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20210515063545_1
Notice: There will be open spoilers for both Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil 8: Village going forward. This will be the only warning you'll get.
=====================================================
Everything is dark, and everything is numb.

You can tell your eyes are open, at least, but there is nothing else observable to you. Your mind is as blank as your senses, your only emotion being a complex mixture of lingering sadness and relief... and a hint of anger?

Slowly, feeling begins to return, and your entire body feels sore.

That soreness quickly evolves into pain, and you close your eyes. Not that it matters. Everything is pitch black, wherever you are.

After a moment, the deafening silence of the void is broken by a woman's voice.

"My, my, still holding on, after all that? You certainly never disappoint."

You open your eyes again, but the source of the voice is too far away to make out clearly. You recognize the color purple, but little else. Which is strange, since it sounded like she was right next to you.

Enough feeling returns for you to realize you haven't been breathing, and you cough violently. You feel flecks of... something come up when you do so.

The voice continues, still as if she was only a foot away. "You certainly are in bad shape, though. Here, allow me to help."

You feel a tingling sensation across your body, followed by a second of intense pain. You only have enough energy to gasp and close your eyes again in response.

Once the pain subsides, it does so entirely. Even the earlier aches you felt are gone. You open your eyes again, and inspect your body. Despite the black void around you, you can clearly see that your body is unharmed.

You look back at the woman in the distance and finally find your voice. "What... Who are you? Where am I?"

The woman giggles. "I take it you're feeling better, now? Good. And to answer your questions, I am nobody, and you are nowhere."

The cryptic reply annoys you, but you move on to another pressing question. "...who am I?"

"Oh? You don't remember?" The woman seems genuinely confused. "Though, with everything that happened, I suppose some temporary amnesia isn't unusual. Isn't that right, Mr. Winters?"

As soon as she says that name, it's like a dam broke within your mind. Memories came flooding back, of who you are, what you did, all the horrors you went through...

...and front and center of the deluge of memories, a single sentence, said by yourself:

"Goodbye, Rosemary."

You sit up on your knees, and you feel tears well up in your eyes. You look back at the woman. "Am I dead, then? For real this time?"

Even at this distance, you could tell the woman shrugged. "Technically, you were supposed to be. Either way, you could say that your role in your old world is over."

You look at your hands. They were perfectly fine, despite the terrible things you remember them going through in that damn village. "And... Mia, and Rosemary? Are they okay?"

"A family man, even after 'death' I see." The woman giggles again. "Don't worry, they made it home safe and sound."

You smile, even as the tears fall. "Then... I did it. As long as they made it, I can die happy." You look at the woman. "Do I follow you to the afterlife?"

Now the woman outright laughed, and your smile fell. "Oh, heavens, no. Like I said, you were technically supposed to be dead, but I stopped that from happening."

You slowly stand up, eyes on the woman the whole time. You didn't like what she was saying. "So... why did you do it?"

"Because you're far too entertaining to let you die like that."

You feel your anger swell, though you're also just now realizing that you had none of the weapons on you that you had previously. "I'm not some actor for you, lady. Whatever the hell you have planned for me, tell me now."

"Oh, Ethan, I have a lot planned for you." The woman chuckles. "For your part, though, all you have to do is survive."

"Survive? What the fuck do you mean by that?"

Suddenly, the woman was in your face and grabbing you by the face. You can barely make out a head full of blonde hair from beneath her white glove.

She pulls you close with terrifying ease, and whispers in your ear: "Survive the dangerous world of Gensokyo, of course."

With that, she violently throws you backwards. You yell out as you expect to hit the ground, but instead you pass through some kind of hole. For a few horrifying moments, there's nothing around you but endless eyes and infinite space. You scream the whole time.

After what feels like far too long, the void of eyes ends, and you land on the ground harshly. You gasp for air after the rough landing, and take a moment to recover from the pain.

Once you're sure that nothing's broken, you slowly get up and look around. You landed next to a body of water, on a patch of snow just next to the shore. It was the dead of night, though a full moon was out to give you a decent amount of light, especially with the light bouncing off both the water and the snow around you.

Farther inland, you immediately spot a large, dark red mansion. You can see that a few windows have light coming out of them, so you know it's currently inhabited.

Next, you look over yourself. You were wearing the same clothes you went out in. There was a distinct lack of a hole in your chest, and you put a hand to your neck to confirm that you do in fact have a pulse again. In one of your pockets, you had a single bottle of first aid serum. Your left hand was no longer missing a couple of fingers, and after searching your other pockets you recover your wedding ring and put it back on.

Once you do that, you stare at it for a bit. "Mia..."

Wherever this "Gensokyo" is, you're alive and well, despite all odds. With that in mind, you decide that, no matter what, you will get back home to your family, or die trying.

First thing's first. The only place of interest you see around you is that mansion. Plus, since you gave away your outer coat, the cold was starting to bite at you a little bit. After everything you went through, dying to the elements would be disappointing, to say the least.

Even if you were technically already dead...

You shake your head. "Focus, Ethan," you say to yourself, "you're moving, you're conscious, and you know who you are."

Even if you really were a pile of mold shaped like your old self, you're still you. As far as you were concerned, that made you as alive as anyone else.

The mansion has a wall surrounding it, but there are a handful of snow-covered trees growing over it. You briefly considered finding the front gate, but you highly doubted that anyone would be out at this time of night in this weather.

Using the trees, you easily hoist yourself onto the mansion grounds.

Despite the snow, there is quite a well-kept garden around the mansion. The trees you used to climb in are part of a unique display, though apparently most of it wasn't in use for the season.

As far as the mansion itself, it seems like you are near the back side of it. It's easily at least five stories tall, with a tower near the center of the building that extended even further.

You can see a couple of small doors leading inside, with almost no decor around them at all. Likely for easy access to this garden.

Besides the doors, there is also a small building to your left, hidden under some of the trees and situated against the wall you climbed over. You'd guess it held all the materials needed for the garden, but maybe it could also connect to the mansion's cellar, since it almost certainly had one.

Though you couldn't see it right now, you could also circle around until you found the front door. Even if the front gate wouldn't be manned right now, you might be able to get the attention of whoever's inside.

[ ]Try the doors out back. Maybe whoever lives here got careless and left one of them unlocked?
[ ]The building in the garden appears interesting. You should start there.
[ ]You're already technically trespassing right now, it might be in your best interests to get inside the proper way.
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[X]Try the doors out back. Maybe whoever lives here got careless and left one of them unlocked?
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[X ]You're already technically trespassing right now, it might be in your best interests to get inside the proper way
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no way, ojou-sama
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[X]You're already technically trespassing right now, it might be in your best interests to get inside the proper way.

Let's try to start things off on the right foot, so that we don't 'die' for the third time.
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[X]You're already technically trespassing right now, it might be in your best interests to get inside the proper way.
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[X]You're already technically trespassing right now, it might be in your best interests to get inside the proper way.

Neat.
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[X]You're already technically trespassing right now, it might be in your best interests to get inside the proper way.

We're not Chris and would probably die in a straight up fight.
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[x] Try the doors out back. Maybe whoever lives here got careless and left one of them unlocked?
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[x]You're already technically trespassing right now, it might be in your best interests to get inside the proper way.
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[X] Try the doors out back. Maybe whoever lives here got careless and left one of them unlocked?
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[x]You're already technically trespassing right now, it might be in your best interests to get inside the proper way.

You crunch through the snow as you walk around the mansion. Climbing over the walls was probably bad enough, the last thing you'd want to do is further antagonize whoever lives here by even more overtly breaking in.

The mansion was big enough that it took almost a minute to circle to the front. Though a few windows had light on the other side, all of the ones at ground level were pitch black.

You reach the front door, and notice that, unlike the rest of the mansion grounds, the path from the front gate to the door was completely cleared of snow. Almost as if someone had just cleared it...

You turn your attention back to the door. It was large, about eight feet tall, and incredibly ornate. While you try to come up with what you'll tell whoever lives here, you bring up a fist to knock.

The moment your fist makes contact, however, the door creaks open. You hesitate. The lights were on inside, but you knew that doors opening for you were never a good sign.

Still, the only other option is staying outside and slowly freezing to death...

You quickly slip inside the mansion and close the door behind you. No need to let the cold in, after all.

The entryway to the mansion was... massive, to say the least. Not only were there two hallways splintering to the left and the right, there was also a grand staircase that went up three floors, each floor containing two more hallways leading to elsewhere in the mansion. The main source of light was a chandelier hanging from the high ceiling, though it looked like it contained electric lights.

There was no one in sight at all, and the interior was eerily quiet. Your cautious footsteps echoed against the tile floor.

You look between all of the paths presented to you. You had no idea where to go, so maybe you should call out...

"May I help you, sir?"

You gasp and whirl around, reflexively reaching for a gun that you no longer have. Behind you, in front of the door you just entered, was a silver-haired woman in a maid outfit. "Where did you come from?"

"That is unimportant. Please explain why you are here, sir."

She doesn't move towards you, but you can still feel the threat in her voice. "I, uh, got lost in the storm. This mansion was the first building I came across." Probably better to see how they react to you before you go talking about how you were thrown here by a mysterious blonde woman after you died.

She looks you up and down. Her face remains neutral, but she does relax her stance slightly. "I see. You are an Outsider, then?"

You frown. Last time you were called an Outsider didn't go so well. "I... guess so? Where am I?"

The woman walks past you, and you take care to not get in her way. "You are in Gensokyo, and this is the Scarlet Devil Mansion. Seeing as you are new here, I believe it would be best if I take you to my mistress." She looks back at you and motions up the stairs. "Please, follow me."

She immediately begins walking up, and you follow. "Wait, is that really necessary? I'd just like some directions for how to get out of Gensokyo."

The maid shakes her head. "I'm afraid that is not something we can help you with. You will have to go to the Hakurei shrine maiden for that. In the meantime, however, my mistress would like to see you."

Hakurei shrine maiden? That sounds like you're somewhere in Japan, then. But then why did you find a mansion that looks very European...?

More concerning, you're noticing some red flags with what the maid is saying. "Wait, isn't it the middle of the night? Would your mistress even be awake?"

You spot a small smirk on the maid's face as she turns to you. "Believe me, that will not be an issue. You will understand when you meet her."

On the second floor, she goes down the hallway to the right. You stay in step with her, but you're starting to wonder if going along with this is such a good idea.

[ ]Play nice, for now. As concerning as this is, maybe it won't be so bad.
[ ]See if you can keep getting info out of the maid, or even if you can talk her into letting you leave right now.
[ ]Clearly, you won't be able to talk her out of an audience with her mistress. Time to make a break for it instead.
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[ X]See if you can keep getting info out of the maid, or even if you can talk her into letting you leave right now.
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[X] See if you can keep getting info out of the maid.
with a little bit of
[X] Play nice, for now. As concerning as this is, maybe it won't be so bad.

I don't see much reason to leave yet, with the effort we put into getting in the mansion in the first place. Sure, something seems a little off, but we've dealt with stuff like that before, and it is probably a better option than going back out into the cold.
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[x] no way, ojou-sama
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[X] See if you can keep getting info out of the maid.
with a little bit of
[X] Play nice, for now. As concerning as this is, maybe it won't be so bad.
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[X] See if you can keep getting info out of the maid.
with a little bit of
[X] Play nice, for now. As concerning as this is, maybe it won't be so bad.
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lady of the manor
[X] See if you can keep getting info out of the maid.
[X] Play nice, for now. As concerning as this is, maybe it won't be so bad.

Even though part of you is screaming for you to run and not look back, you continue following the maid. She hasn't done anything to hurt you, so far, which is a big step up from the last time you were taken to see the matriarch of a large building.

Speaking of large, shouldn't you have reached the edge of the mansion by now...?

Either way, you decide to at least get some more intel from the maid while you walk. "So, uh... who's your mistress?"

She doesn't turn around to give you a very basic answer. "Remilia Scarlet."

Right, she said this was the Scarlet Devil Mansion, makes sense it was named after the owner. "And how long has she been in Gensokyo?"

"It has been many years now, though we spent far longer in the Outside World before coming here." Before you can ask a follow-up question, she speaks again. "Europe, if you were curious."

"Huh, what a coincidence, I lived there recently, too," you think out loud.

The maid turns to you and raises an eyebrow. "You look and sound more like an American, sir."

"I only lived in Europe for a few years. It's... a long story."

She lets out a thoughtful "Hmm" and turns back around. "It is probably a story my mistress would like to hear. Sometimes she finds the life of Outsiders fascinating, to see what she has missed in her absence."

You say nothing. You're not sure how they'd react to you being a mold-borne manifestation of your former self, who had to survive untold horrors both in Louisiana and rural Europe. Might be best to let them think you're just a normal human for now.

"Here we are, sir."

The maid stops in front of a door that is slightly larger than the others. She opens it to reveal a large dining area, with a grand table and several seats around it.

At the head of the table, in a large chair that could almost be called a small throne, was a girl who must be the Remilia Scarlet the maid talked about. The blue hair was a little odd, as was her somewhat old-fashioned dress and matching cap, but the most striking thing was her apparent age. If you had to guess, she looked to be a young teenager.

Despite her appearance, she speaks very formally. "Ah, so this is our unexpected guest. Thank you for bringing him here, Sakuya."

"It was no issue, my lady."

Remilia gestures to a seat adjacent to hers at the table. "Come now, sir, have a seat. I won't bite."

...you really don't like how big she's smiling after she says that, but you still oblige. Sakuya follows you, and remains standing nearby even after you take a seat.

Remilia offers her hand. "I am Remilia Scarlet, and I would like to formally welcome you to the Scarlet Devil Mansion."

You nervously accept the handshake. "I'm Ethan Winters. Uh... sorry for the intrusion."

She chuckles and leans on the table, her hands clasped together. "Oh, don't worry. Even though you clearly trespassed by climbing over our walls, the weather outside is too harsh to truly judge you for your actions."

You tense up slightly. "You knew I climbed in?"

She nods. "To be quite blunt, I was prepared to have Sakuya take more... drastic action against you if you forced your way inside. Since you didn't, however, you clearly have at least some manners."

You look back at the maid. She doesn't betray any emotion on her face, but you still feel like Remilia wasn't lying. "Um... thank you?"

"It has been a while since we entertained an Outsider here," Remilia says. "Would you like something to eat? I'm not sure how long you were out in the cold, but it must not have been pleasant."

Even though you were effectively restored by whatever that blonde woman did, you could tell that you were still full from that last meal that Duke made for you before you went to finally end Miranda. "I, uh, actually ate not too long ago. Thank you for the offer, though."

Remilia shrugs. "That will be for later, then. For now, we can discuss your temporary stay, before we send you to the Hakurei Shrine so you can be returned to the Outside."

You're surprised. "That's... perfect, actually. I was just about to ask about that."

Remilia smiles. "Of course, I only ask for a small favor from you in return."

Your optimism quickly begins to fade. "And what would that be?"

"A quick sample." She motions behind you. "Sakuya, if you would, please?"

Suddenly, your left hand is being forcefully grabbed. "Hey, what are you doing?!"

Remilia gets out of her seat and grabs your hand, but pauses when she sees your wedding ring. "Ah, a married man? Who's the lucky Mrs. Winters?"

You try to pull your hand free, but this girl is keeping you in place with impossible force. "Tell me what you're doing first!"

"Oh, don't worry, Ethan, you'll only feel a pinch~"

She then brings her mouth down on your wrist and bites, and you yell out in pain.

Your blood enters her mouth, shortly followed by Remilia going wide-eyed and abruptly dropping your hand. While you nurse the bite wound, she sputters and spits your blood out onto the floor.

"What the hell was that?!" Remilia asks, her composure shattered. "You taste... rancid!"

From this angle, you spot a pair of folded up bat wings on Remilia's back. That, plus her youthful appearance and what just happened, was enough to clue you in, and you jump out of your chair. "You're a vampire?"

Remilia wipes her mouth. "Of course I am, but what are you?" She points an accusatory finger at your chest. "I've sampled all kinds of blood from humans, and I've never had anyone taste as bad as you!"

You stay silent.

Remilia regains her earlier composure. "If you won't tell me, then I suppose we'll find out another time. Sakuya, please dress his wound and take him to-"

"Like hell I'm staying after that!" you interrupt and start walking away. "I'm out of-"

A strong force pulls on the back of your shirt, and you're yanked onto the ground. Before you can get back up, Sakuya holds a knife to your throat, and Remilia walks into your view.

"You no longer have a choice in the matter, Ethan," Remilia says. "I have a feeling that you aren't quite human, and as such it is my due diligence as a citizen of Gensokyo to figure out exactly what you are before we even think about letting you loose." She waves a hand at Sakuya.

You blink, and... Sakuya is at Remilia's side?

"Now, get up, and follow Sakuya to your room. I will clean myself up and question you more later."

With that, Remilia leaves through a side door, and you slowly get up. Sakuya says nothing and simply walks to the main entrance to the dining hall, making sure to look back to see if you're following.

Once you're back in the hallway, your mind races. This makes twice now you've been held hostage by a vampire in just as many days. So much for an easy way home.

Still, you needed a plan for what to do next.

