we retire to town!" She sounds quite excited about that, "I...haven't talked to them in a long time. I hope they're okay."

If you weren't fairly certain SlKogasa would stop you, you'd be beating your head against one of the stone walls by now. There was being oblivious, and then there was this. You didn't even have a word for this.

You can feel Kogasa rub your back soothingly, picking up on the disruption of your biorhythms and trying to calm you back down again before you reach the depths of this continuously downward climb. To your shock and surprise you feel your grip on the floor beneath you fail on your next step, and even as you feel SlKogasa shifting to compensate, Rumia's arms lash out and grab you, keeping you from falling. You feel another three sets of hands on you as well, the Prismriver's having zipped back at high speeds just in case.

Currently you are being held in the air by your girls. At least three hands are touching you inappropriately for a social situation.

"Thanks, all of you." You let out a sigh of relief as you're kept from falling down some... well, you're not sure if it's a seemingly bottomless pit or if it leads to the 'boss room', but you'd like to not be a stain on the floor regardless. You blush a bit as you realize just where some of those hands are as well. "Anyway, is there a safe spot to put me down?" You ask, trying to be tactful.

The Primsriver's glance over towards the pit to your left and then back at the relatively narrow path you'll have to travel along in this underground chasm. You can see a stone bridge leading across the dark depths and connecting to dark entrance that likely leads deeper into the cave and to your opponent. "Are you sure you just don't want us to carry you?" Lunasa asks what's apparently on their mind, even as Rumia shifts behind you and adjusts her hold on you, looking towards flatter ground than the sloped, slippery rocks you were climbing down.

"But if we carried Zekey, then we couldn't protect him right!" Rumia worries aloud from behind you, "Besides, this rocky stuff is dry and less smooth, so he'll be okay here, right?"

"That's the thing though. What is there here that you need to protect me against, aside from the obvious? I mean, there might be wraiths but if my arms are free I can handle them." You finally speak up about a point that was eating at you. "I can't imagine any mons wanting to be down here, so aside from maybe... roots or something..."

You hear a quiet rustling sound from above and watch as a few bits of rock and dirt fall past you and deeper down into the chasm. Actually, looking across the chasm and up, you can sort of see what looks like something coming out of the wall at the point where the light is almost gone...

"Hey, across the chasm and up, does that look like an attack about to come at us to you?" You pose the question while thoroughly unable to move.

The Prismrivers eyes all focus up on that point, narrowing their gaze at it as Rumia glances up for a moment and then shakes her head, "They're just normal roots, not vine whipping roots." She answers before she adjusts her ribbon again, "...I wonder what they taste like?"

"Alright, I just wanted to be sure." That's a load off your shoulders. "Rumia, could you keep watch for any unwanted plant matter?" You figure the huntress mon could probably see or smell anything coming at this point. "And I'll keep walking. It does look like there's a safe way down over there." You briefly point in the direction of the not dangerous path to the bridge.

The path of stone clings along the wall of the side of the chasm your on and is wide enough that you're confident you can walk without overly much fear of slipping or anything of the sort. Lyrica looks at the path suspiciously before glancing over at Rumia and then up at the apparent location of the roots before she sets you down, "Come on girls, let's make sure the path is safe." She orders as she releases her grip from you and floats away.

Lunasa nods her agreement and gives you a quick peck on the cheek before hurrying after her sister, and Merlin sets you down and does much the same, though you must confess you're impressed that she managed to put that much emphasis into what was a quick peck. You're also fairly sure you've got lipstick marks on that cheek now. "Stay close, Zekey." Merlin reminds you as she hovers after her sisters.

Rumia releases her hold on your back and dusts you off before saluting you with a grin, "Don't worry about any plants Zekey! I'll chomp them before they can touch you!"

You nod in agreement and touch your cheek where Merlin kissed, partly because that girl knows how to put emphasis on a kiss and partly because you're curious if she did manage to leave a lipstick mark. After that, you start going down the path while making sure not to lag behind your girls too much, you didn't want to get them worried.

You brush your fingertips across your cheek and you're fairly certain now for sure that there's a kiss mark there. With that bit of information, you follow along after your Prismriver's as they check out the path ahead of you and poke down underneath it to make sure there are no secret ambush traps waiting for you. Just the same as before, at least one of them is watching you at all times.

Meanwhile, Rumia lands and trots along the ground behind you, keeping her eyes wide open and grinning just a bit, her sharp teeth showing through as she stares out into the darkness at seemingly random spots. You occasionally hear a sound in the distance that makes her head snap in its direction, but nothing ever comes of it.

You're feeling at least a bit more confident about going down the path, and proceed to keep on moving while hoping there's no unpleasantry planned. If this thing is a mon, it's not impossible that it might know you're here and that it might be thinking of ways to be underhanded. ...Still, you have to wonder just what in the world warranted this kind of construction. It's worn down, but you imagine that when it was first built, it must have been quite the pristine dungeon.

The wind moves past you at odd, regular intervals, brushing past your face and then pushing up against your back as you make your way down the stone walkway, coming ever closer to the bridge that crosses the dark chasm and leads to the other side. From where you are now though, you can make out a structure of some sort across the bridge, built like some sort of gate or support for the cave on the other side of the chasm.

The regular wind movements are downright eerie, coupled with the smell. You just aren't quite sure what could be generating that kind of wind movement, especially since this is supposed to be pretty far underground. You eye the bridge yourself to see what kind it is before making the move to go across.

The bridge itself seems to be naturally formed. It's an arch that runs from one side of the chasm to the other in a single, uniform piece of stone. An eerie fact about the bridge though is that there are 'rails' that are seemingly equally naturally formed in how the stone appears to be shaped, yet their appearance reminds you very much of what you'd see on any artificial bridge.

It appears to be stable, at any rate. You start to walk across the bridge while keeping an eye out for any things like slippery parts of the stonework or other such nonsense like that.

As you step across the bridge you can feel the wind become a touch stronger as you hold onto the railings for support, taking each step one at a time as you keep a steady pace. The Prismrivers are right in front of you, keeping you protected from that direction as Rumia follows along behind you, smiling widely as she glances from left to right on occasion, staring into the darkness with a grin that seems to light it up for you. This whole while the wind moves past you...

And you realize that it's coming from the cave across the bridge, the same one you're crossing to. You recognize the strange support to be what appears to be a long abused sort of gate similar to the ones that show up in 'Shrine' mysterious places, be they Hakurei or Moriya type. This one has seemingly lost all of it color though, and there's tattered remains of ropes covered in tattered remains of what look like seals with scribbles on them that you can't even hope to begin to parse, being some kind of utterly foreign language, if they mean anything at all.

From this cave, past that gate, comes the wind. It blows out in a steady breeze that buffets you with the scent of flowers and coppery blood and in with the chilling cold air of the cavern. In and out.

In.
Out
In.
Out.

It's like... breathing.

You can't help but feel like the rhythmical movement of the wind is a little too close to a person's natural breathing for comfort, but still. You're this close and there's no going back. All you can do is go forward.

You don't stop on the bridge, figuring hesitating in the idle ambush spot is a horrible decision, but as you cross it you find yourself standing in front of the worn shrine gates and ruined ropes and papers, only for your girls to start looking over the interestedly. "I..." Lyrica speaks up, squinting at one of the papers, "...Do you recognize this?" She asks her sisters, glancing at them and then even at Rumia who looks at one of the ropes thoughtfully before putting it in her mouth and lightly nibbling at it once before spitting it out.

Merlin is staring at the writing with a hard expression on her face, "I...I can't place it. It looks like something like what I've seen before, but I can't remember where."

"It tastes baaaaad..." Rumia complains, approaching you and beginning to lick you in a way that's inappropriate as she tries to cover up the taste.

"...Uhm..." Lunasa speaks up, "They look...kind of like those sealing tags, don't they...?"

"Ack, Rumia...!" While normally you don't mind getting licked, the clueless girl seems to either not realize the gravity of the situation or just doesn't care. Knowing her, it could easily be both. "A-anyway, sealing tags? I'm guessing that they're meant to seal off an area rather than an individual thing." You look over the seals yourself, not properly recognizing them but acknowledging just how worn down they are. "But this thing looks absolutely useless, since all the ropes are cut. Could it even keep anything in or out?"

Merlin looks over the ropes herself and speaks in a quiet voice of consultation with her sisters. Lunasa looks at the ropes and shakes her head, looking rather concerned. MErlin sighs and shakes her head as well, "Doubtful. It looks as if it's been this way for a while, as well..."

"These ropes were cut by a human." Lyrica says, adding her own information and sounding sure, "Look at how it the ropes are damaged where these ones are split. It looks like someone took a knife to it and carved through it."

Rumia licks you one more time before pulling away, running her tongue across her lips and teeth and grinning at you widely while she stares over your shoulder and off into the darkness again, "Maybe a human wanted in and couldn't get past the ropes?" She suggests.

"So 'that' was originally sealed up, but someone came by and broke the seal..." You trail off as you remember everything you learned and were told in the mansion about this scenario. "Good Shinki, if Erika's father did what I think he did, he's a moron of the highest caliber."

"What do you think he did?" Lyrica asks for clarification, thought judging by the looks on her and her sisters face, she has some ideas of her own.

Rumia hums beside you, eyes slowly sliding upwards as she stares off into the dark distance.

"I think at least part of it was a father desperate to save his daughter, consequences be damned. He probably made a deal with whatever's down her to help save his daughter, but since she's still basically in stasis that alone must not have been enough. Since he's not here, I'd wager there's some other thing required to actually cure Erika, but he died trying to get it." You cross your arms as you think about the scenario, feeling that Mr. Mustermann was a true fool. "The sacrifices were probably to keep Erika alive in the meantime, and with no solution presenting itself, this place turned into the hellhouse it is today. We're basically cleaning up a thirty year old mess because someone didn't think hard enough, or care about the consequences."

"Yeah, something like that makes sense. It's pretty much what I figured too. At the very least, he's probably the one who cut these ropes or had them cut." Lyrica responds as she drops the tattered rope and lets it hit the ground with a whump, "Just...I wish I knew why they seemed familiar." She complains with a sigh, rubbing her temples with an annoyed expression on her face.

"There there, we'll probably figure it out soon enough." Merlin comforts her sister with a pat on the back and a relaxed grin. Lunasa continues to stare at the worn paper she has between her fingers, an expression of concentration and worry on her face.

"Merlin's right. Plus, we're not going to get this dealt with any faster just standing around." Examining the seals was fine and all, but you were kind of locked in here until further notice and everyone requires food, water, sleep, little things like that. Maybe not right now, but one could get the picture.

"Oh, well sorry." Lyrica huffs as she stands up and dusts off her skirt, making a show of it before she moves past the shrine gates and towards the dark cavern ahead of you, blue candles bursting to life on opposite sides of the cavern as she advances, a new pair popping up each few steps down this seemingly massive cave. The light from the candles doesn't reach the top of the cave you're in now...

Merlin glances at you with a quirked eyebrow before floating off after her sister, Lunasa getting shocked out of her contemplative state and quickly hurrying after them as well, "Wait for me..!" She calls out softly, hurrying along.

Rumia stands beside you, looking behind you in the direction of the bridge you just crossed.

"Sorry, Lyrica, I just want this to be over with." You say, knowing that you've managed to annoy her yet again and feeling a bit annoyed at yourself as a result. You keep up with your girls, or at least try to keep pace with them, and keep an eye on where you're stepping.

"And I want you and everyone to get through this safely." She responds back, giving you a stare for a moment before going back to her job of watching and scouting ahead of you for danger and traps, with her sisters following after her.

Rumia trails along behind you, watching your rear and humming occasionally as she trots along, doing whatever it is Rumia's do.

You feel that you're going to have to make it up to Lyrica later, when you're all done with this. Hopefully this path lets out wherever you're going to end up soon.

The path itself is long, but thankfully quite straight from her on in. You are in some sort of massive branch of the cave that is taking you deeper somewhere. Each time you or your Prismriver's reach a certain point, a pair of candles on opposing sides of the cave light up to coax you further, showing you that the path itself is safe at the very least. As you delve deeper, the 'breathing air' slowly continues to grow in potency, the scent of flowers and copper now near overwhelming.

You feel that this is what it must be like for trainers to go down the path to the League Champion's room, only it's probably worse in your case because when you lose there you just have to go back to the mon Center at the start and begin again. Lose here, and... well, you think the consequences would be unpleasant. Then a thought occurs to you. "Just to ask, is it possible to use self-buffing moves before battle to get an edge?"

Lyrica stays quiet for a moment before answering, "Yeah I guess, but there's downside to it. Those sort of self-improvement tricks don't last all that long and are harder to keep going the longer you've had them up. Most fights end in under a few minutes tops, you know."

"Ugh, and we're dealing with something that probably won't be just a few minutes to deal with. Figured it'd be worth asking though. Pre-emptive nuking would be nice, but not if it would screw you over." That shuts down your idea of just having your girls buff beforehand and then charge into the fray to just nuke your opponent, but it was probably a bad idea anyway since you know jack-all about what it actually is, beyond its type.

"Don't worry Zekey, we know how to work as a team so everyone stays at hundred and twenty-five percent capacity." Merlin assures you as another pair of candles light up...and then another and another and another in rapid succession. The lights climb up a wall until a singular final candle light and reveals...another door. This one is another massive stone door that has numerous roots creeping over it and seemingly keeping it slightly ajar.

"I know, I'm just going to worry regardless because that's kind of my thing." You respond to Merlin in a slightly apologetic tone. "Still, I'll take care of what I need to do, then focus on staying out of the way. I can't imagine staying useful past what I need to do."

The girls approach the door, watching it warily as they make their approach. Rumia herself flounces past you at last, making her way up to the door and past your Prismrivers to grasp onto the root and with a single mighty tug rip the ones holding the door still off and apart, plant ichor dripping from the shredded roots as Rumia takes it up and bits it tentatively.

"...Itsh chewysh likesh taffyyyy." She informs you, turning her head to you and showing off how the section of root comically enlarges her mouth as she gnows on it, "And itsh bittersh."

"...what the hell..." Lyrica speaks up, an expression of utter confusion on her face as she stares at the Rumia.

"Well, Rumia are known to be hunters..." You try to come up with some kind of explanation for Rumia's downright cartoonish behavior. "Well, I guess whatever it is is past that door."

"Itsh tastesh wike bwood." Rumia adds on as she spits out the root and it his the ground with a thump before deflating rather depressedly, "Gross blood..."

"There's a distinction between different types of blood tastes, or do you find blood distasteful?" You ask in what is probably one of your more airheaded moments.

"Huh? Oh, uhm..." Rumia fiddles with her ribbon as she speaks, "It tasted bad and off and old and unhealthy like it's from something sick." She explains eventually, "And...like the bad flavors were mixing but not all the same?"

"...I guess we are close to the monster then. The mixed flavors of blood are probably from the various sacrifices through the years, I wouldn't be too surprised if it were distasteful." You start to walk up too the door yourself, but go no further than where Rumia is standing. For all you know, there's roots behind the door that will shoot out and pull you in if you open it carelessly.

Lyrica moves past you, "Stay back and let us open the doors.." She orders you as she and her sisters approach the large things and land again, bracing themselves against it and beginning to push. You watch as slowly but surely the doors begin to open. You can feel SlKogasa shiver and shift around your body as the door slowly creak open wider and wider... until they're suddenly yanked completely open, leaving you to be temporarily blinded by the light. It's odd, perhaps even mad that there's this much light in there. You blink your eyes and rapidly adjust to the light, noting that Rumia actually shielded her own eyes and is seemingly not blinded as you were. Past that, you can see that...

Countless gems are embedded in the ceiling, glowing brightly and releasing their light into the chamber you've found. The Chamber itself is quite massive and slopes down gently at all sides towards the center. Dominating the room is a single, utterly huge cherry blossom tree with bright red blossoms the color of blood. The tree moves gently in the wind that now blows past you and then rushes back into the room.

It's an impressive sight, to be sure. The natural ambiance of the room is fairly interesting, but that tree... You look to your girls to make sure they're ready to go after you get a nice look at the tree. Could that be your opponent?

Your Prismrivers are staring at the massive tree in the center of the room with expression that chill you to the core. Lyrica's teeth are grit and her eyes are wide as they can be as she tries to restrain any outward signs of fear. Merlin's hand has darted up to her mouth and her eyes are in the same state as Lyrica's, and you note she seems to be shaking her head slightly as if to deny what she's seeing. Lunasa is staring ahead, mouth agape and eyes wide as her sisters are as her mouth moves, attempting to voice something. Finally, she manages to find the words.

"Saigyou Ayakashi..."

"I take it it's something rather nasty." You state in a level tone, seeing as your Prismrivers are officially freaked out by the appearance of a giant tree that is in fact your opponent.

"It's...I've never..." Lunasa is trying to speak up but staring at the tree as you realize its movements aren't a result of the wind itself, but of the tree moving itself to CAUSE that wind.

"There was supposed to be one at the Top of the White Tower, but I'd never seen it, and neither had they. No one we talked to was sure it was even real and wasn't just some weird tree, but that...that's a Mon." Lyrica shakes her head as you watch the tree seem to twist itself, directing a point on its trunk to 'look' at you, "It's...I never thought I'd see something this massive."

Looking at the monster you apparently have to face, you realize that it's easily the largest 'tree' you've ever seen, dwarfing even anything you've ever seen. Or at least any tree.

Even the ones in One Tree, even the main gym.

The room itself extremely rocky and has numerous woody roots spread out from where the main tree is, seemingly inert and too well tethered to do anything but naturally soak up what nutrients they can reach. Merlin's hand returns to her side and balls up into a fist, "What's an Ayakashi doing here then..?"

"Is that what it's called...?" You don't miss how the trunk twists around to 'look' at you, and are also keeping a keen eye out for the relatively small, supposedly easily reached girl who's life you're supposed to end. You feel a metaphorical lump form in your throat as you see just how difficult this is going to be, especially if your girls are as worried as they are.

You can make out something at the base of the tree, just past where the roots meet the trunk. From where you are now, you can still tell that it looks like...she's fused with the tree?

At least you have a decent idea of where she'll be, then. Still, if it can move its trunk around, getting to her will be a bit trickier than you were hoping for, but not impossible with the right distraction. You estimate that once you show your intent, you'll have a much harder time even getting close, so you'll likely only have one shot at best. "Well girls, it's us or that tree, and I'm not going down for it's sake." You say, trying to keep the nervousness out of your voice.

"What. About. Theirs?" A booming voice speaks from the tree itself, and echoes from every root around you. In front of you, you watch as a woman whose skin is as dark as the bark on the Ayakashi and its roots rise up from between them. Her clothing is a tattered red dress that you realize is actually countless leaves just like the Ayakashi tree held together. "Do their lives matter to you?" She asks you in a soft voice that reminds you of steel being drawn across velvet.

"You. Cannot. Win." The booming voice of the tree states bluntly to you as if talking about the weather for the sheer casual certainty it conveys in its statement. "Surrender yourself to me, and your servants will be spared.."

Well now, with an offer like that, how can you refuse?

Oh wait, you can.

Get the intent down, then tell it to go fuck itself:
[X] Hammer away at it.
[X] Harass it from all sides.
[X] Form a defensive core and whittle it down.
[X] Let's see if I can't pull something out of my hat... [Write-In]

---

Write-ins can be vetoed if they get too ridiculous.
No. 177084
Oh, forgot to mention, if anyone wants the nature of this fight explained to them a bit better, you can also request that Nob or I chip in with our two cents on the matter.
No. 177087
If it's anything at all like Yuyuko, being on the defensive will take too long. If it doesn't overwhelm the defense first.

However, I'm not too sure about going all out on offense either. It can't be that simple, right?

>>177084
A hint would be nice. How should we expect a tree to fight anyway?
No. 177088
[X] Hammer away at it.

>Each time you or your Prismriver's
>whatever it is Rumia's do.

Remember: apostrophes are possessive, not plural.
No. 177089
Not ready to post an actual vote yet, but the key isn't to kill this thing. We can't. We just have to get close enough to 'release' Erica. Kill her, whatever, you know what I mean. So our mons have to get its attention while Zeke goes for the goal.

I'm just not sure as to the best means. I don't think defense is the way to go here. Hammering may get its attention in one direction, while harassment may divide its attention so that it overlooks Zeke completely. I need to think about this.
No. 177090
[X] Harass it from all sides.

It might distract the tree enough to get Zeke to get to Erika and finish the job.

Honestly I'm wondering if any of Zeke's mons have a fire attack. If so we could burn it right?
No. 177091
Well, It's time to catch our first legendary mon
No. 177093
>>177091
Which set of balls from >>174642 works best?
No. 177095
[X] Hammer away at it.

Suck it, ya overgrown weed!

Don't split up the group, we have no idea what this thing is capable of. Concentrate our firepower and all that.

Oh man I was complaining about the lack of action awhile ago. This might be a little too much for me.
No. 177097
[X] Hammer away at it.

Not sure of my opinion of things, but this seems like it could work.
No. 177099
[x] form a defensive core and whittle it down

Harassing it from all sides sounds good, but I don't think it can flinch, and it will probably OHKO anyone it focuses on.
If L4D2 thaught me something, and it didn't, is that losing a party member during your last stand reduces your survival chances in half.
No. 177109
It's that time again, trainers! It's Professor W, and it's time for more facts on Touhoumon training! The order of the day? Evolution!

As you probably know, Touhoumon start off in a Chibi state and are relatively weak. Then you help them gain experience through different methods, and before you know it you've got an evolved mon on your hands. This is a phenomena known as 'leveling up', and in some cases that's all a given mon will need. Of course, I wouldn't even be writing this article if that was all there was, so what else is there?

The next obvious one is evolutionary stones. There's a ton of 'em, and you probably know the more common ones. Fire, Water, Lightning, and Leaf. They typically tie into a mon that matches their element, so you'd use a Fire Stone on a Fire type, and so on. That's for more conventional evolutions. More unorthodox stones are Moon, Sun, Shiny, Dusk, and Dawn, and all five of those are less obvious than the first four but yield more unusual evolutions, and more often than not can even nudge a mon down an evolutionary path less traveled! Nearly every mon can be affected by a Stone in some manner, and even a light touch can be enough to trigger an evolution. So rule number one of handling stones? Keep 'em locked up tight until you're ready to use it. Rule number one of evolving a mon using a stone? Make sure you have her consent. Just because you have a fancy, rare stone you want to use doesn't mean you should use it, and some mons don't want to evolve via stone.

Of course, your partner can't stop you from evolving her anyway, but that's right up there with raping a fellow human in terms of terrible things you can do to someone. Evolving is a commitment, and some mons just don't want to commit to this type of evolution. So please, make sure you've got her consent before evolving her with a Stone!

If you do have her consent though, Stones can lead to a wonderful and strange set of evolutions you wouldn't normally have access to, so make sure to pay attention. Listing the full set of known stone/mon interactions would take too long too, so I've got the compiled list set up to download as an app to accompany this.

The third most common evolution requirement is... happiness! A few girls can evolve if they're happy enough, and I don't mean spur of the moment, fleeting joy. I mean you have to be able to walk up to a person who can judge happiness and make that person feel like they're intruding on the two of you. Once you reach that state, some girls will evolve upon leveling up into something different than what they would turn into normally. On the flip side, this is one evolution type most girls are perfectly happy to consent to, so if you trigger this type of evolution, you probably don't need to worry about it.

Now that's the easy ones out of the way. Now the waters are gonna get murkier from here on out, because evolutions can get pretty strange once you're beyond those three methods. Some mons only evolve in the presence of other mons, and these can include combinations that don't make sense at first, or maybe certain variants influence other mons to produce a third variant. Heck, even the three easily understood methods can influence each other and create something totally new.

Some of the craziest ones only come about from the bond between a Touhoumon and her Trainer. After all, we teach each other, influence one another, and that kind of thing brings about change. It takes a real special trainer to be able to explore that Tewi hole, but I'm not exaggerating when I say it's worth it.

---

Voting's getting left open for a while longer, so I decided to use some of the spare time to catch up on some of the factoids we're supposed to give you guys whenever you hit a 'bad' end.

Another fact is coming up, along with a better explanation of the nature of this boss battle, so sit tight~
No. 177110
>>177109
What element would a "Hearstone" be considered? Would it trigger a "happy" evolution?

Also I'm sorry to ask this here, but regarding what I said in >>176868, would Nob be able to find that doujin with the info I gave in >>176845?
No. 177112
Well then, I'll just try and do my best to explain this in a manner that is as helpful and easy to understand as possible for you guys. If you want to change your vote after this, that is completely understandable.

Ayakashi, as it is here, is a straight up full and true blown boss fight. Both of its bodies, the Tree and the Dryad, are fully capable of attacking individually and have different methods and strengths to how they go about it. The Dryad most likely fights more like a conventional touhoumon does, but the Tree itself is fully capable of using attacks that are similar to Vine Whip, Razor Leaf, Leech Seed and other such plant type staples. If I were to explain these in more pokemon mechanics senses, it's like an enemy that you fight with your entire team, and it has the stats to make up for it.

Now, as for the battle you need to keep a few things in mind for yourself. There's multiple objectives that need to get dealt with. Firstly you need to keep your party safe. Secondly you need to protect Zeke and keep him safe because he's more of a target than usual this time around. Thirdly you came here with the intent to 'release' Erika, don't forget that.

Something else helpful to know is that I can say that 'releasing' Erika during mid-battle will actually have an effect on it. Whether it's good or bad would depend on circumstances.

Also, about the vote for the main story. If you choose one of the offered options SLDT and I will go through with a plan of our own devising based off of those basic principles. With a write in, you're allowed to be much more specific if you want certain girls to do certain things, or want to make your attack in a certain way or any number of other details, including when/if you'll make the trench run for the exhaust port Erika.

Now, as for the Toohoo Factz I owe you, I've been seeing a few cases where people wanted to know more about the world at large outside of just the New Continent. Since I won't get around to naturally talking about those in the various stories any time soon due to circumstances save for this and Wilheim, this vote is to decide which of them I'll ramble boringly on about this time. Also if there's anything in particular you really want to know about them, I could take requests on questions to answer so long as they're no horrifically spoilerific.

Which Global Power do you want to hear about?

[ ] The United Territories of Eagleland.
[ ] The Holy Nassau Empire.
[ ] The Banana Republic.
No. 177113
[x] The Holy Nassau Empire.
With Saber as the king/queen! (Not the right reference but whatever)

Also, after reading the update, I had no idea about the Dryad, jesus. I suppose that Erika gets released once we beat the tree so we should leave that for the end... I think?
No. 177114
[x] The United Territories of Eagleland

Because it sounds like the most patriotic of all lands. Eagleland, fuck yeah!
No. 177117
[X] The Holy Nassau Empire.
Youmu mentioned an "Empire" and I suspect it's this, so I'd like to learn more about it.

She also mentioned bomb collars and Touhoumon what was up with that!?

And what relation did the Mustermann family have to this Empire?
No. 177118
After that explanation? Attacking from all sides seem more like being defeated from all sides. And have Zeke be horribly exposed. Separation is not the key here.
No. 177119
I'd give the dryad a higher priority than the tree, what with it being mobile and all. The tree may be the end goal, but getting pinned between it and the dryad doesn't sound that appealing.
No. 177132
Don't forget we apparently still have a few containers of Herbal Medicine that SlKogasa could probably easily dole out mid-fight via sticking part of herself to any injured teammates.
No. 177135
I feel a bit late to the party here, but let's

[X] Hammer away at it.

Since the tree has Leech Seed and probably Ingrain too, a battle of attrition will end badly. Attacking from multiple angles would only be a viable plan without the Dryad, who can probably 1v1 any of the 'mon with ease.

The Pokemon trainer in me is saying "catch the damn thing", but I have a feeling the Prismrivers would be quite displeased if we did. Also, I doubt anything short of a Master Ball would work on this thing.

We need to get a 'dex scan of the tree and Dryad though. Data on this tree has to be worth something.
No. 177136
>>177135
Considering the various balls Zeke has, mentioned in >>174642, we might have a Master Ball on us.
No. 177138
[X] The Holy Nassau Empire.
No. 177139
>>177136
BS. If we had a master ball, we capture the dryad and the battle is half won. I'm pretty sure we don't.
No. 177142
>>177135

Remember that you can write-in here to prioritize targets and the like, so if you think taking out the Dryad first would be beneficial, there's nothing stopping you from doing so.
No. 177144
When you put it that way, I now have something in mind.

The Dryad, being mobile and all, is definitely a problem. So I was thinking that we have one of our Mons who can handle herself well to focus on distracting the Dryad while everyone else goes to do a pinpoint assault on the Tree.

Now, I only wonder who would be suitable. I thought that the Prismrivers work better as a concert trio so they are better used for the assault on the tree. Meanwhile IIRC, Grass/Plants have a bonus against Poison, so Kogasa is out. So that leaves Rumia, but I wonder about her suitability, we might end up sending her to die after all if we overestimate her.

Also, for my vote

[X] Holy Nassau Empire
No. 177146
>>177144

>Grass/Plants have a bonus against Poison

Very wrong. You got it backwards.
No. 177151
>>177146
I think this might be useful in the future. Just in case this happens again.

Either way, right now we're fighting a Plant type. (Possible even whith hints of Ghost given the connection between the "real" Yuyuko and Ayakashi.)


Here's my thoughts on the battle. I can't say that it's a proper vote, but something like it.

First of all, the Tree.
I imagine it definitely knows Paralyze/Sleep Powder and similar attacks given the Ayakashi's ability to cause people to "peacefully rest" beneath it until they die.
So watch out for air-delivered status attacks. The least worrisome is poison, because it's so slow acting that the battle will be over (one way or another) before it can cause any major damage.
Given the insane power the tree must have to be a proper Boss Fight, even Toxic probably wouldn't have time to do that much compared to just taking a regular hit.
Either way, it can probably provide some pretty effective area denial by showering us with spores that we don't want to get hit by. A sleeping 'mon is as much out of the battle as one that's been knocked out. Until they wake up at least, but by then it may well be too late.
It probably also has skills like Mega-Drain and other absorbing attacks given that it uses it's "peaceful rest" powers to devour it's victims' souls.

Kogasa is probably the one best suited to fight it, given her Poison type and her ability to synthesize what is pretty much a Full Restore of sorts. Even if she does get hit with a status effect, chances are pretty good she can recover. (Or at least recover faster than the others.)
But given that it likely has a lot of absorption attacks, not to mention high enough power to just bust straight through it's type disadvantage, it should be focused upon by everyone at the same time.
The worst we can do is let someone wear themselves out on it and it just absorbs it's health back again.
So when fighting the tree, Kogasa should "tank" it while everyone else just whacks away, basically. (Yes, I know there is no such thing as aggro, but you still know what I mean.)
But let's not forget that a type disadvantage when using attacks of your own type only gets a 25% reduction in total power due to the 50% boost from 'mons using same type attacks as themselves. So (100%+50%)/2=75%. And 75% of "A LOT" is still "pretty damn much".

Then the Dryad.
I'm guessing it has less raw power than the Ayakashi given that it is some form of "secondary body". Not to mention lacking the general hugeness if it too. (Since this isn't judged solely on stats, like the games, size does matter.)
Of course, it has the advantage of not being the proverbial barn when attacked.
It also has more options available when attacking since it can probably use many of the same attacks as the tree, but it's not rooted to the ground.
It is, however, not a flying 'mon allowing many of ours to choose their battles by simply retreating to the air when they feel the battle is not going as planned. (Excluding areas covered by the tree's dusts/spores.)
While Kogasa can't fly, she is highly resistant to plant attacks and can probably handle not being able to simply escape out of reach.

I forgot if Rumias can fly, but I don't think so. She is, on the other hand, a 'mon very talented at hunting. Which involves a lot of stalking, harassing, sneaking and hiding.
She can also manipulate darkness and while it's not flight it also helps when trying to evade an attacker.


I think focusing on the Dryad first might be the better choice, because the Tree can't blindside us as effectively as the Dryad would be able to if we focus on the tree first.
Splitting up seems like a terrible idea since, individually, we're all lacking in power compared to either of them.


>>177139
While we may not have a Master Ball, we do have some very powerful and highly specialized balls.
If the opportunity presents itself, I think we should try to attempt a capture. And by that I don't mean just throwing a ball if it looks like we have an opening. "The opportunity" would be something like dealing a final blow to kill it, but only managing to incapacitate and mortally wound it.
We definitely shouldn't keep it, but I think we should do it "for science!".
Basically hand it over to someone who we think can handle it and is crazy enough to try (i.e. mom), for the sake of studying it and learning more about pokemon of legendary power level.
Only if we're sure that it can't somehow escape the capture attempt or the ball, though. If there is any doubt, just put it down like the dangerous monster it is.


So yeah, I think I covered everything I was thinking of. The problem with walls o' text is that when you get to the end you've forgotten what you wrote at the beginning.
No. 177155
>>177151
Would Yakumo Corp. be capable of handling an Ayakashi mon?
No. 177172
[X] The United Territories of Eagleland

Eagleland fuck year!

At any rate, the basic goal is to get Zeke to Erika in one piece and get a clean stab through the heart. Whittling away at it is pointless because it has one of the highest defensive potentials possible; we'd be there basically forever, and it'd be hammering at us. We need to somehow divert its attention, sneak Zeke close enough to the target, and end the battle quickly enough before it can do significant damage. Therefore;

[X] Harass it from all sides.
and then
[X] Conceal Zeke within Kogasa entirely mid-battle while their attention is elsewhere, get as close as possible, and end the "Dryad" form in one thrust.
No. 177176
Trivia question for the author

Reading on the bad ends again, I actually wonder about the times the protagonist is made a slave by a Mon. Are there instances where a Mon actually releases their human slave because they became suicidally depressed in their enslavement? What kind of reasons would a human possibly be released by a Mon? Is it really rare for these releases to happen?
No. 177181
Do any mons have multiple human slaves? Like for instance would some of the bigger Touhoumon dwellings, like an Eientei or SDM, have more than 1 captured trainer dwelling in them?

Or is it typically just one trainer and he or she gets passed around a lot?
No. 177185
>>177176

A mon that kidnaps and holds a human forcibly probably isn't going to let them go just because the human is upset, but if they're too much of a bother to deal with they might dump them in the wild. Others who maybe don't quite get why their love at first sight hubby doesn't love them back might try to win them over, but if they couldn't may put them somewhere safer, like near a human town, before releasing. Releasing does happen, and is more common than one might think. Not every time a man is molested is he carried off, because then the mon would be obligated to keep him alive (or eat him). Many just go get their fun and rocks off and then leave the male they took advantage of crying on the ground or what have you.

Also a mon might release a man if they're too much effort to take care of, or turned out to not like them that much, but they may also barter him off to someone else in exchange for something.

