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File 154112981134.jpg - (85.05KB, 800x581, this could be home.jpg) [iqdb]
199440 No. 199440
For a long, long time, all is silence.

All is dark.

You know nothing. You are nothing. Everything has passed - you are dead.

This is where your story begins.

For the first time in a long time, your heart clicks, gears skipping a tooth, before catching, the clockworks pumping your turbid blood as you awaken, slowly.

You stare, blankly, across the graves for some time before you realise that they've not been cared for.


All you can bring yourself to feel at this realisation is a vague sorrow - you feel a bit sad, nothing more. You take a long, shuddering breath, your first that you can recall.

You should do something.

Another nameless interval passes, before you lurch forward, your position slumped down against the trunk of a tree preventing you from taking actually walking until you slowly stand, refamiliarising yourself with the motions for what might as well be the first time.

You step forward, lurching and uncertain, to the clicking beat of the clockworks which animate you.

And you begin to tend to the graves.

You're strong, it turns out, as you uproot small trees and bushes, clearing out the plants which have begun to reclaim this land of the dead in the name of life.

You're careful to replant them beyond the bounds of the graveyard, though. There's no need to add to the death.

It takes you...it takes you some nameless, unknown amount of time, as you clean and clear the graves with only your leathery, stiff hands, and refresh the engravings with a thumb, pushed into the stone.

"Rest in Peace"

"May 9 - May 13"

"Dearly Beloved"

Each engraving holding the feelings and hope of those who sent them off, and that satisfies you, somehow.

Eventually, eventually, you finish your task, and glance around. The graveyard is clean, and neat.

Once more, well attended.

You don't need to mourn.

You don't want to mourn.

You're not alive, but you're not dead, either.

Your tin heart clicks away, a soft rhythm, a clockwork zombie's beating heart.

You... don't remember much. Your vision's strangely cloudy, some things obscure, some in sharp, hyper-real focus. You have no name.

But... you feel an indescribable contentment.

You have done your work. And now...

One foot comes up, and stomps the ground, the beginning of a twirling leap.

"The graveyard is once again well attended." The words draw themselves through your lips, and the stiff muscles of your face produce something that could be called a smile. "Everything has passed." You stomp and leap again, as you begin to move - stiff, lurching, you dance with the dead. As you move, faint lights glow around you, as spirits and ghosts join in your dance - a final mourning for their lost lives.

When your dance comes to a close, several of the spirits fade away, at rest - and others drift across the graveyard, some emitting faint music, others removing bits of fresh debris, newly-fallen twigs and leaves, one small piece at a time.

You look at the graveyard, your work done, and you wonder - who dug the new, empty grave?

And whose grave is it?

[ ] It is your own - and it is time to rest.
[ ] You will find them. There is a corpse that needs to rest.
[ ] You will wait. They will come for their grave.


I'm going to update every day in November to try to get back into the habit.

And then I'll resurrect something and actually finish it maybe. Fingers crossed.
45posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>> No. 199617
[x] Companion Acquired! Other Zombie has joined the party?

Yay, a Yoshika friendo.
>> No. 199630
How unanimous.

It looks like we've got a new party member, then.

For now.

Voting's closed, writing commences.
>> No. 199632

Watch this space tomorrow.
>> No. 199675
File 154173129951.jpg - (105.32KB, 1023x723, __kumoi_ichirin_miyako_yoshika_and_unzan_touhou_dr.jpg) [iqdb]
Well, you can't say you mind her accompanying you. That's fine. An extra pair of hands are always welcome. You nod to her, acknowledging her presence, and continue along. No more loitering, you head straight along to the front gates of the temple. The gate itself appears to be... entirely absent, but there's at least someone here.

While you can't make out their features, you can at least safely assume based on the storm of bullets that are coming your way that they have noticed you as well.