[ ]You might be able to overpower Sakuya and make a run for it, even though you're not quite sure how she pulled that stunt earlier.
[ ]Sakuya looks human enough, unlike her master. Maybe you can reason with her?
[ ]For now, simply follow to your room. You can figure out what to do then.
-[ ]There will almost certainly be a way out if you look hard enough. You're not sticking around for whatever interrogation Remilia wants to pull.
-[ ]You've killed a vampire family before, so you can probably kill one more. There has to be something in the room you can use as a weapon.
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[X]For now, simply follow to your room. You can figure out what to do then.
-[X]There will almost certainly be a way out if you look hard enough. You're not sticking around for whatever interrogation Remilia wants to pull.
-[X] Be aware that it'll be hard to escape since they already knew you climbed over the wall. You have to think of a way to bypass their surveillance

I doubt there'd be any weapons inside of the room Sakuya shoves us in, unconventional items included. And chances are she'll place some kind of watch on us. The question is, how do we spoof the watch long enough to make the slip.
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[X]For now, simply follow to your room. You can figure out what to do then.
-[X]There will almost certainly be a way out if you look hard enough. You're not sticking around for whatever interrogation Remilia wants to pull.
-[X] Be aware that it'll be hard to escape since they already knew you climbed over the wall. You have to think of a way to bypass their surveillance.

This situation just got a lot harder with Remilia bring super suspicious of us now, so barring explaining what happened to us (if we even fully remember), escape should now be our top priority. If we aren't fully human, which I don't know the lore so idk, Gensokyo's rules might not protect us in general, so not sure where we'd go from there.
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>>202459
Lore-wise, Ethan has been dead since the start of RE7, and was actually a mold creature shaped like his old self the whole time, yet he had so much sheer willpower that not only did he maintain control of himself, he didn’t even realize he was dead until at the end of RE8, three years later. This is all a pretty huge spoiler, but the OP did say as much going in.
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[X]For now, simply follow to your room. You can figure out what to do then.
-[X]There will almost certainly be a way out if you look hard enough. You're not sticking around for whatever interrogation Remilia wants to pull.
-[X] Be aware that it'll be hard to escape since they already knew you climbed over the wall. You have to think of a way to bypass their surveillance
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[X]For now, simply follow to your room. You can figure out what to do then.
-[X]There will almost certainly be a way out if you look hard enough. You're not sticking around for whatever interrogation Remilia wants to pull.
-[X] Be aware that it'll be hard to escape since they already knew you climbed over the wall. You have to think of a way to bypass their surveillance

Whatever Sakuya is capable of, you're pretty sure she could easily kill you if you tried anything against her. Instead, you focus your attention to your hand wound.

It was two bite marks, made rougher by Remilia suddenly pulling back. In hindsight, that comment that Dimitrescu made about your blood being stale makes sense, given that you were actually mold all along. Remilia's more extreme reaction is a bit puzzling, though.

Still, better to focus on the present. Despite the ragged bite marks, your hand is otherwise fine, though it is still bleeding slowly. You make sure to keep pressure on it while following Sakuya.

After some distance and a descent to the first floor, she stops at a random door. "You will be staying here."

She leaves you to open the door yourself, probably to taunt you since your hands are a bit occupied. You open the door and are surprised at how... normal the bedroom looks. It has a decent sized bed, a crackling fireplace, and an empty nightstand next to the bed. It even has its own bathroom.

"Go and clean your wound," Sakuya says. "There will be bandages ready for you once you do that. Then you will wait for Lady Remilia to arrive."

"Look, I just want to-"

Your pleas are cut off by the door slamming behind you and locking shut. You sigh and do as she says, cleaning off the blood in the sink. When you return to the bedroom, there's a set of bandages waiting on the bed, so you quickly wrap the bite up.

Sakuya said to just wait for Remilia, but fuck that. You're getting out of this crazy place as soon as possible.

The room was an interior one, so no windows to speak of. There was also no obvious exits besides the one Sakuya locked.

Next point of interest was the fireplace. You snuff out the fire as quickly as possible, but nearly burn yourself on the embers. While they cool, you check the nightstand for anything useful. It was empty, sadly.

Next you do a full check of the bathroom. Besides the sink, a toilet, a towel rack, and a bathtub, it was very bare bones. Tapping on the walls revealed that they were very solid, so even brute forcing your way out wasn't likely to happen.

By now the embers are surely cool enough to touch, so you return to the fireplace and dig through the sooty logs. At first, you were worried that you'd find nothing, but eventually your hand bumps against something that feels like a handle. You quickly shove everything aside and pull on it. After some force, a hatch opens up, leading down into pitch black darkness.

You hesitate. While this would be a way out of the room, you have no idea what would be waiting for you down there. The last vampire basement you were in was quite hostile, and you still don't have any weapons.

You look back at the locked door. You have no idea when Remilia will come back for you, or what she'll do to you once she's here. Both options before you are far from ideal.

[ ]Take your chances with the secret exit. You've survived basements before, what's one more?
-[ ]The sooner you get down there, the better.
-[ ]There has to be something you could bring as a weapon in this room. Tear the place apart until you find something.
[ ]Hide evidence of your snooping and wait for Remilia. Unlike the last vampire you dealt with, this one isn't holding your daughter hostage, so you might still be able to talk your way out.
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Also something I forgot to add in both previous updates because I am a bit idiot

Hand Injury Count: 1
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Ah yes, getting deeper into an unknown mansion will definitely make things better.
[x] Take your chances with the secret exit. You've survived basements before, what's one more?
-[x] The sooner you get down there, the better.
Time is of the essence. Get ready to escape.
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[x] protect the scarlet legacy
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[X]Take your chances with the secret exit. You've survived basements before, what's one more?
-[X]The sooner you get down there, the better.

It might be hard to hide evidence of our snooping (why else would someone put out a fireplace in winter), and I don't think we will find anything of much use since we already looked around quite a bit. Also, if we are going into the basement, its probably time to meet Flandre, which I'm sure is going to go perfectly and everyone will be happy and safe.
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[X]Take your chances with the secret exit. You've survived basements before, what's one more?
-[X]The sooner you get down there, the better.
Flan~
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[X]Hide evidence of your snooping and wait for Remilia. Unlike the last vampire you dealt with, this one isn't holding your daughter hostage, so you might still be able to talk your way out.
Blondes are gross.
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[x] Hide evidence of your snooping and wait for Remilia. Unlike the last vampire you dealt with, this one isn't holding your daughter hostage, so you might still be able to talk your way out.

Maybe don't go down flues in old buildings from before there were building codes.
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[X]Take your chances with the secret exit. You've survived basements before, what's one more?
-[X]The sooner you get down there, the better.

"Not sticking around for this," you mutter to yourself. You make sure to position yourself right, then push through the opening, feet first.

The drop is longer than you expected, but thankfully you're still able to land without breaking anything. A more pressing matter now was visibility. The only light down here was what could come from the hatch you jumped down, which was barely enough to let you see your own hand in front of your face.

If only you had a flashlight with you, or even a lighter.

Still, staying put will only get you caught again when Remilia eventually comes for you. Better get moving.

You walk slowly, making sure you're still stepping on solid ground and not running into anything. The walls and floors here were made of smooth stone, contrasting the rest of the mansion above.

It doesn't take long for the light from above to run out, and you begin moving even slower now that you're in pitch blackness. Your only real hope is that your eyes adjust to the dark fast enough.

Despite this, you continue making slow progress. Once you can see a little farther ahead of yourself, you pick up your pace accordingly.

The wall you're tracing soon gives way to an intersection in the tunnel. You have no idea which way to go, so you randomly decide to go to the right.

...you really hope you don't end up lost down here.

Your footsteps, as light as you're making them, still echo somewhat into the darkness. It's unnervingly quiet down here.

As you walk farther, you notice that something feels... off. You abruptly stop in place, and the sound of your final step echos once more.

...including from behind you.

You turn to look, but can't see anything. Cautiously, you start walking again, then stop.

Once again, the echos persist a bit longer than they should for just your steps alone.

Your breathing gets a bit heavier as the adrenaline starts to kick in. You're not alone down here.

Not only that, but whoever's shadowing you, they're making sure to keep pace with you. They're smart, not just a mindless ghoul like there was in Castle Dimitrecsu's cellars.

By now, your vision is a bit more adapted to the dark, so you walk faster down the tunnel, no longer caring about the noise you make. You keep an ear out, and sure enough, the other set of steps keep pace behind you, also louder.

You reach another intersection. Without missing a beat, you turn left.

And then you run.

You're hoping that the louder steps will echo through the other tunnels, and throw your pursuer off enough to give you more of a lead.

After some distance, you reach another intersection, so you stop just around the corner of another left turn. While your run echoes through the dark tunnels, you peak behind you.

The echoes die out, and to your relief, the extra set of steps are nowhere to be heard.

That relief shatters when you notice a very faint glow in the distance. And it was getting closer.

Whatever it was, they weren't on foot anymore.

Your blood runs cold, and you start running again. The glow slowly gets brighter behind you, and you fight to get every last ounce of energy into your legs.

It's not enough, and something tackles you from behind. You roll on the ground for a short distance, dazed, before someone holds down your arms and gets in your face.

Blonde, red eyes, female, young, and very peculiar wings that are the source of the glow. And she's smiling with a mouth full of very sharp fangs.

"That was fun! I actually lost track of you for a bit there!"

Though your arms are pinned, your legs aren't, and you manage to work one under her and kick her off. She just laughs as she tumbles off of you, and you scramble back onto your feet.

"Oh, and he's still got fight in him!" she says, righting herself in midair with her flight. "I like you already, mister."

"Who the hell are you?!" you demand. She actually looks similarly dressed to Remilia...

"Name's Flandre Scarlet. I take it you met my sister?"

You tense up. Of course the vampire has family. "You a vampire too?"

She gives another wide grin to show off her fangs. "Sure am! But don't worry, I won't drink your blood. Full right now."

"...What?"

Flandre suddenly flies toward you, and you brace for impact. None comes, however, and instead she stops just in front of your face. She makes a point of... sniffing you?

She grabs your injured arm and takes another sniff at the wound. "Seems like Remi already got to you. Made you pay the blood tax, same as every other Outsider, right?"

You wrench your arm away, and surprisingly she lets you. "What do you want with me?"

"Woah, calm down, big guy, I won't hurt you." She smiles. "Much. Probably. We'll see."

You just frown and maintain something approaching a fighting stance.

Her nose wrinkles. "Actually... can you let me take another smell of that wound? No funny business, I promise."

"And why should I let you?"

"Because if you don't let me, I'll just do it by force, and I might break your arm in the process."

...you hate to admit that she's probably right. You begrudgingly offer your wounded hand to her, and she grabs it again, though more gentle this time. She takes a deep sniff, and her nose wrinkles even more.

"Yeah, hmm, not sure how to tell you, but you smell... off. Not normal."

She lets go of your hand, and you take a look at it yourself. After a moment, you say, "Remilia seemed to think that I tasted rancid. And now she won't let me leave this damn place."

"So you came down here to try and escape. That right?" Even though she's not attacking you, you still don't like the way Flandre keeps looking you up and down, as if sizing you up.

"...yeah. That's right."

She puts a hand to her chin in thought. "Hmm, what to do... I could be a good sister and give you up to Remilia. Living or dead, I don't think she'd care from me." She's giving you that massive grin again, and you take a step back.

"Oooor," she continues, dropping the smile, "I could help you get out, just to mess with her. That could be fun, too."

...you really don't like how she seems genuinely indecisive about those options. "Please, I just want to go home and get back to my family."

She laughs. "Okay then, mister, you've convinced me. I'll help you get out."

You're... unsure how to react. "Really?"

"Yep! I barely ever have anything to do down here anyway. Most Outsiders that stumble their way to me are either already dying, so clueless that they think they can get away with attacking me, or just boring so I let Sakuya take them back up." She walks around you. "But you're different. Mostly because of the way your blood smells, honestly."

"...thank you. I-"

"But!" she interrupts. "To get you out cleanly, you'll have to wait until daylight, so Remi can't follow very far. And last I checked, it was only like one in the morning."

You look down. "Oh."

"Hey, don't look so glum!" Flandre points a thumb into the darkness. "I'll let you hide out in my room until daylight. Even Sakuya never pokes around in there without letting me know, so you'll be safe from her."

There's still a piece of doubt clawing at your mind. "Why are you doing this? Why go against your own sister?"

She shrugs. "Honestly, it's funny to mess up her plans now and then. And you seem like an alright guy, even if there might be something very wrong with you."

You glance at your hand again, but stay silent.

"Oh, I just realized, I never asked you your name."

"...Ethan. Ethan Winters."

Flandre snaps and points a finger at you. "Alright, new terms, Ethan, I'll help you but only if you explain what's your deal. Who you are, why your blood smells so funky, and so on."

You pause. "And if I refuse?"

"Well, I already promised I wouldn't turn you in..." She takes a step away from you, hands behind her back. "I guess I could turn a blind eye, let you try and find your own way out. What'll it be, Mr. Winters?"

[ ]Guess there's no helping it. Agree to tell her everything in exchange for her assistance.
[ ]Your secrets are yours to keep, so you'll escape by yourself.
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[C]Guess there's no helping it. Agree to tell her everything in exchange for her assistance.
well there's no going back now, :mokoushrug:, guess were stuck with the little shit.
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[x] Tell her less than half of everything you know.
She can't determine if you're lying. She's not Satori. All you have to do is to bluff it.
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[X]Guess there's no helping it. Agree to tell her everything in exchange for her assistance.
fuckin' mold man. At least they probably won't eat us if they know we're a fun guy. haha get it

also I uhh, didn't play either of the resident evils pertinent to this thread, is the mold that we apparently are infectious? Like, should we worry about Remi?
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[x] Guess there's no helping it. Agree to tell her everything in exchange for her assistance.

I could do with a bit of knowing what's going on, myself.
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[X]Guess there's no helping it. Agree to tell her everything in exchange for her assistance.

Escaping from a room with no one watching is one thing, escaping from Flandre is a whole other deal. Also, she might be somewhat more willing to listen to us than Remilia, who can be a little... stubborn, so this might go better than trying to explain it to her would have.
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[X]Guess there's no helping it. Agree to tell her everything in exchange for her assistance.
Flan~
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[X]Guess there's no helping it. Agree to tell her everything in exchange for her assistance.

You sigh. “Alright, Flandre. I’ll tell you everything.”

Flandre smiles and claps her hands. “Great! But let’s not talk here. Follow me.”

She walks down the hall and you follow. Instead of speaking to you more, she opts to hum a tune to herself instead. That suits you, because you need a little time to think about exactly what you were going to tell her.

Your body being mold is unavoidable. There’s no real way you could lie that one away. Similarly, telling her about your family, or the horrors you went through for them, would be very difficukt to sugarcoat.

Briefly, your mind flashed to Chris, and the work he was doing. Even though you still resent him somewhat for keeping you in the dark for so long, he still helped you save Rose. You probably owed it to him to at least keep his work secret, even if the person you’re talking to might not even be able to do anything with the information.

Eventually, Flandre stops at a door, and waves an arm with a dramatic flourish. “We’re here!”

She throws the door open and bounds inside. You follow, and even though there’s only a number of candles lighting the room, it nearly blinds you after spending so long with only the light of Flandre’s wings.

There’s a simple bed in one corner of the room, and a small table with two chairs newr the center. Another corner contains an empty canvas, and the walls were covered in paintings of various subjects and quality. You even spot a closet containing more than a few stuffed animals.

Flandre takes a seat at the table. “Make yourself at home.”

You sit across from her, and she wastes no time. “Alright, Ethan, spill the beans. You a zombie or something?”

You look at your hand, thinking about how it’s actually all mold there instead of flesh and blood. “I guess, technically, I am.”

The vampire’s eyes go wide. “No way, really?! But you look so... normal!”

You sigh. “It’s a long story. Let me start from the beginning...”

And so you do. You briefly summarize how you met your wife, Mia, then how she one day vanished. Then, three years later, you got an email from her telling you to come to Louisiana.

You then go over the Baker family, and their twisted fate, as well as the fates they tried to pull yourself and Mia into. How they were infected with this substance called the mold, giving them superhuman strength and regeneration but corrupting their minds and bodies into monsters.

You also mention that this is where you died. However, somehow, your body was remade from the mold, and you got the benefits of the infection without the downsides.

Flandre is watching you with rapt attention, even as you idly stand up and begin pacing. “Turns out, there was this girl, Evelyn, who was a test subject made by the company Mia worked at. She controlled the mold, and the Bakers.” You shake your head. “She almost got me, too. But I stopped her?”

“How’d you do that?” Flandre blurts out. “Didja convince her to stop?”

You can’t bring yourself to look at her when you answer. “I killed her.”

Flandre gasps. “Woah... that’s so cool!”

You blink. “Not the word I’d use.”

“But it’s, like, poetic!” she insists. “She created you from the mold, I guess, then you killed her! Very Frankenstein!”

You say nothing else on the matter. “Anyway, after that, Mia and I moved to Europe, and after almost 3 years, had a beautiful baby girl.”

You try and reach for your family photo to show her, but you can’t find it anywhere. Did you leave it in the jacket you left for Rose...?

Pushing on, you skip the part about Chris killing “Mia” and go straight to your daughter being kidnapped by Mother Miranda and you searching for her in an old, werewolf-infested village.

“Eventually, I made it to Castle Dimitrecsu, since I thought Rose would be there.”

“Dimitrecsu?” Flandre scratches her head. “That sounds familiar...”

Now it’s your turn to go wide-eyed. “Wait, you know who she is?”