>>177181

Keeping multiple humans is something that DOES happen, but you have to keep in mind that a human being kept will need to be kept alive as well. If they break them right, the human is capable of servign a useful purpose still besides fucktoy, such as be a house husbando. Also, something usefult o remember is that a lot of the people who end up kidnapped aren't actually trainers, and may in fact have no touhoumon at all. Having a touhoumon is a good bit more complciated and difficult than having a pokemon is implied to be, and not everyone is ready/willing to take on that responsibility. Or they just don't want to. Part of the reason there's a lot of mentioned or implied sharing of Zeke and Wilheim is that they're basically really high quality. But places like Eientei, an SDM where there are going to be many mon may have a decently sized communal pool of humans if they're the type to keep them like that. The White Tower, for instance, no doubt had many captured humans or their remains within it. Relating to the previous question again there, I forget if I got to say this but scientists captured in the various 'expeditions' into the White Tower who ended up in the possession of the Yuyuko would regularly be released when she grew bored of them. This usually resulted in them being 'released' onto one of the other floors of the White Tower, where someone would pick them up because one girls trash is another girls treasure.
No. 177187
>>177185
Are mons typically the type to keep someone captured with them for life or can they tire of a "house husbando" when said husband is old?

Also, since you mentioned some places may keep a communal pool of humans, how do they deal with potential pregnancies between humans, assuming they have both men and women? Can that cause issues?
No. 177188
>>177187

As far as the first question goes, it really does depend on the mon. Some mons get so attached to their victims that they keep them around for life and perhaps mourn them after their passing, while others may not be interested in that, or devoted.

The second question is pretty clear-cut though. Mons generally don't kidnap women because there's really no point to it. Mons can't reproduce with human women, and for the most part if they do want to molest a woman they can just go at another mon. Granted, there are exceptions but they're generally quite rare.

Human females having sex with mons usually only happens between a lesbian/bisexual female trainer and her mons.

So the issue really never comes up, to put it simply.
No. 177190
>>177188
How long do most mons live? What's a typical lifespan?
No. 177195
Right,I think we're getting rather derailed *laughter*

I vote for

[X] Harass it from all sides
[X] Have SlKogasa keep the Dryad distracted

See, I thought that if we were to apply all our force in one point, we'd ve easily flanked by the tree and Dryad, and also I think we would lose in a battle of raw power. Thats why we need to exhaust a powerful opponent usng harassment, or until an opening appears. SlKogasa should keep the Dryad occupied so as to disallow the Dryad to deal with the others. SlKogasa because of her type advantage
No. 177196
Welp, calling the votes. It's 4 to 3 to 1 in favor of hammering away at the Ayakashi, though I'm a little surprised that the people who thought to focus on the Dryad didn't think to actually specify that in their votes after thinking of it.
No. 177208
>>177196
Do mons typically share their catches if they live in an home with more than one mon? Like say this mansion, or an Eientei/SDM/Hakugyokurou? For instance if Zeke had been caught by the Gh!Sakuya, would she have shared him?

What about in the /at/ bad end with the White Tower Yuyuko, would she have shared him with Youmu?
No. 177222
New Continent League's Trainer Travel Guide: The Holy Nassau Empire
So, what is the Holy Nassau Empire?

The Holy Nassau Empire is the current name of a political entity that exists on the super-continent to our North-west. As its name implies, the Holy Nassau Empire is an imperial state, ruled over nominally by its Emperor, Charles the Fifth of Nassau. Nominally, because the Holy Nassau Empire is made up of numerous separate 'Noble Families' each of whom rules over a separate portion of the land. These families each have near unlimited power over the lands that they control, on top of other powers that they have including a 'Right to Election'. Each ruling family has the right to vote on the succession of the King, and other powers including the right to call for the current king to abdicate his throne and for another to take his place. In fact, the name of this country comes from the current King, and which of the ruling families he comes from. Roughly 80 years ago, The Holy Nassau Empire was known as the Holy Salian Empire. Their rule came to an end due to suffering a humiliating military defeat dealt to them by the Monarchical Unions, one of their few rivals in their immediate area at the time, over a claim on a piece of land that was home to one of the few places Rinnousuke are known to appear regularly as well as large concentration of various high value minerals. The then King Conrad had disappeared in the fighting and was presumed killed, ending his line and leading to a succession conflict that left the Holy Nameless Empire crippled with strife for the rest of the decade before the rise of the Nassau House. Since then, The Holy Nassau Empire followed a predominantly isolationist plan of policy, save for when the New Continent first appeared. It is theorized that the then Emperor wished to further consolidate his position and prove himself in order to stifle down the whispers of incompetence and suggestions of removal. The Holy Nassau Empire colonized much of the north-western stretches of the New Continents shores, and their cultural influence on the architecture and the appearance of the natives there is quite obvious.

Currently the Holy Nassau Empire is maintaining its isolationist policies after the complete and utter disaster they suffered attempting to wrest control of 'their' territories away from the colonists who had established and claimed the land. One interesting point of note many historians make of the New Continent war is that the Holy Nassau Empire's colonists were the first to fight against the attempted occupation by their once home country.


What is their culture like?

The Holy Nassau Empire's culture is the same that the region has seen under all its rulers. They are a strong, hardy folk who value hard work and are famous for producing some of the finest and most accurate feats of engineering the world has seen. Among the exports they were once famous for were specialty touhouballs made from natural materials harvested on the borders of and in the massive and mysterious Forest of Black, called such because of the fable that another hidden, secret noble family rules over the vast, rich lands within the forest. While most dismiss this as a simple tale told to scare children and keep them from venturing in and getting snatched up by local touhoumon, several respectable scholars have noted that no family claims a right of rule over the forest, and in fact many define their borders around it, which leaves an oddly empty space within the heartland of the Empire itself.

While the people there are very hardworking, that doesn't mean that imperial citizens do not know how to party. Another export the Empire was once famous for was there many and varied amounts of fine alcohol they produced. The Holy Empire also produces many delicacies of food, various regions specializing in types of cheese, chocolate and numerous other fine offerings to your palette. One particular example of this is the Köstritzer family, who rule over a sizable section of land in the heartland of the Holy Nassau Empire and are famous for the quantity and quality of the alcohol produced in there. The green fields of their lands are said to be full of hops, as well as other bountiful crops including various types of grains, as well as vast vineyards.

Does the Holy Nassau Empire have unique touhoumon?

Like other nations from that part of the world, the Knight variant seems to pop up with some regularity. It is theorized this has something to do with both the past of that area and with the ease of which items that when held can trigger such an evolution can be found. Witch touhoumon, such as Alice and Marisa, are also rather common for those regions, as well as Kagerou. However, in terms of unique touhoumon The Holy Nassau Empire is known to have contained several currently unclassified variants, as well as claims of an supremely powerful touhoumon that exists somewhere within the Forest of Black. These reports are, of course, to be taken with more than a grain of salt.

It should be noted though that the Forest of Black is full of fairies, witches, knights and all other manner of touhoumon and variants, and is a rare case of a near unexplored area existing surrounded by as much development as it is.

What laws would one expect to find in the Empire?

The Holy Nassau Empire has been called by some to be a 'dystopian nightmare stuck three hundred years in the past'. This is entirely inaccurate, as they use very modern methods and equipment when it comes to maintaining their police force, royal police and the various 'noble' families secret police. Jesting aside, the Holy Nassau Empire is a very tricky place to visit in the first place, and in many cases not very safe for outsiders. Each separate land within the Holy Nassau Empire often has their own laws, some of which clash very drastically with their immediate neighbors. While parts of the Holy Nassau Empire are forward thinking in comparison to them, in general an outsider cannot expect fair treatment. It has been noted that wandering trainers tend to be actively discouraged, and punished, for the sort of 'vigilantism' that they tend towards. It has also been noted that the 'noble' families have a near limitless amount of power, and there are reliable reports of some of them 'requisitioning' a trainers touhoumon. There was in fact an international incident some time ago when an Eagleland representative there for a tournament he was invited to defeated a Noble who challenged him in a non-official battle and was later assaulted and had his touhoumon stolen from him.

Unfortunately for the Noble in this incident, the trainer he assaulted was the grand-son of United Territories of Eagleland's vice-president, causing the country to take very, very poorly to it and threaten what was recorded as 'a uni-lateral police action' should reparations and the return of his touhoumon not be immediately made.

Given that a large-scale war was not begun, it can be assumed that reparations were made. This is one of the reasons why so little travel and interaction exist between the Holy Nassau Empire and the United Territories of Eagleland, aside from political and cultural differences, other incidents between them and the fact that they are two of the few super-powers that exist in this day and age.

As this applies to you, the trainer, it cannot be emphasized enough how important it is to do heavy research about the land you are about to enter if you are in the Holy Nassau Empire. Each seperate Family has different ways they handle things, and each separate family's lands are in different states. Some are near lawless, others are strictly controlled police states, and others are perfectly nice and relaxing places to visit if you can get there. All in all, it is considered by many to be too risky and difficult to visit the Holy Nassau Empire due to the current political climate, signs of instability, the lack of even a hint of uniformity in their legal system and the threat that the 'Noble' families can pose to a traveling trainer, especially a foreign one.

For the savvy, well-informed and capable sort who does decide to take a trip to the Empire, what sort of places would be recommended?

If you are really bound and determined to visit the Holy Nassau Empire at this point and time and are well informed enough to know which lands to avoid, the area itself is a fascinating and beautiful place abundant with nature scenery. The two most must visit areas are as follows.

Köstritzer family's territories are lush, reasonably governed and very eager to welcome a foreigner who is willing to spend some money, being one of the few territories to most readily accept outsiders in the heartland of the empire. The food and drink in the region are rich and generous, and the people themselves friendly. Regular touhoumon battle tournaments and non-combat competitions are held by the Köstritzer family at one of their castles or estates. These events offer generous prizes to all, though some only allow entries for locals and are used for the purposes of selecting the most talented up and coming young trainers for being gifted a touhoumon from the Köstritzer family themselves.

Another must visit place is a must visit so long as you are properly prepared, cautious and experienced enough to brave it. The Forest of Black is known to be full of rare and valuable things, including materials for specialty touhouballs of the highest quality, berries that cannot be found anywhere else and objects that can be sold for a high price. Also present are numerous mysterious places and claims of Anomalies deeper within the forest that have never been confirmed. It is noted though that the deeper one enters into the forest, the rate of returning at all drops drastically save for experienced and veteran trainers. The Edges though are full of fairy touhoumon, witches such as Alice, Marisa and even Yuki and Mai. There are also stories of a 'Black Knight' who refuses to allow entry into a dilapidated castle to all comers, as well as numerous other fanciful tales.

How does the Empire treat its touhoumon?

While it cannot be claimed that all of them are abused, the fact of the matter is that the Holy Nassau Empire does not have in place protections against touhoumon abuse in even the slightest. Any and all limits are made at the pleasure and leisure of the family ruling over that specific plot of land. Many of them simply do not care to enforce the laws to most degrees. Others choose to take advantage of it for activities best not discussed in this pamphlet. The crimes vary in severity, ranging from overly intensive taming protocols on touhouballs to the known and accepted use of bomb collars in one particularly egregious case. Reports of inhumane experiments have been heard, but due investigators being denied entry they cannot be confirmed.

It should also be noted that several of infamous 'Teams' were known to operate out of or use connections to parts of the Holy Nassau Empire, including Team Shuttle.

Another point of note is that wild touhoumon are known to be more aggressive and dangerous in general within parts of the Holy Nassau Empire. The reasons for this are, as of now, currently unexplained due to an inability to be investigated by unbiased agents. However, guesses can be made based off of known information.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Holy Nassau Empire is an unstable, erratic and dangerous place to travel even if you are a native between the lack of a cohesive government, the amount of power that the various 'Noble Families' wield and the increased touhoumon aggression in comparison to other parts of the world. Traveling there is ill-advised, and should it be insisted upon it is recommended you do not travel alone and be mindful of your surroundings and your appearance at all times, and to ensure that you avoid the attention of the nobility outside of a few rare exceptions.

>Should you have any further questions about this topic please direct them to Norman Bäcker, Northpoint International Travel Offices. Alternatively, you can visit our website and ask your questions there.
No. 177223
>>177190

Touhoumon lifespans can vary wildly, ranging from living as long as an average human to vastly outliving them. Of course, this is if nothing bad happens, but that's kind of a given. Heck, they can come back from a lot more than humans can, so it takes some really bad things to make their lives end prematurely.

>>177208

It really depends on the individual mansion, the personality of the mons inhabiting it, and the quality of the individual caught. There's no really telling which place will do what with a captured human, whether it be sharing them or having one mon keep him.

GhSakuya would have been an example of a mon who would be willing to share with her peers, meaning in that case Zeke would have been passed around like snacks at a party, to use a metaphor.

In the case of the Yuyuko acting as the Tower Master, she would have shared him with her Youmu willingly, but largely because both Zeke and the Youmu guarding her are hers.
No. 177226
>>177222
How similar would you say it is to the Holy Roman Empire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Roman_Empire)? Obviously there's the names which very much make it a Germany or Austrian expy, but would you say they're similar?
No. 177227
Oh I also have another question.

The Holy Nassau Empire is noted as being isolationist. Considering how dangerous it is to travel in there, are they attempting some form of closed economy/economic autarky (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autarky) like North Korea?
No. 177229
Now I want to hear about Eagleland.
No. 177230
>>177229
Eagleland, fuck yeah? Team Eagleland?
No. 177233
Now if I may ask you all a question while you're here. Did that little travelogue I wrote up answer the sort of questions most of you wanted? Are there other sorts of questions you'd like to see answered in the next one so you don't need to add on more questions after the fact, or can ask different ones? Also...

>>177226

While the Holy [insert ruling family here] Empire does have more than a fair number of similarities to the Holy Roman Empire, it's also got a lot of differences. Another way to put it, while on the surface they're similar looking, some of the mechanics and how things are run under that are quite different.

>>177227

And yes, that's pretty much what is going on there. It's not quite a total isolation because certain families within the Empire have extremely profitable trade routes. So it's more like an economy that will sell things out but takes very little in, if that makes sense to you. The Holy Nassau Empire is more like a bunch of separate, allied states at times anyway.
No. 177235
>>177233
1. What is the political situation of the world? Anyway similar to our world, with one big superpower/hyperpower and a number of rising powers to start rivaling it, with one of the powers being a former superpower itself?

Or is the political situation more similar to the turn of the 20th-century where most of the main powers were balanced against each other economically or militarily?

2. I remember you mentioned in the previous thread (>>174749), that humans breeding with Touhoumon will either make full human or full Touhoumon kids. Are marriages with Touhoumon kinda common or rare?
No. 177236
>>177235

1: I can only share so much without stepping onto the toes of in-story and Trainer Tipz segments, but what I can say is that there are more than one semi-equal power in play, though some are on the decline and others on the rise. The United Territories of Eagleland, The Holy Nassau Empire and the Monarchial Unions are some super-powers if you wanted names, though they've been mentioned before.

2: That varies, a lot, and is something that will be getting covered eventually. Suffice it to say, it's illegal in some places, essentially standard in others for a man to take a human and a touhoumon waifu.
No. 177245
>>177236
What are the "Eastern" nations/civilizations? By Eastern I mean East Asian, like Chinese or Japanese.

Also regarding the Ghost mansion, was the reason for it being half Western and half Eastern in architecture due to reality warping or something or was it just how the mansion was built?
No. 177247
>>177245

1: You'll find out eventually and...

2: You will ALSO find this out eventually.
No. 177275
1. How do Slime mons and Gel mons regard each other? Is there a sense of rivalry between these two Mon types? Like for instance if Zeke caught that GelSanae you said was still around from the GelSanae that separated from it, would SlKogasa feel it's a rival due to species tension, like it's a Gel and she's a Slime?

2. Regarding mons who're based off of characters with rivalries, like Mokou & Kaguya, Byakuren & Miko, and possibly Reimu & Sanae, if a trainer has mons that are noted as rivals, what kind of problems would he face? Would they be more difficult to control?
No. 177276
>>177275

1: Gels and Slimes probably don't have any sort of innate rivalry with each other due to Gels being incredibly unlikely to develop due to the apparent factors involved, and the fact that they live in drastically different areas natively, with Gels being in areas of nature, bounty and not being polluted as hell, and Slimes come from areas of industry, bounty posters and being polluted as hell. How they interact might be covered in Wilheim, since that's basically world building and smut.

2: Certain species of touhoumon have an innate tendency to have a rivalry with each other. Yes, that does cause problems with internal tension. However, a good trainer can find a way to help resolve these issues and turn their rivalry from a destructive one to a constructive one. It's difficult and takes time and effort, but according to some it's quite worth the effort both in terms of performance on the battlefield and the other battlefield. I mean the bedroom.
No. 177294
Are there male Touhoumon, I remember you mentioning Rinnosuke, but anyone else?
No. 177310
>>177294

Suspiciously and conspicuously, there are no male touhoumon save for the 'Rinnosuke', who is singularly disappointing save for its use to touhoumon breeders, according to most sources.
No. 177311
Okay, as intimidating as it is you kinda can't help but feel that it thinks you're some kind of moron. ...Well, you kind of are for getting in over your head like this, but that's a different issue. "Let's see, we're underground past a door that can only be opened from the outside so they can't leave, and you stand to gain absolutely nothing from keeping my girls alive once I'm in your clutches. You'd probably say something along the lines of 'I lied' if I agreed, so... No." Your rejection is rather wordy, but at the same time you felt the need to go the extra mile in this before the boss fight actually started.

"BRAVERY. FOOLISHNESS." The great voice thrums all around you with intensity, the roots shivering in their holds in the ground, the walls and even the ones that have crept up onto the ceiling.

"They are one and the same. You will fall and lie beneath my roots." The Dryad body states as you hear the tree behind it begin to hum and vibrate, its leaves beginning to shake rapidly in build up for some sort of attack. The Dryad body snaps her hands out only for ghostly blue flames to form in them.

...Oh! So that's why it's a Ghost/Grass type!

"Girls, shut that mon up! Hammer the Dryad into the ground!" You give the order, knowing only your group or the tree is going to walk away from this, and you're not going to play like an idiot any more than you already are.

Lyrica lunches forward, moving to take the fight to the Dryad as you ordered her too while he siblings circle around her, all three of them moving in coordinating and at high speeds as they begin to pepper her with ranged, sonic bombardment from a distance using their instruments. The Dryad herself...simply powers through the attack, launch a spray of blue fire at Merlin and Lunasa before lunging forward at Lyrica, opening her jaw so wide that it splits her head near in half and reveals countless sharp teeth contained within her body, and reveals it's inner nature as you see not red flesh but earthen tones of seemingly soft wood within her.

You don't have time to focus on that though as the Great Tree behind her lets out a loud groan that shakes the cavern you in before swinging its branches in your direction...releasing a veritable cloud of razor leaves coming for you! You feel your legs move on their own as SlKogasa suddenly takes control of you, moving you rapidly away from and disengaging with the Dryad while getting you out fo the line of bombardment even as the forerunners of the leaves zip past you. You see one cutting right for your face before Rumia slices it out of the air, apparently staying to guard you from the bombardment for now as she picks a few of the leaves out of the air.

You try to relax and let SlKogasa do what she needs while keeping an eye on how the battle progresses. Your Prismrivers are directly engaging the humanoid half of the tree with what you're hoping is some measure of success, but this thing has apparently decided to take a more direct route than most mons would and is now essentially attacking you directly. You can't really say you didn't see it coming.

SlKogasa keeps you moving as you watch the Great Tree shift, seemingly twisting and bending itself to keep its focus on you as Rumia and SlKogasa continue to run protection on you. You can see your Prismrivers fighting out of the corner of your eye if you turn your head enough. They're circling rapidly around the Dryad and trying to wear her down quickly with rapidly applied sonic attacks. You cringe when you hear the Dryad lets out a horrible howl that sends your girls all scattering away from her, breaking up their formation as she targets Lunasa specifically and barrels towards her, hands glowing with an unearthly light visible even this distance away.

"Lunasa, evade!" You try to give the order while letting SlKogasa and Rumia do what they can to protect you. There's not much more you can do beyond shouting out orders as needed, or at least you hope as needed, since you're immensely occupied at the moment.
Lunasa seems to register your order, twisting herself out of whatever she was doing before while trying to recover from being sent flying and moving to evade the attack from the Dryad. She manages to avoid the blow some of the blow, the gleaming claws grazing along her side and cutting a shallow but painful looking series of lines through her before Lyrica and Merlin return, reengaging the Dryad in combat and forcing her to pay attention to all three of the again.

You're left with a whole new problem as you suddenly feel yourself leap up into the air and just barely avoid grasping roots that sprung up out of the ground below you that you hadn't even seen. Rumia is below you cutting the root that grabbed her off before biting casually through the others that grasp at her as she follows along after you at her own pace.
That... That's not good. Rumia can free herself from the looks of it, but if those roots grabbed you... Great, this means you basically have nowhere safe to stand either. You need to do something to that tree to slow it down, but the only one who deals in status effects would be the very SlKogasa who's keeping you from harm. "Kogasa, if we get to a spot where you don't need to protect me, slap that tree with as many status effects as you can. We need to slow it down." You tell her as she continues to puppet your body to the best of her ability.
"Okay Zekey. But..." SlKogasa whispers to you as you feel her slime shift and crawl along your skin, "...Only close to tree safe." She explains to you. A glance over there...oh, you can see what she means now. The roots at the base are old and dug in and very solid, while the ones grasps at you are fresh and young. More over, at the base of the tree is both your goal and an area not readily reachable by the branches that are high up at the top of the tree itself. Of course, getting there would be difficult right between the Dryad and the tree once again launching a barrage of razor leaves at you that you dodge like a graceful ballerina, Rumia snapping a few out of the air for you.

Behind you, you hear a cry of pain and snapping your head that way shows you Lyrica hurtling away and slamming into the rocky, root covered wall. She recovers quickly, twisting out of the way of the Dryads sharp claws as they embed into the spot on the wall she was just on, using her momentum to deliver a vicious round house punch with a glowing hand of her own right into the Dryad's face as her sisters quickly move to back her up.

You wince at the sight of how close a shave that was for Lyrica, but they seem to still be doing okay at least. "Alright." You say to your slime girl in response. "Then the question is whether or not the humanoid part of the tree has its own stamina or if it's tied to the tree." You don't even really register how absurd your situation is, though its danger hardly escapes you. Your mind is running a mile a minute figuring out how to gain some momentum against this thing, and none of the options are good.

"Don't know..." SlKogasa hums apologetically as you feel her gently touch you in an attempt to soothe your edging panic and keep you a bit calmer in the face of this increasingly panicking situation. Rumia is humming something to herself as as crushes a leaf that was aiming for you before she suddenly gasps excitedly, "Zekey! I just learned something!"

"This!" Rumia informs you with a bright smile that quickly dims...along with the rest of the room. You see sudden rapid purple flashes zip out into the darkness, impacting on things you can't see and being followed with a booming and ringing pair of pained cries before you see Rumia's outline as she spins in a circle, arms outstretched as a ring of shining purple beams ripple out away from her and carve through the vast darkness and into the two enemies. Your sight returns to you suddenly, and you see the Great Tree Ayakashi moving as if reeling, marks denting its bark. The other direction shows you the Dryad body's legs poking up out of a hole in the ground surrounded by roots where she was seemingly hurled. Your Prismrivers all look stunned for a moment before they recover and quickly make for the Dryad body's resting point, peppering it with sonic attacks.

You're certainly stunned as well, seeing as you have no idea what that was. You'd have to guess that it's a dark type move, but- Waitasec that...! That move made the tree reel back? Okay, if she can do that again and produce the same effect once the humanoid is out of the way!

Of course, it's a good thing SlKogasa's the one controlling your body, otherwise your 'absent-minded thinking' might have gotten you in trouble here.

A barrage of razor leaves, heavier and thicker than he last two, carves towards you both, but instead of focusing on you this time, they aim for Rumia. SlKogasa keeps you moving as Rumia tries to maneuver out of the way of the attack but can't break out of position from launching her own attack in time. You watch as a barrage of the Razor Leaves carve along her body, nicking and cutting her wherever they touch as she holds up her hands to protect her face and eyes from the bombardment.

"Ah?" You're snapped from your thoughts by the sudden movement, and watch Rumia get hit by a large barrage of leaves. It seems like she's taken the heat off you a little, but that's still no fun to watch.

Rumia snaps her eyes open and snarls angrily, blood dripping down her arm as you note that one of the attacks managed to nick her ribbon. Suddenly she bursts forward like an angry, blond missile in a skirt, roaring furious at the tree as she holds out her hand, a orb of concentrated shadows forming there before she hurls it at the tree, using the speed she built up in her charge to get it moving even faster. As SlKogasa keeps moving, you watch as the shadow ball slams into the trees trunk and stays there, rotating and boring deeper into it for a moment longer before disappaiting away. The tree suddenly twitches, moving faster than you've seen it before now and using some of its more flexible branches to attack Rumia, managing to swat her out of the air and sending her crashing into the crash with a thump and a burst of dirt.

Urgh, that doesn't say a lot about your chances, that's for sure. The only way Kogasa's going to let you go so she can generate the toxins and chemicals required to make this tree's life miserable is if you're already further inside its minimum range than it can reach, and the humanoid is willing to attack you from. After all, you imagine that it could very well hit itself. Still...

Another shadowy ball comes flying out of Rumia's hole, slamming into the tree and carving a gouge along its trunk as it glances across the surface. As that happens, numerous roots attack Rumia where she is out of your line of site, diving it and lashing about. You hear another ear-piercing shriek and see your Prismrivers go flying. The Dryad lunges after Merlin this time, swinging her glowing hand at Merlin while she's still recovering mid-air.

"Merlin, she's going for you!" You call out, hoping she can recover fast enough to do something to mitigate what's about to hit her. Just why the Makai did you not get around to just talking with them about what they could do?! You're worried about Rumia as well, but there's so little you can actually do aside from look for an opening in the tree's defenses to dash inside. You need to be somewhere safe so Kogasa can join in, but you'd bet the tree would be perfectly happy to crack your skull if you so much as got near it right now!

Merlin takes the hit, though you see her twist to mitigate some of the damage so instead of getting carved through she's sent flying and bounces off of the wall...but you realize that was her plan all along, as grins widely down at the Dryad as a ghostly aura alights around her and then expands rapidly outward, the Dryad getting caught flatfooted by the ghostly nightshade that washes over it.

You then see Lunasa and Lyrica perform the same technique, catching the dryad in the middle of an offensive crossfire triangle! Three separate Nightshades surge forward and wash over each other, catching the Dryad in the middle of the attack and pummeling her mercilessly with a not inconsiderable amount of firepower. You can hear the sounds of weeds being whacked from Rumia's position, but still catch no sign of her. You notice the tree aiming to once again launch a barrage down at her position of leaves which...

...Leave you actually positioned well and out of the way of them. SlKogasa's been skillfully maneuvering your slowly out of the line of fire and attention of the enemies.

"Thanks, Kogasa..." You say while hanging between worried and relieved. It seems like the Ayakashi is strong, but it might not be the most clever fighter if it keeps getting caught up in things like this. Still, it does have enough power to blow through the proverbial maze.

"Thanks, Kogasa..." You say while hanging between worried and relieved. It seems like the Ayakashi is strong, but it might not be the most clever fighter if it keeps getting caught up in things like this. Still, it does have enough power to blow through the proverbial maze. Of course, with both parties occupied like this... "Kogasa, think you can help get me to the tree trunk?" You ask of your goo girl, knowing you're likely to need her help for this one.

Kogasa hums, "Was planning to!" She responds with great cheer as you feel her shift around your body, flowing out of your clothing and expanding rapidly as she begins to quickly ooze towards the Great Tree's base even as she does so. It's an exceedingly odd feeling to have her shifting out of your clothing like that, and even with you still being inside of her you feel a little bit colder, though it could just be your imagination. Quickly enough SlKogasa is her normal self as she surges along the root covered ground, out maneuvering the few roots that rise up and shift in an attempt ot stop you. As you charge, you can see Rumia from your new position. She's battered and bleeding, but not out yet judging by the fact that she hurls yet another Shadow Sphere at the massive tree before you before being smashed aside by one of the branches and sent sailing off into a wall. You can only feel thankful that touhoumon are built so sturdily.

The Prismrivers, much to your surprise, catch Rumia before she hits the wall. The three of them are looking a bit worse off themselves, but the fact that you don't see the Dryad at all is telling you that...maybe they took her down!?

You wish you could get to them to heal them, but you'd be even more of a liability out there with them than you would be outside of the immediate range of the tree's limbs. The fact that it seems to be distracted is fine with you, as it means it can't throw up as many defenses as it might have otherwise. You're also happy to note that your girls appear to have been successful, but you're not going to stop keeping an eye on them just because things look like they're turning around for you.

SlKogasa keeps zooming forward, moving along at as rapid a clip as she can while you watch the the tree itself begin to shake, oddly colored mists seeping out of it that you can see for an instant before SlKogasa sucks your body into her entirely and picks up the pace, zooming even faster than she was before as you watch Rumia twitch and shake as one you realize just what's going on. Stun spore!

And you're in no position to go through your bag to give Kogasa any healing items either! You certainly have to admire her reaction time though, you'd be all manners of sunk if she didn't pull you into herself like she did.

You can only watch helplessly as your Prismrivers zip away at high speed, having apparently been spared from the stunning cloud somehow. Lunasa is carrying Rumia with her as they twist and juke about, now having to avoid lingering spore clouds. The Great Tree rears back and unleashes a barrage of cutting leaves in a heavy concentration at the quartet, aiming to take them out now before they can regroup.

SlKogasa just keeps moving the whole time though, barreling straight through a stunning spore cloud as you watch the surface of her skin sizzle slightly at the contact as if the spores were burnt away by something...

Burnt away... Right, Kogasa is part Poison type because of her slime nature! She's probably able to synthesize some kind of chemical that would nullify Grass type pollens and spores on contact. Certainly a handy attribute if you're right! Still, it's no fun watching your girls get pushed onto the defensive like that, especially when you have no clear means to help them. All you can do is deal with your end of things and try to stay out of trouble.

SlKogasa continues forward even as you hear the dim cries of your Prismrivers through the slime. You can't look back anymore with the angle they're at from you now, but you can feel the pangs of emotion in your heart the whole time. They're the ones fighting and bleeding now while you...

SlKogasa shifts, suddenly spitting you out of her at high speeds and sends you rolling across the softer aground at the edge of the tree near its trunk, where you find yourself not being attacked by anything even as numerous roots and branches twist to attack SlKogasa, bombardments of razor leaf and vine whip analogues cutting through the air and attempting to get past Kogasa's resistance to their attacks with sheer numbers.

You can't see the Prismrivers either...

First thing you do is get a grip on your knife, even if you're not going to draw it out right away. As much as it pains you to know that your girls are out there, getting hurt, it'll all be for nothing if you can't do what you set out to do. You start moving around close to the tree trunk, bearing in mind where it was 'looking' last, and moving around it to try and find Erika's body.

The whole air around is full of the sounds of creaking, groaning wood as you move, making your way carefully around the trunk of the massive tree even as you hear it growl in a fury that shakes your heart. "YOU. WILL. DIE." It states with the utmost conviction you can't argue against, and given the condition most of your girls are in...

You're not going to stop moving just because of that. You keep moving, knowing that Erika's body has to be fairly close now. There's no choice, really.

You keep moving, just like you've got to. You don't stop, you don't fret no matter what you hear as the sound of numerous woody impacts and the sizzling of acid burning through biological components reaches your ears, you just keep moving until...

...You reach the point where Erika is. Or...what's left of her, you guess.

She's more than 70% merged with the wood, and what parts of her body that you can see seem to have to tiny roots of some sort growing under her skin visible in places. Speaking of her skin...it's very worn and ill and paper thin, as if it were about to tear. She looks scarcely anything like the lively if frigid girl you first met, nor the one you saw again waiting in her room for her knight to send her to her death. This is...she looks like an ill person on death's door who's been kept there for too long.

"WAIT. DON'T. KILL. HER." The Great Tree tries to plead with you as you can hear it attacking your own girls above you, barrages of leaves, spores and roots ripping its own home aggressively apart.

You... You never would have guessed that it was this bad. With that kind of plant growth, it must have been sustaining her, but her body was vanishing anyway. No wonder she said that she was losing herself. Your heart is hammering as you find yourself drawing the knife, feeling revulsion at the thought of killing a fellow human, but simultaneously understanding that this was a mercy kill. There was no reason to let her stay like this. It would be downright cruel, really.

You brought the knife to bear, and briefly considered plunging it through one of her eyes into her brain. It would be the most humane method, especially after what she must have endured up to this point. Yet you find yourself winding up to strike at her heart. You weren't even thinking about it anymore as you drove the blade forward, making sure it slipped between her ribs. You... "It's over, Erika. Rest peacefully." Tears are forming in your eyes even as the rest of you can't quite register what you just did.

Your whole body shakes as you feel the thunk of of the dagger hit Erika's breast. She's...completely yielding, the knife driving deep into her chest and her heart in a single thrust, as if there was nothing in the way. You see the part of her body visible to you jerk slightly, eyes twitching for a moment as if to open before they simply slide back shut. You can feel the tree begin to shake, thrum and vibrate with fury as Erika's body is drawn into the tree, the knife being caught in the bark where you can hear the sound of metal twisting and bending as the tree grinds the weapon and breaks it down utterly. "I. Will. Kill. You. I. Will. Kill. You. I!" You hear the sounds of the whole room and perhaps the earth itself shake as the tree thunders at you in a rage, "WILL!"

You hear the sound of stone cracking behind you and the winds whipping as something grabs you roughly by the shoulder and spin you around only to slam something into your gut, lifting you up off of the ground and knocking the wind out of you as cough up a mixture of spittle and blood. A wooden hand grabs you by your face and then slams you skull first into the bark of the Great Tree as the Dryad body stares at you, the damage on her mending slowly right before your eyes, "Kill you...no. You will live." She leans in closer, eyes full of an unholy fury that makes your whole body and mind instinctively quail in terror, "Forever. Take her, replace her." The grip on your skull tightens as you feel the wood behind you seem to slowly being softer, as if to soon allow you into it.

"...ghack..." All you can make is a small noise as the Dryad knocks you around and slams you against its tree, feeling terror and pain as it makes its goal abundantly clear. Your girls are beat up, and while SlKogasa is undoubtedly in a better position to aid your girls, you... you know they can't get to you fast enough. You've let Erika escape, but it seems like you're just going to take her place in the end. You can't even save yourself here.

She even told you that you must live, too. Well, the only way is if that silver knife you call your 'luck' stops pressing its edge into your throat and cuts the Dryad's head off.

The Dryads head suddenly lunges forward and twists violently to the side, the sound material being pulped being exceedingly audible to you as its head is driven in the body of the Great Tree by a translucent goo.

