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File 159915774838.gif - (3.45MB, 1100x619, Yorigami Joon.gif) [iqdb]
201657
Player’s choice:
[ ♪ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VijcbugfLhY ]
[ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-09Sox6voGU ♫ ]
[                          ]
[ Change the Destiny – Masquerade Circus =Pizuya's Cell= ]
[ Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There – Persona 5 =Meguro Shoji= ]

Make a fist. >>/underground/16139 >>/underground/16408

Music: https://mega.nz/folder/1BdBzIKZ#bhLzijfM3iyphpueDOKf0g
File 159915809943.webm - (3.93MB, 1920x1080, fantasy thieves.webm) [iqdb]
201658
Player’s choice:
[ ♪ https://mega.nz/file/lclUTKbT#RhS5B6_uSXGbybJebaMr95pYCjiDmHv1lyZyNiFKtcY]
[ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OW1ps75BRSM ]
[ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2UmP6C9rcs ]
[ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ter0p_iyIxk ♫ ]
[                          ]
[ Bukarest – Masquerade Circus =Pizuya's Cell= ]
[ Phantom – Persona 5 =Meguro Shoji= ]
[ Shining Star – That's the Way of the World =Earth, Wind & Fire= ]
[ September – The Best of ... Vol. 1 = Earth, Wind & Fire = ]

The .webm loops.

++++++++

Time remaining: ::Timer ended at: 2020/09/04 (Fri) 01:30


The story will start in some hours, this is just a mood-setter.

To any unfamiliar, Make a fist./Make a fire. is inspired by certain games: the first story took notes from Hotline Miami, this will be inspired by Persona 5 and will take Shin Megami Tensei and newer Persona elements into account. First question:



[] Bring me up to speed.

[] No summaries!


This is a sequel. The first story isn’t very long, but IS an entire story. Anyone want a rundown of what happened to the protagonist (Joon) in the first tale?
[x] Bring me up to speed.

I am excited
[x] Bring me up to speed.
Joon is a gae
[x] Bring me up to speed.
Eh a short summary woundn't be a bad thing
[x] Bring me up to speed.

I should probably get around to reading the rest of it some day.
[x] Bring me up to speed.
I feel the need for speed. Also I tend to forget stuff.
File 15991771586.jpg - (640.17KB, 1190x1664, our heroine.jpg) [iqdb]
201664
TL> I seriously love Joon-chan.
Personally I like her with thick thighs
https://www.pixiv.net/en/artworks/77119153

++++++++

[X] Bring me up to speed.


[♪ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXqdCpIUjfQ♫ ]
[                          ]
[ Stompin – Hey Arnold =Jim Lang=]


In spring of 2014—

an irritating little god of pestilence ran out of luck and had the shit kicked out of her.

She had come to the Land of Oni, Old Hell, and had lied too much for the ruling race’s liking. After they left her battered on they alleyway ground, she picked up her last grip of dosh, looked out into the brilliant city lights, and reflected.

Her name was Yorigami Joon, and though she denied it she’d come there to find her vanished sister on rumors of a “god” slavery ring.

Her pride made her tell herself that she was merely there to profit off of the truth-loving (and so, “dumb”) oni but when she found one in particular, connected to an old crime family, she couldn’t deny herself on hearing his word of trafficking. In exchange for his devotion, and information, she had to perform a miracle to earn his trust. She challenged Hoshiguma Yuugi to that end.

But this wasn’t a story of Joon’s natural and flawless power. She started at the bottom, smoldered and smoldered until she could burn brightly. When she challenged Hoshiguma Yuugi, a golden flame appeared at her heels to speed her. After pantsing the oni and getting a face full of her other head of hair, during the resulting horrific chase, that fire appeared at the fleeing god’s back.

Joon managed to start picking herself up then. She forged a bond with Hoshiguma Yuugi despite what she’d done to the ancient oni, learned how to fight, and began to slowly make herself known in the Underworld. In her searching she eventually found herself in the Palace of the Earth Spirits, to confront and try to get information from its master and mind reader: Komeiji Satori. In exchange for her help, Joon mentioned that she could use her powers as a pestilence god, and therefore a god of “hope” – if only for a moment – to possibly recover the mind of Komeiji’s thoughtless sister who she’d seen during Gensokyo’s Religious Wars topside: Koishi. Satori agreed, and Joon went to do just that, feeling the satisfaction of a proper exploitative scheme coming to fruition.

She did not exploit Koishi, however. The younger (and “blind”) satori read her unconscious thoughts and caught her off guard. Feeling a little kinship with the girl, somehow, Joon changed her plans and tugged the girl along for a night on the town. To her surprise, any emotion filling the empty-headed girl seemed to bring back her old, conscious self. The Koishi she discovered that night was timid and caring and – when they went to stop by someone Joon knew (Kurodani Yamame) – apparently becoming attracted to Joon.

Teasing this shortly became heartfelt concern. Joon fell for Komeiji Koishi that night, and the younger satori formed a bond with her as well. She vowed to let Koishi see the world once again through her third eye, without fear. Though, she wouldn’t be able to do so in this adventure...

Time passed and Joon found herself still unable to confirm where her sister was, if she was down in Hell at all. After a string of failures, ending with the immolation of a building and the disruption of a god-trafficking setup that did not involve her sister, eventually Joon found that a year had almost past with no sister—no Shion to show for it.

After asking for Yuugi’s help, the oni ruined a part of the underground city... and still they had nothing. On a bridge overlooking the ruins her mentor had created, Joon told Koishi how she’d gotten there, and of her past as a poor human on miserable streets in the Outside World, and of the scumbag she was... of the scumbag her sister was. There she honestly admitted to loving her sister, and let go the entire fortune she’d accumulated in the Land of Oni over its baffled citizens, burning it all in golden fire. Under the light, she saw a mark she knew to at a glance to be a member of a second ring of god-slavers. They chased him. They didn’t find Shion.

But, they did find out who had her.

At the end of their journey, Joon and Koishi went to the palace of another noted and ancient oni: Kane no Kinshi. This oni, Kane-douji, had bought Shion, who was a god of misfortune, intending to consume her and take the miserable goddess’s divine blue flame for himself. Joon fought intending to sacrifice herself for Koishi and Shion; Koishi fought intending to sacrifice herself for Joon and Shion. Shion refused their idiocy, and revealed a plan to curse the scarily powerful oni.

