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File 157831218355.jpg - (852.37KB, 1210x818, minus one.jpg) [iqdb]
201328
THREAD 1 >>200549

++++++++

[X] I’m going to ask him about Inaba Tewi, and then... and then I’ll decide!


Alright. Goodbye! If you run off after he returns, don’t forget to go shopping...!

... And so she’s off.

You’ll tell that Inaba about this, won’t you?

Your secret is out; I think you should just go. Hurry on. I don’t like preparing meals myself, but my stomach is especially weak to temptation. Fare well, little rabbit. Honestly: fare well.

Hm.

It’s snowing again...


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

  ~   ~   ~

~      ~   

~~
Expand all images
File 157831228469.jpg - (854.00KB, 840x1063, okaeri.jpg) [iqdb]
201329
Oh, you’re back. That was sooner than I was expecting. What’s that look for? Come in, and leave the door open.

You look surprisingly well. I’ll touch your face, hmm... No tears. That’s good. Or, have any of your tears already dried by now?



You’ve cried. Everyone cries. Tea?



No, you make it. When has it ever been any other way? I will take my favorite.

How did it all go—? Another mysterious look! So many queer ways you’re looking at me! There’s nothing to worry over. You want to know how much it is that I know? Astute as always: yes, Yukari has been over since you left, and we have spoken. Your lives have just been a most entertaining subject of discussion and gossip. Change your face when you’re in front of me. When you’re in front of me, all is well. I am Death, a force of still- and steady-ness. I am a comfort that all will feel. It hasn’t been so long, but I’m sure you wanted for my presence the moment it all came to a head.



Thank you...! Hm... Yes, sit down.

Well, why else would you come straight to me when you returned? Tell me what happened.



I know what happened, but I’d like to hear it from you directly: that answer.

What did Nakahara Taro have to say when asked, “Who is Inaba Tewi to you?”

Ah, wait!

I’d like to take up an old form for a moment, ahem.

Like this.

The flurries of the sky feathered the land of death.

She was there, he was yet away.

Anxiety, hope, fear: everything usual. The youngest and last Konpaku, human and phantom, was in that moment so very typically human. A human girl awaiting a human boy, with love and grief tied together in her chest: it was an awful burden, and yet so common. She would cry if she saw him in the middle of one wrong thought.

But, he arrived outside of that possibility. The amateur, yet skillful youkai hunter came back to roost in his third home, and found that home’s gardener awaiting him.


“Oh? Youmu? What’s wrong?”

Was he even unaware, or was he so learnedly polite that “bushido” saw all of her clear tells and read them as sickness of the stomach rather than sickness of the heart?

What did this boy even want?

Was he really a simpleton of the shade of any other Human Villager, or was he the special person he aspired to be?

It is of my opinion that he was special, by merit.

Like the witch who lives in the Forest of Magic, born another bumpkin bred for the business of her parents, he was fated for the mundane. Like her he had accepted his lot completely. Like her, he found somebody wicked: an ancient and selfish woman, who showed her that dreams, in a world of fantasy, may not need be confined to the realm of the night—the Kingdom-Domain of ravenous baku. This is Gensokyo, and although the age of man’s triumph is long over, it does not mean every human is a slave to their fate. Fate is a heavy-handed suggestion; a leash. It can be severed.

Nakahara Taro, though innocuous he wishes to be, is by now far from that.

And that, he should have known, meant that he would attract.

Like the Hakurei Shrine Maiden attracts all for her casual might, and the Black and White Witch attracts a few of her betters who see in her the potential for phenomenal greatness—!

He is a man!

And he could not be unaware of all that was around him!

The youngest Konpaku steeled her wavering heart.

She asked him—


“Who is Inaba Tewi?”

And when he could not find the voice to answer she asked him—

“Who is Inaba Tewi... to you?

Is she something like your aunt? Is she your Master?

Is she your mentor? Your friend? Someone ‘important to you’?

Do you love her!? Are you in love!? Does she love you back!?

I must know, so tell me! Hold nothing back and tell me!”

