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File 147961976419.jpg - (672.39KB, 4160x3120, alice sez.jpg) [iqdb]
192630 No. 192630
Here's a rather short story whose magical evening is only a few choices long. Putting brevity aside, it'll hopefully still be fun. Follow your hearts and all will be well.

-

She’s late.

It’s a thought that’s annoyingly hard to dismiss. Logic threatens to reach some sort of conclusion from that fact. Specifically, it’s the sort conclusion that makes you weak in the knees. So you keep telling yourself that she’s just being fashionably late.

At least it’s somewhat comforting to know that you’re not the only one made to wait. A few individuals and small groups loiter in the reception area, making small talk and stealing the occasional furtive glance towards the door. This fellowship is usually short-lived, however, as most of those waiting are only there for a few minutes. Some run out of patience and ask to be seated, ushered beyond the separating curtain, leaving their companions to sheepishly ask after them at the reception when they arrive. Others choose to wait right there and greet their friends as they come in, going in as one happy group.

Though there’s still a few people waiting that arrived at around the same time as you, none have been there quite as long as you have. After checking in on your reservation, you had stood to one side of the room. That was about a half hour ago by your reckoning. A few minutes ago, you got an annoyingly sympathetic look from the one of the wait staff. Her eyes said everything that you had been working so hard to avoid thinking about. She saw someone well-dressed, with a reservation for two, waiting for his date and reached the natural conclusion…

But how could she know you were on a date? Well, it was the most popular restaurant in the village. During the day farmers and merchants showed up for hearty lunches but the atmosphere was completely different at night. With soft, live music and candlelight, it was a natural draw for couples and closely-knit groups of friends. The somewhat private location of the restaurant on the western edge of the central park was conducive for intimate strolls under the moonlight after meals. So, therefore, if someone was waiting to meet someone here in the evening, it had to be because it was a date.

You lean up against one of the walls and cross your arms, trying to act nonchalant. Though it keeps getting harder and harder to deny that just maybe you’ve been stood up, you try to keep to keep the faith. After all, she looked right into your eyes when she promised she would come. So what were the alternatives? The things that you could tell yourself from fixating on that one unfortunate possibility? You could think of just one – maybe something happened to her on her way to the village? It was a remote possibility. The only vaguely realistic alternative.

But still… it was a theory that was full of holes. You knew in your heart of hearts that it would have to be something unimaginable to even slightly inconvenience her. Though you haven’t really sized up her abilities, you’re more than confident that she could handle just about anything Gensokyo could throw at her. More often than not she associated herself with youkai which meant that if there was any trouble to be found, she could hold her own. Even if you feel like kicking yourself for not insisting on escorting her from her home outside the village, it doesn’t change the fact that something else must have happened.

A more hopeful thought crosses your mind.

You smile to yourself. Maybe she couldn’t handle the idea of a date with you. You know you barely could handle the idea yourself. Gods know that the last few days have felt surreal. You’ve drifted from activity to activity, killing time and doing things mechanically, your head lost somewhere above the clouds. It was a struggle to pick something to wear and this last day you’ve accomplished basically nothing remotely productive as you stared out your bedroom window, killing time until the date. Thinking that maybe she was the same made everything understandable and easily forgiven. Yeah, if that was the case, it’d be highly endearing.

You find your heart pumping a little harder than usual as you daydream about all the possibilities. Trying not to look the fool and trading the smile for a more aloof expression, you keep yourself relaxed and confident in a good outcome. It seems that even the staff are buoyed by your optimism – the next time she passes while leading another group to their tables, the waitress flashes a warm smile and an encouraging wink.

Though there’s little to justify your outlook, there’s little to do but wait. A few of the early diners leave and a few others arrive. But it’s only a few more minutes before your faith is fully justified. You lock eyes with here as soon as the door opens. Her focused expression softens as she recognizes you. A half smile forms on her lips, mirrored by one of your own. You take a few steps towards one another.

Late or not, you’re still happy to see…

[] Alice
[] Byakuren
[] Marisa
[] Patchouli
Expand all images
>> No. 192631
[X] Marisa

Marisa + fancy dinner, what could go wrong?
>> No. 192632
[x] Byakuren

let's see what happens next.
>> No. 192634
[ze] Marisa
>> No. 192636
[X] Alice

I wouldn't mind seeing the dollmaker.
>> No. 192637
[x] Byakuren

I want to see your interpretation of her. Besides, Necroanon's story and I need my Superhuman Moe
>> No. 192638
[x] Marisa

This site needs more ordinary magicians.
>> No. 192639
[X] Marisa
>> No. 192640
[x] Byakuren

choose your 2hu votes are always the hardest
>> No. 192642
[X] Alice

I want puppeteer vanilla.
>> No. 192643
[X] Alice

Alice is nice.
>> No. 192644
[X] Alice

Follow your <3
>> No. 192647
[X] Patchouli

Tide pissing time!
>> No. 192655
[X] Patchouli

The seven day magician!
>> No. 192656
[X]Byakuren
Choosing Byakuren since i'm curious on how he manage to get her of all people on a date
>> No. 192657
[x] Patchouli
Always the right choice.
>> No. 192659
[x] Byakuren
>> No. 192660
[X] Byakuren
most difficult vote in months
>> No. 192662
[x] Marisa
>> No. 192664
[X] Marisa
>> No. 192668
[x] Patchouli
yes
>> No. 192669
File 147969109422.jpg - (201.09KB, 561x1199, __patchouli_knowledge_touhou_drawn_by_hiro_h_net__.jpg) [iqdb]
192669
[x] Patchouli

Because UHHHHHHH THICC
>> No. 192671
[x] Patchouli

was going to vote for Byakuren but three-way tie is too good
>> No. 192673
[x] Marisa

I can't imagine Marisa in a formal restaurant. But that's exactly why I want to see it.
>> No. 192677
"Meanwhile, at the legion of votes..."

[x] Patchouli
>> No. 192684
[x] Byakuren

Boy i sure do love ties
>> No. 192688
Any new voters planning on adding Alice to the tie? Come on, please?
>> No. 192692
I was conflicted before, but do want three-way tie. So here you go:

[ze] Alice
>> No. 192693
I haven't this many votes for quite some time.
>> No. 192695
>>192693
You accidentally a word
>> No. 192697
>>192695
Whoops, my bad (Friggin mobile, man).
I was saying that there's a lot more votes than usual.
Almost like THP isn't dying.
>> No. 192700
File 147974866596.jpg - (166.69KB, 1024x730, biuZeL-AxVCa5TIA5b_1acF38T10UJfpnPQkOPZCWJA.jpg) [iqdb]
192700
>>192697
Don't jinx it!
>> No. 192701
Isn't it sad, Alice? To know that voters will never vote you into the magician orgy?
>> No. 192704
[x] Patchouli
>> No. 192705
>>192701
Well I, for one, rebel against this system of injustice.

[X] Alice
>> No. 192712
[X] Alice

Alice IRC brigade go
>> No. 192713
[X] ALICE
>> No. 192714
[X] Alice
>> No. 192716
[X] Patchouli

C'mon, librarian!
>> No. 192720
File 147978939675.jpg - (82.48KB, 1024x425, magic at work.jpg) [iqdb]
192720
I'm calling it here. Don't worry if your favorite magician didn't win this one not-so-important vote! It's very likely that she'll be appearing very soon regardless. For now, let us proceed swiftly. Since all magicians are love, I guarantee that you'll enjoy the ride even if there are a few short detours here and there.
>> No. 192721
“You’re staring very intently at me, is something the matter?” she asks softly, her voice almost lost to the background noise. Typical of her, she is inquisitive and aloof. Cold, perhaps, if not for the short distance between you. It wasn’t usual for her to draw herself close to others. Her words were for you alone, that’s what your brain tells you. If it’s a delusion, it’s a sweet one.

“Nothing is the matter,” you tell her with a smile. “I’m glad to see you, that’s all.”

She scans your face with a well-guarded stare. As usual, you can’t tell what she’s thinking. Those dark eyes of hers seem to absorb all of your thoughts. A sly smile, something all too rare for her, forms on her lips as she reaches a conclusion. “And I am glad to see you,” she says with a nod, “I apologize for making you wait.”

“It’s alright, the important thing is that you’re here now,” you say, the more complex thoughts rattling around the back of your skull failing to translate into words.

Of course, that’s only natural.

Anyone would be having a hard time centering himself if he saw her as she was now: her plain and loose-fitting robes were nowhere to be seen. In there stead, she wore a dark dress, darker still than hue of her eyes and hair combined. It trapped the light like a full glass of aged wine, revealing its dark bordeaux nature as she moved through the ambient light, each one of her movements accentuating a figure that had, until then, been mostly the subject of your imagination. Though not much a decolletage was shown due to the dress’ higher cut, the fabric tightened around the chest and marked her curves before finally loosening up at around the knees into a less constricted and more flowing finish. The long dress would have turned your head even if you hadn’t been expecting to see her.

In a word, she was stunning.

And you aren’t the only one to notice. A look so universal that it’s difficult to misinterpret came from the other men in the room. They each asked themselves who was this long-haired beauty? And who was that lucky fool who was with her? You have to admit that it feels good to goad just a little bit.

Patchouli starts again, trying to qualify her apology, but you think it better to move on and go to your table. “Let’s sit so we can talk in peace,” you say with a wink, trying your best not to show just how far from earth your thoughts are.

