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202828
[-]Why are we even talking about this? We both agree Satori's our best bet for getting home, so we should concentrate on cracking the urban legend puzzle. If that doesn't pan out, then consider other options, but we shouldn't split our focus.

You're still a little off balance, from your injuries to dealing with Koishi and Satori to everything else going on in Gensokyo, but you do get where Sumi's coming from. It's a serious situation, one where she can't blast her way out through pure magical firepower, and she feels responsible for it. And she has a point in that what's best for the two of you would be to get home, regardless of how that's accomplished. You don't blame her for that, but at the same time, you can't agree. Satori needs your help, and you're her best if not only chance of fixing Koishi. What good is magical power if you can't make a difference with it?

But you won't make any headway with that argument against Sumi. She'd roll her eyes, call you an idealist, and point out that you've known Satori for less than twenty-four hours total. Which would all be true without doing anything to change your mind, and leave both of you arguing past each other. Fortunately, you don't need to have this fight now, because the right thing is also the strategic thing.

Sumi, keeping options open is one thing, but let's not risk plan A because you have to have a plan B.

Well, of course not. I'm not doing anything like that.

Really? Because as you may have noticed, Satori's a mind-reader.

Which is exactly why I went to these lengths to have this conversation in private.

Let me finish! She almost certainly knows you don't trust her, and while I don't think that actually bothers her, if you start making plans on how to escape Gensokyo while ignoring her sister, she would absolutely notice, and probably take it as a betrayal. And honestly, you think such a reaction would be justified, but let's stick to one can of worms at a time.

Sumi sounded exasperated. Gregor, give me some credit for intelligence. I'm not going to plan that sort of thing out in front of her.

That's just it, though. If you did make such a plan, all it would take is one stray thought to piss off our only ally. Or one of two allies, if counting Alice. You weren't really sure if she'd stick around for the long term. And let's face it, your mental discipline is alright, but it isn't that good. Nobody can avoid thinking about something like that forever.

Sumireko didn't respond immediately, and you took the chance to push another angle of argument. Not to mention, we both agree Satori's our best shot at getting home safely, so let's actually focus on that. And on that note, the solution to Satori's problem could help us too. If we can figure out how to get Satori the urban legend she wants, we'll be able to get ourselves any urban legend we want. And I know you've got a wishlist of ideas for that.

Sumi's silence turned thoughtful, and after a moment she smirked. Honestly, I kind of want to see what Koishi comes up with for you.

Please no.

Given her reaction on meeting you, I bet she does something connected to the Roach nickname.

That's disturbingly plausible. You're sure there's some sort of bug-based horror story out there. Something of your despair must have made it through the link, as Sumireko is giggling. She's trying to hide it, but that doesn't work too well when you're literally in her head.

After a minute or so she calms down. For real though, you've made your point. I agree Satori's our best bet for now, and I'm fine with focusing on the urban legend thing as long as it shows promise. Just don't get too attached, alright? I can't put my finger on it, but something about this entire Gensokyo trip feels wrong.

You can't really reassure her on that count, so you focus on her final statement. I'm not sure where you're going with that?

It feels like every single little thing has escalated far too quickly, but at the same time not? She hesitates. I mean, if the urban legend incident isn't really all that bad, if they're fine or even beneficial on average, then the reaction is too much; it doesn't make sense for this many people to be chasing after us. But if it is that bad, if urban legends are basically taking over and destroying youkai, then why the heck were Marisa and what's-her-name sandbagging against us?

Trying to take us alive? You're pretty sure a full-power Marisa would have killed you in short order. Maybe they want to force us to resolve the incident.

I don't know. Something about this whole thing still doesn't fit. I can't help but feel we're being played somehow.

You give her a mental shrug. Honestly, I don't see how the chaos we've been involved in could be anyone's master plan. Even aside from the insanity of someone trying to plan everything, what the heck would be the endgame?

Sumireko doesn't offer a response, and the conversation dies down. Eventually you prod her, thinking, Hey Sumi, if we're done talking about Satori and such, could you put the mental barrier down? I'd like to return to my own body now.

Oh, right! Sorry.

Sensation returns to you in a rush, and you abruptly realize that your body's position during that mental discussion had resulted in poor circulation.

Or to put it plainly, your legs were asleep, causing you to fall flat on your ass.

You doing alright down there, Greg?

You sigh and get up. Just basking in awe at your glorious presence. Or a really bad case of pins and needles.

Right. Well, while we're out here, we should actually test the cape.

