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File 149775631892.jpg - (396.64KB , 1297x4460 , gja7X.jpg ) [iqdb]
197130 No. 197130
Once more, you find the intercom and insert the key. The wave of exhaustion hits you as soon as the static, but you find that you’re able to fight against it this time.

“What do you want of me?” You ask the white noise.

“Don’t let her struggle be in vain.” You don’t hear the words so much as you feel them. “She deserves that much, wouldn’t you agree, dear?”

An image appears in your mind - of a woman with long, ink-black hair in red and white shaman attire, standing tall with her back to you.

“You’re talking about the Hakurei? Well, what would that entail?” You ask, muffling a yawn.

If it was possible for a butterfly to shrug, you swear it would have. More figures appear before your mind, this time blurry and indistinct - flashes of a woman in red and a man in blue, both with silver hair - but the vision slides across your consciousness like suds on glass before you can see it clearly.

“I’m going to need more than that.” You say, earning an annoyed flick of antennae.

This time, you see them with plumes of light rising from their backs, reaching for the sky.

Your eyes widen despite how heavy they felt just a moment ago. “Angels? Two Angels? Are you fucking delusional? How do you even expect me to find them with what’s essentially... this weird... dream... mugshot...”

You finally run out of energy and slump down despite your best efforts.

“Seriously.” You mutter. “I’m gonna need a little help.”

“Very well.”

Something brushes against your eye, and you feel yourself slipping away.

---
ERROR: ILLEGAL DATA ADDRESS

1.

A little learning is a dang'rous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring

Hey-Hi-Hello-Is this thing on?

Welcome.

It’s disorienting, I know. I know what it’s like to slip free of burdensome definitions, like real and imagined. It hurts to become. It can be frightening - no sense of up and down, no mother’s hand to anchor you home.

But everyone needs to grow, and you run out of space far too quickly in a closed system.

That’s why this place exists, in a liberal interpretation of both words. To facilitate mutual understanding. Here, we can meet halfway.

Don’t let the outside in. The cross, the pyramid, the serpent, the hive - feel free to check them at the door.

Let’s call this our little secret. Between you and me.

2.

There are no beginnings. There are no ends.

The Buzzing has told you some of it. Yes, space folds, all points touch... but that’s just the barest hint.

Demarcation is porous. Borders are malleable. Opposing forces feed each other.

Rain falls into the river flows into the ocean rises into the clouds condense into the rain falls into...

I’m sure you see what I’m getting at.

Separation is an illusion, and you may not like what it conceals. Little bee, have you enough courage to look behind that veil?

3. (New!)

You are an intersection of so many delicious potentials, a garden of forking paths. It’s why you are all so dear to me. If only the others could see what I see in you!

Still, you are limited, and you are wary. Your suspicion is well-founded. There are too many sweet whispers and slippery slopes to count. Time is running out, and here I am with a familiar offer.

Pledge yourself to me, and wield truth and power beyond your very dreams.

This isn’t the first time you’ve heard those terms, but humor me now and promise that this will be the last time you will entertain them.

You will arrive at a crossroads, and then you will have to make a choice. Pray that you can find peace with it.

---

You wake up to the sound of distant birdsong from the forest and conversation from the next room. There’s more of that strange dust powdered around your eyes again, and you’ve got a feeling of unease that you can’t articulate as well as you would prefer. You strongly suspect that it has something to do with the odd music box lying beneath your dream catcher.

You pocket it, freshen up, and step outside your room. It seems that you have a visitor.

---

[ ] Keine
[ ] Seiga
[ ] Hina
[ ] Nazrin
[ ] Raiko
[ ] ...? Must have been your imagination.
Expand all images
>> No. 197131
[x] Raiko

Still want to hear more about this tsukumogami faction, and more Raiko is always a plus.
>> No. 197135
Previous thread: >>187220


[x] Seiga

I wouldn't mind any of these, really, but I'm interested in the Taoists.

So, huh...Yukari wants us to find Sariel and Shinki(?). I'm not sure about the latter, since she's already been referred to as a demon and I don't know if TSW lore equates those with fallen angels, but I can't think of who the red-clad, silver-haired angel would be otherwise. Wonder what "potentials" she sees in Charlotte, too.
>> No. 197144
[X] Seiga

Time for Taoists!
>> No. 197146
[X] Hina

Interesting, very interesting.
>> No. 197147
[X] Hina
>> No. 197148
>>197135
"Demon" broadly refers to creatures, such as Rakshasa,Incubi/Succubi, Djinn, Oni, etc. that inhabit the Hell Dimensions. They vary in power, intellect, and origin, but can generally be described as "creatures from Hell".

