You turn, facing upwards. The underside of the hammock above is now a landscape of curves, the dent of Renko's head and the thrust of her buttocks, even through the thick cloth. You try to ignore the sight, whispering up to her. "Hey Renko?" "Mm?" She moves, face appearing over the edge of her hammock. You don't think you could balance yourself like that yet, you'd just tumble over the side. You notice that now her breasts are making a bump in the hammock. You focus on her face. "What is it?" She asks, whispering back. "We sail upon a ship which floats on dreams, yet sleep will not come as I drown in an ocean of thoughts." You say, Renko looking more and more bemused. "Do you have any tips?" "What the ... " She trails off, and then lets out a suppressed laugh. "Didn't know we had a poet on board. Thought you were just a farmer?" You frown at her. "Hey, I was being serious." She grins down at you. "So basically you're having trouble sleeping?" You nod. "The rocking is kind of relaxing, but a lot has happened in one day." She rolls her eyes. "The busy days are few, don't worry." You just keep looking up at her. Eventually she sighs. "I don't know, don't think about home, don't worry about tomorrow, just sleep." She rolls back over and the lumps above you change shape again. Her hips are rather rounder than you could see through her clothes earlier.
Don't think about home? That doesn't help. You don't really want to remember home at all, nothing to go back to there. Nothing to miss but long days in the field, an empty belly, cold winters and ugly girls. Worrying about tomorrow? You're not worried, you're rather excited. You turn on your side again, staring at the shape of Renko's body above you isn't going to help sleeping. Eventually, head full of swords and dreams of the sea water, you drift off to sleep.
"A ..... il!" Sleep falls from you, slowly, washed away with each beat of the waves against the hull. ".... sail!" You rub your eyes, hearing movement around you. Someone is shouting, off in the distance, voice muffled by the ceiling. "Oi, wake up!" A hand on your shoulder. You wrench your eyes open to find Jack looking down at you. "Come on!" He says. "Up on deck." "A sail!" The shout comes again, from far above. Sounds like Ed. Jack hurries off, through the door. You almost fall out of your hammock as you twist to get up, but one foot hits the floor and you manage to catch yourself. Renko yawns behind you, stretching her arms. "A sail!" The shout comes again. Renko stops rubbing her eyes. "Shit." She says. "What?" You ask. "We're on the sea, shouldn't we see some sails?" She looks down at you. "Not on this route we shouldn't." She climbs down from her hammock, grabbing her hat from the floor. "See you up top." She says, heading out the door. "Be ready."
You bladder is uncomfortably full. You can hear footsteps moving about above you.
[ ] Head up to the deck. [ ] Grab something to eat first, just a hunk of bread. [ ] Go to the loo first. [ ] Grab a weapon before you head up.
If everyone is hurrying up, clearly this isn't the time to be grabbing a bite to eat. We still have no weapons training, so that would also just be more time wasted. Even more so considering we could easily wind up hurting ourselves with our own weapon. And as unpleasant as a full bladder can be, it can wait long enough to see what the situation is. If things go bad, wetting ourselves will be the least of our problems.
Besides, if someone comes looking for us, do you really want them to catch us in the middle of draining the lizard?
The footsteps above you are joined by the low rumble of conversation. You can't make out the words, but there are quite a few people talking. There is a shout, but just as unidentifiable. You want to see what's going on, but you also badly need to use the toilet. Good thing you're on a ship, going to the loo doesn't require a trip to the outhouse. You would head up to the deck and take a leak over the side, but it doesn't feel right to do that while there's some kind of commotion going on. Instead you head down to the rough-weather toilet, or to call it by its proper name 'the bucket in the hold'. Jack told you about it last night at dinner, informing you about daily life aboard the ship. You haven't been in the hold before, and when you open the door to it, you're not sure you want to go there at all. The rest of the ship is lit by portholes by day, giving a murky green-blue light, and by oil lanterns at night. The door to the hold reveals only a set of stairs leading down into murky blackness. You hesitate, but upon hearing another shout from upstairs, you steel yourself and head down the steps. The hold smells strange, of a thousand different things it must have contained over the years. Exotic spices, rum and sugar cane, wheat, grain, the hint of blood. Nearest and strongest though, is shit. The bucket, with a solid wooden lid, is right next to the foot of the stairs. You feel rather thankful that you don't have to venture any deeper into the maze of crates and barrels down here. You wait for a moment, letting your eyes adjust to the lack of light.