SlKogasa appears suddenly, her whole body shifting rapidly as she grabs hold of the Dryad's arm as the other monsters struggles and wrenches her grip off of you, a twist of her mass breaking the Dryad's arm once you're free from her and a slight gurgling noise preceding SlKogasa firing a high velocity stream of purplish liquid out of her body at the Dryad, hurling it away from you as you see spatters of the liquid hiss and sizzle through the rock and earth in front of you. You feel the Great Tree part of Saigyou Ayakashi attempt to draw you in and for a moment you fear SlKogasa is too late. Then her cool slime reaches out and embraces you, washing over your body as she pulls you towards her, supporting you and freeing your body as you hear that same burning hiss coming from behind and around you as the trees hold on you weekends. With a final tug, SlKogasa pulls you away and surges off, dodging around the attacks as they come from recovering Dryad who hurls bluebell flames at you both, SlKogasa deftly avoiding them all. "Zekey..!" SlKogasa's eyes are on you as she cradles you against herself, shielding you with her entire body as she becomes the focus for both the Tree and the Dryad, dodging and simply taking attacks to keep you safe.

"Kogasa...!" There's still tears in your eyes from everything just prior to this, but you're smiling now. You didn't think you'd be saved in time, but in comes your goo girl to pull it off. Still, you're not making an effort to move seeing as you're pretty sure you're bleeding internally and your moving would just make it worse. You think.

You can feel the parts of your body that were damaged slowly begin to hurt less, the pain ebbing away under a soft touch of slime in those spots. The Dryad is hot on your tail, face in a terrifying neutral expression as her eyes burn with an unholy light. One of the bluebell flames hits SlKogasa's body, flashing brightly as it burns away the portion it hits. Kogasa doesn't flinch even as she keeps you moving, shifting to make sure you're safe even as a selection of razor leaves cuts through another part of her.

You can't even begin to describe what you feel like right now. Your pain and weariness is ebbing away bit by bit as Kogasa carries you, and she's showing a determination and devotion you weren't... is 'expecting', the right word for it? No, it can't be. The simple fact that you feel safe inside her rather than worried or scared speaks volumes about how much you trust her. You honestly feel a bit like a princess being carried away from a ritualistic sacrifice, with SlKogasa as your hero. You still can't really get to your bag, so its down to you trusting her to keep you from harm, and you can do that much.

SlKogasa moves as skillfully and protectively a she can, but it's becoming increasingly obvious to you that with you in her arms she's limited to what she can do without hurting you or putting you at risk. Ahead of you, numerous roots begin to tear themselves up and reach for you, intending to tear you from her grasp. Another thing you've picked up...is that it seems the tree is intent on no longer killing you, but rather taking you alive with the intent to likely torture you for eternity, or as long as you last.

All you can do is sit in SlKogasa's hold as you watch the roots begin to move, knowing that once again you're in a pinch and you have no idea how well off any of your other girls are. Well, if SlKogasa was able to save you, maybe...?

The root ahead of you lash out at you, intending to rip you away from SlKogasa and drag you off to your doom...only to be cut down suddenly by a flash of light and a snick snack as as a familiar figure cuts through them, her bow glowing brightly as she calls upon an attack to reinforce it, allowing her to cut through the roots with ease.

Lyrica and Lunasa appear just as suddenly, launching a concentrated assault on the tree, slamming into it a bombardment of power that forces it to flinch out of its attack under their combined efforts. But, during this the Dryad's gotten in close and is raising her hand up to strike at SlKogasa as it glows brightly...!
No. 177315
The Dryad part swings brutally, the light carving through the air only to suddenly stop with a meaty thwack as something intercepts it.

Rumia is grasping the arm of the larger mon, holding her in place and off balance with a positively feral grin on her face, her ribbon only loosely hanging onto her golden locks of hair. "The Darkness preys on ghosts. That's just...!" She violently tugs the Dryad off balance, her own body pulsing with dark intent as she grabs her and in one of the best attempts of foul play you've ever seen spins and hurls the Dryad into one of the walls of the chamber, "The rules of nature!"

"Zeke, are you alright!?" Lyrica is at your side in an instant, keeping herself between you and the main tree body.

"He's intact and sane still. That's as close to alright as any of us are going to be." Merlin responds, face perfectly serious as she runs her eyes over the battlefield, "Next time Zekey? Pick somewhere that doesn't house an ancient near-mythical monster."

"Zeke..." Lunasa's voice is soft as she shifts her bow, reaching out and touching your head with her free hand as if to make sure you're there herself.

Rumia stands back up after finishing her attack, rolling her shoulders and jerking her neck from side to side, "Jeez, she was heavier than she looked..." She complains, dreadfully put out.

"I'd just hug all of you, but the enemy's still alive." Still, you're smiling and feeling better just from having your girls nearby and seeing that they're at least mostly alright. "Erika's been put to rest, but I don't think that mon's just going to let us leave after that." You've unconsciously leaned into Lunasa's touch as if to reassure her. "And Merlin? I'll try. I figure that Resort Town we didn't go to before should be relatively near-mythical monster free."

"It's no doubt cursed, possessed and infested with spooks now that you've mentioned it darling." Merlin teases you back as you take in your situation. You've regrouped with your girls, managed to...accomplish what you set out down here to do and freed Erika, and now you've got to survive...hopefully.

Looking at your girls now, you can see just how worn out they are. Their clothes are torn and tattered in spots and you can see blood here and there on their bodies as well where they've all caught their fair share of Razor Leaves. none of your girls are in good shape now, and you know for certain that they've used up much of their strength. More over, you're hurt a good bit yourself even if SlKogasa has made the pain go away.

There's only so much she can do for a human after all, you're not like a touhoumon where you can be pumped full of materials and heal instantly.

Still... "Let's see if I can't get to anything here..." You see if you can't get to your bag to grab a potion or a dozen, since you recall your girls stocking up on items before you left for this place and this is a perfectly good time to use them. "It looks like the Dryad can be shut down temporarily if hammer away at it hard enough. ...In fact, Rumia, you used Foul Play just now, right? How bad do you think it'd hurt the tree to have you fling the humanoid part into it?"

"I think...it'd catch it." Rumia respond, glancing the tree as it recovers itself. You can hear the Dryad violently haul itself out of the hole in the wall it was hurled into, shaking itself off and then twisting its head at you with an audible crack as it stares down at your group. As you reach to pull out a potion...

You're suddenly jerked into motion by SlKogasa as the earth tears itself up apart beneath your group. The Prismrivers are forced away from you one direction by a sudden bombardment of razor leaves and Rumia moves herself to intercept the Dryad as it barrels towards you while SlKogasa is kept from interacting with either fight due to having to keep you safe and moving within her.

"Do. You. Think. Me. A. Fool?" The voice booms at you, now full of a detached malice, as if it can't be bothered feeling fury when it already knows it has you.

"You will not have the chance."" The Dryad hisses at you as she engaged with Rumia, raking her wooden talons across the smaller mons body.

Ooookay, the Dryad apparently knows you can heal your girls and is making every effort to prevent you from being able to do so. Given that you're suspended in SlKogasa, you can't even really get at any of the healing items. "Rumia!" You cry out as if on reflex, knowing your voice is likely to be muffled. You're not even sure what you can do here...!

The Rumia snarls, bending her back from the attack before suddenly lunging upwards, mouth wide open and gaping. Without even a seconds hesitation she chomps into the Dryads throat and begins to shake her head violently from side to tear, ripping and tearing through the material there in an vicious display of aggression as wood chips are sent flying.

Hm.

Well then.

The Great Tree unleashes another barrage of attacks at your Prismrivers who are looking increasingly haggard and wounded. Is there anything you can do? You just need a chance to...!

"Zekey! I put you down!" SlKogasa whispers to you as she surges towards a specific point in the area. There...you can see why she is! Through all the heavy fighting, this point has been torn apart so thoroughly there's not a trace of roots left there, just shattered stone! It's the one spot where at the very least you'll likely see attacks coming.

"Alright, go for it!" You try to keep your voice down to a whisper as you wait for your goo girl to drop you off at the barren safe point, knowing that you're not likely to be able to get much time to get your girls healed up.

SlKogasa quickly spits you out onto the spot and immediately takes advantage of the fact that she's no longer carrying you inside of her to take a turn at attacking the tree that's making your girls lives miserable. You see that dark purple insidious liquid bubble up inside of her before she launches it at the tree, searing through its bark and leaving a great ragged wound across its surface as SlKogasa moves quickly and erratically, quickly becoming little more than an amorphous teal blob that molds and shifts around most any attack sent its way and forcibly drags the trees attention onto it with a daring charge towards its base.

This gives your girls a chance to have a breather, though you note that Lunasa and Merlin are carrying Lyrica now, each supporting one side of her.

You wave them over, finally having a chance to root through your medicine pocket for something that'll hopefully be effective. Given how Lyrica looks though... "Revive, revive, please let one be in here..." You speak in a rushed undertone, sorting out what you need now.

You quickly shift through your bad, panic fueling your search as you run your fingers along the organized chaos as you search for...there! Your hand closes around the small, yellow diamondesque pill and pull it out just in time for your girls to arrive. Lunasa is near tears herself, "She-she-she took a hit meant for us all on her own..!"

"She shouldn't have done that. She's not built for taking hits..." Merlin adds on her own opinion, her soft tone and the care with which she carries her non-blood sister showing she cares just as much even if she's not about to cry. Behind them, SlKogasa is speared through by a branch...that suddenly begins to rot, the damage rapidly climbing up the limb as the branch itself cracks and breaks apart. SlKogasa is built for taking physical attacks like she is, and with her dealing with the tree and running interference while Rumia-

"OM NOM NOM NOM NOM." Rumia's calls out bestially as she continues to savage the Dryad, apparently not even reacting to the Dryads increasingly frantic attacks on her back, the wooden claws tearing through the dress and cutting up her skin through it.

-dealing with the Dryad for now, you've been given the reprieve you need.

You don't even bother responding to what's being spoken, not out of rudeness but because you don't want Lyrica down any longer than she has to be. You slip the Revive into her mouth and help her swallow it as much as you can, hoping that the medicine will act fast enough for you to be able to get everyone up to speed, and maybe cycle out who needs healing. "Now I know how she must have felt when I got knocked out..." You move quickly to continue getting your girls patched up, using whatever kinds of potions you have on hand to help them get back up to speed.

Lyrica stays motionless for a moment, the only thing keeping you from thinking the worst being true her shallow breathing. Then, she stirs and lets out a moan as her eyes flutter open, "Ughhh, I'm alright..." She manages, forcing herself up to her feet and shaking her head as you see the damage on her fade to more manageable levels as the Revive takes effect.

You move quickly, applying the best potions you have to Merlin and Lunasa, while waiting for the revive to finish working before getting her, if you still have the time. "Lyrica..." You can only say her name really, since this isn't the time to chew her out.

"Yeah, I know." She doesn't argue with you as she cracks her neck from side to side, "But I was the only one who could intercept the hit in time, and if I hadn't all three of us might have been taken down instead." She looks over her two sisters, "Besides, what kind of big sister would I be if I let them get hurt?"

Merlin moves obligingly as you quickly apply one potion to her, spraying the material onto the worst spots of damage and watching them quickly begin to heal up, "I don't remember agreeing to you being the big sister." She remarks idly back, though you can hear the relief in her voice.

Lunasa doesn't speak, instead blinking the tears out of her eyes as she smiles happily at her sister being recovered so quickly. She doesn't flinch as you apply the potion to her as well, using a lion share of it on a particularly nasty razor leaf wound on her back.

Behind all of them, you see SlKogasa moving at high speeds as she engages and single-handedly holds the Great Tree's attention, using her body and natural resistance to physical damage to her advantage as she simply moves through or soaks up any attacks it launches her way, responding back with sprays of acid or a particularly nasty looking substance that makes any wood it touch seemingly rot away in a matter of moments. "Stupid Tree is stupid!" SlKogasa taunts it, "Bark and leaves don't match!"

"Geeze, I know we'll need to cycle her and Rumia out eventually, but they're holding their own." You spare a glance at your goo girl, admiring how she's managing to hold her own despite the strength of her foe. You're more or less finished with your Prismrivers and are keeping an eye on your surroundings as well.

Your Prismrivers are all shaking themselves off as they try to loosen up the freshly healed areas. They're far from fresh now, and they're not completely healed either, but they're still far better off than they were, "It's type advantage, isn't it?" Merlin speaks up, watching over Rumia and SlKogasa as they both temporarily at least hold off their respective foes, "SlKogasa is resistant to the tree's attacks, since most of them are physical and are grass type besides, and Rumia is a Dark type fighting against the Dryad body that relies mostly on ghost attacks."

"...Yeah. It's exactly as you say." You admit after a moment, not really wanting to have her feel bad now, but there's no sugar-coating it. "The three of you against the Dryad at least means you could take it down faster. With the tree though, SlKogasa really is the best fit."

Lyrica rolls her shoulders before stretching her arms out, fingers interlaced as she arcs her back like a cat, "Figures. Well, whatever. Hey Zeke. That Rumia's hurt pretty bad, even if she's not showing it through her rage. We'll pin the Dryad back down like we were before, you heal her up and then figure out where you want her, huh?" She suggests, that 'leader' side of her coming back out.

Looking over, you can see for sure that she's right like you had feared. Rumia's still fighting, but...ah! There, you can see why the Dryad's not down yet! Rumia's been seeded on her back!

"Make it happen, Prismrivers." You give Lyrica the okay, knowing that Rumia's going to need to get switched out so you can knock off the Leech Seed before it knocks her out.

Lyrica roll her shoulders one last time before she kicks off fo the ground, dust kicking up behind her as she grins, "Well girls, let's get to it." She's zips off, charging towards where your beleagured Rumia is beginning to show the signs of slowing down from her exertions. Lyrica and Lunasa blast off after her, all three of them adopting an attack formation as they draw their instruments and set up for...wait...this is...the Jetstream attack!

The Dryad sees them coming and raises a hand to intercept their attack, firing a gob of bluebell flame at them with the intent to catch all three in it, but they simply break up that formation and switch to a new one, Merlin and Lyrica circling her while bombarding her with sonic attacks while Lunasa lunges in, bow glowing brightly as she unleashes a vicious attack on the Dryad, knocking her stumbling back.

Rumia growls, attempting to lurch towards the Dryad but nearly collapsing from the effort.

"Rumia, pull back!" You call out to her, trying to get her attention while there's still time to do so. You've got a good grip on where your medical items are, and you're pretty sure Leech Seed isn't that hard to get rid of.

Rumia starts, catching notice of your voice and reaches up to her head, running a hand through her hair and tugging on her ribbon before she makes her way back to you, moving as quickly as she can in her current state before tripping and stumbling into you. You can see the offending plants in her back, digging and growing into her as they glow a faint yellow, draining her of her strength and sending it back to the Dryad, "Zekey..?"

You immediately set to work trying to pull the offending plant matter out before it can do any more damage. "You're doing a good job, Rumia. I figured you could use a break before you keel over." You whisper to her while supporting her to the best of your ability. ...You also recall that a mon with Rapid Spin could literally just toss off the Leech Seed, so it shouldn't be too hard to get out of her if it hasn't been in too long.

You find that you were right, and that the leech seed is seemingly skindeep as you remove it from her. Rumia doesn't even let out more than a quiet whinge as you take out the offending seeds, "Thank you Zekey..." She speaks, her tone a bit better already with just those seeds taken out of her as she nuzzles against you in a friendly manner. Behind her, you can see the Prismriver catch the Dryad in a triangle formation again, bombarding her with a group nightshade again. Your Prismrivers are...well, their teamwork is non-conventional, that much is obvious. Prismrivers work well together, but your trio are all independent as well.

You pet your darkness mon as you quietly administer some healing to her as well, hoping that the Dryad doesn't catch on to what you're doing for just a bit longer. "Thank you for putting up with all this." You keep an eye on how your girls are doing, as well as SlKogasa. The latter's been holding up reasonably well, but you're not sure how you're going to switch her out if she needs to heal. It helps that she's showing the tree exactly how nasty a slime type can be, though.

It seems like even though they know just what you can do, Your SlKogasa is fairly well marginalizing the Great Tree's ability to attack you. Every time it tries to look in your direction she punishes it, though...you note the smitterings and smatterings of motionless teal liquid here and there, telling you that SlKogasa isn't coming away from this unscathed. She's lost mass from this fight, which givens she's a slime...

Your Prismrivers themselves are managing to suppress the Dryad quite well, though given how exhausted the three of them look you're not sure how long that will last. They've already burnt through who knows how much of their energy during this extended fight so far.

Rumia giggles softly, "It's fine Zekey, I can handle this much just fine!" She assures you, attempting to make a show of demonstrating that your healing so far has taken away the worst of her pain. As she does that though, you catch notice of the Great Tree and how it seems to have simply given up, no longer attack SlKogasa, but simply standing beneath the light cast by all these glowing crystals.

...With its leaves turned up to catch that light just right, glinting off of each and everyone..!

"Girls, it's going to use Solarbeam!" You yell out, knowing that there's no way Kogasa could take that kind of hit, and if this tree is half the cheating jerk you think it is, it could very well fire off more than one at a time! Not only that, it could easily hit you, and you're not doing so hot yourself.

You call out your warning, and you see SlKogasa do...something. There's a flash of teal before an all consuming light is fired out of the a part of the tree's trunk as it splits itself open to release the gathered solar energy. You're forced to shield your eyes as Rumia shields you from the light of the attack as is carves through the arena. The sound of the air and stone all being torn apart by the sheer amount of energy this monster produces assaults you.

Blinking the spots out of your eyes, you can see now that...there's a massive gouge carved into the ground and up the attack from the massive monster. There is no sign of SlKogasa at all. The Prismrivers become visible moments later, reorganizing nearer to you after having been forced to pull back from the attack which carved through the part of the battlefield where they were fighting the Dryad.

"MY. STRENGTH. RETURNS." The Great Tree booms out.

"Soon, I shall no longer be restrained to this cage." The Dryad speaks, rising up into view over the rim of the gouge, utterly untouched by its own attack. Which figures.

"Ooooooh, this isn't good." You say, noting just what kind of issue just developed here. "It was probably dumping a lot of its power into keeping Erika alive, and now it doesn't have to do that anymore..." You're... well, SlKogasa knows Dig apparently, so she could have escaped that way, but then again, where would she have gone? "Girls, how bad off are all of you?" You ask, since you're not sure how wide-range that Solarbeam was.

"I...We're fine, we can keep going." Lyrica puts up a front, but even you can see that she's worn herself down from this. Merlin isn't any better, watching the tree and the Dryad with an expression of grim determination and frustration.

It's Lunasa that speaks up, "Zeke, we...we're tired out. This Ayakashi, it's not right. I mean, the Dryad regenerates so quickly, and it's...it's just so strong! It doesn't..." She tries to explain, but can't seem to understand it herself.

"Did you think you would defeat me??" The Dryad asks, cocking its head as you see the leaves of the Great Tree behind it shift again, catching the light as it glints off of them.

"INSIGNIFICANT. FOOLISH. PEST." The Ayakashi booms all around you, its voice resonating with your heart and bones, "BLOOD. FUELS. ME. LIVING. SACRIFICES. FUEL. ME."

"...And it's got a graveyard under it." You say, noting just how bad this has gotten. There's really not much you can do about the tree either. If you knew it could use Solarbeam, you'd have asked your girls to try and break some of the crystals...

"Sacrifices offered to us by Mustermann in exchange for our...'services'." The Dryad explains, apparently content to simply inform you as it builds up its charge.

"OUR. STRENGTH. OUR. KNOWLEDGE." It booms out at you, the charge growing brighter still as it readies itself. Your girls are all prepping themselves, some sort of unspoken plan being developed between them as their eyes glance between one another.

"Mustermann was admirable, for a human. His willingness to sacrifice others for his own needs and wants allowed him to succeed where others would balk at the opportunity." The Dryad exposits, as more and more pieces click into place in your mind.

"And yet his mansion lies empty save for his devoted servant, what was left of his daughter, her mon, and the souls of the dead unable to move on, plus no sign of the man himself. Some success." You know you're pretty much hosed one way or the other, so if the tree's gonna talk you might as well talk back, and if your girls have a plan you're going to let them execute it.

"That is because he could not discard the last of his sentimentality, his attachment to his former wife through his daughter. Her illness, beyond the treatment of any of your sciences. So, he came to me. I told him what his foolishness would reap, but he did not listen and instead sought another deal with me. Preserve his daughter for him until his return, and upon his return receive ten 'gifts'." The Dryad explains, still talking at you, "Had he accepted reality and his inability to retrieve the item needed to heal her, he would still live and his works continue."

"So, what was the item?" You ask, feeling at least somewhat curious as to what would likely explain Mustermann's total absence. "Clearly it had to be something located somewhere dangerous, if he never came back."

"Dew from a 'Flower Closest to the Sun', something you would have easily found out, if you'd asked the Mustermann's daughter." The Dryad states. You're certain the Solarbeam is charged now, but she still hasn't attacked yet. Is she overcharging it or something else...?

"In the grand scheme of things it's not terribly important. It's not as though Erika were in any condition to continue living her life, considering how her body seemed to be literally merging with yours and she told me outright that she was losing herself in the worst way." She's not wiping you out with the beam like you expected, and there's only one Grass type attack that really relies on that type of light absorption to work. Even Synthesis could work without the sun or light, so she must be either letting you satiate your curiosity or deciding on how to break out of here. With that much light she could be planning on using her Dryad body to mow you down and carry the charge to the door keeping her in... Or she could be aiming to cause a cave-in, or crack open a way out some other way.

"That Dew has powers enough to return her to full health...if one could acquire it." The Dryad responds, "You show your inability to understand us with your claims that we were 'absorbing' the Mustermann's daughter. We were taking steps to preserve and continue her life."

"NECESSARY. STEPS." The Great Tree itself booms, "YOUR. FRAIL. FORMS. NEED. SUPPORT."

"I suppose you're right about my not being able to understand you, seeing as all I have to go by is your attempts to kill me and my girls. Nor does it seem like you could fully understand why humans operate the way they do. You're powerful enough to where you don't need much support yourself, yes?" ...Here you are, at the end of the line talking to your would-be killer, or rapist, in a tense but surprisingly casual conversation as she handily supplies the last few pieces of the puzzle herself. "Mustermann wasn't anywhere near as strong as you, but it sounds like he tried to play both sides of the fence anyway and paid for it. Did he even have anyone to rely on by the time he left on his doomed quest, or was nearly everyone left in the mansion cursing his name under their breath?"

The Dryad's attention snaps back onto you, eyes piercing straight through you no matter how you try to hide behind your girls, "You cannot understand, can you? You weak live because we strong allow it."

"YOU. WILL. KNEEL. AND. DIE. BECAUSE. I. DEMAND. IT." The Great Tree finishes the thought as it lights up the whole room and unleashes its attack. You feel Lyrica move and snatch you up, carrying you off one way as Rumia, Lyrica and Merlin go another. It's then you realize just what they're planning to do to protect you. If they give it another target...!
No. 177316
You watch the beam begin to shift in its aim, carving along after Rumia, Lunasa and Merlin as the Dryad charges towards you...only to suddenly stop as something catches her foot. You watch as teal slime surges up out of the ground and surrounds the Dryad, who trashes and generates bluebell flames that sear and ignite the slime.

But it's too little, too late on its part. You watch as the slime squeezes tighter and begins to glow brightly...and then explodes in a fantastic, earth-shattering kaboom.

"What... was that? Explosion?" You don't bother looking right at the undoubtedly bright explosion as SlKogasa seemingly self-destructs, but you're still wondering just what in the world she's doing? Did that even hurt the Dryad? You look back to check.

Your eyes search wildly for the Dryad but...all that's left in the crater is bunch of woodchips impaled here and there. Did she...?

As the scream of the Solarbeam dies down, it's replaced by the roaring, monstrous screaming of the Great Tree, who is lashing out wildly in a savage fury as its mighty branches crush the earth around it and its savage razor leaves carve through stones. It's a bullet-hell Lyrica is desperately dragging you through, moving through the attacks and somehow managing to keep you unscatched, likely because it seems the tree isn't focusing anywhere so much as lashing out at the world.

And of course, you're weighing her down so it's not like she's having an easy time of it either! It's immensely frustrating, but it looks like there's no longer any way to take a break in any of this to go off and heal, let alone come up with an effective counter-strategy. After all, could you even be heard by any of your girls who isn't Lyrica at this point?

"I. WILL. CRUSH. YOU." The Great Tree roars at you in a fury, lashing about wildly. Even though your girls managed to cripple and injure it so far and they've taken so much hurt to do it, now you don't have an opportunity to do anything with it? Your eyes look around for something, anything to give you something you can do to maybe, just maybe turn this around. Then you hear something, something as you draw closer to the ruins of the door that you had to pass through to get into this damnable place. You can hear...a whistling noise-?

Something carves through the door, splitting the stone into a dozen roughly hewn pieces that soar through the air and smash into the raging Great Tree, stunning it.

A quiet tip-tap of hard, short-heeled shoes on stone sounds impossibly loud as a familiar, ragged Youmu enters the area.

You can't help but let your eyes be drawn toward the sudden and dynamic entry of one SlshYoumu, eyes wide as you hadn't expected reinforcements. That Yuyuko was no slouch, you knew that much.


"Youmu...?" You find yourself asking after a few moments, as if you can't quite believe what just happened here.

"Zeke." She responds, voice calm as her eyes run over the scene before her. The Great Tree itself is seemingly as stunned by her arrival as you are, given that its attacks stopped as well, "...You've done well to cripple it as much as you have. The Dryad body has beed destroyed, meaning the Main Body has to regenerate it. The Main Body itself is at critical life levels as well."

Youmu's eyes move down the body of the Great Tree, focusing at a point on its base, the spot where you...

"...Milady is at rest then." She states, her expression and voice entirely unreadable.

"...It's all I could do." You say quietly, feeling that sense of self-disgust mixed with the feeling that it was a much-needed mercy kill come surging back. Given that even though SlKogasa did her best to dull your pain, it's not a nice feeling to have when you're still bleeding internally.

"You've done more than enough. Do not downplay your efforts or what you have achieved. It is thanks to you choosing to stay and fight rather than run as I urged you that milady rests." Youmu responds. You hear the sounds of Saigyou Ayakashi attacking you again, swinging its might branches to sweep you all away.

Youmu takes a single step towards you and then disappears. The air around you rushes past you as something moves through it, and the branch that was swinging for you falls apart as if cut by invisible blades, or the air itself. Youmu has moved, her rough and vicious blades drawn and at the ready as she stares down the Saigyou Ayakashi.

"What." Is the subdued, for it, response of Saigyou Ayakashi, "Servant. Of. The. Mustermann's. Daughter." The tone of the Great Tree is a complimented by a deep, reverberating growl, "What. Is. This."

"I am following my orders. Milady asked of me to protect him, and thus he will be." SlshYoumu responds, staring the creature down, "Additionally, I am here to perform my other duties, ones that have been long overdue."

The Great Tree lashes out again, only for the branch to be clipped straight off of its body by a single cut. Youmu has shifted now, her sword brought up in a vertical slash. Some sort of vacuum sword technique!? "No. This. Is. Impossible." The Saigyou Ayakashi sounds...afraid? "You. Cannot. Do. This. Mustermann-"

"Neither of you could understand it, could you? I was never his servant. I was always, and will always be, the sword of Erika." Youmu takes a single step towards the Great Tree, and you'd swear you see it slink back if it wasn't rooted to the spot, "Zeke, have them concentrate their attacks at the base of the trunk. Don't worry about anything else." Youmu tells you, "...And...thank you. You did what you said you would."

"What. Are. You?." The Great Tree cannot help but ask, even as you see its leaves shift again as it attempts to draw on the power of the Light Stones embedded in the ceiling to unleash its ultimate attack again.

"I am a gardener." Youmu responds with a final quip before she kicks off the ground and moves in a blur of dull green, white and gleaming steel. Saigyou Ayakashi lashes out at her, but Youmu carves through the attacks like they were nothing, ripping through the thickest of the Ayakashi's branches as if they were weeds before a weed-whacker. The moment she makes contact with the trunk she disappears into a gleaming blur, carving all over and along the trunk and trimming off its dangerous branches, robbing it more and more of its ability to defend itself.

"Alright, everyone! Focus fire on the trunk, hit that thing with everything you've got! Lyrica, put me down if you need to, you can't fight and support me simultaneously." You give the final order of the battle, or at least what you hope will be the final one. With SlshYoumu here helping you out, the only thing that's going to die here, beyond the one who requested death, will be that monstrous tree.

Lyrica sets you down after only a moment, watching as Youmu cuts apart anything that so much hints at going in your direction. All three of the sisters surge forward, moving into a familiar triangle formation around the tree as each one of them sprouts up a ghostly aura, generating the power they need to perform their signature nightshade technique. Rumia herself crackles with energy, taking up a position out of the Prismrivers line of fire as you see shadowy wisps crackle and climb all across her body. All four of them reach full power at the same moment.

"It's time for an all-out attack!" Lyrica orders them, putting into motion the hopefully lethal bombardment of the tree. All three of the Prismrivers unleash their nightshade at once, the ghostly aura crashing in and smashing into the base of the tree. Your vision darkens just after you see the impact as Rumia unleashes her own attack, the crackle purple sparks flashing all around her and exploding with immense forced as you hear wood break, shatter and be carved apart as the purple rings wash over the area and her powers fade. Just as your sight returns to you, you see a sharp line of purple fluid wash across the base of the Saigyou Ayakashi, carving leaving another massive gouge in its body where it touches and further ruins the base of the tree.

"Kogasa...!" That right there was all the proof you needed that your goo girl was alive, if not beat up a fair bit, and it feels like this whole scenario would end on a better note than it would have otherwise. Could the tree take much more of this?

Saigyou Ayakashi's trunk is ruined, from base to top. Countless battle scars cover its once perfect form, and almost no branches remain on top of it. "No. This. Cannot." It tries to get out, its once arrogant and powerful voice filled with fear as if it realizes what is coming for it.

Youmu darts off fo the Saigyou Ayakashi, disappearing from your sight as she speaks, "I am Slash Youmu, the Sword of Erika!" She intones as if it were some form of mantra. You see a glint of light before a wave of air pressure washes over you, forcing you to hold onto a rock jutting up out of the ground for as you see something carve straight through the entire length of the Saigyou Ayakashi in a single vertical slash, "There is nothing I cannot cut!"

The Great Tree shakes and shudders now, creaking and groaning as it cracks at its base completely and begins a slow descent in the direction opposite you, "No this. Cannot be. I can't. I don't want! to! die!"

You watch as the tree collapses downwards, only to be surprised yet again as it begins to glow brightly, as does the room itself. Countless seals that look like the ruined ones you saw light up from where they're near invisibly carved into the stone. The body of the Saigyou Ayakashi begins to break apart, flakes of light coming off of it before it explodes in a singularly disappointing 'puff'. You can see a point of light shine brightly where the massive trees trunk once was, the glow of it dimming as the seals on the walls of the chamber begin to dim once more.

...Well now that that's done with you should probably...

CHOICES

[ ] Pass out from your injuries/exhaustion, you've done enough.

[ ] Soldier on and keep working, you've got stuff that needs to be dealt with before you spend a day in traction again.
No. 177317
>>177310
When a character in the story said that only mons can hit other mons' g point, was she correct?

[x] do not pass out
No. 177319
>"The Darkness preys on ghosts. That's just...!" She violently tugs the Dryad off balance, her own body pulsing with dark intent as she grabs her and in one of the best attempts of foul play you've ever seen spins and hurls the Dryad into one of the walls of the chamber, "The rules of nature!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTQIogLBFBs
No. 177320
[x] Soldier on and keep working, you've got stuff that needs to be dealt with before you spend a day in traction again.

I wonder if the cure was something related to Yuuka or not. Too late to know now.
No. 177321
[X] Soldier on and keep working, you've got stuff that needs to be dealt with before you spend a day in traction again.

Just to be safe. Alternatively I get the feeling that we may fail to stay awake anyway even if we tried
No. 177324
[X] Soldier on and keep working, you've got stuff that needs to be dealt with before you spend a day in traction again.

Well it's dead, and good riddance to such a horror.

I don't want to miss anything new so I choose to not pass out.

Is it possible to heal our girls with those herbs we found, and can they be used on humans as well? And we have to find out how SlKogasa is doing. Is she hurt bad?

I wonder if it would've been possible to capture the Dryad and send it to Yakumo Corp. or something? Zeke's mother, while very impressive, just wouldn't have the resources to contain it I'd feel.
No. 177325
Regarding Erika is it possible that we could meet her ghost later on? Maybe in a (wet?)dream or some other means?
No. 177330
[x] Soldier on and keep working, you've got stuff that needs to be dealt with before you spend a day in traction again.

No rest till we can confirm the safety of our girls.

>>177319
I'm so glad we caught Rumia. I like all our girls but she's becoming a fast favorite.
No. 177331
[x] Soldier on and keep working, you've got stuff that needs to be dealt with before you spend a day in traction again.

Well guys we just defeated what must count as a legendary. That was pretty fucking ninja.
No. 177332
>>177331
I hope the next time we run into a Mysterious Location, it isn't as murderous as this one was.
No. 177333
>Youmu's head tilts up, looking to the door that leads back out into the rest of the house as she hears the air be disturbed by the rapid approach of more than one person. Youmu readies herself for whatever new arrivals may come as she lends a thought to the boy down below, offering a prayer up to whatever might be listening that his too soft nature doesn't get him killed, or worse.

Was this not referring to Zeke?
No. 177334
>>177324

I thiiiiink you're getting Zeke mixed up with Nebosa a bit here. The lucky/unlucky, plucky protagonist of this story has no official, or even unofficial, ties with Yakumo Corp., and thus doesn't have that convenient option as Nebosa would have.

Second, the Dryad and the Great Tree were part of the same Ayakashi. There'd be no separating the two halves of the same being. Plus it took advantage of a convenient circumstance to render itself immune to capture to begin with.

As for Mary, don't forget this is the same woman who broke in Mugetsu and Gengetsu, two unheard of, anomaly-producing mons, making them into her personal maids. Containing the Ayakashi would have been within her ability to accomplish.

>>177325

Who knows~?
No. 177336
>>177334

...Geez, just how crazy or powerful is Mary/Zeke's mother? Is she somehow a relative of the Boy in Red or something? Would actually be amusing if the 'Boy in Red' was actually a girl or something

Now that gives an interesting thought as to how would she make use of a submissive Saigyou Ayakashi
No. 177337
>>177336

Tentacle sex
No. 177340
Hopefully we can work on getting some badges so when we go back home for that visit, we can pick up MerKoishi
No. 177341
>>177333
Possibly it meant the other Touhoumon in the mansion?
No. 177342
[x] Soldier on and keep working, you've got stuff that needs to be dealt with before you spend a day in traction again.

Anti-anemia option.
If it's not bad enough that he has to pass out yet, then he can make sure that his girls are safe(er) before doing so.
No. 177344
1. How would the Tree/Dryad have treated a victim that willingly gave itself to her? How would it have felt for the victim in it's embrace? Pleasurable?