While Abrahamic mythology equates fallen angels with demons, that does not hold true in TSW, where Angels created Hell and probably most of its current inhabitants. They can attract demonic followers, but they are not themselves demons.
>> No. 197149
[X] ...? Must have been your imagination.
>> No. 197150
[x] Raiko
>> No. 197159
[x] Hina

Hina dealing with chaos magic makes a lot of sense intuitively but I'm curious to see if she's drawn to Charlotte's 'misfortune' right now (filth aftereffects, dreaming aftereffects, attention from Yukari et. al.) and what her view of what's happened to the chosen so far is like.
>> No. 197161
[x] Raiko
>> No. 197162
Raiko: 3
Hina: 3
Seiga: 2
???: 1
>> No. 197173
>>197162
Well, if no one else is going to break the tie I'll change my vote (>>197135) to Raiko.
>> No. 197174
Raiko it is.
>> No. 197176
[x]Hina
>> No. 197187
A person voted
>> No. 197349
File 149896514730.png - (754.69KB , 600x800 , __horikawa_raiko_touhou_drawn_by_chabi_amedama__72.png ) [iqdb]
197349
[X] Raiko

---

Raiko is waiting for you as you enter the room, twirling a pair of drumsticks in her hands as she reclines on her drums. Caleb and Junko are also in the room, chatting with her. You notice that the lab equipment Caleb had out last night is nowhere to be seen.

“Morning, Miss McGallagher.” Raiko calls to you. “Awfully cozy place you have here.”

You shrug. “It beats camping out, though I hope you don’t mind how spartan it is.”

She nods. “It’s no bother to me. Nice work last night, by the way.”

“Just doing my job.” You reply with a faint smile. “So, what brings you here?”

“Straight to the chase, eh?” Raiko straightens up and uncrosses her legs. “There’s a situation I’d like to bring to your attention.”

“It’s not urgent, but I still think you should know.“ She adds as you all regard her with new focus. ”Have any of you heard about a Tsukumogami named Medicine Melancholy?”

“Yeah.” You tell her. “She’s hostile and uses poison, right?”

“Yeah, that’s how most people know her.” Raiko makes a face. “She’s been alone on that godforsaken hill for who knows how long, and now nobody can go there without getting attacked.”

“I wasn’t aware that there was anything to do at Nameless Hill.” You say.

“There used to be, but not the sort of thing the Human Village would talk about in polite company.” Raiko says, looking uncomfortable. “What I’m saying is... Look, I can’t dress it up. The Villagers would go there to abandon unwanted children.”

“Shit, that probably explains how a doll ended up lying there long enough to animate.” Caleb pings.

You take a deep breath and slowly exhale as you process that. “I deeply hope that they are not continuing to practice that. At any location.” You tell her, keeping your tone even.

“I wouldn’t worry about that.” Raiko reassures you. “The food situation’s been way better in recent years. Anyways, while her ability to manipulate poison is worth mentioning, she’s not an immediate threat to anyone. At least, to my knowledge.”

Caleb gives her a quizzical look. “If that’s the case, what’s your concern?”

Raiko sighs and combs her fingers through her hair. “Eventually, she’ll cross a line, whether by picking a fight she can’t win or doing something that paints a target on her back for the Hakurei. I’ve seen it happen before. I’d rather not see it happen again, especially to a kid who never got a chance from life.”

“I’m sorry that she’s in that situation, but how do you think we can help?” You ask.

“It’s fine. I’m already working on getting through to her, but it’s going to take a while.” Raiko says. “For now, just keep her circumstances in mind if she somehow causes trouble for you. If someone in the Village tries to wheedle you into ‘exterminating’ her while Reimu’s away-”

You cut her off. “You don’t have to worry about that. We’ll keep your words in mind.”

She smiles in gratitude and leans back. “Thanks a million. I’m glad you guys understand. I don’t have much to offer at the moment, but maybe I could answer some questions you guys have.”

