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You get it.
As hard as it is to believe, you think you actually get what the white-haired girl is saying!
Looking back on your past actions, it certainly does explain more than a couple things that had once left you confused.
The upperclassmen who giggled or laughed at you... The underclassmen who gave you strange looks and said something about 'stranger danger'... The maid that closed the door on your face without a word... The waitress who laughed uncomfortably and refused to make eye-contact from that moment on... The nurse's reaction from before... Even...
“So that's why Parsee tried to stab me behind the gymnasium that time!”
“So, you finally underta-” the swords-girl halts mid-sentence, and looks at you quizzically. “Wait, what was that?”
Beside you, Parsee burrows her head even further into her folded arms and begins making muffled yet distinctly unhappy-sounding noises, prompting you to resume rubbing her back as you see Tenshi shuffling in her seat from across the table.
A split-second later, you feel the unmistakable sensation of her foot kicking you in the shin. Hard.
“Ix-nay on the ab-stay,” she hisses, glaring at you. “Umbass-day.”
“Sorry! Sorry! Ow! I mean, ah, I had no idea that's what that meant! It's all rather embarrassing, now that I actually think about it,” you say, doing your best to ignore the stinging pain in your leg as you turn your attention back to Tenshi's white-haired acquaintance. “Really embarrassing, actually. Sorry, I really didn't know.”
“It's good that you understand, but if you wish to make amends, then perhaps there is someone else you should be apologizing to.”
She was right. If you had done something to hurt someone, even unintentionally, you had a duty to apologize for the harm you caused them.
You needed to apologize to the bunny-eared nurse.
The question was, when?
[ ] Right away! There's not much time left before class begins, but you can make it if you run.
[ ] After school! If you're lucky, you might catch her before she leaves for the day.
[ ] First thing tomorrow! You need time to prepare yourself. Yeah, that's it. Prepare yourself. You're not afraid. Not at all.
Now. Now! If you were going to do it, it had to be now! While others might say that you could or should wait, they were not you!
“I've gotta go do something!” you announce to the table, jumping up from your seat with enough speed to elicit a surprised yelp from the blonde girl beside you who keeps trying to bite you.
“What?! Where the hell do you think you're-” you hear Tenshi ask, already rising from her own seat, but you don't wait around to answer.
There was something you had to do, and you were going to do it, damn it! You dash through the cafeteria doors and rush down the hall as quickly as your legs can carry you, paying little mind to the risk of being spotted by any of the school's self-appointed 'hall monitors', or the horrible punishments that would await you if they did.
Maybe you'd have to sit through long and stern lecture. Maybe you would just receive a thorough beating. Maybe you would just be robbed of anything valuable you had on your person, or, when it turned out you had nothing of value on you, they would just take your shoes and pants and throw them into the incinerator.
“Hey! Get back here!”
...or, maybe you would just have to endure whatever it was that Tenshi had in store if she caught up with you.
[ ] Full speed ahead! Let nothing stand in your way!
[ ] Caution! This is now a sneaking mission!
[ ] Hold it! Maintain your position and wait for backup!
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Looking at the situation objectively, you knew that you had no chance of outrunning her, and even though your odds of not getting run over by a vehicle was significantly lower than it was this morning, it was still not worth risking a repeat of that morning's jaunty chase. Besides, she would see something like that coming from a mile away. Or, at least, from whatever distance there is between you and her in this hallway.
Some days, the hallways certainly feel like they're miles long, though most of the time that's because you're either imagining things, or you accidentally wandered into the “Scarlet Wing” of the campus, which you had the misfortune of doing your first week when attempting what you had thought would be a convenient shortcut
By the time the search party found you, you had begun to seriously consider eating your own shoes for sustenance.
Fortunately, it seems that the hallway you were now in was not a mile long, be it in the real or imaginary sense. No, it was nothing more than an ordinary, long-but-not-too-long hallway. Not so long that Tenshi would be unable to see what was coming, nor short enough that she wouldn't be able to react in time to your suddenly stopping and turning to look at her. There would be no surprise appearing on her face as she realizes, too late, you were no longer running from her. You would not get to see her wage a futile struggle against her own momentum as she desperately tried to stop, only to collide with you head-on, sending the two of you tumbling to the floor in a tangle of limbs.
Not like that would happen anyway, you suppose. More likely than not, she would just simply bowl right over you and keep running. Or clothesline you. Or tackle you like a linebacker.
Despite her slim frame and lack of obvious muscle, you know quite well that Tenshi hits like a brick wall. A pretty but very cranky brick wall.
“Hey! Hey!” you hear Tenshi calling out to you, accompanied by the sound of fingers snapping in front of your face.
“Oh, hi Tenshi!”
“'Oh, hi Tenshi' my- what the hell do you think you're doing, running off like that?!”
“Well, um, I was going to apologize? You know, to the nurse?” you explain, only now realizing that you weren't sure exactly how you were going to do that, just that you were going to do it. Somehow.
“Riiiiiight. And just how are you planning on doing that?
“I dunno, wing it? I guess?”
“Oh, of course! Because charging right in without thinking about what you're doing has always worked out so well, hasn't it?”
“Hey, there have been times-”
“Name one,” she challenges you, folding her arms across her chest.
“Simple! How about the time that I snuck into...” you begin, but trail off as you remember that incident ended with you receiving a minor concussion.
That time you charged into that house didn't go so well for you, either. You don't think your lungs will ever fully recover from the chemical burns.
But then, you remember something...
“Oh! I got one! How about when we met?”
“When we met,” Tenshi repeats, eyes narrowing. “You threw rocks at my head, stole from me, extorted me, poisoned me...”
“Come on, that was years ago! We were just kids then!”
“No, it wasn't, and no, we weren't!
“B-but then I helped you with your problem with the grounds-keeper-”
“You knocked your own dumb ass out, and made her even more pissed-off than she already was!”
“What about getting Parsee to finally go see that therapist that-”
“That was after she tried to kill you!”
“Well, um, what abou-”
“And don't even think about bringing up that field trip to the mountains!”
