[Return]
Archived Thread

File 14128658166.jpg - (135.56KB , 850x1029 , thoughts-of-the-dead.jpg ) [iqdb]
182085 2014/10/09(Thu)14:43 No. 182085
>>177232

Look how far you’ve come.

It feels like only yesterday you were wetting the bed.

Sure, you wet your pants in terror nowadays, but that’s improvement!

I guess you wouldn’t appreciate the joke if you could hear it. You would just snark back at me, using one of my own fears as ammunition.

That’s improvement too; leagues better than sullenly muttering and putting your nose back into your newest occult book.

That makes me happier than you realize, I think. Somehow, you can feel my deepest emotions in your very soul yet your skull is thick enough to prevent your brain from getting the message.

We’ve been tramping around this grand earth for close to a decade now. I’m proud of how much you’ve grown in that time. You’re clever and quick on your feet. Your necromancy is potent, your combat senses sharp. Sometimes you choose the wrong moments to overflow with confidence or paranoia, but it’s a work in progress.

I wonder if this sense of pride is how parents feel.

Parents?

I’ve taken care of you for more than half your life. How crazy is that? I’m more your mother than your sister at this point.

…Sorry about that. I haven’t done a very good job, no matter what you say. I still think back about mom and- and I guess that doesn’t matter, does it? You never got to see that side of her. Never got to feel the warmth she could provide.

It’s my duty now. It’s been my duty yet, somehow I’ve done a better job of it in death than in life.

Crazy.

That’s the only conclusion I can come to when I reflect like this. From the moment you fused my soul to yours, things have somehow gotten better and better. Our time here in Gensokyo has been no different. You’ve made so many friends, met so many new people – I almost feel like crying on the inside when you simply walk into the market and buy an apple.

How stupid is that? It’s plainer than plain, yet I never thought we’d ever arrive at an action so…normally serene.

Being accompanied by hundreds of years old jiang-shi and an equally old nun magician might not be other peoples’ definition of normal but that’s our life now. We’ve both come to love it, have never felt more alive.

It’s not all rainbows, of course. Your fixation on me and the Necronomicon is something I doubt I’ll ever be able to change, but I’m hopeful. This business with Eientei might explode out of our control and end poorly, but I’m hopeful. Your relations with Byakuren and the other girls might be more confused than a puppy looking in a mirror, but I’m still hopeful.

No sweat, Bro. We- You, you have had to deal with worse before, without a light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s times like these when I enjoy sinking back into your mind, basking the good emotions, the electric jubilation that runs through you. It’s the calm before the storm, an important break in the action. Take full advantage of this last night of the Bon Festival, Bro. Don’t let me be the only one to enjoy these sensations.

I know you can do it.



…I hope you can.

I mean, it’s not like you’ll ruin things with that mouth of yours or act without thinking or-

Actually, what’s happening out there?

The big play just completed! We weren’t eaten by the experimental monsters! Surely even you couldn’t…

…maybe I shouldn’t just sit back…


>> 2014/10/09(Thu)14:44 No. 182086
“It was impressive, wasn’t it? All the actors and actresses practiced long hours to achieve this. I was glad the performance everybody worked so hard on went without a hitch.”

You wouldn’t call us or the lead actor almost getting eating by Eirin’s monstrous experimentation a hitch?

Not in the performance itself. That was preparation troubles.

Aya nods and dutifully writes down your words. However, there’s no mistaking the dissatisfied curl of the bird youkai’s lips. She was expecting something more personal, you suppose.

There’s really not much more you want to say. You look around, taking in the crowd of people around you; human and youkai, fearlessly socializing and working together. Byakuren’s smile says something about this all. “It was the kind of performance that Myouren himself would have been proud of,” you finish.

Gensokyo’s fastest reporter scribbles your statement and smiles, giving you and Byakuren a quick salute. “Very well, then. Thank you for your statements Sir, Ma’am. Enjoy the rest of the night!”

The bird youkai dramatically pockets her notepad and pen before grabbing her friend’s hand and yanking her into the air. “Onwards, Hatate! News waits for no one!”

“Where are we going now?” the other girl cries.

“Investigating! I heard a great rumor during the play that I think we can…”

And she’s off.

Whew. You’re glad you don’t have to stand around and play twenty questions with the reporter. With the successful conclusion of the capstone event Gensokyo’s Obon Festival, the play about the Hijiris’ pasts and the founding of Myouren Temple, you just want to enjoy the completely non-life threatening after-party.

“That was something,” you idly comment as Aya and her friend disappear into the night sky.

Byakuren is completely unflustered by Aya’s pestering. “Aya can always be trusted to appear when you most expect her to. Pay her no mind.” The nun turns to you, the exuberance from before when she had scooped you up into a spine-tingling hug slowly fading.

“Do you truly think all that?” she asks.

“Course I do. I’d hardly want Aya to spread lies for me.”

“I see.”

The two of you only have a moment more to yourselves before the crowd of disciples flood in.

“Lady Hijiri!”

Byakuren is popular. Maybe some hate her or find her dishonest, but her followers truly adore her. No matter what their past is or what faction they identify with now, they all love the head nun. The spooky man in all black doesn’t intimidate any of them – you’re quickly muscled out of the way.

What a lucky woman. You don’t have other humans drawing you into hugs or youkai hanging off your back in celebration.

Then, Byakuren and Yoshika are…?

Quiet. That’s not what you meant.

You don’t even like crowds! Don’t be jealous that you can’t monopolize your sweet love’s time.

What? She isn’t…

Hm?

Nothing.

You lean against the wooden frame of the stage and run a hand through Yoshika’s hair absent-mindedly. Your trusted companion simply leans further into you and lazily drapes her arms over your shoulders.

This is nice.

What is?

Everything. Not being dead. People being happy. Maybe it’s just the euphoria after staring lunarian-powered magical arrow death in the face and walking away – there’s a certain kind of satisfaction in confronting Eirin and winning.

I wouldn’t call running with your tail between your legs winning.

But you will. Tonight was just the first step on the road to success. It’s only a matter of time before you crash the mansion, loot your book, and free all the enslaved rabbits from their mind-controlling overlord.

They would shoot you rather than leave, I think.

You’ll just have to work on the first two goals then.

We would need to confirm that Eirin has the Necronomicon first, anyway.

How can she not? Creating those mutated and astoundingly tough tentacle rabbits is damning!

Unless she truly is a lunatic. I just don’t want you barging in-

You won’t. You’ll scout out the situation first, especially with the wide variety of grisly deaths that Eientei offers.

Still, you can feel it. You’re closer than ever to giving your sister back her life.

We can worry about that tomorrow, right?

Of course. You still have this last night of the festival to get through first.

The crowd, both behind the stage and in the audience, thins. You watch as your jiang-shi and random villager number thirty-two leave the area. Twenty minutes after the play ends, the last of Byakuren’s devoted followers have finished their celebratory hugging and left. The most movement comes from the swarm of magical, semi-autonomous dolls that are slowly cleaning the area.

“Where’d everybody go?” you ask Byakuren.

The head nun shrugs and walks over to you. “Out to celebrate, I presume, or continue on with their night of enjoyment in the case of the audience.”

There’s no more tension in her body. After preparing for weeks with all the mishaps along the way, it seems all the stress is off.

You feel rather bad, actually. You probably caused her more problems than solved.

You got her lead actors back. That’s plenty helpful – she thanked you herself.

Yeah, but you also screamed at her like an idiot. There isn’t a trace of the despondent, crying woman you left alone two nights ago, but you never addressed that issue. You just avoided her for a day, sent a couple more girls’ emotions spiraling downwards through necromancy, and then ended up here.

Really, it’s nothing praiseworthy.

Look, I don’t think she could look so genuinely pleased if she was hurting.

Perhaps.

Maybe you should do something, then?

Got something in mind?

Not at all! But there’s no reason to ruin the mood, right?

“A party sounds like a great idea. Let’s go!” Byakuren doesn’t say anything when you grab her hand and pull her towards the light of the Human Village. But there’s a smile on her face – that has to be a good sign.

After a brisk walk from the outdoor stage into the village proper, you begin to see all the familiar faces approach. “Lady Byakuren?”

“Ichirin, how are you?” Byakuren calls backs.

“I am doing well. This was an exciting night!” The nun is standing on the side of the road and drawing closer. “Where are you two going?”

“Party! You too!” You shrug off Yoshika’s hold on your arm and grab the zombie’s girl hand tightly. With a grin on her face, Yoshika reaches out and clasps arms with Ichirin, dragging the blue-haired girl along for the ride.

“I- Wah?”

Without a pause to explain you continue on your march down the streets.

“Do you have a plan in mind?” Byakuren asks.

Uh…

“In that case,” Byakuren continues, reading your slight pause like a book, “might I propose we eat? The performance has left me famished.”

Your stomach grumbles at the mere mention of food. Experiencing supernatural beings try to kill fleshy humans all night must have stoked your appetite. “Sounds like a good idea.”

Ichirin needs only a second of thought before sharing her idea. “I heard from Kyouko who heard from her friend’s brother that the spaghetti is as authentic as we’ll find in Gensokyo!”

The village must have everything. “An Italian restaurant?” you ask.

“Does this surprise? After meeting all manner of magical beings thought to be fairytales?” You frown even as Byakuren smirks and continues speaking. “Many more have fallen into Gensokyo, a misstep taking them along the wrong path, than have sought it out such as such as some. It only takes one Italian chef finding himself lost yet more calm than ever to start a family business.”

The restaurant is one of many lining the streets. There is little to distinguish it from the other wooden buildings adorned with colorful signs and bright lights. The line out the door is one such unique feature.

“I doubt there are any seats,” you comment.

Ichirin paces up and down the line, more crestfallen after every second. “I did not expect this place to be so full. I guess they were right in saying the food is good!”

“Should we find somewhere else to eat?”

Ichirin looks none too pleased at the suggestion, but what can she do?

“Why would you need to find something that isn’t lost?”

“To gain heart one must lose everything.”

“A heart is too squishy to be made of everything!”

You blink and look over to Byakuren. The brunette is standing there talking with a grey-haired girl in a sunhat.

“Everything that matters can be found within oneself.”

“Really? Then, the pasta in my belly matters?”

“Indeed it does.”

“Oh, I see!”

“I wish that I could experience the feeling of pasta settling in my stomach.”

“Do you? Why would you want- Oh! Oh! I know this one!” The grey-haired girl grabs Byakuren’s arm and pulls her past the front desk of the restaurant. You and Ichirin share a bemused look before following after the head nun and her little friend. The death stares from the waiting customers are unnerving, but you aren’t going to pass on this opportunity.

“I found a Byakuren!” your grey-haired guide announces after reaching a table.

“Didya? That’s great Koishi!” In the near center of the restaurant is several tables pushed together, the largest group by far. Many of the Myouren Temple cast and their friends are enjoying their meals.

The large party has been given a wide berth by the other patrons of the restaurant. It’s no surprise, given the massive amount of youkai present. More than just the Buddhist disciples, there are several other youkai mixed in the group as well.

Marisa Kirisame is sitting at one end of the table and waving you over. “You four need a seat! There’s just enough space here for ya!” The blonde magician gets up and pats you on the back, guiding you and your friends to the table. “Sit, sit, no need to be shy!”

You, Byakuren, and Ichirin share an amused look before separating towards the empty chairs. Although Marisa guides you to only a single empty chair, it only takes a second for Yoshika to sit to your left.

A quick glance around doesn’t reveal any half-eaten or de-chaired patrons, but…well, whatever.

On the other side, you end up being seated next to a familiar kappa. “Hey Nitori. How are you?”

“Ahm gooh, thwanks.” She sets down her silverware and takes a gulp of her green drink. “Is your hand functioning normally?”

You tug on the tip of your black glove, removing it and exposing the flesh-colored metal hand underneath. “Still in excellent condition thanks to your maintenance.”

“Glad to hear it!”

“So,” you continue after placing an order with the waiter, "what are you doing out of your lab, Nitori?”

The kappa stiffens up like a board. “W-What? I can’t enjoy a trip to the h-human village?”

Don’t scare the poor girl. It was meant to be a simple question, not some sort of accusation!

Luckily, Nitori herself seems to understand how ridiculous her reaction is given her location. “Um, Marisa invited me out and I was only tinkering with a few projects at the time…” The kappa pauses, almost as if she’s unsure of what to talk about outside of her projects. A quick glance around the table cues her into a subject. “I thought the play was very exciting! All the special effects were magic based, right?”

“That’s right. Explosions, audio, lighting, and most the rest of it was being controlled by the talented temple members and Alice.”

“Wow, that’s impressive. And you did all the costuming?”

“More like some of the makeup. It wasn’t even magical makeup – I’m a magician! Magical fake blood would have been so much better.”

“Would it have? I thought everybody looked spectacular.”

“Not really, but it’d be more fun. You watched the entire performance then?”

“Yup! I, uh, wasn’t actually going to come but then Marisa came and got me and well…here I am.”

The boisterous black and white witch is standing up and moving around the table, throwing her arms around seemingly randomly people and laughing. “She’s a force to be reckoned with, then?”

“Definitely,” Nitori answers with a smirk. “Just look at everybody she gathered here. She has a gravity of her own.”

An arm snakes around Nitori’s neck and pulls, the kappa’s eyes going wide in surprise.

“Are you calling me fat?” Marisa shouts with a grin.

You watch the two girls playfully push each other back and forth before they disentangle. Nitori looks down and away, completely flustered.

Which is why she doesn’t notice Marisa pouring something into her drink.

Marisa gives you a wink and leans over your shoulder, pouring the mahogany-colored drink into your cup. “And some for you too, yeah?”

You take a sip of the drink and sigh. It’s a simple matter to flush your body with magic and filter out the effects of the alcohol.

This isn’t responsible.

No doubt, but at least it isn’t alcohol from an oni’s magical never-ending gourd. The wine Marisa has shouldn’t cause too much damage.

Except for those that are unsuspecting.

“Hey Nitori, you shouldn’t-” the kappa already has her cup tilted back, the now dark green liquid draining completely, “-nevermind.”

Looking around, you’re unsurprised to find most everybody already drinking the night away. It’s par for the course in a Gensokyo celebration.

Not everybody is partaking, though.

True. It seems the Buddhists are somewhat fractured in regards to drinking. While you notice several of the temple members already well and sloshed, others politely abstain from any alcoholic antics. The numbers are a bit disproportionate, however; there are only a few who don’t have some sort of glass of wine or cup of beer next to them, and you assume fewer still who were carefully watching Marisa. You guess the precept of temperance isn’t particularly popular…

“Come on, Byakuren! Don’t be so stuffy!” Marisa waves her bottle in front of Byakuren’s face.

“A disciplined mind leads to happiness, Marisa. Exercising our discipline in avoiding temptation is important to those wishing to reach enlightenment. However, it is natural to forgive any missteps from this path, especially on such a night.”

“Aw, that’s no fun at all. Suit yourself! More for me!”

Other than the participants growing tipsier by the second, nothing changes from the conversation and good eats.

It’s rather pleasant. You can join in on any conversation without feeling unwanted. Everybody that Marisa has drawn around the table seems to be of the good-spirited sort. You make a few jokes with some of the Buddhist disciples and watch in appreciation as Marisa lights up the air – and laugh with everybody else when the restaurant owner threatens her with a chair.

Then you notice. While everybody else’s attention becomes less focused, you see Byakuren nonchalantly pulling what looks like a flask out from within her robes. She unscrews the lid and pours a clear liquid into her water. In one smooth, two second motion, the flask returns to whence it came.

Huh.

Byakuren glances at you with one eye as she takes a sip of her drink.

You frown and shrug. She’s a big girl; she can make her own decisions.

Seems kind of risky if she’s looking to keep up the perfect Buddhist shtick.

Maybe, but you imagine this isn’t the first time she’s done it. You’ve never asked, but if she installed a secret back entrance in the temple then- whoa, this tiramisu is delicious!

Don’t just scarf it down, savor it!

You definitely aren’t going to swirl it around in your mouth or whatever other disgusting thing your sister wants you to do…

…Before you know it, the restaurant has cleared out. Most of the party goers that Marisa had gathered have left. Only her closest friends, or those most drunk and passed out, remain to listen to the drunken witch complain.

“But Reimu threw me out! Me! And I thoughtshe liked mee!” Marisa shouts, slamming her hand on the table for emphasis.

“Maybe she doesn’t want to be bothered,” you propose.

“No way! Reimu loves visits from me all the time no matter what the day or the weather or the time or the day or whenever!” Marisa slams her hands down again, this time causing star-shaped sparks to fly up.

Nitori ducks one of the projectiles and lightly places her hands on Marisa’s shoulder. “I think it might be time for you to go home Marisa.”

“Home? Home? It’s not even tomorrow yet! Why would I go home?” The witch pauses, face scrunching in thought. Then she jumps to her feet, dragging a surprised kappa with her. “Of course! I’ll go see Reimu now! And since it’ll be tomorrow she won’t be so uppity and then we can talk and have fun and…”

The pair flies off, however unwilling one of them might be. All that’s left is you, Byakuren, Ichirin, the sleep drunkards, the rowdy drunkards, and the restaurant staff who are- Did Marisa pay for all this?

I’m not sure if anybody did.

Well, if that’s not your cue to leave you don’t know what is.

After giving a quick eye to Byakuren and Ichirin, the two women seem to understand and discretely stand. With Yoshika at your side, the four of you quietly depart the restaurant.

The night grows late but the time hardly puts a damper on the festive spirit on Gensokyo. Plenty of people still party on the streets, joyous and rowdy.

Your companions are more sedate, though, compared to the previous post-performance hours. Byakuren is staring up at the sky and Ichirin down at her feet. “Was the meal as good as you heard?” you ask.

“Hm?” Ichirin looks up, her eyelids droopy. “Oh, yes, it was.” The nun yawns and shakes her head. When she begins to sway, wisps of pink support her. “My apologies, I think I will be heading home for the night. It has been a long day. Shall we go together, Lady Byakuren?”

The gradient-haired nun doesn’t look down from the sky. “I think not, Ichirin. I shall return soon, but not quite yet.”

“Of course. Good night then.” Ichirin gives a sleepy bow before lifting off in the direction of the temple. Pink clouds surround her more tightly, straightening her flight path until she is out of sight.

It’s a pleasant night, really. The air is slightly chilly while some stars are visible beyond the glow of the festival lanterns. The sounds of the never-ending party roll over you and are quickly relegated to a rhythmic backdrop.

Yoshika snuggles further against your arm, the rough outside leathers of your jackets brushing the skin of your arm. “We should really get you dressed in something else,” you murmur to the jiang-shi.

Your undead companion shakes her head, her coarse hair rubbing along your skin. “Mine now.”

It’s going to be a struggle getting that jacket back.

You’ll manage somehow.

When you look up, you find Byakuren watching you. “Something wrong?”

“Not at all. It gladdens me to see you faring well with the others.” The nun raises her arms and stretches, a pleased sigh escaping her lips. “I must say I was rather afraid in your ability to acclimate to life at the temple, but many seem to have benefitted from your presence over the past few weeks.”

“I wouldn’t say many. I still get more dirty looks than friendly greetings.”

“But there is marked improvement, correct?”

“Yeah, I won’t deny that.”

“Good.”

After some unspoken agreement, the three of you begin aimlessly walking through the village. Unlike during the day where villagers would clamor over the gracious nun, your group hardly attracts any attention this night. At most a few stall owners call out but quickly ignore you in favor of the more outgoing customers around.

Your walk takes you up down side roads and up stairwells until you manage to reach the top of the village’s stone walls. There are a couple of guards standing watch, but even they are lax due to the festivities. The long stretches of wall are free of the crowds below.

Sitting on the cold stone, feet dangling over the edge, a warm presence to your right, a cool yet cuddly presence to your left, and an ever-comforting presence in your mind – this is something special.

Isn’t it just?

You aren’t sure how long you sit there, quietly gazing out at the emptying farm fields and green forests beyond.

“What is on your mind?” Byakuren murmurs.

[ ] “How much of the play was accurate?”
[ ] “I might have driven our only Hakurei Shrine Maiden into depression.”
[ ] “The work you do is astounding.”
[ ] “I think I’ve found the Necronomicon.”
[ ] “Is that gradient hair natural?”
[ ] “We might be facing an army of mutated, semi-cosmic horrors.”
[ ] “I love you.”
[ ] “I’m worried about Minamitsu.”
[ ] “Want to cuddle?”
[ ] “Nothing much.”
[ ] <Write-in>

---

Well, here we are again.

I apologize for taking so long. I’ve been sitting on the update for a bit, tinkering with it, but I realized I’d never get it out if I didn’t just post it. A hiatus is a scary thing; don’t fall in or you may never crawl out of it.

Not sure who’s still around or who even remembers anything that’s happened, but such is life. Can’t let that keep me down – one vote should keep the train running, choo-choo!

Also, those of you who posted in the old thread warmed my heart; whether you had my story bookmarked or searched beyond the front page or kept my story unhidden or whatever, thanks.

Now, for some months-delayed responses.

>>178809
Just work harder Anon and use the magic of your courage to turn that dream into reality!

>>178840
Why can’t a statement just be a statement, huh? Does there have to be hidden meaning in everything?

>>178842
>Best Zombie
Agreed.

>>178849
Turns out it led to a hiatus. Whoops. I plan on trying to regain at least a weekly update schedule so things don’t bog down, but I’ve planned a lot of things. Here’s to hoping.
>> 2014/10/09(Thu)16:09 No. 182088
>>182085
holy crap get on irc so we can fling things at you
>> 2014/10/09(Thu)16:18 No. 182089
You're back! Now I have more motivation to finish my own update!

[x] “The work you do is astounding.”
[x] “I love you.”

I was very tempted to try and shoot for something melodramatic by immediately mentioning the cosmic horrors, but I decided against it. Both onee-chans would probably be displeased.
>> 2014/10/09(Thu)16:20 No. 182090
Fantastic to have you back, hopefully life is treating you well.

Anyway, PRESSING CURRENT ISSUES besides Byakuren feels and trying to figure out what the relationship is there; Eirin probably has the Necronomicon and is also making Shoggoths.

WE SHOULD PROBABLY SAY SOMETHING IN REGARDS TO THIS.
>> 2014/10/09(Thu)16:40 No. 182091
Oh my God you're back this is wonderful news. I'll be voting soon as I get home and have a chance to read it properly.

Welcome back NecroAnon!
>> 2014/10/09(Thu)16:50 No. 182092
First the Fallout story reincarnates, and now NecroAnon comes back to frontpage... What is this, the Week of the Living Dead? Wizard and TB when?

[x] “We might be facing an army of mutated, semi-cosmic horrors.”

I dunno, perhaps we should alert people about this before it inevitably blows up.

Glad to have you back, Zalsa.
>> 2014/10/09(Thu)17:08 No. 182094
>>182090
On the other hand though simply lurching from crisis to crisis like Necroanon has been doing is a recipe for disaster in more ways than one.

argle bargle welp time to think up a write in.
>> 2014/10/09(Thu)17:52 No. 182097
[ ] “I love you.”

I hate the dancing around the issue. His sister is all but being explicit about it too.

I rather say it now. The two are close enough that even if she doesn't return his feelings, they can remain friends/allies.
>> 2014/10/09(Thu)17:56 No. 182098
>“What is on your mind?” Byakuren murmurs.
[x] "A bunch of serious things... but I think I'll leave them for tomorrow."
[x] “Want to cuddle?”
[x] “Is that gradient hair natural?”

The gradient hair question can serve double duty as either an amusing thing to talk about while cuddling or a desperate conversational direction change if our request for cuddles goes poorly.
>> 2014/10/09(Thu)19:14 No. 182100
[X] “I love you.”

Let's do this.
>> 2014/10/09(Thu)19:54 No. 182101
[x] “I love you.”

Nice to see this back.
>> 2014/10/09(Thu)20:08 No. 182102
[x] "A bunch of serious things... but I think I'll leave them for tomorrow."
[x] “Want to cuddle?”
[x] “Is that gradient hair natural?”