You signal to one of the staff that you’re ready to be seated. The same waitress as earlier ushers you beyond the curtain. The main room is a respectably-sized rectangular hall with several tables spaced out between the wooden walls and a large window that dominates one end of the room. There’s a view to the park, though there’s not much to see in the dark of evening beyond the few torches the restaurant has set outside. It’s probably the largest single piece of glass in Gensokyo, too, made by someone who found themselves stranded in this land a few decades ago. As far as you know, the restaurant was originally a tavern of sorts. And the glass maker, the original owner, wanted it to be a place where either sunlight or moonlight would provide cheer to his patrons.

Your table is by a corner, snugly out for sight from most of the other diners. The restaurant is mostly full and staff exit and enter from the kitchen from the far wall to deliver food and wine. Soft music is being played – a violinist stands in another corner, playing a gentle melody. The candlelight is purposefully kept somewhat dim, so that each table become a private little island where people can forget everyone else. Patchouli sits opposite you and the waitress hands you a pair of menus, taking the time to talk about what’s freshest. It’s not very interesting but Patchouli accords her the quiet courtesy of hearing her out, occasionally nodding her head.

The waitress leaves you to read the menu and make up your mind. It’s only then that pangs of anxiety strike again. Somehow it seems so unreal to be sitting there – to have Patchouli just opposite you, dressed like she’s taking this date more seriously than you could have ever imagined. She still wore a golden crescent in her hair, though it was now a smaller pin worn to one side which served to keep her hair in place. It was odd to see her not wearing her cap but it induced in you greater appreciation for the fine silken strands of indigo hair. It was just that she was so casual about her appearance normally that seeing her in a new outfit, new light made her incredibly striking.

“You’re staring again,” she says coolly, betraying nothing of what she may have been really thinking. Even her lips were different – she wore a somewhat subdued shade of crimson lipstick. It, like the dark dress, contrasted well with her pale flesh and pronounced her more fleshy and soft bits quite remarkably if you stopped to think about it. But, staring was rude.

“Sorry, I’m just thinking about how lucky I am to have you here,” you say, doing your best not to scratch your head in awkward reflex. “You look absolutely beautiful tonight.”

“Thank you,” she replies with a nod, once again doing a good job of hiding her feelings. But she was not without heart. “It is actually why I was late,” she explains, looking down from the the menu at you with a casual glance, “I had to make a few last minute adjustments to my wardrobe.”

“They were worth the wait,” you say, long since forgetting the despair and anxiety that came from waiting by yourself. “It’s the first time I’ve seen you dressed up and if you were looking to make a good impression, mission accomplished,” you say lightly, trying not to dwell so much on the fact that you could die happy having seen her be so womanly.

“I’ll be sure to tell them that,” she says with a nod.

“’Them’?” you cock an eyebrow.

“Yes, when they learned of our rendezvous, they insisted I try several outfits before going out. I spent most of the afternoon being fussed over, forced to try this and that in order to make an impression on you. For whatever purpose.”

“Ah, so the others-?” you think about the others she could mean. That assistant of hers… and that nosy pair without anything better to do. “I see,” you nod, trying to keep your opinions of others to yourself.

“Personally, I’m not sure it was worth the effort. True lovers are content to know the soul of the other and aren’t too bothered by things like physical appearance,” she says, as if she were reciting a doctrine found on a page of a book. She had read aloud to you on occasion and found that her dispassion and analytical nature were upheld even during the most questionable of materials.

“I guess there’s some truth there,” you say, trying to keep up. Getting flustered won’t do you any good. “If you had shown up in your usually outfit, I still would have been happy to see you.”

“I’m sure,” she said, her eyes showing a queer light. Her words had an uncharacteristically mischievous edge to them, “but it hardly would have been acceptable for me to show up disheveled. And I have to admit the tightness around my chest feels somewhat stimulating; it’s like my breasts are being cupped gently and lovingly by the fabric.”

You try your best not to stare at her chest as she rotates her shoulders slightly. She smiles, though it is awkward, and it seems to you that maybe it was something she was coached to say. Those no-good others, no doubt. But, wait. You’ve never known Patchouli to seek advice, let alone follow the advice of others. Is she also-?

You smile back at her, trying not to show too many of your thoughts on your face. You feign interest in the menu, going through the various items briskly. Sake and noodles is more your speed; this restaurant with its outside world-inspired cuisine is a little daunting to process. Obviously, you need to pick out a wine. That much is obvious. But the other foods? Ossobuco and truffled sauces could be food from another planet entirely insofar you’re concerned. If Patchouli is at all concerned with her choices, she doesn’t show it. She takes a cue from you and reads the menu, studying things like she would any other text before her.

At last, you ask, “is there any sort of thing in particular you’re in the mood to eat?”

“No, nothing,” she forces a smile, “I’ve had my fill just by seeing you tonight.”

“I-”

Patchouli realizes the awkwardness of her statement almost immediately. “Sorry,” she says, “that’s the sort of thing that sounds better in your head after a full afternoon of being pressured.”

“It’s fine,” you tell her, “I think it might be for the best if we both just relax a little.”

“I agree,” she says, her expression relaxing into a more blank and inscrutable state.

Some of the blame for the tension is undoubtedly the circumstances around this date. It’s more than just a simple date. There’s some history here.

[] Your mutual friends thought it’d be a good idea to prod you two along, since you were both the quiet shy type, and so they orchestrated this date.
[] After spending a long time trying to learn magic from her, you made her promise to indulge for an evening if you could learn to cast that spell.

Patchouli coughs quietly into her napkin. “Things on the menu sound appetizing but I wonder how good it could really be. I’m afraid I haven’t tried anything outside of the mansion’s kitchen for quite some time.”

[] You’d never been here before but the food was surely to be good – it was the most popular restaurant in the village for a reason.
[] The food was good, your cousin worked the kitchen. You both learned to cook together and the only reason you didn’t offer to make her a home-cooked meal was the fear that you were coming on too strong.

-
Please choose one from each. And, also, please no write in votes for this story. I’m keeping to a structure that will make sense to you later.
>> No. 192722
[x] Your mutual friends thought it’d be a good idea to prod you two along, since you were both the quiet shy type, and so they orchestrated this date.
[x] The food was good, your cousin worked the kitchen. You both learned to cook together and the only reason you didn’t offer to make her a home-cooked meal was the fear that you were coming on too strong.

Well this is a pleasant surprise.
>> No. 192723
>>192705
>>192712
>>192713
>>192714

Truly, the Cabal is a fearsome foe. It does my heart good to see Anon triumph over this monster.

[X] After spending a long time trying to learn magic from her, you made her promise to indulge for an evening if you could learn to cast that spell.
[X] The food was good, your cousin worked the kitchen. You both learned to cook together and the only reason you didn’t offer to make her a home-cooked meal was the fear that you were coming on too strong.
>> No. 192724
[X] Your mutual friends thought it’d be a good idea to prod you two along, since you were both the quiet shy type, and so they orchestrated this date.


[X] The food was good, your cousin worked the kitchen. You both learned to cook together and the only reason you didn’t offer to make her a home-cooked meal was the fear that you were coming on too strong.

I'd like to think that even if we do end up with a magician harem, it's not because we're a player with good social skills.
>> No. 192725
[X] Your mutual friends thought it’d be a good idea to prod you two along, since you were both the quiet shy type, and so they orchestrated this date.
[X] The food was good, your cousin worked the kitchen. You both learned to cook together and the only reason you didn’t offer to make her a home-cooked meal was the fear that you were coming on too strong.
>> No. 192726
Is Ossobuco that good? Here we literally throw it to the dogs. The smell when I cook it for them doesn't seem that appetizing either.

[x] After spending...

Though choice. I don't see why they couldn't be mixed, but It will make sense later on, I'm sure.

[x] The food was good; your cousin...

I prefer characters in my escape fantasies to be skilled at something-unlike myself. It makes for a more interesting character too.
>> No. 192727
[X] Your mutual friends thought it’d be a good idea to prod you two along, since you were both the quiet shy type, and so they orchestrated this date.
[X] The food was good, your cousin worked the kitchen. You both learned to cook together and the only reason you didn’t offer to make her a home-cooked meal was the fear that you were coming on too strong
>> No. 192733
[X] Your mutual friends thought it’d be a good idea to prod you two along, since you were both the quiet shy type, and so they orchestrated this date.

I see where this is going.

[X] The food was good, your cousin worked the kitchen. You both learned to cook together and the only reason you didn’t offer to make her a home-cooked meal was the fear that you were coming on too strong.
>> No. 192744
[X] Your mutual friends thought it’d be a good idea to prod you two along, since you were both the quiet shy type, and so they orchestrated this date.
[X] You’d never been here before but the food was surely to be good – it was the most popular restaurant in the village for a reason.
>> No. 192749
File 147986266024.jpg - (69.35KB, 300x269, chef-remilia.jpg) [iqdb]
192749
[x] Your mutual friends thought it’d be a good idea to prod you two along, since you were both the quiet shy type, and so they orchestrated this date.
[x] The food was good, your cousin worked the kitchen. You both learned to cook together and the only reason you didn’t offer to make her a home-cooked meal was the fear that you were coming on too strong.

We already had magician apprentice trainwreck route (she was lovely in the last updates) Time for Iron Chef Gensokyo.
>> No. 192776
[z] Your mutual friends thought it’d be a good idea to prod you two along, since you were both the quiet shy type, and so they orchestrated this date.
[e] The food was good, your cousin worked the kitchen. You both learned to cook together and the only reason you didn’t offer to make her a home-cooked meal was the fear that you were coming on too strong.

>>192749
>We already had magician apprentice trainwreck route
Where? I wanna read it...
>> No. 192782
[x] Your mutual friends thought it’d be a good idea to prod you two along, since you were both the quiet shy type, and so they orchestrated this date.
[x] The food was good, your cousin worked the kitchen. You both learned to cook together and the only reason you didn’t offer to make her a home-cooked meal was the fear that you were coming on too strong.