I could hear her, yelling from the gate.

But I didn’t hear his answer.

Tell me now. What was it?



[] ... He said, “Tewi is the youkai that I’m in love with, but it will never be anything more than that. She is the youkai I love, and I’m only a human.”

[] ... He said, “Huh... Tewi, she’s... She’s like family, but... I can’t say there isn’t something like ‘non-familial love’ there. I honestly have to say, like you mocked when you were yelling, that she is ‘someone important to me’.”

[] ... He said, “I... Well... Well—Mmf... Of the few precious bonds I’ve made, the one I have with Tewi is the most special... but I’m not in love with her, Youmu. That isn’t... how I’d describe it.”

[] ... He said, “I love her,” and, “I intend to marry her.”

[x] ... He said, “Tewi is the youkai that I’m in love with, but it will never be anything more than that. She is the youkai I love, and I’m only a human.”

I was between this one and the last one, but the latter seemed too naive.
Would anyone be so cruel as to give someone you claim to love a few decades of happiness and several centuries of suffering? At that point, the best case scenario is breaking up before you die so she can get over you.
[x] ... He said, “Huh... Tewi, she’s... She’s like family, but... I can’t say there isn’t something like ‘non-familial love’ there. I honestly have to say, like you mocked when you were yelling, that she is ‘someone important to me’.”

how hard will youmu fight
[x] ... He said, “I... Well... Well—Mmf... Of the few precious bonds I’ve made, the one I have with Tewi is the most special... but I’m not in love with her, Youmu. That isn’t... how I’d describe it.”
[x] ... He said, “I love her,” and, “I intend to marry her.”
[x] ... He said, “Tewi is the youkai that I’m in love with, but it will never be anything more than that. She is the youkai I love, and I’m only a human.”
[X] ... He said, “Huh... Tewi, she’s... She’s like family, but... I can’t say there isn’t something like ‘non-familial love’ there. I honestly have to say, like you mocked when you were yelling, that she is ‘someone important to me’.”

As much as I dislike the "like a sister" trope, there really an answer that feels appropriate while still suggesting some level of romantic attraction.
[X] ... He said, “Huh... Tewi, she’s... She’s like family, but... I can’t say there isn’t something like ‘non-familial love’ there. I honestly have to say, like you mocked when you were yelling, that she is ‘someone important to me’.”

This answer feels most fitting to me.
[x] ... He said, “Tewi is the youkai that I’m in love with, but it will never be anything more than that. She is the youkai I love, and I’m only a human.”

In so much what Taro-boy believes "love" means, in any case.
File 157896909956.png - (0.96MB, 907x1290, 9a0df9c305f8164d7fd52af32d861bb8.png) [iqdb]
201348
Huh, looks like there's a tie here.

I'm going with
[x] ... He said, “Tewi is the youkai that I’m in love with, but it will never be anything more than that. She is the youkai I love, and I’m only a human.”
by determining general consensus

The tied vote means most want him to feel romantic attraction toward Tewi, while the remaining votes are one for "it's not love" and one for "BIG love, I want that bun".
If the majority is for love, and the first vote is more openly into the idea than the second, I feel like ... He said, “I love her,” and, “I intend to marry her.” can count in spirit toward the honest admission of love than the somewhat reluctant admission.

I might have an update today or more likely tomorrow, along with updates for everything else probably (day off!)
>>201348
Sound logic. Looking forward to it!
File 157907879914.jpg - (130.74KB, 842x595, Youmu.jpg) [iqdb]
201350
[X] ... He said, “Tewi is the youkai that I’m in love with, but it will never be anything more than that. She is the youkai I love, and I’m only a human.”


An answer, I think, that is crueler than any other.

Youmu has many faults: she is naive, she is bullheaded, and she is quick to violence and afraid of much.

But a fault that does not lie with her is the fault of “selfishness”.

When the half-human gardener heard the whole-human’s confession, she was joyless.


“Why... do you want to know?” the boy asked.

She answered,
“Ah...

Because... I was worried. We learned that the rabbit Yuyuko-sama took in was one of her spies, so...”