"Excuse me..." You begin, as your companion floats ahead of you. She blocks the incoming bullets splendidly with her body, and you follow in the safe space left in the wake of her passage. "But we need..." The incoming bullet patterns are getting more erratic and panicky as your new friend gets closer to the source. "Some money and liquor..."

"Hey! Too close, too close!" They're using their broom to hold the other zombie back, as she stubbornly attempts to float directly into them. "Miss Ichireeeen...!" She wails, and her volume is really quite remarkable, "There's TWO of theeeem!"

"...for a funeral." You explain, emerging from behind your shield now that the two are firmly locked together and no more bullets are coming your way.

"So!" A new voice makes itself known, "You dare attack the Myouren Temple?!" But you don't really understand what she's talking about? "Taoist scum, tod-" She stops when she sees you. You get the impression that she's making some kind of face, but you can't make it out. "I don't know you. A new zombie...? Unforgivabl-!"

"M-miss Ichireeeen...!" The gatekeeper wails, pitifully. "Help...!" She and your companion are locked together on the ground, only a broom handle across the throat keeping the zombie's teeth from finding purchase.

The nun brandishes something, but you're faster, picking up the zombie girl by the collar of her shirt.

"...Enough of that." You instruct, and she obediently falls quiescent, with a soft 'grau?' of what is most likely confusion. The small girl scuttles off to hide behind the nun. "We have gotten off to a bad start." The two women stare at you, confused. Your friend stares off at nothing in particular, in what may very well be a state of perpetual confusion. Seeing as no-one else has anything to say, you decide to try again.

"An unfortunate soul has met a miserable end." You explain, in slightly more detail. "We come to ask that you provide the last things we need to ease his passage." The nun straightens.

"Well!" She seems on board with your proposal! Excellent! "Let it not be said that the Myouren Temple would turn away those in need! What is it that you need? Our funeral services only ask a token donation..." Glad to see that they're willing to help, you thrust out a hand.

"Money! And liquor." There's a long moment of silence, as she stares at you. Something about the way she's standing changes.

"Get out of heeeeere!" And then there is a very large and very pink fist heading directly for you.


Not ideal.

[ ] Meet the blow!
[ ] If you're not strong, you can dodge!
[ ] ...Looks like team zombie's blasting off...!


I'm not sure if I'll be able to get an update out on Friday, either, but I'll at least try. Lot of driving to be done, these next few days.
>> No. 199678
[x] If you're not strong, you can dodge!

I'm really liking this story.
>> No. 199680
[X] Meet the blow!

I want to see how strong the MC is.
>> No. 199684
[x] Meet the blow!

It's not like it can actually kill us.
>> No. 199688
[X] If you're not strong, you can dodge!
Unzan pls no we're being serious
>> No. 199690
[x] If you're not strong, you can dodge!

Double updates work wonders for those days... I think.

Not sure about the rules in that particular circumstance.
>> No. 199692
[x] ...Looks like team zombie's blasting off...!
>> No. 199693
[x] ...Looks like team zombie's blasting off...!

>> No. 199694
[x] Meet the blow!

I'd like to think that meeting them head on shows we're serious about this.
Besides we need to finish explaining in more detail why we need money and alcohol. Otherwise we'll just end up in another misunderstanding, it seems.
>> No. 199695
[x] Meet the blow!

Whoever heard of getting hurt by a cloud, anyway?
>> No. 199699
[x] If you're not strong, you can dodge!
Surely, this will work.
>> No. 199701
[X] If you're not strong, you can dodge!

MC seemed to like to dance so let's see how he does with a dance partner!
>> No. 199702
[X] If you're not strong, you can dodge!

Do as Piccolo says!
>> No. 199715
[X] Meet the blow!

I'm assuming by the "Clockwork" heart bit that there's at least some reinforcement at work.
>> No. 199725

That's quite a few votes, and even... support?!

Terror consumes me.

[x] If you're not strong, you can dodge!