And the cousin in question is Marisa???
>> No. 192792
>>192776
Glass Half Empty, a part of the DEFT series. The story is long and complicated but damn if the occasional payoff isn't worth it.

It stopped before the end so watch out for that.
>> No. 192812
[x] Your mutual friends thought it’d be a good idea to prod you two along, since you were both the quiet shy type, and so they orchestrated this date.
[x] The food was good, your cousin worked the kitchen. You both learned to cook together and the only reason you didn’t offer to make her a home-cooked meal was the fear that you were coming on too strong.
>> No. 192825
[x] Your mutual friends thought it’d be a good idea to prod you two along, since you were both the quiet shy type, and so they orchestrated this date.
[x] The food was good, your cousin worked the kitchen. You both learned to cook together and the only reason you didn’t offer to make her a home-cooked meal was the fear that you were coming on too strong
>> No. 193004
[X] Your mutual friends thought it’d be a good idea to prod you two along, since you were both the quiet shy type, and so they orchestrated this date.
[X] The food was good, your cousin worked the kitchen. You both learned to cook together and the only reason you didn’t offer to make her a home-cooked meal was the fear that you were coming on too strong

I enjoy these choices more due to the humor of both having to be fussed over and pushed onto a date.
>> No. 193005
It’s difficult to be too confident around her. Frankly, it’s even somewhat intimidating to be together like this. The dim lights and the physical proximity are best summed up with a feeling of general intimacy – it threatens to overwhelm what little presence of mind you have cobbled together. There’s a reason that neither of you set this date up.

Still, somehow… somehow you ignore the cold feeling in your hands and dry fluff of cotton in your mouth and make conversation, “don’t worry,” you tell her with what you hope is not a weak smile, “whatever you choose, it’s bound to be good. I know one of the chefs here and she’s really good at her job.”

“Any recommendations in particular?” she asks, peering over the large menu.

“I’m not too sure what’s best,” you confess, explaining, “they specialize in outsider food here. I think I may have mentioned it before but I know how to cook, too, but I’ve only really done traditional dishes. Still, I don’t think you could go wrong with most things on the menu.”

“Hm,” she nods but offers no additional feedback, scanning the menu before her quietly.

You do the same.

By the time the server comes back, though, it seems that the both of you have made up your mind. You order braised pork with a dark, wine-based sauce and steamed vegetables while Patchouli opts for a vegetarian pasta dish. You ask if there’s anything in particular that she would like to drink before ordering a bottle of wine. She doesn’t really offer any input so you trust your gut when picking. It’s more of an outsider’s habit to drink wine so you’re not too sure about the different vintages. You’d probably skip the selection altogether if it wasn’t part of the expectations of dining out in a place like this. The waitress tells you that it’s a good choice but you suspect that she would have said the same thing no matter what you picked.

It’s hard to judge how well things are going. Though you try your best to make small talk, Patchouli isn’t really the type to wear her heart on her sleeve. She nods, interjects and supplements topics as is proper but fails to really show much passion or drive. Still, it’s about what you expect from her. She’s the reserved kind of girl, the type that thinks, broods and shows her favor by allowing you near her. Those hours spent at the library reading quietly in relative proximity were the foundation of your relationship. Though quiet, she is direct, and you’re sure she would have told you to leave her alone if you annoyed her. The fact that she always listened to whatever thoughts you could muster up after finishing a book made you confident that she appreciated talking to you.

You think that people might mistake her for being a little too stoic at times. But nothing could be farther from the truth. She speaks usually only when she has something relevant to say and measures carefully what impact her words have. It just means that she prefers more meaningful exchanges. Though there’s a confidence to her when she speaks, she’s slow to trust that others care about what she has to say. You’ve seen passion in her eyes as she’s explained literary allusions and references to other works and movements; it is in fact a source of endearment that she has opened up at all about the things she really cares about.

Outside of her usual environment, in this social setting, you can tell that she’s somewhat unsure of how to behave. Maybe it’s consideration for your expectations, or maybe it’s whatever her friends have told her, but she hesitates at initiating conversation. As a result, she spends a lot of her time simply staring at your face. Having so much of her concentrated attention makes you feel even more timid. You’re not sure if you’re blushing or not but you’re at least thankful that the candlelight would hide much of your embarrassment. You spend most of your time talking about food – the only topic that you’re kind of knowledgeable about that comes to mind – explaining a little bit about the different food styles that outsiders have.

It’s only later that you realize that she probably already knew about all of that. After all, living in that big, somewhat garish mansion with those maids probably meant that she had been exposed to other cuisines already. It’s not worth dwelling upon too much. As you take a small sip of the wine, you think that she isn’t too terribly bored by you. If she wasn’t interested in hearing your thoughts, you reason, she would have changed the subject.

“You’re smiling,” she notes. ‘Why?’ is the unasked question.

“I’m just happy that you’re here with me,” you say. Corny but true.

As if guessing your earlier thoughts, she teases you in her own subtle way, “we’ve spent dozens of hours at the library together and I’ve never detected this sort of look from you before.”

“It would have looked weird if I was smiling while reading,” you joke.

“Yes, perhaps I would have thought you a fool.” Patchouli muses idly, inviting you to jump in at any moment, “I’m sure if I smiled so freely you would question my intentions.”

“It’s not nice to play with my heart like that,” you say, trying not to be intimidated too much by the thought of her being more expressive, “you’re purposefully trying to make me think of the love interest in that last novel I read. I don’t think for a moment that you’d lead me to ruin like that.”

“Hoh, is that what I was doing?” she pauses for a moment and – there it is – smiles coyly. It has a sharp impact on your mental state, like you know that she calculated, and quickens your pulse. “I’m just following some advice I got from a friend,” she tells you, holding that smile for a few moments longer before returning to her more natural state.

“I bet it’s all Marisa’s fault,” you complain playfully, trying not to let on just how agog you are, “she always makes fun but I know for a fact that she borrows all those trashy romance novels from the library. Fills her head with nonsense.”

“Who knows?” Patchouli says quietly. She drinks some of her wine and looks towards the incoming waitress. Your food is ready.

Though it’s hard to keep forcing yourself to try so hard, you know that you should keep the ball rolling when it comes to conversation. With Patchouli, there’s little risk that she will reject any of your thoughts outright. She’s proven that so far. So long as you’re earnest, things will be fine.

[] Talk about shared interests and experiences you have in common.
[] Bring up dreams and hopes for the future.
>> No. 193006
[x] Bring up dreams and hopes for the future.

Both are good, but they probably covered the other topic in earlier talks. And this is as earnest as it gets, anyway.
>> No. 193007
[x] Bring up dreams and hopes for the future.

You and Patchouli aren't complete strangers, I don't see why you should go for the other one.
>> No. 193008
[X] Bring up dreams and hopes for the future.

They've probably already discussed things in common earlier, but hopes and dreams are something I'd expect those on a date to talk about.
>> No. 193009
[x] Bring up dreams and hopes for the future.
>> No. 193011
[x] Bring up dreams and hopes for the future.
>> No. 193013
[x] Talk about shared interests and experiences you have in common.

Just feel that starting out with that might not be the best move.
>> No. 193014
[x] Bring up Hopes and Dreams for the future.
>> No. 193019
That was nice. Very nice.

[X] Talk about shared interests and experiences you have in common.

I'm fine with either choice winning.
>> No. 193023
[ze] Bring up Hopes and Dreams for the future.

Something nice to talk about during a date.
>> No. 193032
[x] Talk about shared interests and experiences you have in common.

This adds some background that the other choice doesn't give. Talking to Patchouli about hopes and dreams seems too blunt; that's more of a Marisa or Alice thing.
>> No. 193088
File 148106959584.jpg - (160.14KB, 708x1000, contemplations under moon and stars.jpg) [iqdb]
193088
It is pleasing to confirm that the food served is indeed good and not just the result of over-inflated marketing. You have no real complaints with your meal, finding the meat to be tender and the sauce pretty different than most of the food you’re used to. There’s definitely something to outsider cuisine – you wouldn’t have thought that that many types of onions used together could have a harmonious result. From what Patchouli says, it seems she’s happy with her meal, too.

It’s the wine that deserves most of the praise, however. You drink to steady your nerves as you try to talk to her about whatever comes to mind. It’s a balancing act, however, and you’re painfully aware how you can’t really use it as too much of a crutch. Thankfully, either because she feels similarly to you or just really enjoys the stuff, Patchouli matches your enthusiasm for the wine closely. By the time that you’re done eating, the bottle is empty and there’s only a finger’s worth in either glass.

With a twinkle in her eye, Patchouli makes a remark while holding the wineglass by its stem, “I never thought that the people of this land would take on the customs of the outside.”

“There’s nothing wrong with learning to appreciate new things,” you say, thinking of yourself and your experiences.

She stares at your face for a moment, her lips slightly parted, as if she’s going to say something. About you. Her eyes lock into yours and for a moment you feel that you can almost understand the message without the need of any words. The moment ends before it can really begin. She stays silent and, instead, shakes her head slightly and brings the glass to her lips, finishing the last of the wine.

The waitress returns to offer you dessert. Patchouli asks a question about a torte but then opts not to ask for anything. You likewise don’t get anything, choosing instead to spend a few more moments soaking in the mellow atmosphere of the restaurant before settling the bill.

It’s gotten late. The sound of music and conversation fade into the distance as you leave the restaurant. The village is quiet, with few lights still visible in a few windows. Even the nocturnal birds and insects seem to have gone away and a soft breeze that rustles the branches of a few trees are the only reminder that somehow the world hasn’t been frozen perfectly still.