Yeah, yeah, I've got you. You summon a couple weak streams of bullets, and Sumi starts dodging accordingly.

The testing itself is uneventful. You ramp up the bullets as much as you're able without going into any spellcards (you do still want to save energy), but as you'd hoped, the cape's actual controls were fine once reconnected, and your friend dodges everything with ease. So as things wind down and Sumireko finishes proving that you need better personal firepower, you consider the far more pressing question of what you're going to say to Satori.

[?] Write-in.
[X] Whats the tea sis?
[X] Want some tea sis?

Actually make tea too cause why not, drinking tea and talking is good
I'm thinking of two ways to go about this.
Either explain why you did the things you did, basically intellectually processing everything. This would be the usual go-to for Satori. It's what she receives easily.

The other is to lean into our own emotions, sharing them as they are, despite irrationality and illogicality. This is difficult and will be exasperating, but it's the thing that Satori needs to confront to grow out of herself and to get it.

I'm simply not sure whether we want to smooth the waters for the coming trip or if we actually want to keep going so she finally stops closing herself off from the world and starts to let people in.


Regardless of it all... Apologizing is a no-brainer. Tricky is to be specific about what to be apologetic for.
Invading on her personal space? Sure.
Going directly against her stated wishes? Absolutely.
Thinking what we think of her - regardless whether or not it was because of Koishi... I'm saying no.
Wanting to help her? Not referring to the Koishi situation, but wanting to help her. To stop wearing a mask, to stop keeping people at arm's length and to start being herself?
No.

Why the (former) heck are we so invested in this? As for me, I relate.
[X] Want some tea?

You could insert five paragraphs of self-indulgent monologue full of doubt and warm feelings or we can FINALLY PUT A BAND-AID ON IT
Point taken. VIscerally so :(

[x] Be a good lad and cheer the girl up over a cup of tea.
[x] Be a good lad and cheer the girl up over a cup of tea.
[x] Be a good lad and cheer the girl up over a cup of tea.
>>202839
Add
[x] Bring along the tiny Koishi
[x] Remember times Sumi cheered you up
[x] Be a good lad and cheer the girl up over a cup of tea.

With the cape-repair and testing finished, you all break for a quick lunch (courtesy of Alice), from which Satori is noticeably absent. Seeing an opportunity, you finish your meal quickly, and offer to deliver Satori's portion to her. Alice smiles in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, but her dolls prepare a tray, and she informs you that Satori's in the guest bedroom on the second floor. You're there now, armed with tea and grilled lamprey, but you're hesitating, trying to figure out just what you're going to say. Of course, apologizing is obvious, but there's a lot of directions that could go in after the initial 'sorry'.

"You do realize I can hear your thoughts from here, right?"

Also, you might be an idiot.

"Just come in before the food gets cold."

There's really nothing for it but to do as Satori bids you, so you open the door and head in with your precious cargo. Inside, Satori's standing over by the window, gazing out the window, with a handful of berries resting on the sill.

"Leave it over there, I'll get to it in a minute," Satori says, not even looking in your direction.

This doesn't really help your nervousness, but you put the tray on the end table and walked over towards Satori, who was focused on a pair of small birds perched on a tree just outside. You couldn't name what kinds they were, but one was blue and white, the other bright yellow with black wings, but both were watching her intently. After a moment's consideration, she took a pair of berries, tossing them out the window in slightly different directions. The birds took off instantly, each taking its berry of choice before flying off.

You honestly have no idea how to react to that. "So, were those magical birds of some sort?"

Satori chuckles, finally turning to you. "Even in Gensokyo, not everything is a harbinger of some mystic power. Those were perfectly normal birds."

Then why-

"Unlike people, animals are comfortable around me. They have nothing to hide, and enjoy having someone who understands them."

"Any animal?"

"Within reason. Not every species is smart enough to communicate, and with some the instincts are too strong for a person to be approachable. But for most of the ones you'd think of, yes."

"That's actually pretty cool," you say honestly. "But anyway, I did want to talk to you about something."

Satori sighs. "Ah, yes. The dreaded something."

"Believe it or not, everything scary is literally a 'something'."

"Greg, you know I know exactly where this is going. You've had variations of apologies running through your head for something like an hour now."

"Yes, I know you know I know." Or wait, should there be four know's in there? Satori's giving you a flat look, so you shake your head and move on. "But thoughts don't matter unless they translate into actions. I did a stupid thing, and I need to apologize for it."