It went off, though not without a hitch. Ending in the mouth of the volcanic Youkai Mountain, Joon finally knocked the oni down and in the resulting, small eruption all three escaped. They witness the sky before dawn in Gensokyo, and collapsed with relief.

But Joon’s story wasn’t over, and they still had things to do underground. Her ambition and greed had never really vanished, either. She smiled. With her fist to the risen sun, the risen god swore that she would never change.

File 159918823986.png - (1.18MB, 972x1400, world of doors.png) [iqdb]
201665
= = = =

What do you want to hear?

If it’s about how I got here, you should already know.

Or maybe, I guess you wouldn’t know:

About the past year...




Spring




2016



Genso
k
yyy-. ..



.
.
.


Player’s choice:
[ ♪ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_Fc3PxsXzE]
[ https://mega.nz/file/ccNGEKKB#GhLDfrfMRr2n3pwNJV9SbfZ80dr781yHDIlfQrC6jDk♫ ]
[
[ 全ての人の魂の詩 – Persona 3 =Meguro Shoji=]
[ 全ての人の心の在処 – Masquerade Circus =Pizuya's Cell= ]


A world of fog.


Wait... what?

The... fuck...? Where... is this...?

My mind went blank for a bit, and when I came to... Uh, “here”?

I take a look around while standing up.

It looks like a nightmare world... This the World of Dreams, maybe?

In the distance I can see... things... floating through the almost pitch-dark sky. Big fuckin’... things... Like uh... like uh, those monoliths... from that old movie. Scary, scary.

I feel way too conscious for this to be a dream. I can’t do that lucid shit.

The ground below is made a’... What is this stuff? It’s soft, but fuckin’ brittle, too?

There’s clouds... fog(?) ... floating through everything, gray.

I gotta punch my way out of here.

I make a fist.

“Now...”

A voice rings out. I stop summoning my divine flame. Who else’s... in here...?

I turn around.

And there’s a pair of chicks.

“Hey there!”

“Nice to meet you.”

... They say.

I say:

“Who the fuck?”

“What a foul mouth!” the green one exclaims in shock. Her weird hair bounces with her surprised hop.

The pink one says, “Now now, you shouldn’t swear.” Her kinda less weird hair swishes as she shakes her head.

I answer, “Fuck off, where am I?”

“Master...? This one? Really?” asks the green one, looking up and behind herself.

Up and behind...?

... Oh, hello... Who’s... that?

Up above, sitting in a flying throne, is... no mistaking it: a god. Couldn’t tell you which god... but it’s super obvious she’s divine. She has a flame, too... but I can’t tell what color it is.

She’s shrouded in darkness. I can only tell she’s wearing robes, a hat maybe weirder than her servants’, and she’s got long hair.

I look back down at the servants.

I can tell she’s pretty sleazy, too... These girls’ve got short skirts... Or maybe it’s just that they don’t totally cover the bare legs. Looking closer, they’re longer skirts than mine.

“Yorigami Joon,” the god says from above, taking my attention back, “I’m the God of Secrets.”

“I’m... asleep?” I propose.

“You are indeed sleeping,” she confirms.

“Good. Wake me up,” I tell her.

“Not just yet, Joon; I have something to give you.”

“I don’t want it.”

“Even if I told you it would lead to unimaginable treasures...?”

...

Now wait a second...

I stop the procession I was making out of here and turn back to her, crossing my arms.

Sounds like... “You’re for real?”

“As a Secret God, I am willing to bestow upon you a particularly special secret,” she says, “and the help of my servants, Satono and Mai.”

I look back at them. The pink and green ones nod respectively.

“Why’s that?” I ask.

“Have a seat,” she says. But like...

“In wha—” I start to ask, turning around but... there’s a little throne for me in front of me now. There’s a table too, and that god, unobscured, seated on the other side of it.

“I am Okina,” she says, and her lips perk up into a smile. “My, have I been waiting to meet you.”
File 159918834753.gif - (3.62MB, 616x800, Welcome.gif) [iqdb]
201666
>.gif

++++++++

A golden god, with a gorgeous face... She’s dressed in sunset, and her hair’s like... well, honestly, like “amber waves of grain”, just bathed in early morning light. She’s a mature, proper-looking god in a dumb-looking hat. On the tabard over her front, she’s got the seven stars... the asterism of Gensokyo’s “Dragon”. Her flames... She’s got four different colors. You can do that...? I don’t know, but, the seven stars... four divine flames...

She’s some hot shit, then...

I take a seat. I’m not gonna test my luck.

She beams at me. Blech...

“Let’s get started,” she declares, and she waves a hand over the table between us. I look down at it.

“... Tarot cards?” I say. She spread a few out when she did that move with her hand, I guess. “You’re doing that scam? I know it.”

“This is no scam, my child: this is true power and ‘telling’. I will discern your past, present, and future.”

“Uh huh.” Yeah right.

She just smiles.

The god, Okina, puts her hand over a card. She turns it over, but only shows it to herself. Her eyebrows rise.

“Your past,” she says. “The Magician. What would you guess? Is it upright, or reversed?”

I fold my arms again. Well...

“Honestly, it could be either one,” I tell her. Huh... look at her, all happy with my answer.

She vanishes the card and takes up another. You’re not going to tell me?

“Your present. The Lovers,” she says, showing me, Guess not. “Upright.”

Mrrgh...

“...”

“What an adorable sentiment.”

“You been spying on me, old lady?”

“Yes,” she says without hesitation, she puts the card to the table, and it disappears too. “Lovers, hm...? I find it interesting... That satori you say you love, I suppose you like her quite a bit, hm?”

“... ‘Scuse me?”

I narrow my eyes at her.

“You know what I mean entirely, don’t you? Let us see your future...”

... This mother f—

“And there it is,” she says, ignoring my gaze and again hiding the card, “The Fool, upright. Endless possibilities, like the number zero it is given.”

“What...? It’s not the reversed Hang Man or something?” I ask, ‘cause that’d make more sense. “Reversed Fortune? Reversed Judgement?” Heh. “Or maybe it’s the Devil? Erected—I mean, upright? Pffheh, get it?”

“Crass,” she judges, still smiling. She then shows me the Fool card and says. “Unfortunately no, your future is uncertain. But, in so being... that is where I see your potential, my girl.”

“... Alright, if you say so,” I tell her, sinking in my chair. “But, if you’ve been watching, you do know I’ve been spinning my wheels in Gensokyo, right?”