It's a close vote!
>> No. 199730
File 154190838667.jpg - (620.02KB, 2893x4092, she seems kind.jpg) [iqdb]
Getting hit by something like that would not be good. Not at all.

You fling yourself violently to the side, and narrowly manage to avoid that first, huge fist.

Unfortunately, she followed up on that. The dozens of fists that followed behind the huge one, however, are advancing one after another in a staggered wall, almost impossible to avoid. Especially since you're not exactly the quickest zombie out there. Presumably, you only know the one other.

You make a good shot at it, but then the first one wings you, throwing you off balance, and then another follows up, catching you in the shoulder.

There's a faint crunch.


A few more strikes land, and you collapse as your leg takes a solid hit.

The fists disperse, however, as a wave of kunai-like bullets flood toward the attacking nun, your companion floating forward.

"Leave him aloooone!" She groans out, as the two take to the sky, floods of bullets, lasers, and giant pink fists creating an incredible spectacle that you have an excellent view of from your position on the ground.

A brief check of your body reveals that your arm is very, very broken. Your leg just needs a splint or something, simple, clean break from what you can see, but your arm is...

You're inclined to write it off as a total loss.

"...Uhm." The other girl, the one with the broom, is... well, facing towards you, at least. She leans a little closer. "...Are you going to fix that?"

You stare at her for a while.

"I cannot." You tell her. She doesn't move.

"Doesn't that... hurt?" There's a strange tone in her voice. You use your good arm to help you sit up, and shake your head.

"I do not feel pain." You reassure her. "I am already dead." To be safe, you probe at your skull with your working hand, making sure everything is still intact there. It would be bad if that was too badly damaged... She continues to face you.

"...Do you..." She hesitates. "Do you need help getting up?" You consider your broken leg.

"It would help if I could borrow your broom." You decide. "And if you have some rope...?" She jerks upright, clutching her broom a bit closer for a second, before approaching you slowly and holding it out. You accept the broom and lay it next to you for a moment as you straighten out the broken leg, adjusting the bone with a soft grinding noise. She takes a few steps back, considerately giving you some room to work. After a few more seconds, she runs off, remembering, presumably, that you needed some rope as well.

You're only borrowing the broom, so it would probably be frowned upon to break off the head, wouldn't it? Well, it's the femur that's broken, so if you just tie it head-down, you won't be able to bend sideways at the waist, but it should work...

"Here." She doesn't sound well, for some some reason. Your arm flops as you try to accept the ropes she's offering, and you switch to your good hand, slightly embarrassed. "...oh, that's..." She murmurs, probably not intending for you to hear, so you ignore it. She's got one hand resting on her stomach - perhaps she's hungry, or, based on her tone, something she ate isn't agreeing with her? Anyway, that's not really something you should worry about.

You readjust the broom, and prompting her to lend a hand, manage to get it tied into place with a bare minimum of fumbling.

"Thank you." You express your gratitude, and she waves you off. Hm. Perhaps that should only be expected of a temple disciple? Even if she is only a layperson. You watch her for a while, as she begins to shift. Perhaps she's naturally energetic? She turns her head, but you don't see anything in that direction. Then she glances up, and you remember that your companion and the nun are fighting overhead. The patterns, you note, have only grown more and more complex with time, and you have no idea what's going on up there at this point.

"...Uhm." She begins, and she sounds a little shy. "You said you needed... money and liquor? For a funeral...?" You watch the battle in the sky for a moment longer as you think about her question.

"...Yes." You confirm. There's silence between you for a while.

"W-well!" She sounds a little uncomfortable for some reason? "What for? I mean, I guess, money I can understand..." You nod. Perhaps she isn't familiar with other traditions. It is understandable.

"The officiant of the burial will be Shinto." You tell her. "As such, proper rites must be performed. Liquor is part of that. The gods should be properly honored." She nods, slowly.

"Ooooh." She pauses. "Wait, did you get that Hakurei girl to do it, or was it the green one?" You don't know who either of those people are. You do know one thing.