She sat down on the bed, giving you a calculating look. "Is this apology for my sake or for yours?"

That stops you for a second. You can't deny that getting this over with and putting it behind you was a major motivating factor, but at the same time you never even considered that Satori might not want an apology. "If you really don't want me to apologize, then... I guess I won't? Though I would ask why."

"What's the point in saying something when I've heard every possible variation in your thoughts?"

"Knowing which of those variations I consider to be worth acting on. And quite frankly, even if both parties know something, it can still be worth saying." And then with a wry smile, you continue, "Or do you not plan to express your irritation at Koishi later?"

"I never get to plan out an encounter with my sister. When she shows up again, there will be more pressing problems than her past misbehavior. Even if she has to cause them herself." Satori sighed and sat down on the bed, crossing her legs and looking directly at you. "But very well. Say your piece, Gregor."

Alright then. You stay standing, folding your arms behind your back and meeting her gaze. "I'm sorry for kissing you like that. I didn't realize the spellcard would prevent me from casting an illusion, and at that point, kissing you was the only thing I could think of. Which I shouldn't have done, especially not after you warned me not to. So yes, I'm sorry. Please forgive me."

Satori raised an eyebrow. "Not going for anything in the way of self-justification?"

You sighed. "I considered it, but at the end of the day, I kissed you to get a reaction out of your sister. Regardless of the surrounding circumstances, there's no saving that."

Satori nodded, masking her expression, but doesn't respond. The silence drags out, and Satori turns her attention to her tea, grasping it in both hands and taking a sip. A long, slow, time-consuming sip. You bear the wait as best you can, doing your best not to fidget, or even think too impatiently. You're not really that good at it. In the end, Satori puts the cup down, and returns her attention to you, her expression still inscrutable.

"You know, in the Underground, there's an expression we use that applies to exactly this sort of situation."

"And that expression is?" you prompt.

She draws the moment out, leaning forwards before delivering the verdict: "It's probably Koishi's fault."

"What?"

Satori regards you calmly. "Greg, today has been a very trying day on several counts, but I'd be a fool not to recognize the role my sister played in things. All the teasing and subconscious prompting aside, she instigated the fight by trying to steal Alice's doll. Which reminds me, how are your ribs?"

"Numb," you respond, non-plussed. "Between the ice and the painkillers, I should be good to travel."

"Good. But as I was saying, your decision to kiss me was definitely provoked. So yes, I forgive you." Her expression turned wry. "And I take it you won't try anything like that again."

The relief actually hits then, and you trip over your words in your rush to reply. "That's good. I was worried- well, you seemed pretty upset earlier, and-"

Satori sighed. "Yes, I know. Like I said, it had been a long day. Don't worry about it."

"I won't." Or at least, you'd try not to within thinking distance of her. You knew you'd over-analyze this conversation the moment you were by yourself. "Anyway, we're going to head to Eientei once you've eaten. Sumi's cape is repaired, and Alice has her dolls armed and ready for action."

"Understood." She glances at the untouched meal. "I'll be down in a few minutes."

"Right. Thanks again, and sorry again. And just for the record, I promise I won't try to kiss you again," you say, turning to leave.

Unless she wants you to. You don't have the courage to say that part. You also know she heard it anyway. She doesn't reply, and you head downstairs to prepare for Eientei.

[x] To be continued.


------------ALSO-------------

If there's any last preparations you guys want to make before heading to Eientei, or any general strategizing for the trip there, now is the time to bring it up.
Who knew that the right response was the real-world equivalent of typing out "lel koishi" and rolling our face on a keyboard.

>If there's any last preparations you guys want to make before heading to Eientei, or any general strategizing for the trip there, now is the time to bring it up.
Bonk Sumi over the head. God knows she deserves it.
>Unless she wants you to. You don't have the courage to say that part. You also know she heard it anyway.
Oh no.

Anyways
[x] Get a book for Sumireko
[x] Fiddle around with puppet magic, just for fun.
---
[x] Get a yakitori stand owner to guide you
[x] Get a book for Sumeriko
[x] If there's a chessboard try and see if 3 minds united can beat a mindreader at chess.
[x] Get a book for Sumeriko
[x] If there's a chessboard try and see if 3 minds united can beat a mindreader at chess.
>>202847
>>202848
They are all going to leave for Eientei as soon as Satori is done eating. We don’t have time for a game of chess, especially considering the fact that a broken rib is not something that we should be ignoring. A broken rib is a serious injury, not something to procrastinate about in favor of board games.