To the guys voting "I love you", does that sound like something our protagonist would actually say? Especially as anything but a joke?
>> 2014/10/09(Thu)20:12 No. 182103
[x] "A bunch of serious things... but I think I'll leave them for tomorrow."
[x] “Want to cuddle?”
[x] “Is that gradient hair natural?
>> 2014/10/09(Thu)20:14 No. 182104
[x] "A bunch of serious things... but I think I'll leave them for tomorrow."
[x] “Want to cuddle?”
[x] “Is that gradient hair natural?”

this sounds just awkward enough to actually be Necroanon.
>> 2014/10/09(Thu)20:22 No. 182105
[x] “The work you do is astounding.”
[x] “I think I’ve found the Necronomicon.”
[x] “We might be facing an army of mutated, semi-cosmic horrors.”
>> 2014/10/09(Thu)20:26 No. 182106
[X] “I think I’ve found the Necronomicon.”
>> 2014/10/10(Fri)02:28 No. 182113
[x] “I love you.”
FINALLY.

I mean the option, not the update. But that too.
Welcome home.
>> 2014/10/10(Fri)17:50 No. 182122
[X] “Want to cuddle?”
[X] “Is that gradient hair natural?”
[X] “We might be facing an army of mutated, semi-cosmic horrors.”
[X] “I love you.”

Echoing
>>182104
... It sounds awkward enough.

And: Welcome back!
>> 2014/10/10(Fri)17:52 No. 182123
[X] “I might have driven our only Hakurei Shrine Maiden into depression.”
Oh, sorry Byakuren, were you hoping for something else?

I just really want more Reimu.
>> 2014/10/10(Fri)18:37 No. 182125
>>182122
[X] “Want to cuddle?”
[X] “Is that gradient hair natural?”
[X] “We might be facing an army of mutated, semi-cosmic horrors.”
[X] “I love you.”

In that order.
>> 2014/10/11(Sat)21:09 No. 182141
[X] “Want to cuddle?”
[X] “Is that gradient hair natural?”
[X] “We might be facing an army of mutated, semi-cosmic horrors.”
[X] “I love you.”
>> 2014/10/12(Sun)04:51 No. 182144
[x] "A bunch of serious things... but I think I'll leave them for tomorrow."
[x] “Want to cuddle?”
[x] “Is that gradient hair natural?”

One of the few stories that compels me to vote, every single time.
>> 2014/10/12(Sun)07:54 No. 182148
[X] “I love you.”

Welcome back! I'm glad to see this story alive again.
>> 2014/10/13(Mon)22:12 No. 182174
[X] “Want to cuddle?”
[X] “Is that gradient hair natural?”
[X] “We might be facing an army of mutated, semi-cosmic horrors.”
[X] “I love you.”
>> 2014/10/15(Wed)02:09 No. 182186
>>182086
[x] “I might have driven our only Hakurei Shrine Maiden into depression.”
[x] “Is that gradient hair natural?”
[x] “I’m worried about Minamitsu.”
[x] "Alice and Koakuma want a foursome"
>> 2014/10/15(Wed)20:39 No. 182190
>>174779
>>174780
>>175926
>>176119

This is the last solotalk we had with Byakuren so "I love you" doesn't really seem appropriate right now. But then again we did just save the play so...

[x] "A bunch of serious things... but I think I'll leave them for tomorrow."
[x] “Want to cuddle?”
[x] “Is that gradient hair natural?”
>> 2014/10/16(Thu)03:30 No. 182200
>>182190
I like this. Seconding.

[x] "A bunch of serious things... but I think I'll leave them for tomorrow."
[x] “Want to cuddle?”
[x] “Is that gradient hair natural?”
>> 2014/10/16(Thu)04:57 No. 182201
[X] "A bunch of serious things... but I think I'll leave them for tomorrow."
[X] “Want to cuddle?”
[X] “Is that gradient hair natural?”
>> 2014/10/16(Thu)05:27 No. 182202
Aww YISS. One of my top 5 stories is alive again!
[x] " A lot of serious things...But I'll save them for tomorrow"
[x] " Want to cuddle?"
[x] " Is that hair gradient natural?"
>> 2014/10/16(Thu)07:12 No. 182203
[x] " A lot of serious things...But I'll save them for tomorrow"
[x] " Want to cuddle?"
[x] " Is that hair gradient natural?"
>> 2014/10/19(Sun)21:27 No. 182249
You’ve got a lot of things on your mind, as it turns out. Your thoughts are rarely ever idle. The afterglow of the performance and dinner can still be felt, offset by the slowly dwindling terror of cosmic, unearthly horrors mutating forth from the bodies of harmless bunny rabbits. The stray question of where, exactly, your jiang-shi have run off to mingles with the curiosity of what exactly Aya will be writing about you. Then there are all the new-

“A bunch of things,” you answer. “Some serious, some not.”

“Is it something I should be concerned about?” Some of the worry must have seeped into your voice. Byakuren is beginning to shift, her paradisiacal mood slipping away as she prepares for the worst.

That won’t do.

You let gravity take hold and fall to your side.

Byakuren lets out of gasp of surprise when you land on her shoulder.

“Maybe tomorrow,” you utter. Eientei’s activities are concerning but you can probably leave them alone for one night. Whether there’s something insidious going on or not, they are busy recapturing their monstrous experiments. You doubt any of them will have the energy for more than passing out once they’re done.

You suppose your assessment is good enough for Byakuren. She settles back down, back into the peace of the night.

Enjoying the pillow?

Not bad. A shoulder is certainly nice to rest on. But…

You scoot back and raise yourself upright, drawing Byakuren’s attention.

With a smile and spread arms you ask, “Want to cuddle?”

Did you really just ask that?

It seems like a fine idea. Best to be direct about things.

You feel a bit silly, but only a bit, when Byakuren stares at you with a raised eyebrow.

It was worth a shot, wasn’t it? You don’t think there was any loss to- Whoa.

An arm wraps around your waist and a hand grabs your shoulder. With one strong pull, Byakuren hauls you from your seat and over to her. You get one good look at Yoshika’s shocked face and scowl as her human is taken from her before the world tips at an angle.

Byakuren looks down at you and grins. “Is this acceptable?”

The woman has you sitting across her lap, legs dangling next to hers. She has one arm resting on your thighs while her other arm supports your back. You lie there for a moment, reclined in her grasp.

This is usually supposed to be other way around, right?

I don’t think who holds who is an iron-clad rule.

Cool.

You reach out and wrap an arm around Byakuren’s back and pull yourself closer. From there, it’s a simple matter to sit up slightly and rest your head on her shoulder. You let your right arm fall to your own lap and carefully grasp Byakuren’s hand.

“Isn’t this better?” you whisper.

Byakuren rolls her eyes and looks back out at the night. Of course, you can feel her chest vibrate, the silent chuckles rippling along all her limbs and transferring to you.

You wrinkle your nose when Byakuren’s soft hairs brush against your face. They’re slightly greasy, the sweat from the performance giving them a sheen in the starlight. They’re also a bit too heavy. You force more air from your lungs, forcibly blowing the hair out of your face and back over Byakuren’s shoulder and exposing her pale skin.

You only see her skin for a second before the hair comes whipping back into your face. “Hey!”

Byakuren stops shaking her head and frowns. “Consider it punishment for tickling my neck.”

“Hmph,” you respond, reaching up with your left hand to shift aside more of those pesky locks of hair.

It’s quite strange. Now that you’re examining it up close, Byakuren’s hair is truly different. You had always thought it was dyed or highlighted purple for whatever reason. Yet, letting the strands run between your fingers, you see how that might be wrong. Both colors feel the same and the purple reaches inconsistent lengths. If only you could see the roots from this angle…

“Hey Byakuren, is your gradient hair natural?”

The nun lets go of your hand and twirls a lock of hair around her finger. “Do you doubt it?”

“Not if you say it is. I’m just curious.”

Byakuren grabs more locks from her head, stroking her hair down its length. “A side effect of my magical training. From what I understand, immersing a human in copious amounts of demonic magic is inadvisable. It happens that my consequences were none so disastrous, merely stylish.”

You snort. “Inadvisable, huh? That’s a soft way of saying you could go crazy or explode.”

“Have you seen the result of channeling more energy than one should? For all of my teacher’s faults, she never managed to push me to the point where I would break.”

“Yeah, I have. Especially for squishy normal humans, it isn’t pretty.” Plenty of well-trained and talented individuals have been lost due to their ambitions. Hell, you’ve experienced something like it yourself on occasion. “I wouldn’t recommend it, if you’re curious. There’s no faster way of losing your mind than playing around with powerful magic.”

By pushing your body to its limits, draining your internals of every drop of energy, you’ve managed to reach those magical ‘highs.’ For someone like you, reaching Byakuren’s level of magical power is enough to have your mind salivating and addicted. You would become a husk of yourself, everything about your psyche warped and distorted by the magic.

Practical, rational people can’t comprehend what magic can do – they can’t believe in it when they’ve grown up with science and expectations.

So the brain changes. It molds itself into a state where it can take advantage of the excess energy that flows through it.

Not fun. You wouldn’t want to live as the insane madman that can break reality with a fingertip for the rest of your life, no matter much euphoria you’d experience.

And that’s good. It shows you aren’t a mana addict yet.

Yet, she says. No faith.

“Is it all that bad?” Byakuren asks. “Surely, it must be a simpler life.”

“Simpler than your own, you mean?”

“Something of that nature.” She raises a hand up to the night sky, painting her words with wisps of magical light. “Imagine a life without rules or responsibilities, where you may act freely on your whims, uncaring of the consequences. A life where all you wish is to find greater challenges every day.”

Tempting, there’s no doubt about that. “I don’t think running away from society like that is the correct option.”

“I do not either, but it is an interesting thought, is it not?” Byakuren raises a finger and gently taps it on your forehead. “Imagine if you were not limited. How simple would it be to let your sister take over another’s body and place your conjoined soul somewhere hidden, safe?”

You narrow your eyes and begin to sit up. “I couldn’t do that and neither could she. We wouldn’t kill someone just for that.”

Byakuren’s eyes aren’t malice-filled. Despite the dark works, she is simply thinking and posturing as she usually does. “And if it was a willing participant? Or perhaps a group, allowing your sister free control between its members? These are all possibilities I assume you have considered but discarded.”

You slump back down. “…that wouldn’t be her life.”

“Not her original one, no. Yet, until death there is nothing. In death, why would she not be free to claim a new and varied life?”

“It just isn’t right.”

A warm hand moves on your back, drawing circles in the cloth of your shirt. “My apologies. I am making you uncomfortable.”

It’s a matter you’ve spent a long time thinking about. At the end of the day, you want your sister to have a life as close to her original as possible – she shouldn’t be forced to live on as a spooky spectre in the backs of human minds.

“No, it’s fine,” you sigh.

“It isn’t,” Byakuren immediately retorts. “In my musings, I am attempting to turn your goal worthless. That is far too rude of me.”

You laugh. “It’s not like I haven’t done worse to you.” It only takes a single stray thought to remind you of your previous talk. “I’m sorry. About the other night, that is. Again. I went too far. I yelled too much and lost my cool over insults that were all in my mind.”

“They were not only in your mind. I did the same thing then as I did just now.” Byakuren sighs, her face turning as dumpy as yours. “Perhaps I am incapable of seeing others live life? I cannot accept you for what you pursue and must instead force my opinions and experiences upon you.”

“That’s not it and we both know it. You were concerned. You were worried that in trying to give my sister an honest second life that I would fail, that I’d be grinded down to nothing by repeated failures.” The mood is far too dark. You try your best to put a reassuring smile on your face. “I don’t think that will happen to me and I don’t think it will happen to you.”

Your companion for the night is unimpressed. A derisive smirk shows on her face, but you feel it is directed at herself. “It is a few decades late to be making that declaration.”

“I don’t think it is.” You grab Byakuren’s hand again. “I think that right now, you might be in one of the best positions to start living your life as you want it, to pursue goals other than those duties you’ve taken upon yourself. I think there’s plenty of room for your life to get better.”

“An optimistic thought.”

“A realistic one,” you counter. “I’m not trying to say don’t forget the past but…the future isn’t set in stone, you know? Anything can happen. You’ve been working towards the past for years. An extended break now and again can’t do any harm, can it?”

“Fine words, but are they not hypocritical? You, who has been working towards your sister’s rebirth for most of your life?”

“I’ve been here for the past couple of weeks, haven’t I?”

Byakuren’s eyes widen, caught off guard by such a simple fact.

Before she retorts you continue on, “I had a good, no, a great time in all this festival business. A lot of it thanks to you, really.”

“I was caught up in my work. I do not see how-”

“We still ate breakfast in the mornings. Talked at night. The only reason I got to know some of the temple disciples was thanks to your goodwill and approval. Sure, we were both busy, but coming together for those quiet moments was…nice. A lot like right now, really.”

It takes a moment for her to respond.

“It is a lovely night,” she says while returning her gaze to the stars.

[ ] Bare your heart
[ ] Stay silent
-[ ] Return for the night
-[ ] <Write-in>

---

I couldn’t in good conscience continue on without getting explicit vote for that burning declaration of love. So, here it is.

>>182090
>>182091
>>182092
>>182113
>>182122
>>182144
Thank you for having me!

>>182089
>Motivation
Glad to hear it! I won’t lie and say I didn’t have occasional thoughts of dropping this over the summer, but forcing myself to keep my word and get back to writing has felt wonderful. I love all the aspects of working on a story like this, from the reader interaction to brainstorming possible futures.

>>182088
I’d prefer to avoid the rotten fruits and trash.

But seriously, if anybody wants to talk to me through something like IRC I’d be happy to. If there’s a specific time you’re usually around let me know and I’ll try to hop on. Otherwise, I imagine I’d be a mystical PM roulette wheel – who knows when you’ll get an answer!
>> 2014/10/19(Sun)22:30 No. 182252
>holding hands
Whoa, whoa. Keep that shit in /at/, bro.

[X] Stay silent
- [X] More of that

>[ ] Bare your heart
(Haven't we already? Don't ruin the moment.)
>> 2014/10/19(Sun)23:06 No. 182253
[x] Stay silent
-[x] Handholding intensifies
>> 2014/10/19(Sun)23:28 No. 182254
[x] Bare your heart
Honesty is the best policy.
This update was too lewd.
>> 2014/10/20(Mon)00:13 No. 182255
[X] Bare your heart
[X] Kiss her

Insert Ron Paul gif of your choice here.
>> 2014/10/20(Mon)00:33 No. 182256
[x] Stay silent
-[x] Offer to cuddle Yoshika

I just don't see them as a couple. Even this moment of bonding makes them seem more like a brother-sister pair than anything else.

Also, poor Yoshika, having her human yanked away like that.
>> 2014/10/20(Mon)00:58 No. 182257
[ ] Bare your heart
-[x] Kissu
--[x]Fuck the dancing around the topic, you love her
>> 2014/10/20(Mon)01:06 No. 182258
[x] Bare your heart

Finally. Let's make these fireworks happen, people.
>> 2014/10/20(Mon)03:22 No. 182259
[x] Bare your heart

I'll have some feels with a side order of Ron Paul, but hold the onions, please. Don't wanna cry just yet.
>> 2014/10/20(Mon)04:17 No. 182260
>>182252
Eh, not really. The author explicitly said that this is a 'confession' option.

[x] Bare your heart

Nothing has changed since the last post. If anything, it seems that they both need it more now.
>> 2014/10/20(Mon)06:31 No. 182261
>[ ] Bare your heart
Guys, guys what are you doing

Do you think NecroAnon is some kind of normal person

When you tell him to bare his heart, he'll whip his sternum out of the way and show it right off
>> 2014/10/20(Mon)07:06 No. 182262
I'm not sure if this is the time but sometimes you just have to go for it...

[ ] Bare your heart
>> 2014/10/20(Mon)07:59 No. 182263
[X] Bare your heart

KALI MA
>> 2014/10/20(Mon)08:16 No. 182264
>>182249
>Something something Toyotsumi no Miko said something something what Byakuren wants will destroy her in the long run-
Ah, feck it!

[x] Bare your heart
>> 2014/10/20(Mon)08:32 No. 182265
[x] Bare your heart

Screw it, something's got to give here.
>> 2014/10/20(Mon)12:43 No. 182269
[X] Bare your heart

I can only join in on the "Screw it, let's do this!" sentiment.
>> 2014/10/20(Mon)14:26 No. 182270
Byakuren already raised an eyebrow at us for wanting to cuddle, our sister questioned us asking it, and you guys want to make more spaghetti than the restaraunt where everyone ate. Oh fuck it all.
[x] "I'm falling for you."
>> 2014/10/20(Mon)14:37 No. 182271
[x]bare your heart
>> 2014/10/20(Mon)16:33 No. 182273
>>182256
Staying silent and letting Yoshika get hugs too is good. Sister should hop to Yoshika so she can receive hugs.
>>182249
Salsa, will we be catching up with Alice and Koakuma later? Will Necroanon, Yoshika and Mokou start a Gensokyo Nudist Club?
>> 2014/10/20(Mon)17:29 No. 182274
>>182273
>> 2014/10/20(Mon)22:43 No. 182276
eh... er... uh... aw shit... I wanna vote 'bare your heart' but... I feel Necronon is simply not quite ready for a relationship just yet... but on the other hand, shit is gonna hit the fan, I know it will, my experience of playing Galge's tells me that this is about the only time we're going to get this option for Byakuren! BUt at the same time... actually, ya know what? Ta hell with it. Go for it.

[X] Bare your heart

and let it begin.
>> 2014/10/22(Wed)02:00 No. 182305
[X] Bare your heart

ENLIGHTENMENT!

Though, now that I think about it...considering both Necronon's and Byakuren's luck, this will end horribly in some way that.
>> 2014/10/23(Thu)18:09 No. 182326
>>182305
They should have enough spaghetti in their pockets to throw at each other
>> 2014/10/26(Sun)10:10 No. 182372
[X] Bare your heart
>> 2014/10/27(Mon)04:34 No. 182386
A lovely night, huh?

You can’t disagree with her there. You’re sitting on a beautiful woman’s lap and having an engaging conversation. No matter how the mood may rise or dip, you feel that the time you spend with Byakuren is worth it. You can’t remember many moments that you spent with the nun and regret. If anything, the two of you explosively venting your emotions was cathartic.

You’re lucky, when you consider it all. There is any number of places you could have ended up in the world, any amount of deranged people that you could have come in contact with but the world saw fit to lead you to Byakuren; a woman who is both kind-hearted and gorgeous

There’s plenty to appreciate about Byakuren. This close to her, it is hard not to imagine how comfortable it would be to hold her close at night, to awaken with her snuggled against your body, legs laced together and- You really don’t need to head down that imaginary future right now.

Looking at her with your mage sight only makes her more breathtaking. She effuses warmth, the light glow of the subtle Buddhist enchantments beautifully contrasting the deep purple that she naturally radiates. The magical glow only reminds you of her talent. The power she holds is enormous, and she isn’t bat-shit crazy!

Truly, who better is there to have philosophical chats with at night? To smooth over social issues that will doubtlessly arise? To offer sound business advice? To help protect your home? To raise a child?

Getting a bit ahead of yourself there, aren’t you?

What kind of dream is this? It shouldn’t be real. Wouldn’t most men in the world kill for a situation like this?

You sigh and wriggle around, removing yourself from Byakuren’s lap.

This shouldn’t be very hard, right?

What?

Really, it should be one of the easier tasks of your life.

What is?

No problem.

What are you talking about?

You glance down at your hand and uncurl it. Without even realizing it you had brought your left hand up and clutched the smooth yellow scarf around your neck. You brush the fabric once more with your fingers before bringing your hand back down to your side.

When you look back at Byakuren you find her watching you, eyes calm and analytical.

It’s fascinating, watching another person. How the subtle movements of their eyelids and pupils, the wrinkles of their foreheads, tell much about their emotions.

Nobody needs to tell you that you can be oblivious to these cues. When you’re preoccupied with something you tend to ignore everything else, but that doesn’t mean you’re completely inept. You can recognize emotions and think about proper social behavior when you try.

“I love you.”

WHAT?

That’s surprise.

A bit more subdued than some, but it’s there - a parting of the lips, a minor furrowing of the brow.

Then it transitions into confusion before disappearing completely. Byakuren brings her facial reactions back under her rigid control.

You stare at her and she you for another second.

Two.

Maybe you should have thought this out more.

Yeah, you should have! A little warning would have been appreciated!

Byakuren’s mouth opens once, twice. On the third time she asks, “Truly?”

What would normally be asked in her mature, slightly skeptical tone instead is asked with a squeaky, cracking voice.

Even she cannot stop the red blush that invades her face.

You awkwardly glance away, surely not to hide your own flushed face, before answering her. “Yeah.”

I can’t believe this is happening…

That probably wasn’t a very good answer, was it?

“You’re beautiful. Gorgeous. I love the shade of your hair and the way it curls. I love watching you simply sitting there, posture perfect with your dress hanging off your amazing figure. Just sitting in your lap was too much for me, the warmest and most comfortable seat where- er, uh,” you stop after finally cutting the direct connection between your brain and mouth.

Shit. “Not that I only love you for your body or anything. Because really that’s nothing – not nothing, but not the biggest factor when- I love your personality. I shouldn’t even need to speak about your kindness, that seemingly endless generosity that everybody knows about. That kind of charity is what saved me my first night here, after all.

“It’s the parts that not everybody sees, I guess, that really interest me. You’re fun. I love the Byakuren that can tease me at the breakfast table, introduce me to a chatty disciple, show me a few dance moves, overpower me in training with ridiculous demonic magic, and then sit down for a relaxing, quiet cup of tea at the end of it all.

“You’re far, far more than the person you want everybody else to see, and I love that. I wouldn’t want to pull you away from your work, but I can imagine the two of us running across Europe, exploring spooky caves and busting open witch covens. It’s not hard to imagine us laughing around a camp fire or running for our lives from a hoard of angry demons.

“It’s not those events that excite me, but you. I feel like any day, even one filled with the most bureaucratic of meetings, could be enjoyable as long as I was with you. Underneath the calm and benevolent Buddhist most people see I know you’re a vibrant, amazing person.”

Is it possible to die again?

You pause and take a deep breath, a small bout of lightheadedness afflicting you after that mouthful. “Those, uh, are just a few of the reasons I love you.”

I feel like I should be having a heart attack.

When you muster the courage to look at Byakuren, you find her gaze distant, off again amongst the stars. There is the slightest of frowns on her face.

Huh.

You swallow once before your mouth begins moving again. “I know you’re busy. I know you have a lot on your mind. I know I tend to idealize, to blow things out of proportion. But that doesn’t influence my feelings. Those, at least, are real.”

…Nothing.

You try not to fidget, to not nervously grasp at the edges of your scarf, of Byakuren’s treasured gift.

Admittedly this isn’t your area of expertise but this…isn’t how it’s supposed to go, you think.

“I guess I might not be the most reliable of people. I’m too narrow-minded, focused on my fixations. I’ve been wandering for years. But being here, spending this time with you, has been…bliss. Nothing is more import- Once I find the Necronomicon, I would love nothing more than to- than to stay here with you. Or go with you wherever. Or-”

No, that’s not what- You didn’t mean to say it like that.

“Maybe you’re worried about me, but I can assure you I-”

Pathetic.

You clench your hand and take a deep breath. You’re acting too pathetic right now.

“You can be sure that, no matter what, I do love you.”

With that you fall silent and gaze back out at the night. You really can’t trust yourself to say anything more/. In this situation, it’s probably your lot to wait.

Patience is a virtue.

Do Buddhists have an equivalent saying?

You aren’t sure how much time passes. Your mind is in a daze, refusing to run wild with speculation.

Then, fingers fall atop yours.

To your side, Byakuren has returned her attention to you, face composed excluding the subtle remainders of her blush.

“I am told that you, yourself is most deserving of your love. That one can find peace and enlightenment within oneself,” she begins slowly, likely reciting the words from memory.

“I suppose I never truly understood that. I do not believe I can be happy living the life of a hermit. Whether through my work or my companions, I find myself craving contact in the most unbecoming of ways.