Well. Damn. You think you might be out of options. As much as you hate to admit it, you think she might actually have a point about the success rate of your 'charge the problem head-on and hope for the best' strategy.
But still, there's no way that it could always end badly, right? No matter how things go, there's always some good to be found in a situation, right?
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She was right.
As much as you would like to argue otherwise, your tendency to act without giving proper thought to the consequences hasn't exactly always yielded positive results. They haven't always had completely negative results, either, but you couldn't deny that you might not have suffered nearly as much blunt force trauma to the head as you've experienced in your short life if you had only invested a bit more time into the planning stage of things.
'The Sandbox Incident'. 'The Eggshell Incident'. And, of course, 'Red Tuesday'.
Those were just the tip of the iceberg in terms of situations you've somehow blundered your way into and out from, each one resulting in you doing something more hazardous than the last. At this point, your penchant for bad choices has reached such an extent that, if you were to ever find a live hand grenade being thrown at your feet, your response would not be to pick it up and throw it back at whoever tossed it at you, dive onto it to protect everyone around you from the blast, or even simply running away from it. No, if you were ever to find yourself in that unlikely situation, you have no doubt that your first instinct would be to pick up the deadly explosive and carry it over to whoever threw it at you, as if you were returning a wallet they had dropped.
Though it would probably be something you wouldn't question in the moment, you realize now just how completely and utterly stupid such an act would be. Really, now, just what kind of idiot would ever do something as obviously suicidal as carrying an explosive device to his intended target rather than just throwing the damn thing?
You are exactly that sort of idiot.
Though you naturally wonder how things might have been different if only you had acted more sensibly, you know such an exercise would be pointless. What's done is done, and you can't change the past any more than you can un-crack a frying egg or un-throw an already airborne rock.
No, you've made your omelet, and now you're going to have to sleep in it.
...god, that would feel great, wouldn't it? To be able to sleep upon a fluffy pile of eggs?
Sure, the grease would ruin any clothes you might sleep in, but goddamn would you ever smell delicious in the morning. Well, as long as they stayed fresh, that is. Otherwise-
The sound of Tenshi's voice and fingers snapping once again drags your attention back to the present.
“Er, sorry. I guess I spaced out there for a moment.”
“Really,” Tenshi says flatly. “You. Spacing out.”
“Sorry, it's just that I was thinking about some of the problems I've had, and, well, you're right. I haven't reall-”
“Stop!” Tenshi suddenly holds one hand up, as the other reaches into her pocket and pulls out her phone. Punching a few buttons, she then holds it up to your face. “Okay, go ahead. You were saying something about me being...?”
“That's it! Feel free to start again from there.”
“You were right, Tenshi, I hav-”
“Say it louder,” she prompts you, beaming.
“You were right, Tenshi, I-”
“Now say it s l o w ly,” she prods, clearly relishing this.
“Tenshi, please, I'm trying to have a moment, here.”
“Oh, fine!” she relents, snapping the phone shut and tucking it back into her pocket. “That's enough for a ring tone, anyway.”
“Wait, you're going to use that as-”
“Anyway,” she says, ignoring you. “You're finally getting what a dumbass you've been?”
“I'm not sure I'd put it quite like that, but, well...”
“But you're still standing there, looking like you want to go do something about your latest screw-up.”
“I should at least apologize to her!”
“Uh-huh. Just 'apologize'?”
“...well, a hug might be nice, too, if she wouldn't min-”
“Just stick with apologizing. The more you say or do, the more likely it'll turn into something stupid.”
“Right, fine, no hugging.”
[ ] When you're done, you'll go right to class. It's almost like you have a plan!
[ ] You're not sure. Maybe if you had someone tag along for support...
[ ] Actually, you're having second thoughts about this. Maybe you could do this later?
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“I dunno,” you say, shrugging. “I only just now learned I was doing something wrong. How am I supposed to know when I'm doing something right?”
“No one trying to hit you, kick you out, or kill you is probably a clue.”
“I guess, but it's hard to tell when I'm hitting that point until it's too late, you know? And I'm trying to avoid that for once.”
“Yeah, you pretty much need someone standing right behind you to smack you the second you start saying something stupid.”
“I probably do,” you say, with a sigh and a nod.
You know you need some help with this. And it just so happens that someone qualified to offer such help was standing right in front of you. It also just so happens that certain someone would probably be all too happy to help.
She would also probably be all too happy to remind you of how you asked her for help, and how right she was about the thing you were asking her help for at some point in the future. Possibly whenever she might decide she wants you to do something for her, but she would be just as likely to bring it up the next time she finds herself on the losing end of one of your little 'debates' with her.
As often as she turns out to be right, one might think she would take her comparatively rare instances of being wrong in stride.
She does not.
If there's one thing you've learned about Tenshi in the time you've known her, it's that she really, really, really doesn't like to lose.
If there's anything else you've learned about your blue-haired buddy, however, is that her ego is as easy to inflate as it is to bruise, and as much as you've already blown it up with your 'she was right' admission just now, outright asking her for any more help at this point would probably put her past the point of bursting.
[ ] Deal with it. You need her help, and if letting her gloat about it later is what it takes, then so be it.
[ ] Mess with her bit. If you're lucky she might think helping you was her own idea.
[ ] Just start walking, assume she will follow. If she's already come this far, her decision's already made, anyway.
“...you didn't have to hit me that hard, you know,” you say to Tenshi's back as she leads you down the hall, tightly grasping your wrist. “I was just kidding! Kidding!”
“And that was just a warm-up!” she replies, not breaking her stride. “Besides, that was just a tap and you know it.”
“'Taps' don't leave me seeing my life flash before my eyes.”
“Oh. you poor baby. Want the nurse to kiss it better?”
“Actually, not that you mention it-”
“Don't. You. Dare,” she growls, her grip on your wrist quickly going from 'somewhat tight' to 'painfully vice-like'.
“Ow! Ow! Okay, okay!” you quickly agree, feeling more than a little relieved as your wrist is released, and you notice Tenshi's brisk walking pace slowing before coming to a complete stop in front of the door to the infirmary.
“Well? In you go!” Tenshi says, motioning towards the door.