[x] See if Alice will let you borrow a book for Sumeriko

Gotta read something in the hospital waiting room.
Not now but first chance we get.
[x] If there's a chessboard try and see if 3 minds united can beat a mindreader at chess.
Update delayed for a day; was behind on work for my actual job, and just didn't have the time to write.
No probs, totally understandable.
[x] On to Eientei!
[x] Borrow a book for Sumireko.

This was it. You were all equipped and ready to go. You had the sling, the icepack, and the newly repaired cape; Sumireko was wielding the backpack-copter, Alice had picked out a small army of dolls, and Satori... was just Satori. Regardless, you were finally on your way, and nothing was going to stop you... because as it turned out, the flight from Alice's house to the Bamboo Forest of the Lost was completely uneventful. You'd been half expecting to be jumped by Marisa, fairies, Reimu, or someone, but instead it was completely quiet and peaceful. Even though you were now well into the Bamboo Forest of the Lost, there was still no sign of any sort of hostiles, youkai or otherwise. Somehow.

"You've successfully escaped so far due to your competence with illusions," Satori pointed out. "It's not surprising the incident resolvers have no idea where you went."

"Yeah, fair enough," you say. Still, you can't shake the feeling that something was supposed to have gone wrong by now.

"We ran into both Alice and my sister in the Forest of Magic," Satori said. "That's already significantly more trouble than I expected."

It's a fair point. Koishi being Koishi is one thing, but the only reason Alice was on the lookout for you was that someone had sent her a warning...

"What do you think the odds are this Q. Nira tipped off someone in Eientei about us?"

Satori glanced up to where Alice was flying ahead, pathfinding with her dolls. "We've been through this already, Greg. It's possible, but it's a necessary risk. Fortunately, even if it has happened, the residents of Eientei are unlikely to care."

"Hm, maybe." Ahead you see Alice hold up a hand to signal a halt as she landed, closing her eyes in apparent concentration. The rest of you stop, though you elect to stay airborne. "No comment on anything, Sumi?"

She doesn't look up from her book. "Sorry, what was that?"

Well, at least she's finding it interesting. "Never mind," you say with a sigh.

You don't entirely blame her. Even with Alice using dolls to scout in every direction, you've ended up traveling in short bursts with long pauses. Sumireko had taken to reading the borrowed magic book during the first of those, and after the third pause without any action, had stopped putting it away for the short flights. At first you'd tried learning it with her, but Sumireko proved to have more natural talent for servant magic (you refuse to call it puppet magic), so you let her concentrate in peace. And with Alice completely concentrating on pathfinding, you were just idly spending time with Satori.

"Don't sound so disappointed."

You glance over in time to see her roll her eyes at you, and sigh. "I'm really just bored, Satori. I mean, I know this is vastly preferable to fighting every youkai in the land, but I do want to get to Eientei a little faster." And not just because the painkillers were starting to wear off.

"Boredom is something that won't happen much for you in Gensokyo. Cherish it while you can."

Hang on, don't Satori and Alice both spend most of their time alone or nearly so, full on introvert-style? Surely that can't be rivetingly interesting all the time.

"It's not. Hence why I said for you, and not in general." Satori smirked. "I have the luxury of going home and being bored at will."

"Damn," you said drily. "My jealousy knows no bounds."

And the conversation about died off at that. Another intermittent burst of social activity through the far lengthier waiting. You suppose it happens when the extrovert of the group is completely absorbed in a magic book. At least Alice agreed to lend you the thing.

Speaking of which, Alice seems to be getting closer to a decision. A handful of dolls have flown in from various directions, and she seems to be consulting with them? You're not really sure how that works; she's personally confirmed that the dolls don't have true sentience (heck, that's her entire goal from the urban legend incident), but she appears to be getting reports and giving orders the way a general would direct troops. Which would make the Koishi doll her attache, hovering around her at all times and even intercepting other dolls from time to time.

There's some amusing irony to the fact that the doll based off of Koishi is so eye-catching. Even now, it's pantomiming giving another doll a dressing-down, which the unfortunate target is just hovering there and taking, head bowed down. Up until the point where the Koishi doll finishes the silent lecture and shoes it away, before returning to its rightful place at Alice's shoulder.

And suddenly Alice brightens up, flying over to the rest of you. "Listen up, everyone. I've found it. I've got a trail of dolls leading there, and the rest are returning here now."