“With a Lovers Arcana in your soul as you move ahead, I’m sure you will start drawing others like moths to flame, and when that happens... Well, I have high hopes. For now I will give you this gift, and ask that you do your best with it.”

“What’s the gift?” I ask.

“I can’t reveal it all to you just yet, sadly... You have to wake up; we’ve just about run out of time.” She’s smiling, with pity... “For now, just this:” she holds up a finger— “The first part of my gift is that I will reveal a special secret only to you. When you’re awake, and you understand what it is, come and see me again.”

Uh huh... “... How?” I ask.

♪♪♪

“You’ll understand, my girl. After all, I don’t choose just anyone.”

Wha—

█████████████████
▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓
▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒
░░ ░░░  ░░░ ░░
 ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ 

“Mmgg... Koi... shi...”



Friday, March 21. 7 AM.


2014






Gensokyo.



I wake up ‘cause the sun’s bright in my face.

I’m still not used to that...

I find Koishi next to me, holding my right arm and leg with her heart—her third eye.

I am used to that.

I sit up, rubbing myright eye and shoulder. “Hm.... hwaaAAhm... Mm,” yawn, yawn... I fiddle with the strap of my nightgown and stretch my toes.

Time to get up.
File 159918842844.jpg - (147.12KB, 800x718, gettin' ready.jpg) [iqdb]
201667
[♪ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3VjKtROscQ♫ ]
[
[ Juice – Cuz I Love You (Deluxe) =Lizzo=]

I pat my girl’s butt over her bloomers and coax her off of me, swing my feet over the bedside and start toward the bathroom, making sure to avoid our clothes and some of the other stuff on the floor. We’ve gotta clean up.

Once I’m in front of the mirror, I take up my toothbrush from the cup on the sink, grab the toothpaste, and get to work. I don’t have to do this, but... Koishi kept giving me shit for just relying on the Fire to stay clean.

Alright.

Teeth ✓

Face ✓

Haaaaiiir...! ✓

Makeup too... ✓

Throw a kiss at that cutie in the mirror, mwuh ♥ ✓

I throw on my clothes and jewelry, pick up my bag, head to the main area—

Yep. Sis is awake. I wait for her to tell me “good morning”...

“Good morning, Joon,” she says, lifting up from the couch (she has a bed—why does she keep falling asleep on the couch?).

“Morning!!” I answer with a bright smile.

“Going out already?” she asks.

Got to. Tell Koishi for me, ‘kay Sis?”

“Yeeeep.”

I buckle up my boots, put my hand on the door.

Looking at Shion again, I wait for her to say, “have a nice trip”.

“Have a nice trip,” she says.

Yeah!! “I’m off!” I call back with a grin and wink, pulling down my shades—

—and I slide the door open.


The sound of birdsong explodes in volume, in a good way.

Wind tosses around my clothes, in a great way.

The Sun matches the color of the fire at my back (gold): and that’s hot (me).

I move smooth and swift down the dirt road.

Bad Bitch, Yorigami Joon: setting off!


Almost three years ago I ended up in Gensokyo, and quick I found myself in Hell.... eh, Old Hell.

I had to find my sister...

A lot of shit happened, but long story short: I saved her.

We... saved her. Me and Koishi, together. We’re a couple. Yeah it’s been... nearly two years.

We saved Sis and then took care of some other stuff for a while down there. Took down some slavers—some oni yakuza, no thang. HA HA YES IT WAS A THING, THERE’S NO DENYING IT: I’M A FUCKING BADASS!!

“Fufu.... GAHAHAHAHA!!”

I stop to laugh to myself on the road, cackling to the sky.

Then I look at the sky, through my sunglasses, light sliding off it fine.

A lot of stuff happened...

And now, I feel alright. Not perfect... no one’s perfect; but I’m good. A good bad girl.

—‘Kay! So! Today I’ve gotta make a bit of money, I think! Got a few places I could go... I’m not gonna “scam” people, I won’t! The Shrine Maiden... when we moved up here for real she seriously gave us so much shit...

“Where’s it, where is it...” I mutter to myself while digging through my bag (CHANEL: GENUINE).

“There it is.”

I pull out a little map I got from Moriya Shrine, closing one eye and gripping tight as a gust tries to take it from me.

“O... kaaayy... I hung around the kappa yesterdaaayy... soooo... today is, hm.

“...

“Aight, the village, the... ‘Road of Liminality’—what—uhh... or the Temple. Hm.”

I poke the map in the locations as I name them, tracing through my notes. Then, I close it up once I’m done.

Well! First to—


[] The Village, duh! It’s close by!

[] The Myouren Temple is close by too, I guess. Place sucks, but... lots of suckers there.

[] I don’t know what this Road of Liminality is but I think I heard it’s busy, so... Why not? It’s behind Youkai Mountain.

++++++++

image sources:
>>201657
Backgrounds from the Touhou fighting games.
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/3039405
https://www.pixiv.net/en/artworks/71177485
>>201658
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/2979872
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/2011307
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/2700041
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/2162589
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/2495649
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/397642
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/3443734
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/1001215
>>201665
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/3306313
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/2918798
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/2864997
>>201666
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/2822834
https://www.biddytarot.com/tarot-card-meanings/major-arcana/
[X] The Myouren Temple is close by too, I guess. Place sucks, but... lots of suckers there.
[x] The Myouren Temple is close by too, I guess. Place sucks, but... lots of suckers there.
[X] I don’t know what this Road of Liminality is but I think I heard it’s busy, so... Why not? It’s behind Youkai Mountain.
[x] I don’t know what this Road of Liminality is but I think I heard it’s busy, so... Why not? It’s behind Youkai Mountain.

The temple is fine too but the dead are interesting.
[X] The Myouren Temple is close by too, I guess. Place sucks, but... lots of suckers there.
[x] The Myouren Temple is close by too, I guess. Place sucks, but... lots of suckers there.
[x] I don’t know what this Road of Liminality is but I think I heard it’s busy, so... Why not? It’s behind Youkai Mountain.
File 159964835880.jpg - (1.33MB, 1894x2640, At Myourenji.jpg) [iqdb]
201681
>>201658
This actually also uses background elements from stages 5 and 6/Extra (the Land of the Back Door) in HSiFS. Also, the (MASSIVE) original resolution, non-animated version of this is in the Make a fire. folder on mega ( ) if someone wants that. It’s “back door.jpg”; size is 4572x5234.
Lastly in case anyone missed them, a few other neat things I whipped up are >>.underground/16543 and >>.underground/16544, from the first story thread. Alright, moving on:

++++++++

[X] The Myouren Temple is close by too, I guess. Place sucks, but... lots of suckers there.