“Perhaps that is the goodwill of which you speak. My inability to selfishly think for myself leads me to latching on to ideals from ages past, which leads me into involving myself unnecessarily in the lives of others to try and convert them to a way of thinking I myself cannot truly comprehend.”

Byakuren shakes her head and refocuses. “My apologies. I seem to be rambling again. As much as you admire me, I find you amazing. Your ability to simply act, to do what you feel is right in your heart, is astounding. Where other men might be hindered by their doubts or their fears, you simply do. You claim yourself single-minded but that is not a bad trait. I wish I could maintain such a focus on a single task. I wish I could avoid these thoughts that plague my decisions, question my every move. I find this part of you charmingly direct

“You truly are different from the vast majority of humans I have met. A complete outsider to our society yet willing to integrate with a smile and hard work. A man with a goal, yet capable of supporting those who seemingly the whole world would shun. A man that would fight, to the death, for those who he cares about. An honest man, a wholly reliable one.”

The woman grins and squeezes your upper arm. “And not bad looking at all. A fine figure, muscles tuned from a lifetime of fighting and, perhaps, minor magical alteration.”

You try your best not to flush with embarrassment again.

The moment of levity lasts only a moment. Byakuren quickly returns to her somber tone. “Naturally, you are not without your flaws. You are far too optimistic for one, your biases capable of turning aside any and all unwanted images from your eyes. You can be rash, jumping headlong into dangerous situations without fully comprehending the situation once your emotions are high. And, as you say, you can focus your mind to the point of exclusion and obliviousness.

“…but as I said, I do not find this unattractive. It is just…”

She stops again. Searching for the right words, you presume.

Fitting of her.

Even with something like this she needs to think, not barrel through things like you tend to do.

“I have given this some thought. No, that is a lie. I have given it an inordinate amount of thought. I have spent many a night laying down, lost in thought, with an ever increasing amount of those nights preoccupied by you.

“By you and by him.

“I know you two are different. I know you are each your own person, unique. I know you are not something as silly as a reincarnation of him or a spiritual descendent or anything of the absurd sort.

“Yet, I cannot help but imagine him when I see you.

“My mind, traitorous as it is, will not let go.

“Seeing you reminds me of him which brings back…everything. Some, good. Some, bad. But all of it. The weight of my memories and decisions from the past come back in startling clarity the more time I spend with you. Details I thought long forgotten, silly successes and abject failures, have returned to haunt me.

“And yet, that which I thought I desire most, does not become clearer. When I think of him, of his looks or his voice or his lessons, I see a blur. The details are gone. I can remember, but I cannot see.

“My mind lingers on the defeats. My past, our past, is more littered with instances of sadness and hatred than that of joyous relief. Our failures were greater than our successes. Even after our greatest success it is the aftermath, that night, which lingers in my mind most prominently.”

An image flashes in your mind. Myouren, dying in her arms.

“Perhaps the thoughts I torture myself with are irrelevant to our situation. You once told me to worry about what I, myself, want. I cast aside my thoughts to answer that question. I threw away my careful analyses and assessments. To answer that question, I spoke from my own heart, from my own raw emotions. If I were to do so again…

“I have no doubt I am being unfair to you. But…

Oh…

“But I am sorry. I do not believe I am capable of returning your affection.”



[ ] Anger
[ ] Beg
[ ] Cry
[ ] Leave
-[ ] Nature walk
-[ ] Drown your sorrows
-[ ] Sleep it off
[ ] <Write-in>

---

Well then.

>>182261
This thought crossed my mind. If only the story had went differently…

>>182273
>catching up with Alice and Koakuma later?
I imagine not, although I suppose it’s possible if you rally a plurality of votes.

>Nudists
Clothes make the man; they are what separate us from the monkeys. Without clothes, we are nothing!
>> 2014/10/27(Mon)07:24 No. 182390
Ouch. I sorta thought this might happen... but still... ouch. Oh well, he got it in the open, he spoke his mind honestly, and Byakuren did the same. I can honestly say that despite this rejection, it was good to get it in the open. Now for my vote. Anger- this is just childish, is Necronon supposed to flail his limbs, cry his eyes out, throw a temper tantrum like a 5 year old until she obliges him? I say hell no, he has more self-respect then that, I would like to think anyway. Beg- No... just... hell no. that would be pathetic in this situation. he's a man, it might hurt, but it'll pass in time. That feeling was there, and he should treasure it. Cry-Seems rather appropriate for this situation, simply based on the fact that Necronon hasn't really had such a feeling before as far as I know... but I don't think he would ball his eyes out simply because of this rejection. Maybe in private where he can simply let it wash him over. Leave- I think we can combine this vote with the previous vote.

[X] Leave- Nature Walk to let that emotion wash over you.
>> 2014/10/27(Mon)07:51 No. 182392
[x] Numb acceptance
[x] Leave
-[x] Nature walk

Well, fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. We went all in and lost, all we can do is accept it.
>> 2014/10/27(Mon)08:24 No. 182393
[x] Leave
-[x] Nature walk

Whelp, we tried.

Only one path now.

ALL ENGINES GO FOR NECRONOMICON.
>> 2014/10/27(Mon)09:07 No. 182395
[x] Leave
-[x] Drown your sorrows

Maybe the rabbits are still around, they seemed pretty cool.
>> 2014/10/27(Mon)10:00 No. 182396
Ha ha, rejected.
>> 2014/10/27(Mon)10:31 No. 182397
[X] Leave
-[X] Nature walk

We did it boys, time to jump in the lake!
>> 2014/10/27(Mon)10:42 No. 182400
As much as I wanted the Byakuren ship to work out.

Kind of felt like things were leading up to this. Time spent in Gensokyo was a great vacation but it's time for Necroanon to finish his final rodeo.

He came into Gensokyo on his own. And he'll finish things on his own.
>> 2014/10/27(Mon)11:02 No. 182401
>>182400

His entire life was 'Unlimited Sister Works'.
>> 2014/10/27(Mon)12:54 No. 182402
[X] Leave
-[X] Nature walk

Oh well. It's too bad, but that's just how things are. At least things are out in the open. Time to just move on with things. In the end, I really never saw the two of them as a couple, anyway.
>> 2014/10/27(Mon)13:15 No. 182403
[X] Go find a better woman...with blackjack, and hookers.
-[x] In fact, forget the woman.
>> 2014/10/27(Mon)14:30 No. 182405
[x] Leave
[x] Nature walk
[x] Find Mokou, drown sorrows in grilled chicken

Food is good for a broken heart, and a much healthier coping mechanism than drinking!
>> 2014/10/27(Mon)14:32 No. 182406
>>182400
FFFFFfffffuuucckk youuu.

Going into a high risk mission immediately after having its heart broken is exactly what we shouldn't do. Will he forget everything he learnt due to a failed confession? Must he go back into the obsessive search of a cure to his disease called guilt, at the expense of everything else, as he did before coming here?

The answer is no. He must calm down, accept what happened, rest for a day or two and then, in top condition, continue his search. Doing it right now would be nothing but an escape (and a suicide)

[x] sleep it off

Danger enjoys distracted victims.
>> 2014/10/27(Mon)15:21 No. 182408
>>182386
[x] Leave
-[x] Nature walk
-[x] Sleep it off
Look at pretty things and then nap with zombie pillow. Mokou can come too if she promises to wear clothes.
>> 2014/10/27(Mon)15:26 No. 182409
Well damn...

She seems to have some trouble letting go of Myouren and as >>175926 states:

>Her answer is soft and true, spoken from the heart.

>“I want my brother back.”

Maybe it's worth considering letting her speak to him again.

As for my vote:
[ ] Leave
-[ ] Nature walk
>> 2014/10/27(Mon)16:13 No. 182410
>>182386
[x] Leave
-[x] Nature walk (not too far off the beaten path though)
-[x] Sleep it off
>> 2014/10/27(Mon)17:01 No. 182412
[x] Leave
-[x] Nature walk

>>182397
There really are two things that are inevitable in life: taxes and the lake.
>> 2014/10/27(Mon)17:13 No. 182413
[X] Leave
-[X] Nature walk (not too far off the beaten path though)
-[X] Sleep it off
>> 2014/10/27(Mon)18:21 No. 182414
Well, that still went better than I expected.

[x] Leave
-[x] Nature walk
-[x] THINK.
-[x] Sleep it off

>>182396

Why couldn't I help but be amused by this post?
>> 2014/10/27(Mon)19:27 No. 182416
>>182413 here, Would also like to add
[x] THINK to my vote.
>> 2014/10/28(Tue)01:06 No. 182418
[X] Leave
-[X] Sleep

Whelp! We tried. I knew it would take something far more than a confession to get through Byakuren but at least we both know where the other stands. We can build on that later on if we still want to go after her.

Also...

DO NOT WALK OFF ALONE IN THE FOREST AT NIGHT AFTER SOMETHING LIKE THAT!

We might run into a crazy blue haired Hermit or worse.
>> 2014/10/28(Tue)01:14 No. 182420
>>182386
[x] Leave
-[x] Nature walk

Necroanon did his best, I have no regrets.

>>182393
>whelp

I keep seeing this, what do puppies have to do with this story so far? Or are you mistakenly trying to say "welp"?
>> 2014/10/28(Tue)09:28 No. 182423
[x] Leave
-[x] Nature walk

We sort of expected this. It's natural to be a little down over it, but let's not go crazy with the self abuse. Time to go and reflect a bit, and see where we end up. Maybe Mokou will help us while we're out.
>> 2014/10/28(Tue)17:55 No. 182427
[x] Leave
- [x] Nature walk
- [x] Take Yoshika As our rebound gal
>> 2014/10/28(Tue)18:33 No. 182428
Guys, cool off a bit. We don't need to leave. What we define right now is Necroanon's mental and emotional reaction to this, and I don't want it to be to leave- which is, essentially, to run away. Making this into a serious emotional negative would be doing a serious disservice to his growth as a person thus far. While he was being a bit rash here, I don't think it unreasonable to believe that he would have expected this.

How about something like this, then? It's not just the Buddhists who can pull the zen card.

[x] Quiet Acceptance
-[x] Thank her for being honest. We didn't expect anything else- hoped, yes, but not expected. We know her well enough for that. But we wanted her to know how we felt, for our own reasons.
-[x] It's unlikely that our feelings will change anytime soon; we are, after all, quite stubborn. We hope that Byakuren is willing to remain close to us in spite of this.
-[x] Besides, we told her from the start who the most important woman in our life is, and it would be a lot to ask any romantic partner to take second seat to our dead sister. We'll be back to chasing down the Necronomicon again soon, now that the festival is past.
-[x] Can we escort her home?
>> 2014/10/28(Tue)18:55 No. 182429
calmer option is go

[x] Quiet Acceptance
-[x] Thank her for being honest. We didn't expect anything else- hoped, yes, but not expected. We know her well enough for that. But we wanted her to know how we felt, for our own reasons.
-[x] It's unlikely that our feelings will change anytime soon; we are, after all, quite stubborn. We hope that Byakuren is willing to remain close to us in spite of this.
-[x] Besides, we told her from the start who the most important woman in our life is, and it would be a lot to ask any romantic partner to take second seat to our dead sister. We'll be back to chasing down the Necronomicon again soon, now that the festival is past.
-[x] Can we escort her home?
>> 2014/10/28(Tue)18:57 No. 182430
>>182428
Now this is something I can get behind.

[x] Quiet Acceptance
-[x] Thank her for being honest. We didn't expect anything else- hoped, yes, but not expected. We know her well enough for that. But we wanted her to know how we felt, for our own reasons.
-[x] It's unlikely that our feelings will change anytime soon; we are, after all, quite stubborn. We hope that Byakuren is willing to remain close to us in spite of this.
-[x] Besides, we told her from the start who the most important woman in our life is, and it would be a lot to ask any romantic partner to take second seat to our dead sister. We'll be back to chasing down the Necronomicon again soon, now that the festival is past.
-[x] Can we escort her home?
>> 2014/10/28(Tue)18:59 No. 182431
[x] Quiet Acceptance
-[x] Thank her for being honest. We didn't expect anything else- hoped, yes, but not expected. We know her well enough for that. But we wanted her to know how we felt, for our own reasons.
-[x] It's unlikely that our feelings will change anytime soon; we are, after all, quite stubborn. We hope that Byakuren is willing to remain close to us in spite of this.
-[x] Besides, we told her from the start who the most important woman in our life is, and it would be a lot to ask any romantic partner to take second seat to our dead sister. We'll be back to chasing down the Necronomicon again soon, now that the festival is past.
-[x] Can we escort her home?

All aboard the character development train.

Er, back aboard the character development train.
>> 2014/10/28(Tue)20:05 No. 182432
>>182413 here again, changing to:
[x] Quiet Acceptance
-[x] Thank her for being honest. We didn't expect anything else- hoped, yes, but not expected. We know her well enough for that. But we wanted her to know how we felt, for our own reasons.
-[x] It's unlikely that our feelings will change anytime soon; we are, after all, quite stubborn. We hope that Byakuren is willing to remain close to us in spite of this.
-[x] Besides, we told her from the start who the most important woman in our life is, and it would be a lot to ask any romantic partner to take second seat to our dead sister. We'll be back to chasing down the Necronomicon again soon, now that the festival is past.
-[x] Can we escort her home?
>> 2014/10/28(Tue)20:07 No. 182433
>>182410 here again; would like to change to:
[x] Quiet Acceptance
-[x] Thank her for being honest. We didn't expect anything else- hoped, yes, but not expected. We know her well enough for that. But we wanted her to know how we felt, for our own reasons.
-[x] It's unlikely that our feelings will change anytime soon; we are, after all, quite stubborn. We hope that Byakuren is willing to remain close to us in spite of this.
-[x] Besides, we told her from the start who the most important woman in our life is, and it would be a lot to ask any romantic partner to take second seat to our dead sister. We'll be back to chasing down the Necronomicon again soon, now that the festival is past.
-[x] Can we escort her home?
>> 2014/10/28(Tue)20:32 No. 182434
[x] Quiet Acceptance
-[x] Thank her for being honest. We didn't expect anything else- hoped, yes, but not expected. We know her well enough for that. But we wanted her to know how we felt, for our own reasons.
-[x] It's unlikely that our feelings will change anytime soon; we are, after all, quite stubborn. We hope that Byakuren is willing to remain close to us in spite of this.
-[x] Besides, we told her from the start who the most important woman in our life is, and it would be a lot to ask any romantic partner to take second seat to our dead sister. We'll be back to chasing down the Necronomicon again soon, now that the festival is past.
-[x] Can we escort her home?

We tried, we failed. Nothing to do but accept it and move on.
>> 2014/10/28(Tue)21:14 No. 182435
God fucking damn it guys. We wasted all this time on romance when we could've been searching for the necronomicon.
Stop letting your dicks guide you.
Fuck.
If it wasn't totally obvious I'm not being entirely serious.
>> 2014/10/28(Tue)22:36 No. 182437
Changing my vote:

[X] Quiet Acceptance
-[X] Thank her for being honest. We didn't expect anything else- hoped, yes, but not expected. We know her well enough for that. But we wanted her to know how we felt, for our own reasons.
-[X] It's unlikely that our feelings will change anytime soon; we are, after all, quite stubborn. We hope that Byakuren is willing to remain close to us in spite of this.
-[xX] Besides, we told her from the start who the most important woman in our life is, and it would be a lot to ask any romantic partner to take second seat to our dead sister. We'll be back to chasing down the Necronomicon again soon, now that the festival is past.
-[X] Can we escort her home?
>> 2014/10/29(Wed)02:29 No. 182442
I guess I'll change my vote as well (>>182409)

[X] Quiet Acceptance
-[X] Thank her for being honest. We didn't expect anything else- hoped, yes, but not expected. We know her well enough for that. But we wanted her to know how we felt, for our own reasons.
-[X] It's unlikely that our feelings will change anytime soon; we are, after all, quite stubborn. We hope that Byakuren is willing to remain close to us in spite of this.
-[xX] Besides, we told her from the start who the most important woman in our life is, and it would be a lot to ask any romantic partner to take second seat to our dead sister. We'll be back to chasing down the Necronomicon again soon, now that the festival is past.
-[X] Can we escort her home?

The majority who voted "Bare your heart" seems to have been prepared for rejection so "Quiet Acceptance" seems quite reasonable.
>> 2014/10/29(Wed)02:41 No. 182444
[X] Quiet Acceptance
-[X] Thank her for being honest. We didn't expect anything else- hoped, yes, but not expected. We know her well enough for that. But we wanted her to know how we felt, for our own reasons.
-[X] It's unlikely that our feelings will change anytime soon; we are, after all, quite stubborn. We hope that Byakuren is willing to remain close to us in spite of this.
-[xX] Besides, we told her from the start who the most important woman in our life is, and it would be a lot to ask any romantic partner to take second seat to our dead sister. We'll be back to chasing down the Necronomicon again soon, now that the festival is past.
-[X] Can we escort her home?

I suppose my time as an eternal chaser of Mokou's route will soon pay off.
>> 2014/10/29(Wed)05:31 No. 182452
[x] Tip skullcap.
[x] M'lady.
>> 2014/10/30(Thu)02:29 No. 182485
[x] >>182428

- [x] ;_;
>> 2014/11/10(Mon)19:01 No. 182707
[x] Quiet Acceptance
-[x] Thank her for being honest. We didn't expect anything else- hoped, yes, but not expected. We know her well enough for that. But we wanted her to know how we felt, for our own reasons.
-[x] It's unlikely that our feelings will change anytime soon; we are, after all, quite stubborn. We hope that Byakuren is willing to remain close to us in spite of this.
-[x] Besides, we told her from the start who the most important woman in our life is, and it would be a lot to ask any romantic partner to take second seat to our dead sister. We'll be back to chasing down the Necronomicon again soon, now that the festival is past.
-[x] Can we escort her home?
>> 2014/11/12(Wed)06:36 No. 182734
...Bro?

Yeah?

Are you, uh, okay?

You close your eyes and feel out the emotions roiling in your gut.

The anger, the hatred, the embarrassment, the confusion, the guilt, the anxiety, the fear - you can feel the entire gambit of human emotions.

They’re all there, muted.

Strangely, this doesn’t hurt as much as you thought it would.

You felt this coming on some level. When Byakuren needed to collect her thoughts instead of eagerly answering your confession you began to steel yourself for the inevitable, as much as you hoped it wouldn’t come to pass.

More to the point, you know her. You know Byakuren. This isn’t the first night talk you’ve had with her. This woman who is like you but isn’t, plagued by her past in a heart-wrenching way. You understood going into it that her acceptance wouldn’t be so simple.

But...that’s why you did it. She deals with social schemes and power struggles every day. Byakuren works her way through hard negotiations with the human village and other powers. She maintains her facade through thick and thin, advancing towards those borrowed ideals she clings to. Nothing Byakuren does is simple.

You can be.

Your love is.

Ignore the complications.

Throw out the second-guessing.

Byakuren’s rejection doesn’t change a thing.

“Thank you Byakuren,” you tell her.

The sorrowful look Byakuren has answered you with once again falls away to shock. “Why?” she asks immediately.

“For being honest with me. You could have given me the run around or come up with bullshit excuses, but you gave me an honest assessment. Maybe you omitted a few things, but I’d like to think I know you well enough to call your answer the truth.”

“And you’re happy about that? About me tossing aside your feelings?”

“Of course not!” You half-shout. After a breath you continue, “I wouldn't say you tossed them aside. You considered them. You thought a long time about your own feelings and how I play into them. That’s all I can ask of you. I wanted to make it simple, to make it clear how I felt. It’s not like I wanted to make your life more difficult or anything.”

Byakuren’s lips twist and give you that lovable, sad smile. “How selfless.”

“It was wholly selfish, believe me. I’d love it if you loved me back. But…But whether you do or do not won’t change how I feel. There isn’t a lot you can do to change my feelings on the matter either; I’m quite stubborn like that.”

The depressing mood begins to abate, heralded by Byakuren’s smirk. “I know you are.”

Her teasing is comforting. This kind of serious talk about emotions of all things is not something you’re accustomed to. “Then I hope you know that I don’t want things to change, either. I made a bet and failed, but I hope you don’t cut me off completely. I’m not sure how I could go on without my daily dose of Byakuren Hijiri.”

“Do you see yourself as an addict, unable to function without my presence?” she jokes while poking you in the arm. The contact is both sorely disappointing and a wonderful relief.

“Oh, definitely. I can’t imagine a life without you.” The hyperbole turns a bit sour at the end once you realize what you’re saying. “Maybe that’s too strong of a sentiment, but I honestly do enjoy the bond we’ve created. I think it would be awful if me speaking my mind like this has ruined our relationship.”

Shit. Your mouth just runs.

“Relationship? I do believe I just turned you down.”

The both of you smile at the awkward accidental phrasing turned joke.

It kind of stings, but you wouldn’t say it’s too soon to be poking fun.

Maybe.

This sucks.

You brace yourself and segue into the last serious topic you feel needs to be covered, to make sure everything is out in the open. “Also, I’m sorry if my confession wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t quite put my whole into it. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t just promise to drop everything I’ve been working towards. I wouldn’t want you to play second-fiddle to someone I consider the most important woman in my life.”

Thanks Bro.

Byakuren listens patiently and nods. “I would not wish you to cast aside your aspirations for someone like myself either.”

“I didn’t mean it like that!” You unclench your hands after a moment. “Never like that. You aren’t less worthy, Byakuren. Now that the festival is over, my break is over. I can reach for the Necronomicon again. But after I grab it, after I return to my sister the life she deserves,” you pause, searching for the right words.

“...I’m open to anything.”

“A bold declaration. Who says you will not be called away to a new task worthy of your attention?”

“My next priority is already lined up.”

Kind of lame, Bro.

Shut up!

It’s not like you can take the words back anyway.

The two of you return to the silence of the night and the beautiful scenery around you. Things aren’t quite as comfortable as before your impassioned declaration of love, but it isn’t horrible.

With the drama over and done with it, Yoshika latches back onto your arm in a heartbeat.

After some time, after some hidden cue or some disturbance in the air, you decide to stand up. Behind you the streets are still alight with activity and partying.

You extend your hand out. “May I escort you home?”

Byakuren shakes her head. “I do not believe I shall return yet. I have more I wish to think about. Are you planning on retiring for the night?”

“Not quite yet,” you answer. “I think I’m going to go for a quick walk first.”

“Please, have a safe trip. The darkness can be dangerous.”

“Thanks.” You channel a bit of magic into your scarf and fly upwards, Yoshika at your side. “Have a nice night, Byakuren.”

“Good night.”

When you glance back once more you see something glint. Perhaps she’s pulling out that flask. Soon enough, the night shadows Byakuren completely.

It’s none of your business now.

Not heading back?

Nah. You’re too wound up to go to sleep. It’d probably best for you to kick around for an hour or two and-

The mop of hair attached to your shoulder begins to move. Cold, dead flesh rubs against your upper arm. “What’s wrong, Yoshika”

The jiang-shi stops nuzzling your arm only to extend her own and wrap them around your body. “Master!”

“Wha- Hey! Don’t make us crash, now.”

“Sorry,” she mutters, but doesn’t let go of you.

This is going to be a hassle, you can tell right now.

What do you mean?

Before, Yoshika doing this wasn’t as much of a problem. Even though she had superhuman strength, she had the body of a teenager. Now? Everything about her is larger. She has longer arms with more reach, her legs can more easily wrap around you, her head can butt into yours, and her chest squishes into your body in-

You don’t regret repairing Yoshika with the cadavers that Eientei had in storage but she’s going to be even more of a monster combatant once you recreate her magical enhancements. A good thing if there’s a fight on hand, but a bad thing in any situation where you need to pry yourself loose from the mischievous jiang-shi.

“As much as your hugs don’t crush me now,” you say to her, “I’d like to know why you’re clinging to me more than usual.”

“Master is sad.”

“I wouldn’t say I’m-” Yoshika tries her best to squeeze the life out of you, forcing the breath out of your lungs .

“Master, is, sad!” She squeezes you hard one last time before relenting, her angry glare daring you to disagree.

You chuckle. “Fine, fine, I’m sad. And?”

Unlike the mask of calm that Byakuren tries to maintain, Yoshika’s expressions are as clear across her face as a child’s. “I don’t like Master being sad.”