“Maybe?” She shrugs. “You’d be better off asking Remi about that. I got out even less back when we were on the Outside. Anyway, keep going.”

You file that bit of info away for later and push on. You tell her about killing Dimitrecsu and her daughters, only to find out that your daughter had been crystallized and separated into four different jars, owned by the other lords of the village.

You explain getting the next jar from a local infected dollmaker, but quickly gloss over it. You don’t want to relive that basement again...

Next was a supposed doctor next to a reservoir. He was dispatched with little issue, despite how ugly he was.

Flandre giggles slightly, and you talk about how the fourth lord, Heisenberg, tried to convince you to work with him to take down Miranda.

“But I turned the son of a bitch down.”

Flandre tilted her head. “Why wouldn’t you want his help?”

“He wanted to use my daughter as a weapon. That is unacceptable.”

She raised an eyebrow. “Use your infant daughter... as a weapon.”

“Apparently, Rose had some kind of power.” Maybe because you were mold when Mia got pregnant with her. But how would...?

Nevermind, you don’t want to think about that. “Anyway, I killed Heisenberg, but then Miranda showed herself and... tore my heart out.”

“Like, your entire heart?”

You nod.

“And... you didn’t die?”

You think back to that vision from Evelyn, and the emptiness in your chest back then. “I think I did. But that’s when I learned I was a mold monster, ever since the Baker house.”

Flandre’s expression gets serious. “Not a monster.”

“What?”

“You risked your life for both your wife and daughter, well after you had died and come back as mold. No monster would do that.”

You hesitate. That was... incredibly comforting, actually. “Thank you.”

Just as suddenly as it changed, Flandre’s expression returns to the awe from before. “So, you killed Miranda and got Rose back, right?”

“Yeah...” You remember the sight of your hand crumbling before you. “But I was on borrowed time. I stayed behind to make sure the village and the source of the mold was destroyed for good, so Mia could escape with Rose.”

Now Flandre looks a bit sad. “Awww... and that’s how you ended up in Gensokyo?”

“Sort of. Some blonde woman apparently revived me somehow, and told me to survive here for her entertainment. Next thing I knew, I was outside the mansion.”

“Blonde woman... was it Yukari?”

“Is that her name?”

“Probably. I think I only met her once, but she mentioned making a habit of screwing with people.”

At least now you have a name to blame for your entire situation. “Either way, that’s my story.”

Flandre stands up and gives you a standing ovation while laughing. “Wonderful! I had a feeling you weren’t gonna be boring, and you proved me right!”

“And your end of the deal?” you press. “You’ll still help me get out, right?”

“Of course, don’t worry!” She looks at a clock on the wall. “It’s only been an hour, though. Sunrise isn’t for another four, give or take.”

[ ]Sit tight and wait. Flandre said her room was safe, and you trust that.
[ ]Make an escape attempt ASAP. Flandre can still help, but the sooner you leave this mansion, the better.
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[X]Sit tight and wait. Flandre said her room was safe, and you trust that.

She probably won't let you just take a nap or anything, but they've stuck her down here long enough there's probably something to do to fill the time.
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[X ]Sit tight and wait. Flandre said her room was safe, and you trust that.
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While going out before sunrise means that a certain vampire is able to trail us, it also means a certain other vampire is able accompany us.
Flandre has shown herself to be a good girl, so I say
[x]Make an escape attempt ASAP. Flandre can still help, but the sooner you leave this mansion, the better.
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[X] Make an escape attempt ASAP. Flandre can still help, but the sooner you leave this mansion, the better.

Sure Remilia can come after us, but Sakuya, Patchouli, and Meiling could come after us no matter the time, so Flandre's help would be very useful.
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[X]Sit tight and wait. Flandre said her room was safe, and you trust that.

Flan's gotten some good points with Ethan. Remilia finding out that he's with her should throw some things in doubt. Also, Ethan hasn't wound down in a long while. After a day of grueling tortures, it sounds like a good idea to take it easy. Perhaps ask Flandre about herself. Ask about the shrine maiden, and the blood tax.
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hmm...
The smart thing to do would be to stay put.
I'm liking this Flandre, and kind of want to take her with us. Could be hilarious, could be very troublesome.

[x]Sit tight and wait.
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[x]Sit tight and wait.
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[X]Sit tight and wait. Flandre said her room was safe, and you trust that.
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[X]Sit tight and wait. Flandre said her room was safe, and you trust that.
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[X] Sit Tight and wait, not like you have anywhere better to go.
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[X]Sit tight and wait. Flandre said her room was safe, and you trust that.

Well, looks like you're staying put for a good while. You retake your seat at the table, and Flandre does the same.

You cough awkwardly. "So... got anything here to help pass the time?"

"Nah, sorry. I've been trying to talk Remi into letting me have a TV and some movies, at least, but between you and me, she's a bit stubborn when it comes to certain modern conveniences." She giggles to herself. "Or maybe she's just too proud to ask the kappa for one."

"Kappa? Like that one Japanese myth?"

Flandre's eyes go slightly wide, but she recovers. "Oh, right, you wouldn't know. Gensokyo is basically a big collection of all kinds of 'forgotten' myths and creatures." She points to herself. "We got vampires, fairies, all kinds of youkai..."

You sigh. Of course it wouldn't be that easy. "There are at least some normal humans, right? That maid, Sakuya, looked normal to me..."

"Oh, there's humans. They have a whole village some distance from here. Right next to the Hakurei Shrine, too, so it's your best place to go if you want to get home." She leans back in her chair, using her flight to maintain a normally impossible angle. "As for Sakuya, she is human, but that doesn't stop her from using time magic."

That would explain her sudden movements and appearances.

Suddenly, Flandre bolted upright. "Wait, what's today?"

"Uh, I don't-"

She rushes to a corner of the room and digs out a calendar. You don't even get a good look at it before she tosses it away. "Shit, today's cleaning day! I forgot!"

You stand up. "Cleaning day?"

"Remember when I said Sakuya never comes in my room without asking? Every Thursday is when she asks." She starts pacing the floor. "Shit, shit, shit, how do I keep her from finding you..."

"I could try hiding-"

"Won't work," she cuts you off. "She'll stop time and bump into you." She looks back and forth between the door and you. "Sorry, Ethan, but you won't be able to wait out the clock here."

Well there goes your easy plan. "Hey, thank you for helping as much as you did, at least."

Flandre's panic melts away to a confident smile. "Actually, I can keep helping you. Keep my end of the promise."

"But won't Sakuya know something's up if you're not here?"

She just keeps smiling. "Watch this."

Her wings start glowing brighter. There's a sudden flash of colored light, and you have to shield your eyes. When you look again, now there's... two Flandres?

"Can stay with you and here at the same time this way," the left Flandre says.

The right Flandre nods. "Trust me, this is your best option."

You're still stunned at the multiplication. "What the fuck..."

"Just something I can do." The left Flandre grabs your hand and goes to the door. "Come on, we should make some distance from here."

The other Flandre waves goodbye while you're pulled back into the dark hallways of the mansion basement. Your mind eventually catches up and you start running behind Flandre, who lets go of your hand once she's sure you're keeping pace.

"Best bet to lay low would be the library, now," Flandre explains. "It's big enough that even Sakuya usually doesn't bother checking every single corner of it at once. Just have to hope Patchy won't notice you."

"Patchy?"

"The librarian. Powerful magician, but she's very physically weak. You could probably overpower her easy if you got the drop on her."

You say nothing. Part of you would feel bad about hurting anyone in the mansion (besides Remilia, that is), but if it came down to it...

After some more turns, Flandre stops. "Up here."

She floats up a small staircase, and you follow closely behind. At the top of the stairs is an iron door.

Flandre turns to you. "Bad news is, Patchy will notice me very quickly if I go into the library proper. She, uh..." She looks away awkwardly. "She put a detection ward for me specifically after some... prior events."

"So I just have to hide up there until after Sakuya finishes with your room, right?"

She nods. "I'll come get you once it's clear. I can make enough of a diversion to cover your escape once it's time."

You reach a hand to the door. "Thank you, Flandre."

She smiles. "Now don't go screwing up and getting yourself caught, alright?"

You chuckle. "I'll do my best."

Flandre starts hovering back down the stairs. "Good luck, Ethan."

Once she's out of sight, you steel yourself and pull the door open. Thankfully, it's almost silent, and you emerge into a corridor created by a pair of absolutely massive bookshelves.

You peek around a one of the shelves and are absolutely floored by the scale of this library. This single room had to be about three times the size of the mansion itself! How does...?

You shake your head. More bullshit magic, probably. Now all that's left is to find a proper hiding spot. You don't see anyone around, but that doesn't mean that librarian Flandre mentioned wouldn't happen to fly overhead.

Assuming she can fly. Given the size of this library, she would have to in order to get anything done.

You creep a bit further out, keeping your eyes peeled for anything. No movement above or on ground level, but also no break in the endless bookshelves. At this rate, you were thinking that all you could do was stay put and simply hope that no one happened to fly over you and look down.

You slowly peek around yet another shelf, and are very pleased to see a reading desk. It was slightly dusty and devoid of any books, so it likely hasn't been used in a while. That would make for very good cover, all things considered...

"There you are."

You whirl around at the voice, only to be stopped by a knife impaling itself through your right hand and into the bookshelf you were pressed against. You cry out in pain, and look to the responsible party.

Sakuya's held you in her cold gaze, and she held more knives in her hand. "Now, enough of these games. My mistress and Lady Patchouli would like to see you."

You try to pull your hand free, but the knife is stuck deep in the wood. You'd need your other hand to get it out, but you're not sure if the psycho knife maid would let you do that.

While your blood starts dripping onto the carpet, Sakuya takes a step closer, as if reading your mind. "Of course, if you won't come willingly, I could further injure you until you cooperate. Please make the right choice, Mr. Winters."

Through your pained breathing, you take a closer look at Sakuya. While she has knives in her right hand, you notice that her left is hovering close to a pocket on her skirt. It could be more knives, but maybe her time powers has something she has to physically use.

Sakuya takes your lack of immediate response poorly, and throws another knife, this one landing just above your shoulder. "Please make your decision quickly. I have little patience after your escape attempt."

[ ]She caught you, and there's no way you can see getting out of this. Agree to see Remilia again.
[ ]Play along, but try to grab her hands once she's close enough. If that's how she stops time, that's how you stop her.
[ ]Stall. Flandre said the name Dimitrecsu was familiar, so maybe Sakuya would know it too?

Hand Injury Count: 2
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All options lead to possible death. I'll make one of my own.
[x] Stall by requesting medical aid for your right hand. Assume that the mistress wouldn't like to have her carpets dirtied up by your blood dripping down along the way.
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[X] She caught you, and there's no way you can see getting out of this. Agree to see Remilia again.

On second thoughts tho Remilia only is holding you back cause she doesn't know what you are so just give her the full story and she should hopefully get bored of Ethan afterwards and let him go.

Attacking Sakuya or outright succeeding in harming her would just antagonize Remilia and the sdm crew (Aside from Flandre that is) so for now avoiding getting too many injuries should be best.

Though if afterwards Remilia decides to still keep you for some reason then it's time to full WINTERS mode and get the hell out of here.
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It'd be like him to scream 'fuck you' at his captor while being tied to chair right next to a trapdoor leading to a basement housing a monstrous abomination. Not that that would have happened to him...

[x] Stall
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>>202823

Actually that's true, Ethan is one bold and stubborn son of a gun so going along with her demands seem unlikely.

Changing my vote to stalling too, if Sakuya doesn't know who Dimitrescu is then fuck it graple her ass, by which I mean hands
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[x] Stall by requesting medical aid for your right hand. Assume that the mistress wouldn't like to have her carpets dirtied up by your blood dripping down along the way.
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You know, I don't think trying to bring up blood spillage as a problem in a vampire's mansion would pan out so well.
Throwing the maid off by mentioning a name that we absolutely should not know would be much more effective.

[ ]Stall. Flandre said the name Dimitrecsu was familiar, so maybe Sakuya would know it too?
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[x] Stall by requesting medical aid for your right hand. Assume that the mistress wouldn't like to have her carpets dirtied up by your blood dripping down along the way.
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[x] Stall by requesting medical aid for your right hand. Assume that the mistress wouldn't like to have her carpets dirtied up by your blood dripping down along the way.

You grimace and do your best to stand up. The knife trapping your hand is a bit too low, however, and you hiss as the blade digs itself a bit further into your flesh.

Despite the situation, you can't help but muster a bit of snark. "I don't think your mistress would appreciate me bleeding all over her floors." You glance towards your hand. "Mind helping me out here?"

Sakuya just frowns at you.

Suddenly, you find yourself a good few feet away, no longer leaning against the bookcase. The sudden lack of support makes you fall, and you cry out again when you notice that not only is the knife still embedded in your hand, your hands have been bound together with thick rope in front of you.

You look back up at Sakuya, who has a sadistic smirk. "My mistress would not care about how much blood you spill, but you are at least partially correct. I am the one who would have to clean it, after all." She leans in close. "And in case you didn't know, the proper way to treat a knife wound is not to remove the blade until you can reach proper treatment."

She snaps back to standing. "Now get up. If I have to drag you there, I won't hesitate to add some fractures on top of the stab wound."

You stay quiet and rise to your feet. This wasn't the first time you let a smartass comment bite you in the ass.

Sakuya just nods at your compliance and leads you deeper into the library. On the way there, you see about using the knife to cut your bonds, but she tied them in such a way that there's no way you could get the blade against the rope.

Every heartbeat sends another flare of pain through your hand, and you do your best to ignore it. You've had far worse, after all. Though the pain does make the journey feel even longer than it actually is.

Eventually, Sakuya brings you to a clearing in the middle of some bookshelves. There's a reading desk that's completely covered and surrounded by stacks of books, and a chair in front of it with some very obvious restraints in place.

Standing next to the chair was none other than the lady of the mansion. She gives you a wide grin, but you can see the annoyance in her eyes.

"How nice of you to join us again, Ethan," Remilia says. Her grin grows wider as she sees your injury. "I see Sakuya had to persuade you a bit."

"Cut the bullshit," you blurt out. "What do you want, Remilia?"

She gasps with mock surprise, then laughs. "I already told you. I refuse to believe someone human could have blood as disgusting as yours, so we're going to find out what exactly you are." She glances behind her at a path in the bookcases. "Although the timing is a bit unfortunate. Patchouli had to go and look for additional books right before you got here. She'll be back shortly."

You bring your hands up. "So what if I'm not human? I just want to go home to my family! You'd never have to see me again!"

"And what if you're lying?" Remilia asks before waving her arms in an overly-dramatic fashion. "What if there is no family, and you're actually a grave threat to Gensokyo?"

You stare her down and decide to call her bluff. "Then what would stop me from killing everyone here, if you think I'm that dangerous? There's another reason, isn't there?"

Remilia blinks, then chuckles. "Was it that obvious? I need to work on my acting, then." She gets uncomfortably close and cups your cheek. "Honestly, Mr. Winters, this is for my own curiosity more than anything. Once Patchouli gets back and is able to tell us what exactly you are, then I'll decide what to do with you."

You shake your way out of her grasp. "You're sick, you know that?"

"I have been called that in the past, yes." She walks back to the desk and motions at her maid. "Sakuya, see to it he's restrained."

"Yes, Mistress."

"Wait-"

You barely even get the word out before you're suddenly moved again, this time strapped into that chair. Naturally, Sakuya decided to leave the knife in your hand, and the motions it went through in stopped time make the pain flare up once more.

You immediately test the restraints around your wrists and legs, but they're solid iron. The chair itself isn't bolted to the floor, though, and it's made of wood, so you take note of that.

"And now to wait for Patchy," Remilia says. "I swear, you'd think that girl would have this place memorized by now..."

You're not getting out of this chair anytime soon, especially with both Sakuya and Remilia right next to you, but maybe you could say something that would convince one or both of them to let you go. Or maybe you could goad them into making a mistake and giving you an opening.

[ ]Tell the truth, right now. If Remilia is just curious about you, maybe telling her is the fastest way out at this point.
[ ]Bring up Dimitrecsu. Flandre did say the name was familiar...
[ ]Mention Flandre, and how you befriended her. It might be throwing her under the bus, but it might make Remilia think otherwise about treating you like this.
[ ]Try to insult Sakuya until she lashes out. You'll definitely take more of a beating, but it might let you slip away when her boss admonishes her.
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[X]Tell the truth, right now. If Remilia is just curious about you, maybe telling her is the fastest way out at this point.
Fuck it, full send
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[x] Bring up Dimitrecsu.

[x] Just resume the two experiences (games) you went through and how the fact that litteraly almost every parasite, demon and devil has biten your hand which makes it reasonable that Ethan tastes like a bunch of vampire std.
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[X]Tell the truth, right now. If Remilia is just curious about you, maybe telling her is the fastest way out at this point.
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This is a certified Ethan Winters moment.

[x] Try to insult Sakuya until she lashes out. You'll definitely take more of a beating, but it might let you slip away when her boss admonishes her.
-[x] When you need it, a weapon in hand is just as good as a weapon on hand.
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[x] Bring up Dimitrecsu.

[x] Just recount the two experiences (games) you went through and how the fact that litteraly almost every parasite, demon and devil has biten your hand which makes it reasonable that Ethan tastes like a bunch of vampire std.
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Well now, I'm sure we can all be the mature, responsible adults we are and act civil about thi-

[x]Try to insult Sakuya until she lashes out. You'll definitely take more of a beating, but it might let you slip away when her boss admonishes her.