Saliva filled her mouth. She swallowed.

“If you tried to become a youkai, especially because you’d fallen for her, I’d be very worried.”

Liar. Lies, all, to all.

“Well, I can’t do that...” he furrowed his brow. “I don’t want to, but I can’t either. Since I can’t... I’ve never said anything.”

Konpaku Youmu looked at the sky. Nakahara Taro followed suit.

So, the girl’s tears went unnoticed.


“What I have now with her... as a close friend—a partner, is more than enough.”

“That won’t do.”

...

“What?”

He looked to her.

“Don’t give up, she’s always right in front of you,” said the half-phantom girl. “You must tell her, and see things through to the end. Were you a man who lingered in doubt, or were you one who cut through it? I say that you should go to her, Taro. She’ll learn before you with her watching rabbit’s departure, anyway.”

The girl lowered her head and met his gaze. He finally saw her state, and he shivered—going still.

She said only,
“Tell her.”

I suppose he seemed to realize something then, for what he began to say next was indicative of such. Hesitant, he parted his lips to ask, “Youmu... are you—?”


[] “Yes, I am!”

[] “Go!”

[] “What? Am I... what? No... I assure you, whatever you’re thinking, you’re mistaken.”
[x] “Go!”
[x] “Go!”

Gotta milk the heartbreak drama for all its worth.
File 157910520963.png - (68.36KB, 403x250, despair.png) [iqdb]
201353
[x] “Go!”

OOF

No happy endings allowed
[x] “Yes, I am!”
[x] “Yes, I am!”

youmu would not just go gentle into that dark night. She's gotta fight for her man
[x] “Yes, I am!”
[x] “Yes, I am!”
[x] “Go!”
File 158010009039.png - (2.81MB, 1938x2284, cut that heart in two.png) [iqdb]
201385
[X] “Yes, I am!”

She said what she had to say.

“Wha—! You mean—” He seemed stunned, to be sure.

I don’t know if he was...

Was he?

...

Well?


Were you?



What is that... a boy’s naivety, or stubbornness? I have to say, I have no trouble telling a person’s thoughts from their postures their actions their orders, but you—you have been elusively—

Elusively...

Stupid, that’s the word.

I know that you knew Youmu fancied you. Were you surprised when she said it because you... didn’t want her to? It introduced you to a bit of a quagmire, hm?

I liked watching Youmu in love. She’s such an honest girl, she could barely hide it—and is such an earnest girl that her forwardness was very amusing to see and hear of.

I have nothing kind to say about Inaba Tewi.

A woman who has lived conniving; similar, almost, to Yukari but—what intentions my old friend has ultimately align with some greater sense, you know? She is a “world-minded” person, though this can be troublesome at times...

Inaba Tewi is only world-minded if you consider the fact: herself, and her people are, to her, the entire world, as-is, and all that matters—



Oh...!

... Yes. She does care for you... Ha, so emphatic.

... I loathe you a little, Taro-kun. Why did you even come here?

...

You left Youmu at the gate, and left her with “I’m sorry”. You flew out of the world of the dead, and went to a place lush with life. You beat the rabbit I had let go, to find the rabbit to which it was enthralled. Inaba Tewi, the black-hearted white rabbit.



... You’ve become more rude, haven’t you? Be polite; there’s no need for anger.

I am telling the truth.

This is the truth: she is a liar and manipulator; an exploiter and scum of the lowest order. What do you see in that?

No bias here. Whatever you’ve chosen doesn’t matter to me at all, I am just disappointed in you. I know that you went after her, but I don’t know why she was in your heart in the first place.

I don’t think of you as simple...

It isn’t that she was someone you happened to know, from when you were even younger. It isn’t that she is the most gorgeous example of a rabbit to, honestly, have ever lived. You like her, yourself, and that includes the wicked things. You, you are a man divided. Your morals are utterly debased. One who has sworn by the sword, and the ideals which wielding it entail, with his tongue, but the dagger at the back is the blade to which his heart has vowed fealty.

I do not like you anymore. At all.