“Well, thank you Yoshika. But nobody likes others-”

“Byakuren does!” Yoshika yells. “She wanted Master to be sad!”

“I don’t think she was intending to make me sad. It was just a consequence of-”

“Stupid! Dummy Byakuren!” Yoshika shakes you in her anger, but luckily stops once she realizes how it throws off your flight.

Such a sweet girl.

You tousle the jiang-shi’s hair. “Don’t blame her, Yoshika. I’d say it’s more my fault if anything.”

“Isn’t Master’s fault,” she whines.

“Thanks,” you tell her with the largest smile you can muster.

It isn’t enough to placate her. You hear her mumble, but can’t make out the words. “What was that?” you ask.

The zombie girl looks at you, her mismatched eyes wide in curiosity. “Can I make Master happy?”

Huh.

Well.

Uh.

“You do, Yoshika,” you tell her.

You can’t say Yoshika reacts much at all. Compared to her previous displays of emotions, the little smile she gives you before returning to resting on your arm is incomprehensible.

Damn. You must be absolutely pathetic looking at the moment.

I don’t think so Bro, but you are a bit down.

It’d be hard not to feel down at a time like this, right?

It’s only natural. We can’t control what we feel.

I’m sorry, by the way.


For what?

How it all went down, I guess. I was nagging you a lot too and-

Please, it isn’t your sister’s fault you decided to bull rush straight into things. That was all you.

Still, I’m sorry. I could have-

Nope. Nope, nobody is going down that line of thought. Your sister is not responsible for this at all.

It’s hard. It feels like I’m guilty. Not just in a ‘I didn’t guide you properly’ sense, either. I could have interceded directly, could have helped you keep things in perspective while-
It would be unnatural, wouldn’t it?

Doesn’t matter. I was in a position to help and I didn’t. Letting you work things out on your own doesn’t matter when you’re hurting.

Your sister shouldn’t be in that position to begin with. That’s what you’re working towards, after all. It isn’t her responsibility to be your inner conscious.

…I guess.

What a way to end the night. You were doing so well with the not dying and all, and then this happened.

After spotting a familiar land feature, you slowly descend to the ground. Before you, the calm waters of the Misty Lake stretch out. The lake seems different at night compared to the morning but it is no less beautiful. Fireflies dance among the reeds, bright even against the soft fog drifting just above the water’s surface.

It is one of the many scenic locales of Gensokyo. If it weren’t for all the hyper-powered, man-eating threats in the area, you could truly call this place paradise.

You sit down at the edge of the water and run your fingers through the chilly liquid.

What would happen if you decided to go for a swim?

You get wet? What does it matter? You don’t even like swimming.

It’s not like you hate the act. It just so happens that most things found in the water are more likely to kill you than not.

“Boo!”

Like her. You’re positive Minamitsu would totally kill you in the water before you could banish her.

“Geez, no reaction at all?”

“I’m not sorry about that,” you tell the ghost that tried to sneak up on you.

You glance back at her where she floats half out of the ground. Minamitsu grumbles a bit more before rising completely out of the earth and dropping down next to you.

“What are you doing out here, Minamitsu?” you ask.

“Too much drink tonight, skipper? I’ve been out here.”

“But you-” Has she really? “You’ve been out here since this morning?”

“That’s right. Never left, as it goes. I’m doing better, before you ask.”

“I can see that. I am surprised that there isn’t a pile of trash coming out of the lake.” You had met with Minamitsu this morning, partaking in her favorite pastime in order to blow off steam.

Which was also your fault since you are the one who summoned up Mokou’s mother from the dead.

You didn’t know that old woman would give Minamitsu a tongue lashing.

No, but you could have expected it given how volatile she had been in the past.

“Har har. I was not in that rickety of shape.” Minamitsu picks up a pebble and tosses it outwards, the rock skipping along eleven times. “How about you? I can’t imagine you sailing out to dark waters such as these if you were in tip top shape.”

“Guess I came out here to think.”

“Thinking alone is a dangerous thing. Care to share your tale?”

You think of telling her off just like she had you however many hours ago. After all, you came out here to get away from it all.

But something in you doesn’t agree with that. Maybe it’s how Minamitsu doesn’t push any further, instead absently slinging stones in silence. Maybe it’s because the spirit is, no matter how she may seem, hundreds of years your senior. Maybe it’s because you know she’s been cooped up by the lake all the day and you consider her a friend.

And she’d notice the inevitable tension between you and Byakuren eventually. Maybe as soon as she returned to the temple.

You tell her about the day. From the boring drudgery of moving supplies to the outdoor stage to flailing around in the bamboo forest, nothing is off limits. Naturally, you end your story with Byakuren and your interests being ground into the dirt.

Minamitsu listens with a silent, attentive ear. Once you finish, she goes right into it. “Wow. I gotta say, before anything else, you have got to be one of the craziest people I’ve met.”

“I don’t think I’m that bad.”

“You are!” she accuses. “How do you go from fighting tentacled monstrosities, chopping up dead people, and staring down a lunarian dreadnought to going partying and confessing your love in one night? That is not normal.”

“Because you, Captain Murasa, are the definition of normal, right?”

“I know what I know.” Minamitsu sighs and pats you on the shoulder. “Byakuren could have been less bitchy about it. I don’t think you deserved all that.”

“You shouldn’t-”

The ghost slaps her hand over your mouth, silencing you. “No need to go all white knight for her now, buddy. She dropped you like an anchor, remember? This is the time to get your anger out.”

You grab her hand and throw it off. “The spirit of vengeance is telling me to vent, huh?”

“Hell yeah I am and if you know what’s what you’ll listen to me. If you try and patch it up now you’ll just be leaking throughout the rest of your time here. You have to let it all drain out first before repairing anything.”

“I’m sorry to disappoint but I’m not feeling particularly angry about anything.”

“Oh really?” she scoffs. “You seem to be getting a bit hot right now.”

“That’s because you won’t stop going on about it! Of course I’m going to get annoyed when you needle me about nothing!”

“Oh, it’s nothing now? That’s why you’re sitting at a lake past midnight with a ghost that tends to drown people?”

“Just lay off!” you shout. “So I’m a bit upset that Byakuren didn’t decide to passionately reciprocate my love. So what? There isn’t anything I can do about that! Getting angry over it solves nothing! So I don’t know why you keep heckling me about it!”

Once you look at Minamitsu and see the wide grin on her face, the flash of anger seeps away.

The ghost holds up three fingers. “Not the worst. Three out of ten, might have been able to poke a hole in a canoe. Feeling better?”

“Not really,” you grumble. “Did you think I would?”

Minamitsu laughs. “Not really. I’ve tried venting for decades and look where that got me. I was run aground by a woman that hasn’t seen this world in ages.” The ghostly girl laughs again before becoming a tad more serious. “I doubt I’m the one who should be telling you this, but try to not let this rejection get to you.”

Fine advice, but words are simple. “So you’re telling me not to get hung up on it for a thousand years?”

“Better realize I’m still fully capable of drowning you here,” she retorts. “But yes. That’s what I’m saying.”

“No matter how calm I was in front of Byakuren, it isn’t so easy to just let it all go.”

“I know that too. Do you think I don’t seethe with anger whenever I think about the thrice-damned Fujiwara clan?” You know full well how angry Minamitsu can become at the mere sight of Mokou, let alone talking about her past.

“But I-” She halts, suddenly unsure and lacking her usual boisterous confidence. “But all these years…I don’t t need anybody else to tell me I was wrong. That I was a cruel monster, destroying lives all around me. Yet fucking Mokou Fujiwara’s mother comes back from the dead and lays it out straight…”

“You know, spirits of vengeance aren’t supposed to be rational, thinking people.” A naturally made spirit, one whose grip on reality was forged by their hatred, isn’t some coincidental excuse to be human again. “That you managed to break free of your natural inclinations is, frankly, amazing. Someone should have come around and exterminated you long before you could reach this point.”

She snorts. “And ain’t that wonderful? We have our lovely Byakuren to thank for that.” The ghostly girl shakes her head. “Hell, I don’t know where I was going with that. My mind is still a confused mess. What I think is that if I took a thousand years just to get to this point, and maybe a thousand more to get somewhere decent in the future, you should be able to manage in a couple of days.”

She expects you to recover from a broken heart so soon? “I only get days?”

“Maybe a few weeks,” she offers. “I’m sure Byakuren will be moping after this far longer than you will.”

“You think so?”

“I know it. That woman is an overloaded barge. I think you’d have to be a pirate with two eye patches on to miss how much she has been enjoying herself with you around. There’s no way in hell that she brushed you off lightly.”

You suppose she was rather lost in thought for much of that. It would make sense if she wasn’t just thinking of the best way to brush you off but was actually conflicted.

Minamitsu dips in front of you, leering. “That made you awfully chipper, didn’t it? Can’t wait to get back in the sack with ‘ol Byakuren?”

“T-That’s not it!”

That smug look on her face quickly drops away to horror. “Wait, what? You have?”

“What? No!”

“That can’t be true! Not with that kind of answer!” The ghost floats back, cradling her forehead with a hand. “I thought you two were too awkward. I never saw-”

“We haven’t! I was just thinking of the one time I slept with her-” Shit.

“You just said-”

“Not like that! After the reaper incident! She had Reimu and I sleep in her room and-”

Minamitsu gasps. “How scandalous! I never thought two innocent souls would ever-”

“Enough out of you!” You learn forward and swing your arm, splashing the water up at the annoyance in front of you.

“Hey! You’ll get my clothes wet!”

“You’re a ghost!”

“So I don’t matter? See how you like this!”

Her leg kicks out, slapping the water towards- “That’s cold! Are you trying to kill me?”

“If I was trying to kill you it’d look more like this!” She dives downwards, her body throwing up a wave of- Damn it! You throw your arms up in a desperate attempt to-

Ugh. Water soaks your shirt and upper body. You spit the excess lake out of your mouth and pull Yoshika close, reaching into your jacket for a handful of bone dust.

Half a second after pulling your hand out from the pocket, Minamitsu bolts. “Oh not that fucking shit again! Get away from me!”

You grin and chase after her, the magically created mucous-like ghost-sticking substance stretched and ready between your fingers.

Yoshika quickly scrambles after you, the joy of the hunt overtaking her as well.

You, Minamitsu, and Yoshika fly and run through the night. A few of the fields suffer a deluge of water and magical gunk. Eventually, you all grow tired and stumble towards the temple. The guard says nothing about how mud-covered you are or about the green slime Minamitsu picks out of her hair. With some snark and good cheer, you part ways with your ghostly friend for the night.

Not exactly the most relaxing activity before sleep.

No, but it was fun.

The halls of the temple are relatively empty, although you can’t tell if it’s because most of the residents are still out and about or crashing in their rooms.

Luckily for you, it means the communal bathrooms are free of people. After a quick shower, you and Yoshika hunker down for the night.

What a day.

You’re telling me.

With your undead companion curled up in your arms, you drift off into a dreamless sleep.



The sun greets you next morning, peeking through the shutters of your window. You feel great, refreshed.

As if you weren’t almost eaten the night before.

Or obliterated.

Or heartbroken.

You feel good enough to accomplish anything today!

[ ] Rally the troops
[ ] Check on Reimu
[ ] Friendly visit to Eientei
[ ] Speak with Byakuren
-[ ] About books
-[ ] About love
[ ] Back to sleep
[ ] <Write-in>

---

Life reared its ugly head again. Sorry about that. We should be back on schedule.

>>182420
>Welp
I admit to being one of those illiterate fools that uses ‘whelp’. When going for silly internet slang, I like how the ‘h’ fits in phonetically and visually, even if it turns it into a real word. Whelp.

>>182428
That’s a bold write-in anon, let’s see if that pays off for you.
>> 2014/11/12(Wed)06:44 No. 182735
[x] Check on Raymoo
>> 2014/11/12(Wed)07:27 No. 182737
>>182734

Check in on Reimu!

Misery loves company.
>> 2014/11/12(Wed)07:38 No. 182738
[X] Check on Reimu
>> 2014/11/12(Wed)07:50 No. 182739
[X] Check on Reimu
I think we can all agree that meeting Byakuren right now is a pretty bad idea, so Reimu!
>> 2014/11/12(Wed)08:04 No. 182740
[X] Check on Reimu
-[X] Bring food.

I hope she won't kick our ass.
>> 2014/11/12(Wed)14:52 No. 182746
[X] Check on Reimu
-[X] Bring food.
>> 2014/11/12(Wed)15:32 No. 182750
[X] Check on Reimu
-[X] Bring food.
>> 2014/11/12(Wed)16:02 No. 182752
[X] Check on Reimu
-[X] Bring food.
>> 2014/11/12(Wed)17:05 No. 182754
[X] Check on Reimu
-[X] Bring food.
>> 2014/11/12(Wed)21:13 No. 182760
[X] Check on Reimu
>> 2014/11/12(Wed)22:34 No. 182762
[x] Check on waki neko miko Reimu
>> 2014/11/12(Wed)23:57 No. 182770
[x] Rally the troops
Break is over, no?
>> 2014/11/13(Thu)00:59 No. 182771
[X] Check on Reimu
-[X] Bring food.
>> 2014/11/13(Thu)01:19 No. 182772
[X] Check on Reimu
-[X] Bring food.
>> 2014/11/13(Thu)01:24 No. 182773
>>182770

Waifuism will never die.

Look at Yoshika.
>> 2014/11/13(Thu)16:02 No. 182796
[X] Check on Reimu
-[X] Bring food.

Oh you guys.
>> 2014/11/14(Fri)19:44 No. 182817
[x] Rally the troops
>> 2014/11/14(Fri)23:16 No. 182822
I'd say that "[X] Check on Reimu" coincides with "[x] Rally the troops" since we will want a mentally stable Reimu on our side when the time comes.
>> 2014/11/18(Tue)06:19 No. 182873
There are plenty of tasks that need to be completed, preparations to be made, and actions to be taken. It is tough juggling all the things you want and need to do.

Luckily some priorities, like breakfast, are simple.

You get up and stretch before putting on a fresh change of clothes. Then you slip on your- “Yoshika,” you begin, “give me the jacket.”

While you had been dressing like a normal person, your undead companion had rolled off the futon and quickly slipped on your protective and super stylish outerwear. She was in the process of fastening the second-to-last button before you stopped her.

“No.”

“You can’t walk around in only your underwear and my jacket.”

“No.”

“But-“

“No.”

This might be a long day.

It takes a few minutes but you manage to get the rambunctious girl to dress herself appropriately. Yoshika walks out of your shared room in a modest dark blue skirt and a simple grey blouse while you are fully kitted out in your standard dark ensemble plus your faded yellow scarf.

You follow your nose to the dining area where many of the temple residents are receiving their breakfast. The fare is simple and somewhat bland, but it is filling and nutritious. You and Yoshika sit down to eat out in the courtyard of the temple. Everybody else is busily going about their day as if they hadn’t been partying hard the night before.

The two of you finish your meals without interruption. You wonder where the more familiar faces of the Myouren Temple crew are but it’s not like you have an obligation to eat with them every day. They generally wake up earlier than you did today so it wouldn’t be surprising they were already out and about on errands. Besides, you aren’t sure how you would feel about meeting Byakuren again so soon.

You return the dishes to the kitchen staff on duty but pause at the entrance to the kitchen. With the way the temple serves its meals, different foods for lunches are already being brought out and prepared.

After a polite query to the monk in charge you end up quickly whipping together a few sandwiches and placing them in a brown bag to take with you.

Lunch to-go?

More a peace offering. With the food prepared, you take to the skies from the courtyard.

“Where are we going?” Yoshika asks curiously.

“The Hakurei Shrine,” you answer, a bit surprised she even asked. She’s been content in the past to simply hang off your arm as you went about your day.

“Why?” she questions.

“I thought I’d like to check up on Reimu.” Maybe ask a few favors too, depending on how she is doing. With Obon over and done with, you have business to attend to. Having the all-powerful Hakurei Shrine Maiden at your back would go a long way to making you feel more secure.

Unfortunately, when you arrive at the shrine, the signs do not look good. There is no shrine maiden casually sitting out on her porch. In fact, the door to the main building is ajar, the halls within looking barren.

“Hello?” you call out.

Nobody answers.

Did Reimu prepare some sort of trap for trespassers?

I don’t think she’s the type.

Well, you aren’t going to up and leave because you were too paranoid of an open door.

“Let’s hope there isn’t a monster waiting inside,” you mutter as you cautiously enter without invitation. You’ve gotten too used to situations like this.

Yoshika detaches herself from your arm and begins to stalk forward but you quickly step in front of her. The zombie girl has a tendency to protect you with her body, something she can’t quite afford to do without magical enhancements toughening her skin and bones. Hell, even what she had before wasn’t enough if some alien-concocted rabbit monstrosity could chew her up.

Despite what you were somewhat expecting, no angry teenaged girl comes storming after you for entering on your own.

You start to grow worried. Yesterday morning Reimu had been locked away in her room; no thanks to your spirit summoning efforts, but that’s a decision you can’t change now. You don’t think anybody could take advantage of her in that sort of state…

I don’t know about that. How different is a depressed Reimu from a weary one?

It’s the difference between her being able to respond violently or not. No matter how much of a funk Reimu was in after reuniting with her mother, you can’t imagine her giving up in the face of a real threat.

The lack of activity in the shrine is unnerving, however. Stepping through the hall, the only light comes from the sunlight streaming in from the open door. All of the shutters for the windows are closed.

You enter Reimu’s living room which is likewise dark and empty. It’s a stark difference to what you remember when you had a few drinks with the other girls. There is nobody around the table laughing their asses off or drunk out of their minds. No one-

A hand grabs your ankle.

For a split second your body coils itself in preparation. Magic is ready to make your skin tougher than steel and your bones sharper than any blade to deal with the ambush.

You suppress the instinct to cut down with a weaponized arm.

After all, the grip on your ankle is loose and weak.

Yoshika reaches down and picks up the girl that is lying at your feet, half-hidden underneath an overturned box.

“What’s wrong, Rumia?” you ask the blonde haired youkai.

Her head slumps backwards, her mouth wide open. She has her hands covering her eyes as she helplessly dangles in Yoshika’s grip.

The low rumble of her stomach seems to answer your question perfectly.

You think about your last visit to the shrine the previous afternoon. “Have you not eaten anything since yesterday, Rumia?”

“Noooo,” she groans. “Before…”

“Before? You haven’t eaten since two nights ago?”

The little youkai flops in place, defeated.

You know she was complaining about Reimu not feeding her when you visited, but she’s gone a day without eating anything?

I wouldn’t say anything. I think she might have tried the table leg.

“Why haven’t you gone to find something? You don’t need to eat cooked food, do you?” If she attacked a villager before, you assume she wouldn’t be particular about what she would eat.

Rumia groans a second time before parting her fingers to peek at you. “Cannot leave,” she cries. The youkai gestures to the wooden talisman that hangs from her neck.

She is leashed to Reimu; it’s an easy conclusion to draw. The range is at least as far as the front porch from Reimu’s room if that was where you found Rumia before.

“Where does Reimu keep her food? Not in her kitchen?”

The blonde youkai throws an arm out and lets it dangle afterwards. Helpful.

In the storehouse out back maybe?

That’s likely. You find it strange that Reimu doesn’t keep snacks or something in the main building, but given the size of her home it’s understandable.

You guess this means that Reimu never left her room.

Great.

You motion for Yoshika to put Rumia down. Once back in conflict with the floor, the blonde youkai crawls back towards her box of darkness and covers her head completely.

No mercy on her Bro?

What?

In your hand?

What about- Oh.

You look down at the brown bag in your hand and debate it. As pitiful as she is, Rumia is a savage youkai that nearly mauled a man to death. Sure, he wasn’t the picture of an upright and well-adjusted citizen, but that doesn’t make it right.

It also must be rather tough having Reimu watch over her twenty-four seven. And from what you’ve seen, Rumia is doing her best to help Reimu out. Maybe not of her free will, but it is a start towards atonement, right?

At least you made multiple sandwiches. You take one out of the bag and set it down on the ground.

“Rumia.”

At the sound of her name the youkai girl lifts one edge of the box upwards. She freezes for one second before lunging for the sandwich, the flung away box bouncing off the ceiling. The youkai manages to stuff the entire thing into her mouth, barely even able to chew.

You shake your head at the frenzy and walk away towards Reimu’s room.

You aren’t actually sure which door it would be behind, but the shrine is small enough that you find it in short time.

It helps that the shrine maiden clearly labeled where she is by slapping on a bright red barrier.

It looks a lot like the Great Hakurei Barrier.

Indeed it does. The shimmering red that covers the door is very similar to the displays of Reimu’s abilities you’ve seen before as well as what you broke through to get into Gensokyo. It obviously isn’t as complicated or powerful as the Great Barrier, but you imagine the same concepts were used to create it.

Well, this might be a problem.

You knock three times on the barrier and call out, “Reimu, food is here!”

After waiting for a minute, there is no response.

You try it again just to be sure.

The sound of footsteps on the wooden floors draws your attention to the side. Rumia pads down the hallway, licking her fingers. “That will not work,” she tells you. “That barrier went up after she shooed me away for the third time yesterday.”

“She just left you out here on your own with nothing to do, huh?”

“I do not think my well-being was weighing heavily on her mind.” Rumia doesn’t sound particularly angry at her treatment as she plays with the sleeves on her shrine maiden’s outfit.

“You tried getting her out after she put up the barrier?”

“Of course,” Rumia replies with a grin, “but did I not say that if she does not wish to be disturbed, she will not be disturbed?”

[ ] Force your way in...
-[ ] Through the door
-[ ] Through the wall
-[ ] Through the window
[ ] Leave...
-[ ] And find someone more convincing
--[ ] <Who?>
-[ ] To go do <something else>
[ ] <Write-in>

---

>>182760
Hmm, I wonder who you are…

>>182773
Waifuism is love, waifuism is life.
>> 2014/11/18(Tue)09:01 No. 182884
[x] Force your way in...
-[ ] To her heart~
No.
-[x] Through the door
>> 2014/11/18(Tue)13:18 No. 182890
Should we get Marisa?
>> 2014/11/18(Tue)16:49 No. 182895
[X] Leave...
-[X] And find Marissa
>> 2014/11/18(Tue)17:05 No. 182896
[X] Leave...
-[X] And find Marissa

If anyone knows how to get her out of this funk, it's her bestest best friend for life.

She might just decide to break through the wall anyway, but then we have plausible deniability.
>> 2014/11/18(Tue)17:35 No. 182899
[x] Force your way in...
-[x] Through the door
>> 2014/11/18(Tue)21:37 No. 182906
[x] Force your way in...
-[x] Through the door
>> 2014/11/18(Tue)22:35 No. 182908
[X] Leave...
-[X] And find Marisa
>> 2014/11/18(Tue)23:14 No. 182909
[x] Force your way in...
-[x] Through the window
>> 2014/11/18(Tue)23:20 No. 182910
[x] Force your way in...
-[x] Through the window
>> 2014/11/18(Tue)23:55 No. 182911
[X] Leave...
-[X] And find Marissa

Getting someone she trusts seems like a good idea. Or at least someone she trusts more than Rumia and Necroanon.
>> 2014/11/19(Wed)00:12 No. 182913
[X] Leave and go get Byakuren, brief her on the issue that is ALIEN MONSTERS POSSIBLY MADE WITH THE NECRONOMICON HOW HORRIFYING then get Reimu out of her funk together so you can GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THINGS.
>> 2014/11/19(Wed)01:09 No. 182914
[x] Force your way in...
-[x] Through the door
-[x] Briefly wonder how many people will die if you don't stop Eintei's experiments soon.

I'm not as salty as the other anon, but he has a point.
I like these hijinks though.
>> 2014/11/19(Wed)01:57 No. 182915
[X] Leave...
-[X] And find Marissa
>> 2014/11/19(Wed)02:10 No. 182916
[X] Leave...
-[X] And find Marisa

Reimu's best friend would be useful here methinks.
>> 2014/11/19(Wed)05:19 No. 182918
Oh please, think outside the box.