2. What exactly was Erika to the Tree/Dryad? She really didn't need to support Erika yet was extremely enraged when Erika died? Was it due to breaking her contract with Erika?
No. 177347
...You know, if SlshYoumu went inside, does that mean that she propped the door open? Maybe she ordered the other boneka to keep the door from closing as the new head of the house. Otherwise getting out may be an issue.

Well, unless SlshYoumu just plans to cut the door. Which I can actually see happening.
No. 177348
>>177347

Dude, the door was already cut into pieces due to the Slash Youmu's entry
No. 177349
>>177347
>Then you hear something, something as you draw closer to the ruins of the door that you had to pass through to get into this damnable place. You can hear...a whistling noise-? Something carves through the door, splitting the stone into a dozen roughly hewn pieces that soar through the air and smash into the raging Great Tree, stunning it. A quiet tip-tap of hard, short-heeled shoes on stone sounds impossibly loud as a familiar, ragged Youmu enters the area.

Does this answer your question?
No. 177351
Both hoping and expecting that Youmu will join up with us, also wondering if we can send the Yuyuko in the tower a message telling her what happened here. The one here said she was related didn't she?
[×] Still stuff that needs to be done.
No. 177353
>>177351

Yes the Tower Yuyuko appears to have been the Mustermann Yuyuko's aunt.

>>173378
>"So, me being me, I decided to go out to the White Tower..." You start to retell that story in full detail, cutting out the parts where you engaged in lewdness with your partners to be at the time, but telling her pretty much every other aspect to that story. Right down to the LWYoumu telling you outright that the only reason you were permitted to get that far was because the Tower Mistress permitted it, as you were doing her a favor. Said mistress who you suspect is a Yuyuko of some sort. "Oh my..." The Yuyuko fans herself, "Is auntie still up to her old tricks?" She sounds dreadfully unsurprised, "It sounds like she gave you a...'hard' time, hm?" She asks of you as the Youmu sighs beside Erika, looking deeply forlorn.
No. 177361
[X] Soldier on and keep working, you've got stuff that needs to be dealt with before you spend a day in traction again.

heh
.....
Youmu being awesome once more.

Just curious. What would have happened if we picked hero's story first before Youmu's?
No. 177365
>>177349

I meant the door that the mechanism opens, but thank you anywho.
No. 177366
Oops, forgot to sage. Sorry about that.
No. 177372
[X] Soldier on and keep working, you've got stuff that needs to be dealt with before you spend a day in traction again.
No. 177383
Alrighty, votes called! Of course, seeing as they're unanimous, I think there's pretty much no chance of the votes swinging the other way even if we wrote now.
No. 177384
>>177383

>Then you hear something, something as you draw closer to the ruins of the door that you had to pass through to get into this damnable place. You can hear...a whistling noise-? Something carves through the door, splitting the stone into a dozen roughly hewn pieces that soar through the air and smash into the raging Great Tree, stunning it. A quiet tip-tap of hard, short-heeled shoes on stone sounds impossibly loud as a familiar, ragged Youmu enters the area.

Was this talking about other Mons coming to fight Youmu?

Also:

1. How would the Tree/Dryad have treated a victim that willingly gave itself to her? How would it have felt for the victim in it's embrace? Pleasurable?

2. What exactly was Erika to the Tree/Dryad? She really didn't need to support Erika yet was extremely enraged when Erika died? Was it due to breaking her contract with Erika?
No. 177385
Crap that's not right! I meant this:


>Youmu's head tilts up, looking to the door that leads back out into the rest of the house as she hears the air be disturbed by the rapid approach of more than one person. Youmu readies herself for whatever new arrivals may come as she lends a thought to the boy down below, offering a prayer up to whatever might be listening that his too soft nature doesn't get him killed, or worse.

Was this talking about other Mons coming to fight Youmu?
No. 177388
>>177387

I'm guessing we all missed the reference to that Aya and Hatate one
No. 177389
>>177388
Are you talking about the /at/ scene with the Aya and Hatate or something else? Because your post link doesn't go anywhere.
No. 177393
You're going to keep pushing yourself just a little bit more. You know you're injured, you shouldn't even be upright right now until you can get some help for this. Yet you manage to walk toward your girls, feeling the need to call out to one in particular. "Kogasa, are you still here?" She was pretty dinged up, and had to evade an absolutely massive Solarbeam. She attacked during the last push, but you still want to see her yourself.

You hear a rustling coming towards you, remains of the enemy you just fought and the torn apart earth shifting as something teal forces its way up out of the ground. SlKogasa reveals herself, shifting her humanoid portion of herself into place. She's...smaller. In more ways than one. Looking at it, it seems like she's lost nearly half of her mass during the fight. "Zekey!" She greets you excitedly, sweeping you up into her embrace as soothing slime washes over you, working along your body and healing your aches and pains again.

You relax into her hold instantly, allowing her to do what she feels she needs to do while appreciating the fact that she can still carry you around. "Glad to see you're okay, Kogasa~" Honestly, you could drift off right here, but you've got to be sure. "Lyrica, Lunasa, Merlin, Rumia, still in one piece?" You ask, feeling that it borders between a stupid question and a legitimate one, but you ask it all the same.

"No, I've gone and died in the last phase of the fight." Lyrica responds back first, floating into view. She's still obviously exhausted and favors one side of herself, but she's alive and whole.

"Such a rosy response sister! It's only natural he worry about you, given how you so willingly sacrificed yourself to save myself and Lunasa." Merlin teases her sister, back to her old self now that the danger is passed. Lyrica heaves a sigh in response to that, perhaps wishing her sister could have stayed more serious and less teasing.

"Uhm, we're all okay Zeke!" Lunasa speaks up herself, floating after her sisters, "Please, both of you, don't fight..." She pleads with them, back to trying to keep a degree of peace once more.

Rumia hops over a ridge next, bouncing towards you with an eager smile, "Zekey! Did you see it explode!? It was just all 'NOOOOooooooooo-ka-BOOM!"

...Well at least she's alright.

All you can do in response is sigh, but it's a happy, relieved sigh. "Good. We're taking some time off from exploring to recover from this. I'd help out more but..." You trail off, distinctly hoping that you're not still bleeding from the mouth.

You also note that you're probably going to have a huge bruise on your stomach from where the Dryad punched you.

You are, in fact, not bleeding from the mouth or externally at all with a simple check. It seems that SlKogasa has cleaned you up and has applied some sort of simple salve to the nicks and cuts you had all over you that's doing a good job of letting them scab over properly. Well, that's good to see!

"You're damn right you're taking a break from adventuring!" Lyrica snaps at you, temper apparently back as well, "You nearly died how many times? Not to mention how badly you were hit!" She's angry, but it seems like she's more upset about the situation than she is about you in particular, "You're going to rest until I'm satisfied you're okay!"

"Alright..." You could snipe back about how you'd be doing the same with her, but she can heal faster properly than you, and you're not in the mood to mess with her. She is worried about you, after all, as are all your girls. "...Is it just me, or does this place feel like it's lost its 'menace'?" You look around, feeling tired, less sore, but most of all lacking the apprehension and fear you felt before.

"Yes, I suppose that it does feel a bit less threatening. Killing the massive, murderous beast that was housed in the caverns beneath it might have had something to do with that change, I think." Merlin responds, tapping a finger at her lips in thought, "...Though maybe it's because those roots being torn off really brought out the color of the walls."

"Maybe it's both?" Rumia suggests, apparently taking Merlin's jests seriously.

"Oh, oh! Maybe it's because the tree isn't blocking out all the nice light anymore so this cavern's a lot brighter!" She continues on, looking around interestedly at it. You've...got to admit. You haven't seen the rest of the mansion yet, but this place alone looks...oddly quite beautiful. The light stones shine from where they lay, casting their patterns over many parts of the cavern and giving it a sort of serene beauty that is at odds with the damage and scars that now cover it.

"Yes, Merlin, I get it. I'm being captain obvious today." Still, you're looking over the area yourself and find yourself thinking that if you ever need a place to build an 'evil lair', that this place would fit the bill quite nicely. Not that you'd ever need such a thing, oh no.

"No need to be upset, darling." Merlin reaches out and runs a hand along your head, her touch and the feeling of her nails on your scalp soothing any ill will, "After all, you managed to lead us to achieving something magnificent today. Ayakashi are powerful beings, and it's because of you that we all managed to hang together and not only survive, but cripple it as much as we did."

"She's right Zekey. It's because of you that we're still here. If you hadn't warned us like you had, or been there to give us focus we..." Lunasa doesn't say it, not wanting to upset you further. Instead she reaches out and touches you as well, her hand resting on your shoulder.

"Thank you. All of you." You say, not really meaning to be snippy yourself. "And don't sell any of yourselves short either. If we were down even one girl, this wouldn't have ended as well as it did."

"Yeah, speaking of down a girl..." Lyrica looks around the room herself, "...Where'd that Youmu get to?"

"My, perhaps she was a ghost of a ghost herself, and passed on peacefully to the afterlife along with all the others?" Merlin teases, a grin on her face.

...That's right, where is SlshYoumu? You look around to see where she is, though you get the feeling that even if you knew where she was, you wouldn't want to disturb her right now.

Your search around the area reveals that she's not near you, but rather is...near the base of the spot the tree was once in. Near the same spot where you say that light converge into that bright point. She is standing next to something decently large, perhaps the size of a breadbox, that lies on the ground. You cannot read her expression from here, but you can see she's looking at something besides the object, something she's holding up that is glinting.

"...What's over there?" You ask, wondering what in the world the object on the ground is. You're a bit worried, seeing even if it's some kind of loot drop, it probably came from the Ayakashi.

"Huh? Oh I...I don't know." Lyrica admits as her sisters turn to regard where SlshYoumu is currently standing and the object near her, "I wasn't looking that way and came straight back to you, so..."

"Perhaps it dropped a megastone?" Merlin suggests, a teasing grin on her face.

Lyrica scoffs at that, "Those are just myths they tell to little chibis."

"Yes, just like human ghosts are just stories told to bad little girls to make them behave." Merlin responds back, a speculative look on her face.

"...What's a Mega Stone?" You feel the need to ask since you don't really know what your girls are talking about anymore.

"It's just some tale that some touhoumon like to tell, and only a few believe. Supposedly there's stone out there that can make touhoumon evolve in a special way unlike elemental stones or heart stones or any others. Supposedly each one is uniquely tied to a specific species of touhoumon. So there'd be a Reimu Stone, A Marisa Stone, that sort of thing."

"I believe that she called it 'Reimunite', dear sister." Merlin adds on, apparently content to let her sister explain it to you aside from that point.

"Yeah, that." Lyrica just absently agrees with her, "Anyway, I've never heard of anyone finding and using one, and since you've never even heard of them I'm gonna guess that humans haven't found any either."

You shake your head no. "Nope, or at least, nothing I've heard." So if it's not that, then what in the world is in that light shining where the Ayakashi died? "Should we go see what it is? Though Youmu's right there too, and I don't want to bother her..."

"We should. I mean, we should at least check on her anyway, right?" Lyrica responds, looking down at where Youmu is. You can see the Youmu shift what she's holding and put it away, tucking it down the neckline of her shirt for some reason.

You nod, feeling a touch reluctant to bother her right now for some reason. "Alright. Kogasa, could you please take me over to Youmu?" You ask your goo girl, since the odds are good she's not putting you down anytime soon.

SlKogasa hums thoughtfully as she moves...but you notice she's slower in carrying you now. In fact, you're not relaxing in her as readily or easily as you were before. Likely because she lost nearly half of her mass during that fight, which is limiting her ability to go hauling you around as she wills as readily.

Youmu remains where she is, turning her attention to you as you and SlKogasa make your approach, "Ah. Were you so wounded that you cannot walk? I was careless to be so late then. I should not have allowed those four to slow me down nor taken the time I did to prepare."

"No, I'm not quite that bad off. The Dryad punched me in the gut with enough force to launch me a bit, so I figure I should keep walking to a bare minimum for now." Plus, admittedly, you kinda needed the comfort. ...And maybe to figure out how to help SlKogasa get some of her mass back later. "Thanks for coming for us when you did, though if you don't mind my asking... if you're here, who's manning the way out? I didn't see a mechanism on this side."

"Ah. It appears that you had some followers. A pair of tengu touhoumon arrived while I was dealing with the servants who followed Yuyuko." Youmu explains, "Apparently they tracked you here but could not find their way past mansion until just a short time after when I believe you'd already engaged the Saigyou Ayakashi."

That made your eyebrows go up. "So they did get let go, or maybe ran away?" Your mind is whirring as you consider the possibilities, just what this meant. "That Aya and Hatate pair, I met them before coming here. They had quite the loveless life, enough to make them go a bit nuts from it, but I helped them with that. I didn't think they'd be able to follow me since they belonged to another person though."

"Perhaps they were released from their service then." Youmu responds, turning away from you and looking back down at the object at your feet, "I believe though that now the time has come to stop ignoring the elephant in the room...or perhaps, rather the tree." You glance down just the same and...yeah. Yeah. That's what you thought it was.

It's an egg.

Or, a seed you guess. A plant type egg? Whatever.

"How?" You ask, seeing the egg with your own eyes. You couldn't tell what it was from afar, but now there's no mistaking it. Somehow, some way, Ayakashi left something like this behind. "How did it manage this?"

"I do not know if it did." Youmu responds, staring down at the egg with an expression every bit as unreadable as she seems to regularly hold herself, "Consider. When the tree fell, the entire room lit up along with countless glyphs and runes in a script I myself cannot read. Perhaps they had something to do with this."

"They might have, but there's no real way to tell, is there?" You frown, feeling a great deal of inner conflict. On the one hand, it's an egg. Touhoumon born of eggs tend to be their own individual of the 'mother's' evolutionary line, but to put in metaphorical terms this is so far off the map that you can't see any landmasses you're familiar with.

"No, there is not. The only ones who could answer our questions are the ones who built this prison, and they are most likely long since gone." Youmu responds, eyes never leaving the egg, "...So tell me then, what does the new master of the house intend to do with this?"

You look at the egg long and hard, knowing that you have no idea what to expect should you take the egg. Yet at the same time... "An egg is a Touhoumon waiting to be born, left up to the care of a breeder or trainer to see to it that it hatches and sees the light of day. Leaving an egg unhatched down here in this prison would be immeasurably cruel." Despite every feeling you might have to the contrary, you reach down to pick up the egg, knowing just what kind of risk you're taking. "But on the flip side, even if it turns out to be another Ayakashi and it does turn out to be too much to handle, a freshly hatched mon won't be much of a threat. Plus I know where I can take it to where it can be taken care of properly, should I be unable to do so."

Though you stop and finally notice the other part of what Youmu said. "Master of the house?" That got you staring at her blankly.

"Correct. Milady, as the last known living Mustermann made it known to me her will. You are the new Master of this house, and its fate is what you choose. Should you choose to make use of it or...", She pauses, there being a slight hint of an emotion on her face for a moment before she quashes it back down and continues, "Should you choose to burn it down, that is your decision alone to make."

"I see..." You unconsciously hold the egg close to you as you think on it, though in all honesty it doesn't take long. "Well, if she left the mansion for me it'd only be right to make use of it. I mean, it's a mansion. Even with the history it has those are still pretty useful." Then another perk pops up into your head, though you're not sure you really want to bring it up right now. Your team's kind of at its limit right now without blatant cheating on your part, and you're not ready to attract that kind of attention yet.

Youmu's stance seems to loosen up, if only slightly, "Very well then. The Mansion is yours, and I shall give you a tour of your new holding...eventually. For now, I believe it best to get you somewhere better suited so that I might treat your wounds."

Lyrica speaks up, "Wait a second, why are you treating him? We should take him to a human doctor, or something!"

"Uhm...Slkogasa already applied something to his wounds." Lunasa speaks up, adding on her sisters statement.


Youmu turns and regards, one eyebrow moving up a millimeter, "You would carry your injured, quite possibly concussed master through the woods on a night of a waning moon to a human doctor while in the condition you're in?" Lunasa wilts, while Lyrica just seems to get more annoyed, "I am trained to perform this sorts of things. I served in such a capacity under milady since I was first capable of it, so if your concern is based off of a belief I do not have the skills needed to aid him, do not worry anymore."

"If your concern is that I might do something 'untoward' to him..." Youmu gives you a glance before looking back to them, "Do not worry yourself over that either. If it still bothers you so, one of you can remain with him while I care for him."

"We would've done that anyway." Lyrica snaps back, "Like I'd leave him alone in some spook house infested with who knows what."

"If that's the case, then we'll do it in shifts." Merlin speaks up, "And you won't be taking the first one, Lyrica."

"I-" Lyrica speaks up, turning on her sister only to get interrupted before she can build up steam.

"-was knocked out. You were injured the worst out of all of us, and used just as much energy if not more than us. You need a break, and if I have to put you to sleep and tuck you in myself I will, sister." Merlin stares her sister down.

"Uhm...please don't fight you two! Why don't I take the first watch? I was hit the least out of us all, and...I'm a little bit better about getting hit too." Lunasa suggests, getting between her siblings.

"Lyrica, if I weren't hurt I'd be making sure you got some rest myself." You say, noting that Lyrica is worried about you and that's why she's so fiery, but at the same time she needs to cool down a bit. "Please, stop pushing yourself so much. I know you're worried about me, but remember that it's a two-way street. I worry about you too, and like Merlin said you got hurt pretty bad."

Lyrica's eyes snap off of her sister and onto you, her gaze full of emotions too many for you to count before she turns away and throws up her hands, "Fine, whatever! Do what you want, you're the trainer anyway."

Merlin and Lunasa both let out a quiet sight behind their sister's back, though you suspect it's for different reasons entirely.

There's no real way to patch things up between her aside from letting her be stupid... like... you. Dear Shinki, you have to wonder how similar the two of you actually are at times. You wind up quietly sighing as well at the absurdity of the concept. "Well, Youmu, I leave myself in your hands." You say, knowing that there really aren't any feasible alternatives, at least none that Lyrica would ever agree to. Calling in your mother is right out, seeing as this would be the second time in the span of two weeks that she'd have had to perform surgery on you, and you don't want to know how badly she'd take you getting hurt even worse than last time.

"Of course." Youmu accepts your admission with all the grace of a perfect servant, "While I assist in transferring you, please send some of your team ahead to help the Tengu keep the doors open. They're likely tired themselves now."

"We'll do it." Lyrica responds before you can, kicking up off of the ground and zipping off towards the exit. Merlin just heaves a dreadfully put upon sigh and follows after her sister. Lunasa hesitates for a moment, looking between you, SlKogasa, Youmu and Rumia, who is currently staring directly at a one of the stones embedded in the ceiling. Finally though, Lunasa darts off after her sisters.

"She really does care." You say in a saddened tone, referring to the irked Prismriver who is no doubt displeased with your choice right now. "I just wish she could dial it back a bit. Not everyone's out to kill or rape me."

"Her concern for you is obvious." Youmu responds as she approaches, grasping your head with both hands and then leaning in towards you. Your eyes focus on her lips for a moment as she closes the distance and-

-stops, lips inches from yours as she nimbly uses her fingers to open your eyes and adjusts your head towards ceiling of the room so she can use the light from the stones to examine them more clearly, "Your eyes are normal, so that is one concern laid to rest."

...Staring up at the ceiling, in the center of the stones there's one that looks different. It's the same large size of the others, however it's a different color and shape. More like...a sun?

It's the same one Rumia was staring at before.

...and still is staring at, for that matter.

You can't help but ask about it at this point. "What's with that stone in the center of the cluster on the ceiling? Is it some kind of giant Sun Stone?" Given that Rumia's looking at it so intently, it must be something.

Youmu looks up, staring at the stone for a moment before returning her attention to you, "Yes, it is. Now, we should make our way back up to the house proper. I have a room in the guest wing prepared for this purpose. I'll make use of it for you until I can get the rest of the house back into proper order."

...Rumia is staring up at the sun stone still.

"Alright, and thank you." You say to the swordsmon before looking to Rumia. "Youmu and Kogasa are taking me back up to the house." You try to get her attention so she doesn't get herself trapped down here until someone can come back for her.

Rumia starts, looking back to you with an expression that makes you suspect she only just remembered what she was doing, "Oh, I, uh...okay! I'm coming!" She agrees, flouncing over to your side as SlKogasa shifts you inside of her, trying to reposition you for the journey.

You're not quite sure what was up with Rumia staring up at that gigantic Sun Stone, but you have a feeling that you now know why the Ayakashi was able to pull off Solarbeams like it did, and make a note on the side to not let any of your stone-compatible girls near it unless they knew exactly what it was. Still, it raised a question in your mind. "Youmu, if you don't mind my asking, how abundant are those stones and crystals?"

Youmu begins to guide you and your remaining mons out of the chamber, "I cannot be certain. I was never allowed in the areas they were mined, though I am aware of their locations. I'll prepare an inventory as soon as possible. What I can say is that there was enough of them to refill the coffers of the depleted house Mustermann several times over, and that there should still be more. With the Ayakashi dead...harvesting them should be little trouble."

"That's... the area around here is that rich in resources? Though with the Ayakashi there previously, anyone who wanted to get to it would have had have to find some way to bypass her." You frown as you recall your earlier theory as to why the seal had been broken on the Ayakashi, but now it's forming a slightly different image in your head. "No sense in lingering on that though, I'd like to bring up another point while I'm still awake. How many people does it take to maintain this place?"

Youmu pass through the hole that was once the door to this chamber before she answers you, SlKogasa carrying you along behind her and Rumia tailing you both, "If I had two assistants that I could rely on for the purposes of doing less complicated work, I could repair the manor in short order and keep it that way with little help."

You sigh in response to that, knowing that if Aya and Hatate are here they must have been kicked out or ran away and came here in search of you. Toss in the fact that a trainer can only have six mons with them at once, and it spelled out a rather convenient coincidence. "The Aya and Hatate that followed me here should be familiar with house keeping at least, but I'll want to make sure I have their consent before volunteering for anything. My Prismrivers would never allow me to bench them, and Kogasa here... she's skilled and a wonderful homemaker, I think, but I'd prefer she stays with me. Her situation's a touch complicated." You were rapidly running out of options anyway, since that left Rumia and an unhatched egg for remaining mons, and neither one would realistically fulfill what Youmu was requesting.

"If that is your will." Youmu responds simply, eyes forward as she leads you along the massive hallway that leads to the Ayakashi's chamber, "Once I have gotten you settled and begun your treatment, is there any particular order you wish for me to being repairing the parts of your new holding?"

"No, I'll leave it up to you. You know this place and what it needs far better than I do." You're deferring the choice to the one who offered it to you to begin with, but at the same time it makes sense to you.

"Then, I shall attempt to re-enable the communications array and see whether it still works." Youmu responds to your passing of the buck with simple acceptance, as she seems to with most things. "...You have a communications array? I wouldn't have thought a place like this would have its own dedicated array." That piques your interest, and also brings up another point in your mind. You're going to have to contact your mother at some point, and you just know Yume's going to flip out at you getting involved in something so thoroughly dangerous. Again.

You suppose you could...gloss over some of the details, such as your injuries. That alone would do wonders to keeping them from reacting poorly. "Yes. Milady's father had it installed so as to better do business. At the time it was cutting edge and capable of keeping information and conversations from being intercepted by anyone but their intended, from what I was told. Now though...I would imagine it to be quite out of date."

"It might be possible to get help for that eventually. My mother's the one who custom-made my Tablet, so she could probably take what you have and bring it up to speed at least." And perhaps make it into something inconspicuous yet military-grade that like your Tablet would most likely be illegal to even possess if anyone could get any proof of it. For some odd reason, you're kinda stuck on the evil lair idea now.

You suppose it just might be in your blood. "I shall keep that in mind then." Youmu responds as she guides you across the bridge, SlKogasa holding you close and tight as she slurps across, "Do you have any other questions you wish answered about this place?"

"Could you please tell me what facilities and production capabilities this place has? I saw a garden on the way in." Now your curiosity has been well and truly piqued, and you want to learn as much as you can so perhaps you can start helping in organizing things around here.

"Much as it might surprise you, given the circumstances, this manor is just that. There are no hidden factories to produce various sundries for you. The garden though holds merit." Youmu responds, "I've done all I could to keep it maintained while attempting to perform my other duties required of me, and I am proud to say that it still serves its functional purpose of providing berries, fruits and vegetables for use in cooking, as well as a small section of vine meant to be used to produce wine as a hobby of Erika's father. Given a chance to bring in properly in line, there might be chance to expand parts of the garden should you wish it."

"I'll bear that all in mind, though I wasn't thinking that this place was a factory of any sort. The garden sounds nice though, I'd like to be able to see it once it's up to speed." Youmu is a mon that typically has an affinity for gardening, some individuals more than others, so you have no doubt that once those unruly plants were brought into line it would be quite picturesque. "...Right, before I forget again, are mons like that Ghost variant Sakuya still around? Judging from what you've requested of me so far, it sounds like you have no intention of keeping them around. Not that I mind that, given how they're likely wild mons."

"They have all been...'dealt with'." Youmu responds as you begin to make your ascent up the steep incline out of the cavern, Youmu leading the way, her skirt fluttering perilously close to giving you a view-green stripes, "Most wild touhoumon avoid this place like the plague, both due to my reaction to their presence and the Ayakashi's actions while it was under Milady’s father's control."

You breathe a sigh of relief upon having Youmu confirm that the wild Ghost variants aren't here anymore. "I can certainly understand that. I presume that the Ayakashi could attack things from outside its prison? A set of logs belonging to one of the victims described giant roots blocking certain routes to funnel her toward the mansion."

"Indeed it could. When milady's father brokered his deal with it, the Ayakashi agreed to defend the settlers here from any wild touhoumon attack in exchange for a yearly sacrifice. Wild touhoumon that did attack would be grasped by roots and dragged under the earth by the Ayakashi under most circumstances. Those that avoided its reach were dealt with by I or Yuyuko, mostly." Youmu explains to you the specifics of the situation, "After milady's father departed on his attempt to find the means to rescue her...Ayakashi found the means here and there to slip its roots up into parts of the house. I suspect Yuyuko assisted it in that task, for I doubt it could have done it alone."

"How horrifying... I guess I just got lucky that I never ran into those spots, or it just wasn't interested in me until I gave it reason to be." Wraiths, hostile wild mons, the RSMYuyuko, and even the Ayakashi itself could have attacked you in places. You were walking a tightrope, weren't you?

"If it soothes your worries any, you arrived here when Ayakashi had mostly withdrawn its influence. It was being forced to spend more and more of its energy and resources on...keeping Milady's body sustained." Youmu informs you as you turn a corner and you see a distant light waiting for you ahead.
No. 177395
"And it's gone now." That's all you can get out as Youmu's tactful assessment of why the Ayakashi wouldn't bother making your life more problematic than it already was brings your memory of plunging the knife into Erika's heart right back up to the surface. You spend at least a few minutes trying to calm back down from that, at least enough to where you can talk to your girls normally and not set Lyrica off any worse than you already have.

"Yes." Youmu responds back just as simply, slowing her pace as you continue your ascent up. Did she notice that you needed the time, like some kind of perfect and elegant servant?

"Sorry, it's hard to even think about things relating to her without setting myself off right now." SlshYoumu knows who you're referring to, and can easily tell just how much it's affected you. Erika was a kind girl who deserved none of the hardship and hell handed to her, and in the end she could only get a bittersweet ending at best. Yet what you feel is likely nothing compared to what Youmu feels right now, and is keeping it under no doubt tight wraps so she can take care of you.

"It's because you're so soft." Youmu responds, her pace staying at the same slow and steady she's chosen to give you the time you need even as the exit looms before you, "...But, it's not bad to be that soft. It's what attracted Milady to you, I think."

"You think so...?" You ask, honestly not sure how to take that little bit of information. Erika had taken an interest in you, but you weren't sure of her intent. She asked for help, she wanted you to be her knight, you think...

Maybe you never understood what that meant?

"Yes." Youmu responds with a single word as you make your final approach to the gates and pass through them. There inside of the room you can see the Prismrivers holding open one side of the mechanism while a familiar Aya and Hatate lean against another side, keeping the mechanism open and beating their wings as you pass through. Once Rumia is out behind you, they move out of the way and the mechanism quickly seals itself back shut, locking the caverns below away once more.

"Well, hey there." Aya greets you with a grin, waving with one hand as she relaxes against the mechanism and uses it for support, "I'd greet you properly, but you don't look like you're in the condition for it."

"It's good to see you again." Hatate greets you herself, a touch more formal with hints of nervousness in her posture.

"It's nice to see you both again!" You take the welcome distraction and let your joy at seeing them again shine through. "What happened with you two? Youmu told me you followed me out here and were looking for me, did you get kicked out or run away?"

"The former. We told you that we weren't going ot leave while we were owned. We...couldn't." Hatate responds, rubbing her upper left arm with her right hand.

"Yeah, see." Aya speaks up to explain the situation to you, "To make a long story short: She came back, she found out about some of our 'extra activities', read us a riot act and called us disgraces, sent us back to the boy who caught us who just released us instead of anything else and..." She shrugs, "Now we're here."

...That doesn't really explain how they found you though.

"How'd you find me, though?" You ask the simple question while still relaxing in your odd position of being in a SKogasa with a worryingly large amount of her slime gone and hugging a seed-like egg in your arms.

"A reporter can always track down her mark!" Aya informs you with a cheeky grin and holding up her hand to show you a 'v' for her victory.

"And a girl is allowed to have some secrets." Hatate adds on, apparently following Aya's lead on the matter. You notice her pull out the odd phone-like device that all Hatate have and examine it for a moment before tucking it away again.

...Don't Hatate have some kind of... Ah well, it's not important. "I can accept that answer, and if you want to know if I'll take you in, the answer is yes." You also decide to cut to the chase and let them know they're welcome to join you.

"Great! That saves us the trouble of having to make you beat us up and catch us!" Aya claps her hands together once in excitement, "You don't seem the type to get off on that anyway."

"I don't know, he did seem to enjoy us being bound while he had his wicked way with us." Hatate responds, eyes sliding from Aya and over to you.

Youmu shows no response to that claim save to glance at you for a moment and then look away, as if what she heard was completely unsurprising.

That or maybe she just has a good poker face.

All that did was make you blush from embarrassment and hug the egg a bit tighter, since Hatate's not one-hundred percent wrong. Seventy-five percent to fifty at least though. You don't try to defend yourself from that though, since literally anything you say would just make the situation worse. "A-anyway, the mansion's not set up to be a replacement for the PC storage box, but I still need to mark you two as mine." You say, feeling that you're probably going to get mercilessly teased for your wording, but they know darn well what you mean...!

"If you wish to wait, you can." Youmu speaks up to inform you of something important, "After all, should you catch them now they would be transported away, wouldn't they? You wouldn't be able to retrieve them until you were able to return to town, and that would be some days time from now."

"Well, not unless I wanted to do something wholly illegal to bypass that, but I'm not interested in attracting that kind of attention to myself. Plus, it's not like any trainers are going to come wandering around here anytime soon." You continue to rationalize it in your mind, still worried but at least willing to accept that it'd be better to hold off for now. You take one more deep breath... "You're right, I'll wait on the actual capture for now until everything's sorted out."

"A wise decision. Now, I shall take you to the guest wing. All of you, please follow me." Youmu speaks up, her tone brooking no argument as she begins to shepherd you all out of the lower levels and through that long dirt hallway. Lyrica is leading the Prismrivers from the front, urging them down the hall past Youmu and staying well outside of comfortable conversational range. Hatate and Aya follow along at your sides, both of seeming quite happy to not have to spend a few days in the box. SlKogasa lets out an odd noise that you eventually parse as a sigh as she soldiers on along behind Youmu. Rumia...

Rumia is trailing along behind you, a thoughtful and unfocused expression on her face.

You can't help but notice this bit of odd behavior, especially since Rumia's proven herself to be a touch odd more than once since you caught her. "What's on your mind, Rumia?" You ask, feeling curious about what she might be thinking about.

"...huh?" Rumia starts a moment after you speak to her, "Hmm? Uh...it's nothing Zekey! I'm just hungry and thirsty and want to sleep in a bed again is all!" She responds, grinning at you widely with a show of sharp teeth.

"Alright, just curious~" You're not quite ready to accept that answer, but you're still kinda tired and don't feel like pushing it further. You relax into SlKogasa's hold again with the Ayakashi's egg in your arms, and wonder about what it'll be like when it hatches.

That's...something you don't even have a clue on. The idea of meeting such a thing never crossed your mind on your way down to there. You don't know the first thing about Ayakashi's. That's...something you'll probably have to research, or maybe ask your mother about. If anyone knows, she would.

Rumia seems to be happy now and focuses on you rather than daydreaming any further. Behind you, Aya and Hatate make idle chatter with one another, but you find yourself fading fast as the exhaustion begins to catch up with you. You hang on as you make your way through the building, up the various stairs and across from west to east, Youmu leading the way the whole while. This whole place...it feels a lot better not covered in a mysterious and ominous fog and shrouded in eternal darkness.

Youmu opens up one door, revealing a room with several beds within it, "You Prismrivers can make use of this room. It is directly across from where your master will be resting in."

Still, you try to stay awake just that little bit longer. You're not even sure why at this point, you just want to try and remember where they'll be when you're better and can go visit them. Maybe try to apologize to Lyrica proper for upsetting her again.

Merlin half drags Lyrica into the room, shutting it behind her as she goes to no doubt get her sister to get the rest she needs. That all of them need.

"If you could all please wait here for a moment, I need to tend to your master while he is still conscious." Youmu asks of your team as she steps forward and scoops you up out of SlKogasa's embrace. Lunasa follows after you into the room...followed by the rest of the team as well. Youmu gives them a look that you cannot see yourself that leads to most of them huddling in the doorway rather than coming in any further. The room you are in now has a clean, sterile smell to it and is reasonably if sparsely decorated. The most welcome sight in it is the bed that Youmu is carrying you to. She shoves aside the covers as she sets you down on it carefully, "I need you to stay awake just a bit longer, Zeke."

Which is a tall order at this point, since you're not running on adrenaline anymore and are pretty much spent. You nod in compliance and try to focus to give her a bit more time to do whatever it is she needs to do.

Youmu begins to carefully check over your body, touching you here and there where you feel a faint buzz, "Hmmm...it's not as bad as I had feared. Still, you must stay in bed and give your body a chance to rest and heal for at least a day or two even with what I can use to help you. I shall have something prepared for you when you wake. Should you have any need for me, just call out. Though, I am certain you shall have at least one guard with you at all times."

Lunasa shifts further into the room, taking a seat on a chair in front of the dressing table. She has a determined look on her face.

"Alright..." Your voice trails off as Youmu essentially tells you that you're okay enough, and look to Lunasa with a tired smile as you consider conking out right then and there.

Lunasa smiles at you in return, only to flinch when Youmu suddenly turns on her, "While you serve as his guard, you must ensure that no one stresses his body while he rests. That includes both himself and yourself. No getting up from bed, no twisting himself about and absolutely no hanky panky. That would just be asking to worsen the bruising and tearing and give him damage bad enough we'd have to ferry him to a full human hospital."