"She was not green." She pats your shoulder, and recoils when it jiggles.

"G-good luck with that." She tells you. There's a pause. "...uhm, I have a little money, I guess." She decides, audibly warming up to the idea. "Yeah! A good Buddhist shouldn't have attachment to things like that anyway, right?" You wouldn't know. "Okay! I'll be right back." She scurries off, and you go back to watching the fight in the sky.

It's clear that the other zombie isn't all that good at this - she takes hit after hit, and they're not minor ones, either. However, even though she's taking much stronger hits than the nun, the nun is the one who's flagging - the damage won't stick. She seems to have some kind of trick, in addition to her natural - unnatural? - undead stamina. Is stamina even the right term? You're not sure, but it doesn't really matter, in the end. Finally, the danmaku fades, and the two of them land.

"Tch. You've won, but your master won't get..." The nun looks at the two of you. Then she glances around. "...Where's Kyouko?" She turns toward you, "What did you do?"

[ ] "Nothing." You didn't do anything.
[ ] "Do?" What does she mean?
[ ] "We only talked." That counts.


Tomorrow is going to be rough.

I'll try, but I don't know.
>> No. 199731
[x] "We only talked." That counts.

Factually correct.
>> No. 199732
[X] "We only talked." That counts.

she racis'. Just because we're undead; we dindu nuffin
>> No. 199733
[X] "We only talked." That counts

pls no bulli
>> No. 199735
[X] "We only talked." That counts.
>> No. 199736
Also: rip, our arm. Goddamn Ichirin, opening up on complete strangers with bone-shattering force. Tell Unzan to pull his punches a little please
>> No. 199737
In hindsight, perhaps approaching a Buddhist temple with a known Taoist-affiliated Zombie in tow wasn't the best idea
>> No. 199739
[x] "Do?" What does she mean?
Petted? Scratched? Loved?
>> No. 199741
[X] "Do?" What does she mean?

One of our arms are useless and the other is only holding together because of a broom and some rope, so I'm honestly curious to know what she thinks we did.

Well the MC didn't know his fellow zombie is related to the Taoists, nor have any reason to believe monks would be so violent.
>> No. 199742
>the other is only holding together because of a broom and some rope
Oops, meant his leg.
>> No. 199745
[X] "We only talked." That counts.

It's all we did. She can't get pissy because we just talked right?
>> No. 199751
[x] "We only talked." That counts.

So there is one Buddhist uh?
>> No. 199754
We still kinda voted for it though. Then again there's no telling if she would've attacked us anyway, but I think she would've been less-inclined to attack us on sight in that case.
>> No. 199787
File 15421745628.png - (62.28KB, 1600x1200, yoshika_color.png) [iqdb]
You stare at her, considering the question for a time.

"We only talked." It's true, after all. She doesn't really reply, squaring up on you.

"That's her broom, isn't it?" She demands. This is getting a bit confrontational, you think.

"Yes?" You're not sure what the problem is? "She lent it to me." Your comapnion glances between you and the nun - did the girl say her name was Ichirin? - and opens her mouth. Then she closes it. You're not sure what she's thinking, but the nun puts her hands on her hips, and you don't think she really believes you. Which might not be good. She seems unreasonably violent for a Buddhist.

"She lent you her broom." ...The tone of her voice... Yes, you'd say it's safe to say that she doubts you. "I don't know what you're up to, but...!" This is when the smaller girl returns. The nun called her Kyouko?

"I'm back!" She announces. Your friend echoes her statement with a cheery hum.

"Back~" Ichirin turns to look, finally turning away from you.

"I ran into Murasa, and she said," Kyouko's voice changes, "'Be a shame to send someone off without at least a drink.'" You certainly don't recognise the somber girl she's mimicking, but she quickly continues, "So she gave me this bottle? Will this do?" A glance at the bottle only tells you that it's glass. It's probably valuable - the glass is very clear, enough to show the colourless liquid inside. You'll accept it, regardless of the contents - it is, after all, an offering to the deceased.