Yeah. Let’s go there.

= = = =

[♪ https://mega.nz/file/gQl1AA4T#J97F4VWeWbHAvb3lYx91zt9UuI7CkyjNslrqYmRNs6Y♫ ]
[
[ Street Ball 1 (1/2) – Hey Arnold! =Jim Lang=]

Our house is kinda out of the way, on a road between the Myouren Temple and the village. We moved in around the start of the month... seemed like a good place to set up. The village and Temple are both full of humans, which is helpful. Humans tend to have money.

Shouldn’t surprise anyone I get by and get some for Sis and Koishi by being... too charismatic. “Donations”... to the cause that is “one very charming lady, who just wants some spare coins—a little paper”. We got in trouble when we first came in and I went wild, haunting a buncha hearts so the three of us could have a blast for our surfacing debut. Someone told the Shrine Maiden, and that got her on our asses. Since then I’ve been careful-er...

“... There’s the scent,” I mutter while floating down a paved road. The smell of incense: a Buddhist temple. I wanna get there pretty early, while people are groggy and out of it. I squint as I get closer. This March feels like summer...

While I’ve got my head bent down, I start hearing the scraping of a broom over dirt and stone. I look up, and see a youkai sweeping at the temple’s open gates. A green-haired, fluffy-eared dog-lookin’ youkai: a small yamabiko girl named Kasodani Kyouko.

I holler at her, “Yo, morning,” and she perks up, her eyes sparkling.

“YO!” she repeats loudly, and I quail under the volume. “MORNIIING!!!” God damn!

“Yeah, hi,” I say, slouching now.

“Yeah, hi!” she repeats, beaming at me. Cute echo pup... “Oh!” She hops in place, surprised amd looking into my face. Like, real close: she leans in and I frown, backing away a bit.

“You’re wearing them today!” the kid says. “Your sunglasses!”

“I always have them on,” I tell her, touching one side of them and putting my hand on my hip. “What about it?”

“Over your eyes! Your eyes!” she exclaims. “So COOL!”

True.

“Anyway, what’s up kid?” I ask. “Everyone awake yet?”

“You’re coming to hang out!?” Ohh... she looks excited.

“Nah, I’m here to work,” I tell her. “Maybe next time, alright?”

“Please! Please, Miss Joon!” Agh... a sweetheart...!

“Yeah,” I say with a smile. I pat her head. Kyouko’s a cool brat. I should definitely hang with her more. When I first ran into her she flipped at my coat and jewels. I guess she does dress real plain out here... I tell her, “See ya, then,” and start skulking into the Temple. She nods and wags her tail. Seriously... damn: what a temptress.

While I walk in a few other people greet me. It’s not busy, though. Let’s see... who around here looks like a chump? Myouren is (stupidly) a Buddhist temple with a mixed congregation of youkai and humans, so most of the humans are chumps. The youkai usually join because of the humans. I think I heard Kyouko’s in it for the teachings, but y’see the teacher...

“Hey!” MMgwha—!? Ah that’s... her... Not the teacher, one of the temple’s layabouts.

I stop my procession and turn to look at her while she marches over: Murasa Min... Mina, maybe? A sailor, or something, given her digs.

“What are you here for!?” she demands to know. I look up behind her, at the temple’s grand bell, sitting pretty near the entrance. Then I look at her. Her green eyes gleam and she narrows them. I slouch deeper, plucking off her sailor’s cap from her head as I go. Her hair shifts and falls around her face. Good ol’, luxurious black hair. Pretty! She should grow it out!

I twirl my hat around a finger. Anyways... “I’m thinking of joining,” I tell her.

“I don’t think we take gods,” she says, glaring at her spinning hat. “So shove off. You think anyone forgot what you did last time!? You’re awful for our reputation!”

Oi oi oi...

“Isn’t that tiger that lazes around here a god or something? Bishamonten or something? S’what you say at least. And another thing—” I let her cap go mid-spin and toss it at her chest. She catches it and frowns while I smirk. “—‘Your reputation’? It’s garbage, Mina.”

“Minamitsu,” she hisses and I roll my eyes. “To you it’s ‘Miss Murasa’! Or ‘Captain’!”

Yeah no.

“I’m serious,” I lie, shrugging at her. “I want to join. Gimme a tour or something?” I may as well get her off my back. Maybe I’ll slip away from her while she shows me around...

“Really?” she asks with suspicion, crossing her arms.

I smile, very pleasantly, and “Really,” I tell her.

“... Fine, I’ll show you around,” she says, and I glow with false happiness. “It’s better than letting you walk around on your own...! Seducing the acolytes and—” Whoa.

Hey.

I’m taken; I don’t do that sorta stuff anymore. That bit of bullshit nearly made me make a face at this bitch. But, I manage to just smile and nod.

“THEIR money isn’t YOUR money!” she tells me. Right. Until they give it to me... “If you’re promising to be a good pestilence god, then we’ll start now!”

Sure. I promise. Breaking promises is no big deal. With that, I straighten my back, put my hands in my coat pockets, and follow behind her.

= = = =

The Hell else can I say about Myouren Temple...? It smells like monks and sounds like madness. I mean, I don’t hate it... I know damn well how nice it is to give up everything and just live with nothing. Then again, burning money for shits and giggles isn’t quite the same as becoming an ascetic, I guess.

The teacher here is an idiot. I basically just came from a land of numbskulls and she’s probably the most “brute”-like bastard I’ve ever met. I’m glad she didn’t find me first when I walked in. Last time, she fuckin’ SOCKED me! On the BACK OF MY HEAD, GOD DAMN! Like, cool it! Was Buddhism a religion of violence!?

Anyway, that hag isn’t here...! And I can’t slip away from this ship bitch!

She keeps prattling on about whatever. She’s talking about... prayers, now. God...

“Heh... you look unhappy,” she says all of a sudden. I flinch and turn my eyes to her, pulling my sunglasses up and into my hair. “You don’t want to join, then?” Ugh... she looks smug...!

“Introduce me to some people!” I shout at her. “I know what Buddhism is, damn it! Show me some of the followers.”

Putting on a sad face, she asks, “So you can scam them...?”

“Not so I can scam them!” I say, holding up a hand. “It’s like, customer satisfaction! Questionnaires or whatever!”

“What are you talking about?” she looks confused. Right: this is Gensokyo.

