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File 154109902381.jpg - (213.17KB, 850x638, village diorama by rekishitai.jpg) [iqdb]
199414 No. 199414
Generations ago, before Gensokyo was sealed away, the patriarch of the Sen family led an expedition into the rolling hills along its southwestern side, where the trees grew so thick that it was pitch-black even at noon, and behind each tree lurked a malicious youkai. The legends say he and his brothers and cousins went out with many amulets adorned upon their necks, and armed with crane-feather arrows and blades made from the precious iron of the Youkai Mountain.

They emerged weeks later, battered and scarred but alive to a person, and announced news of their victory. Such fear did they strike into the malevolent spirits of the forest, they announced, that even the foul winds didn’t dare blow while they were there. The governor was so pleased with the Sen family’s success that he granted their dynasty a great swathe of land in the rolling hills between the two mountain ranges.

Then, the Great Hakurei Barrier went up. It was nice in a way, since it meant getting away from the watchful eye of the centralized imperial government, but it also took away the fear of the Shogun deciding you were a bit too uppity and deciding to kill your entire family. Details get much more fuzzy around there — there were border disputes, suspicious land purchases, what may or may not have been a civil war, and so on.

The point being, that sort of thing doesn’t happen much anymore, thankfully. The humans of Gensokyo have reached a tense but solid peace, and the Human Village has grown into more of a large town, with tiny new villages sprouting up around it. Things are comfortable enough that folks have even started growing luxuries like tea and sugar and silk, and some of the braver humans have even started trading with the various types living on the Youkai Mountain, providing both valuable metals and various exotic knick-knacks.

Which ultimately brings the subject to me, Morozumi Goro. Our family is the head of the small village of Magarimachi in those same rolling hills, with a few hundred people living there. The local elders handle most of the domestic affairs, but it’s up to us to make sure the village and the capital-v Village stay updated on each other and don’t step on each other’s toes. The family does alright, and I get plenty of opportunities to travel around, whether for work or just because nothing much is happening at home.

Directions are:

[ ] North, in the direction of the Youkai Mountain, and some new market town causing a hubbub. It’s called Amaden, or something?
[ ] South, towards the Great River that runs between the two mountain ranges of Gensokyo. There’s a neighboring village that earns its keep through fishing and trading, and you’ve stayed on good terms with them.
[ ] West, towards the Human Village proper. There’s always something happening there, whether it’s checking the market, listening to gossip, or rubbing elbows with people.
[ ] East, towards the ends of the Human Village’s circle of influence. The only people living out there are the loggers and trappers who, frankly, can be scarier than any youkai you’ve seen.
[ ] Center, right were you already are. Check in on the family and the dirt-grubbing millet farmers.
190posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>> No. 199994
[x] Let’s spend a night somewhere in Amaden. We can see the place for ourselves and slip away from any prying eyes.

What better place to get our wife a nice tail than the place that taught us their wonder?
>> No. 199995
[X] Let’s spend a night somewhere in Amaden. We can see the place for ourselves and slip away from any prying eyes.

Try as you might, the allure of the tail will always reel you back in.
>> No. 199999
[x] Let’s spend a night somewhere in the Human Village. We can treat ourselves to good food and entertainment — as long as it’s far away from where the Hiedas live.
I wouldn't say that Amaden is the most romantic of places.
>> No. 200001
File 154308827768.png - (199.70KB, 600x600, nazget.png) [iqdb]
200001
NAZGET!
>> No. 200002
>>200001
FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
>> No. 200004
File 154308913372.jpg - (446.78KB, 600x847, nazget noooooooo.jpg) [iqdb]
200004
>>200001
>nazposter on missing the slowest GET in history
>> No. 200005
File 154309098492.png - (57.49KB, 251x251, 1412199595576-4.png) [iqdb]
200005
>>200001
Close

>>200000
>> No. 200006
[x] Let’s spend a night somewhere in Amaden. We can see the place for ourselves and slip away from any prying eyes

Why, where on earth would Goro want to go in Amaden? Is there some sort of attraction he's already visited there?
>> No. 200007
File 154311556545.jpg - (280.10KB, 600x800, Kogasa is too pure to go to Amaden night life tho.jpg) [iqdb]
200007
“Let’s do something special to celebrate. Let’s go to Amaden.”

“Aww, but it’s so far away,” Yae mock-pouted.

“But you know what that means, right? We can get a nice, private room to ourselves. No interruptions from family members, no sudden messages, nobody from the Human Village coming to drop by…”

I pressed my lips to Yae, less of a kiss than a slow, gentle moment of connection.

“On one condition,” she whispered to me.

I let out a soft laugh through my nose. I already had a hunch what her condition would be.

__________

I thought I had seen Amaden before, but that was late-morning Amaden, during business hours. This time I was getting my first glimpse of evening Amaden, when the bean-counters began to flood out of their offices in search of food and vices, and it made my previous vision of Amaden look downright reserved compared to the glowing signs and hawking voices I saw now.

The queue at Furu-Furu Tapas Bar and Tail Cafe was still thankfully short. As we approached the front desk, Yae pulled out a card from underneath her robe. She looked up at me with a smile I could only describe as devilish. It was Ayu’s business card, complete with a note from her saying “see you again~ <3” written in the corner.

“I never even knew she gave me a card,” I stammered.

“It fell out of your bag when you got home. You were already so nervous about telling me, so I just didn’t mention it. Ahem, is Ayu here tonight?” Yae turned to the waitress at the front desk.

The waitress pursed her lips and glanced to the side before putting on her business smile. She must’ve had different expectations when an out-of-town woman brought her man into a tail cafe and started naming names. Seeing neither of us looking particularly angry, she relaxed.

“As a matter of fact, she is! And I’m sure you’d both like a tail of your own to pet, isn’t that right?” the waitress said to me.

“Surprise him,” Yae said, still grinning.

“Erm, not too much of a surprise,” I added.

The waitress led us past the line of booths up front. Many of them were already occupied, including one where a wiry mouse-girl sat with a heavy scowl.

“Can you believe it? Honestly, as if babysitting at the temple wasn’t enough. You’d think being a top flunkey of Bishamonten himself would mean something would go right for me. Honestly!” The mouse-girl harrumphed loud enough to be heard several booths down as she petted the tail of a wolf tengu desperately trying not to look bored.

The waitress led us into a small maze of larger booths, all carefully positioned like miniature rooms to provide maximum discretion in as little space as possible. The booth was circular, letting Yae and I sit next to each other while leaving room for our soon-to-be guests.

We ordered some beer to start. We had barely any time to wait in excitement before Ayu came out to meet us with pitchers of beer and water along with empty mugs. Another wolf tengu girl followed just behind her, a striking beauty with silvery white hair. She was a smidgen taller than her partner, and when she leaned over to see us, I couldn’t help but notice she was more filled-out in the hips and buttocks region too. Ayu made a beeline towards me, but Yae caught her attention.