Sumireko slips the book into the backpack almost reluctantly, while you and Satori both are more visibly pleased. "Finally it's time," you mutter. "Sumi, did you get anything useful out of the book?"

"I'm good, but I'm not quite that fast. But give me an evening and I could have a puppet of my own dancing to my tune."

"Unnecessary," Satori states. "You already have Greg."

Sumireko cracks up, Alice hides a smile with the back of her hand, and you give Satori a flat look, which she is completely unbothered by. You sigh. "Alright, let's stick with the original plan..."

[-] Since Alice hasn't been identified as being part of the group, she should head in, get the medicine herself, and the rest of you can just wait out here and stay hidden. ((Switch to Alice PoV!))
[-] Safety in numbers. The four of you can just stick together, and that way you'll have enough firepower to deal with any possible threats.
[-] Let's leave Alice as an ace in the hole here. The rest of you can go in and get the medicine, and she'll wait out here. Having an ally nobody knows about is more important than having one more fighter available.
[x] Let's leave Alice as an ace in the hole here. The rest of you can go in and get the medicine, and she'll wait out here. Having an ally nobody knows about is more important than having one more fighter available.
[x] Safety in numbers. The four of you can just stick together, and that way you'll have enough firepower to deal with any possible threats.
let's not turn this into a B-rated horror movie where we get picked off one by one by those that know the forest better than we do
[x] Safety in numbers. The four of you can just stick together, and that way you'll have enough firepower to deal with any possible threats.

agreeded
>you refuse to call it puppet magic
Them's fighting words

[x] Let's leave Alice as an ace in the hole here. The rest of you can go in and get the medicine, and she'll wait out here. Having an ally nobody knows about is more important than having one more fighter available.

Deception, Trickery and surprises (and running away when needed).
[x] Let's leave Alice as an ace in the hole here. The rest of you can go in and get the medicine, and she'll wait out here. Having an ally nobody knows about is more important than having one more fighter available.
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202860
[x] Let's leave Alice as an ace in the hole here. The rest of you can go in and get the medicine, and she'll wait out here. Having an ally nobody knows about is more important than having one more fighter available.

The plan was simple. The three of you would head in, and obtain medical treatment. Meanwhile, Alice would wait outside. Within earshot, just on the off chance that you all ended up in combat and truly needed her help, but otherwise uninvolved. (There was, of course, the chance someone had spotted you all on the way here, but avoiding that was one of the reasons Alice's dolls had been scouting everywhere, and Satori hadn't detected anyone, so you figured you were good.)

With the mansion just barely in sight, you take a moment to thank your guide. "Thanks again for taking us all this way, Alice."

"Thank me by figuring out the urban legends," Alice said, though she smiled as she said it. "And by not starting another fight."

"I'm not the one starting any of these!"

The Koishi doll pointed to Satori and Sumireko. "It's called guilt by association."

"That hardly seems fair."

Satori didn't take her eyes off Eientei, saying, "Actually, considering the effects of the occult balls, you've indirectly started at least a hundred fights."

"Or maybe just being the mastermind," Alice corrected.

"If anything, I'm the mastermind," Sumi said. "Greg's just the lackey."

"Satori made that exact joke like thirty seconds ago," you complained.

Your supposed friend grinned at you. "Who's joking?"

"You realize that makes everything going on entirely your fault, right?"

Sumi considered that for a moment and shrugged. "It is an acceptable sacrifice in the name of magical science."

Alice gave her a dry look. "On second thought, thank me by keeping Sumireko in line."

"Hey!"

"If you're finished," Satori interrupted, "We should get going."

"Right. Satori, what am I looking at for illusion targets?"

"I'm sensing at least a dozen rabbits ahead."

Too many for any sort of mind manipulation to have a chance. You sigh and gather your concentration. "Of course. Light-bending it is, then. You're going to need to stay right by my side for me to keep this up."

It takes you a couple tries, but you manage to get a partial illusion over the three of you. You change up everyone's facial features slightly, hide Nitori's backpack, and swap your clothes to match the villagers you saw earlier. In another sense, keeping an illusion simultaneously cast over three people moving independently of one another is stretching your skill to its limit.

"Greg has the illusion stable, but only just." Satori turned to you. "Are you going to be able to hold it?"

"Yes. Just don't make any sudden movements, all right? Also, I'm not going to be able to cover sound while holding this, so be careful in front of anyone who might recognize your voice."