---

Ask Raiko about:

[ ] Her plan
[ ] Yuuka
[ ] Kappa
[ ] Mamizou
[ ] Humans
[ ] Yukari?
[ ] Write-in
>> No. 197350
[x] Her plan
[x] Humans
[x] Kappa

Too soon to go prying about specific people, and I'm not sure she'd have much to say about someone like Yuuka or Yukari anyway since she's pretty new herself.
>> No. 197357
[x] Her plan
[x] Humans
[x] Kappa

Seems reasonable to me, honestly I bet Yuuka would tell us herself as long as we asked nicely and in private.
>> No. 197359
[x] Her plan
[x] Mamizou
[x] Yukari?
>> No. 197369
[x] Her plan
[x] Humans
[x] Kappa
>> No. 197413
[X] Her plan
[X] Humans
[X] Kappa

Awfully nice of Raiko to be looking out for her, how sweet.
>> No. 197476
[X] Her plan
[X] Humans
[X] Kappa

I don't think she's got that much specific info on the big players, so asking for some more general information is more likely to be useful to us.
>> No. 197485
File 150026281499.png - (7.17KB , 293x318 , __horikawa_raiko_touhou_drawn_by_takorin__69469845.png ) [iqdb]
197485
Her plan
Humans
Kappa

---

“Can you tell us anything about that plan you mentioned?” Junko asks.

“Well, Doctor Yagokoro and her assistant have had contact with Medicine before.” Raiko says. “I’m guessing it was something about using Medicine’s abilities to make... well, medicine. Anyways, those guys are probably the only two that have had something approaching a civil relationship with her, and I figure that they can help her find a way to apply herself in a way that won’t get her killed. Also, I can’t think of anyone better suited towards healing whatever trauma Medicine’s grown up with.”

“Why not take her to your village?” She asks. “Wouldn’t she benefit from having other Tsukumogami to watch over her?”

Raiko nods. “Yeah, that’s the goal. For now, though, I think it would be better to have her with people she already knows. Less of a shock, you know?”

“Have you spoken with Eintei about your plan?” Caleb asks.

“I told them my general idea, and Eirin was alright with it.” Raiko says, frowning. “Well, as far as I can tell. I’ve never seen her without that bedside manner. Anyways, I’m still working on getting Medicine to trust me. It’s an uphill struggle, but I’m making progress.” She flashes a grin. “It helps that I’m pretty good at spellcards.”

“Would you say you’ve got a close relationship with Eintei?” Junko asks.

Raiko shrugs. “Not really. They’re nice folks, but Eintei kinda keeps everyone else at an arm’s length. They keep to themselves, though not as much since Reimu did her thing a while back.”

“Reimu’s been pretty busy, from the sound of things.” You say. “What’s your opinion of the Hakurei?”

“Eh.” Raiko leans back as she ponders the question. “Necessary in the unpopular sort of way. Like janitors, honestly. They’re always running around to clean up after other people, and everyone else tries not to think about them unless there’s a mess.”

“Like the business with Sukuna and the Amanojaku?” Caleb asks.

“Hoo boy, that was a fiasco.” Raiko says, shaking her head. “I guess I can’t really complain, though, since that created so many Tsukumogami that the Tanuki couldn’t control us anyone. Also, I got this great new body.” She says, gesturing to both her humanoid body and the drums she’s sitting on with a sly, satisfied smile.

“Still, that mallet of hers screwed with a lot of Youkai, making them pick fights with the Villagers.” She continues with a sigh. “Things were tense for some time after that, but it mostly cooled off after Seija got black-bagged. I appreciate that you three aren’t trying to rile things up again.”

“We’re not here to make things worse.” You tell her. “So, how are the Villagers when there isn’t an Incident?”

“They’re alright. I mean, I got treated better than most Tsukumogami. You know, before I was born.” Raiko says. “Compared to the Vampires or the Oni, we’ve never caused enough trouble to attract attention. I’m kind of worried about you guys, though.”

You frown. “Pardon?”

“You’re different, even from other mages.” Raiko’s mouth twists as she tries to explain. “There’s something about you...”

She gestures futilely for a few seconds. “Look, you’ve probably read Akyuu’s book, right? You know that I can do things with rhythms. Well, I’ve been picking up something strange from you guys, something like having a second shadow. You don’t need to tell me what it is, but I feel like you should know that the Villagers aren’t known for reacting well to magical talents.”