“Nope, you’ll be with me tonight, cutie,” Yae said.

Ayu’s smile went blank for a moment before she composed herself and sat down next to Yae. The other girl took her seat next to me.

“I’m Momo. I hope I’m a pleasant enough surprise for you,” she giggled, showing me a winning smile as if I’d already enchanted her.

“You’re a very pleasant surprise,” I said.

“That smile of yours… You’ve got something in mind, don’t you?” Momo said with a smirk that said she had something in mind too.

I looked back and forth between Yae and Momo. Yae blushed and took a sip of beer, starting to look a little nervous now that she was so close to the forbidden fruit.

“We were both hoping to get the chance to… give your tails a pet.”

Momo wiggled in her seat as she let out another soft laugh. “Is that right?”

“Goro’s got a very gentle touch,” Ayu chimed in.

“Ahem, you’re with me tonight, aren’t you?” Yae cut in, though her confidence was starting to falter.

“Oh goodness, sorry. I didn’t mean to ignore you.” Ayu, now comfortably back into her tengu hostess persona, batted her eyelashes at Yae and swished her tail in wide sweeps, making it impossible for her to ignore the sight.

“Mm, don’t you go ignoring me either,” Momo purred.

This time, it seemed, there wouldn’t be any small talk before getting to the action. She took my wrist in her hand with a loose, gentle grip as she turned towards me. She led my hand around her, behind her waist and down to the base of her tail. Her tail was thicker than Ayu’s, with long hairs that weaved through my fingers. Petting her tail felt like putting on a warm coat on a cold winter’s day.

Yae blinked, then picked up her mug of beer and drained it. She reached out slowly for the tail, wiggling her fingers to prepare them for the sensation. Ayu tilted her hips, bringing the target closer to Yae’s hand.

“Oh my, that’s soft,” Yae gasped as she made first contact.

“Nnh, you’re touching it so delicately,” Ayu murmured.

“Do you like it delicate?” Yae said. Her face was still flushed, but it was a different tint now, less embarrassment and more the alcohol hitting her.

“It, um, it tickles a little,” Ayu said with a demure smile.

“Hmhm, you aren’t going to let her outperform you, right?” Momo giggled.

“Outperform?” I said.

Momo pulled herself into my lap, sitting sideways and leaning against me. “You’re going to make me feel as good as she does, aren’t you?”

On cue, Ayu began shivering and letting out soft oohs as Yae stroked her tail with more confidence. Yae’s eyes went wide as the devilish grin returned to her face.
__________

“Feel free to come back! Just, there’ll be a three-drink limit next time,” Ayu consoled us as we were gently but firmly escorted past the rear exit of Furu-Furu’s. The door closed shut behind us with a heavy click of the lock.

“Wow,” Yae breathed, her hair still mussed and sweat still beading on her face.

“Yeah,” I breathed, taking a few deep breaths.

“That was entirely worth it,” Yae said after a moment of pensive silence.

“Yeah. But let’s never tell anyone else about that, right?”

“Agreed,” Yae nodded, running her fingers through her hair to set it straight.

We took to looking for a place to spend the night as it started to get dark, exploring Amaden as if we were wandering along in the wind. I was still tipsy, but more than that, I was deeply drunk on the wonderful freedom. No matter where I went before, whether it was the Human Village or Magarimachi or any of the dozens of other villages, one day’s adventure became the next day’s gossip. I could never know if or when I was about to bump into someone who knew me and let all of Gensokyo know what they saw me doing. Here, though, we were faceless. I smiled down at Yae, and I could see the same thoughts written on her face.

We came to a street packed with ‘love hotels.’ The phrase was new to me, but there wasn’t much room to misinterpret a name like that. We passed by the gaudy ones with neon lights, and passed especially quickly by the grungy, cheap-looking ones, until we found a smaller one with a stylized antique look to it and a wooden placard that said “Pillow Book” hanging from the front of the roof.

“Ooh, ‘courtesan’ rooms?” Yae said, reading off the sign next to the receptionist.

“Those are our special rooms, behind a secret tunnel, just like the secret trysts of emperors from centuries ago,” the receptionist said.

Yae nearly melted at the thought. “Is one available?”

The receptionist handed us a key once we fumbled our way through paying up-front. “The tunnel has a two-meter clearance. Pillow Book is not responsible for any injury, mental distress, or loss of property suffered during passage through the tunnels. Second one on the right, and have a good night, you two,” he finished with a wink.
__________

Elsewhere in Amaden, three figures met in secret, their bodies only visible as shadows in the dark room.

“So he’s already here?” said one figure. It had a man’s voice, clipped and precise but with just a hint of aristocratic bearing.

“Yes, he came here with his wife late this afternoon. We have them right where we want them,” said the second figure, a woman’s breathy voice that seemed to ooze control and influence.

“Excellent. It seems Goro was kind enough to do our work for us.”

“Woof, woof,” said the third figure. It was a dog.

“I’m well aware that it’s dark, but candles are expensive. Remember the diagram?”

The second figure sighed before speaking in unison with the first figure.

“’Free’ in Amaden means everyone is paying for it.”

To Be Continued
>> No. 200008
I find hilarious the fact that touching a fluffy tail is such an experience. I can't say J don't envy them though
>> No. 200009
glad to see lil naz getting some pets in
>> No. 200020
Drinks drank! Tails touched! Shadowy cabals caballed!

Naz entertained?
>> No. 200027
File 15431983736.jpg - (142.83KB, 591x906, Maridog.jpg) [iqdb]
200027
The Trade Association had started as a loose collection of like-minded retailers and innkeepers, back when Amaden was little more than a rest stop for the scattered tea plantations along the edge of Youkai Mountain territory. Amaden grew from a rest stop to a village, from a village to a market town, from a market town to a burgeoning metropolis.

Likewise, the TA had swelled from an informal gathering to a de facto local government with obligations and a chain of command, still run by those same retailers and innkeepers. Ama’ake was the Executive Councillor, tasked with leading meetings of the General Assembly, where Amaden-wide issues were discussed. It was ostensibly a title of great authority and power, but in practice, he thought, he was a glorified babysitter. Being a unique experiment within Gensokyo, the Assembly had none of the breathless pomp and rituals that usually served to keep things on track. Thus, most of his time during meetings was spent keeping down personal spats, stamping out outrageous calls for favoritism, and taking the liquor and dice games away from bored councilmen.

It was noon as Ama’ake sat on the third-floor patio of the TA headquarters building, getting a view from above of Amaden’s main artery. Joining him were the two others who made up his personal cabinet of advisors. There was Hitsuji, an elegantly slender woman who had worked as an courtesan before making enough business and earning enough ‘favors’ to start a place of her own. Her transition into the TA was seamless, and she quickly rose through the ranks. As she had put it, “the only difference between this and my old job is that in politics, the dick-sucking is figurative.”

