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File 157508430842.jpg - (660.86KB, 600x960, nanowrimo-29.jpg) [iqdb]
201207No. 201207
Everyone’s waiting for you to continue. The thing is, you didn’t have anything to follow up after that. But you don’t want to disappoint, so you say the first thing that comes to your head.

“And then we can beat him up,” you conclude, earning the respect of battle-happy shrine maidens across the world. You’re sure Reimu’s clapping in her head with the approving nod that she’s giving you.

“...Him?” The badger sputters. “As in, the other guy… and not me, y-yes?”

“Do you want to be beaten up too?” asks Reimu.

With a somber expression, he shakes his head slowly and silently.

“Good.” The shrine maiden jerks a finger to the mountainside. “Now take us to your boss, leader, or whatever you call him.”

Despite how talkative the badger initially was, he does not say a word through the forest’s passage and the climb up the steady hillside. With Reimu following right behind the badger, it looks like he’s being walked to his execution—and the shrine maiden, his executioner. He stops at a patch of open area. Around is conspicuously clear of brush, as if all the foliage was trimmed away. All that’s missing is quiet in the forest, a dark mist that permeates through the woods, and you’d be wondering if you’re experiencing a serious case of deja vu.

A horned figure steps out from the cover of the trees. Just like the badger described, the youkai has a ruddy, taurus-like face. Dark splotches color the sides of the man’s face like oil, finished with a black muzzle that juts out. Mino, you think for a second before discarding it.

His eyes narrow at the sight of the shrine maiden and protracts his gaze, meticulously scanning each person before curtly saying, “...Guests.”

“Y-yes,” the badger says, lowering his head.

“You invited many.”

“I—I wouldn’t say that I, um, invited them, but...” The badger trails off as the bovine-headed youkai stares straight at him with his beady eyes.

After he silences the badger, the youkai turns to you. “Have you come to seal my fate?”

“Not this time, kudan.” You toss your head to Reimu’s direction. “She’s the one you want to talk to. I’m merely here to observe.”

He glances over the shrine maiden, but his eyes remain trained on Tewi. “And the rabbit?”

“Same boat,” she says, patting your arm. “I’m with the wolf.”

Lastly, the kudan rests his eyes on Reimu. The badger, in the meantime, is smart enough to scurry over to the side, hiding himself from view.

The shrine maiden readies her charms. “I don’t suppose you’re willing to give up now and stop attacking the village?”

He crouches down. “Would you back down if I said that I cannot? Even if I wished to?”

“By force it is,” she says.

There is a half-second where the entire forest is still. Then, sound breaks, and the bovine lurches forward, trampling through the grass. The beast-man scrambles low to the floor, wildly using its hands to push off the sediment. The ground shakes with his movements as if he were a charging bull.

Reimu leaps back to throw several needles down the kudan’s path, each sinking into leveled grass. The bovine slips to the left with an almost graceful sidestep, careful not to touch any of the still-glowing projectiles. A brief respite falls between the two as they assess the situation. Then, in silent agreement, they resume.

The shrine maiden does not allow the youkai to close distance as she circles around the open field, using her weapons as obstacles to slow the kudan down. As she readies her next set of needles, she throws her charms from her opposite hand. They whirl through the air with an invisible force guiding them to their enemy. Unable to finesse his way past the homing amulets, the youkai jumps back. His legs find solid matter as he finds his back pressed to the tree, so he uses its trunk as a base to jump from, kicking off the tree.

But Reimu is already prepared—rather, she has been waiting for this. The moment the kudan leaps into the air, she reveals a red-and-white slip to the air, and the parchment disappears to dust. The light that peeks through the forest trees starts to dim as Reimu puts a hand out in front of her—a cosmic, blue orb shimmers into tangibility. It is like a vortex: The orb sucks in the light around it to expand until it is twice the shrine maiden’s height.

The kudan, realizing his error, could only shield himself with his arms and brace for contact. The moment he touches the luminescent light, he is repelled—hard. The bovine ricochets back with added whiplash until he crashes through one tree and slams into the second, exposing the bark with splintered cracks.

Dust settles, and the two participants are looking real confused.

Reimu is the first to speak. “...Huh?” she says in quick wit.

“...Uh?” the kudan coughs out.

Real articulate folks you got here.

“Alright, we got him. Good job, Reimu,” Tewi says, clapping politely.

Reimu’s still not getting it. She looks to you for assistance. “What… what just happened?”

“You beat him,” you state.

“No, I mean… how? That was a little too easy.”

“God.” You point to yourself, then her. “Shrine maiden.”

She goes full dead fish on you.

[ ] Just tell her.
[ ] Play dumb.
Expand all images
>>No. 201208
Previous thread: >>200225
>>No. 201210
[x] Just tell her.
>>No. 201211
File 157508617256.jpg - (2.58MB, 2100x2970, comeon.jpg) [iqdb]
201211
[x] Just tell her.

Reimu has been a powerhouse without a god for years. I can only imagine how much terror she will inspire now that she has a god.
>>No. 201212
[x] Just tell her.
>>No. 201213
[x] Play dumb.
>>No. 201214
[x] Play dumb.
He was probably just the stage 1 midboss
>>No. 201215
[x] Play dumb.

He didn't even declare a Spell Card, the scrub.
>>No. 201216
[x] Play dumb.
lying liar god lies
>>No. 201217
[x] Just tell her.
>>No. 201219
[X] Just tell her.