...

On the path to the Bamboo Forest, you found Inaba Tewi.

She’d seen you through others’ eyes. She knew that you were coming, but not why. You landed with a troubled face, and she could read it well.

This was it: it was time for you to confess what you felt for her.

I suppose seeing as Youmu had done so, you realized that even if you could never truly have the youkai rabbit, you needed to have her know the truth of your heart? It’s just speculation.

“Tewi...!” you shouted, and she stood at attention. A wind blew snow past the both of you, The land was only glazed white—not much had piled, but it was cold and breath was clouded in the air. Tewi looked hurt, her ears low and her eyes just slightly wincing. She was anticipating what you had to say, and dreading it.

What you said was—

“Even though you’re my... You’re someone who has... taken care of me, and we’ve... Even...”

How cute...

Your head bowed weakly as you continued. “Even though you’re the best person in my life, and you’ve given me everything even for the little I’ve given back... I want—I’ve always wanted... more... than...”

“Hey, Taro-san...” The rabbit piped up. With your attention, she looked you in the eye and said, “If you’ve got something to say, say it.”

When you dropped your head again the look on your face, I’m told, told that you were nervous to your core. An over three-thousand year old monster rabbit, and you who wasn’t even twenty years of age... Natural, no?

“I’m in love with you...” ... you said, your head still bowed. “I only want to hear your answer to that. I don’t... want to ask you to spend my years, until my end, as mine I just... love you. I deeply, deeply love every part of you.”

... Sigh...

And Tewi gave her answer. “Taro-san,” she said, “you want to make love to me?”

You reacted, not so much with your face but instead your penis. That supposedly definitely reacted.

What?



... Hm.

What was your answer there, anyway?



I do. I do know it, but I want to hear you say it.


[] ... I said yes. Once she said that I—I really wanted... to...

[] ... I said no. I wasn’t there for that... and I didn’t want to make things... c-complicated... yeah.

[x] ... I said yes. Once she said that I—I really wanted... to...

Obvious best choice here. Either Taro gets to fuck a bunny or it's a trap and Youmu can come in on the rebound
[x] ... I said no. I wasn’t there for that... and I didn’t want to make things... c-complicated... yeah.
[x] ... I said yes. Once she said that I—I really wanted... to...
[x] ... I said no. I wasn’t there for that... and I didn’t want to make things... c-complicated... yeah.
[x] ... I said yes. Once she said that I—I really wanted... to...

Yes, Yuyuko, absolutely no bias there, none at all.
[x] ... I said no. I wasn’t there for that... and I didn’t want to make things... c-complicated... yeah.

I like this one. The prospect of sex is exciting and terrifying in equal measures for young adolescents. Hell, even now I think I would be a bit flabbergasted if I was suddenly propositioned, whether or not it was someone I'm into.
It's tied...

Not sure what I'll do. Most likely I'll flip a coin over it when I'm ready to write again, though due to the significance of this choice I'd rather not of course
[NOPE]I said no. I wasn’t there for that... and I didn’t want to make things... c-complicated... yeah.

Tewi is the kinda girl you fuck, not make love to.
File 158156726476.gif - (3.58MB, 405x540, those two.gif) [iqdb]
201408
>.gif

++++++++

[X] ... I said no. I wasn’t there for that... and I didn’t want to make things... c-complicated... yeah.


And that is what confounds me most of all.

When you refused her, Inaba Tewi gave you a smile that spoke for her. It spoke of years you would never possess. It spoke of understanding. It spoke of regret.

But after she’d nodded and left you there...

... never did you stop seeing one another.

It has been five years.

In five years, a youkai exterminator only third behind the witch and the shrine maiden has risen to prominence.

Clear the hue from your face; I’m not complimenting you, I am stating fact.

It is thanks to Inaba Tewi, who you have always remained close with...

So why are you here?

What do we have that you still need? What is it, here in the Netherworld, that you want?

What is it?

Tell me.


      ^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v
————                 ————
      v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^

       What else but revenge?