[x] Force your way in...
-- [X] with Yoshika.
--- [X] through the floor.
>> 2014/11/19(Wed)08:12 No. 182919
[x] Force your way in...
-- [X] with Yoshika.
--- [X] through the floor.
>> 2014/11/19(Wed)16:45 No. 182928
[X] Leave...
-[X] And find Marissa
>> 2014/11/20(Thu)19:54 No. 182951
X] Leave...
-[X] And find Marisa
>> 2014/11/24(Mon)20:38 No. 183040
After reading that last post in the other thread I've realized that I'm all for going full lich. Far too many times have we been incapacitated due to the limits of the body, but with a body of bone stronger than steel the Necronomicon would be that much closer.
Another benefit would be losing the need to sleep and eat.
>> 2014/11/24(Mon)21:48 No. 183043
For some inexplicable reason, barging into Reimu’s room on your own seems to be a bad idea.

Glad you recognized that. Got a different plan in mind?

You figure someone closer to Reimu would have a better chance at drawing her out of her room. Marisa, maybe? From what you understand the two of them are best of friends.

Do we even know where she lives?

The Forest of Magic, right?

Yeah, but that doesn’t help in finding her house if the forest is canopy covers everything.

True.

“Hey Rumia, can you tell me how to get Marisa’s house?”

“The black-white?” she asks with a tilt of her head. “Yes, I can. Why would I?”

“I thought I’d bring her over here to get Reimu out.”

The would-be murderer smiles and taps her fingers against her cheeks. “Is that so? And if I do not tell you, what then would you do?”

You bend over at the waist and look the youkai in the eyes. “I’d go find someone more helpful than a belligerent youkai. Maybe I’d tell Reimu when she comes out that something attacked me and tried to eat me when I entered the shrine.”

“You dare not! That would be a lie!”

She raises a good point. Yes she does; nobody should be dumb enough to outright lie to Reimu.

“I could probably find something closer to the truth then, something like how a certain youkai wanted Reimu to die in her room or something.”

“Y-You, you villain!” she shouts at you, arms raised at her sides. “Devil! Lowlife! Mallyf- Malle- Monster!”

“Well if you’re going to just stand there and call me names, let’s go Yoshika.”

“W-Wait!” Rumia is quick to leap after you. Interestingly, when you suddenly stop in place she swerves to avoid you and ultimately falls flat on her face.

The darkness youkai spills her secrets. The directions she gives you are mostly unclear and verbose but they seem truthful. You assume they’ll be good enough and, if they aren’t, they at least won’t lead you into a trap.

“I shall warn you now, human.” Rumia licks her lips. “Many in the forest would love nothing more than to consume you completely.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.” With all of the advice Rumia cares to give in your mind, you and Yoshika leave the shrine and take off towards the Forest of Magic.

Hey, can we talk about something?

What’s going on, Sis?

You. You’re off.

How so?

It’s just…you’re not as paranoid right now. Not planning for the worst. At times like this you usually would be thinking up twenty different plans to get at the Necronomicon.

So now that you’re taking your sister’s advice to heart, she criticizes you?

Sheesh, it’s not that. I’m just worried about you.

Don’t be.

You know the situation seems off. You’re just floating around without much urgency, trying to get teenaged girls to feel better about themselves when there’s a potential lunatic running around with a tome full of hazardous information. The situation is serious.

Yet, it isn’t too serious. Not yet.

Eientei had their containment failure only yesterday, after all. If there’s some sort of dastardly plot Eirin is planning, it probably won’t happen today while they’re recovering. If the largest threat is her experiments going too far, that probably won’t happen today either.

Hell, maybe nothing bad will happen at all. Maybe all she wants is some slightly more intelligent, useful servants and will go back to whatever else she does in her free time.
You just don’t know. That’s the problem in all this. If Eirin were a force you’re more used to dealing with, like another Necromancer, then you could easily imagine what she’d be up to. But a lunarian super-genius? She’s a mystery.

It’s all one giant question-mark. You’re fairly confident that if she’s supposed to be in hiding, she won’t be out to conquer the world or assassinate Reimu or something. Barring that, you have precious little information to work with.

So you don’t feel like it’s panic time. It’s probably okay to make sure your powerful friends are in good condition and then investigate more. Until you find something damning which spells disaster, you don’t need to rush it.

That’s your feelings on the matter, anyway. It’s a cautious approach; the parts of you screaming for action just don’t have much weight at the moment. You need to talk with more people lest you accidentally start an unnecessary fight you wouldn’t win on your own anyway.

That’s fair, Bro. As long as you’ve thought about it I’m satisfied.

Your mental conversation ends just in time for you to reach the Forest of Magic.

It’s a much slower process than you thought it would be. Following Rumia’s directions proves more problematic than you expected if only because her perception of the world seems far too different from yours. As much as you like your all-black clothing, you can’t distinguish all the different hues of darkness that she apparently can. Plus, that damned youkai spoke in ridiculous metaphor.

Nevertheless, you slowly manage it. You find the ‘giant tree that spills out midnight at noon’ and follow the ‘path carved by long dead pilgrims’ until you finally find the ‘demarcated zone of demonic protection’ that supposedly rings Marisa’s home.

You kept your guard up the entire time, but it seems like Rumia’s other suggestive warning went unneeded. The safety you walked in must be a combination of where Marisa lives in the forest plus the bright daylight that filters through the canopy.

Marisa’s home is a rather cute two story building, seemingly far too large for a single resident. The grounds are a bit unkempt and the outside is slightly covered in creeping vines. You walk along the cobblestone path patterned in moss until you reach the front door.

Knock knock.

Perhaps expectedly, there’s no answer,

“Hey Marisa!” you yell.

Nothing.

Maybe she slept somewhere else for the night?

Completely possible, given how much partying should probably ended up having.

Knock knock!

You pound on the door louder and yell once more, trying to draw out a reaction.

Well, now you’re at a loss. You guess you could find someone else to-

You dive to the ground with Yoshika in your arms when the wall explodes. The bright light that blasts forth from the second story blinds you when you foolishly look at it. Everything, from the ground to the building, shakes.

Then it ends, the massive outpouring of magical energy dissipating into the surrounding air and forest.

“Ah fuck,” you hear somebody curse.

Taking a second to glance over your unflustered and uninjured companion, the two of you slowly float up to the man-sized hole in the wall of the house.

Inside, you see Marisa’s bedroom. It’s surprisingly girly with white and pink furniture. The bed is covered in lace pillows, a couple of dolls, and a large pink-and-white patterned comforter.

It also has a blonde hair girl flopping off the side. Marisa’s body is still on the bed while she dangles downwards off the side towards the hole in the wall. She reaches around on the floor and lets out an ‘aha’ once she manages to grab a black box on the ground.

The witch is wearing black pajamas with star patterns on them. She looks like a mess- no, is a mess considering she reaches too far forward and flops off the bed with a thud.

“Doing okay, Marisa?” you ask.

The witch groans and cradles her head, slowly managing to rise to her knees. She looks up at you with one eye open. “‘M fine. Just a bit…hung-over.” She shakes her head for a second but winces in pain and stops, “Whaddya waant?” she slurs.

“Nothing much. Maybe I should come back later?” She doesn’t look fit to be out of bed.

“Nah.” Marisa manages to wobble to her feet. With her free hand she works to straighten her disheveled hair. She does an admirable job of shaking off her grogginess and walking over to her dresser. She fumbles with a handle but manages to open a drawer and pull out a glass bottle. She throws her head back and downs the yellow liquid before turning back to you. “I’m awake. You need something right? A potion maybe?”

“No. I came to see if you could get Reimu out of her room.”

“What? She’s still in there?” Marisa’s eyes widen in shock. “Let’s go!”

“Right now? Aren’t you going to-”

“There’s no time to wait! Reimu needs us now!” Marisa grabs the broom leaning against the wall and the black hat hanging on a hook. In one deft motion she throws the broom under her legs, the hat atop her head, and grabs ahold of your hand.

Then she rockets away from her home.

“Whoa!”

The browns of tree trunks disappear in a blur. The canopy explodes out of the way. Then the sky approaches so quickly that- hurgh

Why the fuck are you spinning and oh god you’re starting to feel sick and- You throw your hand over your mouth and try to control yourself as gravity and inertia do its damnedest to kill you.

Ugh.

Thank the heavens though, Marisa is slowing and-

When you look down you see all of Gensokyo below you from the tip of Youkai Mountain to the far off gravestones of Muenzuka. It’s breathtaking.

No, wait, that’s you trying not to vomit.

Still, it’s an amazing sight. One that gives you a horrible sense of vertigo and makes you feel like puking.

Upwards is better. Above you, the Great Hakurei Barrier is within reach. It looks so-

Your insides tumble as your entire body is thrown downwards. Marisa accelerates and-

You lose it.

Everything becomes an indistinct blur.

Eventually, you realize that you’re lying down on hard, comforting ground. A moist cloth dangles above you.

“Sorry about that,” Marisa apologizes with a grin. “I’m guessing that’s the fastest you’ve ever gone before eh?”

You don’t say anything as you slowly sit up and wipe your face. The world underneath still feels like its spinning.

Marisa waits patiently, chewing on an apple she probably took from wherever she found the rag.

Once you’re capable of it you stand and hand the rag back to Marisa. “Thanks,” you say.

“My fault in the first place,” she replies while casually tossing the towel in the air. Then she whips her arm out and the rag is no more. The casual display of firepower to incinerate the soiled cloth is very Marisa-like.

The black-white witch walks into main building with a swagger, broom held at her side. The two of you find Rumia with her box on her head sitting with her back to the wall outside of Reimu’s room.

“She put up a barrier?” Marisa doesn’t sound impressed. She walks up to Reimu’s door and hammers on it with a hand. “Reimu, open up!”

Naturally, there is no response.

Marisa cups her chin in thought. If Reimu can’t hear you from inside, there might be no way to get her to come out.

“Master!” The cry gives you just enough warning to turn and catch the flying jiang-shi. Yoshika throws herself into your arms, a forlorn look on her face. “Master left me!”

“Sorry about that Yoshika,” you apologize. You didn’t expect Marisa to-

The magical energy in the air spikes to ludicrous amounts. You turn around to find Marisa wielding that octangular block. Her arm is outstretched and pointing that thing at the doorway, the energy build-up around it visible to the naked eye-

You throw your hand over your eyes to block out the torrent of light. Peeking through your fingers, you watch the powerful laser plough into the doorway. The barrier begins to buckle under the stress until it shatters completely, the door beyond not lasting any longer.

The laser ends momentarily after, Marisa pocketing her magical focus into a pocket of her pajamas. She also lightly grasps her temples, the magic usage probably not helping whatever hangover she might still have. “There,” she mutters. “That ought to wake-” Marisa quiets when she looks up.

Reimu is standing in her new doorway, clad only in her white underwear. Her eyes dart between all of you, rapidly taking in the situation.

You notice her fisted hands are shaking ever so slightly.

[ ] Nope the fuck out
-[ ] Wait around for the storm to pass
-[ ] Move on to <doing something else>
[ ] Genuflect
[ ] Hide behind…
-[ ] Marisa
-[ ] Yoshika
-[ ] Rumia
[ ] “Good morning, Reimu!”
[ ] <Write-in>

---

I wish the ‘going under’ vote won. I liked how creative it was.

>>182896
Good call

>>183040
Don’t forget to consider the downsides.
>> 2014/11/25(Tue)01:01 No. 183044
[X] “Good morning, Reimu!”

Fuck it, she's already seen us. What more could possibly go wrong?
>> 2014/11/25(Tue)01:26 No. 183045
[X] “Good morning, Reimu!”

We basically seem to have 2 modes with Reimu; teasing or terrified, and right now seems like a teasing time.
>> 2014/11/25(Tue)03:29 No. 183049
[X] “Good morning, Reimu!”
>> 2014/11/25(Tue)03:48 No. 183050
[X] “Good morning, Reimu!”
Might as well
>> 2014/11/25(Tue)04:19 No. 183053
[X] “Good morning, Reimu!”

Well, we're certainly not responsible for this. All we did was express concern to a friend, who took the initiative-

Ah, who am I kidding. We're hosed and all that's left is to take whatever comes like a man.
>> 2014/11/25(Tue)08:56 No. 183055
[X] “Good morning, Reimu!”
If only because genuflecting is a guaranteed bad end.
>> 2014/11/25(Tue)09:47 No. 183057
[X] “Good morning, Reimu!”
-[x] Offer food.

Stick to the plan!
>> 2014/11/25(Tue)13:05 No. 183061
[X] “Good morning, Reimu!”
>> 2014/11/25(Tue)20:08 No. 183064
[X] “Good morning, Reimu!”
-[x] Offer food.

Placate the miko with offerings of food! If we had money, we'd put it in the donation box!
>> 2014/11/25(Tue)23:13 No. 183069
[x] “Good morning, Reimu!”
>> 2014/11/28(Fri)20:41 No. 183123
[X] “Good morning, Reimu!”
-[x] Offer food.
>> 2014/11/29(Sat)17:42 No. 183146
[X] “Good morning, Reimu!”
-[X] Pose
--[X] Let our coat fall off in an exceedingly cool fashion

Maybe there's more to life than being really, really, really, ridiculously necromancer-y looking, but I haven't found it.
>> 2014/11/30(Sun)13:00 No. 183184
[X] “Good morning, Reimu!”
-[x] Offer food.
>> 2014/12/01(Mon)06:14 No. 183210
You stare at the disheveled shrine maiden.

She stares back.

Nobody moves or says a word. Marisa is frozen in place, hand on her forehead. Rumia peeks out slightly from underneath her box but otherwise does little to draw attention to herself.

The heavy, oppressive air doesn’t dissipate when Reimu begins to slowly walk forward.

“Hey there Reimu, hope you don’t mind-” you wince when Marisa is sent flying; Reimu’s backhand launches the witch through the melted doorway. Marisa disappears behind the wall but hear her land on something soft, likely Reimu’s futon or something.

While it’s nice that wasn’t a fatal blow, it doesn’t bode well for your own safety.

Nevertheless, as Reimu continues her slow shuffle forward, you can’t help yourself. “Good morning, Reimu!”

You close your eyes reflexively, bracing yourself for divine punishment.

It never comes.

Reimu stops an arms-width away from you, her inscrutable gaze focused on you. Then the moment passes and she shuffles on, brushing past you without a word.

Whew.

The shrine maiden bends over to scoop Rumia into her arms. Her butt sticks into the air and you really need to avert your gaze from the girl walking around in her panties and a chest wrap.

Reimu continues her walk down the hallway until she exits the building. You follow her out to the smaller shed around the back.

Much of the lethargy is gone from her movement. After setting Rumia down on the grass, she deftly opens the door and heads straight towards one of many unmarked boxes. Popping the lid open, she pulls out a slab of what looks like salted meat.

Without wasting a movement she drops the food on the ground and heads back towards the shrine. Rumia, eyes wide, wastes no time in pouncing on the meat and ripping into it like an animal.

When Reimu sits down on her porch, legs drawn up to her chest, you take the chance and sit down next to her.

You watch Rumia roll around on the ground, enjoying her food. That reminds you about the brown bag you had been carrying with you. You have no idea where it is now. You must have lost it when Marisa decided-

“Master dropped it,” Yoshika giggles and offers the bag of sandwiches to you.

“Thanks,” you tell your wonderful mind-reading zombie. The brown bag rustles when you open it and pull out one of the simple turkey sandwiches from inside.

“Food?” you offer to Reimu.

The shrine maiden glances at it and, after a moment of deliberation, gently takes it from your hands. Reimu takes tiny bites out of the sandwich, small enough to make you think she’s reluctant to eat it.

Yet she continues on with the same steady determination she accomplishes everything, the sandwich disappearing at a rapid pace. She gives you a slight nod of thanks but otherwise says nothing.

“I’m sorry, Reimu,” you tell her after she finishes. “I didn’t mean to hurt you with everything that happened.” It’s only been two nights, but causing Reimu to suffer the temporary return of her mother has been haunting you.

She shrugs.

It’s not a confidence-inspiring answer. “How are you feeling?” you ask.

“Terrible,” is her curt reply.

“Sorry.” At least Reimu’s response wasn’t caustic. She wasn’t trying to guilt you further or hurt you back; it was a simple statement of fact. That doesn’t make you feel better about the situation.

Reimu shakes her head. “Not your fault,” she utters.

“If it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t have had to go through that.” How much does it hurt to regain your loved one only to lose them again moments later? You understand that initial loss, but if your sister were to be taken from you now? You aren’t sure how you’d react.

“Not your fault.” Reimu is adamant. “I know what’s right, wrong. Should’ve reacted better.”

You remember her saying something similar when she first rejected your offer to summon up the dead. Still, that type of reasoning doesn’t sit well with you. “That’s dumb. No offense, Reimu, but you’re human too. We can’t just control our emotions and feelings so easily. Your reaction was completely justified. Everybody has a right to be happy with their loved ones and be sad when they’re alone.”

She gives you a mini-glare, as if saying ‘And whose fault is it that I’m alone again?’

“Sorry.”

“Not your fault.” Her response is automatic. Then, more slowly, she continues. “You didn’t kill her.”

With that kind of statement, a natural follow-up question pops into your head. Yet, you don’t voice it. You don’t want to pry. It isn’t your place.

Unexpectedly, Reimu is in one of the most talkative moods you’ve ever seen her in. Without a further prompt, she slowly exhales and speaks once more.

“Gensokyo was wilder. Deadlier. We kept it in line. Harshly.”

So you’ve been told by others. The people you most closely associate with don’t have much to say about the old Gensokyo considering they weren’t living here for it or weren’t particularly aware of their surroundings, but you’ve heard a few stories about the Gensokyo with multiple human villages, with packs of youkai stalking about for a quick meal on unaware humans. You’ve seen the paintings of a Gensokyo subdivided between Youkai lords and masters, the human population a corralled meal fighting to survive. You’ve been told the tales of a Hakurei Clan that was expansive, meting out lethal justice in the defense of their mundane peers.

“Mom messed up. Couldn’t always be alert. Don’t know if it was demons or a different group youkai.”

That’s too sad.

What would you have done when you were younger if your sister had gone out for work one night and never returned?

“Everybody left me. Poison, raids, duels, ambushes, accidents, suicide, diseases, old age.”

How different would Gensokyo look if you had to worry about Lunarian snipers picking you off at any moment or Kappa dragging you under when you went to do laundry? Not to mention any of the other larger powers you haven’t interacted with. What can a herdsman do when a pack of intelligent, supernatural wolves comes for their flock?

In a world where the Hakurei were one of the few equalizing powers that kept the monsters at bay, of course they would be targets for removal.

“Gensokyo was in trouble, barrier endangered. Couldn’t keep up family methods. Stopped. Thought. Started talking, making deals.”

The Spell Card system, then, among other inventions. Reimu couldn’t have done it alone either, no matter how strong she was at the time. She had to have gained support from the larger groups of youkai, the more powerful ones that could see past their instincts.

They’re the ones you still see today, you assume. The Tengu living on the mountain, the reapers arbitrating the afterlife and even the demons residing in Makai if Byakuren and Alice are to be believed all sought to keep Gensokyo from breaking down completely.

“We cleaned up.”

What other groups of monsters used to stalk the land? Did those wild ones that live in the forest now used to be part of a greater whole? You’ve heard of the different goddesses lurking in their own domains and the powerful youkai that singularly stalk their marked territory. How many of them used to control more? Or were they the one-offs that could care less if the Hakurei or the Youkai ruled?

“You’ve been through a lot, haven’t you?” you mutter. When you were just beginning your journeys into the shadows of the world, Reimu was living a life of war and conflict. “Sorry, again. I must’ve dredged up a lot of unhappy memories.”

“Not your fault.” Reimu finally uncurls herself, sticking out her legs and letting her toes toy with the grass. She looks up at you. “Thank you.”

The sincere gratitude in her voice surprises you. “Why?”

“Letting me see mom again.” Reimu’s smile, little more than a slight curve of her lips, might be one of the most heart-warming things you’ve seen yet.

[ ] Talk more with Reimu…
-[ ] Eientei’s defenses
-[ ] A witch’s punishment
-[ ] Eirin’s trustworthiness
-[ ] A successful festival
-[ ] Rumia’s restrictions
-[ ] Opinion on animal experimentation
-[ ] Threat assessment of cosmic horrors
-[ ] Melted doors
-[ ] Family
-[ ] Love
-[ ] Donations
[ ] Leave the shrine and go…
-[ ] <Do something else>
[ ] <Write-in>

---

Still rather open ended. If you have a specific goal in mind (like, say, getting Reimu to go beat someone up or seeing if she’d be willing to act as your personal bodyguard) when talking with her, it’d be best to make that clear.
>> 2014/12/01(Mon)06:30 No. 183213
[x] Talk more with Reimu…
-[x] Rumia’s restrictions
-[x] Love
-[x] Eirin’s trustworthiness
>> 2014/12/01(Mon)06:58 No. 183215
[x] Talk more with Reimu…
-[x] Rumia’s restrictions
-[x] Love
-[x] Eirin’s trustworthiness
>> 2014/12/01(Mon)08:24 No. 183220
>>183210
[x] Talk more with Reimu…
-[x] Rumia’s restrictions
-[x] Opinion on animal experimentation
-[x] Threat assessment of cosmic horrors

In that order.
>> 2014/12/01(Mon)08:44 No. 183221
[x] Talk more with Reimu…
-[x] Rumia’s restrictions
-[x] Opinion on animal experimentation
-[x] Threat assessment of cosmic horrors

Baa
>> 2014/12/01(Mon)14:04 No. 183224
[x] Talk more with Reimu…
-[x] Rumia’s restrictions
-[x] Opinion on animal experimentation
-[x] Threat assessment of cosmic horrors

Time for PLOT
>> 2014/12/01(Mon)15:46 No. 183225
[X] Talk more with Reimu…
-[X] Rumia’s restrictions
-[X] Opinion on animal experimentation
-[X] Threat assessment of cosmic horrors
>> 2014/12/01(Mon)23:07 No. 183234
[x] Talk more with Reimu…
-[x] Rumia’s restrictions
-[x] Threat assessment of cosmic horrors
-[x] Family
-[x] Love
-[ ] Donations
>> 2014/12/02(Tue)02:38 No. 183237
[x] Talk more with Reimu…
-[x] Love
-[x] Eientei’s defenses
-[x] Threat assessment of cosmic horrors
>> 2014/12/02(Tue)09:17 No. 183249
[x] Talk more with Reimu…
-[x] Rumia’s restrictions
-[x] Love
-[x] Eirin’s trustworthiness
>> 2014/12/02(Tue)19:25 No. 183257
[x] Talk more with Reimu…
-[x] Rumia’s restrictions
-[x] Love
-[x] Eirin’s trustworthiness
-[x] Threat assessment of cosmic horrors
>> 2014/12/03(Wed)02:11 No. 183265
[x] Talk more with Reimu…
-[x] Rumia's Restrictions
-[x] Eientei’s defenses
-[x] Threat assessment of cosmic horrors

>[ ] Love
People, NecroAnon just got rejected. We are talking to Reimu, who has just gone on one hell of an emotional rollercoaster. Marisa is right there. This is a HORRIBLE idea.
>> 2014/12/03(Wed)02:25 No. 183267
>>183265
depends on what love means, I guess. When I voted for it I didn't take it as a declaration of love to Reimu or anything, more as necroannon's inability to get through a single conversation with Reimu without putting his foot in his mouth.


Also, did Reimu ever get dressed? Because that seriousish conversation about the nature of Gensokyo before the spell card system kinda loses some of it's muster if Reimu is half naked throughout.
>> 2014/12/03(Wed)02:27 No. 183268
[X] Anything but Love.