“Um, Tenshi?” you ask, noticing the complete lack of light coming form behind the curtained windows. “I think it's closed.”
“Well, then maybe you should, I dunno, open it?”
“No, I mean the infirmary. I don't think anyone's here.”
“Oh, you are not wimping out now.”
“I'm not! I'm just saying there might not be-”
“Just open the damn door, already!”
“Fine, fine...” you say, stepping up to the door.
Firmly grasping the doorknob, you give it a twist, and find that it is...
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The door is unlocked. You're positive it's unlocked. The knob turns freely in your hand, but for some reason the door refuses to budge, as if some force were holding tightly in the frame. Though you're not sure exactly what kind of force it was, by simply by pressing against it you could tell it was mysterious.
You're not sure how that works, but you distinctly remember something about that in one of the many informational pamphlets you had to read through since you started attending this nutty school.
Sometimes doors would be sealed. Other times they would be locked. Sometimes the lock would be broken. Sometimes it would only unlock from one side. Whatever the case was, you would be able to immediately tell by simply trying to open it.
“Oh, would you stop stalling and just open it already?!” Tenshi asks impatiently.
“I can't. It's being held shut by a mysterious force.”
“A 'mysterious' force. Really.” Tenshi scoffs.
“That has got to be the lamest-”
“I'm serious! Just try it and see!”
You step aside and motion for her to try the door for herself. All she has to do is try, and she will see. You know she will. That's how the door works.
“Honestly, you can be such a wimp sometimes,” she says, stepping forward. “Like a stupid door would really-”
Barely even touching the doorknob, Tenshi freezes. Staring at the door in disbelief, she takes a step back and looks at you.
“You see? I told you! Mysterious force!”
“I didn't think that crap was actually true.”
The door was sealed by a mysterious force. For whatever reason it was now like this, it was clear that you wouldn't be getting inside any time soo“EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-YAAAH!”
Tenshi suddenly screams, spins, and kicks the door with earth-shaking force.
The mysteriously-sealed door, along with the door frame and a good chunk of the surrounding wall, explode in a massive blast of wooden splinters and chunks of stone, the assorted bits and pieces flying in every direction.
Doing your best to shield yourself from the flying debris, you wait for most of the dust to settle before looking up at the extremely proud-looking Tenshi and the former mysteriously-sealed door, which was now little more than a gaping hole in the wall.
“Um, Tenshi? That was...”
[ ] Excessive [ ] Dangerous [ ] AWESOME [ ] The wrong door
[X] Excessive [X] Dangerous [X] AWESOME [X] The wrong door
It must be the wrong door, or it wouldn't be sealed! On top of that, if it's the wrong door we can bring it up when Tenshi gloats about helping us, as well as the fact that we can laugh about it even harder!
“Impressive? Amazing?AWESOME?” Tenshi beams, clearly proud of her work.
“Well, um, yes,” you say, nodding in agreement. “Yes it was. That was awesome.”
You had to admit, it really was. You couldn't deny that, for all the bragging Tenshi was capable of, she really could back it up most of the time. If arrogance was something that had to be earned, then for better or worse, she's certainly earned it.
Of course, that doesn't mean she can't stand to be knocked down a peg or two.
“...there's just one small problem, though, Tenshi.”
“Yeah, yeah, I bwoke da widdle door! Big deal. Like half the nerds in this school couldn't have it fixed in ten seconds,” Tenshi says, rolling her eyes. “Probably make it out of lasers or something.”
“I think I'd like to see that, but that's not really the problem here...”
“Oh, really? Then what is the problem? Getting cold feet? Trying to back out? Because if you even think about-”
“I think that was the wrong door.”
“I think that was the wrong door,” you repeat, pointing to what you could only describe as 'the gaping void where the door used to be'.
“Wrong door,” Tenshi says, not bothering to even look at where you were pointing. “Wrong. Door”
“Yep, wrong door.”
“Look,” Tenshi says, folding her arms over her chest. “You're nervous. You're scared. You screwed up, did something wrong, and now that you're trying to own up to it and finding out it's not that easy. That's fine. But if you're gonna start making excuses to try to back out, then so help me-”
“I'm not! Look!”
You point, and Tenshi turns with an exasperated sigh. Though you don't know what was supposed to be behind the hole-formerly-known-as-'door', you would have expected to see something identifiable as an actual room, and not that, whatever it was.
There were no chairs. No desks. No windows. Or walls. Floor. Ceiling.
There was just nothing.
Nothing but that.
Colors and shapes rolled and churned in and out of your sight, and for a moment you were reminded of those puddles you would sometimes see in parking lots, and their swirly chemical rainbows.
But there was something else.
Something fuzzy and indistinct, but definitely there...
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Spots. Though hazy, you could see spots. Black and white spots, all lined up in rows.
It's strange, but you feel as if you've seen something like them before, somewhere.
Wherever it was, though, you were almost positive it wasn't in the nurse's office.
“Yeah, right. Very funny,” Tenshi says, looking back at you. “I almost fell for that.”
“Um, fell for what?”
“That!” she snaps, swinging her arm towards the swirly void of spots. “Making me think that wasn't the infirmary door!”
“I don't think it was.”
“Well, clearly, you're wrong!”
“I'm pretty sure I'm not.”
“Oh, we are so not doing this right now!”
“I'm not even sure what 'this' is!”
While the two of you could have your disagreements, you were honestly baffled as to what you were even in disagreement over this time. It should be clear to anyone with a functioning pair of eyes that, whatever it was you were looking at, you weren't looking at the room you woke up in not so long ago.
...unless they're remodeling.
You don't think that's the case, though.
“Look,” Tenshi says, firmly grasping you by the shoulders. “We do not have time for your playing dumb. You want to chicken out, fine, we'll go back to class and you get to live in shame until you decide to man up. You want to do what you came here to do, great, get in there and do it. But if you're going to make me follow you out here, break a door down for you-”
“I didn't ask you to go that far, you know.”
“..and then waste our time just standing here because you're feeling indecisive all of a sudden-”
“I'm not, it's just that-”
“Get your ass in there and apologize or I am going to do to your teeth what I did to that door.”