"Yes ma'am." Lunasa responds to the older, more powerful ghost mon who is giving her commands.

Oh dear. Well, you are injured so it makes sense that you'd have to hold off on that, and oddly enough you're really not in the mood for that. Which probably ties back to the whole gut punch deal. That definitely sucked.

"Good. Now, if the rest of you would follow me I can see to it that you're taken care of." Youmu turns and makes for the door, the various touhoumon there backing out of the way. You hear them chattering about something, but you're just so tired...

"Night, Luna..." You yawn partway through saying Lunasa's name, and nod off pretty quick after that. You're tapped out, done for now, and ready to see what dreamland offers you to keep you from getting bored.

CHOICES
[ ] One last 'talk' between the princess and her knight.

[ ] A fiery maiden's 'pure' thanks.

[ ] Surprise visit from a recurring specter and her doll.

[ ] All of them, in turn.

[ ] All of them, at the same time.
No. 177396
[×]Box number 5
The funny pick. Can't get spoilers to work so I just went by number.
No. 177398
[X] All of them, in turn.
No. 177400
[X] All of them, in turn.

I wonder what crazy/erotic things will happen?
No. 177401
[x] All of them, at the same time.

Can't not vote this.
No. 177402
[x] All of them, in turn.

Not sure how well they'd mix.
No. 177403
I forget but how big is the mansion? Was there any mention of how many rooms or whatever it had? All I know is that it was a weird mixture of half-Western and half-Eastern style.
No. 177404
So let me ge this straight:

our mon now include the two Tengu (but a stay at home variety)

And Youmu's sticking around as a servant (not so much our mon)
No. 177405
Uhh, who is the fiery maiden supposed to be?
No. 177408
[X] All of them, in turn.

All at the same time could be funny, but it feels like it would be a figurative (and probably literal, given certain implications) clusterfuck in this situation.

>>177404
They've not been properly captured yet, but yeah, it's pretty much decided that Aya and Hatate are part of our group now.
I was thinking about if we should be asking Youmu if she wants to be re-captured since Zeke is now the official owner of the mansion and she is a stray, with Erika gone.

That brings our current number of 'mons up to seven (nine, counting SlshYoumu and the egg. Ten with the MerKoishi's agreement to come with us once we've gotten a few badges.
Zeke is lucky SlKogasa can basically synthesize energy drink-viagra, because this is almost getting out of hand.)

>>177405
The only one referred to as "fiery" in this update was one of the Prismrivers, but "pure thanks" doesn't quite fit the situation.
Since the other votes are about people we previously met in the mansion (Erika and the ghost girl), maybe the female trainer we found?

>>177396
It's [ spoiler ] and [ /spoiler ] without the spaces.
Like this.
No. 177411
[X] All of them, in turn

I wonder what would happen if Rumia tried to evolve with a sun stone? Her ribbon got pretty torn up in the fight, and I wouldn't be surprised if that's another special evolution condition.
No. 177412
[x]All of them, in turn.

>>177411
We should ask Rumia if she wants to evolve with the Sun Stone after we get her happiness up, Advent Rumia would be pretty awesome.
No. 177413
[x] All of them, in turn.

I'm curious, but I think that a series of one-on-one conversations would work better.
No. 177418
>>177412
Not sure if that's even possible as she doesn't have much in the role in the comics.
No. 177419
[x] all in turns
No. 177422
>>177408
I think we should think of a way to keep those two trained as we might need them to battle someday. As cool as a ghost themed team is, it's also a big glaring weakness.
No. 177423
>>177422
Wouldn't Rumia cover up the weaknesses from having a ghost-themed team? I'm not saying we shouldn't train the Aya and Hatate, but is it as bad as you claim?
No. 177424
>>177423
considering how the sisters are the core of the team, I'd say it'd be something, that and one mon alone can't exactly make up for 3 others.
No. 177433
>>177424
Yeah, half the team being pure ghosts really narrows our options and tactics down.
I remember that if you wanted to have a successful team in pokemon, that wasn't tailored for PvP or a specific gym, you basically wanted one of everything so that you could adapt to whatever your opponent throws out.

Although Rumia really helps (Dark being pretty much the exact opposite of Ghost, along with Normal), we really should try to avoid picking up any more ghosts on our more permanent team roster.
MerKoishi is Water/Psychic (I assume), so that's good. Two more, completely different, types added to the team, meaning we get more options as far as type advantage/disadvantage goes.
No. 177434
[X] Surprise visit from a recurring specter and her doll.

I'm just very curious who this and that is.
No. 177436
[x] One last 'talk' between the princess and her knight.
No. 177437
>>177434
>There's a girl, one unfamiliar to you. She has long, curly blond hair and is wearing a bright blue dress and a white smock in the front of it. She has her hair tier up slightly using a bright blue bow that matches her dress' pattern perfectly.

Her description reminds me of Alice from Alice in Wonderland.
No. 177438
[x] All of them, in turn.

Is Erika's spirit still using Youmu's ghost half? If we end up having sexy time with Erika, will Youmu feel it?
No. 177439
[X] All of them, at the same time.

I can't resist wondering how this would go...
No. 177442
[X] All of them, in turn.

Why would we refuse anyone?
No. 177451
Regarding the "fiery maiden's pure thanks", if it is the female trainer will we also get to see her Touhoumon involved in the "thanks" as well?
No. 177452
Also I've been wondering, if a human-Mon pairing, like say one with a captured human by a wild Mon, has a Mon as their child, does the Westermark Effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westermark_effect) kick in or would the Mon child want to do it with their father?
No. 177454
>>177395
[x] All of them, in turn.
No. 177458
>>177452

As with quite a few other things in this story, it varies. The two biggest factors are what the 'father's' role in that scenario is, and the nature of the individual daughter herself. If the father was essentially treated as cattle, then there's no Westermark Effect involved. If he was more a lover with his 'wife' and helped raised the mon, then the odds are good it might take effect, though the daughter would still prefer someone like her father.

The odds of the Westermark Effect occurring increases if the mon who kidnapped the boy/man is one of the more human ones (don't make the mistake that mons think like humans do. They look similar and can be hard to distinguish at times, but they run under a different thought pattern.) Whereas more animalistic or those less 'human' might not develop that.

Then there's just plain old personal preference peppered here and there.

As for the votes, all the girls in turn has eleven votes going for it, three for having them all at once, then two votes that each call for a different scene. I'm gonna go ahead and close this vote up, 'cause I don't think it's going to veer in any other direction at this point.
No. 177459
>>177458
Interesting.

How good are Mons at treating humans if they get sick? Like if someone was a plaything or whatever at an Eientei, would the resident Eirin be able to treat the human if he got sick?
No. 177460
>>177459

It varies, but generally mons are able to treat sick humans, or at least get or get them to help. As for an Eirin, they're doctors by trade. It'd be more surprising to find one that couldn't do that.
No. 177461
Wait, our mom's name is Mary? Hah. Took me long enough.
No. 177462
>>177460
I would've thought their medicines would be more useful for a Mon than a human. I'm pretty sure Mons would require more powerful medicines than humans considering how much tougher they are.

>>177461

>>177334
So it appears.
No. 177464
>>177462
I was more laughing because I got the reference after a moment and it amused me.
No. 177465
>>177464
A reference to Maribel? Or is she also a Touhoumon?
No. 177467
>>177465
Maribel is the main player character of the Touhoumon series, so Mary is effectively the female equivalent of The Boy in Red. Catching and breaking every single Touhoumon? Trivially defeating the Elite Four? Pshaw.
No. 177468
If we decided to take SlhYoumu's offer to leave, told mom the story and asked her to reinforce us for on the second attempt, would she have agreed? and if so how much will have changed?
No. 177469
>>177465

Oh, now thats incredibly interesting, and also amusing since earlier I was randomly musing if shes related to the Boy in Red somehow.
No. 177470
>>177469
Not really directly related, no, but is still at Legendary Former Player Character status.
No. 177472
>>177462

They can treat both just fine, you know.

>>177465

Mary Mason is neither Maribel nor a Touhoumon. She's her own unique individual.

>>177468

She might have, but there wouldn't have been a second trip because Erika basically slipped Zeke in under the radar and RSMYuyuko would have been made aware of this and taken steps to prevent him from returning. And Zeke would still be cursed by the doll. Among other unpleasantries that would result from leaving the mansion early.
No. 177473
>>177472
What was RSMYuyuko thinking whenever she saw Zeke in the mansion then? Also wasn't Zeke trapped in the mansion considering the logs from that female trainer mentioned she couldn't get out from the mansion?
No. 177474
>>177472

What does RSMYuyuko stand for? I think the SM is shrine maiden, but I could never figure out the R, and I never noticed it mentioned either time I read through the story...
No. 177475
Oops, forgot to sage. Sorry about that
No. 177476
>>177474

Rope Shrine Maiden
http://www.cameraslens.com/fatalframewiki/index.php5?title=Rope_Shrine_Maiden
No. 177477
>>177473

Y'know, I know you're a reader and it's only natural that you'd be curious about the setting, but to be quite honest you've been asking for a literal metric ton of information, ranging from simple requests for obscure information to outright spoilers for what's to come. Maybe instead of doing that constantly, you could try figuring things out yourself for once?
No. 177481
>>177476

Thank you for that link! That was very informative! I guess that means that Yuyuko would be a parody of that type of ghost then. That's good to know.
No. 177522
>>177476
Well, now this Yuyuko horrifies me even more and I wonder how the hell she got that power.
No. 177542
>>177522

My first guess is it has something to do with a requirement of sacrificing humans or something to become it.
No. 177544
Sage! Darn it.
No. 177546
>>177544
It's only been 4 days. It's not like he was necroing anything.
No. 177547
>>177546
Then why did you sage?
No. 177548
>>177547
Not >>177546 but I can answer anyway.
Because it's not a vote. It's only proper to sage when not voting/updating.
No. 177549
>>177547
Frankly for a post that was only 4 days after the last post, I probably shouldn't have saged.
No. 177558
Your sleep is an uneasy one, despite the fact that the Ayakashi's been destroyed and your girls are all intact and still with you. Of course, given what you had to see and endure the entire time you were here, it only stands to reason that you aren't fully recovered from all that had happened yet. You still have a few worries, not the least of which was whether you truly managed to save Erika in time. Youmu gave you no reason to believe otherwise, but still... Maybe it's just because you wanted to meet her one last time.

Another issue that's creeping up on you is that you know Lyrica's going to be annoyed with you for a while. You only want her to be safe and take care of herself, but she's easily as devoted to you as you are to her. It just doesn't quite feel healthy to you.

Your half-conscious thoughts and musings are interrupted by a sensation that rouses more of your mind. You see something before you, a light that coaxes and draws you to it. Unable to resist, you find yourself reaching out towards the light like a mouth drawn towards a flame as it grows larger and larger in your vision until-

You blink the pain from your eyes as you adjust to the sudden light. You are in a vast, white expanse with no discernible features or horizon. There is nothing in front of you in the direction you are looking at all. Just...nothingness. You hear something around you, perhaps a faint whispering or buzzing sound but you cannot parse what it is.

Suddenly from behind you, you hear a voice. "Hello Zeke."

You turn around to face whoever is talking to you, feeling your heart skip a metaphorical beat as you hear that voice. "Erika?" You guess, not necessarily unsure of the situation, yet not quite believing it.

Indeed it is Erika behind you, and looking better than she ever had before. She is wearing the same white sundress she met you in during that fateful tournament, and holds the wide brimmed hat that goes with it in her lap. Her expression is free of any signs of worry or pain now and a gentle, pleased smile graces her face as she watches you with bright eyes, "Oh, I'm ever so glad to have the chance to see you again, my hero." She holds her hands to her chest, crossing them over one another and sighing contently, "Please, come take a seat with me, Zeke."

You only just now notice the furniture, so focused on Erika you were. She is sitting in a chair almost every bit as white as the vast expanse you yourself lie in, all the details and play of shadows on it letting you see it. There is a matching table next to her, and another chair across from her.

You waste no time in sitting down across from her, and can't help but stare a bit. After all, she really is doing better than before and it reflects in her very appearance. "Of course." You say just as you sit down proper. "I'm glad I made it in time, I wasn't sure if I had freed you properly when the Ayakashi pulled your body inside it."

"No my hero, what you did saved me. Had you not done what you had, it would have no doubt tried to 'preserve' me another way, by parasiting me as it did the other victims." She shakes her head as she responds, hands daintily resting one atop the other on the table between you both, "I must thank you again for taking such a horrible burden upon yourself for my sake Zeke. I cannot even begin to express the enormity of what you did for me. I held no illusions about what would happen to me, but...you saved me. Even in the face of those threats to yourself, you did everything you could to put me to rest."

"It's no problem. I couldn't very well leave you to become like the other wraiths." Your reply is simple enough, and it's amusing how she's gone from being formal to downright casual, even if she is referring to you as her hero. Which isn't exactly unearned. "Though those threats were never just a threat to myself. My girls put themselves on the line for my sake just as much as I did for you." Which is quite truthful, seeing as your going through with this despite the danger would have been seen as borderline suicidal by anyone sane. "...Ah, what became of the other sacrifices?"

"They have passed on, I believe. They were thankful for what you've done, but..." Erika wrings her hands, thinking of how to explain something, "The majority of them simply sought rest and respite after what they'd been through. Other spirits still bound to this house have passed on as well. Mr. Sorenson, The Butler..." Erika's expression is...pained at that, though relieved as well, "He passed on as well, but spoke to me a final time and asked that I pass on a message for you from him."

"Might I ask what it is?" You ask, noting that oddly enough, your earlier tension and worry has been eased considerably.

"He wished to thank you for your actions, and apologized if he startled or frightened you. He said he was...was not always very aware of his actions and was much in a haze, but tried to guide you when he could to something that could help you." Erika's fingers shift and interlock with each other, "Mr. Sorenson was...he was a good and kind man."
"Ah. His help was appreciated then, he did manage to succeed in that." Which was no small feat, if the man was simply hanging on as long as he could for someone to arrive and end things or good. "And there's nothing to apologize for. He was probably the only other spirit aside from you who didn't wish me harm. ...Though the wraiths didn't feel as though they were outright malicious for the most part. Harmful, but not evil."

"You are correct there, Zeke." Erika responds, hands folded primly on the table before her, "They were...not truly aware. They were in pain and...their deaths were truly horrific. Bound as they were to the mortal plane they were consumed by that pain which never faded and hounded by their final thoughts. That alone would be enough to drive many mad."

"I see..." You say in response. "Well, at least it's finally over, right? They can finally move on and so can... you..." You have to take a moment to take a deep breath as that too-soft side of you reminds you that this is the same girl who's been trapped in a box for Shinki knows how long, only seeing a fleeting glimpse of the world before she has to move on. "...Sorry, I just thought of how bittersweet this whole ending is. I freed you, but you only got one glimpse of the world outside the mansion, didn't you?"

Erika smiles at you, her expression gentle as she responds, "You may call it that Zeke, but it is not overly bitter for me. I had...accepted my fate. It is through no fault of your own that it happened to me, my hero. From birth I was doomed one way or another due to my disease, the same one that claimed my mother."

Her smile grows just a touch and her eyes crinkle around the edges as the smile reaches them, "More over, I had a chance to meet my hero just as I always dreamed. That is enough for me."

You nod in response. "Well, I'm glad I got to help you with that much at least. Though I think I fit the dashing rogue persona more than the white knight." You can't help but think about Erika's love of novels, and how she seems to have based some scarily accurate ideas about your life based on what she's read. "Though I wish I could act on my selfish wish to show you a bit more of the world you never got to see."

"I'll settle for taking the chance to get to know you, however. All we had before now were two brief meetings." Still, you're not totally sure what to ask about her.

Erika's smile brightens, and her pale cheeks gain a tint of color as you show an interest in getting to know her better, "Oh my, that's why I came here as well. Even though I knew you were my hero when I met you, I never had the chance to truly learn of you."

"Ah, shall I indulge your interest first, or shall I ask about you?" You're already lining up an appropriate line of responses to any questions she may want to ask you, while simultaneously trying to come up with some you would want to ask her. Hopefully, you'll be good to go either way.

"Oh my. Why don't you go first then, Zeke? I'm afraid that I'm so excited and flustered that my mind is drawing a blank on what sort of questions I should ask you." She admits, looking away embarrassed and covering her mouth with one hand.

"As you wish." You say, thinking of what you want to ask first. "What was it like growing up for you?" It's a simple question, but one that could lead into so many more things. You have a feeling that it could move into some interesting comparisons between your lives if it works right.

Erika takes in a breath, chest expanding out and then collapsing back in as she lets out a sigh, "That is...I am afraid it's not very exciting. I grew up in the Holy Nassau Empire in the earliest parts of my youth, but I can scarcely remember them...much like my mother." She admits, her distaste for that fact evident, "Mother's sickness grew worse shortly after I was born. My father sought any means to cure her, but no doctor or 'miracle' could remove her illness it seemed. He burnt through much of the Mustermann fortune in his attempts, and when she passed away...they say father changed."

"Anyway," She shifts in her seat and then quickly shifts on ahead in the topic, "Due to circumstances, we could not remain in the Holy Nassau Empire and recover, though I do not know in specific what those circumstances were. Father...always tried his best to shield me from the worst of the world. Or perhaps, even most of the world." She admits, eyes focused on the table in front of her and staring at her hands which hold each other tight, "...That's when he heard of the rush for the New Continent, and of the 'opportunity' waiting there. He brought me there with him, along with the servants and workers we had the means to afford. He invested the whole remaining Mustermann fortune into an expedition here. He was the first to reach this area of the New Continent and quickly established a small town there. I...know little of what happened outside of the town. Father kept me in the house, and often in my own room, for my own good. I've always been a touch weak and sickly, so I could do little but read in my room, or speak with those that I was able to." Erika's expression shifts, becoming wistful as she continues, "Father always tried his best then for me. Every day he would come back and eat dinner with me and tell me grand stories of all the amazing things he was discovering. I know now just how much of a struggle those first days were."

"Later though, father's expeditions would have to go further afield and he would be away for days at a time. Youmu kept me company then. She always did." Erika smiles, her eyes seeming to gaze back on fond memories as she speaks to you, "I received Youmu from my father when I was quite young. She was with me back even when we still lived in the Holy Nassau Empire. She would listen to me speak on and on about stories, both the ones I read and the ones I made up in my head and never grew impatient with me like some would, and she always worked so hard to make sure the view outside of my window was lovely and vibrant, making sure I had countless kinds of flowers to watch over."

"...I did not always live in the manor you know." She changes topics suddenly, her expression shifting to something less focused on fond memories, "Father constructed several homes at the time, and I believe some of them even now still exist in One Tree. I had no chance to see them myself while I was there, though. Mustermann Manor was built..." Erika sighs, expression clouded and upset, "I would suppose he first began construction after he discovered the sealed cavern and broke through it to find the Ayakashi. I do not know the details of the meeting, even now. I do know that the attacks stopped and construction and expedition efforts increased drastically, leading to the manor itself which served as home for my father and I and many servants and workers that my father held in high regard. It was...nice." Erika informs you, "At the time, everyone was kind and excited. Father had found caverns full of valuable gems and stones and had made his money back ten-fold already. I was even allowed to spend time in the garden and leave my room more regularly because my father felt us secure and safe."

"...But..." Erika's expression darkens, "As the years wore on, people noticed it. That every year a young woman would disappear at around the same time every year. Usually an outsider or new arrival, but occasionally when one wasn't there..." Erika shakes her head, "People started to leave, ones with wives and daughters especially. Some said it was a curse on the place, or that there was some sort of monster attacking in secret. Others said that my father was responsible for it." Erika's expression becomes bitter, a sight unpleasant for you to see, "I suppose in the end all of them were correct."

"...As time wore on, my physical condition worsened. My father didn't notice at first, so drawn up in managing affairs as he was. Youmu did her best to care for me, but...one day I collapsed in the hall outside of my room." Erika grimaces, "Father punished Youmu for that, not stopping until I managed to call out for him to. He brought in a special doctor, one from the Holy Nassau Empire. The Doctor...told him that I had developed the same condition my mother had, and that it was only a matter of time at best."

"Father...was devastated, and reacted the same as he had for my mother. He sought out any treatment, and cure he could find until...I suppose he went to the Ayakashi, hoping to bargain with it. I know now that it told him that it needed some a 'Dew from the Flower Closest to the Sun' in order to cure me, but..."

"...I was already very far gone then." She continues on, attemtping to soldier on so she can answer your question despite her discomfort, "Father decided to...to...to ask Ayakashi to preserve me until his return so he could cure me."

"...Mr. Sorenson tried to stop him, I remember that." Erika continues, eyes downcast and focused on the table as her shoulders shake slightly, "He was one of the people who would speak with me as often as he could, and his family had served the Mustermann family for quite some time. He tried to stop my father on the bridge, telling him that he should have stopped him long before but that he wouldn't let him do 'that' to me. I was barely conscious then, but I remember him trying to grab my father, and then Yuyuko came up behind him and..."

"...And then he was gone." Erika's voice is very small, "I can remember it more clearly now that my end has come. Father took me across the bridge, carrying me there and into the Ayakashi's chamber. I can remember thinking that the tree was beautiful, but wondering why it was underground. He spoke with it, and brought me up to the trunk which took me and...I felt somethings slip into my skin, pain and then..."

"...When I next woke up, it was lying on my bed in a body not my own, Youmu standing above me with an expression of pain I never wished to see on her face." Erika admits.

That was an extremely long answer, but it's clear that Erika had an avalanche's worth of tale to tell and there was no good place to stop her. You allowed her to finish, then slid off your chair, moved to her, and pulled her into a light hug. You really couldn't think of anything else to do.

Erika starts when you wrap your arms around her, but doesn't move to break free from you. You find your face being buried in her hair and notice that it smells nice, like faint daisies or something. "Thank you Zeke. I suppose that I rambled a bit there, my apologies."

"It's fine. I asked the question and you answered. You just had a big answer." You don't let go of her just yet, staying with her like that for a minute more before making the attempt to return to your own seat. "It hurts for me to know that this is all I can do for you. You didn't deserve any of the misfortune you've endured, and yet..."

"I already told you Zeke, you don't need to be upset or hurt about this. It was never your decision or action, and you've done nothing but help and be kind to me. I was born with the disease and born into the situation I was. You had no control over it." Erika's smile is gentle and kind as she wraps her arms lightly around you in return, squeezing you softly yet awkwardly, as if she's not quite sure how to hug a boy, "I accepted it a long time ago. The world is cruel, but beautiful. While I would have liked to have seen more...meeting my hero is enough for me."

You find that she's not releasing you, which is fine by you. She feels nice to hold like this. "I know. Your Youmu did say I was too soft for my own good, though I think one would have to be heartless not to feel something after hearing about your life."

Erika sighs, "I know now more than I already did Zeke. The world is cruel, just like I said." Erika pulls you towards her, and find yourself suddenly sitting in a loveseat meant for two, a piece of furniture you were sure wasn't there a moment ago, considering Erika was sitting in a chair like yours, "My story may not be uncommon, or at least stories as bad as my own."

You blush a bit as you find yourself in a position of greater intimacy than the one you were in originally. "You're right about that, I think. My life was borderline idyllic, at least until screwed up by going to the White Tower." You snuggle up to her a bit more, then continue. "Would you like to hear about my life prior to that?"

"I'd love to know everything about you Zeke." Erika responds, her hug releasing you though you find her hand to remain on your lap, a soft pressure there as she watches you with rapt interest, apparently content to hear what you wish to share.

"Well, I was born and raised in a small, quiet town that's just called Higa's Town, since it was only established recently and the mayor who founded it hasn't stepped down from his position yet." It's nice being able to just sit with her like this, you think. "It's in a clearing within a forest, with trees surrounding it on all sides and only two official routes going in and out of it. There's a little side path that leads to the White Tower, but there's usually someone stationed there to keep adventurous kids from heading out there."

"It's also not a big town either, it's got a few families in it, mine included, and the only fame to claim the place can make is that it's both quiet and has the easiest access to the local anomaly. So research teams swing through every couple of months as they try to make progress with the White Tower, then inevitably fail. If it weren't so morbid it'd be funny how they're basically acting in the very definition of insanity."

"That aside, my mother and father are both skilled Touhoumon trainers with immensely strong bonds with their partners, though they've definitely got their quirks." You start to put a bit more detail into the description of your parents and big sister figures, finding it easier to talk about them for now. "My dad is pretty much stoic beyond all reason, nothing gets under his skin much. He taught me a lot of what I know, and acts as emotional anchor, an island in a stormy sea at times."

"His partner, a Ruukoto, she's definitely every bit as odd as he is. She's basically one of my big sister figures, and helped raise me in other ways. It's a bit hard to understand her thought process since it's just so out there, even for a mon, but she does love me and helps take care of me."

You decide to not go into too much detail about that, however, since there's days upon days worth of stories you could tell Erika about and nearly all would be embarrassing for you in some form or another. "My mother... She's kind, motherly, and definitely a mad scientist. She likes to do the oddest things at times, but she's reliable and taught me essentially the other half of what I know."

"And Yume... Ah, my mother's partner is a Yumeko, I just call her Yume for short because it sounds cute. She's never quite mellowed out no matter how many stupid things I've done growing up, and she's the person I look up to the most. I think I got at least some of my morals from her, and she's been a constant presence when I was growing up, just like everyone else in my family."

"The four of them being good parents and family are basically why I turned out the way I did, and they'd tell me all sorts of stories about their exploits before they settled down. They weren't just doing that to give me a sense of adventure though, it was also to help prepare me for the real world. Like you said, it's not fair and it's everywhere. The clean, sterile League rule sets can only reach so far after all."

"There weren't many kids my age though, so I was definitely bored at times. Everyone outside of my family was either too old for me to properly relate to, or too young to be interested in the same things. Costello's the only true friend I had, and still have. Granted, at that point I had to put up with Abbott too, but them's the breaks."

It's only then that you notice that you've been going on for a while without asking Erika for proper input regarding what she wants to know. "Ah... Uh, was there anything you want to know more about, or should I keep going?"

"Oh my...well, if it's alright with you, I'd like to know more about your rival in burning passion, Costello!" Erika's eyes light up excitedly, "What sort of passionate, heart stoking affairs did you both get up to in your youths?"

...What kind of ideas does is going on in this girl's head?

And now you're reminded of just how she could place you at a loss at a moment's notice with her intense love of novels and the stories therein. "There's nothing that interesting. I mean, with how his parents raised him to be able to fight in the Touhoumon League based on what they wanted of him rather than seeing him for who he really is he's my equal and opposite in a sense, but it's not like we fought grand scale over anything."

"He used to be a bit clumsier, but we mostly played Trading Card Games, among other things. He won most of the time with those, since those relied on a solid understanding of the rules." You chuckled at that, as it makes perfect sense to you. You didn't play fair, Costello fought honerably. When the battlefield favored him, of course you'd be at a disadvantage. "I think I was the only one who wanted to be friends with him and treat him like his own individual though. My family kept his nature in mind and treated him kindly, though it's no secret that we were good friends."

"What do you mean by that?" Erika presses, curious as ever as her eyes burn brightly as she seems to focus in ever more on what you're say. You somehow get the feeling she's drawing different conclusions than she should be from what you're saying...

You can't help but stare back, feeling that while Erika has a truly heart-wrenching story, she'd also be an incredibly troublesome person if she's getting even half the ideas you think she's getting over how you and Costello see each other. "Well, what do you expect to have happen when there's only three people of the same age group in a small town, one of them is a selfish jerk, and the other two got along well with each other?" You get the feeling that you may yet regret asking that question.

Especially since given Yume's wish to have you find a nice lady friend to balance out your recklessness by making sure you learn that your own actions can hurt others indirectly, you've at least mused about the idea that if Costello were a girl your relationship would be a touch different.

"I wouldn't really know Zeke. I only read about it in my stories, and they told me a few different things." Erika responds to your question before asking one of her own, "But what's this about a 'selfish berk'?"

"Selfish jerk." You correct her before promptly deciding that some stones are best left unturned. "Abbott's the other person that was in my age group at the time, and he's kind of..." You struggle to put it into terms, since your general opinion of him isn't the best. For good reasont though. "He's the type of person who has well to do relatives, doesn't really properly appreciate what he has, has a tendency to make off with rare things that aren't his, and when he gets rare things of his own legitimately he tends to be insufferable on top of everything else."

"Like the Hakurei he received as a starter. I don't think he really considered her a partner so much as a show pony to show off. It certainly grated on my nerves enough, and he has the most horrid naming sense!"

"Oh my. He sounds like quite the dreadful fellow." She covers her mouth, quite askance that such a person would interact with her hero no doubt, "Tell me, did you deliver a swift and brutal drubbing to his noggin for how he treated that Hakurei?"

"Nnnno, his own Hakurei handled hitting him over the head after he nearly got us all captured just outside the White Tower. I told you about why I had to go in there a second time in the same day, right?"

"...Oh yes. I mean, you did mention something about fellows getting kidnapped at the time. I suppose I forgot it in all the excitement." Erika nibbles on her lip in thought, "Though, I do believe you glossed over what went on in the tower, something you're well within your rights to do."

"Uhm..." Erika actually colors a bit in the cheeks again as she taps her free hand's fingers on her leg, "Might I ask you something that may be a bit...rude?"
No. 177559
"Go ahead. We're doing this to get to know one another after all." Plus, you're visiting her at the end of the line. There's no real reason to hold back.

"Ah, well...when I was returning from One Tree, Yuyuko was still...in a good way." She continues along the subject, faltering over that explanation, "And, well...She mentioned a theory she had about you that...uhm..."

"She said that 'Boys like him have a...'," She hesitates here again, glancing at you and then away before locking her eyes back onto yours, "Asistercomplex!"

You tilt your head to the side in mild confusion. "Eh?" You did hear her right, but are fairly surprised that Yuyuko would come up with something like that. "Why a sister complex?"

"Uhm...She wouldn't say, when I asked she just...laughed a bit and covered her mouth, and soon she was...well, back to how you saw her." Erika admits, looking down at her lap, "But she seemed to believe you were a 'sister complex boy'."

"...Well, I don't know about that. I mean, I love Yume as a big sister but it doesn't extend beyond that." Which may or may not be the whole truth, if you think about it. Especially since your Prismrivers molesting you managed to skew your feelings for your big sister figure more than a little and that hasn't exactly been resolved yet.

"Oh yes, I'm sorry then sir. It's just that she seemed certain of it and I'd read a story and...ah..." Erika puts both of her hands in her lap, staring very firmly at the ground, "S-so then Zeke, do you have anything else to ask me?"

"You covered quite a bit already... Ah, I know you like to read stories, so what kinds are you interested in? Just the type that involves the knight rescuing the princess, or are there others?" You ask, wanting to get her off that line of thinking and onto another one since you didn't need her to regale at tale of some boy your age who fell in love with his own big sister and wanted to bed her.

"Oh, I read all sorts of stories! I had my mother's library, and my father's as well. Since I couldn't really go outside I spent much of my time reading the books in my room." Erika cheers up a good bit, apparently quite happy to talk to you about her fictions, "I like to read any sort of genre, be it fantasy, detective, horror or bitter-sweet romance! But my favorite kind of stories were the ones where a hero would sweep in and save the day. Whether it was a gritty detective stopping crooks with his fists or a gallant knight drawing steel and facing danger to save the city. It was...nice to escape at the time, I suppose. To dream of a hero who would find me and maybe save me as well.." Erika's hand drifts off of her lap and onto yours, resting on your thigh gently as she smiles at you with pure affection in her eyes.

And you proceed to blush so strongly that it borders on luminescence, as she's just so darn cute like this... Not to mention that you are literally her hero, not unlike the ones she's read about in her books. You put an arm around her in response while being genuinely too flustered to respond properly.

Erika leans comfortably into your hug, your face ending up resting in her hair again as you hold her. You notice now that while she feels as light and slight as she did before in your arms, she doesn't carry a deep chill with her any longer. Rather, her body radiates a faint warmth that fills you with a sense of bubbly happiness as she lets out a quiet sigh, one of her arms wrapping around you to return your hug as she rests her head on your chest.

Oh good Shinki, she's just getting physically closer with you and you really, really enjoy it. She's so cute, she smells nice, she has a pleasant personality and ohgodwhyareyouhardeningdownthere. "A-ah, we're swapping information about each other, so should I talk about myself a bit more?"

"Mmm, absolutely Zeke." Her head is right above your heart, and her eyes are closed like she's listening to your heartbeat as the hand resting on your thigh shifts slightly, rubbing you enticingly with what must certainly be an innocent gesture, "I want to know all about you after all, my hero."

You are starting to feel that same sense of no resistance that's normally reserved for when Merlin starts making out with you. You're not sure if this is a good or bad thing at this juncture. "Well, I can't say I'm as well-read as you, though hobby-wise I've collected quite a few trading cards to play with other kids, and have a console with which to play video games on. I tend to like games where the hero beats the villain, even when it looks like it can't be done." Genius of Sapphiros, you're looking at it. "I have the weirdest luck with booster packs though, I get the usual assortment of cards like most everyone else does, but one of my first packs was an extremely rare shiny Last Word Yukari card. The odds of drawing one are roughly the same as encountering two shiny Touhoumon in the wild, so I like to keep it on me as a good luck charm."

"Oh my, that all sounds quite excit...ing?" Erika's voice raises a few octaves as her friendly touch touches something of yours that's extra-friendly itself.

By which you mean she touched your dick through your pants.
YAR, BELOW THIS POINT THAR BE NAUGHTY!

>>/at/34060

YAR, ABOVE THIS POINT THAR BE NAUGHTY!
No. 177581
[strike][X] Wait patiently.[/strike]
No. 177587
I really like this update-both parts.

In b4 a spin off where we handle a future version of zeke who couldn't let go of her and runs to the garden of the sun to find which can heal her. Temporary companions SLYoumu MQKoishi and final boss PHYuuka optional.
No. 177588
>>177587

Would this be in the case that he leaves early to do that, or is Erika already dead? Also, if the tree were still alive in this instance, wouldn't it be expecting 10 sacrifices? Just a thought.
No. 177794
She... Erika... She went and did the one thing you wanted her to do, yet feared she would do. She told you her true feelings for you, and she loved you. Or loves you? You're not even remotely sure how that works at this point. You're so far off the edge of the map here that it's not even funny anymore. Either way, she picked the worst possible moment to confess to you because you couldn't cling to her long enough to respond. Not that you're sure how you could respond, if you could at all, but...

You sigh mentally as you continue to think on it. She loves you, and she knows she can't be with you anymore. Her body's gone and her spirit's moved on to who knows where, meaning that you're most likely never going to see her again unless something goes horribly, drastically wrong with the world. All it's done is made your heart... ache. There is a certain amount of longing in your heart, to see her again and hold her in your arms, to show her the world and flirt and fight and fall in love.