The other was Hoppi, a talking Shiba Inu. Her origins were unknown; she had simply shown up one day along with a corner store selling newspapers, snacks, and tobacco. She was cute as a button, and because of her chubby cheeks and curly-q tail and fluffy, toasty-brown coat, few people realized how ruthless she was at negotiating until it was too late. She was singularly responsible for the creation of Amaden’s bottled pre-brewed tea industry thanks to that advantage.

Ama’ake had hoped that someday, the other councilmen might wonder why they were being outperformed by a prostitute and a dog. He still hoped.

“The Morozumis are here to see you, sir,” a TA clerk said from behind the door to the patio.

“Good. Let them in.”

A husband and wife stepped out onto the patio: Goro and Yae Morozumi. They were dressed in casual clothes, showing a spring tan along their faces and forearms. Parts of the side of Goro’s short hair stuck up like broom bristles, and the indentation of a pillow was still visible along the side of Yae’s hair. They bowed, then looked at Ama’ake with a confused expectation, knowing he was important but not really knowing why.

“We got your letter, sir,” Goro spoke up.

Hitsuji was a co-owner of Pillow Book, so it was simple to leave a discreet note for them to find when they woke up. Ama’ake nodded to Goro and Yae.

“I received a report from Kokemae about the meeting yesterday in Magarimachi. It seemed to cause a bit of a stir.”

“Did it say anything about the, ahem, the maps?” Goro coughed.

“It mentioned some trouble there, yes. I’d like to hear your side of the story first, though.”

“Well, I just, um… The Hiedas brought a map with some things shifted on it, they made the Human Village look a little bigger than it was, and Kokemae said if they tried to push it he’d say they were fabricating a claim on Mountain land.”

Ama’ake pursed his lips, but said nothing. He looked neutral, not blank and stiff like Asagao, but like a judge. The silence pressed on Goro, starting to feel a little like a counter-accusation.

“I just… all I wanted to do was set up a trade post, you know? I never meant for this to get political and turn into a scandal,” he sighed.

Ama’ake shook his head. “Well, the good news is that we certainly have no intentions of escalating this.”

“The bad news?”

“The bad news is that trade is always political. The General Assembly claims to be a place where different districts can cooperate, but at every meeting there will be tengu saying humans have an unfair advantage, humans saying tengu have an unfair advantage, and kappa insisting on raising a stink about— ahem. That is to say, I’m sure the moment we have another talking dog running a store in Amaden, they can depend on Hoppi’s support, if you understand what I’m getting at.”

“Unless they’re a Spitz,” Hoppi added with a flop of the head.

Goro and Yae reeled back as Hoppi spoke. Hoppi gave them a look that managed to convey that they shouldn’t make a big deal out of it, despite her limited degree of facial expressions.

“With that said, there are a sizeable number of humans in Amaden, as you can see,” Ama’ake gestured to himself and Hitsuji, then to Goro, waiting for him to fill in the next part.

Goro shook his head. “I’m not going to take a position. I’m staying neutral.”

“Neutrality is a position in and of itself, Morozumi. I don’t wonder if that’s why the Hieda clan has been pestering you. They’ve refused to take any official stance on Amaden’s status, whether it should ‘belong’ to humans or tengu or be officially independent. They could be keeping that in their back pocket, waiting for the right moment to pick a side, or try to eke out more bribes and promises from one side. They might also just be doing it for the hell of it, the loony little…” Ama’ake cleared his throat again. “I hope my point is clear.”

Goro nodded. “Is that what you brought me here to tell me, sir?”

“Part of it. There’s one more matter. Kokemae remarked on an interest in the purchase of erotic literature. Well, Hitsuji here is becoming invested in the market,” Ama’ake said.

Hitsuji nodded. Hoppi got up on his hind legs and put a paw on the table.

“And may I interest you in the purchase of bottled tea? It’s increasingly popular among all small retailers for its portability and convenience.”

“Aww, such a cute little dealmaker!” Yae beamed at Hoppi, reaching a hand out.

“I would recommend against that, she bites,” Ama’ake said.

__________

That brings us to the end of the Goro’s story, or at least, to the end of the bit that’s told in chronological order from a single perspective. We’ve still got a few days left to Nano-Reimu, though, which gives us some time to explore around. We could fast-forward a bit to see the epilogue to Goro and Yae’s adventures, take a look at where some of the other characters wound up, look at an alternate scenario, or any other little nooks and crannies of Rural Concord that spark your curiosity.

[ ] See the epilogue
[ ] Where did _____ wind up? (choose a character)
[ ] What if _____? (choose an alternate scenario)
[ ] Other
>> No. 200029
[X] Where did Kogasa wind up?
>> No. 200030
[X] Where did Kogasa wind up?

MOAR UMBRELLA!
>> No. 200031
[X] Where did Kogasa wind up?
>> No. 200035
[x] What if we tried to punish Hieda?

I'm curious about where goro ends up, but we'll find about that in the epilogue I guess
>> No. 200036
that's a big doggo
>> No. 200037
[x] Where did Kogasa wind up?
[x] Where did Ayu wind up?

Tell us about our girls!
>> No. 200038
> That brings us to the end of the Goro’s story, or at least, to the end of the bit that’s told in chronological order from a single perspective.

Wot? I thought it's just starting to get interesting!
>> No. 200039
Let's see, where to start...

[x] Where did Orin end up?
[x] Where did Asagao end up?
[x] Where did Kosuzu end up?
[x] Where did the three stooges from Magarimachi all end up?
[x] Where did Ayu end up?
[x] Where did Koyomi end up?
[x] What if Goro and Yae had gone to the Village instead of Amaden?
[x] What if Goro didn't forgive and forget the whole affair?
[x] What if Goro misdirected instead of making Atsushi own up for scamming Orin?
[x] What if the plan had been to let the Village negotiate with the TA?
[x] What if Goro had bulli'd Kogasa?
[x] What if Goro had run across a mouse-wielding Buddhist youkai?
[x] What if Goro hadn't taken on his father's attitude?
[x] What if Goro hadn't decided to fess up about touching fluffy tails?
[x] What if those three stooges hadn't been sent to Mizumagari?
[x] What if Goro had gotten eager about kappa-tech harvesters?
[x] What if Goro had chatted up the fellow human at the TA office?
[x] What if Goro hadn't touched fluffy tail?
[x] What if Goro had gone anywhere but Amaden at the start?

Kind of a dick move, I know, but I can't help wanting to know, y'know?
>> No. 200043
[X]How would the Furu-Furu scene play out if Goro was a female and the wolfs were male?
>> No. 200044
>>200043

I’d like to vehemently second this question.
>> No. 200045
>>200043
>genderswapping OCs
y tho
>> No. 200046
File 154328628550.jpg - (131.96KB, 850x1092, boogityboo.jpg) [iqdb]
200046
The ink was scarcely dry on the final signatures that opened up Amaden-Magarimachi trade before the effects became visible. Half-finished buildings, stalls, and carts stood just outside the cluster of established buildings in the village center, and every day brought a few new venturers and small-time merchants wanting an early look.