Writing will resume in a couple days. I've got an assload of vacation time I've finally taken out, there's a thing that will be keeping me out of town for the next few days, and when I return I hope to be as mentally refreshed as I will be physically exhausted.
You're not sure how willing Tenshi was to actually carrying out her threat, but you had no doubts about her ability to carry it out. Preferring to keep your teeth intact, you walk through the hole and into the swirly, dot-covered void, pausing only to glance behind you to make sure your ill-tempered friend was following.
Satisfied that she was, though somewhat unnerved by the cluster of spiders that were crawling on her face, you press forward into the room while doing your best to shove the image of those thousands of tiny legs skittering about out of your mind.
If she wasn't bothered by it, why should you be?
And so you walk, the various spots and stripes and swirls of color fading in and out all around serving as the only indications you were even moving. The floor, such as it was, felt firm enough under your feet, despite it being completely indistinguishable from the rest of your surroundings.
Glancing back at Tenshi, you see the spiders carrying away her face, as her hair has begun to melt and drip, staining her uniform and leaving small puddles trailing behind her.
[ ] You've got blue on you. [ ] This is fine. [ ] Scream. [ ] Say nothing, and drink to forget.
“This is fine,” you think to yourself. “There is nothing wrong with this situation at all.”
Sure, the room might look at little strange at the moment, but you were sure there was a perfectly rational explanation for that, just as you were certain there was a similarly rational explanation for why your friend's head was doing a shockingly good impersonation of an ice cream cone on a hot summer day.
Even if there was no such explanation, you were sure it was still fine, regardless.
Everything was fine.
You were fine.
The room was fine.
Tenshi was fine.
She was probably fine. . The point was that everything was fine, and that was all that mattered.
That, and your mission.
Yes, that was also a thing that mattered.
How much it mattered in comparison to how fine everything was, you're not sure, but it seemed hardly the time to debate such a thing with yourself.
There was something you had to do, and you wouldn't stop until you did it.
You look back towards your friend.
A dozen mouths sprout out from the writhing mass of her head, gnashing and screeching in unison.
A good sign.
Signs are good.
Except for when they are not.
But you're sure that this is a good sign.
You're not so sure about that other sign, though.
That sign, right over there.
And there, too.
They might be good signs, or bad signs.
There was really only one way to find out.
Actually, there was more than one way to find out.
[ ] Read the signs, then you will have your answer.
[ ] Ask the signs, it's the simplest way to find out.
[ ] Ignore the signs, what could possibly go wrong?
[ ] Eat the signs. After all, 'good' and 'bad' are just matters of personal taste.
>>193017 Sorry for being incommunicado the past couple, well, months.
Unfortunately, the only news I can offer is that there is no real news to offer. I've been sporadically picking away at an update for the past few weeks, to no avail. Not sure when it will be done, or if I won't just scrap it and come up with something else. Or something else besides that, or something besides that.
I just don't know.
I can say for certain that it will most probably not be the result of me just throwing my hands up in the air and going all "FUCK IT HE'S DEAD THEY'RE ALL DEAD EVERYTHING IS DEAD AND BURNING FOREVERTHE END."
That would be bad.
Saying that, I would like to try to get at least one more update out by the end of the month, but I'm not sure how likely that is. I'll do what I can, but I can't make any promises.
In the meantime, if anyone is still following this and has any questions or comments or whatever, shoot.
>>193153 I have a few questions. 1)How long does anon have before we're confronted by an angry Ran? 2)Will we be meeting Yukari at some point? 3)While not a question, I would like to ask whether the thing that escaped Yamame's web was Nue. 4)Do you have anything planned in regards to Koishi finally opening her third eye? 5)If we find Rumia, can we take her ribbon? (A random qestion I know, but I do like that ribbon)
The last thing I want to ask is whether we'll get the chance to return to places we've already been like the SDM. Mostly because after reading 'Dont read this', I'm rather curious to see if your depictions of the characters there are similar to the ones in here. Though I understand if you can't answer most of these if they're supposed to be surprises.
Sorry for the longish block of text, oh and my laptop is playing up$ so my grammar here is probably rather terrible at the moment, so I'd be grateful if anons here would be willing to ignore it for now.
P.S. You have no idea how happy I am to find out this is still being continued, words cannot express how thankful I am for your dedication to keeping this story going.
>>193213 >How long does anon have before we're confronted by an angry Ran?
I would say that depends on how long it would take for you to do something significant enough to make her angry, but by the time you could get to that point she would almost certainly be the least of your worries.
>Will we be meeting Yukari at some point?
That is possible.
>While not a question, I would like to ask whether the thing that escaped Yamame's web was Nue.
I cannot confirm or deny the identity of the unidentified individual.
>Do you have anything planned in regards to Koishi finally opening her third eye?
>me >planning ha ha ha ha ha
In all seriousness, though, there is currently no plan for such an event. It's not impossible, but at this point I think it really needs to be given its own dedicated story with a much better writer at the helm in order to do the idea justice.
>If we find Rumia, can we take her ribbon? (A random qestion I know, but I do like that ribbon)
Please refrain from bullying the Rumia.
>The last thing I want to ask is whether we'll get the chance to return to places we've already been like the SDM
You are probably going to be able to return to previously visited areas. It might be a good idea to do so. It might be a bad idea to do so. By the time you know, it will already be too late.
Yeah, when you put it like that it makes a lot of sense.
I have two more question for you at the moment and then i'll leave you in piece to do the next part.
Before the MC woke up we met 2? characters we've never met before, being Flandre and Youmu. I was wondering if this was a subtle hint or something towards where we are supposed to go; or who we need to see in order to deal with the 'bigger problems' you say we'll have in the future, or was it just because you needed some characters for fillers so to speak.
Also regarding Alice, if we were to go to her home now, would we find either A) A dead Alice surrounded by dolls or B) A slighty insane one from what I assume to be a heavy dose of Medi's poison
>>193222 Sorry, but both of those questions fall squarely into the "things you're supposed to find out for yourself" category.