“I wanna know if people are enjoying the place,” I tell her, looking away and returning my hand to my pocket. “Like, is it really that nice? Dedicating your mind to a philosophy or whatever?”

“You could just ask me,” she reminds me.

“Aren’t you still a cunt? Why would I ask you?” Like, seriously.

“Cu—!? I’m not a—” she sputters, totally taken aback.

I shrug, only glancing at her.

“You drown people, right? I think I heard that. That makes you a see-you-next-Tuesday.”

“Sh—Shii yuu...??” she repeats.

“EN-TII. ‘Cunt’. You know the word but don’t know how to spell it? Nuts.” I grin.

“Some of our followers came from the Outside World...” she explains, looking embarrassed. Hah. “But I haven’t learned English just from that. I only know what I know. Whatever! You’re from the Outside, too, right!?”

“Ya.”

“Then I’ll let you meet Mamizou! She can deal with you! I’m done with you!” She mad.

“I didn’t say anything wrong, right?” I remind her.

“... I’ve gotten better,” she tells me, blushing red and looking away, “about who I drown... God damn it! Leave it alone! Come on!”

She reaches over and grabs the top of my ear. Hey, what—!

She tugs me forward and I nearly fall following her.

“St-Stop!” I yell. “I’m a... special guest!”

“You’re a punk who’s been given way more time and patience than she’s worth! Now shut up and come along!”

“Frrgh...!” I groan, following her despite not wanting to. Man, just last year I woulda been able to shoulder toss her or something...! Without faith, I’ve really been slipping lately...

I get pulled along by the angry ghost, frowning as she desperately explains how good she’s gotten since she met “Hijiri”.

It’s annoying. She’s loud, and I’m annoyed.

But, I do listen.

= = = =

♪♪♪

“Eh? Just Kokoro?” says the ghost after opening the door of a small building and walking in. Rubbing my released ear, I follow behind her.

A standard five-tatami room. I’ve gotta say I’ve been digging the classic Japan aesthetic since coming back up. Down below it’s all ostentatious everywhere; extra...

So, who’s Kokoro?

When I step in and look around, my eyes eventually fall on a pink-haired youkai sitting against the same wall bearing the door, like she was hiding here or something. There’s a lamp in here, and windows but... lamp’s off, blinds are drawn. It’s dark... The youkai girl is hugging her knees and staring into the woven floor. Her face is frozen, and it looks like there’s a mask on her head, but from here I can’t see “of what”.

Minamitsu checks the room as well. Eventually she looks at the youkai and asks, “Did Mamizou have to do something?”

The quiet chick nods.

Minamitsu frowns, and glances back and forth. She looks at me. What, dude? “Hey...” she whispers.

I skew my eyebrows like, uh huh?

“This kid’s been feeling down lately, could you stay with her? Must’ve been urgent for Mamizou to leave her like this...” ... she says. Excuse me?

“Me? Don’t you hate me? Why the hell would you trust me with a kid?” You that desperate? You lose it?

She says. “We were talking about English earlier... there was an American who talked about getting people you don’t get along with to do you favors.”

... Ben Franklin?

“He said if you do that, you can end up friends. So, do me a favor?” she asks, smiling apologetically.

... Fuck! I wasn’t expecting a Ben Franklin pull and a face like this! Damn... Damn it...!

Fine,” I hiss with my eyes shut. I hear a puff of breath from her nose, and feel her hand pat me on my shoulder.

“Thanks. I’ll be back ASAP. Heh, see? I know a few things!” she says.

I glare at her.

Get!” I tell her, and she laughs and leaves, closing the door behind her.

[♪ https://listenonrepeat.com/?v=eWhCn3h2Wps♫ ]
[
[ That’s Wack – Hey Arnold! =Jim Lang=]

So...

I’m not... a babysitter. Well, this youkai chick’s not a baby though I guess. Is she a kid? How old is she...? Non-humans; it’s always hard to tell with ‘em... us...

She looks familiar.

“Uhh... hi,” I greet her.

She turns her eyes on me, and I raise my brow seeing them.

“Hi...!” she greets me back with surprising energy. “I am... Hata no...! Kokoro...” She deflates, and turns her chin back onto the tops of her knees.

“I’m Joon...” I say, walking further into the room. “Yorigami Joon. You’re a youkai, huh...?” Heck am I saying...

I stand at the wall across from her and lean into it, looking at her.

“Yes,” she says. “I’m a youkai... Menreiki...”

The mask on her head... or actually, it’s floating just beside her head, with a pair of long red tassels off its side... anyway: it’s of an old, crying woman.

“Menreiki”, huh... Ah!

She’s...!

She’s the one who gave Koishi hope! Or uh... the one Koishi went and took hope from...

... Shit, Koishi never apologized to her.

I hope she doesn’t know I’m her mask-thief’s girlfriend...

Whatever, I shouldn’t be thinking about that.

Yeah, I recognize her. Long pink hair; spooky, near-white eyes that are pink too... She wears an orange pumpkin skirt with cut out comedy and tragedy faces on it, showing her legs. Green-plaid shirt with cut buttons on it, and a bowtie. Yeah, I definitely remember seeing her... during the “Religious Wars”, when I was first scoping the place out. And Koishi’s mentioned her a few times when we talk about getting that eye back open...

“You’re a god, Miss?” she asks, picking up her head. Her face barely moves. I wonder what’s up with that... s’kinda creepy.

“Yeah,” I reply, folding my arms. “A pestilence god.”

“A pestilence god? What is that?” she asks. Hm... Her voice is... It’s nice. Really nice. It’s like, clear...

“I’m just a scumbag who lives off of others. I don’t uh... do... What do you do, kid? You scare people or...?” I mean, that’s the youkai standard.

“I...” she starts, but never continues. She sighs, heavily, letting out a “Haaah...”

“... What’s wrong?” I ask. I mean, I could tell she was in a funk just ‘cause I can always tell when there’s someone around who’s down in the dumps. S’how I find easy marks, but...

“... I can’t bother you with it, Miss Joon,” she says. “I have to carry this by myself.”

Ehh...? I frown at her, and bend a little. Strong kid...

“Eh,” I say, “I don’t know you so you can just vent at me if something’s got you down in the dumps, kid,” I tell her, leaning forward real casual and cool. “I got no one to tell. You ain’t gotta worry about it.”

“Hmmm...” Looks like she’s considering it. “H-Hmmmmm...” Uh...? “Mmg... hick... khh...” Eh?