There's no chance of that ever happening though. That's half of why you held back from confessing yourself. Even if you confessed to her earlier, what would it have accomplished other than bring you both pain? It might even have kept her from moving on properly, if she knew you wanted to be with her as bad as she wanted to stay with you. Even more than that, could you reciprocate as you are?

Those feelings sent straight from the heart of an innocent maiden, you could accept them, but you aren't sure if you could reciprocate them as easily.

Ugh, now you're just caught in an infinite loop of thoughts. You're stuck on her even though you can't reach her.

Your left swirling in a state of self-doubt, pondering and teenage angst as you float through your thoughts, until you find yourself being drawn towards awareness and another point in this world of dreams. You're drawn closer and closer to the light as it shines and burns with bright intensity, warming you and pushing away your thoughts that were haunting you with its sheer presence. You come into contact with it, and-

...you are standing in a vast, dark void. As black as the field Rumia can produce. You can see nothing in front of you but nothingness. From behind you, you can feel a warmth washing along your back as well as the faint sound of a fire crackling as it burns its fuel. A pleasant scent of dimly sweet wood burning reaches you and soothes your nerves.

Okay, this is a one-eighty from where you were with Erika before. You turn around to see if that's a fire of some kind, and find that even at this distance the warmth is noted and appreciated. Still, who is it this time around?

You turn around to find the fire is really more of a fireplace, made of robust red bricks and mortar. In its entrance a great fire burns and crackles, flames and light smoke rising up into the chimney to go...somewhere. You're not sure how this world works in all its intricacies. You also find someone crouched by the fire, holding her hands out to warm herself before she turns her head and looks you in the eye. The woman, for she is indeed a woman and not just a girl, rocks up off of the tips of her toes and up to her full height, standing at least a head over you. Her hair is a dark brown and cut comparatively short, though even then it doesn't seem to be well behaved as it messily pokes out this way and that. Her eyes are a shade of sharp hazel and are alight with a glow reflected from the fireplace and a hint of what you suspect to simple glee. Her skin is a healthily tanned color and glows with energy. Her clothing is what really kicks your recollection as you take in her appearance. That dark green 'survival' vest with its pouches had been popular with trainers a few years back due to its ease of access in comparison to a bag, and her sturdy looking pants match it the same for style and purpose. You've only seen one person who wore clothes like that recently that would be inclined to visit you like this. "Yo!" She greets you informally as she beckons you closer to the fire, "The hero arrives at last, huh?"

"Samantha, I take it?" You ask, recalling the trainer clearly considering how she came after you something like twice or three times before the Ayakashi exploded. Still, this just makes you feel like she would have been an interesting person to travel with for a while, given her general attitude.

"Yep, that's me! Samantha, Ace Trainer Extraordinaire." Her smile flickers dim for a moment as her eyes do the same, "Or, well...that was me. Guess I'm Samantha, Dead Person, now." She seems to shake it off easily enough though, bringing her attention back up onto you as she suddenly advances on you in quick, long strides and suddenly wraps her arms around you in a hug...and then promptly picks you up and gives you a squeeze in her embrace, "Hah, you're pretty light, you know?" She asks you, his eyes alight with a bit of well intentioned teasing as you face is inches from hers. Oddly, the girl herself...doesn't give off the feeling of your girls, or even Erika did. She's almost more like Gissele in a way. Friendly.

"Ah?" You don't know quite what you were expecting, but getting hugged like this isn't something you'd complain about. You wind up hugging her back though, as she's pretty comforting and warm between her own warmth and that of the fire in the fireplace. "Being this light is a double-edged sword. It makes it easier to move about and my girls can carry me easily, but I can get carried off more easily too."

"Ah, had that happen to you?" Samantha's grin is knowing as she suddenly pivots you into a bridal carry and starts to haul you towards the fireside in her arms, "Yeah, that's something you guys have to put up with but I don't have to worry about so much." She heaves a sigh, "Instead, I get to deal with creepers, perverts and the occasional idiot who thinks that he can 'win my heart' by defeating me, or whatever the hell they're talking about it."

...Life for girl trainers sounds rough too.

You keep a little when she suddenly and possibly purposely proves just how easy you are to carry by shifting her hold of you. Still, what she's talking about does interest you. "Wow. You must have dealt with more than a few comic-addled morons in your time. Winning a girl's heart by defeating her in battle is just... bleh."

"Yeah. 'Hey, I'll beat up her trusted companions! That's sure to win her heart!' Idiots." Samantha rolls her eyes exaggeratedly as she sets you down on a surprisingly comfortable cushioned bench that you'd swear wasn't there a second ago and then sits down at the end of it by where your feet are currently, "Not to mention how some of them have the most ridiculous things. Like...a Kedama, seriously? Though I'll admit the Kodama is pretty cute."

"Heh, that just reminded me. I wound up helping a friend beat some jerks on the way to One Tree, and I took on the one who used nothing but Kedama variants. I only saw the red one, but it was one against three versus my, at the time, chibi Prismriver trio and it apparently only knew Normal type moves." It is plenty comfortable here, and it seems you've relaxed into the environment nicely.

"Oh jeez, seriously? That's just sad. Where the hell are these idiots getting their licenses anyway?" Samantha grumps as she unzips her jacket and stretches, showing you how he body is lean, smooths and respectably curved from the angle you're at before she lounges back against the bench, "You know, mother always said they used to have an actual test you had to take to become a trainer in a lot of places, and I can't help but understand why when I hear that."

"Uh-huh. It's a good thing my parents are skilled trainers. I actually know how to handle my girls for the most part." You can't help but notice that Samantha is quite pretty in her own right. She has that right mix of unkempt, fiery nature, and brains that could make a person want to travel with her. "Some easier than others."

"That's just how it goes. People who think that just because they can pass a test that they're ready for any girl are just as bad. It's a challenge to control the mons, you gotta prove yourself to them. Different girls want different things, and it's a well researched fact that individual mon of different species aren't guaranteed to be 'easy' like the Dex says, and plenty of mon species aren't for anyone less than an expert if you want to control them. Can you believe that there are people who think that fairies are 'simple' to keep under control. Easy to convince to follow you, sure. But they're flighty and whimsical and you need to watch them if you don't want to end up with your pants around your ankles." She pauses for a moment before continuing, "In more ways than one in his case."

You know a bit about Fairies, and how they're so... unique that they flat-out caused the research community to declare a type named after them. "Oh wow, whimsical enough to do exhibition without thinking about it?" You raise an eyebrow since there were so only so many ways that could be taken.

"Well, actually they were trying to convince me to have his children so they could each have their own 'Harry'." Samantha responds absently as she seems to remember the event, "That was an awkward second meeting for him, that's for sure. He couldn't stop blushing every time he saw me afterward." She pauses again as if remembering something before continuing, "It was cute, but more in the 'puppy' kind of way than anything."

"Sheesh." You can't say too much to that seeing as it feels like half the things you could say would be some form of land mine to step on. "I can't say I know precisely what that's like, but my shiny Prismrivers are certainly odd in their own right. Like, Lyrica's really clingy and protective of me to the point where she'd put her life on the line for me without a second thought, and she'd do the same for her sisters. Merlin just oozes innuendo and sexiness at times, and Lunasa likes to see me happy. That doesn't seem like much, but occasionally it just feels off. Like a bad note in a song that you can't quite place."

"Mmmm. Well I can't help much there, since I was mostly crazy with pain up until the end when I helped deal that finishing blow but...well, if you want my advice as your senior, I'd say you should stop and consider your relationship with them and just what all the little actions and quirks mean. It might not be anything bad and you could just be overreacting, but it can't hurt to be some thinking." She gives you a pat on the leg and then stops, giving your leg a squeeze as her gaze narrows, "Geez, that's ridiculously tense." She remarks as she feels another spot on your leg, "Have you been doing any stretches or relaxing exercises at all?" She eyes your critically at that.

"I know, I just-" Then you squeak when she squeezes your leg, and note that yes, you're in that hideously tense and sore state you'd normally berate others for being in before working it out of their systems. "Not recently, no. The trip through the mansion of hell didn't help matters either. ...Or getting gut punched by the Ayakashi's Dryad half, for that matter." You note, going through all the things that likely would result in a huge amount of stress.

"...Geez, if the hero can't take care of himself, I guess I've gotta." Samantha shakes her head before grabbing onto your shoes and starting to take them off of you, no doubt shortly to be followed by your socks, "Look, I know it can be hard to find the time, especially if you're taking on a bigger team, but you've gotta take care of yourself. That's one of the big points that helps keep your teams confidence in you. If you're not taking care of yourself, how can they expect you to take care of them?"

You feel a touch embarrassed at being on the receiving end of such treatment, but still find it in yourself to comment. "The funny thing is that Lyrica's already chewed me out about not taking care of myself, and I just got done chewing her out a little over her not taking care of herself. Apparently we're both a bit blind when it comes to ourselves."

"Discipline is important to keep, and your girls need guidance from you as their trainer, but..." Samantha pulls off your socks and then proceeds to put both of her warm, weathered hands onto your feet and began to oh sweet Shinki in nothing but a nightie yes! Her hands are skilled and strong as they begin to carefully work on your feet. You can feel the tension there begin to bleed away as she works. Is this what being massages to your mom, Ruukoto and Yumeko felt like? This is great, you should do it more often.

"You also need to be careful about how and where you discipline them. Sometimes it's better to do it in private versus public, or Vic-a-versa. Don't forget there's probably politicking and social positioning going on in your own group. Also, remember that no one likes a hypocrite so being told to take care of yourself by someone who doesn't..."

"I know... I worry about Lyrica as much as she worries about me, and I know I annoyed her this time. It's just, she got herself knocked out fighting Ayakashi and was the worst off of my girls, and hates showing weakness too." Beyond that, you're busy getting massaged and are starting to have trouble thinking straight because of it.

"Hate to be the one to break this to you, but part of being a trainer is the fact that you're going to see your girls get hurt. Whether it's in a league match or fighting to protect you from stupid hell trees, fact of the matter is you're still pitting your magical girls against the enemy, and they involves them being in the line of fire. Getting mad at her for getting hurt fighting against that tree might be a bit much, though it depends what you scolded her for specifically and how you did it." She keeps on using those strong, magic fingers of hers to bleed away every last bit of tension in your feet as she moves up and down them, working out knots you didn't even know you had.

"I didn't go overboard or anything, I just gave her a look and she understood. It's when I insisted she rest rather than watch over me that she started to flip out." Your feet feel like putty compared to what they normally do, but the raw pleasure of being worked over is being tempered a bit by the fact that you have to acknowledge that you screwed up somehow.

"Well, if I was you, I would say you should sit back and think about her 'flipping out' and try to figure out why she 'flipped out' in the first place. Maybe there's an underlying reason, or you phrased it a bad way. Poor communication of intent happens a lot more than you'd think." Samantha advises you as she works up off of your feet and up onto your legs proper, finding the knots there and loosening those up just as thoroughly as she did the ones on your feet.

You just full on moan as she starts to work the knots out of your legs while trying your hardest to be a blob on the bench like a good chastised trainer. "Well, the Slash variant Youmu that belongs to Erika wanted to treat my injuries personally, but Lyrica wanted to move me to a human hospital despite how bad off she and the others were. Logic-wise, it makes no sense to gamble yourself recklessly like that, and she got that much. She wanted to watch over me personally while Youmu did her thing, but she was hurt the worst so I wanted her to take it easy." Another knot and you trail off, and an idea goes off like a light bulb. "She doesn't really trust that Youmu much and wanted to be with me, I think."

"Well, does she have her reasons for reacting the way she has? I mean, does she have reasons to not trust that Slash Youmu, or to want you to be put into the hospital when you're injured?" She asks, apparently prodding you to search for and find answers yourself rather than just giving them to you. Really though, why would she want you in the hospital when you're injured? It's not like you got yourself sent to the ICU or anything.

"Trust-wise, there's nothing off the top of my head. Slash Youmu's been one of the only reliable allies the mansion had to offer in this whole fiasco. My injuries surprisingly light too, so that can't be all of it." You think back a little more and recall that she did spend most of the time being scared though. Not that she showed it in a conventional manner, no. "I think she's still wary of the mansion as a whole. The whole human ghost thing spooked her pretty bad, and she's probably spent the whole time being worried about me and everyone else on my team. Plus, she was my first so of course she'd turn... to... me..."

"Shinki dammit, she always worries about me and I turned her away to have her go rest. If I weren't hurt she'd be clinging to me in bed for sure. Like, you couldn't get her off with a crowbar."

"Theeere you go." Samantha responds as you seem to stumble into the answer like a man who scratched his doorknob to ruin while coming home drunk at four in the morning, "Now, think about what the means, and what you're gonna do about it when I'm through with you." She pushes you onwards as she carefully works on the certainly sore yet grateful leg muscles that you've been abusing with all your marching about.

"That I'm an idiot who needs to apologize and make it up to her somehow?" You say, feeling a fair bit worse at the realization even as you melt into a relaxed puddle of shota. "...I might not be seeing her the way she sees me."

"Hey, no beating yourself up while I'm here. That's what I'm for, and I don't want you putting me out of a job." Samantha chastises you as she reaches your upper leg and you feel the waves of pleasure and relaxation washing over you as she keeps on working there and slowly manages to get your muscles to uncurl from themselves and each other like they felt they were.

"But that's a good point you've got there. Now the big question is: How does she see you, and how do you see her? What's the relationship you think you have, and the one you actually have?" She presses you on in a direction as she reaches up higher, her fingers getting closer and closer to where you realize you've come to a half-and-a-quarter mast. "Hey..." Her eyes stare into yours, alluring and drawing you in with the fire that lies within them-

"Could you roll over, and maybe take your shirt off? I'm gonna work on your back and shoulders next." She asks of you.

Oh. That's all? You sorta expected-well never mind that.

You nod and take your shirt off, draping it over the back of the bench as you expose your back to her able hands. "I... I'd have to ask her for her side of things." Despite Samantha telling you to not beat yourself up, it's getting harder and harder to talk about it. Still, it needs to be done, at least you think so. "We didn't meet under conventional circumstances. She was basically orphaned off her trio, most likely because she was just plain old better than her sisters and trios are all about equality, right? I found her crying in some bushes and I couldn't just leave her there." You say, noting that you're having to come back to the White Tower yet again. No matter how many times you want to be done with it, what you did in going there just seems to keep coming back to haunt you somehow. "But I..." Your voice actively hitches as your desire to leave that incident behind you and the need to bring it up to the forefront starts to battle it out.

"Hey." Samantha pulls herself up close behind you, embracing you from the rear as her strong arms wrap around you and hold you against her warm body in a gesture of comfort and not intent for certain activities, "I know it's painful to think about. You don't have to talk about it with me if you don't want to. You've already gotten to those thoughts, if you want to hang off until it's time and let yourself just relax now, that's fine with me." She assures you, her warmth and compassion bleeding into you and helping soothe off some of that pain and self-abuse.

You relax further as she hugs you to her like that, and sigh. "...But I need to talk to someone about the issue, and you're the best bet I have right now. How much time do you have?" You ask, wanting to know what you could do with the time you had.

"As much as you need." She assures you, pulling back and up as you feel her straddle your rear and begin to use those magic hands of hers to carefully knead the base of your back as pushes and rubs there. You can feel something pop, in a good way, near the base as you have a point driven home just how badly you've apparently been taking care of yourself if you're popping like that.

"Ahhah..." You moan as Samantha does that, and feel yourself generate the needed resolve ever so slowly. "Thank you." You say, before launching into yet another rundown of your trip to the White Tower. You aren't telling it like it's some grand day out though, you know enough to feel as though it was a mistake on your part and your Prismrivers were the only good thing to come out of it. You go through how you met your girls, the precise circumstances of how those meetings came to be, and how you didn't catch them conventionally so much as they agreed to come with you. All three were orphaned, and Lunasa was even suicidal to the point where her Perish Song was impossibly strong.

Samantha is quiet all through your explanation, not judging or saying much anything at all except for quiet hums that encourage you to continue onward as you work through the whole point as her hands work up your entire back with strength and skill that make it increasingly obvious that she might know even more than you do about this and how to give a body massage. As you reach the end of your tale though, she just lets out a low whistle, "I'm guessing that you don't need me to tell you that what you did in going to the tower was about as smart as a lamb asking a wolf for directions, right? That place is one that even I wasn't keen on going to back then."

"No, I've heard that often enough as-is. It wasn't some grand act of heroism, just stupidity born of envy. But I'll never say I wish I didn't do it, because that would be the same as wishing my girls dead. I love them too much to ever say that." Oddly enough, once again it was like taking a load off your shoulders. The fact that she wasn't judging you was helping a lot too. "I just... all I want is for what we have to work, but it feels like every time I think I have it down something blows up on me."

"Yeah, I wasn't intending to anyway. We all have our fair share of those kinds of things, I promise you, It's part of being a trainer, you need a certain lack of self-preservation to take the job." Samantha jokes as her hands find their way up to your shoulders and begin to rub and knead those in broad strokes as she makes the rest of your back submit to her skilled fingers, "Now, for your relationship problems...well, for one that's something you gotta get used to. Hate to tell you this and shatter the illusion, but relationships have ups and downs all the time. The only ones that don't are the ones where you keep each other at a distance. But, it sounds like these are a bit of a problem or bigger than you think they should be. So..." She pushes her thumbs down and gets another pop out of your back that feels amazing, "I'd say that you should take a look at what's making those blow ups happen. Are there any common factors? Sometimes it may not be obvious, or it might not be as bad as you think." Samantha chuckles, the mirth in her making you imagine her smile as she explains, "My trio were arguing pretty fierce one time, but it turned out that it was because they were fighting over who got to sleep where. I put my heel down and set a schedule and that dealt with the problem just right."

"Heh. So it comes down to paying attention, learning about your girls through observing and talking to them, and figuring it out from there?" You can't say too much in response to this, but she has helped immensely so far. That last 'pop' drew out quite a long moan out of you as she worked that section of muscle over. "I'd need to think back on it, but Lyrica... She hates it when I act recklessly, because she's scared of losing me. Just as scared as I am of losing her."

"Hmm, is that so? Well if you're both afraid to lose each other, that's both a good and bad thing. It's only natural to want to keep those you care about safe, but if it gets in the way of you being the strategist, neutral party and foundation they need or if it gets in the way of their ability to follow your orders or do what needs to be done to protect and care for you then that's a problem." Oh god, her hands are so wonderful now with them wrapped around your neck and massage and rubbing them, washing away every worry as you feel like you're floating away.

"And it is." You say even as you stop feeling quite as bad. "She actively argued with me during a tournament about an order to have her switch out for her sister, and it made things a lot harder for us because the opponent had time to set up."

"I see." Her hands roll back down to your shoulders and work away at a spot right where they and your neck meet, digging and pushing deep and working the wreck out of your muscles, "Well, why do you think she did that then? Was it out of concern for you, her appearance or her sister? Also, have you had any sort of problems with the other two of your Prismrivers, or anyone else in your party that are worth mentioning?"

"Her sister, from the sounds of things. She said it was her responsibility to scout out the enemy and pave the way for her sisters, even if it means she would be lost." You say, repeating what Lyrica told you at the time. "Merlin's... a very sensual person. She's got a great body and takes her sexy time quite seriously, but it never feels like anything's that out of place. I mean, she started pinning me down and making out with me between matches in the same tournament, but she and her sisters literally evolved within a couple hours prior to that."

"I see." Erika's hands return to your neck and carefully work her fingers there in and around some more sensitive areas as you feel waves of relaxation wash over you and your worries again, "What about the other sister, or the rest of your group?"

"Lunasa's hard for me to pin down properly, but it seems like she's mostly interested in pleasing me. I mean, when I had my romps with her in bed it seems like she got off to me feeling good." Which you're not sure if it's a good or bad thing, but beyond that... "Then there's Kogasa, and she's pretty much devoid of... well, not devoid of issue, but she's pretty stable and is more like an energetic young housewife than anything else. Which is really surprising considering she's been abandoned by her former trainer, is a slime variant, and has a confirmed case of Data Corruption."

"Then my party just gets less odd as time goes on. I got a Rumia that was stuck in this mansion, but I feel more... Normal, around her. She seems to switch gears from ditzy to strangely competent, but aside from that she just seems to like me." You proceed to run through the last couple girls on the list before you stop. "Then there's also an Aya and a Hatate I encountered at the hotel my girls and I were staying so we could work out their post-evolution sex drive, and they were in a pretty bad spot, despite being cared for. They were being cared for, but not cared about, you know? Their original trainer caught them and proceeded to hand them off to his mother, who basically used them as staff for a hotel. They were kinda loopy because of how they were deprived of any sort of love or care and were effectively stuck with clipped wings, but I helped them out with that and they decided to come return the favor."

"...I see." Samantha continues to rub you as her hands move up to the back of your head where they make any signs of even the bit of pain vanish away as your legs feel like jelly, "Hmm...Well, not to be rude but...have you considered that maybe taking in so many girls all at once might have upset and made her feel increasingly threatened, both for having your attention and in her position as your 'First Girl'?"
No. 177795
You cringe as she brings up that point. "I know. I take that kind of thing seriously too. The Prismrivers sympathized with Kogasa, so there's less of a problem there, and I got separated from them when I first came to this mansion. Convincing Rumia to come with me might have made her mad, true, but without that darkness mon I would have died at least... twice? Three times? I hate to put it like this, but I'd rather cause her a little upside like that rather than die and make her grieve. At least I can try to fix this." Though the more you think about it the more you start to wonder if you just didn't have much in the way of options at those points. "The tengu mon were a real surprise, but I don't have them officially yet. Their trainer basically kicked them out after I helped them out with their problem, and I don't want to just up and abandon them too."

She pushes one point and makes you moan out in a voice that she seems to find cute, judging by her amused chuckle in response to it, "Well, if you want my advice on it, maybe you should sit down with them and talk about the situation now that you're not surrounded by the restless, vengeful dead and ask them their opinions on it. You'll probably find that they're willing to defer to you, but just asking them will make them feel a lot better about it. It's when you're completely inconsiderate of them and their opinions that most of them can become upset and unruly."

Good grief, now she's aiming to make you make cute noises? And with how she's straddling you... "That's pretty high on my list of things to do. I originally meant to handle that during that week-long session I set aside for dealing with their libido, but you can probably guess how often I actually had a chance to talk that didn't involve me moaning or making some other noise they think is cute. At least Kogasa wanted to actually spend some time bonding."

"Hmmm, is that so? The slime wanted to spend time bonding with you rather than just jumping right into the smutty stuff?" Samantha asks, pressing on a certain point as she seems to press on that topic for some reason. Why would she focus on that though..?

"She really wanted to get to know me for me, and I reciprocated. I didn't think anything of it at the time, though she is notable for having a queen-level intelligence despite being a first-stage slime." She's well and truly made you into a puddle now, as you can't do anything other than squeak or moan when she soothes out a particularly bad knot that still remains.

Her fingers move back along your neck and towards your back again as she keeps on working on you. You do note she lets out a quiet sigh though, one that could mean any number of things, "I see. Well, that's interesting for any number of reasons."

"She's definitely odd, but in a good way." You say in response, continuing to make the odd pleased sound while feeling like she's slowly herding you to another conclusion you really don't want to hear yourself come to.

"She certainly sounds like it. But remember what they say about aberrant behavior. It's a warning sign, even if it turns out to mean nothing." Samantha prompts as she pushes a point on your back and makes you arch a bit in pleasure as she presses that spot a bit harder. It feels so good...!

"...Her, or my Prismrivers?" You ask, feeling yourself almost floating as she continues to work you over. "With the way Kogasa acts, she's..." You trail off for a moment before speaking again, a bit more quietly. "Almost more like my first than Lyrica is."

"You should be careful about saying that. It'd be like slapping her in the face if she heard you." Samantha warns, "Especially since it sounds like that position's important to her. Also, this is just my opinion but don't buy into that whole 'First' illusion too much. Yeah, there's never a relationship quite like your first, but that doesn't mean it's gonna be your best relationship. The First is special because the both of you are treading new water together and discovering something you never experienced before in each other, not because she's your waifu."

"I don't want to say that to her either. Lyrica's precious to me, and I do trust her." You feel tears well up in your eyes, but don't start crying about it. "If I broke her heart like that, mine would be broken just as much."

"I'm not saying you would." Samantha pulls you into a hug again, her warm and strong body soothing your emotional hurt and concerns, "I'm just warning you so you remember to be careful what you say. Because even if that's not what you're trying to say to her, it sounds like she's the sorta person who can take things the wrong way."

"Mmm. She can. Definitely going to have to apologize to her though." You say, stating the obvious once again as you accept her warmth and closeness. "I don't think I can just straight-up ask my Prismrivers what I am to them, or at least not bluntly."

"I would recommend you develop a sense of subtle tact, and poke around to find your answer. Or you could try to find it out from them in the afterglow." She adds on as a bit of helpful advice, "Though that might only work for guys so I wouldn't count on it."

You chuckle for the first time since Samantha started working on your body, and feel a bit lighter overall. "Yeah, tact is not one of my strong suits. It's almost gotten me in trouble more than once."

"Oh? Is that something you want to talk about too?" Samantha asks as she shifts back up and rubs soothing, calming circles on your back and shoulder as she encourages you to do what you wish.

"Well, aside from that Yuyuko almost doing terrible things to me twice, I managed to upset Slime Kogasa when I first met her just asking about her and Lyrica flat-out cried when I asked about why she was alone."

"...You know, if you find my stuff I'm pretty sure I had a book on tact. You might want to read it." Samantha suggests to you helpfully as she pushes down on another point on your back, hands seemingly floating along and pressing at random and making you feel amazing each time.

"I actually did find it while I was having to repel your insane with pain wraith form the first time. Recharged your PAD using mine to boot to get some of the logs off it. I also rummaged through it for anything useful. Normally I'd ask or be more apologetic, but you weren't really in a position to use any of that stuff." You say in response, noting that it might not hurt to make another pass through the bag while you're at it. "...Hey, I know it's changing the subject, but do you have any loved ones you want to pass a message off to?"

"...Yeah, you really need to read that book on tact." Samantha's hands stop on your back as she listens to you, "Make it a priority. As for that other thing, no. Nobody I care to say anything to." She pushes another spot on your back suddenly, making you let out a keening sound as you feel something pop and your body relax again.

"Figured I'd ask, at least. Considering I went through your stuff it's the least I could offer." Another person telling you you lack tact. This is becoming a recurring theme, much like being referred to as being too soft, you think.

"Don't worry about it, I'm not easy to offend but some people are." Samantha responds as you feel her start to roll pressure up and down your back, straightening it out and making your whole body move with the motion, "Also learning how to gently broach a subject is gonna be important to you if you want to fix things up and keep them fixed with anyone you have a problem with, because a lot of people don't respond well to bluntly being told there's something wrong with them."

"Yeah. Trying to keep that in mind is going to be hard for a while. Being blunt can cut right to the heart of the matter, but I guess it can hurt too." After all, you did make Lyrica cry when you first met her by asking why she was alone in such a blunt and direct manner, and you've almost set Kogasa off twice so far, you think.

"An important skill is learning when to be blunt and when to be considerate. You'll pick it up eventually, don't worry." Samantha soothes you as you feel those dexterous fingers touch another few points as she pushes and prods at your back to hit another few spots that send shocks of pleasure through you.

You're blushing and moaning as she continues to poke at those spots, though you can't do much more than that at this point. "You're really good at this..." You sigh as she hits yet another spot well again, having already given up to her technique.

"That's because I've had plenty of practice, and know all about pleasure spots." Samantha sounds a touch smug about that as your brain slowly connects a few dots and helps you realize why certain parts of your feel certain ways and your limbs feel like gelatin molds.

You try to look back at Samantha, who's still straddling you while working you over bit by bit... "You know about those too?" You ask, noting that you're blushing quite hard and are quite wide-eyed as you realize that her massage may not have had such innocent intent behind it.

"Yep! Now, mind you they're all known as 'relaxation points' and what you get out of them is based off of how you use them." She explains, lecturing you on the finer points of a subject you know yourself, "Which means your not-so-little reaction and how much your enjoying this in less than innocent ways is because you find an older girl massaging you to be sexy."

"Which is a perfectly reasonable thing to like, really. I mean, I'd fuck me." Samantha admits as you feel her thumbs roll over a particularly sensitive spot and make your toes curl up.

"Well yeah, you are hot..." You say, feeling a touch embarrassed among other things as you realize just how thoroughly she's worked you over just by playing the role of big sister. ...Dear Shinki, you hope that RSMYuyuko wasn't right about you. This is going to make facing Yume rather embarrassing later on.

"Exactly! Absolutely nothing wrong about being turned on by my defined limbs, firm abs and toned thighs." Samantha agrees as she pegs a few of the points you've admittedly noticed about her, "Now, I'm gonna be the one switching tracks this time and teaching you a very valuable lesson. Be honest with me...if I was trying to take advantage of you, how fucked would you be now?"

"Very." You reply simply, noting that you literally couldn't get her off you if you tried, and that's assuming you wanted to get away from her.

"Good on you for being honest! Lots of guys have to bluster and then I'd have to step on you and you wouldn't like that...or, maybe you would." She considers that aside before continuing on with her lesson, "Now, what do you think I'm trying to teach here?"

"Not to underestimate human women?" You ask, noting that if there's any lesson to teach here, that'd be among the more obvious ones she could possibly hit you with. Metaphorically.

"That's a big part of it! It's also so you don't assume that a human woman is somehow less 'capable' than a monster in certain ways. Something you've got to remember is that if a lady's got an itch she wants scratched, she's got to compete with a bunch of super powered sex machine's to get a guys attention. There's lots of different ways to go about it, but some of them...well they'll do what I did to you, except with drugs or hit the pressure points with the express purpose of flooding your mind with lust or beating up your mons and kidnapping you for their sex dungeon. One of those got busted up a whiles back before I ended up, you know, dead. Plus, remember, it's technically not illegal to make a guy so emotionally and psychologically dependent on you that the thought of leaving you causes them pain."
...sweet shinki how horrifying.
"Yeah, I remember hearing about some crazy Gym Leader who had all kinds of substantiated rumors floating around about her, but nothing ever seemed to happen to her. I think she ran some kind of Dominatrix Variant Gym or something, but that might have just been an exaggeration to make the story better." Samantha admits as you find yourself being lectured on how apparently there are female touhoumon trainers and gym leaders who keep S&M Rape Dungeons.

I mean, you've heard of SDM Rape Dungeons, but this?

"That's..." You can't help but trail off because it sounds so utterly absurd. Then again, you know the laws of the land reasonably well, at least so you can know when to bend or break them as needed and not get in too much trouble for it, and men are both protected and unprotected in some convoluted ways.

"Really somethin', isn't it? I mean, it's not surprising that it happens in the New continent, but it's something that shows up in other parts of the world too. With guys being such a highly contested resource though, I guess it's a bit of a given that someone would try to force the matter." Samantha's hands roam back up to your shoulders and caress them, soothing out the irritation there that came back.

"It is. Touhoumon and human women are both capable of... well, I apologize if it seems clinical to say it like this but they're both capable of mating with human men, and men are kind of in the minority if you count the total number of both races." You start to think on it a bit more and recall a few more little tidbits that made this scenario make more sense than it did before. "Then you narrow it down to youthful males who aren't just forty year olds looking to have kids but are in fact capable of falling in love and have desirable traits beyond that..."

"I'm not just Touhoumon bait, am I?" You ask, feeling that you simultaneously want and don't want the answer to that.

"Yeah, you're pretty desirable to more than a few categories of human women kid. Here's some advice from me: Don't leave your drink unattended." She tells you, ruffling your hair soothingly.

"You're worse off than some because you're still physically small and slight in comparison to other guys, which both makes you look more vulnerable and exploitable and makes you actually more vulnerable and exploitable." Samantha adds on as she keeps up that nice hair ruffling, nails digging in at a few spots and sending tingling, white hot sparks of pleasure that makes you relax, "Also you've got a cute voice."

You demonstrate that cute voice once more as she ruffles your hair. "T-thanks..." You know full well that stammering like that just proves her point across the board, but you can't help it anymore. "Hm... 'Ain't no rest for the wicked', is there?"

"There's no rest for anyone, but yeah pretty much." Samantha responds with the answer you expected, "The wicked are gonna wick and all that. All you can do is make sure you're aware of the threat. If you keep what I told you in mind you're safe ninety-nine percent of the time."

"I will, and thank you. I know there's not much reason for you to go out of your way like this." You're still relaxing with an admittedly hot lady on top of you, rubbing her hands all over you to teach you a surprisingly valuable lesson about how you're not just Touhoumon bait. Considering how nice she is, that's really not a bad thing.

"Eh, there's plenty of reasons. Trainer's got to watch out for each other you know? I know we've got that whole 'battle maniac' image thing going on, but when you're in the real wilds you'll find that there's a difference between a real trainer and the townies and routers." Samantha responds, "Besides, you freed my soul from eternal torment and helped get me set up to get my personal revenge on that bitch of a Yuyuko. That's gotta be worth at least a bit of advice."

"Then we'll call it even?" When she puts it that way, yeah, it does sound like you went so far beyond the call of duty that it borders on insanity at some points. "Though I wish I could have gotten to travel with you a bit. You seem like a genuinely nice and interesting person, with just the right amount of fire in her."

"Psh, Course you wanted to travel with me." Samantha responds, her tone perfectly confident, "Everyone wants to travel with me. But yeah, that'd have been nice. I could have shown you all of the ropes, and yes I am aware of that being a double entendre and know exactly what your perverted little boy mind took it to." She leans on you, putting a bit of weight there as she pins you down unnecessarily, since you can't even move anyway, "I'd have done that too, if you were into that sort of thing. I don't mind playing up the top."

"And you could have talked to my Prismrivers about various knots and techniques. Yume taught them at least some of what she knows back when they got trained under her a bit." You actively roll your eyes at the idea, though you're still blushing. "Plus I actually don't mind bondage play, though I'm also pretty snuggly in bed."

"That whole bondage thing was a joke because of how I was gonna 'show you the ropes', kid." Samantha sounds a bit amused as she informs of you that bit of pertinent information, "Not every time someone makes a sex joke or a lewd reference means they necessarily want to do it with you. Sides, Bondage isn't my thing too much either."

She chuckles throatily before continuing, "I like the feeling of them struggling too much for that."

"Sometimes I can't tell if I'm serious or running with it to joke back." You reply honestly as you note what she just said. "...Huh?" That blush somehow intensifies.

"That was another joke kid, relax..." She goes back to rubbing your shoulders soothingly while giving you important life lessons as a trainer, "I mean, it's also true, but I don't think you'd mind since you're kind of an obvious bottom anyway with how comfortable you are under a woman who's riding you."

"Anyway, what was I gonna tell you next...?" She muses to herself, trying to remember her lesson plan for you. Which just makes you think of her wearing some kind of sexy teacher outfit. You guess she DOES have the legs for those kinds of stockings and boots.