Worst case scenario, should I ever decide to pull the plug on this story, I will gladly do a full brain-dump of anything and everything I ever thought, planned, or intended if anyone asks for it. None of that "I can't say because I might use it in a future story" business for me. Until that day comes, though, I do have to keep my secrets.
I have 3 last questions for the writer, though two of which sound pretty much the same.
1) Do you have a map of Gensokyo or something similar I could use to plan things out. 2) Which incident is this set after? 3) How long has it been since the last incident?
Now I know the last two don't sound that important, but to me it could help somewhat. Though I'm going to guess that while its definitely after 'Ten Desires' it's probably before 'Hopeless Masquerade'.
If it is, then something is telling me that maybe it's something to do with Kokoro. Although I'd admit it would be pretty funny to have Koishi suddenly come out of nowhere with the Mask of Hope.
>>193238 Don't worry about limiting yourself, I'm not likely going to have time to do any actual writing for a few days more, at least, so answering questions isn't going to dely me on anything.
1.) Regarding having a map of Gensokyo, yes, but also no. If there were an official map of Gensokyo, that would be the one I would refer to, but since there isn't, I've basically resorted to using all of them, but only insofar as to get some vague idea of where certain places are in relation to each other, and not really worrying about any differences between them unless they have to be addressed for some reason.
That said, if there were any singluar reference for Gensokyo's layout that I would have loved to use if it was around when I started this, I would've gone with that Puppet Dance Pokemon-style game's rendition, since it not only gave me an idea of where everything was relative to everything else, but how to get from place to place purely by walking.
As for your last two questions, I'm not sure how much you'll like this answer, but honestly the only thing I can say with absolute certainty about where this story sits on the incident timeline, and this has been the case with it since the very beginning, is that it takes place before whatever game hasn't been released yet.
I've generally tried to be vague about that sort of thing, because I honestly had no idea how long this story would be running, or what new characters or locations ZUN might introduce that I might want to integrate into things. Consider just how many characters we get with each game that, as far as we knew, did not exist prior to their debut, yet we're told they've always been there.
I'll admit it's not a very good way to go about things, and part of what makes it so daunting to keep this going the longer things drag out is sheer amount of official content that's been introduced, but it's also helped me in some ways that I can't quite get into at this time.
Don't worry, while it's not an answer Id like to hear, it at least answers the question of which characters we can expect to meet... which in this case is pretty much all of them provided we meet the criteria.
As for more questions, well I'll probably have more, but i'm going take a few hours to read through the story and write down some things first.
>>193248 The time it takes to post like this is nothing compared to what I usually take to write an update, and nowhere near the amount of thought, trust me.
Besides, this back-and-forth has been very helpful in loosening up a few mental blocks that I have been struggling to get past, and have found myself actively thinking about story stuff more frequently and for longer periods of time than I can remember being able to do for quite some time.
One thing I find weird is that even with our protags limited mental capacity and the chaos he seems to cause unintentionally, he has actually managed to avoid causing an incident somehow.
I would also like to suggest to any anons rading this, that maybe we should find the time to seek out Youmu and Flandre or at least at some point. I can elaborate if needed, but I'd like my fellow anons to think on it a bit first
>>193260 Don't feel bad about that! Like a majestic creature of nature, Koishi's love is at its best when it can roam free!
Like the old saying goes, "If you love someone, let them go. If they come back, they just might drag a new friend or two along for the ride. If they don't, then you might have to go look for them, and maybe pay for their bail."
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“Wha happen?” you groggily ask, feeling as if you've just woken up from the middle of a nap.
“Would you believe you were having a bad dream?” the humming pauses to ask.
“I'unno, m'bby,” you half-mumble in response.
“Let's just go with that, then.”
“...'kay,” you say, unsure of what else to do other than agree under the circumstances. Blinking a few times, you try to get your vision to focus on something, anything, but can see nothing around you but darkness. “S'dark.”
“Can't see,” you say, gradually finding the words coming out more clearly and easily. “Why can't I see?”
“Ah, that,” the voice says, with a chuckle. “It's nothing to worry about. There usually isn't too much to see at this depth, anyway. Usually.”
“Considering the company you've been keeping, I would have expected to see a lot more...” the voice trails off, as if its owner were suddenly pondering something. “Mm, no, this is probably for the best. Less to clean up, and I imagine a little 'quiet time' would do you some good, yes?”
“Rest is good,” you say, slightly nodding your head. “More importantly, do you want a hug?”
“Oh-ho? And just when you seemed like you were starting to learn...”
You hear the voice chuckle again, just before you feel something flick against your forehead.
“...though, I suppose that complete disregard for your situation is somewhat endearing, in its own way.”
“Still, you would do well to exercise a bit bit more caution than you have been. Good intentions will only get you so far, and luck doesn't last forever. Especially not with the sort of 'friends' you've been making. Speaking of which... mm, yes, it seems they've just about ready to leave. I know it would be rude to keep them waiting, but there should be no problem if you wanted to get a few more winks in...”
Possibly, though most likely not in any great detail.
Once or twice, I thought about possibly deleting dream-based segments after a while, but I was worried that would be a bit dickish. That, and I wasn't sure if someone else hadn't already done something like that. So I didn't.
If my memory is correct, the last time we were awake was in >>176709
Which means we have not been awake for the past 3 years. The last time we were awake was 4 threads ago. We have been asleep for so long, that the last time we were awake is literally about to fall off the edge of /th/. If even one more thread is posted to /th/, then we will have to scour the story list in order to find the last time we were awake. We have not interacted with Medi, or anyone else who actually exists, for as far back as /th/ can remember. We could give Rip Van Winkle a run for his money in the sleeping department. I think we have had a long enough nap.
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“Nah, I'm good,” you reply, feeling as if you've had more than enough of doing whatever it was you were doing at that moment, which would appear to be nothing.
As nice as it would be to just lie there, peacefully, you just couldn't shake the feeling that there were plenty of other things you should be doing at that moment. Things that, regrettably, you could not do while you remained where you were.
...well, you'll worry about the details later.
For now, at that moment, the thing you had to do most of all was obvious!
You would get up!
Get out there!
Face the day with everything you've got!