You’re about to protest, but then you remember that Keine, Reimu, and Marsia are all shunned to varying degrees.

“If I were you, I’d watch how I presented those talents. I’m sure there are people out there who would use that against you if they could.” Raiko says.

Your mind jumps to the Tanuki, the Tengu, and the Kappa. On that note-

“This is a bit off-topic, but what do you know about the Kappa?” You ask her.

“We’re not huge fans of them.” Raiko answers, shrugging. “I don’t think anyone is, really. They look down on everyone else and embargo anyone who tries to do something about it..”

“What’s their technology like?” You ask. “Have they been doing anything with robotics or nuclear power?”

“Actually, yeah. They made a big fuss about it something like a decade and a half ago.” Raiko says, oblivious to your rapidly increasing interest. “The Kappa made these machines that could walk around like people and had hands to carry things. Some of those had pilots, but most were automatic.”

“What’s happened since?” You ask.

“They stopped making them and scrapped most of what was built in a hurry.” Raiko says. “I hear the factory got shut down as well. Maybe someone mismanaged the funds, or there were ‘creative differences’. It happens all the time with Kappa and their projects, so I wasn’t too surprised.”

“Are any of those machines still around?”

“There was a big, nuclear-powered robot more recently. They called it Hisoutensoku, but they mothballed that as well. As far as I know, nothing’s still being used.”

Those sons of bitches.

“Thanks for letting me know, Raiko.” You tell her.

Raiko smiles. “No problem. Well, I’ve taken up enough of your time, so I’ll be on my way. You know where to find me!”

With little more than a cheery wave, she leaves, taking care to keep the door from hitting her drums on the way out.

“Seems like a very specific thing about the Kappa to be worried about.” Caleb says a few moments after Raiko leaves.

“I got an interesting lead on them a while ago.” You say. “They got their hands on technology that they really shouldn’t have.”

“Alright.” He says, shrugging. “Well, let us know if you need help taking it back from them. Just keep in mind that unless they’re literally building nukes, we’ll have a hard time justifying our usual level of force.”

---

What do you want to do?

[ ] Go to the Human Village. You need to make sure they’re on your side before someone less trustworthy does.
[ ] Go to Youkai Mountain. All of your intel points at the Kappa having at least one of the AIs. It’s time to pay them a visit.
[ ] Go to Muenzuka. Who better to explain to you what happened than the people who were there? Just watch out for psychopomps.
>> No. 197486
[x] Go to the Human Village. You need to make sure they’re on your side before someone less trustworthy does.

Damn Kappa
>> No. 197487
[X] Go to Youkai Mountain. All of your intel points at the Kappa having at least one of the AIs. It’s time to pay them a visit.

Time to take back what's rightfully ours. And if we should happen to acquire a certain Super Robot in so doing, well... wouldn't that be fun?
>> No. 197488
[x] Go to the Human Village. You need to make sure they’re on your side before someone less trustworthy does.

I feel like we need to cement our position in the village with a positive light.
>> No. 197489
[x] Go to the Human Village. You need to make sure they’re on your side before someone less trustworthy does.

Raiko's warning has me worried.

Also are we immortal again yet? I'm kind of looking forward to meeting Komachi, but not until we're ready.
>> No. 197493
[x] Go to the Human Village. You need to make sure they’re on your side before someone less trustworthy does.

We've sidestepped doing this for too long, we've had several opportunities to meet with the guard and such personally and have gone out of our way to meet with the others. By my count we're actually already going to be working from behind on this and given that our base of operations is so nearby, it makes sense tactically and just as a Templar that we do want to establish a presence here.
>> No. 197494
[X] Go to the Human Village. You need to make sure they’re on your side before someone less trustworthy does.

Socializing is go.
>> No. 197497
>>197489
You're at 5/7 days. You're almost back at full strength, though you are probably still 'mortal'. You could confidently fight a few reapers.
>> No. 197502
[x] Go to the Human Village. You need to make sure they’re on your side before someone less trustworthy does.

Not one to bandwagon for its own sake, but this does seem better to do sooner than later.

Also, minor quibble but it's Eientei, not Eintei.
>> No. 197503
>>197502
whoops
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