"...Oh right, I was going to get to the hands on portion of the lesson." She snaps her fingers as she remembers before reaching down and pressing her thumbs against either of your temples, making you feel nothing in particular save for a pleasant tingle that spreads through your nerves, "I mean that in the literal sense, since I'm hoping to break that multi-year dry spell that comes from being dead before I pass on and all that, and you're a cute boy who could use some lessons in how to resist certain kinds of tricks."

YAR! BELOW THIS POINT THAR BE NAUGHTY!

>>/at/34254

YAR! ABOVE THIS POINT THAR BE NAUGHTY!

-----

Goodness, I'm sorry this took so long to get done everyone. Between all sorts of problems popping up that kept us from working together as long and often as we usually do and the length of this piece, this ended up being quite a wait.
No. 177796
Glad to see that you guys are okay! I was starting to worry a tad. ...Then again, I'm a worry wart.
No. 177798
Thanks for updating and I hope you guys are okay.
No. 177800
Don't worry about the waiting. Real life problems are always more important. But I'm still happy to see this update.
No. 177801
Man, I really wish "all together" had won, if only to speed updates up.

On a related note, your style is extremely and unnecessarily wordy. I bet you could cut your wordcount in half without losing anything of real value.
No. 177802
>>177801

Huh. I'm the reverse. I enjoy reading because it is so wordy. Can't really put it into words, but it makes it feel a touch real?
No. 177803
>>177802
I agree; the wordiness is the best part, aside from, you know, the whole MGQ-like environment in a touhoumon story. So I suppose it's only the second best part. Still, though, it's pretty darned important to a lot of us, I'm sure. Not to mention making things easier to imagine.
No. 177804
I love me some Wall o' Text style updates, keep up the good work.
No. 177943
>>176844
Well I was able to get onto Exhentai and now see the doujin. So how do I send Nob it?

This is related to >>176824 where I talked about that /at scenario with Youmu and Yuyuko.
No. 178075
So is this updating anytime soon? It's been 21 days since the last update, and the period in between the update prior to the prior update and the prior update was 20 days.
No. 178087
Kinky things below!
>>/at/34543
>>/at/34544
>>/at/34545
>>/at/34546
Kinky things above!


You shake slightly and blink your eyes repeatedly as you slowly come to awareness, taking in the situation around you. You...you're back in the room that Youmu put you in! Speaking of Youmu, SlshYoumu is standing by your bed, a neutral expression on her face save for a single eyebrow that's raised slightly to express vexation. Her eyes slide up to you as she takes in the fact that you're awake, "Did you have pleasant dreams, sir?" Her voice suggests the faintest hints of irritation to you, but it might just be you.

[ ] “Three very wet ones courtesy of a trio of thankful spirits.”

[ ] “Well, I gave Erika a proper goodbye, that trainer ghost taught me a few things, and the girl with the doll decided to play with me.”

[ ] “I-I did…”

---

>>178075

Sorry about that, college has been slowing me down like you wouldn't believe and these scenes aren't exactly small either. Still, my apologies for the wait. I definitely did not think this was all going to take that long to do. On the other hand, we can move on now!
No. 178091
[X] “Yes.”
She doesn't need details, we don't need to act suspicious. Just play it cool.
No. 178095
[X] “Yes.”

1. Well I was certainly creeped by the 3rd dream! At the very least it shows us that not all the ghosts we encountered were nice in life. And considering how they'll see him "soon" again, I'm kind of terrified about the possibility of a baby being made from playing "House". Can ghosts get pregnant!?

Clarice is disturbing and I feel like if she could she'd have trapped Zeke with her forever, like as a sex slave or something, unless she'd kill him through feeding, but I think she'd be careful about that. Still I have one question about Clarice, what color are her eyes? We see the bangs hide her eyes, but for a glow, but damn it I just need to know!

2. You know considering what Alice here said about Clarice, I wonder if all the Touhoumon associated with dolls have dolls that contain human souls in them?
No. 178096
>>178087
Oh and you don't have to apologize. In the end, this is just fanfiction and you and the other authors have actual lives to deal with.

At the very least if you can't continue a story for whatever reason, just tell us. Too many authors early on here decided to just drop their stories without informing their readers, and frankly I always found that deeply irritating because they had the time to write and post stories, but didn't have the time to write a short message saying they couldn't finish the story for whatever reason?

Anyways don't worry.
No. 178101
[x] "Youmu, from now on we are always helping ghosts in need. Always."
No. 178106
[x] Yes.
-[x] Got to see Erika one last time.

Not sure how much we can hide from Youmu as I think she figured/saw more than we can hide.

Though you should have said super kinky things.
No. 178107
>Alice Ephese
Well, I clearly see where could this name come from and where might the scene be inspired from...*shrugs* but hey, that was to be expected.

[X] "Yes"
No. 178118
>>178087
[x] “Well, I gave Erika a proper goodbye, that trainer ghost taught me a few things, and the girl with the doll decided to play with me.”
No. 178122
[x] Yes.
-[x] Got to see Erika one last time.
No. 178127
[X] Yes, Yes and Downright terrifying No yes?.... It's a minor concern.
No. 178130
[X] “Well, I gave Erika a proper goodbye, that trainer ghost taught me a few things, and the girl with the doll decided to play with me.”

That was... very interesting. Glad to see the story back! ...And take all the time you need! It wouldn't do for you to suffer just because we all are an impatient lot!
No. 178431
[x] "Mostly."
No. 178629
You're coming off something of an adrenaline high, are just a little bit spooked, and admittedly the parts with Erika and Samantha were purely nice. "Y-yes." You stammer out while trying to sound composed, though the gardener could probably see right through it.

"I thought as much." Youmu responds with that proper and polite voice she seems fond of using when she's speaking to you, "I would certainly hope they were good at least, given that I've had to change your bedding twice in the night, and once more now that you're awake."
...Oh.

"Two of the visitors were good, the third was kinda scary. And sorry about that, I wouldn't have thought dream sensations would translate into biological responses like that so readily." You're at least trying to regain something resembling composure, but you're just not there yet.

"You've never had wet dreams before?" Youmu sounds very skeptical of this, probably because you are a teenage boy coming into his own and thus you are stuffed full of more hormones than a Bull Elephant, "You must have lived a pure life, up until now at least, sir.

You sit upright and feel your cheeks heat up as the conversation takes a remarkably embarrassing turn. "Purer than after my Prismrivers came into the equation, at least." You're not one hundred percent comfortable divulging every little detail, but you will talk about it at least a little.

"Of that I have no doubt." She responds, apparently content to let the matter drop for with that. SlshYoumu reaches steps closer to you and reaches out with one hand and pulls back the slightly dirtied covers to reveal your body to her. You're wearing a new set of unfamiliar pajamas, which Youmu explains the origins of as she pulls your shirt up and carefully begins to feel your abdomen, "I changed your clothing as twice as well, and will have a new set prepared for you after I have finished the check-up."

"Thanks for that as well." You say in response. You don't really react at all to her touching you since it's for a good reason. "Also, how are you holding up?"

Her hand stops for an almost imperceptible moment before it goes back to feeling along your abdomen to see how well you've healed up, "I am fine. I've been checking in on you regularly, but besides that I've swept the mansion from top to bottom and cleared out all of the pests that had taken residence. I've also cleaned up the most vital sections of the mansion and have repaired any damage in them. It is a far cry from its previous splendor, but the mansion is a functional base now. I have also looked into the broadcasting facility we spoke of before you slept. While I am not a Nitori, it seems that it was entirely intact and after a brick cleaning activated and deployed."

"That's good to hear, especially the fact that the broadcasting facility is usable. I'm definitely going to need to call at least one person, and I imagine that Mr. Mustermann's actions left a lot of loose ends that people would want to tie up." While you do possess rightful ownership of the mansion, there's no doubt in your mind that there's going to be an aftermath to all of this. Thankfully nothing that can be pinned on you, but you definitely need to contact Gissele before heading off to your next destination to give her a report on this so you can control when an investigation occurs, if any. "I also need to talk to Aya and Hatate today, and now that I remember it, are there any other areas that you would prefer to have support in?"

"What do you mean?" Youmu asks for clarification as she presses a point on your abdomen. You feel a slight point of pain, but other than that you feel...pretty solid, all things considered. Sore and stiff and you doubt you'll be sprinting anyway but you feel better than you thought you would.

"In terms of keeping the mansion working. You mentioned wanting at least two mons to instruct in terms of how to keep the mansion going, are there any specific roles you'd like to see filled if I have the chance?" You ask, noting the pain but also wanting to see if there was some way to help out SlshYoumu a bit.

"I won't need them for anything so advanced or complicated as you think. Just to handle basic cleaning and such so that I can perform more advanced maintenance with that time." Youmu responds as she pulls her hands back away from you and lets your shirt fall down around your stomach again, "You seem to have recovered admirably sir. Far faster than even I had expected you to."

"Ah. Figured I'd ask." You respond. Seems like the gardener is extremely capable with a little help to take care of the lesser chores. The news that the Ayakashi's gut punch wasn't going to stop you for too long was also good news. "That's good to hear too. How long do you think I'll need to take it easy for?"

"I would like for you to spend at least one more day here resting, but then I would think you'd be safe to travel. It would be ideal if you were careful and did not put too much pressure on yourself though. Please remember that no matter how lucky you were, you were still viciously beaten by a murderous tree monster." SlshYoumu reminds you, as if she can predict what you might do in the future.

"I know. I'm sorting out what I can take care of out what I need to take care of. I can and definitely need to phone home soon, and speaking of murderous tree monsters, how's the egg?" You look about to see if you can't spot it.

The egg that looks like a seed currently is sitting on the table next to your bed, placed in a bed of warm towels shaped up like a nest to keep it stable and safe. "I have not noticed any abnormalities in it. It seems to be a normal egg, for an admittedly rare being."

"Good. I admit I'm actually kind of excited to see what it'll hatch into. I only know of one other Ayakashi because my Prismrivers mentioned it before we fought this one, and certainly not of any chibi forms." You also begin to look about for your tablet.

Your effects are across the room from you, sitting on a chest of drawers on the far side of the room. They're rather well out of reach of you, "Ayakashi are rare for many reasons, including that they're rooted trees whose humanoid body cannot move too far from in all the cases I know of."

"That would make it harder for them." You nod as you hear her two cents on the matter, and decide that you ought to ask for her help rather than do it yourself since you're trying to be good about not straining yourself. "Youmu, could you get my Tablet, please?"

You blink, and then Youmu is holding the Table in front of you with one hand, "It would be for the best if you simply rested today. I will bring you something to eat while you look up what you intend to. Unless you need something else, sir?"

"Are my girls free to visit? I need to talk to Lyrica too." You might as well ask about it while you have the chance after you take the Tablet.

"Your girls were in worse condition than you were by far, no matter what the potion and revive did for their health. They simply passed out entirely and are asleep in the room across from yours at the moment. When they're awake I will send them in. Your SlKogasa took over the watch and is currently no doubt hiding somewhere in this room. For her it was mostly a matter of simply replacing the mass, and the junkfood the trash were so fond of was perfect for that." Youmu explains to you.

"Alright, thank you." Well, Samantha was right in terms of how you should have handled Lyrica's desires differently, but it seems that you were justified in fussing over her too. Not that you were in the right that time, or... how does that even work?

"Of course. I will go and prepare something for you to eat now. If you will excuse me, sir." She bows to you before disappearing in the blink of an eye, leaving you seemingly alone save the quiet sounds that are ambient to your environment. You can hear something that sounds like liquid moving, probably pipes in the walls.

Well, there's that at least. You decide to take the chance to see if you can't get your Tablet to connect to the mansion's broadcasting array so you can make that important call.


You poke through a few of the menus on your tablet and get it to start attempting to connect to the broadcasting array...only to find that it apparently needs a password from you to be used! Curses, basic security foils your plans again!

...Something cool and wet is touching the top of your head.

"Hey, Kogasa." You opt to look away from the Tablet and up, figuring that your affectionate goo girl is likely the source of this cool, wet sensation. She does like to try to surprise you at times.

As you look up towards where you presumed Kogasa was, you find that she's not there! In fact, you don't see anything up there at all! How strange. When you glance back down at your tablet, you are shocked and surprised to see Kogasa staring right back up at you with a smile on her face, her slimey form having come out from under your bed.

"Clearly you're doing okay!" You say as you pet Kogasa, feeling surprised but at the same time feeling relief that she's mostly back to normal if SlshYoumu is correct. "How much mass did you recover? I know mass is effectively HP for you, so it worries me when you lose some."

SlKogasa lets out a happy hum as she leans forward and wraps herself around you in a slimy hug and squeezes you lovingly. She's apparently very happy to see you up and about again! "All good~!" SlKogasa informs you with cheer as she bounces up and down lightly. Even so, looking at what her humanoid form looks like compared to how it used to, it seems like she's still processing the junk food and turning it into mass for her to use.

You hug her back as best you can, finding that it's downright comforting to have her hold you like this and to know that she's okay. "Youmu told me that the others are conked out for now, and I forgot to ask her about the password to get into the broadcasting array so I can phone home. Kinda silly of me to forget that since I'm not supposed to do much today."

"Password? Password Password!" SlKogasa responds, bouncing even more excitably as she says so. Just what does she mean by that, you have to wonder.

"..." You stop and stare for a moment. It couldn't be that easy, could it? You look to the Tablet again and type in 'password'.

...Well, you just connected.

"Kogs, I'm not sure if Youmu reset the password to factory standard for my sake, or if whoever set this system up last was banking on no one trying to crack it. Either way, I feel disappointed somehow." Still, you lean against Kogasa as you dial up home for a call.

Kogasa lets out a sound that soothes down your worries as she wraps herself around you and squeezes you lovingly, chasing away that disappointment as you wait for the call to go through. You can't help but feel a bit nervous as you wait to see just who is going to pick up. One moment, two moment, and the third almost passes when the call goes through, "Hello Zeke." Your father speaks, his voice coming to you as a relief in this situation, "How are you doing out there?"

You nuzzle up to Kogasa in so far as it doesn't get the Tablet gooed as you wait, feeling more relaxed as time goes on. By the time your father does pick up, you're able to greet him normally. "Hi, dad. I've had a pretty interesting time at One Tree so far."

"From what your mother told me, it sure sounds like it son. I'm obligated to remind you that I taught you those skills so that you could use them if it was necessary...but I know that you wouldn't have used anything that could have hurt your friend." Your father shows that he knows at least a bit about what happened to you so far, "Now, what did I tell you about leading with your chin?"

"That you shouldn't do that, and I should keep my hands up." You reply, hoping that you remember it right. "Aside from that, mom also told you I was heading off to a mansion by way of an old map, right?"

"Full of all kinds of nastiness and problems?" Your father asks, though it sounds more like he knows the answer already.

"Like you wouldn't believe." You start to regale the tale of your struggles inside the mansion in full, leaving out no detail save for the parts where you had sex with a- no, your recently caught Rumia and the whole dream sex sequence after the Ayakashi was downed and you had a chance to rest. It probably took a while, considering how much went on, but you figure you might as well tell it in near-full.

"I see." Your father responds, his voice as calm as it always is. He always managed to handle things with a cooler head than your more passionate mother did, but even you've got to admit he's taking this shockingly well, "Congratulations on being a land owner. Count yourself lucky to not be in an incorporated zone so you don't have to pay taxes."

"There's still work to be done there though. Mustermann can't answer for his actions, but there's still probably more than a few people who'd like to wrap up the loose ends here. There were more victims than just the wraiths I ran into." You're bringing up a point you see as being a bit important, since it's probably going to come up sooner rather than later. "But yeah, the lack of taxes would be a good thing."

"Sometimes I wish you'd gotten more of your mother's sense of humor." Your father responds, "That was a joke, Ezekiel. Take a chance to calm down, breathe, and relax. You're wound up tighter than coil from the sound of it. I know what you've gone through here. I've been through similar events myself."

SlKogasa's body shifts and undulates lightly, rubbing your back and attempting to aid you with this apparent tenseness.

The funny part is that you weren't even aware of it. "Well, Kogasa's taking care of the tension part of things for me at least. On another note, I'm kind of interested in seeing this Ayakashi egg hatch. As terrifying as this whole episode was, I did wind up with some interesting rewards for it, and seeing the chibi form of a near-mythical mon is definitely one of them."

There's a brief pause on the phone before your father responds, "Son, do you know what it sounds like when you say that one of your girls is 'taking care of it'?" Your father asks you, the realization slowly sinking in, "As for the latter...well, I can certainly understand what you mean. It's an amazing thing to bear witness to. Birth, that is. I can tell you that since I was there for yours, as well as...well, you never met them but I have been there for when touhoumon came into the world. Don't forget in all the excitement that you're going to be responsible for taking care of and raising a newborn being into this world, and how you treat her is going to shape just who she becomes in the future."

Oooooh, right. The way you just phrased it makes it sound like Kogasa's doing something she's not. "Ooooh, right. Kogasa's just massaging me, that's all. The Slash variant Youmu that's been helping to keep the mansion running basically told me to take it easy for at least today, so intimacy is right out. As for that second part... I plan to ask Gissele about how to raise a freshly-hatched Grass type. She seems to specialize in them, so she'd probably be a reliable source of information."

"That sounds like a wise decision Zeke. You know that if you need anything from us we'll give it to you, so do not be afraid to come and ask us for advice." Your father reminds you as you hear something in the background, "Oh, and your mother triangulated your position while she listened into a tap on our conversation, and is firing over supplies for you to attach to the communication array so that it can function as a Item and Touhoumon retrieval station up to modern standard and will 'catch' your mons properly."

...What?

"I know, and thanks. ...Also, by 'fire', you're talking about her firing the equipment out of a cannon of some kind, aren't you." You're suddenly feeling a little more nervous because you hadn't even considered the possibility that your mother would do something in her usual unconventional method.

"It's a mass accelerator that uses magnetism." Your father responds, "So, it's a Rail Cannon. So...yes." He admits after a futile attempt to try and assuage your worries, "She assures me that the parachute attached will deploy properly and keep it from damaging anything important."

You facepalm at that. "I haven't had a chance to warn Youmu about that possibility either, and Kogasa's the girl on my team who's up and about." You sigh as you weigh the options, those being send Kogasa off to find and warn Youmu about the impending package, or to have her stay here with you where she is apparently needed if your tension is anything to go by. "Well, let mom know I said thanks for that. Getting this place set up as a PC box of sorts would be a load off my shoulders."

"Zeke, can I give you a bit of advice? Try calling out for her." Your father's voice gently nudges you, "You would be surprised what a servant can pick up on."

"I'll give it a shot. Just a minute." You put a hand over the microphone part of the Tablet. "Youmu, do you have a minute?" You call out for the devoted servant, hoping that your father's experience is every bit as on the dot here as it is every other time.

Youmu suddenly appears in front of you in the blink of an eye, standing at attention, "You called for me, Sir?"

"My mother just fired some supplies from her house toward the mansion, and I figured I should warn you before it lands. I've been assured that the parachute should work." You place some emphasis on that word and look apologetic about the matter. "It'll include material to enable electronic transfer of items and mons to the mansion, among other things."

Youmu takes the situation report in with a dignified air as she listens to your information, "I see. I will ensure that I am prepared to catch them then if need be sir. As for you..." She produces a tray of food that is...absolutely enticing. Steaming rolls sit in a basket next to numerous slices of meats and cheeses while a small jar of jam sits on the other side of the rolls to give you an option between savory and sweet. Also on the tray is a small bowl of what looks to be hard-boiled eggs. To top it all off, or rather wash it down, a glass of milk and some sort of juice have been provided. Youmu sets the tray down beside your bed and gives you a look, "It would be for the best if you ate it all, sir. Please do not push yourself."

Well, you're not going to flinch away from that kind of spread. The look she's giving you, though... "I will, and thank you." You manage to smile and note that yes, you really are a touch hungry. Shouldn't be too hard to pack all this away in you.

Youmu bows again and disappears as she seems wont to do, leaving you alone with SlKogasa who is staring at your meal with an expression that is...certainly not hungry. You'd almost call it a pout, but that's ridiculous, isn't it?

...Maybe, maybe not. Since Kogasa is the one who usually handles making the food... "Kogasa, you were beaten up badly and lost a lot of mass yesterday and needed the time to recover. There's nothing wrong with not fixing breakfast for one day, especially since I prefer you being here with me right now." You pet the goo girl as best you can for a few moments before uncovering the tablet and going back to a previous conversation. "Thanks for the advice, dad. Youmu's aware of it now."

"-o you do not need to do that. He is back now anyway." Your father is speaking to someone in the room with him, apparently dealing with something before he comes back to his conversation with you, "Happy to help son. Remember that your touhoumon tend to have better senses than us, and certain types tend to have a special knack for certain activities. Touhoumon that tend to be servants such as Youmu or Sakuya or Yumeko's have a natural talent for picking up on their 'masters' needs."

"That probably slipped my mind considering what's been going on yesterday. ...Er, speaking of which, how is Yume right now?" You ask as you start to eat, taking the opportunity that will be your father talking to get some bites in. You do not want to annoy the Youmu who's taking care of you, after all.

"She is worried sick about you, of course. Though, when was she ever not? She'll get used to it, do not worry. Just focus on not terrifying her too much, alright?" Your father asks of you as you hear a distant WHUMPH in the background.

You swallow the latest bite of food, and you're managing to demolish it at a pretty good clip. "Yeah, that's the general idea, but at the rate I've been going what I want to do and what actually ends up happening doesn't exactly match up." You hope that didn't just hit anything critical. "I am, at the very least, resting as per the Youmu's instructions. She's saying I'm recovering a lot faster than she had expected, so I won't be down for too long. Another day and I should be ready to start sorting things out properly."

"That's good to hear. I'm glad that you at least learned how to take a hit from your lessons." Your father responds in the same tone as always. Honestly he's almost like Youmu in that way, "Now, do you have any plans for what you're going to do next?"

"Well, first off I want to talk to the Aya and Hatate who decided to come join me about staying here and helping Youmu out. I feel guilty about having to do that to them so soon, but my Prismrivers probably won't let me box them, the Ayakashi''s egg needs TLC to hatch, and I'm afraid of shelving Kogasa." You say, feeling a bit... locked into your team for the moment. "Then I need to talk to Lyrica since I managed to annoy her again, and after all that is sorted out I plan to go talk to Gissele at the Gym and then potentially give my girls some much-deserved R&R at the nearby resort town."

"It sounds like you've got it all planned out. That's good to hear at least." Your father responds after listening to your plans in full, "Have you been having trouble with those Prismriver's, Zeke?"

"No more than usual. Lyrica's definitely a leader type and occasionally argues with me when she doesn't agree with what I'm asking her to do, but it hasn't resulted in anything bad." For some reason, you're glad your Prismrivers aren't awake yet. "Aside from that and their evolution-induced libido they've been pretty reasonable."

"I see. That is something that we all have to deal with son. It is good to hear that it at least has not affected your relationship with them so far. Just keep in mind your relationship with them as Trainer at all times Zeke, that's the most important thing for you to do right now." Your father advises you with his age won wisdom.

"I understand. I don't expect things to be instantaneous or smooth, though I hope things work out." Though you're not quite sure why your father would say something like 'so far.' Was he expecting your girls to do something to harm your relationship with them?

"That is a good thing to keep in mind son." Your father's voice is the same as it always is, so you don't pick up on any hints there or whether it was just an odd choice of words, "I do not want to keep you from what sounds like a busy day. Is there anything else I can help you with or you wanted to talk about?"

"There's not really anything else, no. Just wanted to let my family know that I'm still alright before Yume decided to punch a hole in space time to check for herself." You manage a joking tone for that last part, but with her and how much you can scare her at times you're not totally sure if that'd be outside of her capabilities or not.

"That is not something you need to worry about Zeke. After all, the next time you do something stupid and need to get pulled out of the fire, it will be my turn to go." Your father responds back, his tone completely serious.

"I'll try to avoid getting into that kind of scenario, but it's good to hear that I'll have help if things go south. Again." Because quite honestly, you're starting to think that the next location you go to is going to be another surprise bad thing. After all, you had... what, five events so far that you had no idea were coming and would have ended badly for you if things didn't go precisely the way they did?

"That is all we can ask Zeke." Your father sounds a bit tired as he responds this time, and you hear something in the background. Voices calling for him, by the sounds of it. "I should go. Take care of yourself Zeke, and remember you can call us anytime you need. I moved some money into your account,so don't worry about being too frugal, okay?"

"Alright, thanks~ I'll call again when I can." You say in response to that. It was good to hear that you didn't have to worry about money for now, at least. Of course, that would depend on you never losing a Touhoumon battle outside of a League-sanctioned tournament, but honestly you're not terribly worried about that. There were some competent trainers, but those are few and far between.

"Take care of yourself Zeke." Your father says to you one last time before you hear a click of the connection shutting off between the two of you. It seems like he really did have to go, huh? SlKogasa burbles up and breaks you from your thoughts, "What now, Zekey?"

"I don't know." You start to focus on what's left of breakfast in earnest now that the major conversation is over. "Youmu said she'd send my girls in when they're awake. Well, aside from you but you're already here. I'm not supposed to do much today either...

Though something else occurs to you as you think. Namely, that the two Tengu mon are probably not as bad off as your other girls and that they're probably at least awake. "Ah, right. I need to talk to Aya and Hatate too. Kogasa, do you know where they are?"

You hear a loud bang and your window suddenly flies open, "I am already here!" Aya announces with gusto as she flips into the room and lands dramatically, hands on her hips and a grin on her face, "We were outside your window since we got done doing a few things to help out Youmu. I figured someone should watch your window...since that's how I'd get in if I was, you know, not allowed." She explains as Hatate climbs in at a more sedate pace and joins Aya. Hatate glances at Aya's own pose before halfheartedly striking her own, holding up her hands in a double V pose.

"You make funny noise when you sleep." Hatate informs you, "Though it might have just been your wet dreams."

You blush a bit in response to Hatate's candid statement. "That probably had something to do with it. A couple ghosts were especially thankful for the role I played in all this." There's not much reason to dance around the issue since the odds are good that most of the mons present would be perfectly aware of the mansion's previous condition and your wet dreams. "And thanks again, both of you."

"Pssh, it's fine! No need to thank us. Not like we had much else to do or anywhere to go since we got released and all that." Aya responds, seeming to dim a bit at the end before perking back up, "Besides, this has already been more fun than we've had all year, right Hatatatata?" Aya turns her gaze onto Hatate, a grin on her face.

"You bet, Ayayayaya." Hatate responds back, throwing out a thumbs up to her fellow crow, "Beating up that maid and those Prismrivers was the best workout I've gotten since we were caught, even if they were all worn out."

"She means the ones that were working for the Yuyuko, not yours." Aya clarifies, "We wouldn't beat up any other touhoumon you had on your roster without your previous go-ahead and direction...though, friendly sparring can be a good idea to help everyone work out grudges and work together better."

You listen intently since it sounds like the two do have some interesting and relevant things to say. "I kinda figured that. My team definitely wouldn't have been in a good condition to take on so many Ghost types so soon after taking down the Ayakashi. Though sparring's a good idea. It'd definitely have to be done with types in mind and the like..." Rumia alone had a decent advantage over your Prismrivers, though Kogasa would be a bit more dubious in terms of how much of an advantage the darkness mon would have over her. "Before I forget, there are a couple of things I want to talk to you two about. The first of which is if you're willing to let me catch you, and the second part..." You once again feel a bit bad about having to ask something like this so soon. "Is whether you're willing to stay here with Youmu for a while. If I didn't pick up Rumia and get the Ayakashi's egg then I would put the two of you into active rotation right away, but..."

"Uh...yeah sure you can catch me. Not like we'd really want to go back to the whole struggles and tribulations of the wild living after having an easy life with you humans. Plus, we wouldn't have come here and stayed here if we were scared of your balls, you know?"

"Personally, I prefer his balls." Hatate delivers the punchline with perfect timing and a dead-pan expression, "...In all seriousness, I certainly wouldn't mind being caught since it just means that we're safe from people we wouldn't want catching us catching us. As for staying here and helping out...well, it's only natural really. This place needs much work, and it's rather obvious we're the ones most experienced and suited for the job of helpers since we spent all that time running an inn ourselves."

"Exactly! As long as you don't ignore us and promise to come back and visit and take us out for some fun, I'm alright with it too." Aya crosses her arms under her best, still grinning, "Oh, and I want souvenirs too!"
No. 178630
Somehow, instead of making you blush harder Hatate's little jab actually got you feeling more relaxed about the whole thing. "I will, I promise." You say in response to Aya. "My bag's got my balls in it... Aya, could you grab my balls?" It takes you a second to realize what you just said. "My bag that has my Touhouballs in it, please. I'd be fine with letting that previous statement hang, but I'm not supposed to get involved with sexy stuff today."

Aya snaps her fingers, looking as if she's cursing the world for its disfavor to her, "Darn! And here I was planning to have a kinky foursome between us and you two..." She shakes her head as she turns on those weird shoes of hers that help make her seem so tall and casually strolls over to where your bag is, picking it up with one hand before returning to you and handing it over.

"Don't worry Aya." Hatate puts a hand on her friends shoulder, "We'll always have each other." She promises her fellow crow with a hug, and receives one in return.

How sweet.

You take the bag from the tengu mon and start to look through your ball pocket for a pair of suitable ones. "Touhouballs work better at capture based on what they were designed to cater to, which in turn would create a more comfortable environment inside the ball." You say to yourself quietly as you go through the ball types you have, wondering if you have a pair of Fast Balls to work with. "If I have a couple of Fast Balls, would those work okay for you two?" You ask, wanting their input on the matter.

"That sounds fine with me, Zekey." Aya responds with a stretch of her whole body, her wings stretching out as she holds her arms above her head, "I'm the fastest anyway, so I guess it suits me!"

"...I thought those balls were meant to be used in ambush captures? Something about superior tracking and rapid analysis or something." Hatate brings up an interesting bit of knowledge for a touhoumon to have.

You nod in response to Aya as you fish out a pair of Fast Balls, then look to Hatate in mild surprise. "You're thinking of Quick Balls. Fast Balls are keyed in to where they turn the speed of the mon in question against them. Just to ask, how'd you know about those?" You aren't sure if this is something Hatate will elaborate on, but you're curious enough to ask now.

"Hotels have to have pamphlets with those 'Trainer's Tips' things in them. Sometimes when I was bored I'd read them, but they're just really boring. I can't even really remember what I read in them." Hatate admits to you, looking almost sheepish.

"Oooooh, right. So passing trainers might be able to get some basic info when they walk up to a news rack or something. I never think about doing that myself since I was brought up learning all sorts of things that are required to be a decent trainer." You tap your cheek in thought as your memory is jogged about that bit of information. "Anyway..." You prime the pair of Fast Balls in preparation to catch the two. "I'm pretty sure I only have to prime them to set them to claim you. I shouldn't need to actively throw them at you or anything, unless you want me to, so just a tap or something should do it."

"I dunno, being forced into a ball by someone I trust kinda turns me on." Aya admits with a shrug. Hatate looks thoughtful and then nods along with her. Apparently being forced into doing something they don't mind doing turns them on?

That...explains the first time you met them, for sure.

That just goes to show you that different mons like different things. You take one primed ball and toss it up and down in your hand for a couple moments before chucking it at Aya, then you quickly toss the other ball from your off hand to your dominant and tossing it at Hatate. It's not a simultaneous throw, but you also want to get it right. Fancy multi-throws are for Veterans and robots.

Aya is bapped in the face by the ball, her eyes flinching shut as the ball interacts with her and draws her into it rapidly. Hatate follows her shortly after, the ball bonking her on the forehead and making her give you a look that speaks volumes for a brief moment before she is drawn into the ball just as her friend crow was. Both of the balls jostle thrice before they click tight and let out a quiet ping to confirm that capture has been established and reeducation is beginning.

Not that you're totally sure that the reeducation is even necessary, but you are also no longer in a position where the admittedly risky gambit of letting a freshly-caught mon out early is even remotely a good idea so you opt to let it go through. "Kogs, could you get those two for me, please?" You're not sure if they could pop out on their own once everything is said and done, so you might as well have them nearby so you can let them out yourself.

Plus to be fair both of them were caught before, so they probably already had that reeducation applied to them. Kogasa lets out an affirmative chirp before she launches out two tendrils that grab onto the balls and quickly yank them back, under what must have been a second. That's...kind of scary, in a way, isn't it? You muse on that while she holds the balls out to you.

You take them both and continue to lean against your affectionate goo girl as you decide whether or not to leave them in. Whiplash-speed antics aside, they probably don't need the reeducation, so you opt to just let them out.

The two of them reappear in flashes of light, retaking their forms in short order. Aya looks faintly pleased, rocking back and forth on her odd shoes, "Hah, oh those were way better than what we got put into the first time we were caught. Lots of room to run and move in there!"

"I didn't mind those apartments." Hatate responds to her friends statement, though you notice that she's moving slightly back and forth as well, "Though it's nice to have room too."

"Looks like they're good fits for you two. Oh, also, when I do have the chance to bring you two into my active party, do you have a preference for staying inside or outside your ball?" You ask, feeling like that would be an important point. Normally you'd just leave them all out, but for more casual situations it might be better to leave it up to them, right?

"Hm? Eh, it's fine with me. I prefer fresh air I guess, so outside is better but being in the ball isn't going to ruffle my feathers in a bad way." Aya's attention snaps onto you when you speak up, her wings fluttering lightly and giving you a pleasant breeze.

Hatate speaks up shortly after, "Either is fine with me too. I'm not into big crowds, but...being with you would make up for it."

You nod in response while enjoying the breeze. "I normally keep all my girls out unless there's a good reason to keep most of them contained, but I figured I'd ask you two for your preference."

"Well, it's good to keep at least one out. Back before we got caught first time, we knew a Momiji who would brag about how she'd bag trainers who didn't even have one out. Remember her Hatate?" Aya turns her attention onto her fellow crow.

Hatate crows thoughtfully, "...Do you mean the one with the thing for pegging?"

"Yeah, that's the one." Aya nods her head once with certainty as Hatate frowns with displeasure.

"She always smelled funny..." Hatate complains, her nose scrunching up cutely.

"Sounds like she wasn't entirely pleasant." You chime in, noting that the conversation did still involve you. "Though someone like that wouldn't get the drop on me normally. Well, maybe me but definitely not my girls."

Aya and Hatate both give you a look that makes you suspect they've been talking to your other girls and getting the more detailed down low on your travels so far. "Yeah, sure." Aya agrees though when you admit that they might get you but your girls would catch it, "Especially if you're keeping your whole team out. Oh, right. Fair warning? That's enough to probably make sure no wild touhoumon will approach you except for the really strong ones, the crazy ones, the ones with a nasty plot."

"Or ones who want to proposition him catching them." Hatate points out, raising her voice after her friend.

"Yeah, but you and I both know those types are pretty rare Hatatatata." Aya responds back.

"Maybe, but they still exist. With his luck, it's likely he'll be running into all of the above types." Hatate makes an extremely valid point, "If he hasn't already."