Tatara Kogasa was talking with one of those small-time merchants, a young-looking crow tengu woman with curly black hair and yellow-tipped feather. She gestured at the selection of everyday metal necessities she had laid out on the table in front of her: a shovel blade, a kitchen knife, a small collection of sewing needles.

“So you can see my handiwork for yourself. I can take commissions and orders no matter how small, whether that’s a small order or an order of small things.”

The crow tengu picked up one of the needles, giving it a once-over before setting it back down. “It’s certainly solid craftsmanship. Are you licensed to sell to Trade Association members?”

“Ah, yes, one moment. I have it right here, I just need a moment to BOO!”

Kogasa opened her umbrella in the crow tengu’s face, making her stumble back. In the second it too her to catch her footing, Kogasa had already vanished, along with the display of her wares.

__________

My family had given Kogasa a lukewarm reception at first, but she was growing on them whether they liked it or not. She had even coaxed my mother into giving her the occasional candy and affectionate tousle when she came over to visit, though it often came with a stern but loving lecture about staying out of trouble. I was almost worried she was going to run a racket, bouncing from room to room at the Morozumi compound getting a treat and a head-pat from everyone she encountered.

It was possible that she had already done just that, since I happily gave her a cup of tea when she found me and Yae in the living room.

“Humans like youkai-made stuff, right? That’s how all your legends go, some dork finds a magic youkai sword, full to bursting with whatnot, and it gives him all kinds of powers,” she pouted after taking a sip.

“With whatnot?” I asked.

“Y’know. Full of youkai… magic… juice, or whatever it is.”

“I suppose it’s not exactly untrue,” I said.

“Then how come, hypothetically speaking, when a cute youkai who’s a skilled blacksmith and a natural salesmen tries to sell my — sell her stuff, it never goes right?”

“Aw, there there,” Yae said, putting a comforting hand on Kogasa’s shoulder.

“For all they know, my stuff could be full of power too. Maybe my shovel blades could dig on their own, or the sewing needles could automatically dye cloth while you make it,” Kogasa continued, looking forlorn at her bag of unsold ironware.

“That’d be a loom, wouldn’t it? You use needles to…”

Yae waved my words aside. “Let a girl dream, Goro.”

“Yae, can’t you tell her she just needs to get a license?”

“But that’s so boring! You need to fill out papers, and then wait to get approved, but I already have stuff to sell now!”

“Have you tried asking the smith? You seem to get along well with him. He’s let you use his furnace.”

“Yeah, but he said he doesn’t have to deal with the TA ‘cause he just sells stuff locally.” Kogasa heaved her shoulders and frowned, as if that was proof that the world was conspiring against her.

“Well, maybe you should go work with him some more. Who knows? With all the things happening here, he might have too much work for one person,” Yae offered. Her shoulder-pat grew into a hug from the side as she leaned closer to Kogasa.

“That’s it!” Kogasa shouted, sitting straight up and nearly knocking Yae backwards.

“You see? The answer was right in front of—”

Kogasa interrupted Yae. “The black market! You don’t need a license to sell there.”

“Um, dear, I don’t think—”

“Thanks for your help, I’m off to find the nearest moving-man!”

Kogasa picked up her bag, skipped out of the room, and took to the sky. Yae and I stood up, watching her as she floated away.

“I’m a little worried that someday her visits will be less like doting on a kid and more like harboring a wanted criminal,” I said.

“Yeah. We’d still harbor her, though,” Yae said.

“Yeah.”

__________

(Votes will be collated, and not all of them will take an entire update, so feel free to vote for several options. I took off the ‘epilogue’ option because I figure it deserves to be its own 30th post. Pretend I listed all the options in >>200039 and gave each one its own choice so I don't have to make the options bigger than the update)


[ ] Where did _____ wind up? (choose a character)
-- [ ] Orin, Asagao, Koyomi, Atsushi, Ama'ake, and any other of Goro's friends, family members, and local stooges
[ ] What if _____? (choose an alternate scenario)
-- [ ] Tail resistance, Nazcounter, sprung upon by spring faerie, umbrella bullying, non-Amaden beginnings, etc.

>>200043

ask Yae
>> No. 200047
[X] What if _____? (choose an alternate scenario)
[X] Nazcounter
[X] Sprung upon by spring faerie
[X] Where did _____ wind up? (choose a character)
[X] Orin
>> No. 200048
[x] >>200039
[x] >>200043

It’s easier this way.
>> No. 200049
[x] Where did Ayu wind up?
[x] What if _____?
-- [x] Nazcounter
-- [x] umbrella bullying

Was not bullying the umbrella our one great mistake?
>> No. 200050
[X] What if _____?
-[X] Goro had cheated on Yae with Ayu.
>> No. 200056
[x] What if _____? (choose an alternate scenario)
-- [x] Tail resistance, Nazcounter, Spring Fairy, Orin

"Orin" means what alternate consequences could have had the Orin event.
>> No. 200064
[x] >>200039
Rather than repeat myself...
>> No. 200068
File 154336510721.png - (253.88KB, 719x900, Naz is the angers.png) [iqdb]
200068
[x] ...an overly enthusiastic faerie of spring.

After the usual preparations, I had set off for Numamagari. I had tested my knife before heading out, making sure it was still sharp. Ceremonial or not, a foot of sharp metal was useful to have in the woods. I had a yaku-yoke charm made of silk thread, one of the many heirloom amulets in the family. The only way to get a good amulet around here was to have it passed down through the family or commissioning one. Buying pre-made amulets was just asking to get scammed by some peddler swearing up and down that it was blessed by every god that ever existed and a few that didn’t. Lastly, I had a few strips of dried meat, because if all else failed and I was confronted by a vicious hungry youkai, I could toss them out, run away, and hope the youkai went for the flesh that didn’t fight back.

All those emergency measures sat unused as I walked through the forest. The parts of the forest closer to the settlement were divided up into sections owned by individual families, but this far out was the commons, owned by the village as a whole. There was an eye-crossing list of unspoken rules about what could be taken by whom, and when, and how much, and secondhand stories of brawls starting from something like a fox being hunted during mating season made their way to me every year.

There was no arguing it was worth the trouble, though. The forest was like a single massive creature, humming softly with the crunch of deer hooves on leaves, the chirp of insects, and the swaying of tree branches. My eye was drawn to a splash of pink color near the trail. A patch of peonies, previously wilted, had sprung back into full bloom. I slowed my steps to look at it, but they soon began to wilt again. I looked ahead, seeing a thin patch of flowers blooming in front of me like a carpet unrolling.

“Hello?”