By the time you emerge into the morning sunlight of the top deck, the rushing around has finished. You notice how hot the sun feels, reflecting off the water, nothing to cast shadows and very few clouds in the sky. The Captain and Ed are standing port-side, Renko and Jack are a little further along. They're all looking out to sea. You can see Toby up in the crow's nest and Wilf in the rigging. You step over, behind Renko and Jack. "What's happening?" You ask. "A ship." Renko says, pointing. "I knew that." You say, squinting at the vague dot on the horizon. "But what's so important about it?" "They're following us." Mokou says, tone dark. You glance at her as she lowers a small device shaped like a cylinder. "Why?" Ed asks. "Let me have a look." She hands him the cylinder and he puts one end to his eye, pointing the other at the dot. "Well, ain't never seen a flag like that before." He mutters and lowers the looking-glass. "What does it mean?" He asks Mokou. "It means we run." She says. He nods. "We haven't enough crew for a fight."
"Who are they Captain?" Comes Shakir's voice from behind you. You turn, seeing him sitting in the rigging as if it was a comfortable chair. He has one eyebrow raised in question. "Are they perhaps ghosts, chasing you? Are they ever-present Spanish? Are they merely our reflection? Hmm?" Mokou points at him. "More powerful than us, that's what they are." She spreads her hands. "Looks like we're turning west early!" She looks at Renko. "The wheel Miss Usami, everyone else, get the mainsail unfurled! We move now!" Jack and Shakir scurry into action up the rigging, Toby hops out of the Crow's Nest and starts downwards, grabbing a rope. Renko takes the wheel and Mokou puts her head together with Ed for a moment.
[ ] You heard the Captain! Up the rigging! [ ] Ask Ed what the strange Flag looks like. [ ] Ask Renko about navigating, is there anything you can do? [ ] Head back inside and get yourself a weapon, the Captain did say she was going to teach you.
Orders is orders. You put your hands on the rigging and start to climb, following Jack up one side. You don't know how useful you can really be, but you're never going to get anywhere if you don't do some hands on learning eventually. Good thing you tried climbing last night, this doesn't come naturally, but it's certainly better than embarrassing yourself in front of everyone as you constantly pause in fear. Jack twists around and points at you. "Stay there, grab the bottom rope when I let it drop." He yells over the sound of the wind. You nod, watching him going further up, readying yourself.
In the end, unfurling the mainsail doesn't prove too hard. You and Shakir tie off the bottom, holding it in place. Jack scurries down and checks your knots, which he corrects. You try to memorise how he ties the rope, but most of you concentration is going into holding yourself steady on the rigging. Once the mainsail is in place, the ship picks up so much speed you can actually feel it in the wind on your face, in the rocking motion that sways you side to side. From your position high up on the rigging you can see the churning wake the ship leaves behind it. You can hear the Captain shouting something, Renko nodding and spinning the wheel.
"Come on, lets get back down." Jack says. You haul yourself hand-over-hand as the ship begins to turn, the deck every so slightly tilted. It takes you a moment to find your feet again. The Captain has her looking-glass out, peering at the dot on the horizon. You swear you can make out a sail now, the curve of a prow and the faintest flicker of motion at the top of a mast, must be the flag. "Who are they?" You ask. She turns, but looks straight past you. "Renko! Keep turning!" "How far?" She calls back. "Straight West." The Captain says, then looks at you. "They're pirates." She says. "Why are they after us?" You ask. She considers you for a moment, expression unreadable. "Because we look like good prey." "No we don't." Shakir says, walking up behind you. "We look like a tiny little morsel, one that might be able to bite back. They have no idea that we can't." The Captain scowls at him. "That just means they're desperate." "Off the coast of Spain?" Shakir says, laughing softly. "Perhaps you are seeing ghosts Captain, I know I do." He gestures vaguely in the direction of the ship on the horizon. "Get back to work, bloody Arab." Mokou says, voice hard, pointing at Shakir. He bows his head. "Of course, my Captain." He walks off, heading below decks. Mokou looks back at you. "What are you waiting for?" She asks, still agitated.