FAHCK YOU
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Hehehe, dammit you fellows.

That made me laugh so duck it

changing my vote to

[x] [x]Try to insult Sakuya until she lashes out. You'll definitely take more of a beating, but it might let you slip away when her boss admonishes her. too

Go be you Ethan!
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[x]Try to insult Sakuya until she lashes out. You'll definitely take more of a beating, but it might let you slip away when her boss admonishes her.
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[X]Tell the truth, right now. If Remilia is just curious about you, maybe telling her is the fastest way out at this point.
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[x] Bring up Dimitrecsu.

[x] Just recount the two experiences (games) you went through and how the fact that litteraly almost every parasite, demon and devil has biten your hand which makes it reasonable that Ethan tastes like a bunch of vampire std.
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[x] Bring up Dimitrecsu.

[x] Just resume the two experiences (games) you went through and how the fact that litteraly almost every parasite, demon and devil has biten your hand which makes it reasonable that Ethan tastes like a bunch of vampire std.
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Something something Vampire STDs. And if that doesn’t work, then mentioning the other monsters Ethan had to deal with could also work
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[x] Bring up Dimitrecsu.
-[x] Also bring up your past experiences, and try to convince Remilia that's why you taste odd.

With your limbs restrained and an unknown fate awaiting you, you understand that your options are limited. As much as you'd enjoy taking Remilia down just like the previous vampire you dealt with, for now the best you can do is get under her skin, or otherwise throw her off her game.

And you think you knew exactly how to do that.

"Oh? What's got you smirking?"

Shit, she noticed that. Instead of denying it, you decide to play into the slip-up. "It's just funny... you're like the exact opposite of the last vampire I ran into."

That definitely got her attention, and her eyebrows go wide. "Mr. Winters, are you implying I'm not the first vampire you've encountered?"

You laugh. "Lady, I've had to deal with all kinds of bullshit over the past three years of my life." You nod at your still-impaled hand. "Between this and getting half my hand gnawed off by a werewolf, or picked to the bone by killer insects, a knife in the hand is almost pleasant."

"Hmm, is that it, then?" Remilia asks. "You're actually a werewolf?"

"Tonight is a full moon, Mistress," Sakuya chimes in. "If he was, we would have known already."

"Hmm, right." Remilia leans a bit closer to you. "Still, back up slightly. What did you mean when you said 'the last vampire you ran into'?"

"Tell me, does the name 'Dimitrecsu' ring a bell?"

Remilia gasps. It seemed genuine, this time. "My, that's a name I haven't heard in a long, long time..." She looks up at Sakuya. "Do you remember Lady Dimitrecsu?"

The maid's expression remains cold. "I cannot say I do, Mistress."

"Hmm, I know I mentioned her to you at least once at the time." Remilia shrugs. "Ah well. Anyway, Ethan, I met her a couple times back when we lived in Europe, about... fifty years ago? Sixty?"

You say nothing, and Remilia continues. "She was a much younger vampire than myself, of course, but she was still a nice enough lady the few times I encountered her. Never got much of her story, she was very secretive about that. Still, she was very gracious to meet a fellow vampire."

A thought occurs to you. "...how tall was she, back then?"

Remilia arches an eyebrow. "About your height. Why?"

"Well, when I ran into her, she was easily eight feet tall, at least."

"Really? Interesting..." She puts a hand to her chin in thought. "There was something about her that seemed... different, now that I think about it. By vampire standards, anyway."

For a split second, you almost feel bad about what you did, with how fondly Remilia speaks about her brief memories of Dimitrecsu, but then you remind yourself that she was more than happy to go along with some inhuman plan to split your infant daughter into pieces, just to resurrect Miranda's own child. So fuck her.

"So, tell me, how is she doing?" Remilia asks. "And more importantly, how did you end up in her company to begin with?"

You see an opportunity to both give a bit of the truth and further antagonize her, so you take it. "Well, it started when Dimitrecsu was involved in a plot to kidnap my infant daughter."

Even though you were restrained, you still notice that the venom in your voice made Remilia appear nervous for a very brief moment, and you mentally congratulate yourself. She soon looks... apologetic? "I am... sorry to hear that. No wonder you didn't want to trust another vampire."

Remilia is acting like she's suddenly sorry for what she's done to you, but you're not buying it, so you press on with your story. "You're talking as if I didn't get her back."

All at once, the sadness washes away from her face. "Ah, then it all worked out. I take it you reached an agreement with Lady Dimitrecsu?"

Oh, she just set you up perfectly. So perfectly that you can't help but chuckle.

"Was it all just a misunderstanding, I take it?" Remilia guesses.

You calm down and stare right into her red eyes.

"I killed her."

The library is silent for a moment. Then Remilia breaks out into laughter.

"You? Kill a vampire?" Remilia steps back to lean on the desk and laugh harder. "Ahahaha, I find that, hah, hard to believe, Ethan!" She composes herself slightly. "Sure, you've proven yourself tougher than the average Outsider, but there's no need to lie to me about what you've done in the past."

You maintain your glare. "It's not a lie. She helped kidnap my daughter, went along with butchering her for some bullshit plan, and then put me through all kinds of hell when I tried to get her back. So I killed her and her daughters."

Remilia was done laughing, and now is looking at you with mild amusement. "She never mentioned anything about daughters when I met her. There's no need to keep building onto this lie to impress me."

Now you were starting to get a bit frustrated. "I'm telling you, I'm not lying."

"Clearly, none of you know what it means to be in a library."

You look at the new monotone voice. It's a girl wearing purple robes and a matching cap, along with a distinct crescent moon hair ornament. She hovered just above the ground from between a set of bookshelves, followed by some sort of servant carrying a massive stack of books. The stack was so large that you couldn't even see who was carrying it.

"There you are, Patchouli!" Remilia says. "Just in time, too. Our guest here claims to have killed Lady Dimitrecsu."

Patchouli just looks at her blankly. "Who?"

Remilia throws her hands in the air. "Am I the only person in this mansion that remembers her?"

"Most likely," Patchouli says bluntly. "Still, if you think he's lying, I can cast a quick lie-detecting enchantment on him before we get started."

Remilia just nods, and Patchouli opens one of her books and starts reading from it. By now, you can actually see her assistant, who is a red-haired woman in a suit with bat ears similar to Remilia's, though she also has a smaller pair sprouting from her head.

...is that a devil tail behind her, too?

Whatever, Gensokyo is fucking weird.

Patchouli makes some gestures and says some words in a language that sounds unlike any you've ever heard. Shortly after, a faint circle of light comes into being around your chair.

"Alright, he can't lie now," Patchouli says.

"Thank you, Patchy." Remilia goes back up to you. "Now, Ethan Winters, did you kill Lady Dimitrecsu and her supposed daughters?"

"Yes, I did."

Nothing happens.

As you stare down Remilia, your words slowly sink in, and you can't help but feel satisfied as her smug grin falls away.

"...oh."

It was your turn to be a little smug. "I told you."

Remilia backs up a couple steps, and appears to be at a loss for words. Even Patchouli, as stoic as she was, looks a bit taken aback by what you said.

"...this changes nothing," Remilia clearly lies. "P-Patchouli, go ahead with... whatever you had planned. Find out what he is."

"...right." She sits at the desk and opens several books in front of her. "It will take some time to prepare fully."

"That's fine," Remilia says. "We have all night."

You continue to glare at the vampire in front of you, but now it seems that she can't bring herself to make eye contact with you. Patchouli's servant likewise appears spooked.

In contrast, Sakuya seems to be keeping an even closer eye on you now. Her hands aren't poised to reach into her pockets at the moment, but you know that there's no way you could act faster than her from your current predicament.

Suddenly, you spot a familiar wing behind Sakuya. Without looking directly at her to give her away, you watch Flandre out of the corner of your eye as she leans around a bookcase, makes a "Shh" motion at you, then disappears back into cover.

Well, at least Flandre didn't forget about you. You have no idea how she can help you here, but the help would still be greatly appreciated.

The question is, should you do anything to help her help you?

[ ]Sit and wait for Patchouli to finish whatever she's doing. If Flandre already has a plan, then all you have to do is wait.
[ ]Keep needling those around you with conversation, especially Patchouli. Breaking her concentration would help stall for whatever the younger Scarlet will do.
[ ]Knock yourself over. It won't do anything to help you on its own, and Sakuya might stab you again on reflex, but something tells you Flandre's help might require ducking and covering.
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This is Flan we're talking about. If her plan isn't high yield then I'll be shocked.

[x]Knock yourself over. It won't do anything to help you on its own, and Sakuya might stab you again on reflex, but something tells you Flandre's help might require ducking and covering.

This doubles as a stall option, since how are they not going to ask about why you toppled yourself over?
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[x]Keep needling those around you with conversation, especially Patchouli. Breaking her concentration would help stall for whatever the younger Scarlet will do.

Easiest choice of my life. Give the good girl ample opportunity to set up whatever she has in mind, she already got around the detection ward somehow.
That really was satisfying reading it. Let him boast some more!
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[X]Keep needling those around you with conversation, especially Patchouli. Breaking her concentration would help stall for whatever the younger Scarlet will do.
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>>202986 (add)
-[x] Knock yourself over. It won't do anything to help you on its own, and Sakuya might stab you again on reflex, but something tells you Flandre's help might require ducking and covering.

It's not like you can't distract them and then knock yourself over, right?
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[x] Knock yourself over

Commence Operation get Chaired!
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[X]Sit and wait for Patchouli to finish whatever she's doing. If Flandre already has a plan, then all you have to do is wait.
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[X] Sit and wait for Patchouli to finish whatever she's doing. If Flandre already has a plan, then all you have to do is wait.
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[X]Sit and wait for Patchouli to finish whatever she's doing. If Flandre already has a plan, then all you have to do is wait.
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[ ]Keep needling those around you with conversation, especially Patchouli. Breaking her concentration would help stall for whatever the younger Scarlet will do.

lets annoy them
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[X]Sit and wait for Patchouli to finish whatever she's doing. If Flandre already has a plan, then all you have to do is wait.

I feel like all hell is about to break loose for some reason.
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[X]Sit and wait for Patchouli to finish whatever she's doing. If Flandre already has a plan, then all you have to do is wait.

You consider talking more, to try and continue throwing Remilia and the others off their game, but you don't want to push your luck. Sakuya already looked plenty on edge, you don't want to give her any more reason to stab you again.

Knocking your own chair over to take cover from whatever Flandre has planned was also probably a bad idea for the same reason. So instead, you waited. The dull throb of pain from the knife in your hand was now more annoying than anything.

After a few moments, Patchouli seems satisfied with whatever she was reading. "Alright, we should be good to begin properly, now."

You glance down at the magic circle still surrounding you. "What are you going to do to me?"

Patchouli steps closer, not looking up from her book. "It is an identification spell, which allows me to figure out the alchemical makeup of anyone or anything. It will help us determine exactly what you are."

Remilia appears to have regained some of her earlier bravado. "Once that is done, I will determine what to do with you."

Patchouli mutters something under her breath, and another magic circle appears around you, this one larger and brighter. She soon finishes, and the light pulses in a steady rhythm.

She frowns. "That's odd..."

Remilia tries to peek at Patchouli's book. "What is?"

Before any answer could be given, there was a sudden explosion in a wall of the library, sending dust and debris everywhere. The force was enough to knock you over, and you cry out as you land on your stabbed hand.

From your place on the ground, you see Flandre flying high above, in front of a new gaping hole in the wall leading outside. Behind her, a black and yellow figure flies inside.

You don't get to see much else, because a sudden burst of movement from Sakuya knocked you over again, now facing away from the action. You can still hear Remilia and Patchouli clearly, though.

"That damned witch again..." Patchouli said, her voice dripping with contempt.

"Flan?!" Remilia cried out. "What the hell are you doing?!"

No verbal answer came, but instead there were sudden bursts of light from behind you. Shortly after, you could see all kinds of colorful projectiles scattering throughout the library.

There was a flap of wings, no doubt Remilia taking flight to try and defuse whatever the hell was going on. You could barely see that Patchouli wasn't looking at you, so you tested the strength of your restraints.

You weren't at it for long before you spied Flandre peeking around a bookshelf, just like before. She did... something with her hand, and the chair you were attached to abruptly exploded.

The noise quickly got attention. "Hey, wait-!"

You didn't have time to question what just happened, so you ran. The pain in your hand flared up with the exertion, and soon Flandre- or one of her clones, at least- was flying alongside you as you kept running.

"Sorry, didn't think they'd be waiting for you there," Flandre said.

"Hey, you still helped me," you reassure her. "Thank you."

She looks down at the knife in your hand. "Do you, uh, need some help...?"

Once you were confident that you weren't immediately being chased, you slow down enough to grab at the knife. With a lot of grunting and a cry of pain, you pull it free after some effort. You immediately pocket the bloody knife and hold your hand close, both to ease the pain and to try and slow the bleeding.

Flandre watches with a combination of shock and curiosity. "Woah..."

You dash behind another bookshelf and stop to lean against it. "I've had worse..."

Now that you're stopped, you look at the injury closely. There is now a noticeable hole in your hand now, and every movement you make with it brings pain.

Thankfully, you have something for that.

With Flandre watching curiously, you bring out the vial of healing serum you have. You wince as you have to use your bad hand to take off the lid, then sigh with relief once the green liquid hits the wound. You give it a few test flexes as the damage slowly undoes itself, until it looks no worse than an old, deep scar. You replace the lid and pocket what's left of the mixture.

"That's pretty cool..." Flandre comments. "Is that part of your mold powers?"

You smirk. "I suppose it is." Behind you, you can still hear a lot of shouting and magic flying around. You can't tell if they noticed your escape yet, but no need to wait around.

Flandre looks sadly at you. "I'll have to get rid of my clones, soon, I need to fully focus on this distraction. What will you do now?"

You think about it carefully. It was still very much dark out, judging by the gaping hole that was blown in the building, which effectively gave you only two options.

[ ]Get out of this damned mansion. Dealing with the cold is much preferable to the bullshit here.
[ ]Find another place to hunker down and wait until daylight. Hopefully, that fight will keep them busy long enough for you to run away without fear of vampire pursuit.
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[ X]Find another place to hunker down and wait until daylight. Hopefully, that fight will keep them busy long enough for you to run away without fear of vampire pursuit.
Time to hang out in Cirno's igloo.
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[X] Get out of this danmed mansion!

I don't think Cirno's igloo is inside the SDM.

But anyway run Ethan! run like the classical chase sequence until a tired Sakuya catches up with you for the bossfight.
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[X]Get out of this damned mansion. Dealing with the cold is much preferable to the bullshit here.

Obligatory RE chase scene
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An update? I love updates!

[x]Get out of this damned mansion. Dealing with the cold is much preferable to the bullshit here.

So many wonderful flavors of bullshit. Yeah, let's go deal with Letty instead (after the obvious Meiling boss fight, c'mon anon).
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[X]Get out of this damned mansion. Dealing with the cold is much preferable to the bullshit here.

if I didn't know any better, I'd say this choice has foreshadowing as to who will appear next!
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[x] Get out of this damned mansion. Dealing with the cold is much preferable to the bullshit here.

I wonder what happened to sakuya that would impede her from just moving ethan to another, locked, room during her time stop
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[X]Get out of this damned mansion. Dealing with the cold is much preferable to the bullshit here.
If you stay you'll just get caught again, and fuck sdmites. Except flan but that's only because she helped us.
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What leads to this dislike for SDMites?

Someone called them cringe on that Rumia story as well.

I think they're a decent cast even if they did appear a lot in other stories too.

Could that be it? "They appear too frequently, give someone else the chance to shine"

Is that how people feel towards them now?

I'd love to know your view on this fellow Anons.
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I like SDM because I want to lick Meiling's abs
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Fair enough, who wouldn't want that.

On the other hand, I'd love to try some of Sakuya's cooking.
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>>203061
I'm just sick of seeing them yeah?
we have what, 160 characters at this point?
And yet the SDM is in everything it feels like sometimes.

>>203062
That said however I also want to lick Meiling's abs.
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[X] Get out of this danmed mansion!

Hey at least the hand was still attached this time.
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[X]Get out of this damned mansion. Dealing with the cold is much preferable to the bullshit here.

"I'm getting out of here ASAP," you tell Flandre. "With that lightshow going on back there, now seems like a good time."

She nods in agreement. "Well, I guess this is goodbye for now, Ethan." She gives you a small smile. "Don't go dying and making my help count for nothing, okay?"

You chuckle. "I'll do my best."

Flandre suddenly bursts into a bunch of multicolored lights, which quickly dissipates. Guess you're on your own now.

You waste no time and run towards the nearest wall of the library. The door leading out is large, but you're still able to open it without issue and slip into the hallway.

You pick a direction and run. There's no telling where exactly in the mansion you are now, but you'd rather not stick around for the fight in the library to end.

Thankfully, you got a lucky break. After only a few turns, the hallway leads back to the mansion's foyer. Apparently the library's entrance was on the second floor.

You dash down the stairs and tear open the front door. The cold instantly bites at you, but you don't care.

You're thankful for whoever cleared the path from the front gate, since it let you run at full speed away from this damned building. The gate was locked, naturally, but the adrenaline helps you make a running leap to climb over it. The snow cushions your fall considerably, at the cost of whatever warmth you still had.