I called up as I heard a tree branch rustle. I couldn’t help smiling, since I had a hunch who it was. The rustling stopped, and I was able to hear a soft buzz for just a moment.

“Is that you, Lily White?”

I heard the same soft buzz.

“It’s still spring, isn’t it?”

“Yes!”

As I suspected, Lily White burst out from the leaves of a nearby tree. She was the rarest of sights: a faerie everyone was happy to see. She swooped down, her long blonde hair rippling in the wind. A row of thin wings, like the petals of a flower, buzzed behind her as she flew in a circle around me, rejuvenating the dead and wilted flowers in her wake. She sang at the top of her lungs as she swooped and corkscrewed through the air.

“It’s spring! Spring is here, winter is over and spring is here!”

As suddenly as it had started, she drifted to a stop and plopped down on her feet next to me.

“But not much longer,” she sighed.

She was right. We were in the last month of spring, which was probably why she was this far east to begin with. She gave a forlorn little kick to a patch of dry leaves on the floor, briefly turning them green and full again.

“You should enjoy it while it lasts though, right?” I said.

“I s’pose. It’s just, this spring was extra beautiful and springish, and I don’t wanna see it go,” she sighed again.

“Do you want to follow me? I’m going east too, so you can tag along.”

Lily lifted her head and smiled at me. She nodded, then hopped behind me and started crawling up my back. She was short enough that it took her a few good steps to make her way up it. Her arms draped over my shoulders, her light body taking its place next to my bag.

She tagged along with me for more than just my trip to Numamagari. Once I told her about how humans were happy to see her, and how they liked the way she made plants grow and bloom, she all but demanded that I take her back home with me. Yae, of course, had absolutely no problems with the situation. She even invited her to spend the night in the family bedroom, though Lily could hardly stay still for a minute even at night, and any attempt at snuggles quickly failed.

My parents liked seeing her, too. They both insisted they were nice to her only because it was the proper thing to do, since Lily’s presence benefited the whole village, but that niceness included more than a few head-pats and piggyback rides. She even became a local curiosity for a bit once people saw that she didn’t leave after a day or two. She hung around the Morozumi compound for a few weeks, but as June came around, we knew she had to leave. There were a few poorly-hidden sniffles among the family as she said her goodbyes for the year, promising to show up again next February as she always did. Only once we went back inside did we notice she had decided to take a pack of cookies from us for the trip back.

__________

[x] …a mouse-wielding Buddhist youkai.

All those emergency measures sat unused as I walked through the forest. The parts of the forest closer to the settlement were divided up into sections owned by individual families, but this far out was the commons, owned by the village as a whole. There was an eye-crossing list of unspoken rules about what could be taken by whom, and when, and how much, and secondhand stories of brawls starting from something like a fox being hunted during mating season made their way to me every year.

There was no arguing it was worth the trouble, though. The forest was like a single massive creature, humming softly with the crunch of deer hooves on leaves, the chirp of insects, and the swaying of tree branches. I was so busy looking off into the distance that I nearly tripped over my own feet as a mouse ran past me. In the time it took me to steady myself, three more mice ran past, squeaking and scampering.

I watched them as they gathered in a circle near a tree. Another small mouse, its brown fur almost invisible next to the tree, was curled up near the trunk. It shivered, and even on its tiny body I could see that one of its legs was bent in a way it shouldn’t be. The mice squeaked among themselves, and then two of them came rushing towards me. I could swear they were looking up at me as they stood near my feet.

“Sorry, little guy. Um, get well soon,” I said.

I glanced down the road, but one of the mice nipped at my ankle, forcing my attention back on them. They rose up on their hind legs and started to wave their little front paws.

“You… Do you want me to help?” I said.

They nodded. Mice that understood human language was far from the oddest thing I had seen, but I wished there was an easier way to tell them apart from normal mice at a glance. I walked over to the poor injured mouse, getting on my knees.

“Do I pick it up? Do you want me to carry it?”

The process was difficult, with me asking questions and the mice either nodding yes or shaking their head no, growing frustrated at my lack of proper mouse-handling technique. After a few minutes, I was walking forward again with the injured mouse cradled in my hands and the other mice deciding to stow away in my pockets. It made for slower walking, but I wasn’t about to risk having a pack of mice chomp at me. The mouse in my hands let out a delicate little chutter, which at least made me feel better about my hesitant good deed.

I was rescued from the awkward situation as I saw a short, gray-haired woman hurrying towards me. She was a mouse-woman, rather, and her round ears bounced and flopped on her head as she ran towards me. I recognized her as Nazrin, which was a relief, since the encounter with the mice made more sense now, but also unfortunate since it meant being around Nazrin.

“Hold still. I don’t trust those grubby mitts of yours,” she said as she pulled to a stop in front of me.

“I did the best I could,” I said, feeling a little like I’d been taken advantage of as she reached into my hands.

“That would be the problem. Up you go, little guy. You’re safe now.”

Nazrin scooped up the injured mouse from my hands, then pulled her tail closer. An empty basket dangled from the tip of her tail, and the other mice scampered out of my pockets to crawl into it. The process of four mice climbing over me made me shudder from my shoulders to my toes, and I let out an unsettled grunt. The mice gathered in Nazrin’s basket and positioned themselves around their injured comrade as he was lowered into it. With that taken care of, Nazrin put her hands on her hips and scowled up at me. She picked up her dowsing rods, which turned forward and pointed at the dagger around my belt.

“Bah,” she said.

“I didn’t even do anything.”

“Bah,” she said again. “I was looking for a sword in a lake, not a kitchen knife in a swamp. Sometimes this thing’s definition of ‘treasure’ is seriously underwhelming.”

“Maybe the real treasure is the friend you made along—”

Nazrin pointed a dowsing rod inches away from my face. “Don’t make me bite your kneecaps off, because I’ll do it.”

__________


>[X] What if _____? -[X] Goro had cheated on Yae with Ayu.
ever heard of Space Jin?

“What if we bullied Kogasa” and “where did Orin and Ayu wind up” both got more than a couple of votes, along with some various “where are they now”s, so I’m taking them off the list and I’ll be doing them tomorrow. Feel free to vote among the remainders and I’ll provide an Alternate-Dimension Gaiden glimpse at a few more of them for Update 29. Thank you all for indulging me with this odd little third-act experiment.