"K-Kyouko?!" The nun appears none-too-happy. "What do you think you're-" She takes a step towards the small girl, one hand coming up, but Kyouko dodges around her nimbly and quickly attempts to hand off the bottle to you - which is thwarted by her also attempting to pass you what seems to be a wad of cash. With only one functioning hand, you're forced to recruit the other zombie in attendance to assist you. You pass off the donations from the little girl in pink to your friend, and dip your head towards the giver gratefully.

"Our thanks." You tell her. "We will remember your kindness." The nun is staring. You ignore her. "If you wish to be in attendance, the funeral will be in..." You pause, considering. Then you glance around, looking for the sun. It hasn't risen, judging by the sky full of stars, so... "A day and a half. You will be welcomed." You share directions to the burial ground, and turn to leave.

The nun doesn't attempt to stop you, but you can hear her speaking to the kind girl behind you. She sounds unhappy. You don't particularly care.

"Success~" Your companion cheers, happily. You share a look with her, and she's smiling widely, the bottle and money clasped firmly in each hand. You share a smile as well.

"Yes. We have everything now." You briefly frown. "I will need to deal with this, though." You wobble your smashed limb. The leg will be an easier task, you're sure you can find something to affix the bones to later, but the arm is definitely going to be a difficult fix. Ah, and the bite. You need to seal that up, too. Don't want too leak too much of your blood out, whatever its condition might be. "Thank you." It is only right that you express your gratitude to her. After all, she was willing to defend you. She fought the nun for you. And she's still assisting you, as she carries the offerings. The words, however, seem to confuse her. She twists, looks around for... perhaps someone else you might be speaking to? She makes a quietly confused 'hrau?' noise, when she realises it's just the two of you. "Yes. You. Thank you." She blinks at you, for a time, confused. You look back at her, sincere.

Time passes.

Finally, her dull eyes, grown cloudy with death, focus on you, and something about her expression changes.

"...I'm Yoshika." She informs you, seriously. And then, almost as suddenly as the change began, it ends, as her eyes lose their focus again. Yoshika.

You will remember.


The next update will have a vote.

Hopefully tomorrow, tomorrow shouldn't be too soul-crushing.
>> No. 199789
Hands — Artists' Greatest Foe!

Also man Ichiren, still so mean after breaking half our limbs. Normally you're supposed to chill out after a beatdown, right? Well, now that I think about it, Yoshika tanked it all no problem, so maybe we're just unexpectedly fragile?
>> No. 199811
File 154226480148.jpg - (325.76KB, 1800x771, old or maybe new shed or maybe hut.jpg) [iqdb]
Together, you and Yoshika return to the graveyard. You take a little while to reassure the wandering spirits that everything's okay, and you're back, before introducing her.

You're not sure they really believe you.

You're not sure that you blame them. You are kind of damaged.

Regardless, you show your new friend around, introducing her to the ghosts and spirits of the graveyard, showing her the coffin, which is full, and the grave, which is not.

Once you've finished introducing her to the features that were here when you left, all that's left are the ones that were not.

Whether it would be more proper to refer to the structure as a 'hut' or a 'shed', you're not sure. Either way, it wasn't here when you left. Although if you hadn't known that already, looking at the dilapidated structure you'd have never guess it hadn't been here as long as the stones. Leaning against the wall, next to the door, is a shovel that's also seen better days - though it looks usable, it also looks a bit beat up, with rust on the blade.

A gravedigger's shovel, you think. Something about it seems to tell you that.

The ghosts, of course, are completely useless. None of them even knew the build was there, until you asked them about it. Then they were absolutely certain that it had been there all along. But that's probably just spirits being spirits. They don't really understand too much, without access to a body. If it were something immaterial, they might be a bit more help, but for something like this, useless. All you can be sure of, from them, is that it's not haunted.