Consider this a vote against love.
>> 2014/12/03(Wed)18:52 No. 183291
[x] Talk more with Reimu…
-[x] Rumia’s restrictions
-[x] Opinion on animal experimentation
-[x] Threat assessment of cosmic horrors
-[x] Family

Foot in mouth syndrome done right.
>> 2014/12/03(Wed)18:57 No. 183292
>>183265
>Marisa is right there
And this is why Im voting for it.
The results should be entertaining.
>> 2014/12/03(Wed)20:50 No. 183295
[x] Talk more with Reimu…
-[x] Rumia’s restrictions
-[x] Eirin’s trustworthiness
>> 2014/12/03(Wed)21:12 No. 183297
[X] Talk more with Reimu…
-[X] Rumia’s restrictions
-[X] Threat assessment of cosmic horrors
-[X] Family
>> 2014/12/04(Thu)02:05 No. 183303
>>183268
Anti-voting is frowned upon, for obvious reasons. Pick a choice or don't vote at all.
>> 2014/12/06(Sat)22:56 No. 183408
>>183210
[x] Talk more with Reimu…
-[x] Family
-[x] A successful festival

Does Reimu know people are being lewd during festivals? Is that why she wants to sponsor them?
>> 2014/12/08(Mon)22:19 No. 183454
[d] talk more...
-[x] Family
-[x] Love
-[x] threat assessment of cosmic horrors
>> 2014/12/12(Fri)04:48 No. 183519
[x] talk more...
-[x] Family
-[x] Love
-[x] Threat assessment of cosmic horrors
-[x] Eirin’s trustworthiness

Ask if she want to talk about her mom, bring up being rejected my Byakuren if there is a chance and then start talking about Eientei.
>> 2014/12/13(Sat)03:22 No. 183542
[x] Talk more with Reimu…
-[x] A successful festival
-[x] Family
-[x] Love

Updates?
>> 2014/12/14(Sun)22:23 No. 183580
>>183542
Nope, dead story, RIP

Too much life at the moment. Hoping to get the next update out in a week, and then the next ones on schedule/maybe sooner than usual.
>> 2014/12/21(Sun)02:40 No. 183701
>>183580
Update will cover Alice, Koakuma and Reisen with tentacles
>> 2014/12/25(Thu)01:20 No. 183779
You sit in the morning sunlight a while longer, simply watching Rumia tear at her hunk of meat like an animal. You can imagine long dead meat replaced with a living person, screaming and hollering as they torn apart by eager claws.

Not a pleasant thought.

It’s interesting to note that the Hakurei red of Rumia’s miniature shrine maiden outfit marvelously hides the mess she makes while eating. Perhaps that’s the real reason the Hakurei color is red?

The gore splatters would be noticeable on the white parts.

True.

“You don’t mind Rumia making a mess?” you ask the shrine maiden sitting next to you.

Reimu’s gaze doesn’t leave the youkai when she shakes her head slightly.

You shrug. More clothes for her to wash, then.

Watching the little darkness youkai is a bit fascinating. The blonde girl is probably one of the safest examples of a wild youkai that you are able to examine without having to put your life on the line.

From everything you’ve seen of her, it’s hard to imagine that she would be a difficult fight. Flight and sharp claws aren’t all that dangerous to deal with. The experiments from Eientei represented a danger leagues above Rumia.

Aren’t you underestimating her, Bro? She’s in something of a powered-down state.

Also a fair point. You aren’t sure how capable she was before Reimu reined her in, but it’s a simple question to ask.

Reimu answers promptly. “Leashed,” she says, while flicking her hand out. A beam of red light shoots out from her finger tips and stops just inside the entrance of the storage shed. It quickly expands out and forms a circle around Reimu. From what you remember it seems around the same range that she was willing to gift you her power of flight.

It’s about what you expected; there was no way for Rumia to get her own food while Reimu was locked away in her room. “Is that all you did to her?” you ask.

“Brightened darkness.” That was something you also noticed. The immediate area around Rumia sometimes appeared slightly darker, but it is no different than if she was standing in a very light shadow. Compared to creating an impenetrable darkness, her supernatural powers have definitely taken a small hit.

“That’s it?”

Reimu nods.

Quite strange. Those two restrictions don’t seem particularly large. “You didn’t force her not touch humans or anything?”

Reimu shakes her head. “Told her not to.”

Oh, well, that probably amounts to the same thing. Even if Rumia isn’t magically compelled to not harm you, a punishment from Reimu finding out is probably worse. The fear of pain while under Reimu’s watchful gaze must be massive.

All told it doesn’t paint a particularly threatening picture of Rumia. If she didn’t get the jump on some random, mundane criminal she probably wouldn’t be here right now. You were-

As if reading your mind, Reimu speaks again. “Already sealed once.” The shrine maiden taps her head. In the same spot in Rumia’s hair, the youkai sports her red ribbon- no, not a ribbon, an amulet. “Wasn’t me,” Reimu claims, cutting off your next question.

Someone in her family then considering how similar the hair-charm looks compared to Reimu’s own collection of tools.

Maybe you really are underestimating Rumia. “How dangerous does a youkai need to be to get sealed twice?”

Reimu pauses to think before giving you a shrug.

You grumble at her non-informative answer.

She rolls her eyes. “Always seal now. Rarely afford true extermination.” The shrine maiden pauses to look up at the sky before continuing. “Past? Depended. Weak enough to not matter. Strong enough to need sealing traps.”

“Then you wouldn’t eliminate cosmic tentacle horrors rampaging around Gensokyo, either?”

That question wasn’t oddly specific. Nope.

Reimu’s raised eyebrow is all the inquiry she needs to bare down on you.

“Well you see…” It only takes a few minutes, but you relate the general story of what you encountered in the Bamboo Forest of the Lost and where it came from to the shrine maiden. Reimu listens attentively, only the slightest emotions showing on her face when you quickly describe Mokou’s death match with the beast.

“Mokou held back,” is Reimu’s definitive analysis after you finish the story.

One particularly vivid memory of the immortal driving a super-heated spike through both the monster and her body comes to mind. “Really? I can’t imagine I would hold back if something was actively eating me.”

“Didn’t burn the forest down.”

You can’t really see how that would help.

Reimu looks at you and must see the confusion on your face as she explains further. “Mokou’s strength, endurance. Survival in worst conditions. Could burn everything and live.”

At first you want to dismiss Reimu’s words as preposterous. Mokou was dying every second; she didn’t have time for that.

But, when you think about it, you suppose she did. There were plenty of times she could launch fire from her limbs before the beast tore her apart again. It would have been possible to direct her fires outwards instead of towards the beast atop her. Start with the grass, move on to the bamboo – she could have easily started her own wildfire. She could have made it grow hotter and hotter and, even if the beast didn’t die, the still burning flames would have been there for her to use upon reincarnation. But, how would that help?

I think you need to think more like an immortal, Bro.

How so?

If the main problem was getting eaten repeatedly, I would just make it so there was nothing left of me to eat. Mokou isn’t exactly immune to her own fire.

So what, light everything on fire and vaporize her own body?

Something like that. I don’t know how she deals with losing her entire body, but it’d be a start, right?

Maybe so. Reappear somewhere not in the immediate grip of the creature, use the time to blast it away and continue on. You suppose that could work.

We probably aren’t thinking creatively enough anyway.

“Then why did Mokou need help in escaping at all?” you ask Reimu, stumped for an answer.

The shrine maiden’s face curls in a curious way before she- Ow!

The teenaged girl smacked the back of your head. “What was that for?”

Her reply is to smack you again.

You rub your skull and mutter, “Well sorry I don’t see it.”

“You,” Reimu pointedly says. “Others. Everybody. Cares more about others.”

…Well that’s rather obvious, you guess. What better way to distract the horrible monstrosity from snacking on your friends than offering it your own, immortal body?

It’d be rather annoying to accidentally burn down her own house or someone else’s if she started more fires, too.

You probably owe Mokou more thanks later on.

At any rate, as enlightening as this tangent was, you drifted form your original worry. “You don’t see them as a threat then, Reimu?”

The shrine maiden takes a few seconds before, once more, shrugging. “Maybe,” she offers and points at Rumia.

It’s up in the air, then. Until Eirin’s pet creations go around munching on humans from the village, Reimu probably won’t care enough to act.

Does she care about more than the humans, though? “What about Eientei’s rabbits? Do you approve of Eirin experimenting on them like this?”

Reimu’s brow furrows for several seconds. After her hard thought she replies, “Only rabbits.”

Well. You suppose she isn’t too big on animal empathy.

“And you trust Eirin with all this? Trust that she isn’t gearing up for something worse?”

The shrine maiden stares impassively a second. Then her lips crack, the slightest of giggles overtaking her.

See Bro? Everybody thinks your paranoia is over the top.

Quiet! It’s perfectly realistic!

Reimu waits for you to stop silently fuming to explain. “Better opportunities than now. Doesn’t want trouble. Smart enough to avoid it.”

Trusting anything to that immortal leaves a bad taste in your mouth. “Yeah, she’s really intelligent. That’s why all her experiments escaped in the first place, right?”

You were expecting Reimu to dismiss your words again, but she seems to take them to heart. The mirth that was on her face grows a touch more clouded. “Wait and see,” she decides.

That’ll have to be good enough for you. Barring any outrageous behavior or unexpected events, you can’t expect Reimu to step in by herself.

With your interrogation over, the sound of the wind in the treetops takes over once more. Rumia, long finished with her meal, has crawled over to the porch and rests at your feet. She huddles up as close to the wood and the shadows as she can, seemingly content to sleep on a full stomach.

It’s the clattering of dishes that draws your attention behind you. Marisa, bereft of her distinctive witch’s hat but still clad in her pajamas, walks over while holding a tray of tea.

“Sorry for waking you up so rudely,” the witch mutters while setting the tray down.

When all she receives is a glare from Reimu, Marisa looks away and mutters some more. “And blowing a hole in your shrine, again.”

The apology is enough to draw a smile and an affectionate pat on the head from the shrine maiden.

Uh-oh.

A gleam enters Marisa’s eyes that only you can see.

In an instant, the witch is up and throwing her arms around her friend. “Thanks for your forgiveness Reimu!” The witch squeezes Reimu. The witch’s hands, at first gripping Reimu’s stomach tightly, slowly begin to open and wander. “I was all set to wait, but then I saw you out here like this! If you’re already this ready we can make our apologies a bit more…intimate…”

Unexpectedly, Reimu completely ignores the witch grabbing at her. Instead, her eyes turn first down to herself and then up to you.

She stares at you, a blush forming on her cheeks but her eyes no less questioning. Those eyes look to you for a reason, for an explanation, for anything.

You shrug.

After a few blinks, Reimu abruptly puts a palm to Marisa’s face and pushes the witch to the ground. With a surprising amount of grace, the near-naked shrine maiden stands up and walks away.

It takes but a few seconds for the laughing Marisa to roll into Reimu’s former spot and sit upright. “Oh man, that was good! I can’t believe you never said anything to her!”

“I thought she would notice if it actually bothered her.”

Marisa grins and elbows you in the side. “Sure you did, buddy. That’s definitely why you let the nubile young woman sit next to you in her panties.”

You frown and push the witch back. “And what about you, huh? The casual groping was completely innocent, right?”

“Of course not,” Marisa beams back. “I love Reimu!”

The assuredness of her declaration throws you off. When she doesn’t continue, you can’t assume it’s a one-off joke. “Like, uh, in that way?”

The blonde witch gives you a knowing smirk and makes to sip some tea. “I wonder…” she trails off.

Well, that’s something.

Something wrong?

No, not wrong. Just, well, maybe not unexpected but-

The witch slaps you on the back and laughs. “Relax! Reimu is definitely my best friend no matter what, you know?”

“She’s lucky to have you.”

Marisa shakes her head, the levity draining away. “I wish she had more. She doesn’t get nearly enough good, human contact. You aren’t interested, are you? Because I might have a few tips for-”

“I’m sorry,” you interrupt her, “but I’m not. I’ve got a bit too much on my mind at the moment.”

“Maybe in the future then?” Marisa asks while waggling her eyebrows.

You choke back a laugh. “Who knows?”

She grins and bobs her head happily. “That’s good! Always gotta keep your options open, no matter how down in the dumps you might be.” Marisa tips back and downs her tea like a shot then sets the teacup down with a loud clack. “Thanks for telling me about her, by the way. I dunno if she’ll show it, but I’m sure Reimu appreciates you worrying about her too.”

You reach over and grab two cups of tea without comment and hand one over to Yoshika. Marisa was thoughtful enough to grab enough for everyone.

A short while late, Reimu reappears in her usual attire and takes a seat next to Marisa. Any of the prior embarrassment is nowhere to be seen while she sips her tea in her regular composed fashion.

[ ] More conversation
-[ ] About <something>
[ ] Move on
-[ ] Reinforcing the jiang-shi
-[ ] Paying Eientei a visit
-[ ] <Something else>
[ ] <Write-in>


---

Apologies for the lateness. It was a busy couple of weeks but now we’re past it.

Fairly broad vote options at the moment, but the situation is still pretty open so that’s that.

>Love
Just to clear things up, this option would (almost) never have resulted in a declaration of love to Reimu in a non-joking manner.

>>183267
>Clothes
Reimu is a big believer in the nudist movement.

>>183408
Don’t you know? Everybody in Gensokyo has their kinky fetishes. Where else would all the fanfic writers and doujin artists get their inspiration from?

>>183701
Maybe some day.
>> 2014/12/25(Thu)04:18 No. 183781
[x] More conversation
-[x] About life in Gensokyo in general. Maybe we'll end up here long-term, after all.
-[x] Reimu and Marisa and ADVENTURES!

Wooo, Christmas Post!
>> 2014/12/25(Thu)04:53 No. 183782
x] More conversation
-[x] About life in Gensokyo in general. Maybe we'll end up here long-term, after all.
-[x] Reimu and Marisa and ADVENTURES!
>> 2014/12/25(Thu)05:21 No. 183784
[x] Move on
-[x] Reinforcing the jiang-shi
>> 2014/12/25(Thu)06:45 No. 183785
[x] More conversation
-[x] About life in Gensokyo in general. Maybe we'll end up here long-term, after all.
-[x] Reimu and Marisa and ADVENTURES!
>> 2014/12/25(Thu)11:03 No. 183791
[x] Move on
-[x] Reinforcing the jiang-shi
>> 2014/12/25(Thu)16:40 No. 183792
[x] More conversation
-[x] About life in Gensokyo in general. Maybe we'll end up here long-term, after all.
-[x] Reimu and Marisa and ADVENTURES!

Glad to see something about Reimu's lack of clothing.
>> 2014/12/25(Thu)22:25 No. 183793
[x] Move on
-[x] Reinforcing the jiang-shi
>> 2014/12/25(Thu)23:03 No. 183794
>>183779
[x] Invite Reimu to join a nudist club with Mokou and Yoshika. Nude danmaku and bacon frying scheduled at first meeting.
>> 2014/12/26(Fri)00:33 No. 183795
>>183779
[x] Invite Reimu to join a nudist club with Mokou and Yoshika. Nude danmaku and bacon frying scheduled at first meeting.

[x] Move on
-[x] Reinforcing the jiang-shi
>> 2014/12/26(Fri)02:19 No. 183796
[X] More conversation
-[X] About life in Gensokyo in general. Maybe we'll end up here long-term, after all.
-[X] Reimu and Marisa and ADVENTURES!

Storytime!
>> 2014/12/26(Fri)06:06 No. 183797
[x] Move on
-[x] Reinforcing the jiang-shi
>> 2014/12/26(Fri)16:24 No. 183798
[X] More conversation
-[X] About life in Gensokyo in general. Maybe we'll end up here long-term, after all.
-[X] Reimu and Marisa and ADVENTURES!
>> 2015/01/01(Thu)06:39 No. 183828
“From what I can tell,” you begin, “the two of you do this every day.”

Both of the girls set their cups of tea down. “Not every day,” Marisa drawls while just beyond her Reimu nods vigorously. The two of them glance each other, Reimu smirking and Marisa scowling at her friend.

“Why?” Marisa asks, returning her attention to you after rolling her eyes. “Is there something wrong with this?”

“Not at all.” It is rather idyllic.

All around you the world continues on at its lackadaisical pace. The wind dances in the crowns of the trees, knocking to the ground the slightly yellow and orange leaves. You can imagine the different monks and nuns going about their daily chores, villagers hitting the stores, and wild beasts wandering the forests for a meal.

“Whatcha thinking about there?” Marisa asks you with a tap to your legs.

“Just about life in Gensokyo,” you answer her.

“Pretty boring thing to be thinking about.” Marisa’s eyes widen slightly. “Unless, you’re thinking about settling down?”

You don’t like the way that this girl is looking at you. “Maybe,” you answer her.

Really?

Thinking about it, at least. Your sister seems to really like it here in this fantasy land. Of course, if she’d rather go back to-

No, no, no, this is great!

Positive?

Yeah, definitely. If I don’t have to find a tree to go the bathroom, that’s good enough for me.

Isn’t that a pretty low standard?

Maybe, but I’ve seen enough of the rest of world for a lifetime. Besides, I’ve said it before, but I think you could be truly happy here too.

“Well that’s great!” Marisa shouts with a laugh. “I’m sure Reimu here would love for you to- ow!”

The shrine maiden smacks her friend’s arm.

“Fine, I won’t speak for you,” the witch grumbles. “I, at least, would be excited to have another magician around to talk with.”

It’s a strange thought. You’d think a realm with abundant magical energy would have just as many users. “Are there not enough magicians here? I know about Alice, Byakuren, that Knowledge girl...”

“It’s really just Alice. I’m met with Byakuren a few times but she’s usually pretty busy and while I like Patchy…” the blonde’s mood seems to sour, her mouth twisting into a slight grimace. “I don’t like hanging around that mansion too much.”

Then it passes and she grins, “If they all even let me enter in the first place. That’s always up in the air.”

That could be nice. Would that be paradise? To sit around all day and the intricacies of the strangest phenomenon in the world? To collaborate with fellow like-minded individuals who do not want to use your organs to create their latest and greatest creation? Fantastic.

Of course, you can’t live your entire life be absorbed by magical experimentation. “Then, what do you usually do if you can’t meet up with your fellow magicians?”

Marisa holds out her hand and begins to count off her fingers. “On a usual day? Whatever comes to mind! Going mushroom picking, brewing some potions, trying out a new spell, drinking tea with Reimu, picking a danmaku fight with someone, blasting some stupid youkai that hasn’t learned to stay away from my home yet…”

“You don’t find it difficult to live in the Forest of Magic, then?” Although to be honest, you are starting to question how difficult it would be. Perhaps it has been due to your caution but you haven’t met any significant problem in the parts of the forest you have traversed.

“Of course not! After living in the forest your whole life, you learn the few places you need to avoid. Pretty much any other problem can be solved with a bit…or a lot of magic.” Marisa emphasizes her point with a haphazard toss of her arm, a dozen sparkling stars arcing out and raining down onto the lawn.

“Your whole life? Doesn’t your family live in the village?”

“Of course they do, but my idiot Pa and the others fit in perfectly with all the rest of those stuffy, ignorant villagers. I wouldn’t want to stay there even if they paid me!”

That’s rather sad. A family is supposed to be close-knit. Like ours, right?

Sure, your parents weren’t stellar examples of responsibility and care, but you’d hope Marisa’s isn’t nearly as terrible. “They aren’t that bad, are they?”

“Of course they are, right Reimu?”

The shrine maiden shakes her head, tearing the support right out from under Marisa.

The witch grumbles but continues on. “Okay, fine, they aren’t all bad. But there are plenty of them in there, including my Pa, that are too afraid or hateful of anything supernatural which includes a girl that can do more than put out a few, weak danmaku bullets.”

“Amazing,” you comment.

“What is?”

“You.”

“Me?” Marisa asks with a finger pointing to her chest.

“Yeah. You must have been ridiculously talented to start living out in the forest on your own so early in life.”

“Aw, shucks, you’re giving me too much credit.” Marisa chuckles. “Honestly, I really sucked when I started out. It was thanks to my teacher that I managed anything at all.”

“Your teacher?”

“Yeah!” The girl’s eyes light up, almost as bright as the stars she seems to love. “Lady Mima was the greatest. She had so many years of experience, figuring out how to teach a dud like me was a no brainer for her. She practically owned the forest, too. If anybody wanted to mess with me they’d be gone in an instant, poof!”

Another over-powered figure in Gensokyo. Figures. Bro, I don’t think- “She sounds strong.”

Marisa smiles, a curve to her lips with no teeth. “She really was. A bit too strong, honestly. Enough to make her arrogant but not enough to, ah, not lose.”

Oh.

Yeah, Bro. You kind of missed on the whole past-tense part.

“Sorry, I-”

“No, no, it’s fine. I don’t mind. She passed on a while ago, after all,” Marisa interrupts you quickly. Her hand reaches up as if to adjust the hat she usually always wears, but falters and falls back into her lap. “I’ve gotten over it after all these years. She did some pretty questionable things that I only learned about later and I mean, it’s not like I hate the demon that she died protecting me from or- or- or don’t you really like seeing a new spell and trying to break it down? I think that’s one of my favorite parts of learning about magic!”

What would normally be an upbeat and loud claim rings hollow.

You shift uncomfortably when Marisa leans back, propping herself up with her arms and gazing up at the sky.

Reimu shuffles a smidge closer to rest a hand on her friend’s shoulder.

Unsure of how to proceed, you don’t.

Better to wait in awkward silence than trample all over another girl’s emotions.

Yoshika takes the opportunity to displace your teacup and fall into your lap. She plays with your hand like a cat, the silly action managing to draw a smile from you.

It isn’t until Marisa shifts her head a minute later and gives you a sedated smile that you feel comfortable speaking. “What I’m hearing is that I can basically do anything I think of on any given day.”

“Yeah,” Marisa agrees, the real cheer migrating back into her voice. “There’s plenty you can do as long as it doesn’t bother anybody else too much. Right, Reimu?”

The shrine maiden nods and pounds her fist into an open-hand a couple of times.

The promise of retribution from the Hakurei shrine maiden is something everybody has to live with, it seems. “The people that bother others end up starting one of these incidents I’ve heard of?”

“That’s right,” Marisa chirps.

“Are the stories I’ve heard all true?”

“Probably are. We’ve had a whole bunch, after all. I’m sure everybody remembers the scarlet mist incident or the eternal night incident. There have been plenty of others, too. Do you remember the mutant fish incident, Reimu?”

The suddenly unamused looking shrine maiden nods her head.

“I had a lot of fun with that one. Listen to this. One day I was just talking with a customer in the village when a whole buncha guys come running back dripping wet. They were out fishing on the lake when, they claimed, a giant fish jumped up and ate their canoe.” Marisa illustrates her story with a flick of the wrist and a lightshow. Waves of magical, miniature fireworks mimic the splashes of water and flying pieces of wood. “Course, I go and investigate like any good Samaritan does. I start casting a few spells while floating above the lake, trying to get a read on the situation and bam! This ass of a fish leaps at me and eats my broom!

“Then I’m in the water wrangling with this stupid giant carp thing. I shoot it with a laser and it eats it! What’s up with that? It was ridiculous! Just as I’m about to vaporize half the lake to get away from this monster, Reimu comes darting in and hauls me out. She drops me on the shore and I’m just lying there, with her standing over me giving me this none too nice glare- kinda like she is now.” Marisa grins and continues on. “Then before I know it, Reimu is gone and I get an eye full of fish! The thing just jumped up onto the shore and ate her! It didn’t last much longer after that, but when Reimu came crawling out of its mouth she must have forgotten to protect herself completely ‘cause she was butt- ow! Ow! Stop Reimu! Stop!”

In the blink of an eye, Reimu has Marisa pulled into a type of headlock. The blonde witch flails her limbs around in a desperate reaction to being choked.

“Okay, okay, I’ll- Ow! Quit it!”

The shrine maiden tugs a few more times before roughly tossing Marisa to the ground with a growl.

Marisa takes a minute to rub her throat and recover from the manhandling before finishing her story. “Sheesh, ruin all the fun parts. Anyway, we spent the next couple of days clearing the lake out of all those monstrous fish. We had to bring in some other people too; there were dozens of the things swimming deeper down. I don’t think I’ve seen Cirno happier than when I told her she could have all the frozen fish she wanted.”

The witch sighs and lies back completely. “Good times. Never did figure out if the fishies grew so massive because of the mansion dumping their magical experiments or Eientei dumping some of their medical waste into the lake.”

They what?