[xxx] What if Goro hadn't touched fluffy tail?
[xx] What if Goro had gotten eager about kappa-tech harvesters?
[xx] What if Goro had chatted up the fellow human at the TA office?
[xx] Where did Asagao end up?
[xx] Where did Kosuzu end up?
[xx] Where did the three stooges from Magarimachi all end up?
[xx] Where did Koyomi end up?
[xx] What if Goro and Yae had gone to the Village instead of Amaden?
[xx] What if Goro didn't forgive and forget the whole affair?
[xx] What if Goro misdirected instead of making Atsushi own up for scamming Orin?
[xx] What if the plan had been to let the Village negotiate with the TA?
[xx] What if Goro hadn't taken on his father's attitude?
[xx] What if Goro hadn't decided to fess up about touching fluffy tails?
[xx] What if Goro had gone anywhere but Amaden at the start?
>> No. 200069
[x] What if Goro hadn't touched fluffy tail?
[x] What if Goro had gotten eager about kappa-tech harvesters?
[x] What if Goro had chatted up the fellow human at the TA office?
[x] Where did Asagao end up?
[x] Where did Kosuzu end up?
[x] Where did the three stooges from Magarimachi all end up?
[x] Where did Koyomi end up?
[x] What if Goro and Yae had gone to the Village instead of Amaden?
[x] What if Goro didn't forgive and forget the whole affair?
[x] What if Goro misdirected instead of making Atsushi own up for scamming Orin?
[x] What if the plan had been to let the Village negotiate with the TA?
[x] What if Goro hadn't taken on his father's attitude?
[x] What if Goro hadn't decided to fess up about touching fluffy tails?
[x] What if Goro had gone anywhere but Amaden at the start?

I know you thought I was joking, but here I am, voting on everything.
>> No. 200070
[xxx] What if Goro hadn't touched fluffy tail?
[xx] What if Goro had gotten eager about kappa-tech harvesters?
[xx] What if Goro had chatted up the fellow human at the TA office?
[xx] Where did Kosuzu end up?
[xx] What if Goro and Yae had gone to the Village instead of Amaden?
[xx] What if Goro didn't forgive and forget the whole affair?
[xx] What if Goro misdirected instead of making Atsushi own up for scamming Orin?
[xx] What if the plan had been to let the Village negotiate with the TA?
[xx] What if Goro hadn't taken on his father's attitude?
[xx] What if Goro hadn't decided to fess up about touching fluffy tails?
[xx] What if Goro had gone anywhere but Amaden at the start?


Most seem really interesting.
>> No. 200072
[x] Where did Kosuzu end up?
[x] Where did the three stooges from Magarimachi all end up?
[x] Where did Koyomi end up?
[x] What if Goro didn't forgive and forget the whole affair?
[x] What if Goro misdirected instead of making Atsushi own up for scamming Orin?
[x] What if Goro hadn't taken on his father's attitude?
[x] What if Goro hadn't decided to fess up about touching fluffy tails?
I don't even want to imagine a world without fluffy tail.
>> No. 200074
>everything I voted for got written
excellent
excellent
>> No. 200075
> ever heard of Space Jin?
The, umm, CBT guy?
>> No. 200078
[x] >>200039
[x] >>200043

etc. etc.

Tell us everything.
>> No. 200083
File 154345867520.jpg - (307.49KB, 768x900, Kogasad.jpg) [iqdb]
200083
[x] Kogasa’s an adorable goober, and that makes me want to tease her. I’ll tell them I’m bringing a captive youkai as prisoner. (It would be a joke, of course)

“I’m gonna tag along with you, so there. Nyeh.” Kogasa stuck her tongue out at me, then lowered her umbrella so I could see its tongue doing the same.

“I’m also gonna make you tell me stuff. What’s that?” She pointed to a rope strung around the trunk of a young tree.

“That’s a straightener. Makes the tree grow up straight, so you can get long, straight plants for boats and houses.

“Ooh, neat.”

She asked me a few more questions as we got closer to Numamagari. I had to admit it was hard to stay mad at her, but I still wanted at least a little comeuppance after she scared me half to death. A little while later, I heard the sounds of whacking and cutting and creaking wood. An entire household’s worth of people were working to uproot a nasty-looking stump. They stopped to take a look at us. Kogasa froze, suddenly looking nervous.

Seeing my chance, I put a hand firmly on her shoulder. “I captured a youkai from the forest,” I announced.

“Wha— Captured?” Kogasa reeled.

“Yep. We caught you trespassing in the forest, so I’m taking you to Youkai Jail.”

A few snorts of laughter came up from my small audience. Kogasa, not in on the joke, turned to me with her eyes wide and her mouth open.

“You… you traitor!”

“Careful, or I’ll double your sentence for badmouthing me,” I said.

Kogasa threw herself at me, her round eyes starting to fill with tears. “Nooooooo! Have mercy!”

Before I could bask in the dangerously exhilarating thrill of bullying Kogasa, a middle-aged woman kneeling by the tree stump spoke up.

“Relax, he’s joking,” she said, giving me a glare.

Kogasa blinked. She wiped the budding tears from her eyes and saw how I was trying not to laugh.

“You scared me, you jerk! I thought I was gonna do hard time!” She pulled herself away from me and began to swat me on the head with her umbrella.

“Ow! I thought you liked scares,” I said, still trying not to laugh even as I was pelted with blows from her umbrella.

“Only when I’m doing them, you poop!” she said, giving me one more swat of her umbrella before pulling back and pouting.

She eventually forgave me after a few private apologies, once we were out of earshot of everyone else in the forest. After that, our journey went similarly to how it otherwise would have, with Kogasa being too energetic to stay on one thought for too long. Once we got home, though, Kogasa told Yae all about my little prank. Yae made me give her a second round of apologies and promise not to bully ‘our precious honey-bun’ ever again.

__________

[x] Where did Ayu end up?

Working at Furu-Furu had always been a part-time gig for Ayu. It wasn’t uncommon for any young tengu with a cute face and a nice tail to work at one of the many tail cafes to make a little extra money and a few connections while they were busy being on the bottom rung at their other job.

For her, that other job was at Shirata Lumber and Silviculture Services, running errands and filing papers. It was a few months later, on a warm Monday morning, that Ayu heard a few of the salesmen grousing over some names that sounded vaguely familiar.

“Blasted humans, am I right? I mean, why’d they even open up trade if they’re gonna take so much off the table?”

“He said it’s out of his hands. Can’t tell his neighbor what to do,” the other salesman said with a resigned sigh.

“Yeah, and he — the other guy, Hirohide, right? — keeps acting like we’re calling him away from the front lines every time we try to talk.”

The second one laughed. “We could be, for all we know. I mean, it’s humans.”

“Heh, yeah. I just wish the Morozumis took this whole thing a little more seriously.”

Ayu’s ears twitched with recognition. She looked up from the decades-old records she was burrowing through.

“Pardon me, did you say ‘Morozumi’?”

__________

[x] Where did Orin end up?

Orin started to sweat, even in the cold air of the Underground. She wondered how she was going to explain to Satori that she was a day late and carrying a bucket of treats for herself. Then she remembered that Satori could read her mind and started sweating harder.

When she finally found the courage to show herself at home, Satori was mostly unfazed. She had lived around cats for centuries and gotten used to how they behave, so at this point she expected at least a few bizarre surprises and stories whenever Orin came home.