Patchouli keeps close as you take a stroll together through the park. Save for a few comments about how she enjoyed the meal and your company, she has been quiet. The quarter moon seem to hang lower than usual in the sky and breaks occasionally through cloud cover to cast some if its silver light on the path ahead. The way forward leads out of the village and inevitable separation and so you take your time to talk and walk.

In starts and fits, you continue the topic that you were discussing in the restaurant. “I’m still not buying that there’s nothing that you’d want to be different in your life,” you say, “everyone has their dreams, big or small.”

“What are yours?” she asks, staring at you implacably.

“This right now is part of it,” you say with an all-too-self-aware chuckle.

“Hm, I believe you’re avoiding the question,” she observes.

“You did it first,” you object with a smile. “Besides, I covered some of the basics earlier. It’s your turn now.”

There were a few things that you told her that should have come as no surprise to her. Silly things like being able to have the time to one day a nice personal library of your own. Then there were slightly more serious things, like your growing curiosity for the world around you. Since meeting her and others like her, it really felt like the world was full of more questions than answers. Knowing a few more things would be nice. And finally, though she said nothing, the interest you showed in magic was something that was undeniable. It wasn’t something you talked much about, but it was something you had in common. But it wasn’t something that you felt too comfortable asking her about, for reasons you couldn’t quite explain.

“I am perfectly content with how things are,” Patchouli says, looking up at the clouds and moon. She takes a deep breath, enjoying the cool evening air. Perhaps she was being honest, you think. There seemed to be a sameness to her daily routine. If it wasn’t for your visits, or those of your mutual friends, you suspect that she’d spend weeks without talking to anyone. Those books of hers were her life and she pursued her research and experiments whenever and however she pleased.

“I guess that’s what makes you special,” you say with a shrug, explaining, “so long as you have your books and your space, things are fine.”

“Basically, yes,” she nods. “Being so… lively and distracted by the day to day, like all the people here… that’s not for me. A cup of tea, a good book and perhaps a little rain hitting the window outside is more or less the best I can imagine.”

“If it’s sunny out, you can always make a bit of your own rain. A small indoor rain cloud ought to be no trouble at all.”

A slight smile forms on her lips. She stops and faces you, “yes, I suppose I always can. And...” she pauses, her face becoming tense. With the long shadows of night, her whole complexion seems to have a greater air of mystery to it. If you were to reach out and touch her, you feel like you’d be jolted by dark energies. It’s an enervating thought, but one that makes your heart beat faster in anticipation of her next words.

“...well,” she continues, looking slightly at a loss for words, “there are some merits to having companionship from time to time. That warrants mention.”

“Is that so?” you ask, rather dumbly when you think about it.

“It can be too overwhelming to have it be a constant pressure,” she explains, “and others have expectations of oneself which can be problematic to reconcile with reality. That can be a major problem. But… from time to time, it can be agreeable.”

“I think I understand what you’re saying,” you tell her with a nod. A sulky smile, a standard pose, sultry eyes… these things would be too much to expect from her. Not even all the combined force of all our friends together could get her to act so… for lack of a better word, coquettish. Doubt wracks you. Is it an opportunity? Or are you projecting too many of your hopes and dreams onto the moment?

[] Take hold of her hand.
[] Don’t be forceful, give her space.

It didn’t really matter what happened, you thought. This had been a fine evening – one that you couldn't have imagined would have happened if not for the help of the others. You’d have to congratulate your cousin too, you think to yourself, especially if she had worked on sorting out the menu. But all that was dancing around the central issues. You were still having difficulty being honest to each other. The real kind of honesty that really mattered. But you knew that if you focused too much on one thing or the other, you could easily lose the plot.

[] It was important that she really understood how much of an important impact she had in your life.
[] You wanted to know more about her perspective, her feelings and what she truly thought of you.
>> No. 193089
[z] Take hold of her hand.
[e] It was important that she really understood how much of an important impact she had in your life.

Opening up with her is required yep. And she is often alone in the library like she said. A bit of closeness seems nice here.
>> No. 193090
[X] Don’t be forceful, give her space.
[X] You wanted to know more about her perspective, her feelings and what she truly thought of you.

So many difficult choices.
>> No. 193091
[ø] Don’t be forceful, give her space.
[ø] It was important that she really understood how much of an important impact she had in your life.

So I'm not sure whether she'd appreciate physical closeness, but I want her to know how important she is to us regardless.
>> No. 193095
[X] Don’t be forceful, give her space.
[X] You wanted to know more about her perspective, her feelings and what she truly thought of you.

oh hey teru i know youre running two stories right now but have you ever thought about continuing your noir story sometime in the future?
>> No. 193097
[x] Take hold of her hand.
[x] It was important that she really understood how much of an important impact she had in your life.

I have a feeling she wouldn't mind and that it goes well with the other choice I chose.
>> No. 193098
[x] Don’t be forceful, give her space.
[x] It was important that she really understood how much of an important impact she had in your life.
>> No. 193105
[x] Hold her hand

Both good choices. I'm aware she just said that it can be too overwhelming to have it a constant pressure, but this is for today only. I don't think hand holding is pushing it too much. What I think it is, is somewhat charming, flirty and a good sign of his feelings, since he seems to be worried about that kind of honesty. Which leads me to...


[x] You wanted to know more about her perspective, her feelings and what she truly thought of you.

In this case, both are terrible options. One is demanding and hasty, for a first date; whereas the other is self centered and too grandiose.

I choose this one because she mentioned that she often felt pressured to match up to the perception that others have of her. So how about asking her about her real self and move on from it?
>> No. 193106
>>193105
Here. Changing votes, but leaving that up. Maybe the arguments help someone. Help someone to have a laugh that is.

[x] Give her space.

She mentioned feeling pressured before five seconds ago. No matter how I rationalize it, the message is clear as day: slow down. Also, again: first date.

However, if he would not show his feelings with actions, he may have to go the cheaper road and babble about them:

[x] It was important...

After thinking about it, I realized that, in this context, asking about her feelings is akin to doing what she hates: asking her to match the Patchouli in our imagination. Again, since she just said that she did not like that, I believe that being unassuming, and clarifying our feelings will work best, previous objections withstanding.

Having such a hard time picking a choice is usually a good thing, but I don't care for this feeling : I have the preconception that there are clear "good" and "bad" choices (they cease to be relative terms if there is a clear objective) and I'm not picking it. Am I overthinking this?
>> No. 193107
>>193106
>Am I overthinking this?
Nah, you're totally right that there are 'good' and 'bad' choices if you have a clear objective. It's not really the point of the story to have you 'succeed' (read: get a girlfriend, eventually get married and have sex for the solely for the purposes of procreation - sick stuff like that) but drastically different outcomes will definitely happen depending on which choices you go with. So stuff like level of intimacy and related actions, when/where the evening ends and your/her attitude towards each other at the end heavily depend on what you pick. So trying to be "safe" or aimless will get you nowhere. Approaching with a goal is a sane way to go about things. Also, you have to keep in mind that each magician is their own person and will react differently to the same stimuli. I know it's both somehow cryptic and obvious, but it's something that will become ever clearer as the story progresses. Just think how Marisa would have reacted to a discussion about hopes and dreams instead and how that may have triggered different developments, for example. It's a shame I can't really vote, I have some really strong personal biases and clear objectives I'd have as a reader.

>>193095
I wouldn't mind reviving or running more things. For a very long time I've wanted to do more on the site. My general limitation, however, is lack of interest from others. I simply cannot do more writing if I don't have the votes. I've had to drop stories due to lack of interest before and it really, really sucked and I still feel terrible about never being able to finish things that were still fun for me. It's frustrating as hell to watch less and less people make an effort to vote or engage you with comments and not be able to do anything about it. This is why, from a writer's perspective, THP is flatlining. And even if you have silly things that are sure to get attention (like the beginning of this story) or your writing is good and your ideas interesting, it's basically impossible to keep audiences interesting, engaged and voting. Doubly so if you're on a non-/th/ board. If you look at how each update here there's been a progressive downtick in the amount of votes (and we're, what? 4 updates in) I think you can see how it'd be even harder to keep an audience for a more niche story on another board.

So if you want me to write more and possibly revive older stuff, you have to prove there's more interest than apathy in the user base. Vote regularly and comment/discuss stuff in stories (not just mine, I subscribe to the theory that a rising tide raises all boats when it comes to activity). Motivate others to do so as well. Also it's easier for me to gauge how solid interest is and build a coalition through IRC, so feel free to pop on #eientei on rizon and talk to me (nick is Zer00 because reasons but you can also nickalert me with teruyo and teru). I idle there 24/7 and you can expect me to see most of what's said and reply to things more often sooner than later.
>> No. 193108
File 148112988889.jpg - (137.57KB, 850x715, sample_55e467e0391d70f0cdf95449fe36290dbfac1a06.jpg) [iqdb]
193108
>I know it's both somehow cryptic and obvious, but it's something that will become ever clearer as the story progresses

On the contrary, I believe it was anything but. You explicitly said "Being safe will lead you nowhere" this means that my idea that taking things slow with someone whom is not only in a first date but had gone out of her way to mention how badly she deals with pressure is mistaken.

I'd often be angry, because those were valid points, but I realize now that I had trouble with the choices because both are valid, to an extent. In this case, ignoring the word of God would be a great mistake.