[ ] Get back to work. [ ] Go get a weapon, she said she was going to teach you. [ ] Ask if you can use the looking-glass. [ ] Press the subject, ask who is following you.
I'm implementing a new idea. The choices I have given you obviously contain attached dialogue. I am now asking you, if you don't like the sound of a particular option, to specify what you want to say as well. Basically, I am putting less words in your mouth. You don't have to use this all the time, and it's pretty much just an encouragement for more write-ins, but take notice of it.
She obviously knows more about that ship than she's saying, but pressing her about it probably won't get us more than a boot to the head at the moment. Needless to say, this also probably isn't the best time to ask her about fighting lessons.
Might be interesting to see if we could use the looking-glass, though.
>>51118 I think the difference is that in one way you're "thrown off" in the sense that you have to leave the next time the ship makes port, while the other way you're "thrown off" in the sense that you're going to be in for a very long swim.
"Sorry Captain." You say, nodding your head differentially. She shoos you away and goes back to watching the ship on the horizon.
You spend the next couple of hours below decks, with Jack and Shakir, cleaning the cannons. Apparently Mokou wanted them fully checked over and cleaned out, despite Ed's protests that the they're in fine condition. It's boring work, checking the metal of each cannon for any hairline cracks, cleaning out the breach and the touch-hole. Jack is quite talkative, full of tales of your destination. You're interested, but you can't help but wonder why Shakir keeps laughing under his breath, otherwise staying quiet. When three of the six cannons are finished, you all head back up to grab some lunch. You're quite relieved, feeling rather hungry.
"What do you think you're doing?" The Captain's voice comes from behind you as soon as you step inside the mess. "Er, getting lunch." You say, turning around. She's sitting at the corner of the table, finishing off a lump of cheese and some bread. You notice Keine slumped next to her, head resting on her folded arms. She looks fast asleep. "No you're not." Mokou shakes her head, grinning. "You're forgetting something." "You mean, training me to fight? I hadn't forgotten." You say. Mokou's expression turns surprised, a little gleam of something in her eye. "Better memory than I expected? Eager to so some work beforehand?" She stands up, slapping the table. Keine sits bolt upright, rubbing her eyes in bewilderment. "Let's get started, shall we?" She grins again. You can't help but grin back at her a little. "Hey, Jack." Shakir says, emerging from the kitchen again. "Perhaps we should eat on deck." "Huh? Why?" Jack says from behind him, jamming some bread into his mouth. "Because the new guy is going to learn some swordplay." Mokou points over your shoulder at Shakir. "We'll have no audience for this." Jack tuts, making a disappointed noise. Mokou laughs. "Maybe when he can put up a better fight, eh?" She looks back to you again, gesturing at the door. "Go get a cutlass and a musket, and be quick about it." You nod and turn to go. "Hey." The Captain says when you reach the doorway. You turn back and she throws a chunk of bread at you. You catch it. "Eat that." She says.