As months passed, it was almost winter before Orin remembered someone owed her money for something she vaguely remembered and set off looking for Magarimachi again. She knocked on a few doors, giving their occupants a serious fright before telling them she was trying to find Atsushi, and no, she wasn’t going to take his dead body, and yes, she was knocking on doors at random to find him.

Eventually, someone was kind enough and calm enough to direct her to his house, where she knocked on its door once again. A nervous Atsushi opened the door, along with another man who was hurriedly trying to hide some papers away after seeing who was there.

“Orin! Goodness, what a surprise. Ahem. We… we had sort of thought you’d send a little advance notice,” Atsushi said through a forced smile.

“Alright, what’re you two doing?” she asked, using the same tone that Satori often used on her.

“Just, um, writing! That’s not important, though. I’ll get your payment ready. Just a second!”

The journey out had given Orin the time to remember more details about Atsushi, and she had expected him to start groveling for mercy. Instead, he hardly seemed to care about the money as he nearly shoved it into her hands. It was all more than a little suspicious, especially now that she recognized the other fellow inside as Hayato, one of the other people who had scammed her.

“Well, now that that’s all settled,” Atsushi said, glancing towards the doorway as if he was trying to will her to leave.

“What’cha writing? Satori likes to read, so— “

Hayato let out a stifled shriek and reflexively dove towards the wall. Realizing there was neither any cover or any escape in that direction, he pulled himself up from the floor, his whole face red.

“She, er… she wouldn’t be interested in it,” Atsushi said, now visibly gesturing towards the door.

“Let me look at that. You two are up to something, aren’t you?”

“I can explain!”

”Silly human. I don’t want your money,” the kasha purred.

I wriggled in her grasp as she crawled over my body. I was excited despite my fear. No, not despite it. The palpable fear made my heart thump. Despite the threat of death, I felt more alive than I ever had before. The kasha took my hand in hers, guiding it towards her.

“Now… send me to heaven, or I’ll send you to hell.”


“What,” Orin said.

“It’s a… well, you see… Hayato said he thought you were cute, and—”

“Don’t sell me out,” Hayato cried.

“We’re both just in it for the money! There’s a big demand for erotic literature lately.”

Orin threw the piece of paper aside. Hayato snatched it up, carefully putting it back in order with the other papers.

“It’s slightly more legitimate money than what I was making before!”

Orin rolled her eyes and let out a laugh.

“Pfft, what kinda weirdo would want to read about having sex with a youkai?” she asked, then laughed again as she strolled out the door.

__________

If my counting is correct, then these five options all got the most votes:

[x] Where did Kosuzu end up?
[x] What if Goro didn't forgive and forget the whole affair?
[x] What if Goro misdirected instead of making Atsushi own up for scamming Orin?
[x] What if Goro hadn't taken on his father's attitude?
[x] What if Goro hadn't decided to fess up about touching fluffy tails?

I don’t exactly think I’ll be able to do all five of them, but expect to see some of them get answered tomorrow.
>> No. 200084
[x] adopt kogasa
>> No. 200085
[x] adopt kogasa
-[x] adopt harder
>> No. 200092
[x] give Ayu the wood
>> No. 200097
[x] adopt kogasa
[x] >>200039
[x] >>200043
[x] More of Ayu

You can’t just stop there! There’s gotta be more about Ayu, right?
>> No. 200099
File 154354262768.png - (298.44KB, 900x686, delicious history.png) [iqdb]
200099
[x] Where did Kosuzu end up?

“Who, me? Pfft, I’m doing fine. Are you kidding?” The bells in Kosuzu’s hair jingled as she shook her head at the very idea.

Nazuna hadn’t asked anything. She had just come in hoping to return her book without much fuss, but she seemed to have walked in on a conversation that apparently involved her without her knowledge or consent. Kosuzu glanced back and forth, making the bells jingle again to make sure nobody was listening.

“I mean, between you and me, it’s not as if the potato-humpers out east are even literate to begin with, so it’s not as if it’s a big loss,” Kyouko said with a dramatic shrug.

“I see,” Nazuna said, very clearly using the tone of someone who had already stopped listening.

“Besides, it’d take more than a little bit of controversy to sink me! If that was all it took, I’d be out of business by now.”

Nazuna had never doubted the notion. Kosuzu, somehow, seemed to have friends in every high place in Gensokyo. Whatever nonsensical intrigue she stuck her nose in, it would be promptly taken care of and covered up. She could’ve summoned a hundred demons that Reimu had to hunt down for all anyone knew.

Leaving Kosuzu to jabber away about how okay she was, Nazuna lay her book on the counter, stepped away slowly, and left Suzuna’an for what was probably the last time. There were other book-lenders.

[x] What if Goro didn't forgive and forget the whole affair?

We were still in our huddle, trying to figure out how best to take advantage of our only partly accidental victory. I gestured at Patrolwoman Iwabori Koyomi, locked in her very one-sided struggle with Kosuzu.

“I just have to ask and make sure: Is she arresting Kosuzu or anything like that, or…” I asked.

“Who, Koyomi? She’s barely got the authority to say hello to her. Most she could do is politely ask her to follow her willingly back to the station and fill out a self-arrest form,” Kokemae said with a guffaw.

Koyomi’s ears drooped as she let out a sigh.

“Anyway, we shouldn’t let this opportunity go to waste. This could be big,” I continued.

“Hold on. You aren’t considering anything rash, are you? I mean, listen, the Hieda clan meddling with local village politics isn’t exactly a shocking scandal.”

“It is as soon as Amaden’s involved,” I said.

Kokemae blinked. “That’s… one way to look at it. I didn’t mean any of that ‘fabricating claims’ stuff I was shouting about and, um, listen, my ass is on the line here.”

“Let’s just give them a little bit of a scare, right? Let them know we aren’t going to take this lying down.”

“Careful. Listen,” Haruma said. “There’s a traditional, time-honored way to inform Gensokyo of complaints against the Hieda clan.”

__________

A package arrived in Magarimachi the next day.

To the Morozumi estate,

You have made your voice heard with regards to your dissatisfaction over the Hieda clan’s mediation in recent discussions. After careful consideration of the circumstances, while we are not admitting any guilt or culpability related to said mediation, we wish to show our desire for future cooperation with the enclosed ‘gift’ for you to ‘invest’ in your ‘definitely not terrible project.’

See you in hell,

Hieda no Akyuu.


__________

(Today has been a very bizarre day, so I’m just going to summarize the rest. Since I had only a very rough outline of what I was planning at any given time, don’t see these as “what the story would’ve been” as much as interesting side-notes)

[x] What if Goro misdirected instead of making Atsushi own up for scamming Orin?

Orin, not being particularly up-to-date with modern market prices, assumes everything went just fine and returns home. Satori can’t help but notice the disappearing money and appearing fish parts, and after hearing what happened, she informs Orin that she should probably just stick to buying things from actual stores from now on.