“Well, if that's what you want, but don't blame me if you decide you want more later and I've already eaten it,” the voice chides you. “I can't keep leftovers just laying about forever, after all.”
“Um, sorry about that?” you semi-apologize, unsure of exactly what you were feeling sorry for.
“Don't worry about it,” the voice says, chuckling. “I'm sorry I couldn't do more to help, but you seem to be managing well enough. Surprisingly. Just... try to stay out of dark alleyways from now on, alright?”
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“Okaaaaaaaay~!” you answer, feeling a little like a child being scolded as if you had not already learned your lesson about something.
Granted, you couldn't be sure if you actually had learned any such lesson, if there was such a lesson to be learned, but you felt certain that you had which meant that you did.
Wait, you suddenly realize, how does she know about-
“Well! Off you go now!” the voice says before you can finish your thought, and suddenly you feel a sharp
You open your eyes to the sight of someone's hand in your face, fingers snapping away like...
...a thing that snaps really fast?
You don't know.
You just woke up, and that is the worst time to try thinking in metaphors.
You attempt to sit up, only to have the hand push your head back down onto the unusually firm pillow beneath you.
The hand was, of course, attached to an arm. And arm that, were you to follow it back to its source, you would find belonged to a strangely familiar-looking woman whose upside-down face was peering down at you, as blood-red clouds slowly drift slowly across the darkened sky.
“Mistress,” the curly haired woman says, looking away from you. “Your 'guest' is awake.”
Attempting to follow her gaze, you see an even more familiar-looking woman standing with her back to the two of you, her long green hair and pink nightgown both gently swaying in the breeze.
“Hm~?” you hear the green-haired woman respond, not bothering to turn around. “Should we have burnt it?”
“The mansion. Should we have tried to burn it down before leaving? After everything that happened the last time, leaving things like this is so anticlimactic.”
“Yes, Mistress. It is as you say,” the blonde-haired says, nodding solemnly. “To surrender territory to an enemy in such a manner is most unfortunate. Had circumstances permitted it, I would have gladly made preparations for Mugenkan's complete destruction.”
“Awwwww! You would've blown it up? But all our stuff's there!”
“No, Kurumi, the Mistress's 'stuff' was there. My 'stuff' was there. Your 'stuff' was in the shed, which the Mistress so graciously allowed you to use.”
“What did become of that shed, anyway?
“Obliterated, Mistress. A complete loss.”
“Ah, yes. They were quite thorough, weren't they?”
“It's not fair! Everything else got brought back, so why didn't my stuff?” you hear the vampire girl pitifully whine, her words punctuated by the occasional flapping sound. "I miss my stuff."
“But enough of that~!” With a twirl, Yuuka turns to face you, clapping her hands together. “What is one or two wilted flowers when there are so many more waiting to bloom~? But first...”
In an instant, the green-haired woman is leaning over you, smiling with a gleam in her eyes that you found to be more than a little unsettling.
“Okay,” you reply, barely suppressing the urge to follow up with asking if she would accept repayment in the form of dinner. Even if you didn't have the strangest feeling that asking such a thing was inappropriate under the circumstances, you have a funny feeling that Yuuka, of all people, would not be interested. Somewhere between the time you called her a “crazy, sadistic bitch” and the time you blew her up and turned her tiny-sized, it's probably safe for you to assume that particular ship has sailed.
“Hm-mm~,” Yuuka hums in approval, her smile not wavering for even a second. Stepping back and away from you, she turns her back to you. “Elly, do it~♥”
In an instant, the hands that were once holding you down are gone, and you feel yourself being pushed up into a sitting position. Suddenly, the feeling of hands pressing into your back is replaced by something considerably softer, as a pair of red-clad arms loop their way around your head and neck. To your left, you feel someone else shuffle up beside you and begin to tightly hug your arm.
“Don't worry,” you feel, as much as hear, Elly whisper into your ear. “It will be quick.”
Before you can even think to ask what “it” is, you find yourself experiencing a hundred different sensations all at once.
A tightening of the arms around your head.
A tensing of the bodies you feel beside and behind you.
And a loud,
The world shifts sideways.
Your body goes numb.
And as your vision fades and mind goes blank, you see the now-sideways mansion in the distance, and a strangely-dressed woman sitting upon its roof, waving to you.
The light stabs your eyes as you open them for what feels like the first time in ages. Blinking the last remnants of sleep away, you gaze up at the ceiling, and at the faintly purplish haze wafting through the air above you. Inhaling deeply, your nostrils tingle at the smell of something pungent, yet familiar to you.
“...Medi?” you whisper, hoarsely, as you suddenly become aware of how dry your mouth and throat feel. An unpleasant grainy sensation, like you had been gargling sand for the past hour.
You were thirsty. Very thirsty.
But more than that, you were hungry. Very hungry.
Thirsty. Hungry. Alone. And almost completely immobile.
That was not a very good combination, as far as you were concerned. Not very good at all.
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May as well start with the basics, you think to yourself.
Collect your thoughts, remain calm, and attempt assess your current situation.
Where were you right now?
The shrine on the mountain, of course.
'Moriya', wasn't it?
Yes, that was it. Moriya Shrine. You were at the Moriya Shrine.
After spending a night underground, you had apparently caught yourself a nasty case of possession by evil spirits, and this shrine was one of the only two places you knew of that could fix that sort of thing.
Though you can't quite remember exactly what happened on your way up the mountain, the considerable amount of aches and pains you were feeling in just about every single joint and muscle of your body give you the impression that your trip was anything but an uneventful one.
You ache. You ache bad.
And that's not even taking into account what happened after you got here.
That girl, Sanae?
What was it that she had said?
Something about the spirits getting violent, making you struggle while they were being removed, and as a result you had dislocated, as she put it, 'everything'.
Judging by how you were feeling at that moment, you're not entirely certain she was exaggerating.
But that wasn't all she said at that time, was it?
Or rather, not moving.
You can't move.
They did something to you to make you not move.
“Just temporarily! Really! Just long enough to give your body a chance to heal a little, is all,” she had said.
“A week or two?” she had said.