Reimu won't acknowledge anything without the subtlety of a jack-hammer behind it.
>>No. 201220
Called for telling her.
>>No. 201226
File 157515901763.jpg - (109.38KB, 850x889, nanowrimo-30.jpg) [iqdb]
201226
It doesn’t take a genius to put two and two together. Reimu, however, is severely lacking in the knowledge department. You can forgive her: She was all alone. If the old Hakurei god would not—or maybe, could not—lend her power, then of course the girl would be surprised by her newfound strength.

“Shrine maidens directly draw on their god’s strength. That is what divine power is. You, on the other hand, have relied on your own abilities—up until now, that is. You’re a lot like your mother in that way. The Hakurei bloodline is impressive, I’ll say that.”

“Then before all this, that means I’ve been more or less resolving incidents as a normal human?”

“As a Hakurei, girl. You are no normal human.”

Reimu lifts a hand up to her face in awe. “So that means I’m really strong, now that I’m drawing from your power?”

“Just a fragment of my power,” you clarify. “But yes. Congratulations, Reimu, you are a real miko now. We should throw a party.”

“...So, is there a catch? To wielding your powers?”

You grin. “You shall do something for me as my shrine maiden. But that’s in the future, and I promise you—nothing bad will come of it. Barring that, you are free to use my divinity as you please. So go crazy and start beating people up with extreme prejudice.”

“I’m not going to do that!”

“But you just did,” Tewi says. “And speaking of. What are we going to do about the kudan?”

Reimu glances back to the scene of the wreckage. “Oh, yeah. Him.”

The kudan looks content to lie there and remain dead to the shrine maiden, but the twitch of sore limbs regretfully gives away the fact that he is still alive.

Reimu prods him with her gohei. “So are you going to ‘fess up what you were doing now?”

“I would have obliged,” he wheezes out, “Without the reckless fighting. Mujina, come closer too. And if you could, please help me up. I shall now clear the situation.”

“Y-yes, sir.” The badger, who would have preferred to remain invisible, reluctantly leaves his shelter behind the trees and joins the bovine-faced youkai, lifting the kudan up from under his shoulder.

Kudans are destined to die from the moment they are born… as all mortals do. But their deaths foretell of misfortune to come, as decreed by the kudan’s prophecy.”

“I thought that kudans die after their prophecy has come true?” you say.

He shakes his head. “A misinterpretation. They live long enough to foretell the misfortune to come, and when they die, they expel the misfortune they have gathered from the area. It is a curse from the land, if you will.”

“I didn’t know that. Interesting.” You smile. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

A “curse of the lands,” he says. The kudan is yet another you can wrest control of and consume

“So what does that do with you ordering the badger to attack?” Reimu asks.

“On the pathway down the mountainside, I had stumbled onto some humans. I do not believe they saw my visage, only the shadow my body drew from the moonlight—it was late at night, I believe—and they screamed of a youkai, running back to their homes. By the next day, they had already spread rumors of an amalgamous beast. I then realized: What if I become this beast? So, by luck, I found a mujina, and used him to spread rumors that a youkai of many forms was attacking the village. By association, that would have been me, who had initially started the rumor. I had to make it authentic, so I threatened the mujina to deliver a convincing performance.”

The badger goes wide-eyed. “You—really?”

The kudan nods.

“Hold on.” Reimu takes a provocative step forward. “Are you saying that you’re trying to… transform yourself to another youkai?”

“If I cease being a kudan, then no misfortune shall befall Gensokyo.” A trace of self-conflict reflects in the youkai’s darkened eyes. “That is all.”

Reimu looks doubtful. “Can you even do that? Just… become something else?”

“You can,” Tewi says in soft assurance.

You look to the rabbit, ready to say something, but instead you drop the matter and agree. “Yeah, it’s possible. A rare circumstance, but it has happened before.”

Reimu chews on a fingernail in contemplation. “Alright. So—tell me honestly. What do you think we should do with you?”

“I do not know,” he says gravely.

[ ] The kudan’s doing no real harm, so let him be.
[ ] The kudan needs to stop the pointless attacks to the village.
[ ] You could offer to strip away the curse—you are a curse god, aren’t you?
>>No. 201227
[x] You could offer to strip away the curse—you are a curse god, aren’t you?
More like the very definition of a curse, from many viewpoints, but we'll go with that.
>>No. 201228
[x] You could offer to strip away the curse—you are a curse god, aren’t you?
>>No. 201229
[x] You could offer to strip away the curse—you are a curse god, aren’t you?

Yo this sounds fucking awesome
>>No. 201230
[X] You could offer to strip away the curse—you are a curse god, aren’t you?
Just eat it
>>No. 201231
[x] You could offer to strip away the curse—you are a curse god, aren’t you?
>>No. 201233
File 157518025333.jpg - (225.55KB, 850x708, Nurse raymoo.jpg) [iqdb]
201233
[X] You could offer to strip away the curse—you are a curse god, aren’t you?

Just imagine if he gets sick from eating it.
>>No. 201239
[x] You could offer to strip away the curse—you are a curse god, aren’t you?

This will not backfire horribly in the far future, no siree.
>>No. 201258
A quick status update: As it turns out, December is a bad month for me. I'm also devoting my writing time to catching up on writing the Nanowrimo rewards for 2018... which is as sad as it sounds. Expect delays as always. You know the drill already.
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