As if you needed more reasons to distrust Eirin and her lot. If some lowly earthlings can figure out dumping chemicals is a no-no, why can’t the super genius?

Maybe she did it on purpose?

That’s worse!

Maybe she didn’t do it?

Highly likely.

You sit around with the girls a short while longer, making small talk and listening to their stories about the other incidents that Gensokyo has weathered. You wouldn’t want to deal with any of those headaches no matter how interesting they proved to be.

After approximately an hour you stand and help Yoshika to her feet.

“Heading out?” Marisa asks

“I have a few things I want to finish up before lunch. Now that I know Reimu is okay, I figure it’s time to go.”

Marisa grins and elbows Reimu twice. The shrine maiden stoically ignores her- is she blushing?

You shake your head and send a bit of magic into your scarf. “Thank you for the tea.”

“Not a problem. See you later,” Marisa says while Reimu waves goodbye.

With the quick farewells, you take to the skies with Yoshika at your side.

What next?

You were thinking about working on the jiang-shi. Yoshika is as weak as a human at the moment. The others could use some maintenance and general improvements, too. Being prepared never hurts.

It is a short flight back to the temple where you round up all your undead friends. None of them are doing anything particularly important and easily agree to come with you.

I think they’d agree even if they were busy.

Perhaps, but you did give them the choice. It’s up to them to decide.

A quick trip to the kitchen to pick up a basket of food to go and the six of you are off. The flight over to Muenzuka passes by quickly enough amongst the chatter.

Once there, you get to work. It’s nothing amazing, mostly redoing the same warding and enchantments you had already weaved into Yoshika’s body once before. Your other jiang-shi find other activities to participate in, namely pairing off and sparring, while you focus all your attention on Yoshika.

After a couple hours of work you lean back and let Yoshika jump around to test that everything is in order. Her prancing over and punching a hole straight through a tree trunk is proof enough in your mind.

“Alright everybody, I think that’s enough for now. Who wants to eat?” Your call is met with excitement. After lunch you can give the rest of the jiang-shi some maintenance and maybe a new trick or two.

For now, you just need to grab the blanket out of the basket and- “No Yoshika! Do not eat that entire basket! And put your clothes back on!”

“Awww…”

The crunch of gravel alerts you to someone touching down behind you. At the edge of the cemetery, you spot a short grey-haired girl walking towards you. “Well look at you, frolicking in the graveyard with all your pet zombies.”

“Nazrin, how are you?”

The mouse youkai shrugs and waves her crooked staves in the air, a dozen mice dropping down from wherever they were riding on her body. The rodents scamper around your feet and towards the hut at the other edge of the cemetery. “Well enough. I’m coming home for lunch.”

“You’re welcome to join us,” you offer.

“No thanks. I have way better food in my house than what Byakuren gets for all her people.” The girl nods at you and walks past.

A few steps later, she stops and turns around. “Oh! You should know that the other night I managed to get quite a few of my mice into Eientei. The rabbits must have been off their game. It’s unfortunate for them; they’ll find that clearing out that infestation is a bit tougher than they’d like.

“They have plenty of interesting items in there and plenty more secrets for me to work on for a good while. More importantly, I think I found something that’ll interest you. One of my mice found a rather unique scent. It smelled like old leather, older paper, and all together something positively deadly. Unearthly in a way, but not like clean like the rest of the Lunarian treasures.

“Hard to say for sure but I think I might have found that book you were looking for.”

She…

“Before you ask,” the girl says, “I don’t have any more information for you. I wasn’t inside personally, after all.”



[ ] Visit Eientei
-[ ] Politely
-[ ] Sneakily
-[ ] Violently
[ ] <Write-in>

---

I hope everybody had a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!
>> 2015/01/01(Thu)10:23 No. 183829
[X] Visit Eientei
-[X] Politely

We saw how heavily defended that place can be.
>> 2015/01/01(Thu)18:53 No. 183832
[X] Visit Eientei
-[X] Politely

I'd prefer to let Byakuren and Reimu know first before going on a sneaking mission, and there's just no way we're going to be able to assault Eientei all by ourself.
>> 2015/01/02(Fri)00:45 No. 183833
[X] Visit Eientei
-[X] Violently

There is absolutely no way this could go wrong
>> 2015/01/02(Fri)01:38 No. 183834
[x] Visit Eientei
-[x] Sneakily

I get the feeling we won't be welcomed with open arms.
>> 2015/01/02(Fri)06:20 No. 183835
[x] Visit Eientei
-[x] Sneakily

Metal Gear Necromancer: Tactical Boning Action
>> 2015/01/02(Fri)06:21 No. 183836
>>183835
That sounded far less lewd as I typed it.
>> 2015/01/02(Fri)08:15 No. 183839
[x] Visit Eientei
-[x] Sneakily
I hope we aren't going to GET PLAYED LIKE A DAMN FIDDLE.
>> 2015/01/02(Fri)09:57 No. 183842
>>183839
Even If we aré, it's a small price to pay to learn about Nazrin's loyalty.
That said, I dunno how entering without powering up would be a good idea but... I guess we are due for a little lucky break.

[x] tactical post-mortem action
>> 2015/01/02(Fri)21:58 No. 183846
[X] Visit Eientei
-[X] Politely
>> 2015/01/02(Fri)23:49 No. 183851
[X] Visit Eientei
-[X] Politely
>> 2015/01/03(Sat)02:12 No. 183856
[x] Visit Eientei
- [x] Sneakily

Can we manage to avoid drowning?
>> 2015/01/03(Sat)03:26 No. 183859
[X] Visit Eientei
-[X] Politely

How bad do you guys think just asking about the Necronomicon would be? Would the direct approach even be remotely viable?
>> 2015/01/03(Sat)08:39 No. 183861
>>183859

Considering how Eirin is portrayed here, she wouldn't give it to us if she had it. Best case scenario would have her turn us away.

Considering what the Necronomicon can do due to translation errors, as well as the eldritch knowledge contained within, she'd have to be crazy to let it out of a very well maintained and controlled environment for which she can do her studies.

Also, two other things:
1.) Kaguya might be harmed, and that takes priority over everything else.
2.) Giving an eldritch book about the undead to a Necromancer is stupid. Eirin is anything but. (Yes, we know that Necroanon is nice, but he's more the exception to the rule. It's just hard facts.)
>> 2015/01/03(Sat)14:14 No. 183863
>>183861
Okay. Okay. We bluff her. By acquiring a perl script and reading it out loud. This will accomplish finding out how much the doc is really aware of the Necronomicon
>> 2015/01/05(Mon)06:49 No. 183869
[x] Visit Eientei
-[x] Sneakily

We almost certainly can't sneak past Tewi. On the other hand, we probably don't need to; Tewi's as likely to help us for shits and giggles as she is to hinder us.

>>183863
Leaving aside the fact that less than one out of every five hundred thousand Perl scripts can be mistaken for supernaturally heterotopic text even by a layperson, let alone someone educated in either field, I'm not sure what your logic here is.
>> 2015/01/05(Mon)07:59 No. 183870
[X] Visit Eientei
-[X] Politely

I don't see the other two working as it'd take Yuuka-tier firepower to work against Eientei and sneaking implies thievery, something which would have many defenses, especially with marisa around.
>> 2015/01/05(Mon)22:16 No. 183875
[x] Visit Eientei
- [x] Sneakily
>> 2015/01/06(Tue)02:55 No. 183876
[X] Visit Eientei
-[X] Sneakily
>> 2015/01/06(Tue)07:29 No. 183897
[X] Visit Eientei
-[X] Politely
>> 2015/01/06(Tue)16:23 No. 183905
>>183828
[x] Visit Eientei
-[x] Sneakily

If some mice can work their way in, then surely he can work his way in unnoticed as well.
>> 2015/01/09(Fri)13:50 No. 183922
>>183905
We'll just have to be quiet as a .... something
>> 2015/01/11(Sun)13:15 No. 183935
>>183922
As silent as the grave.
>> 2015/01/13(Tue)03:21 No. 183939
She found it.

You were fairly confident before, but now?

It’s all the confirmation you needed.

Hold on there-

“Listen up everybody!” you shout while jogging towards your jiang-shi. “Change of plans! We’re going to Eientei, now!”

Wait a sec-

You expected to hear a collective groan from your undead companions, but none arise. They scurry into action, quickly bundling up what would have been lunch and then grab their weapons. When you kick off the ground you find the five of them right behind you.

Would you sto-

A quick check of your body confirms everything is where you expect it to be. You have more than enough reagents for any spell craft you might want to try on short notice. With your jacket resting comfortably on your frame, you’re as ready as you’ll ever be.

You totally aren’t-

Yoshika flies to your side and hands you half a sandwich which you accept with a smile. Behind you, the jiang-shi are each preparing in their own way. Nekurow tightens the few plates of armor he’s found, Shilverase adjusts her gloves, and Dio carefully checks his array of throwing knives. Yoshika and Rea, the two brawling girls with the least equipment to sort out, instead distribute your express lunch.

Bro, you need to-

Your pace is quick enough that Muenzuka is swiftly left behind, the edge of the bamboo forest already visible in the distance. You let yourself drop from the sky and instead choose to skim close to the surface. There’s no reason to make your approach-

STOP IGNORING ME!

…What?

I can’t believe you’re flying in half-cocked like this.

Who’s flyi- You are! You get one little bit of news and then jump like an overeager puppy! You haven’t thought about anything!

You’ve thought plenty- Oh, really? What’s the plan then? Huh? How are you going to get the Necronomicon from Eirin? Beat her into submission?

Of course not!

Then what? Ask for it nicely? Steal it? Huh?

…You have thought about it.

I know you have, but thoughts aren’t enough. We haven’t sat down and planned anything! Do you realize how messed up that is for you?

…Fine.

Fine what?

Your sister is right.

Here you are, standing at the edge of the bamboo forest with naught but vague ideas in mind. That’s the kind of idiocy that gets you blown away by the pinkie finger of an insane immortal.

Geez. You really did jump the gun here, didn’t you? One bit of good news and you let your emotions get the better of you.

I’m just glad you’re calming down. So, what is the plan?

Storming Eientei with an army of five jiang-shi is right out. Obviously.

Naturally then, that only leaves two options. You either need to make a deal with the good doctor or pull off the greatest heist of your life. How hard could either option be?

Or you could slow down completely, back out and find some proper help.

If anybody else is even capable of helping right now then perhaps that’s possible.

“What do you all think?” you turn to your companions and ask. “How should we go get the Necronomicon?”

Your jiang-shi pause to think. The first to speak up is Dio. “Everybody wants something,” the blonde reasons, “Even somebody like Eirin. Surely there must be some price we could pay.”

“Indeed,” Nekurow scoffs. “A deal with the devil, however, is hardly a deal at all. Against someone as powerful as Eirin we need more power, whether through strength of arms or other support.”

“Wouldn’t it be simplest to see if there is something we could trade?” Rea asks. “Showing up in force makes us look like thugs trying to intimidate. Besides, there isn’t any risk in asking first.”

“Other than alerting her,” Shilverase counters. “If we talk to her, we tip her off. If we’re playing the part of the criminal then I wouldn’t want to give her any more notice than we have to.”

The jiang-shi continue to argue, each trumpeting the merits of their own plans. You do your best to consider their opinions and think about your own experiences. You could deal directly with Eirin and see what she would want for the Necronomicon, that’s true. Perhaps you could go through an intermediary and see if Reisen could get you the book. On the other hand, taking the book straight could work. Careful research and a handful of illusions can go a long way. Managing to get a few people on the inside could work out well, too.

“What do you think, Yoshika?” you ask the girl clinging to your arm.

The jiang-shi’s answer is immediate. “Whatever Master thinks!”

Helpful.

[ ] Negotiation
-[ ] Eirin
-[ ] Reisen
-[ ] Tewi
[ ] Thievery
-[ ] Observe Eientei until nightfall
-[ ] Find a few Earth rabbits to persuade
-[ ] Start digging
[ ] Outside help
-[ ] <Who?>
[ ] <Write-in>

---

Wow. A week late and barely any content. I suck.

I blame sickness. I meant to get this out almost immediately after seeing the even split in the vote, but the delay was real and vomit-filled. Fun.

Of course, I was expecting a bit more decisive of a vote so I could write out a more driven update but then this turd popped out because I didn’t think about it enough, making the delay ten times worst. Ugh. Sorry folks.
>> 2015/01/13(Tue)05:22 No. 183940
[x] Outside help
-[x] Get Mokou to make a fiery distraction while we sneak in from another direction. Tacticute Stealth Action.
>> 2015/01/13(Tue)05:33 No. 183941
>>183939
[ ] Negotiation
-[ ] Reisen
We dont want a pissed off immortal hunting us down for stealing.
We can get clarification from Reisen if it is INDEED the Necronomicon, and we've dealt with her in the past.

If this fails then we can go over Eirins head with outside help, or under her nose and steal it with Mokous help
>> 2015/01/13(Tue)07:58 No. 183942
[X] Negotiation
-[X] Tewi

Not sure how this choice will go but...
>> 2015/01/13(Tue)09:11 No. 183943
[ ] Negotiation

I'm not too sure as to who exactly we should talk to, but >>183941 has a point. No need to make more enemies than necessary, especially if we plan on staying here.
>> 2015/01/13(Tue)15:25 No. 183944
[X] Negotiation
-[X] Reisen
>> 2015/01/14(Wed)01:52 No. 183947
[x] Negotiation
-[x] Reisen

There's no telling how useful this will be if her head has been tampered with, though.
>> 2015/01/15(Thu)14:12 No. 183978
[X] Negotiation
-[X] Tewi

I figure she'd be the one most willing to listen, considering Reisen generally seems to have her head messed with.

Though hopefully we can get this bit done without anything bad happening.
>> 2015/01/15(Thu)17:58 No. 183980
We're friends with someone who's been opposed to Eientei for years guys. Why don't we ask her?

[X]Outside Help
-[X] Mokou
-{X] Try and get an idea of what the security's like and if negotiation has a chance working.
>> 2015/01/15(Thu)22:52 No. 183981
[X]Outside Help
-[X] Mokou
-{X] Try and get an idea of what the security's like and if negotiation has a chance working.

Knowledge is power, people.
>> 2015/01/16(Fri)09:51 No. 183988
[X]Outside Help
-[X] Mokou
-[X] Try and get an idea of what the security's like and if negotiation has a chance working.

You screwed up one of those brackets there.
>> 2015/01/16(Fri)12:51 No. 183990
>>183980
Because A- We already owe her a debt that we will not be able to repair and B: subtlety isn't her forte.

[x] negotiation With Tewi

There has to be someone who gives a damn about those rabbits
>> 2015/01/16(Fri)17:03 No. 183992
>>183990
We're her friend. I think we should at least be able to keep her from charging into the situation long enough to answer our questions.

She's apparantly hung around Eintei enough to be somewhat familiar with Kaguya and Eiren, so I'm hoping she's somewhat familiar with the other residents so she can tell us if there's any chance of negotiation working.

I'm not sure our guilt over having to leave her would trigger when we're only asking for advice.

>>183988

I also missed out the word "of" It should read: "Try and get an idea of what the security's like and if negotiation has a chance of working."
>> 2015/01/18(Sun)06:33 No. 184004
[X]Outside Help
-[X] Mokou
-[X] Try and get an idea of what the security's like and if negotiation has a chance working.

This seems like a good plan to me!
>> 2015/01/21(Wed)10:17 No. 184026
[X]Outside Help
-[X] Mokou
-[X] Try and get an idea of what the security's like and if negotiation has a chance working.
>> 2015/01/21(Wed)19:59 No. 184029
[X]Outside Help
-[X] Mokou
-[X] Try and get an idea of what the security's like and if negotiation has a chance working.

I like it
>> 2015/01/25(Sun)18:30 No. 184036
...Maybe you really were too hasty in this.

You don’t say?

You aren’t admitting you’re wrong to take action immediately. It’s just that, well, another educated opinion or two might be better than rushing in blind.

With the image of a familiar clearing firmly cemented in your mind’s eye, you confidently walk into the Bamboo Forest of the Lost. Your jiang-shi fall in step behind you. They don’t stop arguing but at this point it seems like they’re bickering for the sake of bickering.

Heading to Mokou’s home?

Hopefully the long-haired immortal is in. If she’s not then you suppose you’ll just have to swing by the village to look for her.

Luckily, that detour proves unnecessary. After a few minutes, the featureless dirt path you have been following through the thick bamboo abruptly leads you to a worn down stand. Mokou whistles happily while flipping vegetables on her outdoor grill. Her excited rabbit patrons chatter noisily in their seats.

“Hey!” Mokou calls out once she sees you approach. “Come to eat?”

The trio of rabbit youkai turns to look at you before quickly clambering around and firmly planting their butts on their seats.

“There’s no room for you all!”

“Yeah, get lost!”

“I think I smell-eeeek!” The last rabbit shrieks when Nekurow picks her up by the back of her shirt. “Put me down! Put me down!”

The armored jiang-shi frowns and gives the rabbit a shake. “I have fought demonic cockroaches more threatening than the likes of you.”

The rabbit girl stops her wailing and crosses her arms. “Well that’s rude.”

“Hey, hey, everybody play nice,” Mokou admonishes from behind the grill. “I’m going to stop cooking if you don’t.”

With an assortment of grumbles, the rabbits sit well-behaved in their seats while your jiang-shi move to loiter off to the side.

Leaning onto the countertop, you bow your head to Mokou. “I was hoping to get some advice from you.”

“What about?” she asks.

You give the oblivious rabbits a quick, meaningful glance before replying, “Things.”

Mokou gives you a quick nod before flipping a slice of pineapple into the air. “Sure. Do you mind if I finish this first?”

“Not at all.”

After a short wait the trio of rabbit youkai is shooed away by Mokou. They grumble and complain, loudly, but must not be too upset as they skip away while eating their fried vegetables and fruits.

“Sorry about that,” Mokou says once the rabbits disappear into the thicket. She begins to scrape off her grill and gestures for you to sit.

“Not a problem. I’m sorry if I interfered with your business.”

“I couldn’t make any money off of the rabbits if I tried! With all that I feed those picky, obnoxious little pests you’d think they would throw a little more respect my way once in a while,” Mokou gripes but, like the rabbits, her words don’t match her smile. “What is it you need help with?”

“Hypothetically,” you begin without preamble, “let’s say there’s an item I want that Eirin possesses. Would there be a way for me to buy it?”

“I’m guessing you aren’t talking about any of the usual medicines she sells.” At a shake of your head, Mokou continues on. “Well, then it really depends on what it is you’re after. You can be pretty sure that for any non-standard item or service she’s going to want something unique from you. What’s more, you can count on her driving a hard, maybe even unreasonable bargain if she’s willing to part with this mysterious item at all. Since she hasn’t already gone after you then we know there’s nothing you have that she desperately wants that could make the deal fair for you.”

Mokou’s bleak description isn’t particularly surprising. Knowing what you do about Eirin Yagokoro, that Lunarian would never give something up without a fuss.

What’s more surprising to you is how Mokou continues to calmly clean her grill. “You’re being rather level-headed about this,” you comment.

“Yeah, well, I’ve been working on it after everything. I might dislike Eirin with a passion, but she has been relatively pleasant in recent years. I don’t want to mess it all up for you or anybody else simply because of my past.” Mokou wipes her brow and tosses her hand towel to the side before making her way around the grill to sit next to you. “It’s not as if Eirin would be out to spite you in a trade. She just tends to capitalize on everything she can.”

The thought of having to deal with Eirin is rather distasteful. Her cold, analytical demeanor won’t do you any favors. “What about Reisen? Or Tewi? Could I deal with them instead?”

“To get something of Eirin’s? I guess it’s possible. Reisen would probably cut you a better deal but if it’s anything important she’s going to run it by Eirin first. I can’t hope to predict how Tewi might respond. She can almost always be counted on to consider a deal, but she’s just as likely to help you out as she is report back to Eirin.”

“Is it really possible that Tewi would deal behind Eirin’s back?”

“It definitely is. She’s old and full of pride,” Mokou replies with a laugh. “Her responsibilities lie with the Earth rabbits. She might have a deal with Eirin and they might be good friends but I know for a fact that Tewi has worked at odds with the Lunarians before.”

“Do you know that from personal experience?”

“That’s right. Eirin and Kaguya both might have dealt me hundreds of gruesome deaths but it’s not like I’m innocent in our history. Eientei has burned down more times than I’ve cared to count, from the inside out more often than not.” The white-haired immortal closes her eyes and smirks, momentarily reliving her successful arsons. “In the early days I know Eirin would have loved nothing more than to keep me locked in a fireproof safe. Small or large, they didn’t hold me for long either.”

“She had to know the rabbits were helping you out.” If you were running an organization, you wouldn’t keep obviously traitorous personnel on hand.

“Of course she knew, but she also knew that I’ve helped out the rabbits and Tewi long before she descended from on high. I don’t want to imagine how much worse I could have gotten without the rabbits to keep me company for years. I was just a fire-breathing savage even with their occasional contact and- this isn’t the answer to your question.

“Yes, Eirin knew, but what could she do about it? She needed, needs, the manpower that the Earth rabbits can provide. The dozen lunarians living in Eientei wouldn’t be enough to maintain the comfortable lifestyle they want to have, let alone defend themselves if the other lunatics did come looking for them.”

Manpower? You can only shake your head at the memories of the highly under motivated earth rabbits. “I can’t imagine a security force relying on those rabbits to last.”

“You wouldn’t guess it looking at them now but they can be effective when they have to be. There just aren’t many threats Eientei as a whole is worried about at the moment. The rabbits loitering around in the yard all day are enough to catch any stray pest trying to get in. Someone suitably motivated could get by them without them noticing, but these days nobody is trying to sneak into Eientei either.”

“Speaking from experience again?”

Mokou simply smiles and pours herself some water.

Something about the immortal’s words rings hollow. Perhaps it is because you saw Eientei in a panic? No, before that. “What about the one day Byakuren and I visited? They had a sniper on the roof and there happened to be a woman crawling around in the bushes…”

Mokou grimaces, perhaps recalling her head being turned into mist. “I’m still not sure what happened specifically but, in general, extra guards mean Kaguya is being pissy or Eirin is being paranoid. The lunar rabbits are usually too busy trying to meet their sales quotas or completing their duties inside the mansion to keep watch outside.”

“Interesting. Does this hold true at night, too? I can’t imagine all the earth rabbits continue to lounge around in the darkness.”

“No, they don’t. Eirin has more traditional guards patrolling around at night but the pairs of lunarians or gaggles of earthlings aren’t enough to cover the entire mansion. Sneaking in the traditional way is trivial at that point.” Mokou leans a bit closer to you, her voice quieting. “Why all the questions? You’re not going to do something stupid, are you?”

“Me?” you gasp. “How could you possibly think that?”

“Right.” Mokou rolls her eyes and leans back, tossing her arms back behind herself to stretch. “I wouldn’t advise stealing from Eirin, or whatever else you might have in mind. Even if it were unimportant enough for her to write off the loss, she wouldn’t forget. Eirin doesn’t treat her enemies lightly.”

“So I’ve gathered. You think she would hunt me down? If, hypothetically speaking, I was to liberate something from her?”

“Easily. If you so much as took a speck of dust from Kaguya’s room she would be after you in a heartbeat. Otherwise, I doubt she’d be afraid to call on the village guards or Reimu to supplement the rabbits in their hunt for a thief. Even if the item were a pencil, if she found out it was you I imagine she would refuse to deal with you at all.” Your friend stands up and pats you on the shoulder. “Remember that Eirin does offer the best healing money can buy.”

Her sage advice given, Mokou finishes cleaning up. She grabs the discarded cups and plates the rabbits had been using and saunters back towards her shack to wash them.

You smile and lean forward to rest your elbows on the countertop. This woman dressed in simple and rough clothes surprises you. She kneels there in the scattered sunlight, tall and relaxed. For some reason, it feels like her thin frame, long hair, and flawless pale skin is more noticeable. Is that weird?

Not at all. I can feel how much more...upright she’s holding herself.

Regardless, these observations don’t have much bearing on what you’re going to do now.