You chew on the bread all the way to the armoury, stomach full of butterflies. Forcing each mouthful down, you pick up the first sword that comes to hand. It's one of the heavy, single-edged ones. Wait. You put it back and pick up the one you tested last night. A little longer and thinner, but a cutlass all the same. You swallow the last of your food and then take a musket from the rack. It's a lot heavier than it looks, you put it over one shoulder and head back upstairs. Out on deck, the sun has risen right to the apex of the sky, beating down with a fierce heat. You pass Renko, still at the wheel. She nods to you, glancing at your sword and gun with surprise. Mokou is standing port-side, looking out to sea. You can just glimpse that ship from before, in the far distance. It looks smaller than earlier, obviously the mainsail made a difference. The Hourai Thief really is fast. The Captain turns when you approach her, expression dark for a moment before it breaks into a manic grin again. "Good, you got the right kind of sword." She winks at you. "Come over here." She walks to the centre of the deck and you follow, started to feel a little overheated in this sun. Mokou turns to face you again, hands on her hips. She takes her hat off and hangs it on a nail jutting out from the mast. "Rest the musket on the floor, always barrel up." She says. You do so, being especially gentle with the gun.. "Why barrel up?" You ask. "So the powder doesn't fall out." She reaches over and touches the end of the musket barrel lightly with two fingers. Unprotected by her hat, the wind blows her long silvery hair out in a wave behind her for a second. "Now, boy." She says softly, softer and more sombre than you've heard her speak before. "What are you?" You can't answer for a moment, entranced by the play of her hair in the wind. "A-a ... I'm ... what am I? Sorry?" You frown. She sighs "Are you the up-close and personal type? Or would you prefer to fight from afar?" "Oh ..."
[x] "I like swords." [x] "I like swords." [x] "I like swords." [x] "I like swords." [x] "I like swords." [x] "I like swords." [x] "I like swords." [x] "I like swords." [x] "I like swords." [x] "I like swords." [x] "I like swords." [x] "I like swords." [x] "I like swords." [x] "I like swords." [x] "I like swords." [x] "I like swords." [x] "I like swords." [x] "I like swords."
>>51232 Seconded. Muskets are only any good when fired in volleys by groups of thirty men or more at a time. They're hellishly inaccurate, and mostly useless for naval combat - especially with a crew this small.
Forget guns until we get some rifles.
Also, slight inaccuracy - once the ball is loaded, it fits tight to the inside of the barrel, preventing anything behind it (including the powder) from falling out.
Anyway, voting. [+] "Up close and personal sounds good to me."
>>51252 I think that might be what HY meant instead of 'musket'. Back in the black powder days, shotgun-like weapons (including the blunderbuss) could spill their load if tipped down. Anyway, those don't need much in the way of training to use. Once you learn the loading and firing of one, it's just "point in the general direction of what you want to die and pull trigger".
[X] "I think knives would be good. Big, fuck-off shiny ones. Ones that look like they could skin a crocodile. Knives are good because they don't make any noise, and the less noise they make, the more likely we are to use them. Shit 'em right up. Makes it look like you're serious. Muskets for show, knives for a pro."
Okay, seeing as there's been some protest at the lack of updates, I better let you all know. I didn't want to say anything before because saying it makes it more concrete. I haven't got much time at the computer lately and when I'm here I don't really feel like writing, seeing as I have even less time for planning.
I'm not stopping, but this will be very, very sporadic until sometime in the future (give me a few weeks), but by then I may be in the mood to start SDM round 2, so sit tight and go read the other stories for now.
>>52286 Don't force yourself to write, it'll only turn it into a chore. As >>52288 said, take a couple of weeks off and come back when you're feeling refreshed. And you're still the best writefag ever.
But you've finished your story the final boss fight was a bit fast. But you've made it very well, compliment. But you've ruined my original ending, that would have been connected to your story. Any Remi route OVA? MINI EXTRA? or you will just continue with an other route someday?
ALSO: I try to make my "speedy" regular daily updates from now on.
>>53006 If HY is in fact writing for the VN, then I couldn't care less about a lack of updates. I curse my inability to contribute to it outside of advocating for the programmers and can only offer a lack of complaints and a sage.
>>53006 If HY is in fact writing for the Touhou VN, then I couldn't care less about a lack of updates. I curse my inability to contribute to it (outside of advocating for the programmers) and can only offer a lack of complaints and a sage.