The thing that’s driven me strongest—

What pushed me much more than anything else—

It was you, Yuyuko-sama.

Tewi granted me a sword, and you directed it.

For the people who suffered and perished under your fancy, for your selfishness:

I wanted to run you through.

And, to the one who took our spring away, driving us into a frozen hell; to the one who grabbed the season itself for you, I wanted to clash swords with her honestly.

I wanted to to cut her down.

I wanted to, no matter what the cost, show once and for all the strength and free will of humanity. I wanted to do what Reimu, Marisa, and most definitely the Devil’s Maid would not ever do.

Send you, properly, to Hell.

“You really are entirely like her,” says Yuyuko-sama, meeting my eyes and bringing them from the floor. “A little devil, disguised to disarm.”

I don’t think that’s wrong.

But, a lot has changed since then, It’s not entirely right, either. I wanted your blood to run down my sword, had you any. I wanted to shatter the Roukanken with a sword forged by men. I’ve wanted this ever since Tewi told me the names responsible. We’ve plotted everything for that. We confirmed it: that killing either of you, or banishing you in your case, would be allowed in the pure lands of this afterworld.

On the nights when I held her close.

On the nights when we whispered treachery in one another’s ears.

We shared the struggles of the weak, and planned to put our feet down on the strong: to make a place more deserving of rabbits and men.

I would be lying to say I do not still want that.

Tewi is an amazing woman, and she made me into a great man. Truly, with me wielding her sword, we could cut through the world of Gensokyo itself. We could change it.

But...

“I spent too long amidst lions,” I say. “I started to forget how it felt... to worry, to want. I softened.”

Yuyuko-sama looks at me perplexed. It seems the Gap Hag never knew about all of this, or at least never told her.

“What do you mean?” Rare words to pass honestly from the Dead Princess, Saigyouji Yuyuko’s lips. I smirk to hear them.

“I mean,” I say, standing and holding the hilt of my sword, “nothing is as straightforward as Youmu wants it to be, and... I have different perspectives from before.” I chuckle, once, to the floor before I meet her eyes again. “I am no Inaba,” I tell her. “I’m a Nakahara. Live with that.”

“Wha...”

I turn and face the gardens.

“I know that Youmu will be back soon.”

I step forward.

“I want to meet blades with her again.”

“Taro-kun!” Yuyuko-sama shouts. I stop, and turn my ear her way. “You didn’t want to banish me!? To kill Youmu!? Isn’t that why you came here!? Answer me! Your spies—her spies—your path and... all of it! Explain yourself...! Tell me!”

“You’re always too sure of yourself, Yuyuko-sama. You’re a lot like Tewi in that way. Maybe that’s why you hate her so much?” I smile again, and can feel her quiet answer. Finally I walk into my shoes and toward the manor stairs. And I explain this: “I’ve decided to take an option that never existed before, Yuyuko-sama.” I can find a figure, followed by something round and white, approaching Hakugyokurou through the sky.

“I don’t know where it leads, either. I’ll let you know after I see that idiot one more time.”

++++++++

image sources:
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/812261
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/1590526
File 158157183663.jpg - (377.13KB, 900x1200, Fine_.jpg) [iqdb]
201409
      ^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v
————                 ————
      v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^v^

          It’s... Taro...

He... He came back!?

I hurry myself, and on the way down I realize I keep thinking about things: my hair—Am I sweating? Is my tie fashioned right? I look fine, don’t I? He looks older, maybe a head taller than bef... I don’t look much older at all. Do I look like a child—? I mean even if I do, he likes that type—WHAT AM I THINKING!?

WAIT!! He hasn’t been here in five years—! Uh... Um...!

“Intruder!” I shout, drawing and brandishing my Roukanken, “You stand foot on sacred lands! What is your business!?”

I land, scattering dust and flower petals.

“Of all the possible responses I expected from you seeing me again, Youmu,” he says, his expression familiar in its light and dismissive arrogance—almost pity, “this is the one I would have bet money on.”

He thumbs his blade from its sheath on his hip, only a little, and its gold collar shines across my eyes for a moment.