Eh!? She’s cryin’! She’s cryin’! Oh, crap!

I didn’t notice it comin’ on ‘cause her face is so damn stiff!

I hurry over to her, bending down with my hands up and hovering over her. “Hey, hey! Chill, ki—Uh, Ko... Kokoro! Sorry! I wasn’t tryin’ ta... Ah, jeez...!”

She ain’t stoppin’...! Water just plips, plips down from her eyes and she keeps sobbing.

Quick! Look around the room...!

Listen...

... Okay, no one’s coming...!

I reach out, and pat her on the head.

“There, there,” I say. “There, there, it’s alright, kid.”

She grips her skirt and hides her face with her knees. Khh...! Fuck it!

I take the back of her head with my other hand and pull her to my breast.

“Shh! Shh! Come on! We’re alone here, nothing’s gonna happen!” I don’t know what the hell I’m saying, man...! “Okay...? Okay...”

I hold her close. She cries onto my shirt. Gonna have to summon the flame for a cleaning after this...

...

Mmg...

It takes a few minutes but she calms down. I pull away and look into her blank, but red-eyed face, grimacing. I’ve gotta ask...

“... What’s the matter? Is it uh... ‘Hijiri’?” I guess. This is that monk’s temple, after all.

She shakes her head, her swaying pretty. “Reimu...” she says.

—!? The shrine maiden...!?

“What’s she—!?” I start to ask, but Kokoro shakes her head again. “... Okay, I won’t ask.”

But I wanna know...

I’ve got this rotten feeling. The Shrine Maiden’s a shit to youkai, sure, but she doesn’t make them cry, usually, I don’t think... While rubbing this mask-youkai’s head, I look down at her and think. If it’s the shrine maiden...

... I’m not afraid of her. I’ve had my back against the wall facing way worse. I might just confront that bitch myself and see what this shit’s about—Mhm, ‘cause, uh... ‘Cause if she’s acting up then that means I gotta worry about me, Sis, and Koishi, yeah!?

Then again bringing the youkai along to the source of her problems might be a bad move...

...


[] Let’s just cheer her up. Run amok at the temple and try to make her smile (or at least put on a different mask).

[] I’m taking her to the Shrine. I gotta, like... confront Reimu about this.

++++++++

image sources:
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/3506548
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/3579758
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/2788066
[x] Let’s just cheer her up. Run amok at the temple and try to make her smile (or at least put on a different mask).

Futo-approved stress relief method.
[x] Let’s just cheer her up. Run amok at the temple and try to make her smile (or at least put on a different mask).

poor Kokoro
File 159991891777.gif - (3.33MB, 1000x707, goof.gif) [iqdb]
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>.gif

++++++++

[X] Let’s just cheer her up. Run amok at the temple and try to make her smile (or at least put on a different mask).


Hm...

“Say...” I speak up, “you’re a youkai, so... you probably like giving folks a surprise, right?”

“Huh...?” she breathes, and voila! Her mask changes! It’s a monkey now... a baffled-looking chimp. Sure. Alright. I think I get it. I grin. I flick my thumb across my nose and tell her:

“Let’s have some fun.”

= = = =

[♪ https://mega.nz/file/RRdS3SpB#ddwZzyfKgtTYGaYLE9D9m8D4vRAD5K3rprmSCjUVKN8♫ ]
[
[ Dangerous Lumber 1/2 – Hey Arnold! =Jim Lang=]

The Sun was sitting high over the Temple of Myouren, bearing down mercilessly on those acolytes who had decided to live on the temple grounds. Breakfast had begun, and as always(?) youkai and humans sat together. Surely they – the youkai – felt a second hunger rise upon seeing those humans plump themselves up! Eh, wot! ‘Twas a feast of decadence under the pseudonym of peace!

I’m still here by the way.

On my own I don’t have any powers particularly useful for pranking people. With me, I can cause a little non-discriminating misfortune (hits me too) but that’s about it: hardly reliable. But, hey, I’ve got a brain. A cool. cunning brain.

Anyway, I’m a god so I don’t get anything direct out of screwing with people, but that isn’t going to stop me from enjoying what’s about to go down. Plan and execution: perfect. My hiding spot: perfect. I’m on a roof, behind a huge decoration and overlooking the main area of the grounds. I’m rapt with attention. I really want to see how this plays out; it’s gonna be a goddamn blast.

On days when the weather’s alright the monks eat outside. That’s today, and they’re all having some sorta soup... broth or something. Willing to bet: vegetable soup. Sounds about right, for a buncha monks...

I look out across the way, at the building opposite mine. Across the courtyard, sitting on that roof is the youkai lynchpin here: little Kokoro. She looks my way, probably sensing my gaze. Can’t tell what mask she has on from here, but... everyone’s seated and ready, also, so she’s probably waiting for the signal. Maybe she’s excited.

Hijiri is out here too, of course. That gradient-haired, wrapped-tits witch is seated at some unremarkable place at a table, not at the head. There’s no “head” seat at all, actually... and yeah, I’ll give her that. Hijiri’s congregation is about a hundred youkai and humans strong, and they’re all seated at four tables down below. Now that everyone’s in the swing of things I give Kokoro a pair of thumbs up and nod. It’s on, girl! Let’s do this thing!

Instantly, I hear, “Wh-WHAT!?” from below and look down quick. Alright, so...

Kokoro is a Menreiki—a tsukumogami youkai, and she said she was made from sixty-six masks. She... “lost” one, though, so right now she’s made of sixty-five. Regardless it’s way more than enough for the hoodwinking we’re gonna have done.

So: that first scream. Kokoro and I both slip behind our chosen rooftop flourishes as we observe.

“What’s the matter?” Hijiri asks the young man who has now fallen from his seat down onto his ass. She looks ready to act. The youkai who was seated beside him – some wolf-type one, by the looks of him – gazes into his bowl. Aaaand: he’s perplexed. Didn’t find anything, eh?

Then someone else leaps from their seat. and another, and six other students. Soon people are hurrying from the table and chaos is buildin’ up fiiine. I smirk. I wanna hear it...! Someone say it...!

And someone cries, “A f—... A face in my soup!” There it is!! I start laughing silently, and super hard. Across the way, Kokoro is huddled into herself, balling her fists and unblinking at the scene.

“Head priest, you haven’t...!” an appalled human gasps at Hijiri, who’s now standing and looking crazy concerned.