With that in mind, I change, again, my votes to [x] Hold her hand and [x] It was important...
I think I have given enough reasons foe both options at this point.

tl;dr: PICK THE GODDAMN BOLD OPTION ANON. GREEN MEANS "GO" YELLOW MEANS "GO FASTER" AND PURPLE MEANS "PATCHOULI ROUTE MOTHERFUCKER"
>> No. 193119
[X] Don’t be forceful, give her space.
[X] You wanted to know more about her perspective, her feelings and what she truly thought of you.
>> No. 193376
A breeze coming down from the direction of the lake brought a slight chill to the otherwise crisp evening air. Already clear of the mass of homes and shops in the village center, you can’t help but feel just a little exposed under the quiet of the starlight. Less friendly youkai lurk beyond the nearby fields, beyond the patch of civilization afforded by the village. It’s not like you’re worried for your life or anything – even discounting your meager abilities you’re with someone who can handle most threats – but it’s a world that you don’t quite understand.

The distance between you and the glob of lights in the village seems a lot shorter than the distance between you and the girl standing right next to you.

As the conversation dies down, ideas exhausted, there’s not much else that comes to the fore of thought. Patchouli is quiet, contemplative maybe, and definitely inscrutable. Despite whatever hopes and dreams you may have been projecting just earlier, all you can project now is unease and doubt that stems from a scattershot attempts to connect all evening.

“It’s gotten late,” she says, her words heavy with certain connotations.

“I suppose it has,” you say dumbly, trying to figure out how to proceed next. You start to walk towards her home, though there’s little chance you’ll cover all the distance together. It’s faster to fly but there’s no need to acknowledge the fact out loud.

She matches your deliberate pace without complaint, following your lead as she has for most of the evening. There’s little that you can pry from her with just words. It’s not that she avoids answering questions, but she doesn’t freely volunteer what she is thinking and feeling. The evening is agreeable to her; what’s clearly discernible is that she’s not uncomfortable nor unwilling. You’re certain that she would have made it known if she didn’t approve of something. She was more than willing to be incisive and stern in the library if someone upset the quiet order.

“It was an interest change of pace,” she says with a nod. It’s a response to something you say about the evening. A prodding remark about what she enjoyed the most gets another response, “the scenery today has been varied.”

“I’ve been wondering what you made of all of this all night long,” you say, repeating an recurring theme in your conversational hooks, “so I’m glad it at least wasn’t a bad experience for you.”

“I would have returned to the mansion immediately if that were the case,” she said quietly, with just enough of a pause that made it seem like it was her way of lightening up the mood with a joke.

“Good to know I avoided that heartbreak,” you say with an exaggerated sigh.

She turns to look at you and places a hand on her hip. A soft ‘hmm’ escapes her lips but she offers no other comment. Her steps quicken, almost to a light trot, and she keeps ahead of you on the dirt road for a little while. Cloaked in the shadows, her figure is harder to see the more distance she gains. Conversely, things off to the horizon become easier to see. In the dark of night the lights of the large lakeside mansion glimmer like a faint candle.

You sigh and catch up to her.

“I suppose that you’re running away from me?”

“The thought had crossed my mind,” she stops, her voice light and wheezy. “There’s more efficient ways to do so,” she reassured me.

“Then exercise after a hearty meal?” You ask.

“A flight of fancy,” she says, just the hint of a smile on her lips. But it’s gone soon enough and replaced by stoic normalcy as she catches her breath.

The fields that you had been walking past are all gone now. The lights from the village are distant and mostly obscured by vegetation and sloping terrain. Likewise, the light from the mansion and the other civilized places of Gensokyo are missing. You’re in the middle of nowhere. Save for Patchouli’s soft breathing, it’s also completely silent. If you didn’t know any better, you would say that it was her plan to be with you all alone in the wilderness. But given how passive she’s been, that’s surely just your own flight of fancy leading you astray. And you’ve resisted getting too carried away at each turn as well. It’s only natural – your friends are really responsible for setting things in motion - all that you hoped to accomplish tonight is to avoid messing up.

It’s time to call it a night. That much is obvious even to you.

You would be seeing her at the library, as usual, sometime soon.

[] Spending time together, reading the books recommended was more than fine.
[] Borrowing all sorts of different things to read at home could be nice too.

-
Let's see if we can finish the story by the end of the month. With less votes each update, waiting seems to be a losing proposition.
>> No. 193377
[X] Spending time together, reading the books recommended was more than fine.

Was it the right choice? Was it the wrong choice? Only time will tell I suppose.
>> No. 193378
[X] Spending time together, reading the books recommended was more than fine.
>> No. 193380
Afraid I'm not seeing the choice here. [ ] No 2hu Vs [ ] 2hu? Well, duh.
[x] Spending time together, reading the books recommended was more than fine.

I'm assuming this is the "silent companionable reading side by side" kind of together, not something more fatiguing.
>> No. 193383
[x] Spending time together...

While I see the idea that absence makes the heart grow fonder, I think that it is something that only applies to a more robust relationship.
>> No. 193384
[X] Spending time together, reading the books recommended was more than fine.
>> No. 193385
File 14833060462.png - (12.63KB, 150x181, as relevant today.png) [iqdb]
193385
>>193377
I don't think the consequences of choices could be any clearer unless I came to your house, tied you to a chair, forced your eyes open a la Clockwork Orange and looped a series of quotes from updates in front of you.

>>193380
>not seeing the choice here.
You're ignoring the whole context of the vote and what has happened and been said until now, then.
>> No. 193386
[ze] Spending time together, reading the books recommended was more than fine.
>> No. 193387
>>193376

>less votes each update?

What?? This is like...the 3rd most popular story on the site, behind Forest Mix and Kurodani Yamame's Human Has no Game.

[X] Borrowing all sorts of different things to read at home could be nice too.

Patch isn't the kind of girlfriend who want's someone dotting on her all day. I really feel like she's more about fleeting flights of fancy interspaced within the safety of routine.
>> No. 193389
>>193387
Scroll up and check for yourself. Last three updates, ordered from most recent to less, got 8, 10 and 14 respectively. Progressively less as time goes on, despite waiting for longer periods of time for votes. If this is the third most popular story, as claimed, then the site is indeed in a sorry state.

I don't plan to fudge things or hold the reader's hand here like maybe I would in other longer, more complex, stories. So however you fuck up, it's solely on you. Everything you need to know is in the text; if you're projecting anything extraneous on situations or characters, you're going to have a bad time. Well, I am as well, because it's frustrating to watch voters not talking to one another or thinking critically. But because the story is short I'll shut up from now on and just deal with the depressing state of affairs until its end. Since it's New Years, I'm at least waiting until tomorrow before adopting a more merciless pace for updates.
>> No. 193390
>>193389

>thinking critically

Where the heck is this coming from? Whatever happened to "follow your hearts and all will be well"?
>> No. 193392
>>193390
Still applies, in particular to the first post and waifu tribalism generally. But it doesn't mean that you can ignore what's actually *happening* and *being said* in a story. You can follow your heart in choosing where you want things to go but that doesn't mean that you should ignore how you're going to get there. That's what thinking is for and it's not mutually exclusive with desire at all. An example is that you can proclaim your undying love for whomever you want, but unless you can make others believe it's genuine or set up a situation where things can progress, you're not getting anywhere.
>> No. 193393
>>193392

Why make the choice/consequence dynamic so blindingly obvious if you want critical thinking and discussion?
>> No. 193399
Sunset and sunrise are the two most important moments of the day in the village. The sun controls when the fields are worked, when shops are open and when the streets are full of conversation and laughter. It’s the rare few, mostly outsiders and the perpetually bored and inquisitive that have much excuse to go about their business after dark. Whatever opportunity there may be at night is eclipsed by the danger of things unknown. So, naturally, most villagers don’t know much else but that never-ending routine of sunrise and sunset.

That said, there’s plenty of satisfaction that can be found in the routine. The day-to-day is so much easier to digest when you have clear expectations of what is going to happen to you. It can even feel a little liberating not having to worry about anything new most of the time.

There’s not much on your mind when you return home that night. As the days go by and the memories of fancy meals, dresses and hair become less vivid, there’s nothing left but absolute normalcy. No pressure or anxiety clouds your heart and thoughts. Whatever curiosity you may held held, and once cajoled her about, subsides as routine takes over.

As you were used to doing, you continue to visit the library from time to time. Usually when you have nothing else to do. You’re always welcome there, you feel, and most of your time is spent quietly reading whatever it is that Patchouli recommends or has prepared for you. It doesn’t feel right to impose on her any more than that. And forget wanting any more attention – it’s selfish to expect her to break away from her books and from her own routine. Whatever she shares with you during those rare moments of conversation is usually brief and almost always about something you just read. It’s an agreeable state of affairs, dignified and quiet but also cozy.

You friends, the ones that broke the route in the first place, push and try to upset the cart for a while. Mostly by attempting to goad Patchouli. She rises above the bait nearly always, however, and often underscores that there is nothing wrong with spending the occasional day doing nothing but reading. You’re the subject of some teasing, too, but eventually the jokes stop as they come to accept that you’re happy with the way things are.

Whatever else they may think about the situation, nothing’s really changed with them either. The time you spend with them outside of the library and whenever they’re in the village is about as fun as ever.

****

The acrid smell of that incense fills your nostrils as you inhale. It feels like there’s enough of it inside of you that by now it’s cushioning all of your internal organs with its dense smoke. Your head certainly feels as light as a feather and your brain is surrounded by softness.

The soft light ahead still demands most of your attention. That is, at least until she speaks. Her voice penetrates past the light and fog and directly into your brain. “There’s quite a lot we could say about you now,” she states, the amusement palpable in her words.

“...” you say nothing, but a smile forms on your lips. Yeah, you want to know what she thinks about all that. It’s only natural. But still, part of you feels that all this attention given to you is a little unwarranted.

“Still,” she continues, probably sporting a smile to match your own, “this is all about having all the facts, isn’t it? So maybe we should let you keep at it.”