A single lantern glows in a small shack outside the gate, likely for some kind of guard, but it appears empty. You glance back at the mansion, and can see a few stray beams of light from wherever that hole in the library was. If you had to guess, the guard decided to intervene in the fight.

Perfect.

You trudge through the snow, away from the mansion. The full moon was still out, so you had no trouble finding your way.

Unfortunately, there was a rather big obstacle in the way.

The mansion was apparently located on a small island, because ahead of you is a massive stretch of ice. You could see a forest on the other side, but it was quite a run with no cover.

You take a cautious step onto the ice, but pull back when it instantly begins to crack around your shoe.

"Fucking figures," you grumble to yourself.

"Going somewhere?"

You whirl around to see Remilia hovering just above the snow. You also see Sakuya behind her, though the maid is simply standing and watching for now.

You draw the knife. "Cut the bullshit. I'm out of your damn mansion, just let me go and you'll never hear from me again."

Remilia lands and laughs. You notice that she doesn't appear to sink into the snow at all. "I see you solved the hand situation. Though it is quite unbecoming to steal one of Sakuya's knives, you know?"

You glance at the maid. She still isn't doing anything, and you think you know why. "If she wanted it back, she'd have it. You told her to let you have your moment, didn't you?"

Remilia claps. "Quite the astute one, Mr. Winters. Though, you're only partially right."

With a single flap of her wings, she's flying right at you. You slash out on reflex, but are powerless to stop her from throwing you over her shoulder. Even with the snow, the impact hurts.

You quickly climb back to your feet. Sakuya is now to your right, and the frozen lake to your left. Remilia is directly in front of you, and you note with some satisfaction that she has a new cut on her face.

It disappears quickly, but the blood on the snow remains. "Come now, Mr. Winters, if you truly killed a vampire before, I'd expect much more than that."

Despite the situation, you can't stop yourself from smarting off. "Well, I did have several guns when I killed Dimitrecsu. It'll take longer with just a knife."

Remilia chuckles, and it quickly escalates into full-on laughter. "Ethan Winters, whatever the hell you are, let's make this a night to remember!"

She readies her hands as if they were claws, and you tighten your grip on the knife and assume a combat stance.

Sakuya is still doing nothing, and is only watching.

[ ]She wants a fight? She's got one. Show this vampire what you learned in Europe.
[ ]This is insane, and you'd rather take your chances with the ice. Make a run for it.
[ ]If Remilia wants a fight so badly, she'll be disappointed. Just stand there and don't fight back, just to spite her.
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Always a quiet joy of mine seeing this story update.

Torn between fighting or doing nothing. Usually Ethan had at least small arms on his person during moments like these.
On one hand it's rude to not accommodate the host but on the other hand they have shown horrible hospitality themselves...

Lake option it is then.
[x]This is insane, and you'd rather take your chances with the ice. Make a run for it.
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Hmmm, I gotta think about this one.

My resident Evil KNOWLEDGE is lacking on whether or not Knifing a boss is even possible in Resident Evil.

Ethan doesn't look like a Nanaya kind of lad with his gunfu, but running away might make Sakuya simply go *LOL NO* with time hxs.

I'd lean towards the not fighting back while faking masochism out of spite a la "Hurt me more remi mama~" while spitting blood at her but that's very risky and might simply lead to her killing us.

I'm going to wait a bit to see what the other anons think of this.
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>[ ]She wants a fight? She's got one. Show this vampire what you learned in Europe.
Unless he goes Fungus Gamer Mode, spontaneously learns to fly, and/or spontaneously acquires spellcards/heavy artillery, there is no chance.
>[ ]This is insane, and you'd rather take your chances with the ice. Make a run for it.
Small chance someone will spot the frantically fleeing 'human'. Much smaller chance it's anyone helpful. Much greater chance of slipping on his ass and getting dragged back by an unimpressed maid.
>[ ]If Remilia wants a fight so badly, she'll be disappointed. Just stand there and don't fight back, just to spite her.
Make a vampire pissy. Not much else to it.

Given this wealth of incredible apparently useless options, I'm going to put all my chips in awakening Fungus Gamer Mode (go down swinging):
[X]She wants a fight? She's got one. Show this vampire what you learned in Europe.
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>>203171 here

And I've come to an conclusion:

Running away is USELUSS! because Remilia is faster than us.

Fighting with a knife is USELUSS because Remilia is stronger than us.

Spiting her will come more at our own cost, and may make her decide that she's bored of Ethan and just kill him.

Emotionally though, I want Ethan to fight because GODDAMIT he totally would fight back, the only time he ran away was when he was tied up, unarmed and facing a werewolf army and even then he survived it. Come on Ethan! Show us how to deal with a loli vampire with only a knife like a real resident evil protag!
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>>203173

Forgot to actually vote my bad.

Changing vote to [X] Fight
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>>203171
Haven't all the "recent" ones had knife only runs be explicitly possible at the very least?

[X]She wants a fight? She's got one. Show this vampire what you learned in Europe.
To make bat soup you must first finely dice a flying rodent...
Or get your ass beat trying, that works too.
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[x] This is insane, and you'd rather take your chances with the ice. Make a run for it.
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[X]She wants a fight? She's got one. Show this vampire what you learned in Europe.

best option out of them all, probably isn't going to work though.
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[X]She wants a fight? She's got one. Show this vampire what you learned in Europe.
Give her the old one-two knockout punch. If all else fails, stuff your arm into her mouth until she chokes.
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[x]She wants a fight? She's got one. Show this vampire what you learned in Europe.

You versus a crazed vampire in the middle of a snowy night, and you only have a knife.

You like those odds.

You and Remilia circle each other slowly. She has a crazed smile, and her eyes are almost glowing red. Even still, you notice that she's already breathing somewhat heavily. The fight back in the library must've tired her out a bit. Hopefully you'll be able to take full advantage of that.

With a flap of her wings, she's flying right for you again, one arm poised for a strike. You brace yourself for the impact, and grunt when you feel her cut through your jacket.

The injury is nothing, though, and you retaliate with the knife. The swing goes wide, and Remilia laughs at you while just out of reach.

"Too slow, Winters!" she taunts. "Come now, where's your fighting-"

You cut her off by suddenly leaping at her. You're able to grab hold of her dress, and pull her to the ground with you.

Before she can properly respond, you stab her as deep as you can get into center mass.

Remilia gasps from the injury, then snarls and swings her hand right into your face. The hit sends you flying away, but you're able to keep hold of the knife and take it with you, sending an arc of blood from the vampire's torso onto the snow.

You land on your back, and notice immediately that your face is now bleeding. You just wipe the blood out of your eye and get back up. Remilia looks no worse for wear, but the large crimson line between the two of you remains as a satisfying mark of the damage you did.

She's smiling again, but evidently she learned her lesson about talking mid-fight, because now she's coming at you again. This time, instead of a passing blow, she's doing a full tackle with both arms outstretched.

You meet her attack with one of your own, but she quickly knocks you back onto the ground. You try to get back up, but she quickly pins you down, in a manner that some would call erotic were it not for the knife lodged in the side of her neck.

Unfortunately for you, the injury only seemed to make her smile wider.

"You fight better than I expected!" she says, her voice raspy from the blade penetrating her windpipe. "But I think I've played around enough for one night." With every word she speaks, more blood drips from her wound onto you.

You try and fight against her grip, but she doesn't budge. In response, she grips your wrists tighter, and you cry out as her claws sink into your flesh.

"Last chance to tell me what you really are," Remilia says, leaning closer to your face, "before I see for myself if you have a heart!"

You respond the only way you deem appropriate.

You spit directly into her eye.

She yells in surprise and brings one hand up to her face, while the other grips you even harder. You fight through the pain to reach up, retrieve the knife, and kick her off of you.

Her hand is still grabbing your wrist tightly, so you use the knife to stab her arm. This gets her to let go, finally, and you take the opportunity to gain some distance and catch your breath.

Remilia is a mess now, covered in blood, though you can tell the wounds themselves were still healing very quickly. Her eyes definitely were glowing now, and she glares at you.

"You disgusting little fuck," she growls. "I'm going to tear you to bits and feed you to the forest."

"You wouldn't be the first to try it," you respond. "Doubt you'll be the last, either."

The two of you continue your stare-down, trying to size each other up. She looks more tired now, on top of the river of blood on her dress, but you know that you aren't doing so hot either. The wounds on your face and your wrists ache with the cold, and you can feel the odd blood droplet falling onto the snow.

Just as you're preparing to make a move, Remilia suddenly stops. She coughs lightly, then again, heavier this time. She descends into a sudden violent coughing fit, and drops to one knee.

She takes a deep breath, and looks up at you. Her previous anger is now replaced with confusion. "What-"

She vomits onto the snow, a pool of red joining the pre-existing crimson stains. You blink and suddenly Sakuya is at her side, looking genuinely worried.

You just stand there awkwardly while the maid helps her mistress to her feet. Sakuya gives you one last cold look, and then they both vanish.

Now alone in the night, you can't stop yourself from sitting down. You both clearly did a number on each other, and now that the adrenaline was fading, the pain flared up. You fish the leftover healing solution from your pocket and dump it on your face. You shiver from the sensation of the cold fluid, but the pain relief was still worth it. As for the empty bottle, you decide to toss it into the snow.

After another moment of rest, you get back on your feet. You have no idea what happened to Remilia at the end there, but you'll take the supposed victory either way. Sakuya didn't even think to take her knife back, either, so that's good.

You look back towards the frozen lake. You were a fair distance away from where you first tried to walk across, and here it looks slightly thicker. You take a cautious step onto it, and while it still cracks, it's not as worrying as before.

You take a deep breath and quickly walk forward.

The small cracks underfoot unnerve you, but you keep pushing forward. At one point, you feel part of it give way, but you don't even stop to look. After a few more agonizingly long yards, you make it to the other side, and you let out a huge sigh of relief.

A glance back at the ice confirms what you feared. There was now a small hole halfway between the shores, and it was slowly growing. You're just thankful that you didn't have to go for a cold swim.

"That was quite the performance, you know."

You whirl around and draw your knife. It was the same woman who threw you in Gensokyo in the first place, hanging out of some kind of hole in the air.

Yukari chuckles. "My, my, someone's on edge. Though, I can't say I blame you. Most people who would've fought that vampire brat would've fared far, far worse."

"Send me home, Yukari," you demand. "I want to see my family again."

"But why would I do that? The show's only just starting~"

"Fuck you!" you shout. "I don't care about being part of your damn games!"

"You don't have much of a choice, Mr. Winters." She chuckles again, reaches into the void she's sitting in, and pulls something out. "Here, catch."

You act on reflex and catch the item. You only notice that it's another bottle of healing serum once it's in your hand. "What-?"

"Something to help you on your way. Good luck!"

And with that, she disappears into her portal and vanishes.

You shake your head and pocket the serum. "God dammit... Why does this always happen?"

The forest ahead is large enough that the trees will conceal the moon, cutting down visibility drastically. The shoreline you're on also extends for quite a ways in both directions, so following it might lead to a less-dense section of forest to trek through.

A faint breeze kicks up, and you shiver. Without the adrenaline from that fight, the cold was starting to get to you. If you don't want to become a moldy popsicle, you'd need to find some way to warm yourself up.

[ ]Head straight into the woods and keep moving. The sooner you can get far away from that mansion, the better.
[ ]Follow the shore for a while, see if there's an easier path elsewhere.
[ ]Go in the forest and try and make a campfire ASAP. You'll lose time to make more distance, but it beats freezing to death.
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[X]Go in the forest and try and make a campfire ASAP. You'll lose time to make more distance, but it beats freezing to death.
>Remilia jobs to food poisoning
Heh. That being said, let's hope we don't meet Rumia. Rumia is less likely to be picky.
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[X]Go in the forest and try and make a campfire ASAP. You'll lose time to make more distance, but it beats freezing to death.

yeah probably the best option, plus we might meet some of Cirno's squad, which would be fun
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[x] Follow the shore for a while, see if there's an easier path elsewhere.

LFC
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[X]Go in the forest and try and make a campfire ASAP. You'll lose time to make more distance, but it beats freezing to death.
Are campfires this game's saveroom?
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[X]Go in the forest and try and make a campfire ASAP. You'll lose time to make more distance, but it beats freezing to death.

It's a lot better then simply wandering around.
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[X]Go in the forest and try and make a campfire ASAP. You'll lose time to make more distance, but it beats freezing to death.
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[X]Go in the forest and try and make a campfire ASAP. You'll lose time to make more distance, but it beats freezing to death.

You rub your hands together. This weather will be the end of you if you don't do something soon. Thankfully, that survival training Chris made you go through is still fresh in your mind.

You shuffle into the woods, your breath coming out in visibly shaky gasps. The light slowly died out as the trees began covering the moon, but you stopped before you reached pitch blackness.

Next, you find a spot with a thin enough layer of snow that you can clear it with little issue. You lose feeling in your hands from the cold, but you know it'll be worth it once you're done.

After that, it doesn't take long to grab enough low-hanging branches and stray foliage and pile them in the cleared spot you made. The knife helped quite a bit, surprisingly. You don't know how Sakuya did it, but it was staying sharp even after being stabbed into two different people tonight.

Your numb hands make the final step a bit harder, but soon you're able to rub a pair of sticks together fast enough to get smoke. It slowly turns into a proper fire, and you sit back once it fully takes hold.

You're hit with the instant relief of the heat. Sensation slowly returns to your hands, and after a few more minutes you're no longer shivering.

You ignore the wetness of the melted snow around the fire and take a seat. Now that you weren't freezing to death, it was as good a time as any to figure out exactly what to do next.

So far, the only lead you have to go on is to make it to a "Hakurei shrine" and be sent back out of Gensokyo. After that, you should be able to get back in contact with Chris or Mia easy enough.

You chuckle to yourself. Hopefully Mia won't be too upset at seeing you again after your would-be sacrifice.

You glance around your surroundings. The fire does greatly help with visibility, but it doesn't reveal anything of note. The forest was quiet save for the crackling of flame and the occasional whistle of wind through the trees. Not a surprise, given the season.

Still, as you sit and listen, you start to notice another noise. It's very distant, and you can only really hear it when the wind dies down, but there's no denying that you hear it.

...is that singing?

Once you're as warm as you feel you're going to get, you toss some snow on the fire to snuff it out. You're plunged back into near-darkness, and you draw your knife.

Without the fire making noise, the singing is easier to hear now, so you slowly walk in that direction. The snow crunching underfoot isn't very loud, but you still fear it might give you away.

The singing gets closer the more you walk, and it isn't long before you start to see a faint light deeper in the forest. Now with visual contact, you slightly pick up your pace.

Eventually, you come to the edge of a small clearing, and spot the source of the song. There was some kind of cart in the middle of the clearing, with a set of lit lanterns being the source of the light. You couldn't quite see inside from where you were, but you could tell that it was definitely a woman singing, though she was more simply making musical noise than any coherent words.

It was a nice enough song, you suppose.

You're still uneasy about this, but you can't help but feel curious, too. You take care to conceal your knife before creeping up to the cart.

It isn't long before your approach is noticed, and the singing stops abruptly. "Oh? Is someone there?"

You circle around to the front of the cart, and make eye contact with the owner of the voice. She has a head of bright pink hair, a pair of bird wings coming out of her back, and was wearing some sort of simple brown uniform. A quick glance at the interior of the cart reveals that this is some kind of food stand, complete with a set of bar seats built directly into the cart.

The owner's eyes widen. "Woah, finally, a human! Haven't seen one of you in weeks!"

You walk up to the counter and look directly at her wings. "I take it you're a youkai?"

She seems oddly taken aback by this. "Uh, yeah, I am..." She inspects you just as much as you're inspecting her. "You... are a human, right? An Outsider, even?"

You hesitate. "Why wouldn't I be?"

"You heard me singing, right? That why you came here?"

Now you were just confused. "What does that have to do with-"

She suddenly sighs and waves a hand to cut you off. "Nevermind, nevermind." You hear her grumble something under her breath.

You take a gamble and sit at the counter. "So, uh... you wouldn't happen to know where the Hakurei Shrine is, would you?"

She raises an eyebrow. "You're a far way from the shrine, you know. Get lost trying to go back to the Outside?"

You absentmindedly scratch at one of your facial wounds, only to find that it was already just a faint scar. Mold powers have their benefits, you suppose. "I had some problems, I guess you could say."

"Riiiight..." Her wings twitch a bit. "Well, mystery man, since you're here, wanna get something to eat?"

You look around, but you don't see any sort of menu. "What're you selling?"

"Grilled lamprey. It's been proven to cure night blindness, you know."

You blink at her. "I'm pretty sure that's not an issue I'm worried about."

She frowns at you. "Yeah, I figured that much..."

"What?"

"Nothing!" She gives you a fake smile. "Soooo, want some? It won't take long to cook up, I promise."

You're tempted to try some, but then you remember something. "Actually, uh... I don't have any money on me."

She shrugs. "Consider it a free sample, so that you can spread the word and come back later once you do have the money!" She gives you a wide smile that you suspect was practiced many times in front of a mirror.