You approach the 'new' building, Yoshika just behind you, and as you cautiously swing the door open, she's floating just high enough to peer over your head and see inside. There's a small wooden box inside, next to a low table - just, you would estimate, long enough for you to lie down upon. There are some tools, up on a wall. You see saws, both for wood and bone, woodworker's tools, and... yes. You can see the clamps and pliers and precision tools of a clockmaker, as well.

You aren't sure how you feel about this hut. Shed. Whatever it may be.

You certainly aren't thrilled for it to just appear like this when you need it. It's...

It's convenient. You don't like that. You can't pin it down any further than that simple impression.

However you feel about it, though, you can't deny that the tools and equipment inside would be extremely helpful for maintaining your body and doing work around the graveyard.

And there's a great deal of work to be done.

You lay out an offering of food for the deceased, and the ghosts cluster around.

[ ] A room, in which to conduct the ceremonies, should be constructed. The time of the burial is drawing near.
[ ] That poor soul deserves mourners. How can he rest without knowing that he is missed?
[ ] ...You need to take care of yourself. Your body needs fixing up.
-[ ] Use the Workshop.
-[ ] Reject the Workshop.
>> No. 199812
[X] A room, in which to conduct the ceremonies, should be constructed. The time of the burial is drawing near.
Alway best to construct fmthe thing as construction are slow finding mourners can be fast can be slow it depends
>> No. 199813
[X] A room, in which to conduct the ceremonies, should be constructed. The time of the burial is drawing near.
Alway best to construct fmthe thing as construction are slow finding mourners can be fast can be slow it depends
>> No. 199814
[X] ...You need to take care of yourself. Your body needs fixing up.
-[X] Use the Workshop.

It's kind of hard to build a room with a broken leg and mangled arm. I imagine mourners would also be more difficult to gather. Depending upon how much time has passed, it's probably either still predawn or early morning, and I imagine gathering mourners is more of an afternoon thing.

The workshop appearing out of nowhere is spoopy but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.
>> No. 199816
[x] ...You need to take care of yourself. Your body needs fixing up.
-[x] Use the Workshop.
>> No. 199817
X] ...You need to take care of yourself. Your body needs fixing up.
-[X] Use the Workshop.

We died once, let's patch up before we drop dead again. Or get eggs laid in our neck wound.
>> No. 199825
[x] ...You need to take care of yourself. Your body needs fixing up.
-[x] Reject the Workshop.

The deceased need him at his best- but convenient gifts look too much like contracts.
>> No. 199826
[x] ...You need to take care of yourself. Your body needs fixing up.
-[x] Use the Workshop.
>> No. 199827
[X] ...You need to take care of yourself. Your body needs fixing up.
-[X] Use the Workshop.

Gift horse and so on. Either way, we need fixing up and doing it without tools is way too much trouble.
>> No. 199831
[X] ...You need to take care of yourself. Your body needs fixing up.
-[X] Use the Workshop.

If something's up we'll cross that bridge once we get to it, but we're going to need to fix our limbs to be able to cross it in the first place.
>> No. 199833
[x] ...You need to take care of yourself. Your body needs fixing up.
-[x] Use the Workshop.
>> No. 199848
[x] ...You need to take care of yourself. Your body needs fixing up.
-[x] Use the Workshop.
>> No. 199856
[x] ...You need to take care of yourself. Your body needs fixing up.
-[x] Use the Workshop.

Votes are called. You shall accept the Workshop.


No update tonight, dealing with family problems. Expect it tomorrow.
>> No. 199899
Things aren't getting better.

While I'd like to put out regular updates, that might be difficult for a little while.

Hopefully everything ends up coming out okay and I can get back to writing soon.
>> No. 199904
Looking forward to it, this is a pretty good story!
>> No. 199928
Best of luck to you and your family. (Or you, at least, if they're the ones causing problems.) Take care of yourself.
>> No. 200168
Hey OP

You doing okay?
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