“What else do you want to know?” you ask, your voice just a little bit hoarse. You clear your throat. If you had anything else you wanted to ask, it’s forgotten amid the feeling of receding from the world.

“Whatever you wish to share about the others,” she says, placing a hand on your shoulder from behind. “It is a rather unusual opportunity, however, don’t you think?”

“Yeah, those other three… they’re important too,” you say, nodding happily in agreement. You’re comfortably numb to the weight of reality. This is the most important thing you can be doing, anyhow.

“If you’ve had enough already...” she drops her voice to a whisper, only coming through in waves, “...we can… together…and then… decide which is best.”

[] Share something about one of the remaining three.
[] There was already enough for a decision.


-
>>193393
I'm not sure what you're trying to say there. Unless you're questioning the very concept of the utility of informed decisions and discussion based on existing data and educated guesses (ie: applied critical thinking) for some reason.
>> No. 193400
[ze] Share something about one of the remaining three.
>> No. 193403
[X] Share something about one of the remaining three.

I have already made my decision, but I wonder if something would change it.
>> No. 193404
[X] There was already enough for a decision.

I think we've got enough of the facts to proceed.
>> No. 193410
[x] Share something...

Not even close. We still have to talk about the best magician: Mima!
I'm sure it is her favorite subject anyway
>> No. 193428
>>193410

It sure would be pretty awkward if they were discussing the latest batch of book recommendations. Just sayin.
>> No. 193430
>>193428
I like to think this is a continuation of my favorite story.
I know it is wishful thinking but... I choose to dream. Until the next update at least.
>> No. 193431
You take a deep breath and concentrate. As you close your eyes, you focus on the image beyond the light. The smokey haze of your mind begins to clear. You relax, feeling a smile appearing on your lips. Your thoughts turn to the familiar.

I’m early.

It’s a thought that’s annoyingly hard to dismiss. Logic threatens to reach some sort of conclusion from that fact. Specifically, it’s the sort of conclusion that makes you feel like an over-eager idiot. So you keep telling yourself that you are just being reasonably prudent.

At least it’s somewhat comforting to know that you’re not the only one that’s arrived ahead of time. Groups are crowding the reception area, overflowing into the street outside. There is small talk and the facade of patience, but the air is tinged with anxiety and uncertainty. A young girl in uniform keeps the throng at bay, patiently repeating the same excuse over and over again with a practiced smile.

From the back of the crowd, the news eventually filters to you: there was a mix up with the afternoon delivery of produce but it is being sorted out. The kitchen will soon be working again. Everyone will be seated when that happens.

You think of going around back to see if it’s the truth. You’ve got time to kill before the time you agreed to meet. Besides, your cousin works in the kitchen, and you’re sure that she’ll get you to the front of the queue if she knows you’re eating there tonight. Or even possibly cook you something special that’s not on the menu. You can just picture her flashing her usual cheery smile, telling you that that’s what family is for.

Leaning up against one of the walls, you cross your arms, acting nonchalant. Though it keeps getting harder and harder to deny that just maybe you won’t get a table unless you pull some strings, you try to keep the faith. After all, the restaurant has plenty of tables. Though you realize it’s really silly to keep thinking about this as you kill time, it’s still better than being worked up over the obvious.

She looked into your eyes when she promised that she would come. That inspired confidence. But still, given that she associated herself with youkai so often, there was a chance she could get caught up in something outside of her control. Sure, she could handle herself so you weren’t worried about her safety. A date, however, was a much more susceptible to disruption.

It seems that things may get moving soon. A couple is led away to be seated. Collective relief ripples through the crowd.

You look out to the street and see her approach. Seems like she’s a little bit early too.

Since the evening has just barely started, you feel that a little improvisation is in order.

Waving your hand, you greet…

[] Alice
[] Byakuren
[] Marisa

And decide to…

[] Check in with your cousin and enjoy the best service they can offer.
[] Suggest a change of venue. Make her a home-cooked meal instead.

--------
I’ll only consider the second vote after there’s a winner for the first one. This is because different characters react to situations in their own way. And things can play out in varied depending on the choices made. And so only in effect you’re only voting to stay or go with that particular character.
>> No. 193435
[X] Byakuren
[X] Suggest a change of venue. Make her a home-cooked meal instead.

We've already got necroanon for Byakuren romance, but I want to see how this plays out.
>> No. 193436
[z] Byakuren
[e] Suggest a change of venue. Make her a home-cooked meal instead.

I really want to see Byakuren in this.
>> No. 193438
File 148363000842.jpg - (194.63KB, 937x502, 129338858577.jpg) [iqdb]
193438
[x] Marisa
[x] Home made

Both the second option and the intro fits her best. BEST GRILL

>All those Byakuren votes
Come on...
>> No. 193439
[x] Marisa
[x] Home made

PISSING AGAINST THE TIDE

A MAN'S WAY
>> No. 193440
[X] Marisa
[X] Suggest a change of venue. Make her a home-cooked meal instead.
>> No. 193448
[X] Byakuren
[X] Suggest a change of venue. Make her a home-cooked meal instead.

I love ties.
>> No. 193451
[x] Byakuren
[x] Suggest a change of venue. Make her a home-cooked meal instead.

I love breaking ties in favor of Best Nun.
>> No. 193453
[X] Marisa
[X] Suggest a change of venue. Make her a home-cooked meal instead.

Everybody try to make as little noise as possible so the you-know-who brigade stays in their basements.
>> No. 193454
[x] Byakuren
[x] Suggest a change of venue. Make her a home-cooked meal instead.

I've just been rather busy the last few weeks; holiday hell at work and all.
>> No. 193464
[x] Byakuren
[x] Suggest a change of venue. Make her a home-cooked meal instead.
>> No. 193473
[x] Marisa
[x] Suggest a change of venue. Make her a home-cooked meal instead.

Time for best magician now.
>> No. 193474
[X] Marisa
[X] Home cooked meal.
>> No. 193475
File 148378225487.jpg - (249.25KB, 1920x1080, votes please.jpg) [iqdb]
193475
g-guys..I'm sorry for whatever I did wrong. I promise I c-can do better...
>> No. 193476
[X] Alice
[X] Check in with your cousin and enjoy the best service they can offer.
Pity vote.
>> No. 193479
File 148382709666.jpg - (199.76KB, 636x960, __kirisame_marisa_and_mima_touhou_and_touhou_pc_98.jpg) [iqdb]
193479
Why is this even a contest? We all know who is best magician, right?
>> No. 197188
Teruyo, what about this one? Any updates on the way?
>> No. 198638
File 15186508673.png - (646.81KB, 796x1103, no this isn't it.png) [iqdb]
198638
I’ll only consider the second vote after there’s a winner for the first one. This is because different characters react to situations in their own way. And things can play out in varied depending on the choices made. And so only in effect you’re only voting to stay or go with that particular character.

“You’re staring at me like a lost soul, is something the matter?” she asks softly, her voice preternaturally soft, almost lost in the background noise. Typical of her, she is concerned for you. Caring, perhaps a little more so than was warranted for an initial exchange. You know that her words were meant for you alone but, should they have been heard by others, it would not displease her.

“Nothing is the matter,” you tell her with a smile. “I’m glad to see you, that’s all.”

She scans your face with an unguarded smile. As usual, you can’t tell what she’s thinking. Those soft but intense eyes of hers seem to absorb all your thoughts. They fill with a fantastic energy, irrepressibly positive, as she reaches a conclusion. “And I’m glad to see you,” she says with a nod, “I hope I haven’t kept you waiting.”

“Not at all, I’ve only just arrived,” you tell her, gears whirring in your head.

If you’re at a slight loss for words, it’s only natural.

Anyone would be having a hard time centering himself if he saw her as she was now: the clothes she normally wore—flowing, thick and comparatively plain—were nowhere to be seen. In their stead, she wore something light and nimble, a tone in between lilac and a misty blue but with hints of ochre near the final hem at the bottom. In the dark of evening, it seemed to make her seem otherworldly, so was the way that light shimmered ever so slightly off the fabric. It was sleeveless, at top ending with delicate crisscrossed straps, and showed off her long and dignified arms. The material was smartly cut and sown, betraying no obvious lines where the fabric had been stitched together. It was neither too form-fitting or loose, instead subtly accentuating hips and bosom without drawing too much attention to either. The dress ended without scandal, sensibly, at knee-height where it was hemmed with a soft-looking frills with a white fabric.

In a word, she was stunning.

And you aren’t the only one to notice. A look so universal that it’s difficult to misinterpret came from the other men in the room. They each asked themselves who was this long-haired beauty? And who was that lucky fool who was with her? You have to admit that it feels good to goad just a little bit.

Byakuren starts again, trying to say something about the wait ahead of you. But you have other plans. “It looks like we may be waiting a while yet,” you tell her, trying to sound cool and collected, “would a change of plans be alright with you?”

It takes a simple nod for you to see that she doesn’t mind the alterations. As it’s spontaneous, you don’t have anything particularly in mind but it doesn’t seem that she minds. You exchange a few words about what kind of food she prefers as you walk from the restaurant towards your home. The lights and excitement die down as the village is mostly quiet. Barely any shops would still be open and most people would be gathered in their homes or at a bar. You look at the nearby park and almost think of walking alongside it, to set a mood. But there’s little point to that and navigating the maze of similar-looking homes takes more precedence.

Your home is on the second floor of the store your family runs. There’s no one else living there at the moment and so you lead the way confidently, biding her to follow. There’s not much to impress a guest, either, as the living quarters of a single man tends to place a premium on practicality. The small table you keep by the rear window has a view out towards the direction of the fields and lake. It’s a cozy little nook that you love best during rainy days and one that will do nicely for this encounter. You light a few candles and ask forgiveness for the messy state of the other rooms. If she has any objections, she keeps them to herself, politely telling you that it’s quite alright and that she’s more than happy to be seated there.