[ ]Accept. You're not sure if you fully trust this lady yet, but you could at least grill her for info while she grills.
[ ]Refuse the food. If she was excited to see a human, this could be some sort of elaborate trap.
-[ ]Stick around and press her for info, though. She might be able to point you in the right direction if you ask the right questions.
-[ ]This entire situation is very fishy. Best to bail now before something gets lodged in your hand again.
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[X]Accept. You're not sure if you fully trust this lady yet, but you could at least grill her for info while she grills.
Myschi route.
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[x]Accept. You're not sure if you fully trust this lady yet, but you could at least grill her for info while she grills.
Misty doesn't operate on killing humans for the most part. Surely she wouldn't stab your hand... right?
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>>203278
God I want Mystia to stab me
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[x]Accept. You're not sure if you fully trust this lady yet, but you could at least grill her for info while she grills.

hell yeah grub time
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[x]Accept. You're not sure if you fully trust this lady yet, but you could at least grill her for info while she grills.

Ay, Mystia time!
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Only trustworthy folk I know is masked, wearing a long, black trenchcoat and standing by the roadside - - or thrice breaking the required bmi for being morbidly obese.

[x]Refuse the food. If she was excited to see a human, this could be some sort of elaborate trap.
-[x]This entire situation is very fishy. Best to bail now before something gets lodged in your hand again.

Sweet bird, don't sing your song, I want to see the moonlight shine still.
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[X]Accept. You're not sure if you fully trust this lady yet, but you could at least grill her for info while she grills.
Probably a trap, but it isnt an RE game without failing into those.
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[x]Refuse the food. If she was excited to see a human, this could be some sort of elaborate trap.
-[x]This entire situation is very fishy. Best to bail now before something gets lodged in your hand again.
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[X]Accept. You're not sure if you fully trust this lady yet, but you could at least grill her for info while she grills.
-[X]Stick around and press her for info, though. She might be able to point you in the right direction if you ask the right questions.

You still don't know where the shrine is, or anywhere for that matter
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[x]Accept. You're not sure if you fully trust this lady yet, but you could at least grill her for info while she grills.

mmmm nutrients
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[x]Accept. You're not sure if you fully trust this lady yet, but you could at least grill her for info while she grills.

Also does Ethan know japanese or did yukari fool around with something so he and the gensokyoians can talk with one another?
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[x]Accept. You're not sure if you fully trust this lady yet, but you could at least grill her for info while she grills.

"I guess a free sample won't hurt," you say. You really hope that you won't end up regretting this choice.

The bird girl's smile turns a bit more genuine. "That's the spirit, mister!" With that, she starts to cook. From where you're sitting, you can clearly see her take a lamprey out of an ice box and throw it on a grill, which immediately starts sizzling. Guess she kept it running this whole time for the heat. After that, she fills a glass with hot water out of a kettle and hands it to you. You accept it, since you didn't see her slip anything into it.

While waiting, you decide to press her for info. "So, miss, do you know how to get to the Hakurei Shrine from here?"

"Call me Mystia," she says. "And the best advice I could give you is to go to the Human Village. I don't know what direction that is off the top of my head, though, sorry."

You look at her wings again. "Can't say I blame you, since you probably just fly above the trees to get your bearings." After a moment, you add, "Name's Ethan, by the way."

Mystia looks back at you. "Well, Ethan, mind if I ask what you're doing in the middle of the forest in the dead of night?"

You hesitate. "It's a bit of a long story."

She shrugs. "We both have plenty of time here. If anything, the longer you stay here, the closer you get to daylight. Dangerous things lurk in the dark here, you know."

You chuckle. "I think I can handle myself. But thanks."

"Hey Mysty!"

You almost jump at the sudden yelling, while Mystia sighs and grumbles, "Now of all times..."

A figure swoops down behind you, and quickly runs up to the counter. "I just saw the weirdest thing!"

Mystia looks pointedly between you and the newcomer. "I'm a bit busy, Cirno."

The new girl looks at you, and you take the time to inspect her in turn. Short blue hair, blue and white dress, and a set of icicles floating behind her in a pattern, almost like wings.

She scoffs at you. "What's a human doing out this late?"

"I could ask the same of you," you fire back.

Cirno looks at you a bit longer, then shrugs and looks back at Mystia. "Anyway, there was a huge fight or something across the lake! Blood everywhere!"

You tense up slightly and take a sip of your water.

Mystia raises an eyebrow. "You mean by the Scarlet Devil Mansion?"

"Yeah! But get this: there were no bodies!"

"That is odd..." Mystia looks at you. "Did you happen to see anything about that, Ethan?"

"Can't say I did," you lie.

"What about tracks?" Mystia asks. "Maybe there were no bodies because whoever was fighting ran away."

Cirno pauses. "I... didn't think to look for tracks."

You let out a small sigh of relief, but Cirno noticed. "Don't laugh at me!"

"I wasn't."

She hovers up to your face. "Yeah you were, I heard you!"

You lean away and bring up your hands. "Hey, I wasn't laughing, I promise!"

"Cirno, he wasn't," Mystia adds. "Leave my customers alone, please."

Cirno keeps glaring at you, then eventually backs off. "Dumb human..."

You let the insult slide and take another drink of water. Last thing you needed was to get wrapped up in another fight over nothing.

"You're all so loud, you know?"

You look behind you and see another newcomer flying to the cart. This one had green hair, and was very heavily bundled up in multiple layers of jackets and sweaters. Apparently she can't stand the cold, if you had to guess.

"Hey Wriggle!" Cirno says. "You see that mess by the lake, too?"

Wriggle looks directly at you, then turns back to Cirno. "I wasn't looking over there. What happened?"

"Apparently a bunch of blood but no bodies," Mystia answers.

"Hmm." Wriggle looks back at you. "And what is a human doing here this late?"

You decide to keep your answer basic yet truthful. "I'm an Outsider. Got lost, came across this cart."

"Ah, I see. I suppose Mystia is still running her s-"

"Heeeeey, order's ready!" Mystia cut in, very loudly and abruptly. She places a small plate in front of you with a grilled and skewered piece of lamprey.

"Thanks." You throw caution to the wind and take a bite of it. It's... unusual, but you can't say it's bad.

"Hey, make us some too!" Cirno complains.

"Be patient, he got here before you two," Mystia says as she puts a few more pieces of lamprey on the grill.

Wriggle takes a seat, and undoes some of her bundling on her head. Once her head's uncovered, you notice a pair of antennae sticking out of her hair, like some kind of bug.

You suddenly remember the matriarch of the Baker family, Marguerite, and her legions of bugs. Even though that was far in the past, you still can't help but wince at the memory.

Unfortunately, your reaction didn't go unnoticed. "You have a problem with bugs?" Wriggle asks, suddenly hostile.

"No, no, just... remembering a bad experience I had with them in the past."

Her hostility goes away, but she remains tense. "If you got stung or bit by them, you probably deserved it."

You hold your tongue. As much as you'd like to prove her wrong by explaining the exact fucked up circumstances, you knew that it would only make things more difficult for you.

The four of you go quiet for a bit, listening and watching the food on the grill. You take another bite just as Cirno breaks the silence. "Hey, human, can you fight?"

You almost choke on your food. "W-what?"

"I mean, you're all alone out here, this late at night, and yet you don't look hurt at all." She points a finger at you. "Either you've been fighting your way through, or you're just really, really lucky!"

You have no idea how to respond to that. "I, uh-"

"Wait, you think that fight by the lake was him, too?" Wriggle cuts in. "It's not too far away from here by foot."

Mystia rolls her eyes. "Come on, guys, leave him alone. He might just be another paying customer for me in the future." She looks at you with a smile. "Right?"

"Y- Yeah." You take another hasty bite of your food, in an attempt to escape further conversation.

Suddenly, a new person floats up to the bar and sits down. Blonde with a red ribbon, black and white dress, and she was looking intently at the grill.

"Hey, Rumia," Mystia greets her. "Figured you'd show up eventually. I even put down extra for you."

"Thank you, Mysty," Rumia says. As soon as she finished talking, she shifted her focus to you. "What is a human doing here?"

"Lost Outsider," Cirno answered for you. "You know how they are."

Rumia just keeps staring at you. You try and ignore her, but it's almost as if you can feel her red eyes looking straight through you.

Thankfully, Mystia also notices her fixation. "Hey, Rumia, are you-"

The blonde girl suddenly grabs your arm and... sniffs you?

You wrench it out of her grasp. "Hey, what the hell?"

"Rumia, I told you no sniffing customers!" Mystia says. "It makes them uncomfortable, especially humans!"

"But he's not a human."

Everyone goes quiet, and you freeze up entirely.

"He looks human to me," Cirno says.

Rumia shakes her head. "Smells different. I know what humans smell like, and he doesn't match that."

All eyes are on you. You have no idea what to do or say.

[ ]Own up to your secret. Hopefully, if they know you're mold, they'll simply leave you be.
[ ]Lie. There seems to be many different kinds of youkai, so... maybe you could convince them you're one?
[ ]Bluff. Of course you're human, and you have no idea why you'd smell any different.
[ ]Run. Things might go poorly no matter what you say, so might as well get a head start.
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I would normally choose to lie. It could fool one of them, but I think it would be hard to fool all 5 of them. Same reasoning for why bluffing is a bad idea. Running is bad since all 5 of them could catch up to you easily. I'm leaning towards owning up, but making yourself sound like a weak minor creature. That way, Cirno won't try to fight you and you might even get some sympathy from the others.
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Welp, we probably cant bluff our way out of this situation, because they can very easily check if we are human (by simply cutting us a small amount). Mystia also suspects something because we weren't affected by her singing. so I'm leaning towards

[X]Own up to your secret. Hopefully, if they know you're mold, they'll simply leave you be.

We cant run from them because they can fly, lying to try to convince them we're a youkai might work but I think Rumia would still call us out. Bluffing wont work because we obviously smell very different, and Rumia is probably an expert on what people smell like.
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[X]Own up to your secret. Hopefully, if they know you're mold, they'll simply leave you be.
S' 'cause I'm moldy see, a few months out of date.
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[X]Own up to your secret. Hopefully, if they know you're mold, they'll simply leave you be.
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[X]Own up to your secret. Hopefully, if they know you're mold, they'll simply leave you be.
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[X]Own up to your secret. Hopefully, if they know you're mold, they'll simply leave you be.

yeah they got us dead to rights. no way outta this one
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[X]Own up to your secret. Hopefully, if they know you're mold, they'll simply leave you be.

We may be fungi, but we're still human goddammit. If we're get a couple drinks in us we can even be a fun guy.
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[X]Own up to your secret. Hopefully, if they know you're mold, they'll simply leave you be.

Well, looks like you have no choice. You take a big swig of water to prepare yourself, and then explain. "You're right. I'm... not quite human, at least not anymore."

"So that's why," Mystia comments. You don't bother asking what she's talking about.

"Truth is, I died about three years ago," you continue. "Thing is, I was somehow brought back from this strange substance called mold."

"So... you're like a plant zombie?" Cirno asks.

The question throws you off. "It's not literal mold, that's just what it was called."

Cirno scoffs. "That's dumb. Humans are dumb with names."

"So why lie?" Rumia asks. "If you weren't really human, you could've just said so."

You sigh. "The first person I ran into here that found out I wasn't human tried to lock me up and do some weird experiments on me."

"Was it someone at the Scarlet Devil Mansion?" Wriggle speaks up.

"It... was, actually. How did you-?"

"Wait, so that fight was you!" Cirno suddenly shouts. "I was right, this moldy human can fight!"

You wince at the volume. "I'm not trying to pick fights with anyone. I just want to go home. My family is still out there, waiting for me."

The four of them go silent, so you try and gauge how they're reacting to your confession. Mystia looks oddly sympathetic, Cirno looks excited for reasons you don't understand, Wriggle looks a bit concerned, and Rumia...

She just keeps staring at you, her face wearing the same soft smile that she's had for most of her time here. You're not sure why, but that gaze of hers is making you very uncomfortable.

"Hey, Mystia," she suddenly says, "you told me that I shouldn't bother your human customers, right?"

Mystia hesitates before answering. "I mean, that is what I said..."

Rumia's smile gets just a bit wider. "Is that so~?"

You decide to try and cut off whatever she has in mind. "Look, I don't want to fight you."

She looks at you for a bit, then shrugs. "Oh well, that makes this easier for me."

"Wait, what do you-"

Before you can finish, she suddenly leaps at you, fangs bared. You reflexively bring your right hand up, and she bites down on it. Hard.

You yell from pain, while the others yell in surprise. You hear Mystia shout, "Stop! Let him go!"

Rumia just tries to mumble out an answer with your bloodied hand still in her mouth, only intensifying the pain. You scramble with your free hand and grab the plate your food was served on.

With as much force as you can muster, you crash it down on Rumia's head. The hit dazes her, and her bite lets up slightly, but her teeth are still digging into your flesh.

Since that didn't work, you quickly reach for your knife and start stabbing blindly. This gets much more of a reaction, making Rumia cry out and let go.

The moment she's off you, you shove her into Wriggle and start running. You hear the four of them shouting at each other, but you're moving too far away to hear what they're saying over the sound of wind and rapidly crunching snow.

You pocket your knife and take a quick look at your hand. Apparently she managed to pull a small chunk out of the side of your palm. The pain is immense, but you push it aside in favor of gaining more distance.

You look behind you. You're far enough into the forest that you can't see the light from the cart anymore. You can still hear some distant shouting, though, so you keep moving.

You curse to yourself as your hand throbs painfully with every heartbeat. What the hell is wrong with the people here? Why can't they just leave you alone?

As you run, you start to notice that it's getting a bit darker. You glance up, expecting to see some clouds moving in front of the moon, but curiously it was entirely uncovered. In fact, the moon was looking a bit dimmer all of a sudden...

You slow down a bit while inspecting the sky, and you notice that the darkness around you keeps growing. You look behind you again, and it looks like there's a wave of pitch blackness closing in on you.

You redouble your sprint, struggling through the snow as fast as you could. The darkness keeps growing, though, so you start ducking between more narrow gaps between trees.

This seems to work, because not long after you hear a hard impact behind you, and the darkness starts to let up as you make more distance.

Eventually, you come into another clearing, this one holding a decent-sized house. You don't see any lights on inside, but you don't care. If anyone's in there, you'd probably rather deal with them than whatever is chasing you through the woods.

You get to the front door and start knocking. Part of you was aware of the fact that it was the middle of the night and they were probably asleep, but the gaping hole in your hand made you disregard politeness.

The darkness was slowly growing again, so you knocked harder and called out. "Anyone in there?! I need help! I'm being chased!"

Shortly after your yelling, a light comes on inside. You see movement out of the corner of your eye, and turn to see... a doll sitting on the roof? Was that always there?

You put some pressure on your hand while you wait. The bleeding was still going strong. Maybe you should use some of your serum while-

Your thoughts are broken by the sound of a lock being undone, and the door opening. You waste no time and stumble inside.

The door quickly shuts behind you, and you turn to look at who let you in. Only to see... more dolls?

These ones were floating around, and they were all staring at you. Taking a quick glance around the entryway, you see even more dolls sitting on various shelves and pieces of furniture, all looking right at you with their lifeless eyes.

This is... very unsettling.

After a brief staredown, a few of the dolls close in. With no clue as to their intentions, and with how your last trip to a doll-filled house went, your adrenaline spikes.

[ ]These dolls are small enough that you could take them down easy.
[ ]Wait and see what they do. Maybe you'll be lucky and they don't want to hurt you?
[ ]There's probably someone controlling these dolls. Push past them and go find the source.
[ ]Fuck this, you'd rather take your chances with the thing outside than whatever this is.

Hand Injury Count: 3
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[x]Wait and see what they do. Maybe you'll be lucky and they don't want to hurt you?

Let’s keep repeating the pattern of putting your best foot forward to have it go horribly wrong afterwards.
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[x]Wait and see what they do. Maybe you'll be lucky and they don't want to hurt you?
[x] get ready to beat feet at the first sign of trouble.

"oh not this shit again"
hopefully, we get though this encounter without starting a fight as well
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[X]Fuck this, you'd rather take your chances with the thing outside than whatever this is.
My reaction upon seeing this is "oh hey, alice probably knows first aid and isnt likely to try and fuck with Ethan."
Ethan's reaction should probably be "Nope nada fuck this where's the fucking napalm get me my incendiaries!"
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[x] Keep your freakout internal,see what they do. Maybe you'll be lucky and they don't want to hurt you?

Part of being a RE protagonist is to keep falling for scripted events,no matter how much you notice and lampshade them.
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[X]Wait and see what they do. Maybe you'll be lucky and they don't want to hurt you?
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[x]Wait and see what they do. Maybe you'll be lucky and they don't want to hurt you?
[x] get ready to beat feet at the first sign of trouble.

I agree with dude above, being a RE protagonist means that you should blatantly ignore all signs of traps, no matter ho obvious (also do want Alice).
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typo of mine, its supposed to be how obvious, not ho obvious.
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[x]Wait and see what they do. Maybe you'll be lucky and they don't want to hurt you?
[x] Say something. "Just need a space to be alone. Will be gone in the morning."
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[X]Wait and see what they do. Maybe you'll be lucky and they don't want to hurt you?

Part of you wants to act out and run from this situation, but you force yourself to calm down. These dolls weren't bristling with hidden blades and sharp bits, after all, so that was already a step up from the last dollhouse you were in.

The dolls grab at your injured hand and pull it up. You let them, fearing the worst, but thankfully they only appear to be inspecting the wound. One of them even pokes at it gently, and you wince, which makes the doll recoil back in kind.