“ Maybe?” she had said.
That last part was not very reassuring of her, you think.
Still, it certainly explained that whole 'not able to move' thing you seemed to have going for you at the moment. Try as you might, you can't so much as wiggle a toe or finger, let alone get up and walk around.
And you were supposed to put up with this for a week? Or two? Maybe?
While you had no doubts that some time to rest and heal would be good for you, you're not sure how you feel about being holed up anywhere for that long. Sure, you'd have a roof over your head, and you can only assume your hosts are willing to feed you if they're forcing you to stay here for such a long time, and it didn't sound like they were expecting you to pay them for any of this, which is good since you don't exactly have any money.
Hell, at that moment, you didn't even have lint in your pockets, let alone money.
Of course, that's partly because you don't have any pockets.
Come to think of it, you're not sure if you even still have that bath robe.
You also weren't sure where Medicine and the others wandered off to.
Or what those loud, thunder-like noises you can still hear outside were all about.
Or what you were supposed to do about eating.
Or using the toilet.
This sucks, you think to yourself
This really, really sucks.
As much as it sucked, which it did, you're not really sure what to do about it.
Could you do anything about it?
[ ] Yes. If you try and focus really, really, really hard, you can maybe probably do something. Even if it's just rolling around on the floor.
[ ] Yes! Through guts and determination, you can fight the power that is holding you down! Anything is possible if you scream loudly enough while doing it!
[ ] YES! You shall BULLSHIT your way out of this! Belief is in the mind of the beholder, and something something, magic, whatever! Anyway, you can do it! Probably!
[ ] Nope. You can't. You can't do anything. You may as well just give up.
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Nope. You can't.
You can't do anything.
Can't go anywhere.
Can't do anything.
Like it or not, you were stuck there.
Staring up at the ceiling.
Truly, at that moment, there was absolutely nothing you could do.
Well, you could try sleeping, you suppose.
But you won't.
You don't feel like sleeping.
But what else could you do?
Nothing, that's what.
You didn't like that.
Sure, you had a roof over your head and four walls around you.
That was always nice.
But something else that is always nice?
Being able to run away if the situation were to suddenly demand it.
Being able to chuck a rock at something that looked like it was considering inviting you to dinner.
As their main course, that is.
Can't do anything about that sort of thing at the moment.
Just about anyone or anything could just waltz right on into this room and do just about anything they wanted to you.
Of course, they didn't have to waltz, really. Any form of movement would work just as well, you suppose.
They could walk. Or skip. Or even hop, like this strangely pale-looking girl who just came in through the doorway was doing.
Yeah, hopping was certainly a means that someone could use to enter the room that you were in, just like this strange girl who was now staring vacantly down at you from behind the funny little paper that was hanging in front of her face.
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You're not quite sure how to respond to your unexpected visitor.
Attempt to communicate?
Call for help?
Do your best impression of a cicada in an attempt to lull her to sleep, or just make her wander off in boredom?
“A-aaaa, eehh...” you hoarsely say, your mind fumbling for anything you can say. “I ooh yooou?”
The girl rears back, her joints making an unpleasantly creaky snapping sound from the sudden motion.
“Ahh Eeh Aye Ohh You,” the vacant-looking girl replies, in a raspy monotone.
“Ah Eh I Oh You ,” you repeat, and with a little more confidence, despite having no idea why.
Did these sounds hold some hidden power? Did they have some meaning you were not aware of? Had you stumbled upon some sort of universal greeting?
”Ah Eh I Oh You,” the girl responds in kind. She slowly raises her head towards the ceiling, her neck letting out an uncomfortable-sounding series of pops and cracks as she does so. “A-E-I-O-U. A-E-I-O-U. A-E-I-O-U...”
The girl begins repeating those sounds over and over, as a loud ticking begins to emit from somewhere within her body.
It seems you have inadvertently activated her self-destruct sequence.
Your teacher had warned you of this.
She had warned you of the dangers of reckless vowel usage.
But you didn't listen.
And now the ticking was getting louder.
You needed to do something.
Nothing instantly came to mind.
Nothing at all.
While normally you could think of at least two or three options to get yourself out of any situation, at this moment you were drawing a complete blank.
You were going to have to think of something to do to get yourself out of this, and fast.
Preferably something good, that would make the situation better, and not worse.
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The solution was clear.
If the thing you had done had done a thing, then doing the opposite would do the opposite of that thing.
That seemed only logical.
Were it not for that whole 'completely incapable of moving' thing you had going on at the moment, you would almost certainly give yourself a hearty pat on the back.
But you cannot, so you will not.
What you can do, though, is talk, and that is what you are going to do, damn it!
“You Oh I Eh Ah,” you say, your voice brimming with confidence.
Where this confidence comes from, you do not know, but you had no doubt that it would work.
”You Oh I Eh Ah...” the girl repeats, the ticking suddenly stopping. Slowly lowering her head, her neck giving out another unpleasant-sounding series of cracks and pops, she looks back down at you. ”You Oh I Eh Ah. You Oh I Eh Ah. You Oh I Eh Ah. You Oh I Eh AhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH”
The confidence you felt quickly retreats to whatever unknown place from whence it came, as the girl begins emitting a droning, high-pitched wail, as her entire body begins to shake and wobble from side to side. Her blankly staring eyes roll up into her head, her various joints pop and crackle like fireworks, and smoke billows out from her ears and mouth.
While you had canceled her self-destruct sequence, you had done so at the cost of activating her super self-destruction sequence.
You could tell it was worse because it was 'super'.
That is what the 'super' meant.
And you had just activated it.
You had just activated the dead-looking girl's super self-destruction sequence, and she was going to super self-destruct in the most super self-destructive fashion.
With your mouth as the only functional part of your body at that moment, you had to do something to stop this girl from exploding all over the place.
Something other than what you had already done, which did not make the situation better but made it the opposite of better.
If one led to one bad thing, and the other led to a different bad thing, then by doing both repeatedly the screaming, smoke-emitting girl would become so occupied bouncing between the two bad things that neither one will actually happen!
...that, or the two things will simply combine into one, far worse thing. But, hey, you're more than willing to flip that particular skirt.