“No!” she answers immediately. A bunch of youkai, with interests piqued, are gazing into soup bowls now.

“It was a woman’s face...”

“I saw an old man!”

“A smiling man...”

Hijiri yells, “It was just vegetable soup!” I KNEW IT! “Wasn’t it, Shou!?” She looks over at a decked out youkai with yellow hair, black lines running through it. The girl looks confused... Honestly it’s pretty goddamn cute.

A curious student (what looks like a jorogumo, maybe, from her outfit) picks up one of the human’s abandoned bowls and looks ready to take a sip...

“There was a youkai’s face in mine!” some other student calls. The spider girl spits out the mouthful she’d taken in. Oh god...

Whole thing is in shambles. About no one’s still sitting down: it’s a mass freak-out, and the youkai are trying to get a taste of those mysterious soup faces.

When someone else yelps while the congregation runs this way and that, Hijiri flies to that person and quickly peers into their bowl. She then – crazy, really – she fires her hand down into the wooden thing. When she does, Kokoro flinches. Uh oh.

I straighten my back. Hijiri pinches the face in her hands. Kokoro holds both her cheeks. I make an X with my forearms at her.

Jig’s up! Leg it! Leg it!

Suddenly, sixty-three bowls burst and flip over, and people start hollering as what looks like fox fire, pale and blue, starts flaring up over their tables. Fire burns in Hijiri’s hands too. The torches fly up high and vanish... then Kokoro’s body flares with the same phantasmal flame. Most of the torches: the one in Hijiri’s hands, she holds on tight to. Also, everyone saw Kokoro lighting up.

Uhh... going south fast!

Hijiri then bellows, “KOKORO...!” Ah shit...!

I hitch up my Chanel bag. I see Kokoro covering her mouth and, obviously, doubled over with laughter. I, uh, guess she didn’t notice that everyone’s noticed her... and they’ve definitely figured out what that was all about.

I spin my bag around my wrist a few times, then let it loose—hurling it down at the table in front of the head priest. My own fire gets up, and I will myself down to retrieve it, appearing before Hijiri in a golden flash.

Still clutching the last of Kokoro’s masks, she hops there, startled, and looks down at me, who just landed over someone’s breakfast. She says, “You...!” I just look at the mask Hijiri’s got. It’s a red oni, I think...

Anyway, I let my flames run wild and Hijiri fumbles for a second at the light. Through the fire I reach out and take back the mask, telling her, “Uh... gotcha?” before I jump from the table—with like most of the congregation in pursuit.

I fly to Kokoro and shove her mask against her chest. The monkey appears over her head again and she says, “What? What?” while turning her head this way and that.

I say, “Up!” jump over her and grab her shirt by the shoulder, pulling her with me.

She apparently sees the, like, sixty plus youkai and a few humans on my tails, because she soon shouts, “Oh no!”

[♪ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDAl1z1dPDI♫ ]
[
[ Back To School – Hey Arnold! =Jim Lang=]

Yeah that’s about the right reaction.

I feel her turning over. She quickly gets to my side as we try to escape.

“They found out!?” Kokoro asks me, that monkey still over her head. I nod once, telling her:

“That Head Priest has crazy reflexes...”

We both drop to the ground and enter a building backward, probably throwing off a good number before they can notice. I grab the youkai girl’s sleeve and pull her into a room, over a table, and then through a window, reversing and winding to some other building. I look over my shoulder and see that a few noticed what we were up to.

We end up slipping through more rooms, kinda making a mess and losing a few more with every weird slip we make. Eventually, I think we actually manage to lose them, and I allow myself a look at Kokoro, smiling at her. Now a mask that looks wild with laughter is over her head: anyone could tell what that means. We close our eyes and beam at each other.

And I feel something slap against my face. I crash down in the dirt. I hear Kokoro falling too. I get up on a knee and grab at my face, pulling off a... It’s paper?

Something flies into my vision, stopping before my eyes. I stay firm, and glare at it: a staff.

... No: a gohei.

In front of me, dressed in traditional red and white, but not quite “dressed like a shrine maiden” (her sleeves are detached, and shrine maidens don’t wear skirts or uh... “hair tubes” or bows...) is who else... The Hakurei. And she doesn’t look happy with me.

“You again,” she says. Her dark hair blows with a passing breeze.

“You mess with Myouren?” I ask her, smiling at the rod aimed at my face and glancing now and then at the paper tassels off its end. “I thought you left them to their own devices or somethi—”

“Not when I hear about humans being eaten so near to the village.” Ugh... she cut me off. “You’re lucky it was just a prank, but I’m still going to punish you.”

“Uh huh... Well...”

I glance at Kokoro. The monkey has returned, and she’s fumbling with a seal that landed right across her eyes, forcing them shut.


[] Throw Kokoro under the bus. Technically, you didn’t do it!

[] Preemptively cover for Kokoro. Say it was all you.


++++++++

image sources:
https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/2906245
https://www.pixiv.net/en/artworks/81271103
[x] Throw Kokoro under the bus. Technically, you didn’t do it!

It's a very Joon thing to throw people under the bus to save her own hide, I think.
[x] Preemptively cover for Kokoro. Say it was all you.
[X] Throw Kokoro under the bus. Technically, you didn’t do it!
(X) Throw Kokoro under the bus. Technically, you didn’t do it!
[x] Preemptively cover for Kokoro. Say it was all you.
File 160015662910.gif - (3.31MB, 540x682, shocked and upset menreiki.gif) [iqdb]
201698
>.gif

image source (a bit lewd warning): https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/2267861

++++++++

[X] Throw Kokoro under the bus. Technically, you didn’t do it!


I raise my hands plaintively and I blurt out: “Hey, hey! In case you didn’t know, I can’t actually do any of that stuff. Like, pranking? Not my scene. That was all this tsukumogami, here...”

I motion to Kokoro, who’s just gotten the seal off her eyes. She flinches. “Eh?” she utters. “Eh? Eh!? But, Miss Joon—”

[ ♪ https://mega.nz/file/IJEn1YKY#7C2EDQZwo2HW9WrYo9QVKc592exHm4JUN9hI2KgjkR4♫ ]
[
[ 疑惑 – Persona 5 =Meguro Shoji= ]

“Yeeaaah I figured I’d help her out out of the kindness of my heart when I spotted her laughing on a roof,” I cut Kokoro off, and she starts flapping her lips uselessly. So, I go on, saying, “Just, figured I’d help save her even if she did wrong. It wasn’t all that wrong so it’s right, right?”