You leave the door to the small kitchen open as you talk to her. Pangs of anxiety strike as you as you talk to her, trying to keep her entertained as you get to work. Not having anything prepared beforehand, you can’t help but feel on some level that asking her to your home was too rash a decision. She is patient, yes, but there is little to build up an atmosphere as you need to start the cooking process. Music would have been a nice touch, if you could somehow had managed it. You open up a bottle of wine that was gifted to you long ago and pour her a drink. An appetizer, you explain, while offering her a few simple rice crackers. She thanks you and tells you to sit down for a moment so that you may enjoy a glass together.

It’s strange seeing her like this. Her normal good nature shines through with the casual smile she shows after she takes a sip from the wine. Candlelight casts a few shadows on her face, making it so a contrast forms with some of her more feminine features, like her long eyelashes and the rest of her face. There’s nothing about her that says holy woman or monk—besides the dress that would be inappropriate for meditation, the lack of prayer beads makes her seem less like that inspirational leader and more like, well, a normal woman. The long strands of her hair were more than ever interesting to look at, the transition between darker and lighter color all the more alluring. The casual, unpretentious nature of her appearance made her all the more striking.

“You’re staring again,” she says with a light giggle, before bringing the glass closer to her lips again. It was then you notice something that you have never seen on her before—lipstick. It was a fleshy, between yellow and pink tone but one that added more to the contrast that you had been observing. It complemented both dress and hair, an in-between that made you focus and almost obsess. But, staring was rude.

“Sorry, I’m just thinking about how lucky I am to have you here, “you say, doing your best not to scratch your head in awkward reflex. “You look absolutely beautiful tonight.”

“Thank you, “ she replies with a nod, once again doing a good job of looking humbled by my attention. “I was worried that it was perhaps too much,” she explained, swirling the dark liquid in her glass in front of the candlelight and watching it refract the light, “it took me a long while to decide what to were and a lot longer to make all the necessary adjustments.”

“They were worth the wait,” you say, pushing aside the ever-present anxiety inside you. “It’s the first time I see you dressed up and I don’t think it’s possible for you to make a better impression than you have already.” It’s an awkward sentence and sentiment both, but it feels like you could die happy after tonight.

“They’ll be glad to hear it,” she says softly, “ever since they learned of our plans, they insisted I try to look as pretty as possible.” Byakuren laughs, adding “I honestly thought they went too far in places with some of the things they made me try,”

“Ah, so all the others-?” you think about who she could mean. That priest-in-training, the other youkai in the temple… those were the likeliest suspects. You would thank them silently if you weren’t also sure that they may have perverted Byakuren’s expectations by being too eager to help out.

“If you are enjoying my look, I suppose it was worth it, “ she says, “but I’m really not vain to begin with… obsessing about looks has always seemed like a folly.”

Her words enough to remind you of her true nature, that of a the leader of a temple. It tenses you up, as you’re not quite sure how to break the ice between you anymore. You excuse yourself in order to continue cooking, not before adding, “I would have been happy to see you even if you had just shown up in your normal clothes.”

“Maybe, but change can be a good thing sometimes,” she says. “Though I do feel a little self-conscious about this dress. I’m tempted to meditate and forget all early desires just to put myself at ease.”

“Oh, you better not do that,” you joke, “I’d hate to see you not try my meal.”

“Don’t worry, I’m open to all sorts of new experiences tonight,” she says casually, softly, her words once again almost lost before they reach your ears. A nearly impossible feat given how quiet an evening it is. You try not to look at her, aware that your mind has already gone to places which may not be entirely appropriate. It is unlikely that she means it in the way you may wish in your heart of hearts she does.

You keep quiet, steadily chopping and preparing as best you can. On such short notice, without much in the way of ingredients, you settle for a simple but hearty stew. It’s something that you feel that you can make well and not something that’s easy to mess up.


After you refill her glass with some more wine and join her to talk some more, you think a little about your present relationship. There’s tension in the air and some of that is due to your history your history together. Another part of it is how events culminated in this date.

[] Your mutual friends thought it’d be a good idea to prod you two along, since a combination of shyness and dedication to work made it frustrating for them to watch. So they orchestrated this date.
[] After spending a long time studying under her at the temple, and one time witnessing her use of magic, you made her promise to indulge for an evening if you made significant progress in your studies.

Byakuren relaxes her shoulders and stares out the window, “There’s a good smell coming from the kitchen. Most of my meals are simple and plain so it’s interesting to try something different for a change.”

[] You’re not sure it’ll be to her taste since you mostly cook only for yourself but you’re sure she’ll understand it’s the thought that counts.
[] You’ve tried your best and are confident it’ll be great; it’s the only reason why would have dared invite her home to begin with.

--
Pick one from each. I picked whatever the hell I felt like, next time try not to leave it tied because I'll take that as an excuse not to write. Happy Valentine's day, chucklefucks.
>> No. 198642
[] After spending a long time studying under her at the temple, and one time witnessing her use of magic, you made her promise to indulge for an evening if you made significant progress in your studies.
[] You’ve tried your best and are confident it’ll be great; it’s the only reason why would have dared invite her home to begin with.
>> No. 198643
Oh nice! A great gift Teruyo.

As for the vote, I agree with the guy above. We worked hard for letting this day go smoothly.

[X] After spending a long time studying under her at the temple, and one time witnessing her use of magic, you made her promise to indulge for an evening if you made significant progress in your studies.
[X] You’ve tried your best and are confident it’ll be great; it’s the only reason why would have dared invite her home to begin with.
>> No. 198646
[X] Your mutual friends thought it’d be a good idea to prod you two along, since a combination of shyness and dedication to work made it frustrating for them to watch. So they orchestrated this date.


[X] You’ve tried your best and are confident it’ll be great; it’s the only reason why would have dared invite her home to begin with.
>> No. 198647
[X] After spending a long time studying under her at the temple, and one time witnessing her use of magic, you made her promise to indulge for an evening if you made significant progress in your studies.

[X] You’re not sure it’ll be to her taste since you mostly cook only for yourself but you’re sure she’ll understand it’s the thought that counts.

As long as my man doesn't go full ramen noodles garnished with ketchup and a side of Easy Mac, he'll be fine.
>> No. 198648
[X] After spending a long time studying under her at the temple, and one time witnessing her use of magic, you made her promise to indulge for an evening if you made significant progress in your studies.
[X] You’ve tried your best and are confident it’ll be great; it’s the only reason why would have dared invite her home to begin with.

Wot, you gonna update this story only on valentines?
>> No. 198793
It’s difficult to be too confident around her. Frankly, it’s even somewhat intimidating to be together like this. The dim lights and the physical proximity are best summed up as generating an air of intimacy—it threatens to overwhelm what little presence of mind you have managed to cobble up. It feels like you’re quickly running out of boldness, most of it having been used to ask her out in the first place.

Still, somehow… somehow you ignore the cold feeling in your hands and dry fluff of cotton in your mouth and make conversation, “don’t worry,” you tell her with what you hope is not a weak smile, “it may not look like it, but I’m fairly confident about my skills when it comes to cooking.”

“Is that so?” she asks with polite interest, peering past her half-empty glass and at your face.

“Sure, I like to try out all sorts of new things whenever I get the chance,” you confess, explaining, “cooking is a bit of a hobby, actually. I’m not really restricted to any one style and, while I’m not the best, I’m confident that I’m better at it than most people. I wouldn’t have invited you over if I didn’t think I’d make a good impression.”

“Hm,” she nods but offers no additional feedback, a thoughtful look on her face. Whether she’s impressed at seeing this side of you or merely being polite, you’re not too sure.

It’s not like you can offer much in the way of followup.

There’s things that need doing in the kitchen and you depart to mind the meal. A moment of carelessness can mean a burn sauce or a dry piece of meat. Not that you have to worry about things too much—because you weren’t exactly expecting to cook for anyone tonight, you didn’t have much at hand. As a result you’ve gone with something simple, savory and difficult to mess up: a hearty soup with root vegetables and mushrooms. It may not pair well with the wine and it may not be visually impressive, but you’re certain that the range of flavors from the different vegetables will win her over. There is no meat at all, in part because you don’t really have any and in part because you’re fairly certain that she is a vegetarian. Didn’t she not drink either? You furrow your brows and think about that inconsistency. You mustn’t be remembering things properly since she clearly is enjoying the wine. Silly thing to worry about, anyhow.

There’s some doubt as to how well things are going. Once ready, you serve out the soup and bring it out. Byakuren compliments you on your effort and looks at the food with interest, reciting a short prayer of thanks for the meal. Though warm and compassionate, she isn’t exactly transparent. It’s difficult to gauge what she’s really thinking but you do enjoy the small talk, nods and light jokes you exchange over the course of eating. As a teacher she is patient and encouraging, flexible and understanding. As a woman… well, the small steps you’re taking now are beginning to show something of a different picture. The promise you made her make, about rewarding you for your efforts, you are beginning to think that perhaps it wasn’t as much of an obligation for her as you feared.

Though, yes, you think that most people would consider talking to her agreeable and her teachings emphasize equality and community, there is more beyond all that. She is stubborn in her own way, you know that, given that it took you a lot of effort to get her to take you under her wing. She was happy to welcome you to the temple but she was too wrapped up in her own duties to think about giving you any special attention. She’s a leader, confident and supposed to be above petty concerns. There’s passion in her work that’s not easily deterred. There is a more vulnerable side, also, one that is more indulgent. She may have initially acted like guiding you was just another one of her duties, but you began to feel a certain unspoken bond forming between you that didn’t exist for the rest of the believers.