You meant coin.
You don't know why you just thought about flipping that girl's skirt.
That would be a very improper thing to do.
Rude, like barging in on someone's sister while they're in the bath and doing all sorts of things that you haven't done though you should totally do because-
Something is off, you think.
Off, like your pants, which you no longer had.
Off, like that girl's skirt, which it isn't.
But it could be.
But it won't.
Why would it?
Because it could.
But it's not.
But it could~!
...your internal monologue also seemed to be a bit 'off' for some reason.
You're not quite sure why that would be, though.
Paying little mind to that, you take another look at the strange girl standing above you, the smoke billowing out of her ears and mouth forming into a blurry haze around and above her head.
That, too, seemed more than a bit 'off'.
While the rest of the room, or what little of it you could see without moving your head, you could see with perfect clarity, that one spot was like looking at fogged up mirror, the world being reduced to indistinct shapes and colors.
Blinking and squinting at the space, as if trying to will it into coming into focus, you can barely make out something that is both strange and familiar. Flashes of yellow and green, with strands of purple every now and then.
But there was something else.
Something distinctly different and unfamiliar.
[ ] red and small and like a ball
[ ] short and black and white and blue and red and oh my god what's wrong with your head
“Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees~?” replies the satori-not-named-Satori sitting atop the pale girl's shoulders, smiling broadly down at you.
“What's going on?” you ask, feeling relieved at seeing your technically-three-eyed friend, even if you were both curious and concerned about what chain of events led to her current state of straddling the head of the strangely dead-looking girl.
“Hmmmm~?” Koishi says, turning her gaze to the ceiling as she begins tilting her head from side to side, as if pondering the answer. “”Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell, there was some stuff and a place with a thing and more stuff and a thing happened and I think it was a thing and then there was stuff and things and a things and stuff and I think I got wet but not that way you naughty boy~ unless I did and I saw a fish and a bird and a tree and a bee and a hop and a skip and a jump and up up UP and the monkey stole the peach but the monkey was a snake and the stealing was smashing and cracking and she was all COOL YOUR HEAD and she was all NO and that was the other one not the first one unless she was first and snake budged in line because snakes are sneaky like that and I see the sneaky snake sneaking all sneaky but not as sneaky as me because I am sneaky and quiet and shushy and I BROUGHT FRIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEENDS~!”
“Friends~!” Koishi repeats, throwing her arms into the air happily.
A bit too happily, perhaps, as the sheer force of the motion sends her falling backwards, off of the shoulders of her mount and flopping face-down onto the floor.
“Frrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeends~!” you hear her muffled voice say once again, seemingly unfazed by her rough landing.
“Um, Koishi? You 'friend' looks a little hungry,” you say, unsure how else to interpret the string of drool that was now oozing down the girl's open mouth. “Also, dead. But mostly hungry.”
“Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh~!” you hear Koishi respond, her floor-muffled voice coming out as a loud whisper. “I'm becoming one with the floor~”
“But what about the expl-mmpf?!” you attempt to ask, only to be cut off by Koishi shoving something into your face.
“Surprise kissies~! Mwah~!” you hear her say, as you vision becomes filled with red and blue, as you feel your mouth pressing into something hard under something soft. A flowery smell tickles your nostrils, and you for some reason are reminded of that time in your youth that you found that bottle of pleasant-smelling goo that turned out to not taste nearly as good as it smelled.
Turned out it was shampoo. Go figure.
Before you can even question why the thing that was being pressed into your face smelled like a hair-cleaning product, or think much about how that soft stuff you felt against your face seemed an awful lot like hair, Koishi pulls away the strange object, and you find yourself staring at what looks suspiciously like the top of a human head.
“Awwwwww~! I think she liked it~!” Koishi coos at what you now see is unmistakably a human head in her hands.
A severed human head.
“Whatever.” the head mumbles, much to your surprise.
A severed head that happens to look human, but might possibly not actually be human, because human heads aren't especially known for their ability to talk after being removed from their bodies.
Usually, that sort of thing just makes them die.
You're not sure if that's better or worse than if Koishi were holding an actual human head, but you're going to assume it's better. If nothing else, you feel the implications are relatively less unpleasant. Probably.
In any case, there were still plenty of questions you had, and with Koishi being Koishi, you're not sure what your chances are of getting them answered.
Perhaps if you tried to focus your questions on one specific thing?
>>195256 > Man, the third option should've been "Ask about Koishi's third leg" to keep the innuendos coming.
I know, the third option's lame, but I couldn't think of anything better before I had to go. Unfortunately, your idea (while unquestionably better, thematically) would only really be appropriate if Utusho were coming back into the picture, and she probably isn't.
Or Koishi suddenly had a dick.
Or it just looks like a dick, but it's really Shinmyoumaru stuffed under skirt.
>>195282 I distinctly remember Okuu still being alive after she nuked Cirno. I think the writer just meant she likely won't be reappearing since we left her in the Underground and there's no particular reason for us to go back, or for her to follow us.
I mean, unless Koishi drags the MC back down there to marry her, Satori, and probably every single other companion we've acquired. All at once.
And technically this wouldn't rule out some sort of perspective shift, which has happened plenty of times before, though usually to one of our party members. An exception being that thing with Alice and her writing about her dolls which I'm still wondering if we'll see the results of, several years later. Well, c'est la vie.
>>195289 >I distinctly remember Okuu still being alive after she nuked Cirno. I think the writer just meant she likely won't be reappearing since we left her in the Underground and there's no particular reason for us to go back, or for her to follow us.
That's a bingo. The thermonuclear birdbrain is still alive and well, she's just preoccupied with other stuff. Important stuff. Bird stuff. Important bird stuff. That kind of thing.
>>195282 >I've been waiting her return for five frikkin' years!
>Along with the identity of that bird we stole eggs from
I'm not sure I remember that.
>a crossover with SHOES quest
Or that. RIP SHOES, I pour my drink upon a pair of sandals in your honor
>your promise of Tenshi nudes
I'm sorry to have neglected this for so long. Please accept the accompanying image along with my sincerest apologies.