[ ] Negotiation
-[ ] Eirin
-[ ] Reisen
-[ ] Tewi
-[ ] Kaguya
[ ] Thievery
-[ ] Sneak in at night
-[ ] Bribe through the day
-[ ] Start digging
[ ] <Write-in>

---

Deja vu, huh? One day something will actually happen. Someday this story will update faster than a snail’s pace. Today is neither of those days.
>> 2015/01/25(Sun)22:47 No. 184037
[x] Negotiation
-[x] Tewi

Sounds promising. Tewi wasn't happy about how things were going earlier.
>> 2015/01/26(Mon)01:27 No. 184042
If I remember correctly Eirin is not to happy with us right now and believes we might be tainted by the monster bunnies so negotiation isn't going to be pretty.

Then again if we are successful with the theft there will be repercussions if we want to make Gensokyo our permanent home.

I guess I'll just vote for what sounds the funniest for now.

[ ] Thievery
-[ ] Start digging
>> 2015/01/26(Mon)02:03 No. 184043
[x] Negotiation
-[x] Tewi

I hope she's willing to help
>> 2015/01/26(Mon)05:16 No. 184045
[x]negotiation
-[x] Reisen: make sure she verifies its the Necronomicon.
If Reisen fails, we may convince Tewi to be a bit...rebellious.
>> 2015/01/26(Mon)11:16 No. 184046
[x] Thievery
-[x] Start digging

Not choosing the sensible option for once.
>> 2015/01/26(Mon)12:31 No. 184047
[x] Negotiation
-[x] Tewi

Pissing off Eirin will not end well, and last I checked Necroanon's skill at being a thief wasn't that proficent.
>> 2015/01/26(Mon)12:58 No. 184048
[ ] Negotiation
-[ ] Tewi

Could Eirin still make bunny-shoggoths without the Necronomicon? Probably. I'd reckon that it's still a good idea to appeal to Tewi's sense of responsibility vis-á-vis eldritch lagomorphs, however.

If we're planning on staying in Gensokyo, making an enemy of Eirin seems like a pretty bad idea. Although she might not report a theft to Reimu given what our target is...
>> 2015/01/26(Mon)14:52 No. 184049
[X] Negotiation
- [X] Tewi
>> 2015/01/26(Mon)19:06 No. 184050
[x] Negotiation
-[x] Tewi

I doubt Tewi would like the idea of such a dangerous artifact being left in the Bamboo Forest. We'd need a way to convince her to leave it in Necroanon's hands though.
>> 2015/02/08(Sun)17:31 No. 184099
“Hey Mokou,” you call out, “can I sit here for a bit?”

“Why are you even asking?” she yells back, waving her washing rag over her shoulder.

Permission granted, you sigh and let your forehead collide with the countertop.

There’s some part of you that wants to go and mass animate all the corpses in Muenzuka and use that never tiring workforce to dig a tunnel under and into Eientei in order to swipe the Necronomicon from under Eirin’s nose and then escape into the nearest Hell however far underground it might be in order to study in peace. Unfortunately, that plan is- silly and one of the worst ideas you’ve had yet.

Right. That.

Consider it plan C.

No! We will not! It’s going in the trash!

…Plan Z then.

There are not enough letters in the alphabet to place that plan as far down as it should be.

It’s hardly the worst idea ever spawned. In fact, its success rate is probably a non-zero number, unlike say walking directly up to Eirin and punching her in the face before- This is not a useful line of thought. What’s plan A?

A good question. Naturally, the safest option is one that doesn’t piss off the immortal that could vaporize you with a single arrow. Yet, you somehow cannot imagine negotiating with Eirin would end well. Ignoring the fact that you blew off her concerns the last time you met, you doubt you could remain level-headed enough to even try and outwit the hyper-intelligent Lunarian.

Trying to broker a deal with one of the other heads of Eientei might be your best bet in this situation.

I don’t think asking someone to steal for you is the better option.

You don’t need someone else to steal for you, necessarily. You figure anybody has a better chance than you of worming the book out of Eirin’s grasp with a thoughtful bargain.

Then you think we should go to Reisen?

Tewi, actually.

Mokou and you agree, Reisen is too subservient. The lavender haired rabbit is no doubt a competent, hard worker. You’re rather fond of herself yourself. But in this matter you can’t trust her to needle Eirin into giving the book up.

You think Tewi has that power?

She has the capability, at least. If Mokou is to be believed then Tewi wouldn’t be deterred by a strong denial from Eirin.

Maybe…

Is something wrong with that line of thought?

No, I’m just not completely sold. We don’t know her particularly well.

You think you know enough about her and her situation to make an interesting offer at the very least. Besides, it isn’t as though you and the head Earth rabbit are strangers. She probably has a decent enough opinion of you too.

Because being known as a womanizer is a good thing?

Forget the stupid nickname! Fact is, she was grateful to you for helping Reisen all those nights ago after the murder of the book thief. Given that you haven’t roasted any of the rabbits over an open fire, you can’t imagine her hating you to any significant degree.

I guess…

Still not convinced? You can always- No, no, it’s fine. I would prefer more time to plan but I doubt you want that.

Waiting longer might not be helpful here. Recent events can be played to your advantage for only so long. Whatever information you might glean about Eientei in the future might not be worth losing that edge.

Besides, unless the negotiations fail catastrophically, you can always back off and plan more appropriately.

I’ll have to be happy with that then.

If your sister is that uncomfortable, you can- If you’re confident then that’s good enough for me. Let’s go.

When you jump to your feet your jiang-shi stop goofing off and gather around you.

“Thanks for the help Mokou!” you yell across the yard. “I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me!”

“Not a problem!” the immortal shouts back. She hefts her basket of clean dishes with one arm to wave goodbye. “If they give you any problems just set off an explosion. I’ll come running!”

You give your white-haired friend one last farewell before turning and marching down the dirt path leading into the bamboo. The image of the hidden mansion’s front gate is firmly emblazoned in your mind as you take step after step.

You let your focus relax once the bamboo begins to noticeably thin, the walls of Eientei just visible in the streaming light.

Look over there.

Off the path to your side plays a group of Earth rabbit youkai. The young-looking girls run around, nimbly dodging the sprays of water they shoot at each other with their realistic-looking water guns. You watch as two of the rabbits get quintuple-teamed, trapped behind a makeshift bamboo barrier.

The pair holds on valiantly but, with a drenching becoming certain, they show their true colors. The red-haired rabbit swiftly turns on her blue-haired companion, sending what must be icy cold water down her former comrade’s back.

The blue-haired youkai screeches and jumps a meter into the air, her water gun tossed to the side. When she lands to the laughter of all her friends you watch her face grow red. And angry.

While the others are doubled over in amusement, the blue-haired rabbits slips on one of the red boxing gloves that was tied to her belt and-

You wince when the red-head rabbit is sent flying.

Despite their superiority of numbers, watching the traitor’s punishment breaks the nerve of the rabbits. They bolt and scatter before the blue-haired one can turn and bop them.

Without those bright red boxing gloves you doubt you would’ve recognize the Earth rabbit from all her other peers with their supernatural hair colors. She said her name was, uh…

Bunny.

Right! Dumbest name ever.

Not that you’re going to tell her that now, either.

“Hey, Bunny!”

At the sound of her name the rabbit youkai pauses mid leap, instead rolling forward and ending up on her knees and looking directly at you.

You wait patiently while Bunny gathers her discarded weapon and skips over to you.

“Well if it isn’t the Womanizer!” she greets. She mimics a pair of binoculars with her hands, gazing at the jiang-shi arrayed behind you. “Look at all your new catches! And some males too, eh?”

You already feel a headache coming on. “How are you, Bunny?”

“Feeling like winter has come five months too early,” the rabbit complains with a shiver. She ends up removing her soaked yellow sweater and slinging it over her shoulder. “There something you needed? I have a bunch of airheads to sock.”

“I was hoping you could take me to Tewi.”

The rabbit girl hops back and forth on her feet while she speaks to you. “Need to see the boss? Just head on in and ask around. She’ll show up eventually.”

You can feel her itching to leave. “I was hoping to meet with her more discretely.”

“Discrete? I don’t think a group of six is discrete. Especially him,” she says while pointing at Nekurow’s armed and slightly armored form. “He looks like he’s ready to slay a dragon.”

You turn around and give your jiang-shi a smile. “Could you all wait here?”

They comply mostly without complaint. Yoshika doesn’t leave without a pout and a vigorous ruffling of her hair. The five of them move off, out of sight of Eientei but close enough to respond to an emergency.

Hopefully close enough. You wouldn’t make a bet on the strange geometry of this forest.

“A bit better,” Bunny comments. She takes a step closer, even rising up on her tip toes to lend you her ear. “Now, how discrete are we talking here?”

“I was hoping for an Earthlings only kind of meeting,” you whisper.

“Ah, gotcha. Shouldn’t be much of a problem. Follow me!”

Your rabbit guide hops away, her boxing gloves bouncing against her thighs while she moves. She approaches the wall next to the gate and motions for you to wait there, out of sight of the main yard.

She ducks in and disappears. You can’t help but begin to feel antsy. Even if being discovered by a Lunarian would bring about zero immediate consequences, you can’t help but furtively glance over your shoulder.

A few minutes later, Bunny pokes her head back out the gate, a large grin on her face. “We’re in the clear. Get a bit of spirit in you step, though.”

You follow behind the quickly moving rabbit girl. The sea of lounging rabbits parts for the two of you. Curious eyes all find you, but none move to stop you. Off in the distance, you see and hear the struggle between rabbits. One of the lunarians is screeching and wildly flailing about. There is a paper bag over her head and a grinning Earth rabbit attached to her shoulders.

Subtle.

Something like that is probably par for the course.

Bunny brings you to one of the many doors into the mansion and holds it open.

The halls beyond are a mess.

As you begin to walk you find it increasingly difficult to avoid stepping on stray clothes or toys. The clutter is worse in front of some rooms more than others. One of the doors lining the halls in held ajar by a pile of half-eaten carrots. Inside, you briefly catch glimpse of the mud-stained skirts and ripped shirts that form a second blanket over a western style bed. You think you see a rat roaming around amongst the filth.

“If you were wondering, this is our section of the mansion,” Bunny remarks.

“I think I can tell that.”

“I hope you aren’t judging our home.”

“Not at all. I was just marveling at how…kempt it all is.”

“I like to think of it as homey.”

In a way, it is better than the sterile and non-descript halls you’ve seen of the rest of the Eientei. Comparing there and here, the clinical and empty halls were pervaded by Eirin’s holier-than-thou attitude. There’s a feeling of life in these quarters.

After several twists and turns, Bunny ends up leading you to a surprisingly plain and clean sitting room. It might only be the size of a large walk-in closet but it does contain a few cushions and a low table.

“Go ahead and sit your behind down here,” Bunny tells you. “I’ll go see if the boss can take some of her precious time to come meeet’cha.”

“Thanks for the help.”

“Not at all! If you take up half as much time of the boss’ as I think you will, that means I can skip out on my lessons for the day! See you soon!” The blue-haired youkai gives you a cheerful wave goodbye before running off.

Have you thought about how you’re going to approach this?

Only in general terms. You don’t want to overthink your approach and end up sounding insincere.

Is being caught flat-footed and stumbling for words any better?

Then what does your sister suggest?

It depends on how Tewi reacts, but I was thinking…

You converse with your sister to pass the time, toying around with different ideas and plans in your mind. Your discussion ends when the door to the room slides open with a clack.

Tewi pokes her head through the opening whereupon her gaze immediately snaps to you. “Huh. They weren’t lying to me after all.” With a quick twirl, the rabbit youkai vaults into the room and shuts the door. She lands directly in front of you and drops to the floor, sitting down with her legs out. “Whaddya want, Womanizer?”

The more you hear that word, the more you grow to hate it with a passion. “Could you stop calling me that?”

“Don’t like it?” Tewi grins. “Tough. I think it sounds better than your name, honest.”

“Gee, thanks.” You fight back the urge to argue with the frustrating girl. It isn’t worth it, now more than ever. “So, uh, how are you?”

“Peachy. Yourself?”

“Not bad.” The two of you stare at each other for another few seconds. “The rabbits are pretty rambunctious today, huh?”

“They’re always like that.” Tewi’s ears twitch twice before she sighs. “Now, how about we skip your awkward small talk and move on to why you’re here to see me without any of our extra-terrestrial friends knowing?”

What a relief. If you were struggling here, I’m not hopeful for later on in the conversation. “Fine with me. There’s a certain item I know of that I was hoping you could procure.”

“Guessing you aren’t looking for a bundle of carrots?”

“Not quite. It’s a book. I thought it would be less of a hassle to retrieve for you than for anybody else.”

“A book? Do I look like the vampires’ librarian?” Despite Tewi’s flippant response, you can see the gears turning in her head as she considers your request. “A book? Here in Eientei no doubt.”

“At the moment I believe this book is in Eirin’s possession,” you tell her.

The mention of the doctor sours Tewi mood, causing the rabbit to eye you warily. “And you’re expecting I just, what, go and steal Eirin’s things for you?”

Careful, don’t put the wrong ideas in her head. “I was expecting that you could acquire for it in a way most convenient for everyone. Not necessarily stealing.”

“Kid,” Tewi grabs her ears and flops them in front of your face, “do these ears look like gopher ears to you? Why in the name of Lord Daikoku would I fetch anything for you?”

“I was thinking it would be in both of our best interests, on top of whatever else we agreed to for a deal.” Not enough. You can’t play passive in this and expect her to help you. “Doesn’t Eirin’s experimentation on the rabbits bother you?”

Tewi glares at you before running a hand through her hair. “They’re just rabbits. A hundred more will pop out before I can finish counting all the ones I started with.”

Sheesh, there are no protections for animals in this land.

“Right, but do you think Eirin’s experiments will stop with the mundane rabbits?”

“They better, if she knows what’s what.” The ages old rabbit youkai rises to her feet. “I hate to break it to you but your scare tactics aren’t intimidating me.”

Shit. Relax, Bro. This is hardly unsalvageable. “I’m sorry if they come off that way. I’m just trying to express my unease.”

Luckily, Tewi does not disregard you and leave completely.

Encouraged, you continue on with your reasoning. “When you led me through the halls the other night you told me yourself that this whole situation worried you more than I could imagine. I can imagine a lot. The experimentation Eirin is conducting with this book has driven the most powerful of magicians in the world insane…and worse.”

Rumors abound, more than you care to count; ridiculous bordering on the absurd. Yet, even if you stuck only to the facts the situation is not encouraging. Powerful, magical cults disappearing off the face of the Earth after studying only scraps of the Necronomicon is one truth that is the least worrying of all.

The rabbit youkai shrugs. “Our genius is dabbling with things she thinks she’s smarter than again. I’m not surprised. I’m also not convinced about why I should be taking this book from her. Especially taking it and handing it over to you.”

Goodwill might have gotten you in the door but you’ll need more than a trustworthy face to get Tewi to act.

I’m not even sure how trustworthy you look in that all black ensemble.

Not, helping.

Fine, fine. Let’s see here…

[ ] “I never said you had to give it to me.”
[ ] “The horror stories don’t stop at turning into a formless, protoplasmic monster.”
[ ] “Please, I’ll do anything.”
[ ] “The book itself was stolen from a shop in the village.”
[ ] “I’m researching a way to save my sister’s life.”
[ ] “I can pay you with jewelry.”
[ ] “I can pay you with favors.”
[ ] “I can pay you with favors, sexual favors.”
[ ] “I could teach your rabbits a thing or two.”
[ ] “I would be able to grant you power beyond your greatest imaginations!”
[ ] “There has to be someone from the past you’d like to speak with again.”
[ ] “Wouldn’t you want to know more about outside of Eientei?”
[ ] “Don’t you think it would be fun to prank Eirin like this?”
[ ] <Write-in>

---

Alright anon, rev up that social-fu.

May or may not post the next update in a new thread depending on the response here. So if there are any burning questions that need asking then go ahead and help kill this thread by asking!
>> 2015/02/08(Sun)22:23 No. 184102
...Okay. Tricky. The key here comes from Tewi's last line: 1) Why should she take anything from Eirin, and 2) why the hell does Necroanon make a better keeper of the book than Eirin of all people. Note that Necroanon himself points out that Tewi is uneasy about all that's going on, and she hasn't walked out. She's willing to listen, but both of the above points have to be addressed.

[x] "Eirin Yagokoro is in all likelihood the most intelligent being in the entire solar system. That's what concerns me. She honestly believes that she's completely infallible, and that's exactly the problem. That hubris. That's the sort of thing that the... powers... that book taps take advantage of. Protoplasmic horrors are just the start, and Eirin probably won't even notice when things go too far. And I can only imagine what grandiose plans she has for the information in that book."
-[x] "Me? My plans are far more humble. I want to use the book to save my sister's life. And that's the end of it. I at least know that the full measure of the book is beyond me."
-- [x] "So. With that explained... what's your price?"

This is not a good write-in. It really doesn't explain why Necroanon feels he'd do any better than Eirin at handling the book, and Tewi might not feel that this job is about price. Still, it's a start. Any Anons out there have ideas on improving this base argument?
>> 2015/02/09(Mon)00:11 No. 184104
[x] "Eirin Yagokoro is in all likelihood the most intelligent being in the entire solar system. That's what concerns me. She honestly believes that she's completely infallible, and that's exactly the problem. That hubris. That's the sort of thing that the... powers... that book taps take advantage of. Protoplasmic horrors are just the start, and Eirin probably won't even notice when things go too far. And I can only imagine what grandiose plans she has for the information in that book."
-[x] "Me? My plans are far more humble. I want to use the book to save my sister's life. And that's the end of it. I at least know that the full measure of the book is beyond me."
-- [x] "So. With that explained... what's your price?"

Probably as good a start as we can get. I doubt offering anything any specific kind of favor before we have any idea what's she's looking for is a good idea; either we offend her by going too low, or we offer something that we really cant afford to do/give up.

Does Tewi have any knowledge of what the necronomicon is? And, if she doesn't, I wonder if it would help any to fill her in a bit. Eirin is a genius, sure, but I doubt she has the experience in necromantic matters that necroannon has.
>> 2015/02/09(Mon)00:34 No. 184105
[x] “The horror stories don’t stop at turning into a formless, protoplasmic monster.”

So wait, I just realized something. If the book thief had the Necronomicon before he died and now it's in Eientei, that means Reisen knew to take that specific book from him on purpose, which means she was told to do it and didn't run into him by accident, and all the shady business and the memories of her orders was mindwiped from her as well.

Maybe I'm just misremembering something or tripping balls, but there's something going on we don't know about.
>> 2015/02/09(Mon)05:33 No. 184106
[x] “The horror stories don’t stop at turning into a formless, protoplasmic monster.”
[x] I, on the other hand, do not wish to study it more than its necessary to bring my sister back to life. Afterwards, it can be destroyed for all I care. I'd be the best, actually, considering how dangerous it is.
-[x] As for payment... I can pay you with anything you want. I've searched half of my life for this. If it guarantees my sister's new chance at life, I'm not above giving my own.
>> 2015/02/09(Mon)06:01 No. 184107
[x] “The horror stories don’t stop at turning into a formless, protoplasmic monster.”
[x] I, on the other hand, do not wish to study it more than its necessary to bring my sister back to life. Afterwards, it can be destroyed for all I care. I'd be the best, actually, considering how dangerous it is.
-[x] As for payment... I can pay you with anything you want. I've searched half of my life for this. If it guarantees my sister's new chance at life, I'm not above giving my own.
>> 2015/02/09(Mon)09:35 No. 184108
[x] “The horror stories don’t stop at turning into a formless, protoplasmic monster.”
[x] I, on the other hand, do not wish to study it more than its necessary to bring my sister back to life. Afterwards, it can be destroyed for all I care. I'd be the best, actually, considering how dangerous it is.
-[x] As for payment... I can pay you with anything you want. I've searched half of my life for this. If it guarantees my sister's new chance at life, I'm not above giving my own.
>> 2015/02/09(Mon)22:19 No. 184111
>-[x] As for payment... I can pay you with anything you want. I've searched half of my life for this. If it guarantees my sister's new chance at life, I'm not above giving my own.
Pretty sure that that kind of thinking would earn Necroanon some hard mental slaps from his sister.
>> 2015/02/10(Tue)11:18 No. 184117
[x] “The horror stories don’t stop at turning into a formless, protoplasmic monster.”
[x] I, on the other hand, do not wish to study it more than its necessary to bring my sister back to life. Afterwards, it can be destroyed for all I care. I'd be the best, actually, considering how dangerous it is.
-[x] As for payment... Name your price
>> 2015/02/10(Tue)14:18 No. 184119
>>184111
Hasn't stopped him before.
>> 2015/02/11(Wed)20:49 No. 184123
>>184099
[X] “The horror stories don’t stop at turning into a formless, protoplasmic monster.”
[X] I, on the other hand, do not wish to study it more than its necessary to bring my sister back to life. Afterwards, it can be destroyed for all I care. I'd be the best, actually, considering how dangerous it is.
[X] And at least I have some training in this discipline. Eirin is a genius, but she's not omniscient.
-[X] For payment, name your price. My sister might not accept something too crazy, though.
>> 2015/02/11(Wed)21:49 No. 184124
[X] “The horror stories don’t stop at turning into a formless, protoplasmic monster.”
[X] I, on the other hand, do not wish to study it more than its necessary to bring my sister back to life. Afterwards, it can be destroyed for all I care. I'd be the best, actually, considering how dangerous it is.
[X] And at least I have some training in this discipline. Eirin is a genius, but she's not omniscient.
-[X] For payment, name your price. My sister might not accept something too crazy, though.
>> 2015/02/11(Wed)21:50 No. 184125
I'd like to add a subvote to specifically mention a possible reward:

[x] “There has to be someone from the past you’d like to speak with again.”

This is a truly unique power and she has had a pretty long life.
>> 2015/02/12(Thu)21:30 No. 184127
[X] “The horror stories don’t stop at turning into a formless, protoplasmic monster.”
[X] I, on the other hand, do not wish to study it more than its necessary to bring my sister back to life. Afterwards, it can be destroyed for all I care. I'd be the best, actually, considering how dangerous it is.
[X] And at least I have some training in this discipline. Eirin is a genius, but she's not omniscient.
-[X] For payment, name your price. My sister might not accept something too crazy, though.
>> 2015/03/07(Sat)05:07 No. 184204
[X] “The horror stories don’t stop at turning into a formless, protoplasmic monster.”
[X] I, on the other hand, do not wish to study it more than its necessary to bring my sister back to life. Afterwards, it can be destroyed for all I care. I'd be the best, actually, considering how dangerous it is.
[X] And at least I have some training in this discipline. Eirin is a genius, but she's not omniscient.
-[X] For payment, name your price. My sister might not accept something too crazy, though.
>> 2015/03/23(Mon)05:55 No. 184238
[x] “There has to be someone from the past you’d like to speak with again.”
>> 2015/04/13(Mon)10:20 No. 184314
>>184099

"How about my body?"

My body for an update.
>> 2015/05/04(Mon)00:27 No. 184362
[X] “There has to be someone from the past you’d like to speak with again.”

Yo', what happened to thread four? I wanna' know what I've been missing, but an entire thread is 404ing on me! Will I never know what exactly happened between Reimu catching a bullet with gaphax and Nitori springing into action?


Back on topic, though, Tewi might want to see a certain skin-saving gentleman from her past, you know? The guy with too many brothers? assuming that Tewi is, in fact, THE Hare of Inaba (that's never outright confirmed, right?)the offer might be tempting enough to work.

Normally I'd skip the vote if I didn't read back far enough, but I'm too terrified to ask "HOW TO SAGE IN ONLY ONE FIELD", so I'll just live with the irritating tick of my OCD telling me I read it out of order.
>> 2015/05/04(Mon)03:33 No. 184363
>>184362
It finally fell off the board and has to be archived, which will take an indeterminate amount of time. Hopefully within the month though.
>> 2015/06/08(Mon)05:30 No. 184436
Is everything alright?
>> 2015/07/27(Mon)17:08 No. 184639
It's dead, Jim ;_;
>> 2015/08/24(Mon)03:48 No. 184799
What is dead may never die.

>>184798