Closing my eyes, I start thinking to myself: this one’s in the bag. Then, something thwacks down on my head—hard. I buckle, and collapse onto my bent forearm. Fuck... Why’s it feel like I got slammed with a hammer...? My brain’s on fire...

“Wh-Wha—” I try to say, and then I feel paper falling and sliding across my ears. This has... gotta be her gohei again...

“Shut your mouth,” says Reimu, and I do shut it—into a grimace. “Why would you say, ‘gotcha~’—” she puts on an impersonation of my voice for that “—if you weren’t involved? You’re definitely a culprit, I’m just not sure how yet.”

“You really acted fast, huh... I heard you were lazy,” I mock her.

“Didn’t I tell you to shut up?” she says, and I hear the clink of metal against metal. My clothes all shake, and I turn my eyes to my sleeves. What the... she... stabbed me down!? With needles!? Huge friggin’ needles—I’m friggin’ pinned! I think she stabbed up my skirt, too!

“I had a feeling it was Kokoro acting up, so I came over as soon as I could...” saying that, at a sorta low volume, she takes the gohei from my head and I watch as she turns to face Kokoro...

Again, the tsukumogami jolts with surprise. “R-Reimu, I wasn—” she tries to say, but Reimu just throws a hand out forward. I pair of heavy-looking orbs appear at her sides, and a flurry of seals leaves her sleeve. Every one of those seals hits Kokoro, who falls down to the ground again as the paper binds her in place. Her mask switches over to the old, crying face.

“So you’re a screw-up and you’re being a nuisance to people on top of that? You know I’ve exterminated you before. You want me to make it permanent?”

Eh...? Whoa...

Kokoro shakes her head quickly.

“You’ve got a mouth, right? USE it!” Reimu yells, and the orbs beside her flash.

The seals binding Kokoro start to shine, too, and then... then she just starts screaming. Watching it—hearing it, I go cold fast.

“Not like that, not like that...” says Reimu. sounding exasperated. She raises another ofuda in her left hand, and promptly throws it down, covering Kokoro’s mouth with it. This doesn’t stop her from screaming... but does muffle it. “Tch! Now you have to nod or shake your head, like some broken mute...” Reimu puts her hand on her hip, and the orbs flash again. The seals glow brighter, and Kokoro starts bending into herself, her stoppered screaming getting louder behind the gag. “Your face doesn’t work right, your mouth doesn't work right, your head doesn’t work right... We got this all fixed years ago, didn’t we? God, you’re such a disappointment... Stop YELLING already!”

Kokoro goes quiet, shutting her eyes and enduring the pain.

“So embarrassing...” Reimu mumbles, looking toward the main temple building. “I don’t need weird gossip spreading.” She flicks her wrist and most of the seals disperse. Kokoro remains on the ground, tears streaming sideways down her face. The needles leave my clothes and Reimu points her gohei at my forehead again. I look up at her, holding back an expression of defiance. “Put your hands behind your back,” she orders. I do it... I’m not going to ‘cause any trouble with THE exterminator of Gensokyo. A couple seals fly down and bind my wrists together. Glancing, I see a couple more do the same for Kokoro. Reimu rests her gohei on her shoulder and puts her other hand on her hip again, looking down between the two of us. “Both of you get up, I’m tired of making a scene,” she says. It’s hard to do that without hands... but, we both managed.

I guess I’m under arrest? The shrine maiden seems like she’s got a particular beef with Kokoro, though...

Keeping quiet, I (and a sniffling Kokoro who’s trying to hide her face) start to slowly fly, following Reimu to hers: the Hakurei Shrine.

= = = =

And damn it... she locked us up.

She said that she needed to think about what to do with us and said that it was too much of a pain to think about it now: she has stuff to prepare for some festival.

So, she locked us up: in her storage shed... She put a barrier in front of the door and stuffed us in a room full of gardening tools and old newspapers...

I’m standing against a wall; Kokoro is sitting on the floor. She stopped crying about a minute ago.

I should say... “So... uh... I’m sorry. I didn’t think that, uh... that would... happen.”

Kokoro shakes her head in silence.

“Sorry,” I repeat.

“You didn’t know...” Kokoro mutters. “I didn’t say. Though... you made the plan, Miss Joon. You should have taken responsibility as well.”

Pf... righteousness. “Yeah,” I say. “Sorry. Anyway, has she always treated youkai like that? It seemed really... harsh,” I observe, leaning forward a bit and looking concerned. I am concerned, like... That’s bad news.

“She’s treated me like that,” says Kokoro, “lately.”

[♪ https://listenonrepeat.com/?v=HS9RDJJxdfU♫ ]
[
[ Groove Remote (Lockjaw) – Hey Arnold! =Jim Lang=]

“Seriously...? It’s really just you?” Why? Wait—I should ask that. “Why?”

“I don’t understand it... She’s been getting angrier and angrier with me over the last few months...” Kokoro whispers, still looking at the floor.

“Sure, but... what for?” I ask.

“Anything...!” Kokoro snaps, and a red, demonic mask appears beside her head. “Anything I’ve done! Anything I don’t do! Sh—... She started hitting me, and... being mean to me...! She keeps yelling at me, and telling me I’m worthless! And it... It feels like... I am...”

Tears start falling from her face again. I straighten my back, and listen. “She wants me make more shows—I... I make... shows: Noh plays...” she explains. “I made one and it did really well, we were all happy, and excited... I was happy...”

...

“But Reimu wanted more, and I can’t just make more, and every time she told me to it felt like maybe... I never can. I can’t do anything, and maybe my first play was um... ‘lucky’. It wasn’t ‘me’, it was an accident and, really, I’m just broken—” she points at her temple and slouches into herself, “—in here,” she says.

“What the ff...” I speak without thinking, stopping before the curse. I shake my head quickly. “She’s been torturing you like that? That’s...”

I thought I was a greedy shit, but this is crazy...

...

Well regardless I’m not sticking around here. I didn’t even earn any money today, myself...


[] Get out of here now. Escape (easy enough to do).

[] Wait until Reimu comes back before escaping. Got a bone to pick with her.
[x] Get out of here now. Escape (easy enough to do).

So this is when we get our Persona, I assume.
[x] Wait until Reimu comes back before escaping. Got a bone to pick with her.
Tied. I'm writing for some other things. Will flip a coin if it's still tied after that.
[x] Wait until Reimu comes back before escaping. Got a bone to pick with her.
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