I feel the need to lunge at him.

My heart is beating, perhaps, faster than it ever has before.

My phantom half is hot. My face is burning.

I want to hold him around his waist. I want to squeeze him so much...

I was sure... So sure he would never come here again.

“A... Answer!” I shout. “Why are you here?”

“To see you,” he replies.

I drop the longsword from my hands and freeze, only uttering a single. “Eh?”

—I, I quickly get my bearings, of course! In a scramble, I pick the Roukanken back up from off the ground. I ready it. I know that my face is red...

“Youmu...” he says my name, and I shrink into myself slightly, “do you know what drove me, the most, to dedicating myself to the sword? When I started, it was only a childish dream. Something honed my dream into a true and genuine goal.”

Something...? Something... Given when he met her, and what he did after they became close, it can’t have been Inaba Tewi.

“What?” I ask.

And, his answer: “You.”

But it is void of any feeling.

Not loving, nor antagonistic.

He means only that: that I drove him, and that is merely a truth.

But, what he means by that, I can’t...

“What do you mean?” I ask him. “You... saw my swordsmanship and wanted to best me?” I find an open smile on my lips, though my eyes must be showing this worry I feel. “It was that I bested you? E-Ever since... you took the blade much more seriously?”

“Ever since you stole spring,” he begins, and I feel blood draining out my human body, “you, or to start the idea of you: that has been my goal.” He releases his sword, drawing it, and pointing it directly at me. “That has long been this blade’s mark.”

...

I take a more earnest stance.

“... What do you think of that, Youmu?”

“What do I think of it...?” I repeat. “I only did what I was ordered to do. If ordered again, I would do it a thousand times, across a thousand seas.” I firmly grasp the handle of my sword. “For my Mistress! My entire life is dedicated to hers gone! And... my death as well.”

Taro keeps his sword pointed at me, but his eyes are on the stones beneath our feet, and he only answers after a while.

He says, “No, Youmu,” while looking my way again. Additionally... “You wouldn’t, would you?”

He would question my loyalty...!?

“Taro... if... what you came here for was to see my blood spilt, so be it. I would clash with you, out of survival. But, to question my loyalty...” I glare, and fix my stance properly. “If you dare that much, I won’t keep my blade as only a guard; I will cut that insult back into you!”

To that, he says nothing.

“I don’t think it’s insulting...” he eventually whispers. I almost didn’t hear it. In a louder voice he says, “I came here because I wanted to see who we both are.”

“Eh...?” What’s that?

“I don’t think either of us are solely the shapes of those who came before us.” Huh? “I’ve had a lot of time to think, and now I think I can see your answer...” He lowers his blade, stands straight, and opens his left hand down by his thigh. “... but only if I push you to it.”

That stance is not ease... I know: this is how he faces youkai.

Besides that... he’s talking like Yuyuko-sama...! Even like Master!

I feel frustration building inside of me.

Okay... I don’t understand.

I don’t understand why Yuyuko-sama made me gather spring.

I don’t understand why you left and never returned, even to visit!

I never understood Master. I don’t understand Yukari-sama.

This world is brimming with absurd things I can’t understand!

What “answer” do you want...? Whatever it is, I don’t understand.

I understand my swords.

If you want reason from them, I will oblige.

Even if I feel this way for you...

I will slash through you, just as you wish.

“Fine, Taro!” I shout. “Let us see this ‘answer’ together!”

I raise my blade—


[] and come at him with all my might.

[] and wait for him to make the first move.
[x] and come at him with all my might.
[x] and come at him with all my might.
[x] and come at him with all my might.
File 158160785478.png - (450.01KB, 900x1600, gatotsu.png) [iqdb]
201413
[x] and wait for him to make the first move.

Youmu is brash, honest and straightforward. That is reflected on her blade, too. But not here and not today.

It feels that this is the fight of her life, one way or another. She has to be better.
[x] and wait for him to make the first move.
[x] and come at him with all my might.
[x] and come at him with all my might.
Oh crap it sent twice, please count that as one
[x] and wait for him to make the first move.
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