Another set of dolls fly in from another room, carrying a collection of first-aid supplies. One of them wipes the wound down with a cloth, while a pair of dolls work together to get another cloth covered in medical alcohol. Curiously, you notice that the doll with the bloody cloth took it outside through a window. Why would they...?

The burn of the alcohol brings your attention back to your hand, and you hiss reflexively from the pain. Shortly after enough was applied, one more pair of dolls began flying around your hand to bandage it up.

Once all was said and done, your wound was now properly treated, though you notice you were already starting to bleed through the bandages a bit.

"Is that the worst of your injuries?"

You look to the source of the voice and see a blonde woman wearing a blue and red dress. In fact, she has a bit of a resemblance to the dolls... Or, rather, the other way around, you suppose.

"Yeah, thanks," you say, flexing your hand a bit. It still hurts, but at least it's no longer an open wound. You look around and see that most of the dolls are either hovering idle next to the woman or sat down on a random shelf around the room. "Were you controlling them?"

"Yes I was," she answers. "For an Outsider, you reached that conclusion pretty quickly."

You can't stop yourself from chuckling. "I, uh, had a run in with someone with similar powers in the past. That went a lot less well, though."

She looks at you curiously. "That must be quite the story." After a moment, she adds, "Oh, where are my manners. My name is Alice."

"I'm Ethan," you return the greeting. "Thanks for letting me in. Sorry for waking you this late."

"Oh, it's fine," she says. "Truthfully, I was already woken up not long ago due to another commotion at my neighbor's house."

You wonder if that has anything to do with that distraction Flandre caused for you. "Still, thank you. I don't know what I'd do if I was by myself out there."

Alice leans against the wall. "I take it Rumia was the one who took a piece of your hand?"

"You know her?"

She sighs. "She's one of the more dangerous youkai to Outsiders like yourself. Man-eating, powerful, and not above luring in her prey. I try to help anyone who escapes her and makes it here, but sadly not everyone manages to get this far." After a moment, she also says, "She should lose your scent soon, though. That's why I sent a doll out with you blood, to make her think you went somewhere else."

"Huh..." You trail off, and after a moment you yawn slightly. "So, uh, would you happen to know how to get to the Hakurei Shrine?"

Alice nods. "Of course. But I think you should rest here for a bit before going there, at least until the sun rises."

The events of the night were starting to weigh on you, you suppose. "I guess you'll point me in the right direction in the morning, then?"

"I'll do you one better." She smiles. "I'm heading to the Human Village tomorrow anyway, for some errands. That's right next to the Shrine, so we can travel together to ensure your safety."

You can't help but smile yourself. Finally, some good news. "That's great. Thank you."

Alice gestures to a couch in the living room. "Feel free to sleep there. I'll wake you up tomorrow before we leave."

You want to appreciate the gesture, but you feel your paranoia flare up. "Are you sure? You're being awfully nice to someone who just barged into your home."

Alice rolls her eyes. "Please, if I wanted to do something horrid like dismantle you for parts for my dolls, I wouldn't have to wait for you to be asleep to do it."

As morbid as the statement was, you had to admit that she might be right. There were a lot of dolls floating around at once, and you weren't sure how much you could fight them off with just a knife. Plus, you had no idea how strong Alice really was.

"...thank you," you eventually say. "I'll see you in the morning, Alice."

"Hope you rest well, Ethan," she says, before going back down the hall, presumably to her bedroom.

You sit down on the couch, but can't help but look around at the dolls located almost everywhere. They weren't looking directly at you, but their empty eyes still put you on edge, even if their master appeared to be genuinely nice.

Eventually, you feel your eyelids getting heavier, so you take off your boots and try to get comfortable on the couch.

It takes a while, but sleep does eventually come to you.



You wrench yourself awake, breathing heavily. You dreamed that you were back in Castle Dimitrecsu, but with Remilia replacing the matriarch of the castle. The rest of the details were already fading, but even being reminded of that hellish place was enough to spike your adrenaline.

Daylight came in through the windows, and you heard activity in the kitchen, with a doll or two occasionally flying in and out. You get up and investigate, and find Alice and her dolls cooking something.

Alice looks over at you. "Good morning, Ethan."

"Mornin', Alice." You yawn. "What are you making?"

"Just some pancakes. I'm a bit short on food right now, which is why I was going to the village."

It had been a while since you ate. Still... "You didn't have to do that, I wouldn't want to impose."

"Nonsense, I was going to make some for myself either way. There's no harm in giving some to you."

You're at a loss for words, apart from, "Thank you."

You take a seat at the table, and shortly after Alice joins you with a plate for you and herself. Breakfast goes quickly and quietly, and you had to admit that the pancakes were damn good. Part of you does miss Duke's cooking, though...

Once you're both done eating, you're about to go out the door but Alice stops you. "Hold on, you need something."

You arch an eyebrow at her. "Like what?"

She motions behind you, and you turn to see a set of dolls carrying a thick jacket towards you.

"Your current clothing is honestly a bit lacking for this weather," Alice says. "I had quite a bit of extra cloth, so I made this for you."

You're in shock. "You made this? Last night?"

"I've managed to fine-tune my control of my dolls to the point where they can continue to do simple tasks while I sleep," Alice says, clearly proud of herself.

You take the jacket from the dolls and put it on. It fit... really well. "How did you-?"

"I'm very good at guessing clothing sizes just from looking at someone," Alice brags as she puts on her own jacket, also in red and blue. "Now, shall we be off?"

She exits the house, and you follow right behind her. You could immediately tell that this jacket was doing its job well. Despite the frigid air, your body was remaining quite warm.

"I'll have to find some way to pay you back for all this," you say.

Alice smirks. "Well, I'll consider it paid off if you tell me your deepest secrets while we walk to the village.

You stare at her, and after a moment she giggles. "I'm kidding, of course. I assume you have your own secrets and stories, same as everyone, but it's up to you if you want to share them."

It is honestly a tempting offer. Alice seems like an overall nice person, so telling her your story might help cement her as an ally even more.

Then again, after what happened with Rumia and the others last night, maybe telling people about your mold status isn't the best idea, and Flandre reacting positively was lightning in a bottle.

[ ]Tell Alice everything. With as much as she's helping you, she deserves to know that much.
[ ]Tell her your story, but leave out the mold part. Better safe than sorry.
[ ]Use the trip to ask her for info instead, especially about Gensokyo. Know thy enemy, and all that.
[ ]Stay quiet. If Alice wants to bring something up, it's up to her. Otherwise you're fine with walking in silence.
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[X]Tell Alice almost everything. With as much as she's helping you, she deserves to know that much.

No need to go into the details. Started human, died, became mold, fought a ton of hell with guns.

Healed and sewed a new jacket? Least we can give back is an interesting story. Besides with yokai and what not, what is a mold creature? Besides, we'll be gone via Reimu soon.
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[X]Tell Alice almost everything. With as much as she's helping you, she deserves to know that much.

I agree with the dude above me, we owe her a story, and with all the insane stuff we've seen so far, is being a mold creature all that significant? (lol interesting coincidence, my captcha is "6PUPPETEER")
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[X ]Tell Alice everything. With as much as she's helping you, she deserves to know that much.
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[X ]Tell Alice everything. With as much as she's helping you, she deserves to know that much.
No point making a "tell alice almost everything" vote if you'll still include the things that would be worth omitting.
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[X] Tell Alice everything. With as much as she's helping you, she deserves to know that much.

But also, because why the hell not,

[X] Use the trip to ask her for info instead, especially about Gensokyo. Know thy enemy, and all that.

Alice is being surprisingly nice, though. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.
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[X]Tell Alice everything. With as much as she's helping you, she deserves to know that much.

For a moment, you say nothing and let the sound of crunching snow wash over the both of you. Eventually, however, you reach a decision.

"I guess I'll tell you, then."

Alice seems a bit surprised, but nods.

And so you give and abridged version of the story you previously told to Flandre. Alice stays quiet as you tell it, only giving minor reactions while allowing you to finish.

Once you finish explaining what happened at the Scarlet Devil Mansion and why you ended up on her doorstep, Alice takes a deep breath. "So... you're not human."

You shake your head. "Not anymore. Sorry for lying to you about that, but... well, you understand now that I haven't had the best record of telling people."

"Fair, fair." She looks you up and down. "Well, I'm not human, either, so it's just more of a surprise than anything."

You arch an eyebrow. "Could've fooled me."

She fidgets with a part of her jacket. "I... used to be human. Not anymore, kinda like you, heh."

You chuckle. "I'm sure you had your reasons. I didn't have much choice in the matter."

Alice rests a hand on your shoulder. "Just remember that, even if you're not human, you still have some humanity within you. There's nothing saying that we have to stop being nice once we're not human anymore."

You nod. "Yeah, you're right. Thanks, Alice."

An awkward silence rises up, then Alice speaks again. "Also, uh, sorry about freaking you out with my dolls. I understand now why you'd be so nervous around them."

You shrug. "Not your fault, you had no idea."

By now, you both left the forest, and you can see the high wooden walls of a village ahead. That must be the Human Village you've been looking for.

A pair of guards are stationed at the gate. They eye you a bit suspiciously, but give Alice a simple nod before letting the both of you in with no issues.

The village was honestly closer in size to a small town. Most of the buildings were eastern-styled, but you saw more than a few that were clearly inspired by western design. The street was quite filled with citizens walking to and fro, and a good number of them offered friendly waves to Alice as you both passed by.

Alice takes you to an intersection, then stops and faces you. "Alright, Ethan, this is where we part ways. Just follow this road," she points, "and you'll come to the steps leading to the Hakurei Shrine. Once you're there, ask for Reimu. She'll take it from there."

You nod. "Thank you again, Alice. You've been a huge help."

She smiles. "Just give this to Rose when you see her again, and we'll be even."

She slips a small doll into your hand. It looks just like all the other dolls that flew around her home, but this one doesn't appear to be animated.

You can't keep the smile off your face. "She'd love this. Thank you."

Alice begins walking away. "Have a safe trip home, Ethan!"

With that, she disappears into the crowd.

You pocket the doll and walk in the opposite direction. Now that you're alone, the citizens of the village give you much more neutral looks. Most of them barely give you anything more than a single look, and you're perfectly fine with that. If Outsiders are as common as you've been told, then you aren't standing out much at all to them.

You're perfectly okay with that.

As you walk through the village, you can't help but overhear a few snippets of conversation here and there. Most of it is innocent enough and very mundane, but there are some statements that stick out to you.

"...that vampire in the..."

"...her maid? She seemed..."

"...something wrong?"

You can't hear the full conversations, but what you're making out doesn't sound too good. However, after some distance, your progress is blocked by a sizable crowd of people standing in front of a store. You can't help but try and see what the problem is, and you see that this was some kind of herbal store, if you had to guess, and there was a huge mess on the floor being picked up by what appeared to be the shopkeep and a few good samaritans.

Hushed whispers go through the crowd, but there's too much for you to pick out anything comprehensible. Thankfully, someone squeezes in next to you and starts talking to someone else in the crowd.

"Hey, what happened here?"

"Not sure," their friend said. "Apparently the Scarlet Devil maid came here and was very upset about something. I guess they didn't have what she was looking for here, so she stormed out and caused a mess."

The newcomer gave a low whistle. "That's not like her at all. Hell, I don't think I've ever seen her have an emotion before. Something happen to that vampire of hers?"

"Maybe. Some people are saying they heard she was sick, but no idea if that's true."

You think back to how your fight with Remilia ended. The way she abruptly vomited, and the way Sakuya presumably rushed her inside...

You're not sure what it could've been, but part of you feels like you wouldn't like the answer.

You've heard enough gossip, so you slip back out of the crowd and continue your journey to the shrine. Just before the crowd gets out of sight, though, there's a large exclamation from the group, and you turn around to see Cirno of all people barging her way through.

Despite your distance, you can still hear what she's shouting. "My friend is sick! I need something!"

"Just like I told that damn maid, go to Eientei!" you hear the shopkeep shout back.

"But they hate me! You have to have something, mister! She took a bite from some mold youkai and now she's really sick!"

You stiffen and turn around. You're not sure if Cirno would exactly remember your face, but there's no sense taking that chance.

As you leave the conversation behind you, your mind races. It's probably a safe bet that the friend she's talking about is Rumia, which means that now both her and Remilia are apparently sick.

And the one thing they have in common is taking a bite of you...

You shake your head. You don't want to think about it. You really don't want to think about what this could mean. You didn't ask them to bite into your flesh, after all. This isn't your fault.

...right?

You shove the thoughts aside as you reach the base of the steps to the shrine. The steps lead back out of the village, but you still feel safe enough to make that journey.

Before you get too far, however, someone stops you. "Hey, you an Outsider?"

You turn to face the nearby shop keeper that yelled at you, and old woman. "Yeah?"

"Got bad news for you, the shrine maiden's out right now. Saw her fly off not long ago."

You curse to yourself. "Any idea when she'll be back?"

The woman shrugs. "Could be a quick visit to elsewhere, could be a full-blown incident that she's investigating. There's no way to tell."

You sigh, then ask, "Do you know if it'd be okay if I go up there and wait for her?"

The woman shrugs again. "You could, but sometimes youkai like to poke around up there when she's away. Sure an Outsider like you could handle that?"

You smirk and start walking up. "I'll be fine!"

The woman is quickly out of earshot, and you ascend the staircase. The snow makes some steps dangerously slick, but it's nothing that you can't handle.

At the top of the staircase, just before the shrine itself came into view, you're surprised to see someone else.

And not only is someone already waiting, but it's someone you think you recognize, and they're dressed as a witch. Isn't this the person that chased Flandre into the mansion as part of her distraction?

She notices you before you can think any more on it. "Pretty early in the day for an Outsider to come here, isn't it?"

You shrug. "I've been told this is how I go home, so I want to do that as soon as I can."

The girl laughs. "Fair enough. Reimu's out right now, though."

"I heard. I take it you're a friend of hers?"

"Yep. We're a bit famous around Gensokyo, not to brag or anything," she brags.

You ascend a few more steps to look at the shrine itself. It certainly looks like a Japanese shrine, nothing out of the ordinary that you can see from here.

You turn back to the girl. "So, any idea when she'll be back?"

The witch rolls her eyes. "Well, she's investigating some rumors about a 'mold monster' in the forest. It might be an incident, it might not be. I'm just here to start blasting if it is."

You feel your blood run cold. You're not sure how, but apparently word is already floating around about you. Not only that, but the one person who could send you home is now actively hunting for you, even if she hasn't seen you yet.

There is a pit in your stomach, and you're not sure how to proceed.

[ ]Take your chances by sticking around. Hopefully, by the time Reimu finds out that you were the mold man she's looking for, you'll already be home free.
-[ ]You don't trust this witch. You'll wait closer to the shrine, away from her.
-[ ]This girl doesn't know who you are, either, so maybe you can get her on your side, just in case.
[ ]Duck back into the village and find Alice. She's one of the few allies you have here, and you'd like to keep her on your side before she hears too many rumors.
[ ]It can't be that hard to get back to the Outside, right? Go right into the shrine and find the way back yourself.
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[X]Take your chances by sticking around. Hopefully, by the time Reimu finds out that you were the mold man she's looking for, you'll already be home free.
-[X]You don't trust this witch. You'll wait closer to the shrine, away from her.

No reason to get overly friendly, and I'd imagine that they'd expect an outsider to keep to themselves mostly.

Act like you belong, confidence is key to bullshitting your way through things.
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[x]It can't be that hard to get back to the Outside, right? Go right into the shrine and find the way back yourself.

Quick, get out! Get outta there! Just run damnit!
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[X]Take your chances by sticking around. Hopefully, by the time Reimu finds out that you were the mold man she's looking for, you'll already be home free.

honestly I just wanna fess up 'yeah that's probably me, sorry. Some yooks took a bite out of me and seem to have gotten sick, but it's not like I wanted them to try to eat me, you know? Anyways, I got a wife and kid on the outside, so if you could tell raymoo I'd like to get home quickly'

Not having played the new RE games, what does Ethan do for a living when he's not fighting zombies and monsters? Just, out of curiosity.
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>>203558
Ethan has the personality of a board, he's just a stand-in for the player (guy doesn't even have a face) and fucking dies at the end of RE8. I think between RE7 and RE8 all he did was vibe with his family or some shit
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>>203558
>>203559
Pretty much his whole time between games was spent in witness protection after the events of 7, and as for what he does for a job it was some kind of software development job that he did from home. He's meant to be a standard everyman after every other series protag turned into roided up grizzled supersoldiers.
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[X]Duck back into the village and find Alice. She's one of the few allies you have here, and you'd like to keep her on your side before she hears too many rumors.

We need help, and she's a confirmed ally of ours.

As much as it may pain me to say we have no obligation to help either Remillia or Rumia. They both tried to kill us, with Remillia also trying to imprison us and do tests on us. Also, this is why you don't try to eat your food raw, you never know what diseases they might have!
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[X]Take your chances by sticking around. Hopefully, by the time Reimu finds out that you were the mold man she's looking for, you'll already be home free.
-[X]This girl doesn't know who you are, either, so maybe you can get her on your side, just in case.

Play to her ego. If she is with you, there's no way you're the mold monster now, is there?
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[X]Duck back into the village and find Alice. She's one of the few allies you have here, and you'd like to keep her on your side before she hears too many rumors.