"...Yeah, that's a really good point." Aya glances down and crosses her arms under her bust, letting out a huff.

"Huh..." You think the pair make a certain amount of sense, now that you think about it. "I ran into Kogs here who wanted to come with me, I already told you about that anomaly-owning Mugetsu who tried to snatch me up, the MerKoishi I ran into after that didn't proposition me because I didn't have enough badges I think, then there was that ghost variant Sakuya..." You curl in your fingers as you start to rattle off all the odd encounters in your travels so far. "...You do have a point, Hatate."

"Of course she does!" Aya throws an arm around Hatate and pokes her in the ribs a bit, "Our little Hatatata is almost as good a reporter as I am!"

"I prefer to view it as an equal partnership between two people with different skill sets." Hatatatata responds back primly, though you catch the smile on her lips easily.

You nod in response. "Though I can't keep Kogasa in a ball, none of my Prismrivers will agree to being balled unless absolutely necessary, one of my mons is an egg, and Rumia... well, it kinda dives into 'what's the point' territory."

"And now you've got another reason! It'll keep you safe from all the predations and lustful intents of those wild touhoumon, leaving you to only worry about your own teams predations and lustful intents." Aya gives you a bracing pat on the shoulder, with Hatatatata matching her on your other shoulder and giving you a thumbs up. SlKogasa, not to be left out, pats you on the butt.

You squeak as you're surprise groped in such a manner, but don't react much beyond that. Aside from blushing a bit. "There's certainly enough of that going around. With me helping mons who need it I'd probably wind up getting stuck here for days at a time every time I return after a while. Not that that'd be a bad thing."

"Well, that's what your good nature and compassion get you." Aya informs you seriously, "A harem of thankful, nubile women who want to have relations and relationships with you. I know that it's a heavy burden to carry, but I'm sure you're up for it." Hatatatata nodded along with her friends absolutely stone-faced declaration, every bit as compassionate as her fellow crow.

You laugh nervously in response. "Seven girls and growing." You're still leaning against SlKogasa since you enjoy the intimacy and support it brings. "And Merlin's already borderline insatiable."

"I hate to be the one to shatter your hopes and dreams, but since I didn't get your innocence I'll take what I can get." Aya informs you, a hint of a twitching smile on her face, We're all insatiable. It's just that some of us are more direct about it than others, and others are less patient."

"I am undressing you with my mind as we speak." Hatatata informs you, still nodding along, "Imaginary hands stripping your imaginary self of their imaginary clothes, and then doing imaginary lewd things to him."

"Huuuuuh boy..." And there's only one of you, after all. "I guess I'm going to be relying on you a lot, Kogasa."

"Happy helping Zekey~." Kogasa responds with good cheer, wrapping you up in a hug and squeezing you tight.

"Well, you're probably not gonna have to have some kinda orgy with us every time you come back like the week long thing you did back in town, you know." Aya informs you, "I mean a bit of loving now and then is fine, but you don't need to do it every chance you get, you know? You wouldn't get anywhere if that was the case."

"...I was under the impression that that was why most trainers kept their teams small. Having mons involves feeding them, emotional investment to bond with them, keeping the species in mind, and having enough stamina to keep them satisfied." After all, that week-long session was by no means the only time your girls have ever fucked you. In fact, how often did you get to sleep without at least one of them getting in your pants...?

"Well I mean, it sorta is? I mean I never really did much talking with tamed touhoumon before now, but...I don't think that week long orgies are the norm. I mean yeah casual sex is a thing sure, you should fuck often and regularly. But I mean there's plenty of other things like cuddling and massages and just spending time together. I mean yeah we need a good fuck every once in a while, but so does everyone. Those other parts, especially the emotional investment and how you gotta keep who likes which is why most people probably keep it smaller than you do, cause then it's a bigger investment. I mean, Hatatatata." She turns to her friend, "Could you imagine if he'd had a Marisa on his team?"

"Electric types are bad." Hatatata states.

...You can't help but think on that a little more. The part where Aya was talking about how mons don't need constant fucking. "Say, how often do tame chibis engage in sex?"

"...Uhh...I'm not really the one to be asking about that, so I wouldn't know. Sorry." Aya admits, rubbing the back of her head sheepishly, "I mean, Chibi types might swarm a guy and lick him senseless, but they don't really have that same...push in them that anything that's not a chibi does. Does that make sense?"

"She means that chibis tend to not be as lustful and or aggressive in the pursuit of sex, so while it's not unknown it isn't their main focus. When we're chibis, we tend to be more focused on getting stronger and tend to not think about 'that' unless it's right in front of us, having tried to capture one of us but gotten swarmed and dragged down and tickled mercilessly." Hatatata helpfully supplies.

"I see. It's something they'll take if it's convenient, but it's not something actively pursued." You put a finger to your lips in thought. "I guess with that in mind I can just write off my Prismrivers getting in my pants every night prior to the week-long thing as relatively normal, since there was no threat of me being dragged off."

Aya shrugs, "I wouldn't know. You're the trainer, so you're the one who's supposed to know that sorta stuff. All I could tell you about is what things were like for tengu in the wild and the mon species that were near us. Prismrivers and Tengu don't really have crossed habitats, you know? Hatatata might know something...?"

Hatatatatata shakes her head, "I didn't read too many of those pamphlets anyway, so I wouldn't know."

"Figured I'd ask, at least. I told you about how my Prismrivers and I met, so you know that. Out of necessity I didn't let the reeducation process of the Touhouballs complete, so they got that manually, then after that was done I basically got pleasured by them every day at least once." You just shrug after that, and relax into your goo girl a bit. "When you mentioned that mons don't need the D as often as I thought, I got curious."

Aya and Hatate look at each other before both of them share a shrug, "Yeah I guess? I mean they're shiny so maybe they're different. We just don't know anymore than that."

You nod once again. "Still, thanks for telling me about that. I think I'm going to have to ask someone more knowledgeable later on when I get the chance." That line of questioning is pretty much dried up, so you might as well switch to something else. "Is there anything you two want to talk about?"

"Hmm? Oh, uh..." Aya's wings flutter for a moment as she thinks about it, "...Well, how about this: What are your likes, dislikes, dreams and hobby?" She asks you with a grin, "We don't really know enough about each other yet by my tastes."

"Oh, those kinds of things? Sure~" Well, that was an innocent enough request. "I enjoy warm, sunny days that aren't overly humid, cuddling with someone I like, well-prepared food... you know, small things like that. I don't like overly cold weather and people who abuse mons. I haven't found too many things to dislike so far, except... oh right, haunted dolls and crazy-bitch mons like the Yuyuko who kept this place in its previous state."

"Dreams... I don't really have any ambition to become the Champion or anything. I mostly want to explore and see things I wouldn't have been able to see at home. Taking the League challenge is a convenient excuse to do so." You wrap and arm around Kogasa since she's there, and continue. "As for hobbies... I've been too busy to engage in those lately, but I liked to play the Touhoumon trading card game, video games, ect. It was annoying not having many people around who were in my age group to play with."

Aya nods on thoughtfully, "That's a pretty great ambition, if you ask me. You shouldn't tie yourself down young. Getting out there and traveling is where it's at! We didn't stay close to home ourselves." She informs you with a grin, leaning on Hatatatata who seems to loosen up from the touch.

"That's what I was thinking. Besides, Higa's Town is more a place to settle down than to live. I'm definitely nowhere near that point yet." You speak with a smile as the conversation goes on. "Though I've definitely already bitten off more than I can chew myself."

"That's how life is Zekey. You never really get what you expect or plan for." Aya gives you some sage, sound advice.

"Unless you planned for life to not give you what you planned for, in which case you've got a logical impossibility." Hatatatata adds on.

"...How many of those pamphlets did you read?" Aya gives her fellow crow a sidelong look, as if she just said something strange.

"Like expecting the Scarlet Inquisition, right?" You look to Hatate as you say that, perhaps not finding that at all strange in and of itself.

"...The what?" Aya and Hatatatata both give you odd looks as your keen sense of referential humor goes right over their heads.

"Never mind. A big rule of telling jokes is that if you have to explain it, it's not funny, so I won't." You say while stroking Kogasa's back.

SlKogasa's body is sticky and soft to the touch, her form clinging to you as your hand runs along it and providing a bit of fun to play with, as well as getting her to coo at you, "Right. It'd be like us making a super secret tengu reference joke and then expecting you to get it." Aya understands easily.

Good grief this is fun. You wonder if just getting distracted by playing with their forms is part of their danger and appeal. "Yup. Certain quirks must be observed before they are found amusing. ...Ah, speaking of which, I've talked about myself a bit, but can I ask about you two?"

"Sure." "Go for it." Aya and Hatate answer at the same time.

"Well, it's mostly just the same sort of stuff you asked me to start with. I figured we can start with basic stuff and move on from there as we think of other things to ask. So, like, what do you enjoy doing?"

"I'll go first!" Aya declares, her wings flaring out with dramatic intent, "I enjoy flying, learning juicy information, tea of all kinds and long walks on the lakeside!"
"I'll go second." Hatate doesn't seem quite as enthused as Aya, but mimics her posture all the same, "I love flying, taking perfect pictures, coffee of all brews and relaxing under the covers with someone special to me."
"That actually all sounds fun. I get the feeling that if I wanted to sleep with you two platonically there wouldn't be too much objection to not being perverted about it. Much." Their interests sound similar despite the difference in energy in their tones, with only slight differences in their preferred antics. "And... oh, right. Back at the hotel you talked about things like 'just woke up moe.' I take it the two of you like taking pictures of people too?"

"Well, yeah. We're an Aya and a Hatate, you know? I mean, photography is kind of our thing and a given." Aya responds, "I don't think there's one of our kind that actually hates photography, except for like...painting hipsters or something?"

"I brought it up because I don't mind you two taking those kinds of pictures of me, just so long as they don't go public." There was, of course, a difference between consensual opportunistic photo-shoots and non-consensual, and since these two are now your girls you feel that you should give them the okay.

"...It kinda takes the wind out of my wings when they say it's okay." Aya's wings droop comically as she admits this, "I mean, where's the fun in voyeurism if it's not the thrill of getting caught?"

"Don't worry, I'm sure he won't mind watching for us and then making us pay for getting caught by slaking his healthy, teenage sex drive lust with our bodies." Hatatata assures her friend.

"So you'd best be careful~ Who knows what will happen if you get caught?" You say in a teasing tone to play along with the two. There's really no harm in so, you think.

"Of course..." Aya's wings flutter as she and Hatate give you a smile that both arouses lust and concern within you, "Since he said it was okay to take pictures of him, we can take all KINDS of pictures, can't we? Why, what if we took some he didn't want others to see? What could we pressure him into then, hmm?"

"All sorts of things, I would think." Hatate seems thoughtful, "We'd have to work hard at making it embarrassing though, since I don't think he has a sense of shame."

"The best things in life are worth working for, Hatatatata!" Aya informs her friend with a pump of her fist. My, she's so excited.

You just opened the Hina's Box on this one, didn't you? You're trying your best to not be nervous about what sort of thing these two would get up to to get dirt on you, but these are tengu mon with an enthusiasm for journalism. It's only a matter of time before they discover something you wish they wouldn't. "I guess I don't need to feel worried about you two being bored or anything."

Aya chuckles, "Nah, if we can't find any fun we'll make our own. Don't you worry about a thing, boss."

"Boss? I like that, I'll use it too." Hatatata smiles contently now, "She's right though, don't worry about us boss. We're more than capable of taking care of ourselves. After all, we've been doing that for quite a while really."

You cross your arms in response to that. "I just feel guilty about leaving you two here so soon after claiming you. Especially considering your previous 'trainer'." You use air quotes to emphasize how little you thought of that individual.

"...Well don't." Aya responds back, giving you a light bap on the head, "You've already done a hell of a lot more for us than he ever did, you know? You're a nice guy, and if you could keep us in your squad you would. I'm not stupid, and I can tell that the girls in your line-up need to be there the most right now, plus it's for sure than an egg needs to be with you. Plus, we're the best suited to the job of fixing and cleaning this place up since we did that work for a while. Right Hatatata?"

"Right Ayayaya." Hatate agrees, reaching out with one hand and gently caressing the top of your head, "Don't beat yourself up over something like this, boss. This is how it works. You know the rules, and so do we."

You wince as you're bopped, and lean into the petting when it occurs almost automatically. "Yeah, best not to get in trouble with the League after all. I'll make sure to use the item transfer system to get some souvenirs to you at least. That shouldn't take too long to get online."

"That so? I mean, Nitoris would know more about it but isn't this place pretty old by your standards? Is the machinery gonna work alright?" Aya asks, seemingly curious.

"The pamphlets said that the machinery hasn't changed much at all since it was first deployed in a lot of ways except for miniaturization." Hatate adds on, though her eyes are on you for an answer as well.

"It is pretty old, but even if it is a touch out of date my mother's a mad scientist who's really good at what she does. The stuff she sent should be able to be integrated into the mansion's equipment with little, if any, trouble." Pamphlets won't tell you just how ridiculous your mother can get at times. After all, she just used a freaking rail gun to launch supplies to you.

"Huh. If you say so boss." Aya agrees easily enough. Suddenly, you see her and Hatate's ears twitch, "Ah, sounds like your Prismriver's woke up. Or rather, your Lyrica just woke up and she woke up the others." Aya rubs her longer ears irritably, "We should probably vacate posthaste Hatata."

"Yeah, that girl's a possessive one for sure. Wouldn't want to cause inter-party problems on our first day, would we?" Hatata responds to Ayaya, rubbing the base of her ear as well.

"Is she being that loud to you two...?" You ask, but that might defeat the purpose of them leaving before Lyrica crashes in here to inevitably chew you out. "Ah, never mind, go, go."

"Later boss!" Aya waves to you cheerily before she launches out the window, Hatate giving you a wink before following after her, the both of them flapping off to who-knows-where.

...Moments later, your down opens up and Merlin enters first, looking exceedingly pleased with herself. She reminds you of a cat that recently had a kill, in a way, "Ah, Zekey~." She flounces over to you with a smile on her face and a skip in her step, leaning onto the bed and giving you a kiss on your lips before you can say otherwise, "It's so wonderful to see you! We were all quite worried you know! Lyrica just couldn't rest until I helped her get to sleep..."

The kiss makes you melt a little as Merlin has her affectionate way with you for a brief moment.

"Thanks for helping her out. I know I wasn't exactly keeping what she wanted in mind when I asked her to rest last night. She's still probably irate about that..."

"Of course dear~! After all, what are sisters for if we don't help each other out in times like this. I'll be there for them no matter how sticky the mess is, I assure you." Merlin positively glows with good will and good intentions, "Now, you're right that she was more than a bit miffed with you, but I'm sure you were mad at her as well, am I right?"

"Well, not mad, just worried. She got beat up the worst out of all of you, right? I just didn't want to see her exert herself even more..." You admit while continuing to have Kogasa act as support.

SlKogasa is watching the exchange quietly and intently, staring at Merlin while Merlin speaks with you. "Which is entirely understandable. It's good of you to worry about us. Just keep in mind that we worry about you just as much, and Lyrica...had her reasons for reacting the way she did. Do you understand them?"

"We're in an unusual mansion, I just got hurt badly, and the only person available to help me was someone she didn't trust. And she was scared, right?" You try to rattle off everything you recall about what Samantha helped you realize.

"Precisely." Merlin pats you on the head like the good boy you are, "Now, do you think those we're good reasons for her to act like she did?"

"I can understand her reasoning, even if I don't agree with what she wanted." You lean into the head petting on reflex, though you're still thinking.

"That's all we can ask for, Zekey." Merlin assures you, her hands soothing you as she rubs your head lovingly, "I hate to ask you to do this, but do you think you could be a little bit soft with Lyrica? I'm afraid she had a bad dream and is all wound up again."

You're all but purring as the openly perverted mon continues to do her best to soothe you. You are currently thinking about how to go about this, since Lyrica's apparently as wound up as you felt for most of the morning, and with no chance to have it worked out of her. How to go about it, then...?

CHOICES

How should you handle the conversation with the Prismrivers?

[ ] Break the ice by making a joke about how you're planning to go to Hellmouth next.

[ ] Try talking about how you're planning to go to the resort town and take it easy for a while to keep them calm.

[ ] Start off by apologizing to Lyrica for how things went last night.
No. 178633
[x] Break the ice by making a joke about how you're planning to go to Hellmouth next.

Experience has shown that stupid jokes always go over well with this trio!
No. 178637
>>178633
Your shitty attempt at humor does not amuse me.

[X] Start off by apologizing to Lyrica for how things went last night.
No. 178638
>>178633

This can only go well!

[x] Break the ice by making a joke about how you're planning to go to Hellmouth next.
No. 178640
[x] Start off by apologizing to Lyrica for how things went last night.

Making a horrible joke is pretty tempting though.
No. 178641
Well, if it's something like "Clearly we should go somewhere safer this time. Like Hellmouth." we'll probably be fine.

But.

[x] Start off by apologizing to Lyrica for how things went last night.
No. 178642
[X] Start off by apologizing to Lyrica for how things went last night.

I don't want to be a dick because jokes like that are just terrible in this situation.

I don't know if it's been mentioned before but Zeke's mom makes me wonder if she's a Spark or something.

The chibi discussion was interesting. I wonder if the whole chibi/evolve/Last Word thing with Touhoumon akin to life-cycle stages, like chibi (baby, toddler, young child), evolved (teenager/young adult) & Last Word (middle age adult/elder)? Can nutrition affect a Touhoumon's evolving or is it only through "leveling" and special items like evolution stones?
No. 178650
[X] Start off by apologizing to Lyrica for how things went last night.


It's the most pressing concern at the moment, after all.
Then we can talk about our current and future plans.
No. 178659
Hellmouth? What/where's that?
No. 178668
>>178659
Sounds like it might be near Scarytown.
No. 178694
[X] Start off by apologizing to Lyrica for how things went last night.
No. 178696
>>178668
Nah too obvious. It needs a less conspicuous town name, like say Brightvale.
No. 178702
>>178696
Scarytown.

(Forgot the image.)
No. 178703
>>178702
That comic reminds me of the Tomb of Horrors, or perhaps the Valley of Dust and Fire.
No. 178729
Just to note, the update is in the process of being written and apologizing to Lyrica won out. Should be up soon-ish, hopefully.
No. 178751
Carcking a joke about going to a Hellmouth this soon to break the ice just makes you think that something bad will happen to you, and while revealing your plans to go to the resort town would go a long way toward reassuring your girls that you plan to take it easy as opposed to straining yourself there is one important detail you should deal with first. Namely, apologizing to Lyrica for not taking her into consideration last night. "I'll try to handle Lyrica as gently as I can, Merlin."

"Thank you Zekey..." Merlin smiles at you with a visible sense of relief on her face, "That's all we can ask of you."

Of course, now that you think about it you have had a considerable amount of wet dreams and no real chance to wash yourself off. "Uh, Merlin, this might be an odd question but on a scale of one to ten how much do I smell like sex right now?"

"Oh my, I was just about to ask you about that!" Merlin's face is ta picture perfect expression of surprise, "I was about to say, I hope that you've a good enough excuse for Lyrica about why you smell so much like sex with hints of the Gardener. I mean, I certainly understand comforting her in her hour of need but..."

"That wasn't it, Merlin. When we beat the Ayakashi and released all those spirits, three hung back to thank me in my dreams. Including Erika, I might add." You're doing your level hardest to try to explain the situation properly to the perverted trumpeter, though she's not really the one you need to explain yourself to sufficiently to avoid having a certain other mon flip out. Again.

However reasonable her reaction might be in certain ways.

"Oh, is that what happened? I see... Well, I'll believe you if you say so," Merlin shrugs off your admittedly outlandish claim easily enough and accepts it, "But it's Lyrica you're going to have to convince of its validity, not me."

"And I sincerely hope you gave those girls, or boys, a good time for their last time Zekey. I've done my best to make you into the best lover I could. It would be so painful to hear of you... underperforming." Merlin goes right back to teasing you, a smile on her face as she does so.

If sweatdropping weren't just something that happened only in anime and manga, you'd probably be doing a bit of that right now. "I did as best as I could, though Samantha wound up teaching me a fair bit and the third girl played with me more than anything else." It's kinda funny how you can feel so open about talking about this so soon.

"I see. Is that the sort of thing you're into, Zekey...?" She gives you a look that's both speculative and worrying as she watches you before continuing, "Well, I look forward to getting to learn all about what you learned, darling."

"Assuming I can apologize to Lyrica properly without giving her an incentive to lock me up or anything like that." Between the keyboardist and the trumpeter, you're quite nervous about this situation. "I take it I have a roughly zero percent chance of getting a bath in before Lyrica comes."

"She should be coming in right about-" Merlin tries to tell you just how much time you have left, but apparently underestimated it as the door is hurled open and Lunasa comes charging in, rushing up to you and then latching onto you with intense strength, pushing you back into SlKogasa's slime.

"Oh Zekey, you're okay..!" She struggles to control her voice as she speaks, the worry fading away quickly, "We were all so scared and worried about you!"

You're briefly surprised by the violinist's entrance and snuggling, but you respond in kind while holding her tight. "I was worried about you all too. How're you feeling, Lunasa?" You ask, wanting to attend to each of your girls as they come in.

"I'm fine Zekey." Lunasa assures you, looking into your eyes as she snuggles you closer, "I was just worried about you was all. It'll take more than a little bit of fighting like that to keep us down, but you're..."

"More fragile, as Lyrica chews me out about. I'm still going to worry about you girls, you're important to me." You kiss your violinist on the cheek after saying that, feeling quite content and comfortable being trapped between your affectionate goo girl and your Prismriver.

You see Lyrica enter the room over the top of your violinist's head, shutting the door behind her and then leaning against it to watch you. She doesn't seem to be full of a seething fury at least, but she doesn't look happy either. "Oh Zekey..." Lunasa's voice is soothing, "It's okay to worry about us, but we worry about you too you know..."

She looks to be in exactly as good a mood as you thought she'd be, or perhaps a bit better but still well below what you would have liked to see. "I know..." You stroke Lunasa's back as you talk. "Oh right, Youmu checked me over earlier and says I should be fit to travel by tomorrow, but that I should take it easy for a while longer regardless."

"That's great to hear Zekey!" Lunasa's face lights up, the worry burning away with happiness as she finds out that your health won't be affected.

Lyrica looks a bit relieved as well, though she's still staying quiet right now.

You pet your violinist on the head as you look to your no doubt annoyed keyboardist. Time to try and do what you need to do. "Lyrica, I'm sorry I didn't take your wishes into account last night, and it was wrong of me to push you away like that. I was only worried about you and didn't want you to strain yourself any more for my sake. Everyone already did more than I could reasonably ask of them at that point."

Lyrica keeps on watching you, silently taking in what you've said. For a few moments you're worried she might be giving you the silent treatment, but she responds eventually, "Zeke... I was really worried about you. You were seperated from us, the whole place was wrong and then you brought... her." It doesn't need to be said who 'her' was, "Then it turns out that you were hurt really badly and some weird Youmu we didn't even know was going to take care of you? I was just... I was just really worried." She repeats herself.

"I could tell, and thank you." You reply simply enough to the keyboardist's honest answer. "There really weren't any good answers to that scenario and I was just trying to do the best I could. It doesn't help that I just don't seem to factor myself into these things as much as I should."

"You need to start." She responds bluntly, "Zeke... we need you. If you were ever taken away from us I... I don't think any of us would know what to do."

You fall silent for a moment after nodding in response, knowing full well what she means. You don't really need to say it again, but you did gather them up and unite them with you as the glue that holds them together. It wouldn't amount to anything at this stage if you let yourself die. "You shouldn't have to be that dependent on me..." You say quietly, feeling as though you've somehow done something wrong.

"We are though, Zeke." Lyrica presses on as Merlin shifts, looking a touch uncomfortable and Lunasa lets out a quiet noise and buries her face in your neck, "You're the most important thing to us, for all of us. You're the center of our worlds, and not just because you're our trainer. If you ever went..." She doesn't finish her sentence, letting it hang in the air and reminding you of the dire weight you carry on your shoulders.

You hug Lunasa tighter in response, and gesture for Lyrica to come over. "I'll try to stop being so reckless and getting myself put in danger, but I can't promise anything considering how my luck goes."

"As long as you try and think a bit more, we'll handle the rest." Lyrica tells you as she steps closer to you as you gestured for her to, apparently willing to listen to you right now.

You hold out your hand to try to take one of hers in your own, though that task is a little more difficult considering how thoroughly you're pinned. "Just remember that I worry about you girls too, because I love you."

Lyrica takes your hand in hers as Lunasa holds you tight still. "I know." Lyrica speaks up, "I know you worry about us. It's in your nature to, but...you need to take care of yourself too. You're the one who can't just be put into a ball and then run through some feel good juice to be made better, you know?"

"I'll try..." You relax a bit more with your girls all within easy reach like this, though it's still a bit nerve-wracking for you given the atmosphere. "Though for our next stop, it'll be easier. I figure the resort town I passed up before would be a nice spot to rest and relax without having everything go wrong on us."

"Oh, that sounds like fun! Think of how nice the beaches must be there!" Merlin seems to be quite enthused with the idea as she claps her hands together, "Maybe I'll get a tan. A full body one, of course."

"There must be very nice restaurants and sights to see there too..." Lunasa suggests, pulling herself out of the nape of your neck to speak up in the conversation.

"A resort town means lots of spoiled rich kids we can roll for pocket change." Lyrica points out, sounding almost ferally pleased with the possibility of that.

"Sand Castle!" SlKogasa exclaims excitedly, referencing what might be her only memory of a beach period.

"All perfectly legitimate suggestions! We could start off with some fun on the beach or teach some delusionally self-entitled rich people a valuable life lesson, then finish it up with dinner at a nice restaurant. We don't have to worry about money for the time being either, so long as we don't go crazy spending it."

"If we do need more money, we could always rent Zekey dear out to a lonely middle-aged woman who needs a bit of thrill in her life! Why, if we pick the right one we could even get a villa out of it, I'm sure!" Merlin suggests a totally not worrying line of thought.

"Loaning me out in such a manner is forbidden." You state flatly, figuring she's joking but opting to play along anyway since it's alleviating the mood even more.

"What about sub-letting?" Merlin presses, apparently curious about your opinions on that. Well, you ARE prime real estate...

However, you do have standards and selling your body is beneath them. "That is also forbidden. In fact..." You look to Kogasa as best you can given your current position. "Kogs, you are hereby authorized to stop Merlin from making any attempt to barter me off for a villa."

"Yes sir!" SlKogasa gives you a salute, her expression one of military discipline as she accepts her mission.

Merlin chuckles in a good natured manner, "My my, you're acting as if I couldn't convince you to do it, Zekey darling~." The pose she strikes is... certainly tempting, that much is for sure. How does she manage to be even more sexy with her clothes on than with her clothes off...?

You look at her for a moment or two before looking to Kogasa again. "You're also authorized to stop me in the event that she brainwashes me into doing her bidding with her sexy body."

Merlin snaps her fingers in consternation at your cleverness to avoid her dastardly traps while SlKogasa keeps up the salute and looks direly serious. Lunasa giggles at whole exchange and Lyrica seems content to just roll her eyes at it and huff.

You start smiling in response to that, finding the whole scenario rather amusing. "That aside, I still need to rest for today, so..." You pull Lyrica toward you, hoping to get her to help her sister dogpile you a bit since you enjoy the feeling of having them all on you.

Lyrica resists your tug, moving at her own pace and moving beside you to kneel down by your bed before acceptingly grabbing you in a hug. "You shouldn't have girls dogpiling you if your stomach was hurt, as much as I know you love having nubile flesh piled on top of you." Lyrica teases you, her hand gently touching your stomach where you were hurt. Thankfully it's not very tender there, but even so you guess she's got a point. Even having a girl as light as yours jump on your stomach might...

You nod in response. "You're right..." You say in a defeated tone as you hug her back. "On both counts. I can't help it if I enjoy having my girls on and near me, it's comfortable and helps me relax." You kiss her on the cheek as best you can for good measure.

Lyrica and Lunasa both hug you together as sisters, and SlKogasa joins in on the hug by wrapping her arms around you while slimy tentacles wrap around Lyrica and Lunasa to hug them as well. Merlin stands off to the side, watching the whole event with a smile on her face, but there's something odd in her eyes that you can't place.

Even though you can't place it, the mere feeling of that stare makes you incredibly nervous in that 'I'm going to do things to you later when you're not liable to get hurt even worse because of it' sort of way. As such you opt to try and defuse that situation as soon as possible. "Merlin, come here! I want to hug you too!"

Merlin seems to get shocked out her thoughts and looks to you in surprise for a moment before her grin widens, "Oh, I don't mind if you do a bit more than that darling~." Her voice has that teasing edge in it as she sashays over to your side and wraps her arms around your head so that she can haul it between her bust, taking you to your happy place.

One of your happy places anyway, and easily one of the nicer ones as you greatly enjoy Merlin's pillowy marshmallows. Of course, you're trying to not get yourself hurt by straining yourself, so you opt to let her do as she wishes while holding each of the other two sisters with one arm each.

SlKogasa's slime extends out and around Merlin, hugging her against you as you all collapse into a great, big cuddle pile of happy times and good feelings. You feel as if the dark air between you and your Prismrivers has been all cleaned up now, which leaves you feeling a good bit better about your situation on the whole.

That does leave you with the massive question of what's to be done with the day. You've only eaten up part of the morning and you still have at least one entire day to go through before you can start traveling or doing kinky things with your girls again. So what to do...?

[ ] Use the spare time to look over your 'dex.

[ ] Have SlKogasa help you explore the mansion.

[ ] Maybe your girls have some ideas?

[ ] How's Rumia doing...?
No. 178755
[X] How's Rumia doing...?

She was suddenly brought into the group under less than ideal circumstance. (Although that probably goes for all of them. Except maybe for Aya and Hatate.) We should try to make sure she can fit into the group as well.
We can read the 'dex while travelling and there's probably not a lot to explore in the mansion. If there's anything more interesting than dustly old rooms, then Youmu can show us.
No. 178758
[x] How's Rumia doing...?

Never not vote Rumia.
No. 178759
[x] How's Rumia doing...?

We need to make sure Rumia gets along with our trio. Or more likely just Lyrica.
No. 178760
[X] How's Rumia doing...?
[X] Have SlKogasa help you explore the mansion.

Rumia is a part of our team and we should know how she's doing.

Also since this mansion is going to be a new home/base of sorts, we should explore to find out more info about the place. SlYoumu did mention she'd scared off all the wild Touhoumon and former associates of the Yuyuko.
No. 178775
[X] How's Rumia doing...?
No. 178777
[X] How's Rumia doing...?
No. 178779
While I'm thinking about it, I thought I should tell you all something that I think has been mentioned a few times in stories but may not have been gone into extreme detail or anything, and that is specifically what goes into making a successful touhoumon team. It's not just about covering elemental weaknesses in this, it's also a matter of meshing personalities of the mons involved, which have numerous factors. For instance, relationships between mons whose typing is super-effection or not very effective on each other can be shaky at best depending on whether it goes both ways. There are also things like species specific rivalries that you could probably guess on (Kaguya vs Mokou ala Seviper vs Zangoose).

More over, your actions and how you treat the team will affect the mons personal morale which also has a noticeable affect on how they fight. For instance, if you told Merlin that her hat looked dumb on her she would have critically low morale and would fight at an disadvantage from the start, or behave eratically.

What I am trying to get at is that this is something you should all start to consider and keep in mind while you make future decisions, especially when you get the chance to start picking your teams which won't be too, too long into the future, even if you only get to pick a few of the six slots due to storyline reasons.

Picture unrelated, but goddamn adorable and I wanted to share if none of you had it yet.
No. 178780
>>178779
So would the current majority ([X] How's Rumia doing...?) be for the best because we're trying to make sure our girls get along together or will it just make things worse cause we're pushing for Rumia after just making up with Lyrica? Or will we just have to find out for ourselves?
No. 178802
>>178780

If I answered that, wouldn't it sort of defeat the point of letting you make choices and having to deal with the consequences? Every decision has ramifications, both good and bad. Sometimes they're short term, sometimes they're long term, and the vast majority of them I assure you that you could puzzle out well before they became an issue if you all put your thinking hats on and put your heads together.

Most of the consequences are rather straight forward and obvious, I think.
No. 178810
>>178780
When I cast my vote, I was hoping that even if it might cause some short-term disruptions (because, as you said, we're going straight to Rumia right after straightening things out with our Prismrivers), in the long run it will be for the best as we can make sure that our team works together as best they can until the point where we start rotating mons in and out.

They seem to have mostly gotten over her addition to the team, there's just the ghost vs dark problem of... Well, them not getting along.
As long as we can work past the biggest issues for long enough to reach the point of a full+ team roster, there's no reason to group them together again after that.
No. 178817
>>178810
Ghost & Dark Touhoumon can't get along?

Can they at least accept each other and behave civilly?
No. 178827
>>178817
I think the sisters' issue with Rumia was how aruptly she was added than her type.

[X] How's Rumia doing...?

If not for this, I'd likely vote for looking over the dex and/or explore the mansion, things we should do anyways before leaving.
No. 178833
uh, we already have a full roster. 3 ghosts, 1 slime/poison, 1 dark type and 1 water/psychic

Man, psychic types wreck almost everyone in our team. Thank the darkness for Rumia. Speaking of which...

[x] check on the grue
No. 178834
>>178833
Who's our water/psychic? Mer-Koishi? But we haven't even caught her yet?
No. 178843
We promised to come back after a few badges so she should count.
No. 178845
Well, at the rate this is going, it'll be years before we get some badges, so she probably shouldn't count.
No. 178846
>>178833

Slime's a Variant, not a type. Slime Kogasa is a Ghost/Poison, and MerKoishi's not even with the group yet. On top of that, Aya and Hatate can be rotated in when the opportunity arises, and only Kogasa is weak to Psychic as of current. Everyone else takes neutral damage or no sells it.

>>178845

Okay, that's just uncalled for. I have college to worry about so I can't write as much as I used to, and Nob has things in his life to worry about too.
No. 178850
>>178845
Hey now this isn't AWiY! Only when it hits that pace do we worry.

But that being said, I've felt better if our gym trip netted a badge. But oh well.
No. 178851
>>178850
Yeah, but how many badges has Wizard received? He hasn't even filled out his team yet!
No. 178853
>>178851
He's got a Cirno, a 'Momiji'♂ and an Ex-Keine with max affection, his team is fine.
No. 178936
>>178853
Wouldn't that be a Kagerou♂, though?
No. 178960
You know considering the weirdness of the mansion, does anyone think the caves and the huge amounts of gems and stones are natural? Part of me wonders if the caves may be an anomaly like that anomaly with the Getsu sisters that we ran into earlier.
No. 179040
>>179038

There's a new thread up over here, if that's in your interest.

Also, since I can't disengage my file please take this wonderful picture as payment