"Just like old times, huh?" Sumi smirked and started walking, calling back, "As long as we don't run into anyone who actually made the trip outside Gensokyo, we should be fine."

You and Satori follow, and as the bamboo opens up into a large clearing, the three of you get your first good look at Eientei. It was an enormous, old-fashioned Japanese mansion, managing to look both imposing and simple at the same time. Well, not simple, but restrained? Uncomplicated? The sloped roofs and wooden walls were clean, well-made, and well-maintained, but not adorned with anything fancy. Despite the mansion's enormous size (you can only see the front, and the forest's bamboo is hiding a lot of it), you get more of a sense of utility than luxury from it.

Speaking of which, a bamboo fence separates the mansion's grounds from the forest proper, though plenty of bamboo grows inside as well. Youkai rabbits are all over the place, whether milling about aimlessly, chatting animatedly, pounding mochi, or even racing around in a game of tag. There doesn't seem to be any particular order to the chaos, and you see Satori holding a hand to her head.

"I'm fine. Just a lot of noise."

"We need to find the actual pharmacy!" Sumi said, raising her voice to be heard. "Do we pull aside one of these rabbits, or..."

Satori grimaced. "I'm not sure, but I don't think they'll be helpful."

"You can't sense anything useful?"

Satori shook her head, pushing forwards. "It would be a needle in a haystack, if the haystack was loud and constantly reorganizing itself! Let's check the main building!"

The rabbits weren't so tightly packed to resemble a crowd, but they were very active, running back and forth across your path and forcing you to maneuver around a few groups of inconsiderate youkai. Which was both irritating and moderately painful from the jostling, but you were able to keep the illusion up as the three of you made it to the front door.

[x] To be continued...
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202866
The first thing you ran into noticed inside was a maid in the distance, talking with one of the youkai rabbits. As in literally, a young silver-haired woman wearing the classic french maid outfit. That itself didn't strike you as odd; maids and mansions go together like Sumireko and explosions. The fact that she was visibly injured and brandishing a knife was a little more unusual (not to mention disturbing), but that could just be a Gensokyo thing.

Then Satori stiffened and her grip on your arm tightened painfully, and you knew something was wrong. "Wait." she whispered. "Gregor, full veil, now."

"What-"

"Just do it!"

You don't ask any questions at that tone, swapping the disguise for a full veil (sound included in this one) while Sumireko looks over in puzzlement. "Seriously? It's just a maid."

Satori shot her a disdainful look. "And Reimu's just a shrine maiden. Sakuya is dangerous, and she's here about the urban legend incident. Now be quiet!"

Both of you shut up at that, and you creep closer to hear the actual conversation. The maid currently is currently holding the rabbit (which, with mild surprise you see is actually a boy) by an ear, who's fruitlessly trying to pull away.

"Ow! Stoppit!"

"I need to speak with Tewi," the maid said, completely calmly.

"I said I don't know where she is! She comes and goes whenever she wants! Go find Reisen or something!"

The maid lifted the rabbit ever so slightly, forcing him to stand on tiptoes, head awkwardly tilted into the grip. "The rabbit of good fortune, she's called. Granting luck to whoever sees her."

"You think she'll make you lucky for doing this?! You're nuts!"

"I make my own luck, rabbit. But as for you," she twirled the knife in her free hand, "you would be very lucky indeed if Tewi dropped by in the next few seconds."

"It's not like that at all," a new voice said.

Sakuya turned to look at the new arrival and smiled. "That's beside the point. You're here now."

So is that Tewi? In your peripheral vision you see Satori nod, so you take that as confirmation.

"Let him go already," Tewi says. "I am technically supposed to lead these rabbits, you know?"

"Of course. He's already served his purpose." Sakuya releases the unfortunate rabbit's ear, and he scampers off as fast as his legs will carry him.

"What do you want? Good luck won't help your master now, and Eirin already tried her hand at a remedy."

Sakuya stopped twirling her knife, standing up straight and glaring down at Tewi. "I am aware of that," she said. "You're going to do me a favor."

Tewi didn't immediately respond, and Sakuya continued. "You see, I had an absolutely fascinating conversation with Marisa earlier. Apparently, the perpetrators of the urban legend incident are in Gensokyo, and she managed to seriously injure one of them. Which of course, implies a need for medical treatment."

Oh no. "Now, I need to have a chat with these... lovely people," Sakuya's smile turned a few degrees sharper, "so you're going to let me know if anyone shows up."

"You realize I can't do that, right? A lot of people show up to Eientei for medical treatment."