It’s something that’s become more apparent outside of the usual setting of the temple. You find that there there’s some role reversal here with your confidence and your conversation steering the course of the evening. Hope wells within as you fantasize that perhaps her relative bashfulness is an effect of the circumstances. At the same time, you dismiss thoughts about perhaps pushing too hard as you are certain that she wants to be here and with you. She is strong-willed enough to have dashed your hopes entirely when you proposed she favor you with a date in exchange for showing a lot of progress. It therefore also feels legitimate to hear her praise for the food and comparing your diligence to cooking to the studies of philosophy and magic.

You realize later that letting you take charge and being generous with the praise was also her way of rewarding you. It’s her way of letting you show more of your personality and relaxing while also giving you a chance to peer behind the amiable mask she almost always wears at the temple and at her real thoughts. She finds you interesting, stimulating and whatever else or you wouldn’t be with her right now. She sips the last of her wine and then watches you eat the last of the soup. An almost divine glow has taken hold across her cheeks. It such that, if you didn’t know better, could be described as more radiant than the candlelight.

“It’s nice to see you smile so much,” she notes. The implicit comparison is to other times, when you’re normally engrossed in lessons.

“It’s hard not to, since you’re here with me,” you say. Trite but true.

She apparently has been thinking along the same lines as you have and adds, “among all the people who come to the temple, you’re one of the most hardworking. I sometimes have worried that a lack of moderation might burn you out.”

“I’m sure that if I did, you would know how to revive me in short order,” you say, making a reference to her very ambiguous powers.

“Seeing the look on your face, I can’t help but feel that there’s some sort of indecent implication behind that statement,” she winks, like it wouldn’t be altogether unwelcome if true.

“Please don’t tease me like that,” you laugh, trying not to take her words too seriously lest your imagination go wild. “If the others heard you say something like that I think they'd die from the shock.”

“Yes, I suppose so,” she says with a light chuckle, “It wouldn’t do for the head priest to talk about carnal desire, right?” Her question sits there for a moment, not really looking for a reply. A coy smile forms on her lips, made all the more adult by the exotic lipstick. She sighs and sways her head from side to side sofly, adding, “I suppose this will have to be our little secret. You can keep secrets, right?”

“You know I can,” you do some teasing of your own, “after all, I haven’t told anyone about the magic I saw you perform.”

“It’s your fault for walking in on me in the first place,” she sighs, failing to convince you that she’s sorry that the incident happened in the first place. After all, if not for that, you wouldn’t be here together now.

Byakuren has let down some of the barriers that separate her from most of her acquaintances. You’re not certain how much you’ve personally had to do with that and how much of it boils down to the change of environment. It’s hard to keep the ball rolling since you don’t really want to dominate every conversation and bore her. You know that it’s unlikely she’ll reject any of your thoughts outright but you want to continue opening her heart and mind up as much as is possible.

[] Talk about shared interests and experiences, such as your private lessons.
[] Focus on something wholly different. Talk of dreams and hopes for the future.

--
Happy White Day! I'm sure most of you have had their fill of chocolates and candy from loved ones. I can't really offer anything like that to you. So, instead, here's this courtesy update.
>> No. 198795
[X] Focus on something wholly different. Talk of dreams and hopes for the future.

I'm curious to see what their dreams are.
>> No. 198796
[X] Talk about shared interests and experiences, such as your private lessons.

I really wish there was some kind of conflict or purpose here. I feel like I've been cheated out of a scandalous magician love triangle story. Or, perhaps, in this case i'd be more appropriate to say a magician love quadrilateral.
>> No. 198797
[ze] Talk about shared interests and experiences, such as your private lessons.

Nice update Teruyo. Go on, I'm interested.
>> No. 198805
After waiting a while and thinking it over, I'm dropping this story. It's simply not gratifying to see a continually-dwindling amount of votes nor does it do me any good to wait every time hoping for a reversal that never comes. From a more rational perspective, It doesn't justify the amount of time I've spent on planning and consulting notes either. I feel that proceeding with less and less readers and voters would just make me sadder and frustrated that I can't really do the types of stories that I'd like to with a vital user base.

Sorry three dudes that voted! You're good people and I hope this doesn't bum out as much as it has me. Take it easy.
>> No. 198829
[x] Talk about shared interests and experiences, such as your private lessons.

It is hard to choose here as both seem to give the same at first glance. But its said that she was interested in you at first and that the lessons turn out to be more than they are. I think if we keep on going into this direction, and her being tipsy, we can move forward. She is open and honest right now.

Hopes and dreams sound so general and feel to me like it is about her daily work. Let this day be something to escape from, just private and fun.
>> No. 198830
>>198805
Dude, I was right in the middle of catching up. I mean, it would have taken me a little bit, obviously, since I didn't notice this until now, but that doesn't change the fact that you would have had at least four votes. Add the guy who just bumped this thread and that's at least a mediocre total.

But you've already made up your mind, so I guess there's not much point in saying any of this. Just don't drop CaW too, please.
>> No. 198831
File 152210562373.jpg - (398.74KB, 850x850, mind readers are shit.jpg) [iqdb]
198831
>>198830
I'm not a mind reader. I can only work with what I see posted. And I saw a story that despite staying at the top of a board for days kept getting less and less votes. And that after days and weeks it didn't draw any more votes. There isn't even a comment requirement like other stories, so the conclusion that no one cares enough to read and vote and I'm wasting my time was entirely reasonable.

For the record: I'm not opposed to continuing most things (yeah even ancient stuff I stopped writing years ago) but a death spiral of votes is utterly depressing. Not so much because of the numbers, I'm fine with 5ish votes, but because it takes forever to get even that. Most of the things I write on the site are meant to be updated every couple of days, at most, and not being able to do that takes the wind out of my sails. I'm not writing stories because I think they'll be great once done but because I like the journey of interacting with the audience. I don't need to be praised or anything silly like that but I lose my motivation when I see people can't be assed to fucking vote. Y'know the thing that's central to this whole community. If you think I'm doing a shitty job with a story let me know and I'll listen to feedback. Or if you think I'm doing such a fantastic job you think you don't need to bother voting, vote anyways! It's the only way to guarantee that I get the message that a story is something people care about and worth the time I put in planning, writing and interacting with the community. Read my virtual lips: I'm not a friggin' disgusting non-human mind reader.

So yes, if you or anyone else wants to take the time to read the short 10kish words of this story and vote, go ahead. It really doesn't take long to do. It's supply and demand; if there's plenty of votes for anything, I'll write until my fingers are bleeding raw. After all, I'm one of the few people on the site who can actually boast about having written daily updates for prolonged periods of time.
>> No. 198832
>>198831
So, finishing Theater of Youth is not completely off the table??
>> No. 198833
>>198832
Exquisite bait. Well done.

However, I won't be nearly as subtle. Teru-kun, you're a massive faggot. If people don't vote, update regardless. Nobody is going to adjust for your update rate of twice per month and votes usually come in fast enough that you can just get it over with in a matter of a day or two. Maybe sometimes half a week, though that's pushing it. So cease your homosexuality and drop the attitude you've been having for so damn long and write more frequently.
>> No. 198834
>>198832
The whole reason I stop writing stories isn't that I get bored with them, it's that there's no interest in them any longer. It gets too frustrating to wait for the non-response every update and I stop doing it because even my masochism has limits. There is nothing else that stops me from writing whatever. Since I generally have liked the concepts of all my stories, there's nothing I wouldn't pick up again if the demand existed. Demand doesn't exist, so here we are! I've never been a popular author and there's not many people who would care about those stories to begin with. Even ignoring that reality, good luck finding a bunch of people who would read and vote daily in the current community. You're up shit creek without a paddle there.

>>198833
Listen, I could go make a polite and reasoned argument like I usually try but I'm not in the mood because we've been here before. Instead, here are your two options: vote or fuck off.

It'll soon be ten years that I've been doing this shit on this site. When people vote and are active I've written hundreds of thousands of words (if not millions), done daily updates and finished several stories. When people don't, I don't write. That simple. I'm not going to go away because I'm part of this community, like it or not, but I will focus my efforts only on the stories that do get attention. If you can't be bothered to do the bare minimum and vote: fuck right off!

You know what you get with me and I promise continuity and stability so long as you do the most basic thing and just vote regularly. I've found the people that bitch the most about this simple concept are the people who least regularly vote in or read stories. So either prove me wrong and do your bit or—you guessed it—fuck off somewhere else since I don't give a shit about the mewling of those who don't read and vote.

Don't even get me started on the "hurr durr irregular updates" bullshit. If stories that literally haven't been updated in years like >>196629 or >>/sdm/62708 can get enthusiastic numbers of votes right off the bat, so can any other story. That is, if only people like you would vote, you massive faggot. I can only speak for myself but updates sure as shit would be more regular here if people actually bothered to vote. To sum it up: vote or fuck off with the shitposting already.

Not going to waste more time with arguments divorced from observable reality and won't be making any more replies of this nature. Vote and do your bit here and elsewhere or I'm just moving on like I said I would. No hard feelings towards the people who actually made the time to vote, you guys are alright and I'd share a drink with you if I could.
>> No. 198840
I'd love to see you writing, under a fake name a story of a genre you're not used to, with characters you don't know that well. And all of that accepting copy pasted votes

You'd probably go mad in a week, but maybe you could find that elusive success that way.
>> No. 199082
>>198805
Aaaah man don't do this to me! I had troubles with internet and I had to stop coming for a while, and I come back to this.

I really liked this idea. Any chanches you'd really start up again? I have already voted for the last choice, by the way...
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