I find it kinda funny that a sort of russian reverse zombie plague is spreading,

'in soviet russia, zombie plague happens when you bite zombie!'

but yeah, I don't think our exit is happening all that quick, especially with a resident evil zombie plague brewing. and Alice at least will help cool the more enthusiastic response we could get (and not like the rumors will likely sway her any as we've told her our story, so she knows what's going on. including likely why Remelia and Rumi are sick.)
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"resident evil zombie plague brewing"

WAIT WHAT

what made you think that cos now I'm really concerned, I didn't want to help Remillia but if a zombie plague is gonna happen we need to stop it
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>>203564

well Ethan *is* a Resident Evil character, and two very bitey people have already been infected. granted in a near opposite manner than usual, but they can probably take it from there normally. now granted this isn't the T-Virus... though if you don't like Remelia, this virus might be more of a reason to help her as if i recall correctly, this virus forms a hivemind of the infected... sooooooooooo if we don't help deal with it, we're probably going to get Remelia and Rumi sharing our mindspace soon.

it's also funny that the whole situation at the SDM could've been solved with a lot less hostility if Flandre ran into her sister before we did, since we told her the exact thing that Remelia was getting worked up trying to figure out (namely we being a moldy Zombie.)
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Welp, first thing on my to do list after we link up with Alice is to make sure Flandre's safe, nothing shall harm the moe blob.
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[X]Take your chances by sticking around. Hopefully, by the time Reimu finds out that you were the mold man she's looking for, you'll already be home free.
-[X]This girl doesn't know who you are, either, so maybe you can get her on your side, just in case.
I say Co-operation is the better part of valour. What's she gonna do, immolate Ethan?
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[X]Duck back into the village and find Alice. She's one of the few allies you have here, and you'd like to keep her on your side before she hears too many rumors.

Reimu in the games and the fics has the knack of always finding the "guilty" party.
I say we cut Ethan's losses and secure the only person that we had an amicable relation with.
And somehow fix them youkai's that had a taste of what taco bell is.
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[X]Duck back into the village and find Alice. She's one of the few allies you have here, and you'd like to keep her on your side before she hears too many rumors.

gonna say sticking with Alice is our best bet.
maybe even convince her that going out and nipping this potential outbreak in the bud might be our best bet. It's bad manners to leave messes for other people to clean.
Also, no guarantee that running away won't end with this coming back to bite us in the ass for RE9: Mold Waifu Boogaloo
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oh boy, its a tie again
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[X]Take your chances by sticking around. Hopefully, by the time Reimu finds out that you were the mold man she's looking for, you'll already be home free.
-[X]This girl doesn't know who you are, either, so maybe you can get her on your side, just in case.

not anymore
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[X]Take your chances by sticking around. Hopefully, by the time Reimu finds out that you were the mold man she's looking for, you'll already be home free.
-[X]This girl doesn't know who you are, either, so maybe you can get her on your side, just in case.

Fuck it, you're already this close to going home, you're not going to miss your chance. You stand at the opposite side of the staircase from the witch. "I guess I'll wait for her to come back, then."

She shrugs. "Fine by me. I'm here to wait on word from Reimu before we both head out to beat up whoever needs it."

You raise an eyebrow. "Is that how problems are usually solved around here?"

"Well, sometimes. Every now and then Reimu just exterminates the troublesome youkai instead."

Exterminates. Such a violent phrase, and for some reason you don't doubt that it's applicable. You really hope that you can get sent home before they find out you're the one they're looking for.

"Say, what's your name, mister?"

You hesitate. "Would it matter, since I'm probably gonna be going home soon?"

She shrugs again. "True, but still feels polite to ask. I'm Marisa."

If Reimu is investigating the areas you were spotted, then you know she'd learn your real name at some point. You decide to give her a fake name instead, and the first one that comes to mind is one you heard Chris mention a few times over the years. "I'm... Leon."

"So, Leon, how'd you wind up in Gensokyo?" Marisa asks. "Slipped through the border when you weren't paying attention?"

Bringing up Yukari probably wouldn't help you stay under the radar. "Something like that, yeah."

"Well, at least you're still alive," she says. "I've seen more than a few Outsiders get killed off by youkai before they even hear about the shrine, let alone make it here." She frowns a bit. "It's a shame when it happens, but, well, that's just how it is sometimes."

You're not sure how to respond to that, so instead you decide to try and find out how much she knows about you already. "Kind of like that mold monster you mentioned?"

"Maybe. That's just the rumor I've heard floating around from fairies in the forest. Reimu will definitely know more once she gets back."

Good, Marisa is still mostly in the dark about what you've been up to. That's a step in the right direction.

You see her look at your hand and wince. "Guess you had a bit of a scrape already, huh?"

You almost forgot it was still bandaged from Alice's first aid. You were bleeding through the bandage a bit, but it will hold for a while. "Yeah, I, uh, scraped it pretty bad on a tree while running." You shrug. "I've had worse."

Marisa chuckles. "And here I thought most Outsiders nowadays were pretty soft. You're alright, Leon."

The two of you lapse into silence. Part of you wants to keep pushing the conversation, if only to get Marisa more in favor of you just in case things go badly later, but you can't think of any way to do that without blowing your cover entirely.

Thankfully, Marisa picks up the conversation again before you have to think of anything to say. "So, got any family waiting for you back home?"

At least now you can tell the truth. "Yeah, a wife and our daughter."

She smirks. "You look pretty young for a dad, you know."

"And you look pretty young to be famous around here," you shoot back.

This gets her laughing. "Alright, I'll give you that." A cold breeze blows through the trees, and she shivers a bit. She then takes out a hexagonal device and fiddles with it, and shortly after you see it glow. She sighs in relief shortly after.

"I can't stand the cold," she says. "Can't wait for winter to be over."

"Feels like I find ways to suffer whether it's cold or hot," you add, thinking back to both Louisiana and Europe.

"Nah, summer's alright. Flying through the air works wonders to cool you down." She messes with some of the fabric on her sleeve and mutters, "Maybe could get Alice to make me..."

You don't catch the rest, but you definitely heard Alice's name. You're tempted to mention that you've met her, but you're not sure if that could backfire or not. You told Alice your real name, after all, and she knows that you're the mold monster that Reimu and Marisa would be looking for.

Still, if Alice is a friend of Marisa, maybe you could leverage that...

[ ]Bring up Alice. If you can secure Marisa's trust through her, you'll be in less danger if you get found out.
[ ]Keep quiet. Last thing you need is to complicate things by mixing the truth into the lies you're making.
[ ]This is getting too complicated, cut your losses and head back to the village. There has to be other ways back home, right?
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[X]Keep quiet. Last thing you need is to complicate things by mixing the truth into the lies you're making.

no need to bring it up, now is there?
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[X]Keep quiet. Last thing you need is to complicate things by mixing the truth into the lies you're making.

Pretty much. We're already going to be in shit when Reimu comes back and potentially recognizes us from the rumors and blows our cover, no need to dig deeper.
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[X]This is getting too complicated, cut your losses and tell the truth. What's the worst that could happen?

Not about Yukari, but about the rest
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[ ]Keep quiet. Last thing you need is to complicate things by mixing the truth into the lies you're making.

Lets make sure we dont dig our grave deeper. Lets hope we can reason with Reimu once she gets back.

Also theres something that has been nagging me for a while now, technically speaking would Reimu even let us leave?

Think about it, Gensokyo is a place for the unnatural (legends, folklore, etc) so wouldnt Ethan, a mold monster thingie, be "home" already?
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I don't think so, biohazards are a relatively normal thing in the RE world. Heck, BSAA themselves use B.O.W's. As far as I am aware, there is nothing magical about Ethan, he is not a creature made from belief or superstition, he is a creature that obeys what constitutes as science in the RE universe
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[X]Keep quiet. Last thing you need is to complicate things by mixing the truth into the lies you're making.

Yeah, not the best idea after all we went through. Best thing is to wait and then highfoot it out of there.
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I was backreading this and found something

"You try and reach for your family photo to show her, but you can’t find it anywhere. Did you leave it in the jacket you left for Rose...?"

what if we didn't leave it and instead Sakuya took this? What if she the gives it to Reimu to help identify us? I dunno, maybe I'm looking too much into this.
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[x]Bring up Alice. If you can secure Marisa's trust through her, you'll be in less danger if you get found out.

we're going to have to wait for Reimu, (since Yukari is waiting for us to 'do something interesting she is not going to be willing to do so instead.) which means we're going to be going up against her intuition on figuring out if we're the mold youkai that is the cause of the problem, which likely means that as soon as she's back she's going to start with the Danmaku, likely with Marisa joining in. so unless we want this to be a 2v1 against us, we'll want to take options that might have Alice here when that happens.

>>203591

while the B.O.Ws of the first few games wouldn't count as youkai, considering that Remilia recognized lady Dimitrescu as a fellow vampire might indicate that its at the point that its a distinction without a difference.

In fact Gensokyo might be a really good place for Rosemary since she wouldn't end up as a human weapon like in RE VILLage epilogue as her ability puts her somewhere in the middle (not top anyway) of the local power scaling.
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"Remilia recognized lady Dimitrescu as a fellow vampire might indicate that its at the point that its a distinction without a difference."

this brings up a rather interesting idea. If the outside world sees and believes B.O.W.'s, and BOW's count as youkai, does that mean that youkai can now survive in the outside world? because theoretically there is a lot more faith now, with the BSAA exiting.
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>>203599
>>203600
Remilia only thought that Dimitrecsu was a fellow vampire. In reality she was essentially a BOW that was merely imitating a vampire, so it makes sense that Remi wouldn't be able to recognize that fact. Hell, Remi even said that Dimitrecsu was a bit different from a normal vampire in a way she couldn't place.
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fair enough analysis cant argue with that. She's also much weaker than either Remi or Flan IIRC.
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[X]Bring up Alice. If you can secure Marisa's trust through her, you'll be in less danger if you get found out.


But do it in a friendly way. Ie: She saved you, bandaged your hand, etc.
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[X]Bring up Alice. If you can secure Marisa's trust through her, you'll be in less danger if you get found out.
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[X]Keep quiet. Last thing you need is to complicate things by mixing the truth into the lies you're making.
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shrine maiden
[X]Keep quiet. Last thing you need is to complicate things by mixing the truth into the lies you're making.

You hold your tongue. It probably won't help you at all to keep stacking lies on top of each other.

Marisa stops grumbling and looks back at you. "Anyway, I think it's good that you're trying to get back to your family. Some of the Outsiders that came through here, I wouldn't be surprised if they decided to stay here in Gensokyo, instead, get a clean slate, you know?"

You shake your head. "I couldn't do that. I already went through so much for my family that it would feel wrong to not do my best to get back to them."

Marisa chuckles. "I respect that." Suddenly, she looks up. "Finally, there she is."

You follow her gaze and see a girl wearing red and white land next to both of you. She raises an eyebrow at you and asks, "You an Outsider?"

You nod. "Yeah. You Reimu? I was told you could help me get home."

"Yeah, but hold that thought." She walks closer to Marisa. She doesn't make any effort to lower her voice, though, so you hear everything she says. "Apparently, the mold monster claimed to be from the Outside. Calls himself Ethan Winters."

You stiffen, but thankfully neither of them notice.

"'Winters'?" Marisa asks, then laughs. "Not very original, if they just named themselves after the season."

"Other than that, not a lot of leads to go on," Reimu continued. "He appeared to be a man, but we have no idea if they can change form or not yet."

You can't stop yourself from commenting, "Change form?"

Reimu looks at you. "Yeah, like shapeshifting. It would make sense if a mold monster could change how they looked."

You admit that the thought process made sense. Still, if she's attributing false powers to you, it'll probably be even easier to avoid suspicion.

She narrows her eyes at you. "Actually, based on that information, maybe you're the one we're looking for?"

Your blood runs cold, but thankfully Marisa jumps in. "Nah, Leon's a cool dude. I think I'd recognize a threat if I saw it, you know?"

Reimu keeps looking at you, then backs off. "If you say so, Marisa."

The conversation reaches a pause, and you cough awkwardly. "So, uh, about sending me home..."

Reimu looks at you for a bit, then shakes her head. "Sorry, Leon, but I can't quite help you right now. Sending someone through to the Outside takes a fair bit of preparation, and I don't have time to do that if I want to solve this incident as soon as possible."

You look down. "Oh..."

Marisa shrugs. "Sorry, man, but business, you know?"

"Come back later tonight," Reimu says. "I should be available to send you home then. Would that be alright?"

"Yeah, that... That can work."

"Good. Alright, let's go, Marisa. Maybe Alice saw something."

"Stay safe, Leon!"

With that, the two of them take flight.

They head back towards the forest, and you start to panic. If they talk to Alice, there's a very high chance that they'd realize that you were the mold monster they were looking for.

Not only that, but apparently you can't just force your way back home, either. Your return is entirely at the mercy of whether or not Reimu decides to. So either you have to keep her ignorant of who you are, or convince her that you're not worth killing.

...but those can't be your only options, right?

From this spot on top of a hill, you can see a mountain in the distance, in the opposite direction that Reimu and Marisa went. It's hard to tell for sure, but you swear that you can see another shrine at the top. Maybe they could help you?

[ ]Head back into the village and try to find Alice ASAP. If you can explain the full situation, you might be able to keep Reimu in the dark long enough to get you home.
[ ]Go to the mountain. If there's another shrine, surely they could send you home just as well... right?
[ ]Try and follow Reimu and Marisa. Maybe if you come forward and plead your case to them, you'll have a better chance at convincing them to let you live and go home.
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[X]Try and follow Reimu and Marisa. Maybe if you come forward and plead your case to them, you'll have a better chance at convincing them to let you live and go home
I might be hoping for too much from Reimu and Marisa but every action Ethen has taken so far were in self defence and none were with bad intentions. That should count for something, especially considering how those who caused incidents with much higher consequences and worse intentions (Remilia, Yuyuko, Suika, Tenshi, Okuu etc.) got off pretty much scot-free.
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[x] Head back into the village and try to find Alice ASAP. If you can explain the full situation, you might be able to keep Reimu in the dark long enough to get you home.

Reimu spells trouble, so I feel we should use our only foothold in this place to gain leverage. Fake it until you make it, right?
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[X]Try and follow Reimu and Marisa. Maybe if you come forward and plead your case to them, you'll have a better chance at convincing them to let you live and go home

I did vote for (nearly) full disclosure last time, after all.
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[X]Try and follow Reimu and Marisa. Maybe if you come forward and plead your case to them, you'll have a better chance at convincing them to let you live and go home.
Probably best not to act suspicious. Would be no fun to get mycelium slasher'd.
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[X]Go to the mountain. If there's another shrine, surely they could send you home just as well... right?

I was about to vote to find Alice but I changed my mind because while it is the most sensible thing to do I:

a. want to see Ethan fight some Tengu
b. want to see Ethan meet the goddesses and Sanae
c. want to see if Sanae has heard of Resident Evil
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So our only way home has just cheerily informed us she's off to find us and kill us. That's nice.

[X] Lie Down. Try not to cry. Cry a lot.

Other than the meta reason of seeing the Moriya Shrine crew in the story, I don't think Moldy McHealthyHands here has much to gain from hiking up Youkai Mountain. Unlike Reimu, Sanae's schtick is not about Barrier/Boundary manipulation.

[X]Try and follow Reimu and Marisa. Maybe if you come forward and plead your case to them, you'll have a better chance at convincing them to let you live and go home.

>captcha: 52 Chen Hat
>nice
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[x] Head back into the village and try to find Alice ASAP. If you can explain the full situation, you might be able to keep Reimu in the dark long enough to get you home.

Keep up the masquerade.
Or just get drunk to pass the time either more quickly or more miserably.
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[X]Head back into the village and try to find Alice ASAP. If you can explain the full situation, you might be able to keep Reimu in the dark long enough to get you home.

Chasing after the duo is a dumb idea that increases "Leon's" suspicious points.
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X]Try and follow Reimu and Marisa. Maybe if you come forward and plead your case to them, you'll have a better chance at convincing them to let you live and go home.

Seems like the better option to me.
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[X] Head back into the village and try to find Alice ASAP. If you can explain the full situation, you might be able to keep Reimu in the dark long enough to get you home.

Immediately confronting and trying to explain to the duo seems too risky, they're too likely to disbelieve him after they realise he already lied about being a human named Leon, and direct combat with two of the most powerful fighters of Gensokyo would not be a good idea.

Having Alice be there to vouch for him, however, seems more likely to lead to a favourable outcome.
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[X] Head back into the village and try to find Alice ASAP. If you can explain the full situation, you might be able to keep Reimu in the dark long enough to get you home.

full agreement with the msg above me.

>>203655

regarding point c, since Remilia knows Dimitrecsu that implies that the outside world for this Genshokyo IS the Resident Evil world... which means that Sanae *definitely* knows about resident evil as and the news that's probably starting to tricking into the Moriya Shrine is probably starting to ring some alarms bells in her head.

granted this next point is probably undermining the vote I'm making, but Sanae is not the only one that has arrived recent enough to Genshokyo to know about the events of resident evil. There's also Mamizou... which means we stand a chance of seeing her when/if we go looking for Alice in the Village... with her being at the very least concerned about a potential outbreak...
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[X] Head back into the village and try to find Alice ASAP. If you can explain the full situation, you might be able to keep Reimu in the dark long enough to get you home.

Seems the most reasonable
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