"Well, I had to beat the details out of Marisa," Sakuya gestured to the burn on her side, "but I know exactly what you're looking for."

"The likely group is one man and two women, but one of them's an illusionist, so you can't trust that." Damn it. "However, the injury you're looking for is blunt trauma to the chest, consistent with a danmaku bullet." And that's something you can't disguise. Damn it.

Tewi shook her head. "Look, Reisen might feel compelled to help, but Eientei stays neutral in these kinds of incidents."

"Eientei may stay neutral, but you will not," Sakuya said, unperturbed.

"And why's that?"

"I'm not unreasonable. If there's a request you would ask of myself, Miss Patchouli, or Miss Meiling in trade, I will see it done."

"Anything?"

"Within reason."

Tewi hesitated for a gut-clenching moment, and sighed, looking down. "I can't. Eirin's gotten real big into doctor patient confidentiality lately, and I've pushed the line a little too much lately."

Sakuya's smile slipped. "It's unfortunate that you feel that way, but you will help me."

Tewi gave Sakuya a sidelong look. "Are you actually trying to threaten me? Here?"

Sakuya's eyes flashed red, and suddenly knives filled the air around Tewi. Not just a few either; at least a hundred knives, silver bladed and red handled were hovering in the air, all pointed at the rabbit youkai in a hemispherical ring of death.

Tewi put her hands on her hips and stared down the incoming barrage. "You won't. Kaguya would-"

Sakuya snapped her fingers, and Tewi's eyes widened. She started summoning bullets of her own just as the knives shot forwards and she disappeared into the middle of the storm of steel. You couldn't make heads or tails of what was happening inside that, but Tewi's bullets were getting fewer and fewer before vanishing entirely, and Sakuya (who'd been waiting calmly outside the knife-storm, though her eyes flickered red every so often) fixed her gaze on a specific point. The knives retreated for just a moment, long enough for you to see a glimpse of a shaking Tewi before charging in again. The first few waves were aimed around her instead of at her, grazing her on all sides, and just as the remainder were about to hit home, Sakuya's eyes flashed red again and the knives fell to the ground, motionless.

This did not mean Tewi was unscathed. The cowering rabbit's arms and sides were covered in small-to-medium sized cuts, and while nothing looked lethal, or even truly dangerous (aside from the threat of collective blood loss), that had to be painful. Not to mention terrifying.

"Only grazing wounds," Sakuya said conversationally. "How fortunate for you. But as I was saying, you're going to do me a favor."

Tewi got back to her feet, wincing. "So you're stronger than me. You're not stronger than my masters, and they won't stand for this."

"So what?" Sakuya said with a shrug. "If you want to run to the Lunarians after I have the culprits in hand, then fine. They'll express righteous anger, attempt to chastise me and Lady Remilia with danmaku, and we'll all laugh about it over tea afterwards. Perhaps I'll make some of those little carrot cakes you enjoy."

And then Sakuya's faked levity faded. "But make no mistake. If the culprits escape me because of you, I will kill you."

Suddenly Sakuya was behind Tewi, her knife gently massaging the rabbit's throat. "Am I understood?"

Tewi was shaking now, her eyes absolutely wide, and she nodded slightly.

Sakuya pulled the knife away from Tewi, who immediately pushed away from the maid, turning and shooting her a hateful glare. Sakuya took absolutely no notice and took out a book. "The pages of this book are removable and enchanted with tracking magic, courtesy of Miss Patchouli. When the culprits arrive, touch them with one of the pages, and I will handle the rest."

Sakuya tosses the book at Tewi, who lets it drop to the floor and stares at it. "There are other leads I need to investigate. Just do your part, rabbit, and you won't have anything to worry about. Oh, and you should probably sneak some medicine for yourself before the other residents notice your wounds."

The maid prepares to leave, as Tewi reluctantly picks up the book she left. You should really do something, quickly.

[-] Abandon ship. This is too dangerous, if Sakuya predicted your movements, others could too. You'll just have to do without medical treatment.
[-] Find Eirin, tell her about Sakuya threatening her subordinate.
[-] Use the veil to creep around Eientei, try to steal medicine without being noticed.
[-] Tewi's definitely not helping willingly. Talk to her after Sakuya leaves, see if you can enlist her help in misleading the maid or drawing her into a trap.
[-] Use the element of surprise; attack Sakuya now.
[?] Write-in?
[X] Find Eirin, tell her about Sakuya threatening her subordinate.