Atsushi and the other stooges, later remembering the whole ‘kasha’ thing, attempt to return some of the money to Orin. Not knowing where she lives, they donate to the nearest shrine and say a few prayers and well-wishes in Orin’s name. Somehow, it all works out.

[x] What if Goro hadn't taken on his father's attitude?

Goro still cares about the project he got himself into, of course, but he takes a more “what will happen will happen” attitude. When he goes to talk over things with his father, he expects that pappy will still want to take over every detail. When pappy starts to grill him on some parts of the trade agreement, he says that he doesn’t want to upstage or gainsay his dear father.

Goro’s father doesn’t take the notion too kindly, and firmly informs him that there’s a difference between “don’t fix what ain’t broke” and being lazy. At the same time, Gorodad starts to realize how much he’s taken over his son’s duties, and that it might be time for him to step back a little and let his son learn more through experience, not just from being told what to do.

[x] What if Goro hadn't decided to fess up about touching fluffy tails?

At one point I had intended to have another subplot, “the Morozumi Curse.” In exchange for the family’s good fortune in gaining bona-fide titles and land, they were cursed to encounter all forms of irresistible tail, never making proper human heirs as they were too busy with freaky interspecies sex. Goro’s mother saved the dynasty through means that Goro really doesn’t want to think about (the sexual appetite and stamina of a moose in heat).

It was a bit too silly, even for this story, and with the way things turned out, there was never a good place to put it; it was a subplot largely unrelated to the main hook that didn’t really advance anything. Anyway, to answer the question: the secret is eventually revealed thanks to Ayu’s dropped business card, and while Goro insists that it was just some innocent tail-petting, Yae decides that for the good of the family line, Goro needs to spend a day or two in the bedroom with her for ‘remedial action.’
>> No. 200100
Akyuu is such a bitch
>> No. 200105
File 154362999989.jpg - (3.85MB, 2048x1536, Map(3).jpg) [iqdb]
200105
A year and a half had passed since I first met Ama’ake and received his cryptic warnings and reserved congratulations. Even back then, when I was still riding high on success, so much was still up in the air, but the groundwork I laid at the start helped carry me along for the rest of the challenges.

There were some growing pains at first, to be sure. The first people the TA sent over were apparently not used to the way things worked in a small village, and had to shave a zero off of even their conservative offers for buying. Even so, the reality of the situation finally began to sink in after that. Numamagari had thought they’d stay hands-off, but when they saw the sale price for planks of spruce wood, they soon decided that a single footpath wouldn’t be enough, and built a dock to load up boats with wood to ship downstream to us.

As the first few sales and shipments went smoothly, I learned that I had gained a reputation as an honest dealer willing to compromise, which was apparently in very short supply in Amaden. Some had taken it to mean I was a pushover, but that impression usually didn’t last very long after meeting me — or the rest of my family. Every so often, a human from the TA would ask for a better deal with an appeal to “sticking together, you know?” I would tell them that, thanks to a footnote in the trade deal, they would have to bring that up with the Hieda clan, and that would usually be the last I heard of the subject.

It was a crisp autumn Friday, and that meant market day. The sudden appearance of tengu and kappa was still something of a novelty, and there were a few rubberneckers along with the people who were there on business. Even when I didn’t have other business there, I liked to keep an eye on the main street on market days, just as a reminder for everyone to keep things on the up-and-up.

The market had been open long enough that I started to notice familiar faces. Patrolwoman Iwabori Koyomi was there on what I assumed was patrol duty, but judging by the way she hovered around the food stands with a large bag of fried squash seeds, she might have just been visiting. A few passers-by tried to chat her up, only to receive an unwelcome glare for distracting her from her snack.

Kogasa would usually be creeping around somewhere on market days as well. Despite Yae’s best efforts, she was too energetic to stay in one place for long, but market days were a good opportunity for her to look around and ask the local smith if any of her works turned out to have special magic properties. The answer was always “not yet,” as far as any of us knew. Even Orin showed up sometimes, though that was usually in cat form, looking to swipe some unattended food. I had hoped that our previous friendliness with youkai would’ve worked more in my favor with Amaden, but as I had soon learned, the average tengu didn’t care very much about anything a human thought.

Except, perhaps, for one. A prim-looking crow tengu with stiff black hair and a large, prominent forehead was heading for me, pen and notebook in hand.

“Hello! Fumii Teru here, with the TA Quarterly. We’re doing an article on the trade in Magarimachi, and I was hoping to have a word with the human behind it all,” she said with a smile that was equal parts imposing and desperate.

It took me a moment, but I recognized the name. She was the crow tengu who had taken a lump from Reimu for causing too much noise flying over the shrine. Hopefully, this work was a little safer for the poor gal, I thought as I looked at her frayed smile again.

“Of course he will! Come with us and we’ll take you home. That is, you can hold an interview at our home. And join us for dinner, if you’d like.”

“Great!” Teru beamed.

I put a hand on Yae’s shoulder and whispered to her. “Yae, please.”

“You saw that smile, didn’t you? That’s the dejected smile of someone who never got the motherly love they needed,” Yae whispered back.

“I can hear you, ma’am,” Teru said, still smiling.

“Do you accept my offer?” Yae said back.

“Let’s start with the interview. If you wouldn’t mind showing the way?”

We walked away from the crowd towards the hilltop that held the Morozumi estate. I’m important enough for an interview, I thought to myself with a growing pride. I couldn’t resist getting started on my story as we walked back.

“It started when I heard that the Trade Association was looking into the industries of some of the villages. It sounded like an interesting opportunity, so one day, I headed North.”
>> No. 200106
We did it! It has been did! I’m glad you all enjoyed the story, since writing something with relatively little involvement with actual canon Touhous is always a bit of a risk.

Speaking of which, to very belatedly answer >>199419 , yep. I was the author of Kinu Yasumi’s almanac under a different name. Long story short, I wasn’t as good at plotting back then, and I loaded it up with more and more subplots and things going on without resolving that it collapsed under its own weight, as did I. Seeing as that was also a Nano-Reimu story, I had intended for this to be something of a spiritual successor, hence the cameos.

If you want to see more of Amaden, a certain mask with more floof than usual is working on a story set there in /youkai/
>> No. 200107
>It took me a moment, but I recognized the name. She was the crow tengu who had taken a lump from Reimu for causing too much noise flying over the shrine. Hopefully, this work was a little safer for the poor gal, I thought as I looked at her frayed smile again.

In a way, it was all thanks to her, uh? I hope she's happy now.

What a good way to end a good story. FeelsGoodMan
>> No. 200108
>>200106
WHERE IS THE KEINE BATH MASKMAN

YOU SAID THERE WOULD BE KEINE BATH

good job on this one tho
>> No. 200125
>tfw kogasa wouldn't stand still long enough to get adopted
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