>>53069 Okay, status update and final word on this for now. I don't have a lot of time for writing at the moment, partly because I'm enjoying what little 100% holiday I'm going to get for a long, long time. I am writing a little for the VN right now, and this will pick up speed in a couple of weeks. Around the same time, I will start SDM playthrough 2. So basically, sit tight for another couple of weeks.
I'm reading this with interest and just want to point out that you're making Keine appear a bit too pussy. Keine is gentle but not feeble or without courage, as shown in IN when she bravely tries to protect the village. Here she's hiding under tables, sleeping on someone's arm, hurrying scarily to the kitchen, looking nervous and ronery and being Mokou's servile bitch. Yeah, it's boring, all canon Touhous show a certain dominance (which is why I like them) and you did positively to portrait 3 out of 4 that way. Mokou in her easy-going way, with a slightly colloquial way of talking and with whim and determination. Renko as a cool navigator, who can also jump around and fight. Also apparently damn intelligent. Lastly Maribel, mysteriously calm, smiling faintly, noble but not arrogant appearance, hits like thunder when she talks (just the perfect way I imagined her to be, some parallels to Yukari I see). It's just Keine's helplessness that bugs me to no end. Maybe my view on her is skewed or you can elaborate why you picture her like this. I'm very interested and it might help me understand/accept it better.
>>53186 I'm going to say this nicely despite wanting to say this rudely. Don't tell HY what he is or isn't doing correctly with fictionalcharacters based on your opinions. When you feel like writing a VN, you can do things your way. But until then, you can wait for a set of check boxs before you contribute your opinion.
>>53188 An important part of a CYAO is feedback. What you are doing right, what you are doing wrong, etc. And while yes, they are fictional characters, they have some pre-existing personality. It IS also possible for writers to make mistakes, which sometimes need to be pointed out by someone other than the writer.
Or was that just a sore spot for you? That post wasn't really inflammatory enough to warrant a rebuke of that nature. And you might want to work on your 'polite' writing, it sounds like you're calling him scum.
>>53188 Thanks, despite putting it so nicely I could feel your mild anger. His descriptions of Mokou, Renko and Maribel are so precise to how I imagined them to be, that the sudden mismatch in Keine is shaking my understanding of her. Hence I want to ask HY, why and if it is really the way he sees her that way permanently or just decides to put her like this in this adventure. Nothing more, though I can see how it can be perceived wanting things to be changed, as it always is when one expresses an opposite point of view. I cannot seperate this conclusion of yours from the mere wish that HY possibly say a few words about Keine. A simple "lol, I like to see her that way" is fine too. From an elaborated writer, there's hope that there's more to it. Just hope.
>>53186 >I'm reading this with interest and just want to point out that you're making Keine appear a bit too pussy. Keine is gentle but not feeble or without courage, as shown in IN when she bravely tries to protect the village. This isn't Gensokyo anymore, and Keine doesn't have were-hakutaku hax (probably). If you want to see how her character in Pirates could have developed: 1. Remove her were-hakutaku power and the experience of overcoming hardships in Gensoyo; consider this the removal of two major roots of her courage and self-confidence in IN. 2. Now conceive of Keine as accustomed to a sheltered, non-violent lifestyle--as a teacher in a small, peaceful village or somesuch--and then drag her out of there and throw her amidst a bunch of pirates.
>>53205 You don't even need #1. If she just lost her were-hakutaku power, the additional stress from the inevitable feelings of helplessness would contribute to her timidity. The fact that Mokou is much more adept at just busting heads doesn't help, either, since her immediate reaction might be to rely on Mokou.
>>53200 Just keep in mind that everyone here has the right to criticize anything you write. If that's too much for you to handle, don't write at all. If that's fine, then we can go on being one big, abusive family.
>>53202 Me too. >>53209 Writing on a public board and not expecting criticism would be retarded. Posting on a board and not expecting at least one person to be in a bad mood is also retarded. We'll all learn from the attached picture.
>>55413 I get dumped, find out my computer's not fast enough to run SA, then wake up to find myself covered in vomit but go to work anyway, where I am constantly ridiculed as I do the most degrading job in the shop.