Thanks doc
[X] Find Eirin, tell her about Sakuya threatening her subordinate.
She might live on earth, but hopefully she's still a moonie where it counts, if a little more selective with what kegare she removes.
[-] Find Eirin, tell her about Sakuya threatening her subordinate.

or. If the votes are falling into it.

[-] Tewi's definitely not helping willingly. Talk to her after Sakuya leaves, see if you can enlist her help in misleading the maid or drawing her into a trap.

I'm not too convinced on the former option being a good idea. As we're unsure of how much Eirin and Tewi actually are on terms of general relationships. Since iirc Eirin and co. are "intruding" on Tewi's domain, so they leave her be to her own devices.

Seems like it would be a coin-toss on whether she actually helps Tewi or not. Either she'd go "it's her problem." or she'd see it as an indirect attempt on the reputation of Eientei itself and act then. Which would benefit us.

Which is why if the votes shift, I'd go for talking with Tewi directly. That way we can hopefully gain access to the book itself and see what we can do with it. We already know it has a tracking spell on it. Maybe we can reverse-engineer it and b a c k t r a c e it as a method of keeping tabs on other characters. or Just disarm it. Or plant it on timed activation on a dummy target with a trap for Sakuya.
[x] Tewi's definitely not helping willingly. Talk to her after Sakuya leaves, see if you can enlist her help in misleading the maid or drawing her into a trap.

I say Twei's luck is broken. The way I see it is that we would be discovered by her eventually and we would bring the issue up to Eirin even if we choose to not talk to her which would help her situation abit.

Lets talk to her, an enemy of an enemy is a potential friend after all.

Also, damn quite the waste for a perfect ambush, tho if the votes are close, I will switch.

The only thing I am worried about is Alice.
Find Eirin, tell her about Sakuya threatening her subordinate.

Not sure that's a good option since A- we aren't really affiliated with her yet. B- That'd imply trying to sneak past Tewi or just walking into Eientei right? and C- the odds she'll simply go "So if I tell the others where you are, then I'd have no more problems" with her cold logic.

So I'm voting for [x] Tewi's definitly helping willingly. Talk to her after Sakuya leaves, ask her if she's allright and if we may enter Eientei for medicine. (Asking her to mislead or trap Sakuya gives her the risk of being knifed again but eh why not).
[X] Find Eirin, tell her about Sakuya threatening her subordinate
"Just a maid", said the 'just a highschool girl' who threw Gensokyo into chaos by mere accident.

[x] Tewi's definitely not helping willingly. Talk to her after Sakuya leaves, see if you can enlist her help in misleading the maid or drawing her into a trap.

Call out for tewi Good fortune be on our side.
[X] Tewi's definitely not helping willingly. Talk to her after Sakuya leaves, see if you can enlist her help in misleading the maid or drawing her into a trap.

Ambushing Sakuya is the only way we'd have anything more than snowball's chance in hell of taking her down. Any pressure relieved is worth it.
>>202873
You know what? This is the one time this vote may actually work as a write-in.
Changing >>202872 to

[x] Call out to Tewi
[X] Find Eirin, tell her about Sakuya threatening her subordinate.
[X] Tewi's definitely not helping willingly. Talk to her after Sakuya leaves, see if you can enlist her help in misleading the maid or drawing her into a trap.
[x] Tewi's definitely not helping willingly. Talk to her after Sakuya leaves, see if you can enlist her help in misleading the maid or drawing her into a trap.
-[x] Find Eirin, tell her about Sakuya threatening her subordinate.
Why not both?
>>202878 True. No reason we can't introduce ourselves to the rabbit and then tell the doc.

Add to>>202873 -[x] Find Eirin, tell her about Sakuya threatening her subordinate.
[x] Tewi's definitely not helping willingly. Talk to her after Sakuya leaves, see if you can enlist her help in misleading the maid or drawing her into a trap.
[x] Tewi's definitely not helping willingly. Talk to her after Sakuya leaves, see if you can enlist her help in misleading the maid or drawing her into a trap.
-[x] Find Eirin, tell her about Sakuya threatening her subordinate.
That Anon had a point. We can always approach Tewi and later tell Eirin what happened.
>>202870
Switching to
[x] Tewi's definitely not helping willingly. Talk to her after Sakuya leaves, see if you can enlist her help in misleading the maid or drawing her into a trap.
-[x] Find Eirin, tell her about Sakuya threatening her subordinate.

Thanks for the idea Anon
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